best overwatch tank guide

Best Overwatch Tank Guide

Latest posts by Matthew Du (see all)

The future is bright in Overwatch 2, but the world will always need heroes to lead the charge. If you’re reading this guide, you enjoy calling the shots, standing steadfast in the face of danger, and being the shield that breaks your enemy. Congratulations, you want to be a tank in Overwatch 2.

Overwatch 2 is a first-person hero shooter game created by Blizzard Entertainment in 2022. The game is a sequel to the 2016 hero shooter Overwatch, also developed by Blizzard. Based on dynamic PVP game modes with differing goals, the game is rapidly gaining popularity as it approaches its second season.

To enjoy the game, you’ll want to learn one of the three prominent roles in Overwatch 2. This guide focuses on tanks, heroes designed to take a hit and hit back. Read on to start understanding tanking in Overwatch 2!

The Tenets of Tanking

role select tank

Tanks in Overwatch 2 have received quite a change since the first Overwatch game. With a 5v5 format for unranked and competitive game modes, you are restricted to only having one tank per team.

This emphasizes their role and increased tankiness to account for the loss of a second tank. Furthermore, all tanks have a built-in passive, receiving less knockback from effects, generating less ultimate charge for enemies attacking them, and supporting healing.

Tanks have several main roles in Overwatch 2, which we will discuss. Although these are all things tanks must keep in mind, it should be noted that some tanks excel at some more than others. Keep reading to familiarize yourself with the tanking mindset and your duties.

Making Space

Your biggest role as a tank in Overwatch 2 is to make space. When we say make space, we mean being able to control an area on the different maps available in the game. Controlling an area means that your team is occupying the area and can hold it for a set amount of time.

Game objectives in Overwatch 2 revolve around occupying areas on the map. Occupying areas are where tanks excel due to their resources.

You will have to contest that space to gain space from your enemy. Contesting a space puts both sides at a vulnerable point where they can take and give out damage. As tanks, your high health and abilities are optimized to take space because these are resources you can burn to keep yourself and your team alive.

To get space, tanks have several tools. Other than their health, they may also have barriers or healing that absorb damage in an area until it breaks or falls off. Meanwhile, other tanks can deny areas due to AOEs or being able to pick off enemies. No matter how you see it, tanks make way for their team.

Tank Selection and Adaptation

Given all the different tools that tanks have to take up space, another big role of the tank is knowing which tank best fits the team comp they are in or works well against an enemy team.

As a general rule, therefore, you may want to consider learning at least two different tanks to cover your bases. This makes you not just a versatile player but gives you an insight into how to counter enemy tanks.

Game Sense and Communication

As tank slots in a team are only one, this puts your position as a tank in a much more important role. Previously in the first Overwatch, two tanks made games longer, emphasizing defense and peeling enemies away from your backline. Now, having only one tank means you must decide your team’s pace. When you move to make space or stop to peel is up to you.

This puts you in a position in the team where you have to call the shots based on your game sense and quick thinking. This makes you the team’s de facto leader most of the time. As such, you better start brushing up on your communication skills and callouts!

Tanking requires the courage to make calls and ask your team to conform to your strategy. Remember, however, that this is a team game at its core, and you must work together to achieve victory.

The TLDR Guide for Each Overwatch Tank

To best play a tank, you must know your kit first to best use the character’s space-making potential. Eleven tanks are in the game, with the addition of the Null sector revolutionary Ramattra. Each tank has its own distinct playstyle and kit to forge ahead, so keep reading to find out which is best!

overwatch tanks
Image via Blizzard

The Tanks of Overwatch

Here are the eleven tanks of Overwatch 2. Tanks in the game are a bigger deal now, given the one-tank meta. This makes tank selection doubly important, as they are what teams are usually built on. The eleven tanks are:

To help you get started and understand the context of each character, here’s a quick tier guide:

tier overwatch

We will discuss each of these heroes below in detail. While this is not a full guide to the heroes, this should cover enough about their playstyle and kit to help you make an informed decision.

The S-Tier: S for Super Tank

Roadhog

best overwatch tank guide roadhog

Roadhog is a masked brute, adept at surviving the apocalyptic wastes outside Junkertown with his hooks, scrap gun, and flask at his side.

Hero Rating: Tank Top Dog- S

Until the inevitable Roadhog nerfs, this tank is your number one pick. His one-shot combo and massive healing allow him to make fights unbalanced, allowing the team to mow down the enemy and win the game.

