As developer Blizzard looks to transition regular Overwatch into the Overwatch 2 era, fans can expect several large balance changes for each of the game’s heroes. As Overwatch 2 is moving Overwatch PvP to a 5v5 format with one fewer tank, many of the game’s heroes needed adjustments to remain balanced and viable. Some heroes will likely get changed more than others, but very few heroes (if any) will stay just like they currently are in the original Overwatch.
The arrival of the Overwatch 2 beta has given fans a taste of some of the balance adjustments that will come with the full release of the game, and as the developer continues to tune and tweak each hero, we’ll catalog all of Overwatch 2’s hero changes and reworks here. On top of that, we’ll also go over how each hero fits into Overwatch’s metagame and what you need to know about their strengths and weaknesses. Keep in mind that all of the changes listed below are subject to change, as the developers will no doubt make future adjustments based on player feedback and other data.
If you don’t see a hero on this list, it doesn’t mean that we forgot them. It just means that they haven’t gotten any changes in Overwatch 2 yet.
These changes have been made globally to all heroes and hero abilities.
- All damage heroes now have 10% faster movement speed.
- All tanks now have 30% knockback resistance and provide 50% less Ultimate charge when damaged.
- All supports now heal 15 HP/second after not being damaged for 2 seconds.
- All forms of extra health from abilities (e.g., Brigitte’s Inspire or Lucio’s Sound Barrier) are considered Overhealth (green health bar) instead of a secondary type of armor or shield health.
- Armor health now reduces all damage by 30% instead of flatly reducing it by 5 points.
The introduction of role passives in Overwatch 2 gives each type of hero in the game distinct advantages. The 10% movement speed buff to damage characters means that it will be easier for them to get into good positions for scoring kills, while the 30% knockback resistance and 50% reduction in Ultimate charge given to tanks makes them harder to forcibly move around and “farm” for Ultimates. Support heroes being able to rapidly heal after not taking damage gives them a significant amount of self-sustain, ensuring that enemies can’t easily whittle them down with chip damage over time.
The introduction of Overhealth also simplifies how getting extra health from abilities works, though it directly nerfs both Brigitte and Torbjörn since Brigitte’s Inspire Ultimate and Torbjörn’s Overload used to provide damage-reducing armor and now provide Overhealth, which doesn’t have damage reduction properties. Armor health across the board has been buffed, though, as it now reduces all damage by 30% instead of reducing damage taken by 5 points flatly. This means that armor will be more effective against large chunks of damage caused by abilities like Junkrat’s Concussion Mine or heavy-hitting projectile weapons like Pharah’s Rocket Launcher. There are some situations where the new armor is worse — weapons that shoot a high number of weak pellets like Reaper’s Hellfire Shotguns used to struggle a lot more against armor since each individual pellet’s damage was reduced by 5 points — but overall, armor is more effective than it used to be.
The following changes have been made to Ana in Overwatch 2:
- Ana’s Biotic Rifle ammo has been increased from 12 to 15 rounds.
- Ana’s Sleep Dart cooldown has been increased from 12 to 15 seconds.
- Ana’s Biotic Grenade duration has been reduced from 4 to 3 seconds.
Since Overwatch 2 has significantly reduced the presence of stun and boop abilities in the game, Ana’s Sleep Dart is one of the last few forms of hard crowd control. This makes it incredibly powerful, so Blizzard gave it a three-second cooldown nerf to lower its uptime. Ana’s ability to prevent the enemy team from healing with her Biotic Grenade is also incredibly powerful since there aren’t two tanks that can try to block it anymore, so the duration of its effects has been reduced by a full second. Finally, Ana’s primary Biotic Rifle weapon has been buffed with three more rounds in its magazine, allowing Ana to heal her teammates or damage enemies more before having to reload.
Overall, Ana is one of the strongest support heroes in Overwatch 2 despite the nerfs to her abilities. Her Sleep Dart can stop deadly Ultimates like Genji’s Dragonblade in their tracks, and it also gives her a defensive option against damage heroes who attempt to dive on her. Biotic Grenade’s anti-heal properties are also as valuable as they ever were. The additional rounds in her Biotic Rifle also give Ana more uptime in general, which is always a good thing.
Ashe hasn’t been changed much in Overwatch 2, though she has gotten one adjustment:
- B.O.B. (Ashe’s Ultimate) has had his health reduced from 1,200 to 1,000 HP.
Ashe is a great mid-to-long-range hitscan hero in Overwatch 2, and while Soldier: 76 and Widowmaker will generally be more effective in most cases, Ashe is a strong alternative if you’re going up against brawly compositions with tanks like Reinhardt or Orisa. Her Dynamite area-of-effect ability is powerful against grouped up enemies, and despite the nerf to B.O.B.’s health, he’s still great for contesting objectives like capture points or payloads.
Baptiste got the following changes in Overwatch 2:
- Damage falloff range reduced from 25 to 20 meters.
- Regenerative Burst healing to allies increased from 75 to 100 HP.
