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Overwatch Characters - Putting Together a Hard Hitting Pro Squad - Esportsranks
Overwatch Characters – Putting Together a Hard Hitting Pro Squad

Choosing the right Overwatch characters for different roles is crucial to victory if you want to go pro at this game. This article will cover, not only which heroes are best used in different roles, but tips and tricks that could shift the balance in pro play. While these tips will help even the novice at Overwatch, practicing for long sessions and increasing your familiarity with the maps and quirks of this game is essential.

Overwatch Characters Guide

This article will cover which heroes are most effective in specific roles, and how best to play them in those roles. The Overwatch characters you actually end up choosing depends on the map and mode you’re actually playing at that point.

While there is a considerable choice when it comes to Overwatch characters, not every character is as easy to use in competitive play. We’ll advise you as to which characters are best for a beginner, and which for the more advanced player. However, some Overwatch characters are both easy to learn and optimally suited to certain roles. We’ll also show you how to master the more aggressive hero roles using Overwatch’s Deathmatch mode.

Since each character has a very individual style of play, what suits someone else may not suit you. The way to go about choosing a character is to focus upon your game role. You must then play different characters to see which allows you to be most effective in that role. Here are the basic roles for the different Overwatch characters.

Offensive Heroes

Offensive heroes deal out massive amounts of damage, but have vulnerabilities that need to be shielded by defensive heroes. Nevertheless, Offensives fight on the front line, decimating the enemy, and hunting down damaged enemy heroes.

An example of this is Soldier: 76, who is optimally suited to assault. So is Overwatch Genji. If you’ve played first person shooters, you’ll find Soldier: 76 fairly intuitive to play with. Another good character if you want to engage in offensive play is Reaper.

Overwatch Characters that are best at offense:

Pharah, Sombra, Doomfist, Reaper, Genji, McCree, Tracer, and Soldier: 76.

Soldier 76 how to play this offense hero

Defensive Heroes

Defensive heroes protect the more vulnerable units on your team, allowing them to survive in their damager and support roles. They are also useful when you want to hold down a strongpoint, or slow the advance of an enemy force.

In Overwatch Bastion is best suited for defense. Bastion has a Sentry capability that can lock down a strongpoint and deal out massive amounts of high-yield damage. You also don’t have to be brilliantly skilled to use this character. Using Bastion is more about knowing when to use his capabilities. Another nice thing about Bastion is that he can regenerate his health. In Overwatch Mei is another interesting character who plays brilliant support and defence. The victory or defeat of an entire team can hinge on her plays.

Overwatch Characters that are best at defense:

Junkrat, Bastion, Mei, Hanzo, Widowmaker, and Torbjörn.

Overwatch characters - Junkrat - Unpredictable Pro Plays, Decisive Team Tactics and Counters

Tanking Heroes

Tanks directly confront the toughest enemy units, directly absorbing massive amounts of damage. If you prefer tanking characters, Reinhardt is perhaps the simplest character of the type in Overwatch. His shield capability is straightforward, and it won’t be difficult for you to learn how to use it effectively in-game. The shield is excellent, and is a massive benefit to your team. Reinhardt is also good at melee, and can easily put down members of the enemy team at short range. In Overwatch DVa is a very mobile and versatile tank.

Overwatch Characters that are best at tanking:

Reinhardt, DVa, Roadhog, Orisa, Zarya, and Winston.

D.Va Fanart

Brilliant D.Va fanart by BanjiuEvik on Deviant Art. Click the link to see more superb art by BanjiuEvik.

Supporting Heroes

Heroes that play support have capabilities that can extend the life of a team by healing. Other support heroes may improve movement speed or enhance the capabilities of the team as a whole in one way or another. Supporting heroes are actually crucial in Overwatch.

Mercy is perhaps the best and easiest to play of all the supporting characters, and her ability to heal the team ensures that she can be a massive benefit to your team. Her abilities are also easy to use. To use her healing you have to simply aim at a friendly character and hold down a button. She also has the ability to resurrect downed members of your squad, and her guardian angel ability allows her to virtually teleport herself to any part of the map.

