Overwatch 2 tier list: the best heroes to use

Overwatch 2 brings massive shifts to team compositions and to the Overwatch meta as we know it, here is where the heroes rank in our Overwatch 2 tier list

Overwatch 2 Tier List: Soldier 76 can be seen overlooking a building courtyard

Overwatch 2 might not see a full release for a while yet, but between getting hands-on time with the heroes via the Overwatch 2 beta and watching the pros play an early build of the game through the OWL 2022 season, we figure it’s never too early to write an Overwatch 2 tier list.

The first PvP beta only featured a quick play queue, as Blizzard is hard at work exploring a new ranked mode, so there’s no real competitive player data to draw from at the moment. That said, with some keen anecdotal evidence and a broad survey of both community and professional opinion, it’s safe to say we won’t land too far off the mark.

Overwatch 2 has already seen some significant changes in the form of a successful Zenyatta update and a (mildly broken) patch for Wrecking Ball and Roadhog, meaning our tier list is already seeing some movers and shakers before the game has even been released. See our Overwatch 2 tier list below for our picks for the best heroes to use in the game so far.

Overwatch Tier List

Our Overwatch 2 Tier List looks as follows based on time with the game’s beta:

  • Tier 1 – Doomfist, Winston, Genji, Soldier 76, Lúcio, Ana
  • Tier 2 – D.VA, Reinhardt, Sombra, Tracer, Widowmaker, Brigitte, Mercy, Zenyatta
  • Tier 3 – Orisa, Sigma, Wrecking Ball, Zarya, Ashe, Cassidy, Echo, Hanzo, Mei, Pharah, Reaper, Sojourn, Baptiste, Moira
  • Tier 4 – Roadhog, Bastion, Junkrat
  • Tier 5 – Torbjörn, Symmetra

Tier 1

Doomfist

In one of the wildest turn of events coming into Overwatch 2, Doomfist was revealed to have beefed up so considerably between the live game and the beta that he now qualifies as a tank hero rather than a damage hero.

Sporting a meaty health increase and a brand-new damage-mitigating Power Block ability, Doomfist has suddenly become remarkably tough to kill. What’s more, his Rocket Punch and air-gaining Seismic Slam abilities make him exceptionally effective at doing what a mobile tank does best – disrupting and displacing the enemy team.

In effect, Doomfist has become what Wrecking Ball was for the Overwatch tier list for Overwatch 2. He’s a little trickier than Hammond to master as there is a strict flow to his abilities that needs to be understood to be made effective, but those who can take advantage of his higher skill ceiling should rarely see their efforts wasted.

Winston

After years of drifting near the bottom tiers of competitive Overwatch, Winston Jump Packs his way straight up to the top of the ladder in Overwatch 2. With one of the best shields still standing in the game, plus a new ranged fire being added to his Tesla Cannon, Winston has never looked more versatile as a tank pick.

The strategy for the ape remains the same as it ever was – be everywhere, all of the time. With team compositions now more scattered thanks to added mobility and one less tank to hide behind, Winston’s job is to hassle the enemy backline, bubble his team’s frontline, and ward off those targeting his team’s backline all at the same time.

Genji

A resurgence in the viability of Genji is a clear indication of Overwatch 2’s more shooter-oriented gameplay, eschewing the MOBA-like elements from Overwatch. With hitscan damage and projectiles once more driving eliminations, particularly with Soldier: 76 at the top of the tier list, Genji acts as a natural countermeasure with his ability to deflect bullets and ward off Soldier’s ultimate.

With fewer shields in the way, Genji can charge his ultimate in record time, and the removal of stun abilities in-game also means teams are forced to sink a bunch of resources into stopping him from running rampant with his Dragonblade ultimate. His Swift Strike and wall-climbing abilities grant him great mobility too, perfect for chasing down weaker targets, pressuring snipers, and evading Doomfist.

Soldier: 76

Continuing the trend of Overwatch 2 being some sort of upside-down world in which all the trends we know from Overwatch are being subverted before our very eyes, Soldier: 76 is by a wide margin the most reliable damage hero right now. A character who seemed to hardly ever step above mid-tier even with substantial buffs, now he’s in a position where Blizzard has had to nerf him once, and it looks like it’ll have to nerf him twice.