- Biotic Launcher Alternate Fire healing ammo increased from 10 to 13 rounds.
Baptiste’s damage falloff range has been reduced to make his ability to hit enemies from afar less potent in Overwatch 2, but his Regenerative Burst healing and Biotic Launcher healing uptime have been buffed to compensate for this. You can heal groups of teammates much more with Regenerative Burst now, and the extra healing ammo in the Biotic Launcher makes it easier to effectively heal as Baptiste whenever your team isn’t grouped up.
Like in the original Overwatch, Baptiste is strongest when you take a defensive position on high ground with his Exo Boots jumps. Though Ana will likely be the better pick in most situations because of the power of Sleep Dart and Biotic Grenade, Baptiste can be a strong alternative if you have ranged damage characters like Soldier: 76, Sojourn, Ashe, or Cassidy. This is because the Amplification Matrix Ultimate boosts their damage significantly, and Immortality Field prevents them from being picked off by snipers like Widowmaker or Hanzo.
Bastion is one of the heroes that has gotten a complete rework in Overwatch 2. Here’s what you need to know:
- Bastion’s Ironclad passive ability has been removed.
- Configuration: Sentry and Configuration: Tank removed.
- Self-Repair removed.
- Configuration: Recon damage increased from 20 to 25. Weapon spread reduced from 1.2 to 0. Fire rate reduced from 8 to 5. Ammo reduced from 35 to 25.
- Gained Configuration: Assault. Allows Bastion to transform into a tank and fire his minigun while moving. Reduces movement speed by 35%, lasts 6 seconds, and has a 12-second cooldown. Bastion has infinite ammo while this ability is active.
- Gained A-36 Tactical Grenade. Can bounce off walls and stick to enemies, and does 130 damage. Also has moderate knockback.
- Gained Artillery Ultimate. This Ultimate allows Bastion to fire three artillery shells anywhere on the map. Each shell deals over 200 damage.
Bastion’s rework in Overwatch 2 allows him to be more mobile than ever before while still leveraging the vicious power of his minigun. His new A-36 Tactical Grenade ability is also very useful as both a burst damage weapon and as a tool for grenade jumps, allowing Bastion to get in unorthodox positions easily. The removal of Self-Repair and the Ironclad passive that provided Bastion with 30% damage resistance make him less self-sustainable, though, so you do have to play near your team. The Artillery Ultimate can be very powerful if used well, though players may escape the radius of your artillery rounds unless you pair it with an immobilizing Ultimate like Graviton Surge.
Bastion was best used as a tank buster in the original Overwatch, and that’s largely the case in Overwatch 2 as well. He’s very powerful when played against Reinhardt and Sigma, though he struggles more against mobile heroes like Genji, Tracer, Reaper, and D.Va.
Brigitte was one of the most frequently changed support heroes in the original Overwatch, and she got plenty of Shield Bash tweaks in Overwatch 2 as well. Here’s what you need to know:
- Shield Bash no longer stuns enemies. Cooldown reduced from 7 to 5 seconds. Distance traveled increased from 7 to 12 meters. Movement is no longer stopped when impacting barriers. Damage increased from 1 to 50. Knockback doubled.
- Inspire now also triggers off Shield Bash damage.
Brigitte largely plays just like she did in the original Overwatch, with the key difference being her Shield Bash’s lack of a crowd control stun. Shield Bash is now more of a damage and utility tool, and it can quickly be used to escape from a bad position or deal a quick chunk of 50 damage for initiation or cleanup. While the lack of a stun on Shield Bash makes her less effective at fighting close-range damage heroes overall, the reduced cooldown on the ability allows Brigitte to use it more frequently.
Overall, Brigitte is best played alongside brawly close-range characters like Reinhardt, Doomfist, Roadhog, Reaper, and Mei. Her Inspire healing is incredibly easy to continuously proc since her Shield Bash can trigger it, and her Rocket Flail damage is quite good as well.
Cassidy mostly plays like he did in the original Overwatch, but with one large change:
- Flashbang has been removed.
- Gained Magnetic Grenade. This ability sticks to enemies and explodes, dealing 131 damage.
- Peacekeeper “Fan the Hammer” fire rate increased by 7.5%.
- Deadeye Ultimate grants 40% damage reduction and the maximum duration is increased from 6 to 7 seconds. Deadeye also builds at 130 damage/second for 2 seconds and then ramps up to 260 damage/second. Deadeye Ultimate cost has also been increased by 10%.
By far, the most significant change in Cassidy’s kit is the removal of his Flashbang. The Magnetic Grenade that replaces it is a powerful and relatively easy to hit burst damage ability, but the lack of a stun means that Cassidy is now more vulnerable to close-range heroes such as Reaper, Tracer, and Doomfist. With that said, the Deadeye Ultimate is considerably more viable now than it was in the original Overwatch, as it reduces incoming damage significantly and can be channeled longer. The 10% cost increase is mostly compensation for the new Magnetic Grenade’s damage, so Cassidy players won’t notice it much.
