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- Overwatch 2 Character Tier List - December 31, 2022
Overwatch is notorious for its balance issues. Although this is somewhat common for all MOBAs, it’s even more noticeable in Blizzard’s title. This makes it relatively easy to make a tier list, as there’s a clear packing order within the game.
After playing the title for such a long time, I know very well what works in a particular meta. Keep in mind that this list reflects my personal opinions, so not everyone will agree with it. Furthermore, the list isn’t static. As new updates come along, there will be major shifts in hero viability and, thus, popularity.
Key Info Up Front
The tier list includes 36 heroes currently present in the game. All characters are categorized into 5 groups, from S to D. Heroes within a particular tier are placed in no specific order. In other words, they’re generally similar in strength.
As already mentioned, my tier list is fluctuating. It reflects the popularity of heroes in the current meta and, in particular, in the last month. These selections are obvious, and I believe that most Overwatch veterans would agree with these choices.
Here are my selection criteria when making the list:
- Current win rates and pick rates
- Ability to fulfill other roles
- Creation of overpowered synergies
- High damage or healing output
Basically, my list reflects the strength of characters in the current meta. Given there are “only” 36 characters in the game, you could probably come to similar conclusions after playing 10 to 20 competitive matches.
Rating Heroes According to Tier
My list goes from S (meta heroes) to D (useless in most situations). You can see S tier heroes in just about any match, while D tier heroes have mostly fallen into obscurity. All of this is based on the recent patch and current player preferences.
I will analyze each hero and talk about what makes them so strong right now.
Doomfist (pick rate – 1.76%, win rate – 50.21%)
When Doomfist was first reworked for Overwatch 2, he felt extremely weak. As a way to address this issue, developers decided to buff just about each of his skills. According to Blizzard’s press release, with these buffs, they wanted to increase Doomfist’s presence on the map allowing him to stay in combat for longer.
Most notably, they changed his Rocket Punch so that it’s no longer dependable on walls and positioning. This made Doomfist a great choice, even for players who are bad at the hero. Meteor Strike now buffs Rocket Punch, and The Best Defense passive is much better during 5v5 engagements.
Although the hero was slightly nerfed in December 15th patch, I still think he’s incredibly powerful.
Kiriko (pick rate – 1.76%, win rate – 50.21%)
One of the main issues players have with Kiriko is her high DPS. This can feel game-breaking, especially on a support character. On top of that, she is extremely hard to kill if you’re a good player. She can land lethal headshots with Kunai, which feels pretty OP if you know how to aim.
Her ultimate is perfect for Push and Escort scenarios, given that the Spirit Fox can run along the track. Let’s not forget that Protection Suzu can completely nullify some powerful ultimates in the game while providing brief invulnerability to allies. Kiriko also has solid movement abilities, which helps her positioning.
Lucio (pick rate – 4.04%, win rate – 52.98%)
The main reason why this character is so popular is because of the speed boost he provides to the team. This makes him an ideal choice for rushing backline support and executing certain strategies. If you start taking heavy damage, you can simply switch Crossfade to regeneration mode.
His Sound Barrier provides an incredible boost to overhealth, which would allow you to survive a flurry of enemies’ ultimates. Anyway, the hero has excellent synergies and is easy to execute, making him a popular pick on all levels of competition. Easily an S tier.
Reinhardt (pick rate – 3.36%, win rate – 52.48%)
Throughout Overwatch’s history, Reinhardt was considered a very stable, top-tier pick. In Overwatch 2, he received numerous tweaks to make him more suitable for the current meta.
First and foremost, his Barrier Field was always great for closing out on enemy entrenchments as a team. This makes him an ideal choice when you play as an attacker. Although the skill was slightly nerfed, Reinhard himself received massive defensive bonuses to compensate for it.
Charge and Fire Strike now deal less damage but are easier to control and have lower cooldown/charges. This made the hero much more beginner friendly. Furthermore, the character is a solid counter to Sigma, Ana, and Widowmaker, all of which are now common picks.