Reasons behind the Rating

Roadhog right now is the perfect tank for Overwatch 2m to the point where it’s honestly not even fun anymore. This is due to his strong picking potential and one-shot combo, quickly turning most fights into 5v4s. While other tanks may have damaging abilities, none of them can match the playmaking potential of Hog.

Besides Roadhog’s one-shot potential, his Chain Hook is also one of the most versatile skills in the game, allowing you to get environmental kills and put enemies in the wrong positions. Easily finishable by your Scrap Gun or the team. Unlike his one-shot combo, I find that the difference is that this kill takes finesse and feels earned.

All his abilities are skill shots, and this, in my opinion, is his only con. You must play around corners and practice hook skills to make the most out of Roadhog’s supremacy. As a Valorant and Dota Pudge Player, I can confidently say I land most of his skills.

Now we have to talk about how broken his self-heal,  Take a Breather, is. A self-heal is already a powerful enough ability that few tanks can do. But the additional 50% damage reduction allows Hog to engage aggressively without any consequences. When he drinks, I feel like I’m shooting a brick wall. These make Hog extremely unfair to play against.

With a guaranteed instant kill on squishies every seven seconds and limited ways to punish him, it doesn’t take long for a 

Whole Hog to delete enemies and end the game. I’ve gotten more than a few multi-kills with his ult myself.

The A-Tier: A for Awesome

Orisa

orisa

Orisa is an Omnic built by her creator Efi to defend their city and keep justice held high. Orisa does this through her energy javelins and fusion machine guns, ensuring the bad guys don’t come out to play.

Hero Rating: Trustworthy Defender – A

Given her strong anti-CC and projectile-breaking skills, Orisa is a top-tier pick in the meta. Added to this is a constant pressure tool with her primary and a versatile CC with her projectile. Consider Orisa a strong pick right now, as even her weirdest ability, her ult, recently got a substantial buff, so I have been meaning to main her for quite some time now.

General Strategy

I’ve placed Orisa firmly in A tier because of her survivability, damage, and versatility. Orisa’s primary, Augmented Fusion Driver, does not need reloads, allowing her to always be a constant pressure against the enemy. Combined with a well-place Energy Javelin, this is enough to kill most squishies.

In a way, the meta prioritizes aggressive tanks with powerful survivability skills, allowing Orisa to shine. For starters, she’s probably one of the few tanks able to go toe-to-toe against Roadhog, as her skill, Fortify, gives her cc immunity, overhealth, and allows her to spam her primary. Effective cooldown management with Javelin spin, which destroys projectiles in front of her, allows Orisa to juggle between which tool negates the most damage on her.

An important detail about Orisa’s ranking right now is that her ult,  Terra Surge, now pierces barriers, allowing Orisa to potentially wipe an entire team caught in it.

Orisa is all about leading the charge, and her skills all make her an extremely durable tank. While she isn’t very mobile, she can still deal decent damage, especially with Energy Javelin, which deals damage, knockbacks, and stuns when enemies hit walls. Orisa right now is straightforward. Walk forward, mow everything in your path, and laugh as your skills make you effectively immortal – or, at least, that’s what I like to do.

Sigma

best overwatch tank guide sigma

Sigma is a brilliant scientist recruited by Talon for his work on gravity. After an experiment went wrong, the doctor gained gravity-manipulating powers and a shattered mind.

Hero Rating: Mass(terful) Tank – A

Sigma has always been a balanced and top-tier tank. His significant damage but excellent defensive skills make him versatile and a tank for any occasion.

General Strategy

Sigma has always been one of the more punishing tanks in Overwatch 2. Strong damage via Hyperspheres, his primary, and  Accretion, his AOE knockdown projectile, can easily one-shot enemies with good enough aim.

While lacking pick opportunities and CC mitigation, Sigma still has excellent defensive skills with his cooldown  Experimental Barrier and  Kinetic Grasp to eat up projectiles to turn into Overhealth.

Where Sigma does work is his area denial with his primary and Gravitic Flux.  Whilst he’s no Roadhog, I’d place his general toolkit at the tippy-top of Overwatch tanks. He’s got a lot of sustain and could occasionally, be a better pick than Roadhog for more team-based compositions where you’re not sure how you should play.