Cassidy is one of Overwatch 2’s best mid-range duelists now that he has a burst damage ability to compliment the power of his Peacekeeper revolver, though he’s not very effective against long-range heroes. Since you no longer have a stun that can keep enemies in place, you shouldn’t use Fan the Hammer often unless you’re shooting into tank barriers.
D.Va hasn’t been changed radically, though the adjustments she did receive have quite an impact. Here’s what they are:
- Health increased from 600 to 650. Armor health reduced from 300 to 200. Normal health increased from 300 to 450.
- Primary fire movement speed penalty reduced from 50% to 40%.
- Fusion Cannons weapon spread reduced from 4 to 3.5.
These changes make D.Va slightly less tanky overall than she was before due to the loss of 100 armor health, although since armor is better overall in Overwatch 2, her armor health will be harder for enemies to get through. The extra 50 total health also gives her mech a better chance to survive instances of massive burst damage such as Roadhog’s Chain Hook into Scrap Gun combo. The buff to her movement speed and the reduction of her primary fire spread means that D.Va is now more mobile in combat and can land critical hits easier, making her more versatile and powerful.
Similar to the original game, the best way to use D.Va is to nullify enemy projectiles and abilities with her Defense Matrix while harassing foes with her Fusion Cannons and Micro Missiles. Her Boosters are also as useful as ever for chasing down enemies and bullying ranged heroes off high-ground positions.
Doomfist is another hero who has gotten a complete rework in Overwatch 2 since he’s now a tank instead of a damage character. Here’s a full breakdown of his new kit:
- Doomfist is now a tank hero.
- Base health increased from 250 to 450.
- Rising Uppercut has been removed.
- Hand Cannon damage reduced from 6 to 5 per pellet. Ammo regen rate increased from 0.65 seconds/shot to 0.4 seconds/shot.
- Rocket Punch impact damage range reduced from 50-100 to 15-30 damage. Wall slam damage range reduced from 50-150 to 20-40 damage. Maximum charge up time reduced from 1.4 to 1.0 seconds. Impacting a target now causes a secondary larger cone area to grab extra targets and potentially knock them back as well.
- Gained Power Block. This ability allows Doomfist to block 90% of incoming damage. Blocking 100 damage or now empowers your next Rocket Punch with 50% more damage, 50% more speed and distance, a larger secondary knockback area-of-effect, and an additional 0.5 to 1 seconds of stun after the target hits a wall (dependent on punch charge amount).
- Seismic Slam now launches Doomfist into the air in the direction the player is aiming and creates a wide shockwave after landing that deals 50 damage and slows enemy movement by 30%. It can also be canceled by pressing the ability button again.
- Meteor Strike Ultimate damage range reduced from 15-200 to 15-100 (still does 300 damage to targets in the center of the impact zone). The Ultimate’s knockback has also been removed, but all enemies hit by the ability are slowed by 50% for 2 seconds. Cast time reduced from 1 to 0.5 seconds.
As a tank, Doomfist’s overall role in combat is now to soak up damage with Power Block and draw aggro from enemy players instead of assassinating squishy targets with his Rocket Punch. However, he can still dish out plenty of consistent damage and disrupt enemy formations with his knockbacks and slowing effects. While Rocket Punch isn’t nearly as powerful as it once was, its ability to push back multiple targets allows Doomfist to open enemies up to follow up damage from his allies. Seismic Slam now also works like Winston’s leap, allowing him to quickly get into the thick of the fight easily.
Generally, Doomfist is most effective when fighting team compositions that don’t have much mobility, as heroes like Tracer and Genji can avoid his punches with relative ease. In contrast, grounded heroes such as Reinhardt, Orisa, Sigma, Bastion, and Soldier: 76 struggle to avoid Doomfist’s abilities. Doomfist is also a very strong counter to immobile supports like Zenyatta and Baptiste, as neither of them can quickly escape from Rocket Punch stuns or Seismic Slam dives.
Echo is largely the same as she was in the original Overwatch in Overwatch 2, though her Ultimate has been nerfed in a significant way. Here’s what the developers changed:
- Focusing Beam maximum DPS reduced from 200 to 175.
- Duplicate max health reduced from enemy hero HP total to a maximum of 300. For example, even though D.Va has 650 health, duplicating her will only give Echo 300 health.
Aside from a slight nerf to Echo’s Focusing Beam, the only difference between her kit in Overwatch 2 compared to the original Overwatch is a 300 HP cap on her Duplicate Ultimate. This change was made because many Echo players felt like duplicating tanks was always the best option in fights due to their high health pools. Also, because tanks have been buffed significantly overall in Overwatch 2, being able to have two of them on the field without any limitations would likely have made Duplicate feel too strong.