Touting zero firing recoil on his Pulse Rifle, Soldier: 76 is able to take advantage of Overwatch 2’s lack of shields and apply remarkably accurate and consistent pressure to any enemy team attempting to hold an objective. His ability to sprint to high points and stay there with a self-sustaining Biotic Field means teams are going to have to dedicate significant resources to chasing him down before they can win any fight. That’s a massive win for a hero who is also one of the least technically demanding to play in the game.

Lúcio

At nearly all competitive ranks on the original Overwatch, Lúcio boasts the highest support hero win rate, primarily because he never dies and he does a tremendous amount for his team. He applies decent damage, he can stall out objectives all on his own, his ultimate ability is one of the most effective in the game at mitigating damage, and somehow, that’s not even why most teams rely on him as a pick.

Lúcio’s true power comes from the speed boost of his Crossfade ability. Mobility is such a valuable resource in Overwatch and Overwatch 2, it does everything from minimising incoming damage to enabling better team positioning – massive factors that decide who wins a teamfight. What little utility Lúcio might have lost by having teams play more scattered and thus harder to boost together in the new game he gains back immediately with the support healing passive, meaning he no longer really needs to switch off speed boost when moving between teammates.

Ana

The chaos of 5v5 makes playing Ana a little more demanding this time around. No longer will teams play so close together, perfectly primed to create a massive play with one well-aimed Biotic Grenade. Highly-mobile targets will need attention from all over the map and Ana players will need to be far more selective with how they use their grenades and Sleep Darts, as they might need them to survive a Genji flanking the support line.

However, the utility she offers a team is second only to Lúcio. Being able to put a raging Winston or a charging Doomfist to sleep are essential counterplays to the dominance of both tanks, while her Nano Boost is vital for getting the most out of big damage ultimates like Soldier: 76’s Tactical Visor or Genji’s Dragonblade. She just does too much to risk not having her on your team, even if she’ll quickly exhaust whoever’s playing her.

Tier 2

D.Va

D.Va comes into Overwatch 2 with very little in the way of major changes or reworks because, by default, she stands to gain quite a lot from the more damage-focused 5v5 format. Her mech’s Rocket Boosters have always made her a natural at chasing down mobile damage heroes, and the light buff to her health and primary fire accuracy ensure she remains just as effective in that regard.

However, right now she is seeing a little competition in that field from Doomfist, who also has a backline-targeting mobility kit and also sports an ability that eats up incoming damage for his team – all without having to sport the considerable downside of a chunky robot-sized hitbox. She’s still a solid pick, but for what she offers, she’s no more effective than a well-trained Doomfist.

Reinhardt

If coming into Overwatch 2 you were afraid that Reinhardt would lose some of his main tank potency, fear not. Reinhardt’s strength as a hero pick has never simply come from his having the biggest, sturdiest shield – it also comes from how he creates space, pressures objectives, and delivers consistent damage to the enemy both at long range with his Fire Strikes and at short range with his big hammer.

Higher-ranked players will be used to Reinhardt’s more aggressive playstyle, leaning more on the hammer than the shield, and so shouldn’t find much difficulty moving into Overwatch 2. Lower-ranked players who depend heavily on the shield to keep them safe will likely find the hero a lot more punishing to play given the increase of damage and decrease in backup shields, in which case perhaps try moving over to Winston for his big shield.

Sombra

With Overwatch 2 shifting away from crowd control abilities, Sombra saw a lot of significant changes to her playstyle. Previously, she would either facilitate the removal of shields to initiate teamfights or she would hack targets to leave enemies defenceless when her team commits to diving someone.

Now her hack only locks a target’s abilities for a single second and the strength of her EMP now lies in delivering a burst of damage and intel, rather than in its team-wiping ability. She also deals bonus damage herself to any of her hacked targets, incentivising Sombra to seek eliminations herself rather than let someone else do all the work.

The result is a different style of Sombra play, but not one that feels out of place in the overall feel of Overwatch 2. She requires a little less team coordination to see benefits, and that’s a positive change as it allows her more freedom in finding those play-making picks.

Tracer

The strength of Overwatch’s mascot hero has always been mobility, so surely in the more mobility-oriented Overwatch 2, we’re due some kind of Tracer meta? Well, not exactly.