Overwatch Characters that are best in supporting roles:

Symmetra , Lucia, Ana, Mercy, Brigitte, Zenyatta, and Moira

Using the Deathmatch in Overwatch to upgrade your skills

Deathmatch mode is a brilliant way to upgrade your skills, especially if you train at it regularly. While it’s an excellent training exercise, we’ll still tell you about the best strategies that you can use while playing Deathmatch. Deathmatch, and its sister mode Team Deathmatch can be a considerable challenge for just about any Overwatch player who hasn’t encountered them before.

overwatch characters - Mei freezing Roadhog

So what’s the difference between the two Deathmatch modes?

Well, the basic Deathmatch is exactly what the name implies, a desperate battle between eight individual players, no holds barred, and winner take all. Team Deathmatch, again, as the name implies, has two teams facing off against each other. Each team has four characters on it, and whichever team manages to take thirty kills first wins the game.

Fighting effectively in Team Deathmatch

It might seem to you that Team Deathmatch actually involves very little team work, and all there is to it is to select massive damaging or tank heroes and duke it out with the enemy team until one team has the most kills. However, a character like Mercy can actually help her team win or lose at Deathmatch, not only because she can heal team members, but also because when she resurrects someone, that’s a point deducted from the score of the enemy team.

In addition, enemy players aim even more at the opposing team’s Mercy than before in order to prevent Mercy from resurrecting dead team players. This can help maintain a team’s kill count and prevent it from falling on account of Mercy resurrections.

In Overwatch Ana is another support character that is very versatile, and can deliver both offensive and defensive support.

Damage and Healing

As for the rest of a Team Deathmatch squad, the best Overwatch characters to go with are those who can do heavy damage, combining that with those characters that are best at withstanding a huge level of hits. Any of the offensive heroes we’ve listed above would be great at damaging, though Soldier: 76 and Reaper stand above the crowd.

Any of the defensive heroes we’ve mentioned would be great for a defensive choice, but D.Va is exceptional, as are Roadhog or Reinhardt. Overwatch Sombra is a good counter for an enemy Mercy, as her hacking capability can disable Mercy’s ability to bring downed team members back into action.

Conventional Deathmatch

While a considerable level of team work is still possible in Team Deathmatch, that does not at all apply to the basic Deathmatch, which is a brutal free for all. The first player to kill take twenty enemy lives wins, period. The best Overwatch characters to handle this aren’t any of the supporting heroes, obviously.

Use those who can dish out the most damage. Some level of ability to regenerate hitpoints is an additional bonus. Soldier: 76 is one of the best characters that a player new to Deathmatch could choose, since he can do both. Reaper can also regenerate his health by killing enemy players, which allows him to outlast other sorts of heroes.

To fight Deathmatch, your character needs to be independent of support. Playing Deathmatch can massively enhance the skills of a player who specializes in offensive characters. Characters like Roadhog do well in this role, as does Bastion. Ana is a little more difficult to play, but might be a good choice if you can upgrade your skills sufficiently to use her Biotic Rifle effectively.

Not all maps will allow one to play Deathmatch

While this is true, Blizzard is working to correct that. In general, minor adjustments are needed to a map before it will support Deathmatch. Many new maps, such as Chateau Guillard, have support for Deathmatch built in. But even an old map like Anubis does support this mode.

It’s not as if playing Deathmatch would upgrade your skills in any role, but Team Deathmatch is a fairly intense arena that could serve this purpose, depending on the level of the opponents that you face. The simple Deathmatch is brilliant training for strong attacking or defensive characters, and should not be ignored by the player who really wants to go pro.

Advanced training in pro Overwatch

Do remember that while these are a general overview of Overwatch character strategies, there’s a lot more to playing individual characters than this, obviously. Over the next weeks we will be putting up comprehensive strategy guides for each of the most popular Overwatch characters, covering just what it takes to get the most of each of them, as well as specific tips and playing strategies that would allow one to shift the balance to your side when going up against pro players using just about any opposing character or combination of roles.

Stay tuned for detailed day-by-day analyses of major Overwatch events, and ace reporting. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest on your favorite Esports titles.