Echo isn’t the strongest damage hero in Overwatch 2, but she’s still very viable in the right hands. Her Flight and Glide abilities gives her consistent and valuable mobility, while her Tri-Shot weapon and Sticky Bombs are capable of good burst damage. Her Focusing Beam is also one of the best abilities in the game for confirming kills despite the new nerf to it, as it ramps up to double damage whenever Echo’s target is at half health or below. She’s best played alongside a Mercy who can keep up with her airborne movements and heal or damage boost her, and she also has natural synergy with Zenyatta since his Orb of Harmony can keep her healed consistently while his Orb of Discord makes her Focusing Beam even better at finishing off injured heroes. She’s weak against characters with hitscan weapons such as Soldier: 76, Cassidy, and Ashe, and she’s also particularly vulnerable to being hooked by Roadhog.
Hanzo has only gotten one change in Overwatch 2, which is a slight nerf to his Storm Arrows:
- Storm Arrow damage reduced from 70 to 65 per shot.
Assuming you don’t hit any headshots, this means that you’ll need four Storm Arrows to kill a 200 HP hero instead of three, which is likely a change that the developers made with Overwatch 2’s lower amount of shielding in mind. Aside from that, Hanzo plays just like he did in the original Overwatch, fulfilling the role of mid-to-long-range sniper effectively.
Widowmaker will generally be much more effective than Hanzo in most situations due to her longer range and hitscan sniper rifle, though Hanzo can be a better choice in maps with fewer long-range sightlines such as King’s Row. Hanzo is also arguably better than Widowmaker on Push maps, as he’s able to keep up with the back-and-forth nature of the mode more effectively. Generally, Hanzo is best against projectile characters like Pharah and Junkrat as well as Torbjörn and his turret, though he can also duel heroes like Cassidy and Ashe effectively, too. However, Hanzo struggles when facing shield-focused compositions lead by Reinhardt or Sigma, as their barriers make it difficult for him to deal effective damage.
Junker Queen isn’t actually in a playable state yet, though she soon will be during Overwatch 2’s second beta that goes live on June 28. She’s one of the most aggressive tank heroes that Blizzard has ever designed, with multiple abilities that help her close the distance with foes and then dish out strong damage.
Command Shout allows Junker Queen to buff herself and her allies with a speed boost and damage reduction, so it sounds like she might be one of the best heroes for pushing through well-defended chokepoints. Her Knife Throw secondary fire allows her to stick enemy players with the knife and pull them towards her, Meanwhile, her scattergun primary fire and Carnage axe slash ability give Junker Queen options for dealing close-range burst damage. Junker Queen’s Ultimate, Rampage, gives her the ability to leap forward and slash at enemies in a wide arc, dealing damage and causing an anti-heal debuff similar to the one caused by Ana’s Biotic Grenade.
Junker Queen also has three passive abilities: Jagged Blade turns her standard melee into a knife slash that does extra damage, another causes her to heal whenever she lands hits with her melee attacks, and the final one makes her melee attacks inflict wounds that cause a bleeding damage-over-time effect.
With Blizzard generally preferring to introduce new heroes in a powerful state, it’s possible that some of Junker Queen’s abilities will need to be nerfed after players test her out during the upcoming beta. If Blizzard does implement some changes like this, we’ll document them here.
Junkrat’s Steel Trap has been changed a bit in Overwatch 2, but aside from that, he’s exactly the same. Here are details about the adjustments to his crowd control:
- Steel Trap no longer prevents all movement for its target. It now slows its target by 65% until they reach its max chain length, then it breaks. It still prevents movement abilities from being activated. Its damage has been increased from 80 to 100, and its projectile speed has been increased from 10 to 17.
Steel Trap is less effective in Overwatch 2 compared to the version in the original Overwatch, as while it does do 20 extra damage, victims caught in it can now also move around a bit to avoid incoming fire. With that said, it’s still a very powerful crowd control ability that can punish poor positioning very effectively, and it’s also useful if you put it in a spot where you predict enemy damage heroes will flank.
In our opinion, Junkrat is a hero whom many players sleep on. He’s not as mobile as characters like Genji, Tracer, or Sombra, but he’s still able to move around the map relatively quickly with Concussion Mine jumps. On top of this, his Frag Launcher is capable of incredible damage if you master its projectiles, and comboing it with the burst damage of one of his Concussion Mines can result in some very quick kills. He’s also effective at blowing through Reinhardt and Sigma barriers, and he’s even a solid pick against Doomfist since the Steel Trap halts him in his tracks and prevents him from using the abilities he needs to stay alive. Other heroes are much more reliable and consistent overall, but don’t overlook Junkrat if you’re struggling to deal with tanky compositions or want to surprise your opponents with an off-meta hero.
Lucio is another hero who hasn’t changed much in Overwatch 2, though some notable balance tweaks were made. Here’s what you need to know:
- Crossfade self-healing penalty increased from 30% to 60%
- Sound Barrier Ultimate cost reduced 12%
In Overwatch 2, Lucio gets his Sound Barrier Ultimate noticeably faster, although his ability to heal himself with his Crossfade ability has been nerfed to balance the fact that he can self-heal an additional 15 HP/second with the new role passive that support heroes have. This means that Lucio will be less efficient at healing himself if you’re not good at using wall riding to avoid being damaged, but he’ll be more self-sufficient if you can wall ride out of enemy range or into cover while fighting.