To compensate for the lack of shields, as well as Tracer’s ability to easily burn down the health of tanks, the hero saw a considerable damage reduction on her Pulse Pistols from six to five HP per bullet. That doesn’t sound so bad until you account for damage falloff, as no Tracer is playing at point-blank range and surviving, so the actual damage per bullet is much lower.

This isn’t so bad when it comes to tanks, as there’s only one to deal with and Tracer’s still quite good at being a fly in their ointment. However, this leaves her very exposed when dealing with other damage heroes, and even certain supports like Zenyatta, who can usually tank a round of shots from her before taking her out with very little effort.

This means Tracer players will need to be extra-restrained with the use of her Recall ability and more reliant than ever on using cover to stay out of the line of fire. Thankfully, a well-paced Tracer is still an absolute menace, particularly to tanks and backlines, so never count her out.

Widowmaker

There was only ever one thing stopping Widowmaker from becoming the most dominant damage hero in Overwatch, and that was shields. Yet, while Overwatch 2 certainly lacks shields, it might still be a little too early to dawn the age of headshots.

The latest rub comes in the form of map design, a.k.a. the second shield tank of video game design. The new maps released thus far have maintained a focus on increased cover and twistier hallways, allowing potential targets to keep their heads low and out of sight from Widowmaker’s murderous gaze.

The upshot is, should there be enough room to breathe, Widowmaker becomes an instant headache that needs constant attention to prevent her from picking away at your numbers. Just don’t be surprised if she shows up and achieves very little thanks to your team’s newest shield hero, ‘stray road sign.’

Brigitte

Brigitte, queen of the stunlock, breaker of metagames, is no more. Overwatch 2 brings an end to her reign by removing almost all crowd control from the game, which includes Brigitte’s Shield Bash stun. Without it, Genji can once more frolic in the backline, Tracer can poke from the sideline, and Sigma can even use his ultimate sometimes – really shows what one move can do to a meta.

Deposed does not mean dead, however. While she might not have access to the same utility as Lúcio and Ana, Brigitte can still ward off heroes attacking the backline with a well-placed bash and flail (her bash doing plenty of damage to compensate for its lack of stun). Her Rally ability is good for engaging teamfights and her cooldowns have been eased to ensure more healing for her team. Consider subbing her in for Ana on brawlier Control maps like Busan and you’ll see the queen still lives.

Mercy

While Mercy may not be a preferred pick over hard-hitting skill-dependent support heroes like Lúcio or Ana, she nets commendation for the ease with which she can gain value for her team. After the Blizzard development team released an Overwatch 2 update for Zenyatta giving him his mighty Snap Kick, its attention turned to Mercy in the follow-up patch, who at last received a formally implemented means to use her fan-dubbed ‘Super Jump’ ability.

Now, all players can pull off the angelic hero’s heightened jump with ease, and they can even activate it without having to complete the dive of Mercy’s Guardian Angel. This change gives Mercy a near-instant leap from danger, keeping her in the fight for much longer and allowing her to more readily accomplish tricky aerial revives.

She still might feel a little limited due to her lack of damage dealing options, but picking Mercy over a Tier 1 hero should yield results regardless. Her new movement options allow her to keep pace with more mobile damage heroes, providing a consistent damage boost while remaining out of harm’s way.

Zenyatta

With a patch introducing his mighty Snap Kick ability, Zenyatta is looking remarkably playable in Overwatch 2. The hero has always been a good damage dealer, and his healing orbs thrive in flanking and dive compositions as it allows his team’s damage heroes to receive healing even when taking off-angle approaches.

However, it was in those very compositions where Zenyatta looked weakest, as a flanking Genji could easily sneak up on the omnic monk and farm him for Dragonblade charge. Now, thanks to Snap Kick, it’s not so easy, as any hero that gets too close can find themselves punted into Zenyatta’s ideal firing range. He doesn’t outrank either Ana or Lúcio in terms of utility and output for a team, but he makes an ideal substitute if the enemy isn’t running Doomfist.

Tier 3

Orisa

Orisa marches into Overwatch 2 with a massive rework, swapping out her shield and crowd control abilities for a more skill-oriented javelin-based moveset which sees the tank hero move from a rather passive damage dealer to a very active one.