Orisa (pick rate – 2.44%, win rate – 48.25%)
While Orisa doesn’t currently have a high win rate, I think this will change with the recent buffs. She has received the biggest rework in Overwatch 2, becoming much more mobile and disruptive. At the same time, her defensive capabilities were significantly improved.
Orisa’a Augmented Fusion Driver just received a buff on December 15th, increasing its falloff range. The thing that makes her so powerful is the ability to close space and push back enemies with Javelin Spin and Energy Javelin. Most notably, she is an excellent pick in the current meta that focuses on tanks and healing.
Ashe (pick rate – 2.31%, win rate – 50.43%)
The reason why Ashe is so popular right now is that she is a good counter to certain heroes. In particular, the character is excellent against Orisa, Reinhardt, and Torbjorn, all of which are considered top-tier picks.
On top of that, she also synergizes well with Genji and Ana. I especially like the Ana/Ashe combo, where Ana can Nano Boosts BOB. Although the hero doesn’t have the same damage as some other DPSs, she is disruptive and can help scatter tightly-packed enemies.
Symmetra (pick rate – 1.04%, win rate – 56.92%)
Symmetra was never a trendy pick, but she always had a high win rate. The character is especially great when you play with friends and have a tank or healer to support you. Still, I didn’t want to add her to the S tier just because she doesn’t work in every situation.
On December 6th, she received a major buff to her Proton Projector, increasing the charge speed and gaining ammo from destroying barriers. She works well in the current meta as she has strong synergies with Doomfist and Reinhardt. The latter can shield Symmetra from incoming fire, allowing the hero to devastate opponents with Proton Projector.
Ana (pick rate – 9.06%, win rate – 48.52%)
Ana is the most popular pick in the current meta, although not the most successful one. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if this changes in the upcoming month. In fact, if Kiriko wasn’t that popular, I think that Ana would have a much higher win rate.
She has received a few significant buffs in the recent patches, including a reduction to her Sleep Dart cooldown, a longer buff from Biotic Granade, and more damage/healing from the sniper. Her Sleep Dart, in particular, is one of the rare CC abilities in Overwatch 2. She can use it to stop certain deadly ultimates, such as Reaper’s Death Blossom or Genji’s Dragonblade.
Soldier: 76 (pick rate – 3.37%, win rate – 48.47%)
If you’re looking for an easy-to-execute DPS, it doesn’t get much better than Soldier: 76. He has a highly versatile kit, and you can easily take him as the first pick. The thing I especially like is the fact you can use him as a patchwork support because of his Biotic Field.
Besides versatility, he has an extremely reliable weapon in Heavy Pulse Rifle. It has minimal recoil, even when you hold the button like a manic. Another cool feature is his health pool. Soldier: 76 has 200 hp, which is too much for a DPS. Considering the sustain he gets from Biotic Field and his Sprint escape mechanism, the character becomes an extremely hard target.
Bastion (pick rate – 1.29%, win rate – 50.15%)
Bastion’s Configuration: Sentry was always extremely powerful. It’s one of the highest DPS abilities in the game, but it was somewhat neutered by the fact you can’t move. When the developers introduced Configuration: Assault, it gave the hero a completely new utility.
Now, you can stack your healers behind Bastion and watch him mow down enemies. Soon enough, players started creating strategies that revolved around this ability. Keep in mind that he also receives damage reduction in this form, which makes it harder for enemies to focus on Bastion.
He also received a major buff to his ultimate, making it easier to land grenades. So, that’s another annoying thing you have to deal with.
Torbjorn (pick rate – 1.18%, win rate – 56.19%)
Torbjorn will always be a stable pick due to the nature of his skills. Deploy Turret and Molten Core are perfect abilities for controlling areas of the map, making him an excellent choice for any defender team. What’s even better, you can score kills even if you’re not close to the enemies.