Junker Queen

best overwatch tank guide junker queen

Junker Queen is the queen of Junktown. A warrior built for carnage and destruction, Junker Queen relies on an assortment of weapons to take charge. From shotguns to knives to axes, she bleeds out her enemies to inspire her team to victory.

Hero Rating: Queen on the Rise – A

Junker Queen has had several significant buffs that solidly place her in the A tier right now. Stacking wound heals and cooldown adjustments have made her into a fun tank that heavily leans into the damage and aggression needed in the tank meta.

General Strategy

The new Junker Queen has optimized their kit to deal as much damage as possible, enabling her to turn fights lopsided with minimal effort. Although Adrenaline Rush isn’t as powerful as a Hog flask, it now provides solid sustain that I think leans into her “glass cannon” tank-type build. Ironic, I know.

With her Scattergun primary and  Jagged Blade, Junker Queen has an effective threat up to the midrange, potentially replicating a Hog hook if used correctly.

Where things are now insane for the Queen is when Carnage is used. As it now refunds cooldowns on enemies hit, I use Junker Queen to play as aggressively as I want, as she will always out-damage enemies up close.

With a Meta focusing on turning tanks into versatile damage dealers, Junker Queen’s  Commanding Shout and Rampage allow her to dive deep into enemy lines, providing one of the only forms of anti-heal and serious wound damage to boot.

Junker Queen shines by being hyper-aggressive and landing her wound abilities. Because of how she works, I really like using Junker Queen when I feel like my stack’s DPS has been having a bad game day. I use Junker Queen a lot like how I’d use Road Hog, but with more care, given that I don’t have the same level of sustain, and for that reason, she’s an A.

The B Tier: B for Balanced

Ramattra

ramattra best overwatch tank

Ramattra is the leader of Null Sector, Omnic revolutionaries seeking to carve a place for themselves. Ramattra has a dual-mode form that highlights his desire for retribution.

Hero Rating: Vengeful Protector – B+

While not necessarily among the most robust tanks, new hero Ramattra is becoming close to one with recent buffs. Strong Offensive capabilities and a tanky form to switch in and out allow this Omnic to take up massive amounts of space in the blink of an eye and poke effectively when necessary.

General Strategy

I wouldn’t be surprised if Ramattra ended up in the A tier by the end of the Season. Strong but inaccurate damage with Void Accelerator and a Void Barrier allow him to poke effectively, something many tanks can’t,

All that is leadup for when I get to pop into Nemesis Form, which gives him ludicrous damage when you Pummel through barriers and enemies. Even better, this form has Block, which with the extra Nemesis Form armor, makes Ramattra extremely tough to kill. He is an S tier tank in this form, but this only lasts a few seconds.

Although not as great a single area denial as Sigma, Ramattra can use Ravenous Vortex in either form. This ability has a powerful slow, but unfortunately, not much else.

Now what makes Ramattra a solid B+ hero, or possibly the most insane hero, is his ult: Annihilation. Instead of one-shot damage, you get constant AOE damage which forces enemies to either run away or deal with you, potentially dying. This single ult is perhaps the most powerful one in the game, and its management is necessary to make or break a Ramattra player.

His ult, in my opinion, is a great team centerpiece for good team combos that could deliver deadly blows to the enemy and win the game. That’s how strong it is.

D.VA

best overwatch tank dva

D.VA is a professional gamer from South Korea who pilots her mech Tokki in defense of her home. As a tank, D.VA is fast and mobile, able to blast enemies at both short and long ranges while nullifying projectiles. In a pinch, she can eject out of her mech or set it to self-destruct, obliterating anything in its radius before she recalls a new mech to do it again.

Hero Rating: Solid Starter- B

I think D.VA is a solid starting tank with significant damage and mobility. While not the tank with the most health, D.VA can thrive under a team that heals her when her defensive abilities lapse. My favorite method of engagement is diving back in to take up space and engage the enemy.

General Strategy

D.VA is in the B tier because of their limited defensive abilities compared to other tanks. D.VA primarily suffers as their main way to take space is through flanking and doing direct damage with  Fusion Cannons and  Micro Missiles. Unlike our A-tier heroes, these tools are less likely to guarantee kills and leave D.Va exposed when her mobility from  Boosters is down.