Lucio is arguably the strongest support hero in Overwatch 2 right now since his ability to speed up his allies is extremely powerful in the 5v5 era, and the fact that he can duel many damage heroes effectively also makes him very versatile. He’s very effective in any composition, and can be quite difficult to counter. Lucio’s biggest threats are characters with abilities that can counter his speed with slowing effects, such as Mei or Doomfist. Lucio also struggles to fight long-range characters like Pharah, Ashe, or Widowmaker, though good Lucio players will undoubtedly be very difficult to hit with precision heroes like these.
Mei has received a plethora of changes in Overwatch 2 that alter how she plays, though she’s very similar to the original Overwatch version of the character. Here are the tweaks the developers made:
- Endothermic Blaster freeze stun removed. Immediately slows targets by a constant 50% instead of building up over time. Slow duration reduced from 1.0 to 0.5 seconds. Damage per second increased from 55 to 100. Ammo increased from 120 to 150.
- Cryo-Freeze no longer removes Sigma Gravitic Flux effect.
- Ice Wall pillar health reduced from 400 to 250. Range reduced from 35 to 20 meters.
- Blizzard Ultimate cost increased by 15%.
While Mei losing the ability to hard stun a player by freezing them seems like a nerf, the fact that her Endothermic Blaster’s damage per second has been doubled means that her damage output is more consistent. On top of that, the weapon can fully slow down players instantly now, making that aspect of her kit more useful overall. Ice Wall is still a powerful tool for splitting up enemy formations or protecting teammates from damage despite the nerf to its health, and while the Blizzard Ultimate does have a higher cost, Mei’s increased damage output means that in reality, you’ll get it just as fast as you did in the original game. Blizzard also still has the ability to freeze targets, making it a very potent objective-clearing Ultimate.
Mei is best played both with and against grounded and brawly heroes such as Reinhardt, Sigma, Orisa, Junkrat, and Bastion. She’s still a relatively niche pick due to how powerful more mobile heroes are on most maps, but she’s a good choice in tighter maps like Dorado or King’s Row. She gets hard countered by long range heroes like Pharah and Widowmaker, though.
Mercy only got one small change to her Regeneration passive in Overwatch 2:
- Regeneration now increases the support role healing passive by 50% (Mercy heals 22.5 HP/second instead of 15).
Mercy lacks the huge bursts of impact that supports like Ana and Lucio have, but the tradeoff is that she’s also the best support in the game in terms of overall consistency. Her ability to rapidly fly between teammates and heal or damage boost them is very valuable, and her Guardian Angel flying ability also makes her very “slippery” and difficult for enemy damage heroes to pick off. Her improved version of the support auto-heal passive also allows her to heal up quickly after not taking damage for a few seconds, and the Valkyrie Ultimate’s ability to chain healing or damage boosts to Mercy’s entire team makes it an excellent tool for pushing or holding objectives. Mercy is weak to hitscan characters like Soldier: 76 and Ashe, who can shoot her out of the air easily, but is very effective with other airborne characters such as Pharah or Echo.
Out of all of the reworks in Overwatch 2 so far, Orisa’s is arguably the most significant. Compared to the “bunker tank” she was in the original game, Orisa is now an offense-oriented character who can push into enemy lines and push them back to take ground, similar to Reinhardt. Here’s a full breakdown of her new kit:
- Protective Barrier removed.
- Halt! removed.
- Supercharger Ultimate removed.
- Base armor increased from 200 to 250. Base health increased from 200 to 250.
- Gained Augmented Fusion Driver. This weapon fires projectiles that start large but shrink as they travel. Damage starts at 10.5 and scales down to 4 over 35 meters. Uses a heat mechanic instead of ammo. When the weapon overheats, players cannot fire for 3 seconds.
- Fortify now slows Orisa’s movement speed by 20% while active, but also provides 125 Overhealth when activated. It also reduces heat buildup on Orisa’s Augmented Fusion Driver by 50% while active. Duration increased from 4 to 4.5 seconds.
- Gained Energy Javelin. This ability allows Orisa to throw an energy javelin that deals 80 damage, stuns enemies for 0.2 seconds, and knocks them back 6 meters. If an enemy collides with a wall when struck with the javelin, they take an additional 40 damage and are stunned for an extra 0.3 seconds.
- Gained Javelin Spin. Orisa rapidly spins an energy javelin for 1.75 seconds, destroying enemy projectiles and gaining a 60% buff to forward movement speed while active. Orisa can also use this ability to push enemies back and deal up to 90 damage.
- Gained Terra Surge Ultimate. Orisa pulls enemies in and gains the effects of Fortify, dealing an area-of-effect attack over 4 seconds of charging. Releasing the attack deals up to 225 damage depending on how long the attack was charged. While the attack is charging, Terra Surge deals minor damage over time and slows enemy movement by 30%.