In this particular meta, he is good when paired with heroes such as Bastion and Symmetra. The combination of these heroes can make certain zones completely impregnable. His turret can also protect squishy backline supports from getting flanked by opponents’ DPSs.
Genji (pick rate – 4.58%, win rate – 51.15%)
For a bit, I was thinking of putting Genji in the B tier. The truth is that viability of this hero can vary significantly based on the situation and quality of a player.
Genji isn’t a one-click-win kinda guy. Instead, you need to have excellent timing and an understanding of the situation to maximize his kit. He doesn’t have the highest damage output, but he can become quite deadly when in close proximity of the opponents.
To maximize his abilities, it’s best to pair him up with characters such as Zenyatta and Lucio. He needs to enter and exit the fray quickly. Genji is especially powerful in dive compositions, where his abilities can shine.
Mercy (pick rate – 5.82%, win rate – 49.94%)
Due to the unique nature of Resurrect, Mercy will always be a viable pick in every meta. She is especially powerful at lower tiers of competitions, where players get picked off more easily, and you need someone to rectify their mistakes.
The reason why I placed her in this tier is that she is moderately successful and is a bit harder to use in Overwatch 2. However, I still believe she can be an incredibly potent pick in the right situation. Her viability increases based on the opposition; Mercy can feel really bad against hitscan heroes who can pick her off while flying.
Winston (pick rate – 1.88%, win rate – 50.04%)
In my opinion, Winston is a mediocre hero. But his saving grace is that he’s somewhat versatile and provides utility for the team. It also helps that he’s relatively easy to master. Overall, I think his utility was significantly increased in the second game with the introduction of the Tesla Cannon secondary fire.
The character synergizes well with Genji, Merci, Sombra, and a few others. Barrier Projector is a fantastic tool that can save your team in certain chokeholds. I also like how Winston performs against snipers. Unfortunately, he is also heavily countered by certain heroes that are currently popular like Bastion.
Pharah (pick rate – 1.93%, win rate – 52.72%)
Pharah has had solid results as of late, and I almost placed her in A tier. Unfortunately, given the popularity of Soldier: 76, Ashe, and Widowmaker in this meta, she can easily be countered. Nevertheless, I still think she can be a powerful niche pick if the right conditions are met.
She shines against certain team compositions and playstyles. In particular, she performs well in situations where enemies are holding hands. Rocket Launcher, Concussive Blast, and Barrage all work well in scattering the opponents and dealing damage in an area.
Pharah is deadly when you master flying and learn how to use your surroundings.
Zarya (pick rate – 2.79%, win rate – 48.35%)
Zarya might be the most team-oriented tank in Overwatch 2. When I play her, I’m usually looking to pair her up with AOE heroes whose abilities would synergize with Graviton Surge. In the second game, she is much more of an offensive threat, especially when we consider there are fewer shield abilities to counter her Particle Cannon.
She is vital in situations where your team has limited defensive potential. Like all tanks, Zarya can be countered by Bastion and Junkrat. The only reason why I didn’t put her higher is that she lacks versatility. While her barrier skills are top-notch, she doesn’t provide much else.
Moira (pick rate – 5.05%, win rate – 50.25%)
When your team needs a mixture of defense and offense, Moira seems like an obvious pick. All her skills, aside from Fade, deal damage to enemies and heal allies.
The good thing about Moira is that she has such a high sustain and damage. Unfortunately, this is also one of her biggest issues. While she can heal lots of health in a short amount of time, she also needs to wait for the abilities to refill. This makes the character hard to use despite the fact her abilities are straightforward.
She also doesn’t offer much in terms of buffs, debuffs, and crowd control, which is why she should be higher than the B tier.
Junkrat (pick rate – 2.54%, win rate – 51.47%)
Junkrat is a valuable pick in the current meta, being one of the few tankbusters. I love his ability to penetrate enemy ranks and spread Total Mayhem. His kit hasn’t changed a lot since the first iteration, and he even received a few buffs to Frag Launcher. Junkrat also provides some crowd control, although Steel Trap has been significantly nerfed.