The problem is that the bulk of her moveset only finds benefit if you’re playing against heroes that have bunched themselves neatly together, and that’s just not the style of Overwatch 2 most players are seeing thus far. At range, Orisa can feel a little exposed without her barrier, so she’s very much dependent on maps where teams are forced to contest a tight objective, and in those cases tank players might still prefer Reinhardt’s kit to hers.

Sigma

Sigma has always been a bit of a jack of all trades, providing a little bit of shield, a little bit of range damage, and a little bit of crowd control. His strength has always been his ability to deal with and respond to most problems by tapping into his diverse moveset, making him a great secondary tank pick with which to back up whichever more specific tank’s abilities factors best into your strategies.

However, with the pressure of being the only tank on your team, Sigma’s ability to do a little of everything fine just doesn’t look as good as a tank that can do one or two things quite well. Also, the removal of 2CP maps with their abundance of tight chokepoints gives his Hyperspheres less poke utility, meaning you’re only going to want to play him on a few maps where the team can get stuck taking a corner, such as Route 66 or Nambani. Even then, you might still be better off playing Doomfist or Reinhardt.

Wrecking Ball

There really isn’t a good reason for the lack of Wrecking Ball dominance in Overwatch 2. For where the game is so far, the character seems like an excellent alternative pick to Doomfist, capable of getting fast picks across a wide area, displacing team compositions, and claiming space with his mines and boops – not to mention the lack of stuns and crowd control in the game meaning far fewer moments in which our favourite rodent is ground to a halt. However, he’s just not quite there right now and feels rather weak for all the sense his playstyle makes.

Soldier: 76 seems to be the most accountable for Wrecking Ball’s poor performance, capable of delivering devastating damage to the hamster while also easily evading and healing through any damage fired back at him. It’s possible also that Wrecking Ball’s adaptive shield ability no longer gets nearly the same value with it relying heavily on enemies being bunched together. Either way, you can certainly still get value from playing Wrecking Ball if you’re very confident playing the tank; otherwise, we recommend Doomfist considerably over him.

Zarya

Zarya is another hero who should be doing a lot better in Overwatch 2 than she is. With a lack of shields at play, Zarya’s bubbles have never looked more appealing, capable of protecting heroes across the map during big plays and now even bubbling two allies at a time rather than one. Her beam has always been a solid counter to Genji too, so things should be looking as rosy as the colour of her hair.

However, with the emphasis on ranged damage heroes in the game, Zarya has trouble keeping herself protected when contesting the objective. Her bubbles do have the potential to keep her and her allies in the fight much longer, but the cooldown on regaining charges feels too long given that she’s now also completely out of range of effective damage.

Again, perhaps this will change in the future if Soldier: 76 sees a nerf, putting heroes like Tracer and Genji back to the top of the pile – both of whom have to stay rather close to see effective damage, which suits Zarya far better. In the meantime, tanks can do a lot more simply chasing down ranged heroes with Winston and Doomfist than relying on their allies to survive an attack with Zarya’s bubbles.

Ashe

The ability to deal damage through shields via her dynamite was what gave Ashe a tremendous pick advantage in Overwatch. With shields no longer in the way this time around, it’s hard to justify a two-step explosion onto a scattered enemy team when Soldier: 76’s Helix Rockets do the job in one.

On maps where teams play closer together she can still get value by catching several targets in a single blast. Plus, there’s always B.O.B., who does a fair job putting pressure on the objective on Control maps, especially now that he can no longer be hacked by Sombra for any real length of time. Why have a robot auto-aim at targets on your behalf though when Soldier:76 lets you pick the targets yourself?

Cassidy

While Cassidy’s new grenade ability does give him the edge in 1v1 duels against fellow damage heroes, his kit lacks when compared to Soldier: 76, Tracer, or even Ashe. Scattered team compositions also make it hard for him to find value from his Dead Eye ultimate,

His damage output is good though, especially against tanks, and he makes a solid counter to Tracer if you’re finding Sombra or Genji too frustrating to play. Just don’t expect things to go well when you get hunted down by a Doomfist.

Echo

With so many powerful ranged heroes viable in Overwatch 2, Echo is going to struggle to deal damage without the constant attention of one of your team’s supports. She also suffers on maps with too open an architecture, like huge swathes of Midtown.

