Overwatch: A guide to all 21 heroes in Blizzard’s fantasy FPS

Blizzard is jumping into the world of FPS in style with Overwatch, an ambitious shooter in which teams battle against each other across the globe, in vast levels inspired by real-world locations. It promises gripping action, and keeps things fresh with a roster of 21 heroes to choose from, each with their own distinct personalities, skills and equipment. If you want to be ready to become immersed in its big and colorful gameplay, one great way to prepare is to make sure your GPU's up to the task.

NVIDIA's entry-level GeForce GTX 950 is powerful enough to run Overwatch at 1080p 60fps in medium detail, while if you feel the need to max everything out then you can't go wrong with the higher-end GTX 970. And if you need a bit of a head start with picking a character, here's a round-up of the Overwatch crew, organized into the game's four roles so that you can easily choose a hero that suits your particular style.



Why choose between a ninja and a cyborg when you can have both? Trained as a ninja and then rebuilt as a cyborg after a violent confrontation with his brother, Genji is a fast and lethal living weapon who can kill instantly with his swift strike attack, fling deadly shuriken at his opponents and deflect incoming projectiles with his katana, turning the tables on enemy attacks. And when the going gets tough, his Dragonblade ultimate ability enables him to instantly cut down anyone within reach for a short time. 

Soldier: 76

The mysterious product of an American soldier enhancement program, Soldier: 76 boasts immense physical prowess as well as combat augmentations and a cutting-edge arsenal. He comes equipped with a heavy duty rifle that can deal out automatic pulse fire plus bursts of tiny rockets, and he can race across the battlefield with a high-speed sprint. By planting a biotic emitter on the ground he can heal himself and nearby teammates, while his tactical visor enables him to swiftly deal with enemies by automatically locking onto the nearest threat. 


An expert gunslinger for hire who'll only fight for just causes, Jesse McCree is an outlaw who dispenses swift justice with the trusty six-shooter that's his weapon of choice. He can loose one shot at a time from his Peacekeeper, or fan the hammer to quickly unload the entire chamber, and he can dodge enemy fire with a combat roll and reload his gun at the same time. With his Deadeye ultimate ability he'll take a few moments to aim and then take down every enemy in his line of sight at lightning speed, and he can stagger enemies by throwing a flashbang grenade. 


Formerly an Overwatch test pilot, cheeky Cockney Lena Oxton (call sign: "Tracer") got displaced in time after a disastrous test flight of a teleporting fighter, but thanks to a chronal accelerator she can now control her own time. She can jump back in time, restoring her ammo, health and position to where they were a few seconds ago, and zip forward instantly with her Blink ability. Her pulse bomb will stick to any surface (or opponent) and blast everything within range, but she largely relies on her twin pulse pistols that she can fire at top speed. 


Believed to be the result of a genetic alteration experiment gone wrong, Reaper is a ruthless mercenary cloaked in a black robe, with more than a hint of death about him. Able to shift into a shadow form for a short while—in which he can move through enemies and won't take any damage, but can’t use weapons—and teleport instantly across levels, he's armed with twin shotguns that, as his ultimate ability, he can fire at a blistering pace, doing enormous damage to anyone nearby. 


Hailing from Egypt, Fareeha Amari is a decorated soldier and security officer equipped with a high-tech combat suit built for mobility and firepower. Her rocket launcher lets her deal out huge amounts of damage over a wide blast radius—especially in barrage mode, which can wipe out entire groups of enemies with a continuous salvo of mini-rockets—and combined with her suit's built-in jump jets she can easily rain down explosive death from above. And if that's not enough rockets for you, she also packs concussive wrist rockets that'll knock back any enemies they strike. 



Climatologist Mei-Ling Zhou was the only survivor of an Antarctic monitoring station hit by a catastrophic polar storm, and now she's out to save the planet's ecosystem on her own. Armed with climate-manipulation technology, she can blast opponents with frost and icicles, block off enemy attacks with an enormous ice wall, cryo-freeze herself in order to heal and, as her ultimate ability, unleash a blizzard that'll slow, damage and even freeze the opposition. 


Obsessed with explosives and mayhem, Junkrat is an anarchist, thief and mercenary on an international crime spree with Roadhog. His frag launcher lobs long-range bouncing grenades that explode when they hit an enemy, he can deploy concussion mines to either damage enemies or give himself a boost into the air. He can also injure and immobilize enemies with a giant steel trap. He even has a motorized tire bomb that'll climb over walls and obstacles, and he's still dangerous when dead, dropping a set of grenades when killed. 


French assassin Amélie Lacroix is an efficient and remorseless killer who's the perfect pick if you're keen on taking the enemy down from a safe distance. Her weapon of choice is the Widow's Kiss, a versatile sniper rifle that's ideal for scope-aimed shots at far-off enemies, but which can also be fired close-up in automatic mode. Her grappling hook allows her to quickly reach handy vantage points (or get out of trouble), while her motion-triggered venom mines envelope enemies in a cloud of poison gas. And for an added advantage, her infra-sight ultimate ability lets her—and allies—see enemies' heat signatures through walls and objects for a limited time. 


You might expect weapons designer Torbjörn Lindholm to be a hammer-wielding maniac, but while his forge hammer can be used as a weapon its primary function is as a tool for building, repairing and upgrading defensive autocannons, which start off as single-barrelled devices but can be levelled up with collected scrap to create twin-barrelled, rocket-launching death turrets. He can also create armor upgrades for himself and teammates, fire red-hot rivets and molten metal from his rivet gun and overheat his personal forge to gain extra armor and scrap, and to build and attack at an increased rate. 