D.VA’s  Defense Matrix is an amazing ability that swallows up projectiles. But I always find that I must use the matrix sparingly and only to swallow up essential skills and ammunition such as Orisa Javelins, Hanzo’s Dragonstrike, and other abilities. The focused primary fire still gets through, limiting D.VA’s survival. Compare this to Sigma, who eats up the projectiles and turns them to overhealth

D.VA luckily has a unique passive that sometimes improves her defensive skills. Eject turns D.VA into what I often call baby D.VA, our pilot form. Here you must fight back to your team and keep enemies back with your light gun to gain ultimate charge. With enough charge, you get to Call mech and return to the battlefield. I’m giving bonus points to D.VA as this ability can one-shot squishies around you, making for some of the funniest kills.

D.VA is a great flanker with decent damage, but all that isn’t enough for a good tank. Her ult,  Self Destruct, keeps her viable as it is one of the best area denial abilities in the game. Nothing beats flying a detonating mech down into an enemy team running for cover. The way D.Va is right now, I’d say she’s a solid starter that doesn’t excel at anything but isn’t particularly bad at anything either – making her a solid pick for many beginner tanks.

Winston

Winston

Winston is a sentient, hyper-intelligent gorilla scientist. Raised to do good, he gathers Overwatch agents after its disbandment.

Hero Rating: Middling Mammal – B-

Winston isn’t bad, but he isn’t the best tank, either. While Winston can still do the good old shield bubble dance while he fries enemies, he isn’t as impactful or tanky as most other tanks. I like to think of him as a generalist tank to use when I’m not sure what our team composition is like.

General Strategy

Winston mains, sorry, but I find Winston a frankly mediocre tank. He has mediocre survival, damage, and fun. He could be worse, but he’s just sort of there to be a mobile tank pick. I put Winston in the B tier because his main playstyle is predictable, boring, and less impactful than I would like. Jump Pack is a great skill for mobility, but that’s about it.

You want to play close for your Barrier Projector and Tesla Cannon to matter, so most of the time, you will jump in an enemy team and out after being annoying. The problem with this is that your survivability drops if you don’t use bubble dance effectively or are too extended. This leaves you with the option of either hulking into Primal Rage or dying. One of these options happens more than the other.

The C Tier: C for (be) Careful

Reinhardt

Reinhardt

Reinhardt is a hammer-wielding Crusader armed with a barrier and power armor. As an Overwatch veteran, he plans to answer the call no matter what it takes.

Hero Rating: Crusader – C+

Don’t get me wrong, I love the big guy, but Reinhardt isn’t good nowadays. His barrier is too easily destroyed, and his melee restrictions make ranged characters salivate over an easy target. Reinhardt needs strategy and finesse, and few can manage this tank’s nuances.

General Strategy

Reinhardt’s biggest tool is his Barrier Field, which is used to advance and protect his team. I find, however, that these days, this isn’t enough. New heroes like Ramattra can hurt you even while behind the barrier, and it’s easier for a dive tank to go in on your backline. Without an off-tank to help absorb pressure, you’ll eat more damage than you can absorb.

To make things harder, your primary, Rocket Hammer, is restricted to melee only. Combining this with a Charge is a great one-shot tool, but you will likely extend and die without your team’s support if you don’t have perfect positioning.  While you’ll certainly deal enough damage, you also open yourself to the enemy team.If you play Rein, be honest, you’ve done this.

Rein is in C tier as his defensive abilities pale compared to other tanks, and his damage tools rely on long cooldowns and unwieldy abilities like Fire Strike.

Rein’s saving grace is Earthshatter which deals massive damage and stuns. While this is a playmaking game, Reins kit makes charging this up significantly harder. I love the guy but his days seem to have passed.

Zarya

Zarya

Zarya is the strongest woman in the world, carrying a particle cannon gun capable of shooting beams, projectiles, and shields.

Hero Rating: Z for Zero- C

Zarya is suffering after she nerfs to her shield cooldowns, effectively removing her main space-making and damage-amping aspects in one go. While Zarya isn’t unplayable, players need to rely on cover more and judicious use of skills.

General Strategy

Zarya’s goal is to advance when enemies go all out, as her Particle and Projected Barrier keep her or an ally safe. Damage also prevented buffs her damage via her passive Energy.

This damage allows Zarya to attack with either a short-range beam or long ranged bomb with her Particle Cannon. 

Finally, when enemies group up, Graviton Surge pulls them together for allies to AOE to Oblivion.

Your playstyle is no longer focused on spamming Barriers like old Zarya. With your cooldown nerfs, you must wait for an opportunity to use these skills instead. This makes you a reactive tank instead of a proactive one, so making space will be complicated until Graviton Surge is up.