With the removal of her shield and Halt! crowd control, Orisa players now need to make effective use of her Energy Javelin and Javelin Spin ability to push into enemies and take ground. Her extra health and armor allow her to soak up more damage than she could before, and her new Augmented Fusion Driver can deal tons of damage up close (though it becomes less effective at range). She’s generally pretty effective against most heroes, though she struggles to deal with airborne characters and “tank buster” heroes like Junkrat and Bastion. She’s also weak against Zarya, as Zarya can damage her through her Javelin Spin with her Particle Cannon primary fire.
Reaper has gotten some minor nerfs to his shotguns in Overwatch 2:
- Hellfire Shotguns damage per pellet reduced from 6 to 5.4. Spread increased from 6 to 8.
These changes to Reaper’s shotguns make them slightly less potent in combat, but since the battlefields of Overwatch 2 are more open and aren’t as clogged up with tanking abilities, Reaper is significantly more viable overall than he was in the original game. He’s best against slower characters who don’t have much mobility and can be easily flanked with his Shadow Step teleport, especially since there aren’t many stuns in the game that can interrupt his Death Blossom Ultimate anymore. However, he has a hard time fighting characters who can frequently reposition or take to the skies, such as Pharah, Mercy, Echo, Genji, and Tracer.
Reinhardt largely plays the same as he did in Overwatch, though he’s been tweaked to fit better into the metagame of Overwatch 2. Here’s what the developers changed:
- Steadfast passive removed (replace by global tank passive).
- Base armor increased from 200 to 300. Base health increased from 300 to 350.
- Barrier Field health reduced from 1600 to 1200. Regeneration rate reduced from 200 to 144 health per second.
- Charge steering turn rate increased by 50%. Can now be manually cancelled. Charge Pin wall impact damage reduced from 300 to 225. Cooldown reduced from 10 to 8 seconds.
- Fire Strike now has two charges, but deals 90 damage instead of 100.
The lethality of Reinhardt’s Charge and Fire Strike abilities have been lowered, but they’ve been made more controllable and accessible to compensate. The nerfs to his Barrier Field make it harder for him to shield his teammates for extended periods of time, though the buff to his health and armor pool means that Reinhardt is much more durable than he was before.
Reinhardt is outclassed by more mobile tanks like Winston and Doomfist on maps that are more open, but he excels in maps like King’s Row that are tighter and have less room for maneuvering. He’s also effective at brawling against Orisa, as his Rocket Hammer and Charge can chunk her health down significantly whenever she doesn’t have Fortify available.
Roadhog’s Ultimate has been reworked completely, though the rest of his kit is more or less the same. Here’s what you need to know:
- Take a Breather healing increased from 300 to 350.
- The Whole Hog Ultimate now has to be fired manually, but it cannot be cancelled with stuns. Additionally, Roadhog can use other abilities while Whole Hog is active.
Take a Breather’s increased healing allows Roadhog to be more resilient and self-sufficient as a solo tank in the 5v5 era, while the rework to his Whole Hog Ultimate makes it much more versatile. Now, Roadhog can combo Chain Hook pulls into his Whole Hog, allowing him to pick off squishy heroes with deadly efficiency. You can also use Take a Breather while Whole Hog is active to heal up if necessary.
Even with the rework to Whole Hog, Roadhog is generally considered to be the worst tank in Overwatch 2 right now. While the deadly Chain Hook and Scrap Gun combo is as effective as ever for punishing disorganized teams, coordinated players can exploit Roadhog’s lack of additional combat options very easily. On top of that, Roadhog doesn’t have any form of damage mitigation for his teammates to take advantage of, meaning that he doesn’t offer any protection.
Sigma has gotten some notable buffs and a slight nerf in Overwatch 2:
- Base shields increased from 100 to 200.
- Accretion damage increased from 70 to 100.
- Experimental Barrier regeneration rate reduced from 120 to 100.
Aside from Reinhardt, Sigma is now the only other tank in Overwatch 2 who can protect his teammates with a traditional barrier. The buff to his shield health makes him more durable than he was before, while the increased damage of Accretion makes the ability more powerful and rewarding to land. The slight nerf to his barrier’s regeneration means that Sigma players won’t be able to keep it up as often, but Sigma’s high damage output with Hyperspheres still forces enemies to respect his position.
Ultimately, Sigma is a strong pick in maps that have lots of hallways and corners to bounce Hyperspheres around, but will struggle against agile characters since they can dodge his abilities easily. His lack of long range moves also makes him weak to snipers like Hanzo or Widowmaker.
Since she was introduced in the Overwatch 2 beta, Sojourn has only had two small balance changes:
- Railgun secondary fire projectile width increased from 0.05 meters to 0.1 meters.
- Power Slide cooldown reduced from 7 to 6 seconds.
The Railgun change makes it easier for Sojourn to land headshots with her sniper-like secondary fire, while the Power Slide cooldown adjustment gives her access to her mobility options on a more frequent basis. Aside from that, Sojourn plays just like she did when the Overwatch 2 beta first went live; refer to our Overwatch 2 Sojourn ultimate guide for more details on the character’s kit.