A robot warrior that acquired a love for nature, Bastion (known to its friends as SST Laboratories Siege Automaton E54) is a versatile defender that can reshape itself into three useful configurations. Its two primary configurations are Recon, a fully mobile mode in which it's armed with a medium range submachine gun, and Sentry mode, where it becomes a stationary turret, protected by a forward-facing barrier and equipped with a devastating Gatling gun. Thirdly is its ultimate ability: Tank configuration, complete with wheeled treads and a powerful long-range cannon. It's only available for a limited time, but long enough to do a lot of damage. 


A skilled assassin and master bowman with excellent wall-climbing skills, Hanzo Shimada has another trick up his sleeve: with his Dragonstrike ultimate ability he can summon a spirit dragon that will fly across the battlefield, passing through walls and devouring any enemies in its path. Useful! Most of the time, though, Hanzo relies on his bow. It'll fire ordinary arrows, plus sonic arrows that'll mark out any enemies within their detection range, making it easy for Hanzo and his teammates to find them, as well as fragmenting scatter arrows that'll ricochet off walls and hit multiple targets at once. 



A former professional gamer from South Korea, D.VA swapped her keyboard and mouse for the controls of a state-of-the-art mech in order to defend her homeland. Equipped with fusion cannons, boosters and a defense matrix capable of shooting down incoming projectiles, her mech's a force to be reckoned with, and in the last resort D.VA can set it to self-destruct and inflict massive damage to anyone nearby. 


Describing himself as a one-man apocalypse, Roadhog is a ruthless killer with an appetite for destruction and a deadly scrap gun can fire short-range blasts of shrapnel, launch shrapnel balls that'll detonate at a distance, and for his ultimate ability he can knock back enemies with a non-stop stream of shrapnel. He's also equipped with a chain hook that he can hurl at enemies to pull them into close range, and if he gets too beaten up he can take a breather and restore a portion of health. 


Hailing from Siberia, Aleksandra Zaryanova is a former weightlifter and bodybuilder who turned her back on athletics to fight with local defense forces and protect her home. Her particle cannon can fire a short-range beam of destructive energy or an explosive charge that'll damage multiple opponents, as well as emitting a particle barrier that'll shield her and absorb energy to increase the cannon's power. She can also protect teammates with a projected barrier, and her ultimate ability is a gravity bomb that sucks in enemies and damages them while trapped. 


Yes, he's a gorilla, but Winston happens to be a genetically-engineered, super-intelligent gorilla who's also a brilliant scientist with a streak of heroism. His Tesla cannon can fire a short-range electrical barrage, he has a jump pack that enables him to leap through the air, damaging and staggering enemies when he hits the ground, and when it all gets a bit much he can unleash his primal rage ultimate ability, which boost his health, powers up his melee attack and lets him use his jump pack more often. And to help out teammates he can use a barrier projector to create a damage-absorbing defensive bubble. 


At 61 he's the oldest of the Overwatch crew, but German adventurer Rheinhardt is still a top class melee fighter. He’s a modern-day Teutonic knight who's vowed to fight for justice across Europe. He can protect himself and allies with a large, forward-facing energy barrier, and also charge forward, grabbing any enemies in his path and dealing them significant damage when he hits a wall. His rocket hammer is where it's at, though. He can swing it for plenty of hurt, fire flaming projectiles from it and, for ultimate devastation, slam it into the ground to really shake up the opposition. 



A DJ and freedom fighter from Brazil, Lúcio brings the power of music to the battlefield with his special sonic technology. His sonic amplifier is a handy sound weapon, firing sonic projectiles and audio blasts at enemies, but it’s in his support abilities that his powers really come into play. He can energize himself and nearby allies with music, regenerating health and speeding up movement by crossfading between songs, he can boost his songs' effects by amping up the volume, and with his sound barrier ability he can shield himself and teammates with protective sound waves. 


Armed with a photon projector that'll fire a short-range homing beam as well as dangerous charged energy ball, Symmetra can hold her own in battle. In her support role she deploys automatic sentry turrets that'll slow down any enemies within range, and she can also protect allies with a hard-light photon shield that'll reduce damage for as long as the ally is alive. Best of all she can place a teleport exit pad at her current location, enabling defeated teammates to instantly jump from the entry pad at the starting point and get back into the battle.


Scientist and field medic Dr. Angela Ziegler brings angelic power to the Overwatch fray thanks to her Valkyrie swift-response suit that enables her to quickly fly towards allies. Her Caduceus staff can be targeted at teammates and either restore their health or increase the amount of damage they can dish out, and she can bring fallen allies back from the dead with her Resurrect ultimate ability. She's also armed with a Caduceus blaster, but it's really only for emergency defense.  


A mystical robot monk from Nepal, Zenyatta is all about the orbs. This wandering guru and adventurer can take down enemies with orbs of destruction, either one at a time or as a rapid-fire barrage, cast an orb of harmony at an ally to gradually restore their health, or fire an orb of discord at an enemy to increase the amount of damage they receive. Finally, he can achieve transcendence, a state of heightened existence in which he can't use weapons or abilities, but restores his health and that of nearby allies, and is also immune to damage.

Sponsored by Nvidia