The D Tier: D for Down in the Dumps

Doomfist

Doomfist

Doomfist is the name of the head of Talon, an international criminal organization. As a tank, Doomfist is a disruptor, capable of leaping into the backlines with his punches and slamming into the ground. He can leap into the air and crash back down to devastate his enemies if needed.

Hero Rating: Doomed For Now – D

Doomfist is, unsurprisingly, in the wrong spot once again. A lot of Doomfist’s ability to take damage comes from hitting his skills, and recent nerfs have made it a lot harder to get cooldowns off when the guy needs it. While he’s a decent disruptor, if he fails to combo, to begin with, he’s a prime target to get focused. I used to play a lot of Doomfist but until he gets the right buffs, I think it best to stay away from him for now.

General Strategy

Doomfist struggles right now as a tank due to difficulty triggering his passive, The Best Defense. Without a barrier, the over health from this is necessary to keep him alive when you make space. I could easily tell that this is not, in fact, the Best Defense.

While it heals decently, the cooldown nerfs on his abilities Rocket Punch, and Seismic Slam makes it difficult to trigger the passive. Additionally, aiming with these skills does require a certain finesse that I find many players lacking.

Doomfist is still offensively strong; his Hand Cannon attacks allow him more damage to the flank when combined with his excellent mobility. But that is where things get dangerous.

Overshooting with your skills will often lead to a Doomfist that is far too extended for his team to help, a significant problem when his kit is about diving in; all-in with both of your diving tools. Unlike Rein, who has a massive health pool, you are one of the squishier tanks. His other primary defensive tool, Power Block, only reduces frontal damage. But if you dive into a team, you can bet that you will be surrounded at all sides, making this tool a liability at times as it slows you down.

Finally, his ult  Meteor Strike is a get-out-of-jail-free card that deals massive damage. The problem here is that it is used best defensively rather than offensively, given the landing time. This makes Doomfist a hero that relies too much on perfection to make space effectively.

Needless to say, pick someone else.

Wrecking Ball

Wrecking Ball

Like Winston, Wrecking Ball is a sentient hamster piloting a ball mech. For some reason, his genius allows him to speed past enemies, deploy mines, and shoot machine guns.

Hero Rating: A Wreck – D

Now one of the worst tanks in the game, Wrecking Ball, for the most part, has seen better days. While he’s still the king of mobility, he’s confusing and isn’t as impactful with all the CC available to shut him down.He deals close to no damage, and while he can take a few hits, his survivability depends on mastering his complicated ball and grapple techniques.

General Strategy

Wrecking Ball is currently unwieldy, given the difficulty of mastering his  Roll Form and  Grappling Claw. Wrecking Ball has great potential as a diving and disruptive tank, but knowing how to effectively use him is a nightmare. Piledriver alone requires an aerial setup, and not many maps allow for easy use of that. Additionally, I find that you need a good route to learn the locations of health kits on a map, which is difficult to learn to get the fundamentals of this hero.

Another main issue of Wrecking Ball is his lack of survivability.  Adaptive Shields is a great way to give over health, but these rely on being around enemies; it doesn’t help as well that the cooldown on the ability is too long. By the time I need it up, I’m often surrounded by enemies.

Finally, Wrecking Ball lacks in the damage department. Quad Cannons and Minefield provides an average offensive option and a strong denial ultimate. What is lacking, however, is direct one-shot potential. If I’m thinking of using Wrecking Ball, I slap myself in the face, wake up, and pick someone like Junker Queen instead.

FAQs

Question: How to Play Tanks in Overwatch 2?

Answer: The best way to play tanks is to balance aggression and caution depending on your resources. Make space for your team and protect them from winning games!

Question: Who is the Best OW2 Tank in Meta?

Answer: Roadhog is the best tank because of his sustained heals and one-shot combo. By hooking, moving forward, shooting his primary, and doing melee, he one-shots most non-tank heroes.

Question: Should I Begin Playing Tanks in Overwatch 2?

Answer: When done well, playing a tank is also extremely rewarding, so consider giving it a go. Though it may be one of the most stressful roles to play, what matters most with playing a tank are the guts to keep on trying.

Best Overwatch Tank: Conclusion

As a tank in Overwatch 2, you are responsible forging your path to victory. Pick several tanks to learn before getting on the field with your team. Remember your kit and duties, and remember to have fun!

Scroll to Top