That said, she plays well on maps with tricky terrain like Circuit Royal and Dorado, and her ability to melt Winston bubbles can’t be understated. She’s a situational substitute character, but a strong one if you can play her.

Hanzo

As has always been the case, Hanzo’s viability as a hero has always been inversely proportional to Soldier: 76’s viability. He can still be a lot of fun to play with, especially on maps that benefit from his using vertical cover to evade tanks and take sneaky angles like New Queen Street and Havana. His output is just a lot less consistent, and his space-making ultimate has very little on Soldier: 76’s targeted damage dealing.

Mei

Mei’s playstyle took an interesting turn in Overwatch 2, seeing her move from the very unique and sporadically viable crowd control hero to something akin to a short-range burst damage character like Reaper.

Like Reaper, she’s very situational, best used to disincentivise Winston and Reinhardt from wrecking up your backline. Unlike Reaper, she still has Ice Walls, granting her team a little more utility in terms of closing down or walling off an errant Soldier: 76. Unfortunately, in another dissimilarity with Reaper, she lacks the means to engage in teamfights, making her a more defensive hero pick – a style of play that is not going to see much love in Overwatch 2.

Pharah

As ever, Pharah’s viability depends very much on your ability to play the character. Her best look requires the constant attention of a Mercy, and that kind of resource drain requires a remarkable return on investment, so you need to be confident in your ability to avoid gunfire and get kills.

She looks much better on maps with lots of high cover like Oasis and Colosseo, and she can be very effective at forcing Soldier: 76 and Tracer into the open – just keep your head down when Widowmaker’s about or Soldier’s Tactical Visor fires up as you’ll be the first target to fall almost every time.

Reaper

On maps with more challenging geography, like Circuit Royal, Reaper can look quite good in Overwatch 2. His ability to manifest into an enemy team’s backline and gun them down in seconds, as well as apply pressure on maps with hard corners, keeps him viable as a pick in certain situations.

The rest of the time, however, Reaper is a sitting duck. He’s all too easily taken care of by Doomfist, Soldier: 76, or even Lúcio, who can force Reaper out of cover and into the sights of ranged gunfire.

Sojourn

Overwatch’s newest hero, Sojourn, joins the game with a rather subpar performance. We’ve enjoyed her playstyle enough to make an entire Sojourn guide in her honour, but the Overwatch League problem of having a new hero be too weak to debut in their showcase of the new game raises fresh concerns about Blizzard’s handling of Overwatch 2.

As she stands, Sojourn has received two major rounds of buffs so far and is still struggling to get picked over Soldier: 76. Sojourn’s greatest strength, her mobility, seems at odds with the precise nature of her alternate fire, meaning to find her playstyle truly rewarding you’ll need to be able to pull off aerial trick shots like professional Widowmaker players do, only all the time.

Our best hope for Sojourn is perhaps a means to slow her descent in order to really land those shots reliably – then she would truly have something Soldier: 76 lacks. Otherwise, she’s just as well getting to a high spot and lining up shots, and one doesn’t have to rack their brains thinking of heroes who might be a little better suited at that kind of thing.

Baptiste

For as long as it remains in his moveset, Baptiste’s greatest ability will forever be his Immortality Field, and thus his viability as a Support pick really depends on whether the map you’re playing bunches your team up enough to get value out of the anti-death frisbee.

On tighter maps, Baptiste triumphs with his Regenerative Burst and Amplification Matrix, which allows his teammates to channel all their gunfire down a corridor while staying evenly healer. When the team is more scattered, good luck convincing Soldier: 76 and Genji to stand in the same spot as your tank to deal double damage when Mercy can fly directly to them or Ana can just amp them up.

Moira

Moira continues to gain a lot of value for her team while also requiring very little from the player. While the more spread-out team compositions in Overwatch 2 will make it harder for her to heal everyone in a single blast, her biotic orbs continue to make her useful both as a damage dealer and as a healer, and a lack of stuns will keep her ultimate feeling impactful as she initiates the next teamfight.

However, next to the other supports, she certainly lacks both survivability and utility. Her fade might help her get clear of certain danger, but when the opposing team are playing highly mobile damage heroes, she can be easily chased down and finished off. The damage of her Biotic Grasp might be useful for downing very weak heroes but otherwise requires her to be too exposed to danger in order to really feel impactful, meaning she’ll likely be shot down before finishing her target.