The hero performs well against Sigma, Reinhardt, and Doomfist, all of which are incredibly popular right now. The only reason why I didn’t place him higher is that he is somewhat vulnerable to other DPSs. All in all, he’s a fairly balanced hero that fulfills a specific role.
Widowmaker (pick rate – 2.76%, win rate – 48.39%)
This hero can feel incredibly strong or weak, depending on the situation. She is undoubtedly the best sniper in the game that can easily take out priority targets on the enemy team. However, given that the heroes received more defense in the sequel, her potential was significantly diminished.
Yet, Widowmaker can be a fantastic addition to your team when going against elusive heroes such as Pharah and Mercy. She can help you take out backline healers with a single shot. But if the enemies have someone like Genji or Reaper, who can close the distance, Widowmaker is practically toast.
D.Va (pick rate – 2.69%, win rate – 50.49%)
Despite having solid stats, you’re more likely to pick some other tank than D.Va. In my opinion, she is fairly unreliable and doesn’t provide much to the team. Using Self-Destruct often goes against the hero in higher echelons in the competition, as it’s hard to retrieve the mech.
Nonetheless, she can be solid in one-on-one engagements against most heroes. Defense Matrix provides solid protection, Boosters can help you reach the backlines, while Fusion Cannons are reliable even if you’re bad at shooting.
Sojourn (pick rate – 4.09%, win rate – 49.27%)
Sojourn was recently hit with a big nerf stick. Otherwise, she would probably be at the top of this list, spreading havoc and tears among Overwatch players.
At one point, there was a massive community outcry regarding Railgun’s secondary fire. After being charged, the weapon could easily take out tankier health heroes. In particular, it had a 2x critical strike multiplier that was so devastating. Luckily, this was recently changed, and now she does “only” 1.5x critical.
The Blizzard didn’t stop there. In December 15th patch, they increased the spread on her primary fire, removed Disruptor Shot speed debuff, and increased Power Slide’s cooldown. Despite the nerfs, I still think she can be powerful, especially in higher tiers.
Brigitte (pick rate – 1.54%, win rate – 54.46%)
While checking the web, I’ve noticed that people are extremely critical of Rally. Overwatch’s player base considers it one of the weakest support ultimates in the game. And while this might be true, Brigitte can still be extremely powerful when used with the right teammates.
The hero is potent when you play it alongside Doomfist, Reinhardt, Reaper, and Lucio. I love that Shield Bash’s cooldown was reduced by two seconds, significantly increasing her mobility. You can almost play her as a semi-tank, which makes her fit seamlessly in more aggressive compositions.
Sigma (pick rate – 1.63%, win rate – 52.42%)
Sigma is another hero that’s somewhere between A rank and B rank. But a few glaring weaknesses forced me to place him a tier lower.
Gravitic Flux is one of those abilities that always provide value and is fun to have on a team. It feels awesome combining it with other massive AOE skills to annihilate opponents in a wide area.
We shouldn’t neglect that Sigma is one of the two heroes who can use a barrier skill to protect several allies at once. Unfortunately, the character is susceptible to long-range snipers and elusive DPSs. As soon as your Kinetic Grasp is on cooldown, you can easily be mowed down by a proficient attacker.
Roadhog (pick rate – 2.81%, win rate – 47.66%)
Sometimes, heroes become overpowered not because of the buffs they receive, but because of how they fit a meta. Roadhog is the perfect example of this. Although he doesn’t have an incredible win rate, he can swing a game in certain situations.
When Doomfist became popular, people started picking Roadhog to counter him. His main role in fights would be to Chain Hook the overpowered tank and shred him with Scrap Gun.
This tank was always good at singling out targets and eliminating them, but players usually countered him with anti-heals. With the introduction of Kiriko, you could address his only blind spot. The support character can make Roadhog invulnerable and remove all the debuffs, so he can quickly heal to full health.