Sojourn is one of the best jack-of-all-trades characters in Overwatch 2, as her rapid mobility, area-of-effect Disruptor Shot, and versatile Railgun all make her effective regardless of who she’s facing or who’s on her team. Her Overclock Ultimate is also extremely powerful in the right hands, as you can score big multikills with it as long as you hit your headshots with Sojourn’s Railgun. Her biggest counters are barrier heroes like Reinhardt and Sigma. D.Va is also strong against Sojourn since she can use Defense Matrix to “eat” her Railgun shots.
Soldier: 76 has received some new nerfs in Overwatch 2, all of which are designed to make him less powerful in an era where tanking shields are less oppressive. Here’s a list of what the developers changed:
- Heavy Pulse Rifle damage reduced from 20 to 18.
- Sprint movement speed reduced from 50% to 40%.
- The Tactical Visor Ultimate no longer removes damage falloff from the Heavy Pulse Rifle, though players can now score headshots while the Ultimate is active by aiming at an enemy’s head.
The reductions to Soldier’s damage and movement speed make it more difficult for him to overpower his opponents with raw damage and rapid repositioning, though he’s still a very powerful pick since there aren’t many shields in the game anymore. Though he doesn’t have the burst impact of characters like Widowmaker or Ashe, Soldier: 76 is a very reliable, consistent, and well-rounded hero. His Helix Rockets are also effective at confirming kills on injured targets, and Biotic Field makes him one of the most self-sufficient damage heroes in the game.
Generally, Soldier: 76 will be the most powerful on maps where you can perch on high ground overlooking capture point or payload objectives. He’s also an effective counter to heroes like Pharah, Mercy, and Echo. However, he has a shorter effective range than Ashe or Widowmaker, and lacks the vertical mobility offered by Sojourn’s Power Slide.
Sombra has been changed significantly in Overwatch 2, and is now more of an assassin-style character rather than a team support. Here’s a look at how her abilities were changed:
- Machine Pistol damage reduced from 8 to 7. Spread reduced by 10%.
- Hack cooldown reduced from 8 to 4 seconds, but the cooldown is no longer reduced when hacking health packs. Cast time increased from 0.65 to 0.85 seconds. Health pack hack duration reduced from 60 to 30 seconds. Ability lock duration reduced from 5 seconds to 1 second. Reveals hacked enemies through walls to Sombra’s team for 8 seconds. Interrupting Hack during the channel time now incurs the full cooldown. Stun duration on Bob reduced from 5 seconds to 2 seconds. Hack now destroys Baptiste’s Immortality Field.
- Stealth fade-in time reduced by 50%. Enemy detection radius increased from 2 to 4 meters.
- Sombra can now use Hack during Stealth without ending the Stealth ability, but is revealed to enemies while hacking and for 0.75 seconds after hacking.
- Gains Opportunist passive. Damage dealt to hacked targets is now increased by 40%.
Mobility is generally the meta in Overwatch 2, and these changes to Sombra make her one of the most effective mobile damage heroes in the game. While her Hack now only prevents enemies from using abilities for a single second, it also makes the victim take 40% more damage from Sombra and her allies and allows her team to see their position for eight seconds. These changes, alongside the buffs to Sombra’s Machine Pistol and the ability for Sombra to Hack while in Stealth, make her extremely effective at picking off enemies she’s able to catch off guard. Sombra has no strong counters at the moment, making her one of the best heroes in the game.
Tracer’s Pulse Pistols were nerfed slightly in Overwatch 2:
- Pulse Pistols damage reduced from 6 to 5.
This change makes Tracer a bit less effective against non-armored targets compared to how she performed in the original Overwatch, though even with this damage reduction, she’s better against armored targets in Overwatch 2. This is because armor in the original game reduced the damage of each individual bullet from Tracer’s Pulse Pistols by 5, but armor in Overwatch 2 only reduces the damage of each bullet by 30%. In Overwatch, Tracer’s bullets only did 1 damage to armored targets, but in Overwatch 2, they do 3.5.
Tracer has always been one of Overwatch’s most mobile heroes thanks to the power of her Blink and Recall abilities, and that hasn’t changed in Overwatch 2. She’s a fantastic hero who performs well when harassing supports like Mercy and Zenyatta, and she’s also better against tanks now thanks to the way armor damage mitigation has been reworked. She can also duel most damage heroes in the game effectively, but will have a harder time killing airborne targets like Pharah or faraway enemies like Widowmaker. She’s also a weaker choice against Torbjörn, as his turret can keep up with her mobility and she can be killed in one headshot up close by the alternate fire of his Rivet Gun.
Widowmaker has received a health buff in Overwatch 2 that makes her more durable in combat:
- Base health increased from 175 to 200.
Ultimately, Widowmaker is mostly unchanged in Overwatch 2, though the addition of 25 health helps her stay alive longer in the scrappier and fast-paced fights of the sequel. While she won’t get any value fighting other heroes up close, she’s deadly at long ranges as long as you can hit your shots. She’s one of the strongest damage heroes in the game right now due to the lack of strong counters; your biggest threat will likely be another Widowmaker or perhaps a Hanzo, though Genji is also a threat with his high mobility and Deflect ability.