Tier 4

Roadhog

Dead last of the tank picks is Roadhog, who despite a recent buff to his Whole Hog ultimate still can’t help but feel lacking in utility when compared to the other tanks. He’s still a fun character to play, and there’s certainly satisfaction to be had hooking a Tracer or a Soldier: 76 and then punishing them, but without shielding from another tank, Roadhog sits wide open to damage from all angles, and it’s a little too likely he’ll be focused down mid-hook animation before he can even get the finishing blow in.

Bastion

The good news for Bastion is that he’s a far less passive character with a whole new rework. He’s now capable of dealing high damage without having to stay put the entire match, and his ultimate is a ton of fun and chaos, basically like a blend between Junkrat’s RIP-Tire and Doomfist’s Meteor Strike.

The bad news is he’s still just a big ol’ target, easy for damage players to chip away at from afar and completely overwhelm him at close range. His added mobility while in turret form does little to counter being aggressed upon, and without his Repair ability he lacks the means to self-sustain like heavier characters such as Reaper and Roadhog. He might survive the odd duel, but beyond that, he’s not looking too good.

Junkrat

While intensely situational, it’s not entirely fair to say a Junkrat pick is a bad one in Overwatch 2. Plenty of the new maps provide little nooks and crannies from which Junkrat can safely punt his frags without poking his head out too much. He’s also remarkably capable in close-range duels, so as a counter to flank-heavy teams he’s not the worst pick.

Any open exposure whatsoever to Soldier: 76’s Pulse Rifle, however, results in a dead Junkrat, and any attempt to flee the scene using a mine merely lines Junkrat up like a clay pigeon. That leaves playing low and sneaky as his only option, which is a playstyle Overwatch has never been about.

Tier 5

Torbjörn

With his wide hitbox that’s easily hit from range, his lack of mobility meaning he doesn’t qualify for any backline flank plays, and his general lack of strength in 1v1 duels, it’s safe to say that Torbjörn is just not living his best life in the Overwatch 2 meta thus far.

In lower-tier match-ups, Torb’s turrets will still do consistent damage to an untrained Genji, but go up the ladder enough and Soldier: 76 simply deletes it with a couple of shots and a rocket. That leaves Torb’s projectiles, which are far from the most reliable damage one can find in the game, and his Molten Core ultimate, which may be useful on some Control maps but isn’t likely to accomplish much in any other game mode.

It’s hard to make the case that he’s even a situational pick as the meta stands and it’s difficult to imagine a future where a kit like Torbjörn’s sees any kind of love in a less MOBA-like version of Overwatch. All signs seem to point to yet another rework coming for the Swedish mechanic.

Symmetra

A slight caveat for Symmetra in this bottom category is her ultra-specific dominance on Ilios Lighthouse. The metagame of who can get Symmetra’s turrets set up in the lighthouse first does seemingly have a place in Overwatch 2, and so it’s a little unfair to say Symmetra has no place in the game as she stands.

However, one portion of one map does not an effective meta hero make. Symmetra’s moveset leaves her wildly exposed and ineffective in a game dominated by mobile damage heroes. Her primary fire beam relies on melting shields to gain strength, something she just doesn’t have the option to use anymore. Her secondary fire was always quite weak and used only to put pressure on other team shield bunkers, which are also no longer a factor in Overwatch 2.

Her turrets, while effective on tight maps, are easily shot down and can even be shot out of the sky by Soldier: 76 before they even get into position. Her teleporter can enable plays with very coordinated teams but at the cost of playing a damage hero who can’t effectively pressure either front or backline anymore. Not to mention her ultimate, a giant shield that divides half the map, feels practically useless when teams can now just run past it uncontested.

It’s a shame, as Symmetra had seemingly carved out a niche for herself in the shield-heavy compositions of the first game thanks to her major rework back in 2018. Now she’s once more out of place, and somewhat tragically, she might even be doing a little better if she had her original Overwatch abilities back.

That brings us up-to-date with the strength of the heroes that we’ve had our hands on in Overwatch 2 so far. If you see a hero climbing the Overwatch 2 tier list and are looking for some tips and tricks with which to master them, check out our Overwatch 2 heroes guide for more information and a rundown on all hero abilities.