Winston received some changes in Overwatch 2, including a new secondary fire ability:
- Base armor increased from 150 to 200.
- New Tesla Cannon secondary fire can be used to charge and release a 30-meter range jolt of electricity. It deals up to 50 damage and costs up to 12 ammo.
- Barrier Projector health increased from 650 to 800. Duration reduced from 9 to 8 seconds. Cooldown reduced from 13 to 12 seconds.
- Primal Rage Ultimate cost increased by 10%.
Winston’s new Tesla Cannon secondary fire allows him to poke at enemy players whenever he’s not diving in with his leap to harass squishy heroes. To account for this additional source of damage, his Primal Rage Ultimate cost has been raised so that Winston doesn’t get his Ultimate at unintended rates. His barrier has also been made slightly more durable and has a shorter cooldown, though the duration of the barrier itself has been lowered.
Winston has always been a top-tier pick in Overwatch, and he’s even better in Overwatch 2 since Winston is very mobile and has the ability to split up enemy formations with his Barrier Projector bubble, cleaving multiple enemies at once with his Tesla Cannon primary fire. He has the firepower to take down damage and support heroes fairly quickly, and though he isn’t able to fight with the opposing team’s tank very well, he can use his leap to stay away from them. Winston is also one of the few tanks that’s capable of effectively dealing with Widowmaker and other long-range heroes since he can leap to them from afar, forcing them to retreat or reposition. Winston’s main counters are characters that can dish out high volumes of damage very quickly, such as Bastion or Reaper.
Wrecking Ball has been buffed with extra durability that will help him stay alive longer as a solo tank. Here’s what the developers changed about his stats and abilities:
- Base armor increased from 100 to 150. Base health increased from 500 to 550.
- Adaptive Shield radius increased from 8 to 10 meters. Health gained per target increased from 75 to 100 health.
- Roll knockback increased by 36%.
Between the buffs to his armor and health and the improvements to his Adaptive Shield, Wrecking Ball is more resilient than he’s ever been before. This will help him survive as he knocks the enemy team around and softens heroes up with his machine guns. Additionally, Wrecking Ball’s knockback against enemies has been buffed, allowing him to roll through enemy compositions and split them apart more easily.
Despite these buffs, though, Wrecking Ball is considered a niche pick in Overwatch 2. In most cases, other tank heroes are more effective, though Wrecking Ball is useful for quickly getting to and contesting a point by rapidly rolling around it. His Minefield Ultimate is also one of the best area denial abilities in the game, and if you manage to get it during Overtime, it can often be game-winning.
Zarya has some changes that give her more shield uptime in Overwatch 2:
- Base health increased from 200 to 250. Base shields increased from 200 to 225.
- Particle Barrier (self-shield) now has a 10-second cooldown on a shared 2-charge system with Projected Barrier (shielding allies). Cooldown now begins immediately on ability use instead of when the barrier has expired. Barrier’s duration increased from 2 to 2.5 seconds.
- Allies shielded with Projected Barrier cannot be targeted again by the ability for 2 seconds.
- Energy degeneration increased from 1.8 to 2.2 per second.
With the ability to shield herself twice or protect two allies in quick succession, a reduced energy degeneration rate, and extra health and shields, Zarya’s ability to protect her team and dish out powerful damage has been significantly increased. She’s arguably one of the strongest tanks in Overwatch 2 right now, as her bubble shields can soak up lots of damage and there aren’t many shields in the game that can stop her Particle Cannon. Graviton Surge is also one of the few Ultimates that can force agile heroes into a clump for easy follow-up damage. Like other grounded and brawly tanks, though, she struggles against tank busters like Bastion and Junkrat.
In Overwatch 2, the developers have attempted to give Zenyatta some extra survivability against flankers. Here’s a look at the changes made to him:
- Base shields increased from 150 to 175.
- Gained Snap Kick passive. Zenyatta’s melee attacks deal 50% more damage (45 instead of 30) and knock enemies back significantly.
While the small buff to Zenyatta’s health and his new Snap Kick passive help him against agile flankers somewhat, he’s still very vulnerable to being dove by characters like Genji, Tracer, and Sombra. Because of this, he’s difficult to play in the mobility-focused meta of Overwatch 2, although he’s a strong pick on Circuit Royale. This is because the map has lots of long sightlines for Zenyatta to use to pump damage into enemy compositions, but also has plenty of cover he can use to keep himself safe from snipers or to kite dive heroes. Notably, Zenyatta is one of the few characters in the game that can enable quick kills against tanks, as the Orb of Discord debuff makes them significantly easier to take down.
The Overwatch 2 beta represents the Overwatch community’s first taste of Overwatch 2, a massive (and free) overhaul to the original Overwatch that will rework many of the game’s characters and shift the PvP to a 5v5 format by removing a tank from each team. You can get guaranteed access by getting the Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack, an edition of the game with several benefits and bonuses.