Reaper (pick rate – 2.26%, win rate – 51.69%)
Reaper is one of those heroes that people hate going against. He has two movement skills that make him extremely elusive while also allowing him to get into a flanking position.
In Overwatch 2, this character became a bit more beginner-friendly. Although the max damage of his Hellfire Shotgun pellets was slightly reduced, the weapon got an increase in spread.
If we also consider that his ultimate can destroy enemy teams, it makes sense that he has become one of the top picks as of late.
Wrecking Ball (pick rate – 0.84%, win rate – 49.75%)
Wrecking Ball is an extremely niche pick that requires some getting accustomed to. Using his Grappling Hook is especially difficult, so most players prefer picking some other tanks that are easier to execute.
He received a few significant buffs in Overwatch 2 and is now one of the tankiest characters in the game. Unfortunately, he doesn’t provide much in terms of utility, and there are better heroes for his role.
Zenyatta (pick rate – 3.60%, win rate – 52.33%)
Despite having a high win rate, Zenyatta is a tricky pick. The developers gave her a few buffs that would help her stave off flanking, but she still feels squishy. This is especially noticeable in the current fast-paced meta.
Nonetheless, he is far from useless. Zenyatta’s Orb of Discord is amazing for tackling tank-focused lineups, on top of all the utility he provides for the team.
Mei (pick rate – 1.12%, win rate – 52.26%)
The reason why I placed Mei so low, despite her high win rate, is her low pick rate. My second issue is that she can easily get picked off from a distance. People simply don’t like to play her, and there’s a general perception that she’s a bad character.
In my opinion, Mei can work really fine in brawling offensive teams. Her damage was actually increased in Overwatch 2, although she is worse in terms of crowd control.
Cassidy (pick rate – 3.31%, win rate – 46.79%)
Although Cassidy is a relatively popular pick in the game, he has the second-lowest win rate. The hero feels tailor-made for this particular patch, but in reality, he falls flat on his face.
In Overwatch 2, Cassidy has lost its Flashbang, which was his only crowd control. This leaves the hero vulnerable in close-quarters combat. Although damage reduction on Combat Roll helps, it’s simply not enough to withstand the damage of other DPSs in 1v1 engagements.
Echo (pick rate – 0.89%, win rate – 50.56%)
Echo suffers from similar issues as Wrecking Ball. The pick isn’t necessarily bad, but there aren’t many situations where you would be inclined to use her.
It doesn’t help that Focusing Beam damage is slightly reduced. The nerf to Duplicate means there’s no longer point to copy enemy tanks, so her ultimate now feels inferior compared to those of other heroes.
Junker Queen (pick rate – 1.72%, win rate – 50.49%)
Junker Queen has received a few minor buffs in the December 6th patch. Unfortunately, although she seems like a hero that can perfectly fit the current meta, she simply can’t find her place under the sun.
I think that Junker Queen will become a bit more picked in the next month or so. The hero feels rather unappreciated right now, and most players prefer going with some other tanks or even DPSs.
Tracer (pick rate – 1.83%, win rate – 48.21%)
Tracer was always a hard hero to master due to her glass cannon kit. This is especially noticeable in lower tiers, where players get pummeled when picking the character. It also doesn’t help there is so much tankiness and sustain in the current meta.
Blizzard started tinkering with her Pulse Pistols’ damage in the last few patches. However, I think she still has ways to go before becoming a solid pick.
Hanzo (pick rate – 2.78%, win rate – 48.10%)
As you start scraping the bottom of the barrel, you’ll notice Hanzo staring back at you, asking for a helping hand.
Although the hero is still picked, he has fallen off the radar since his nerfs and Widowmaker’s buffs. Sonic Arrow still provides nice utility, but that’s about that. His flaws are especially noticeable against tanky lineups with lots of sustain.
Sombra (pick rate – 1.37%, win rate – 46.38%)
Sombra’s Hack feels useless in Overwatch 2 as her ability impairment is simply too short. It’s a channeled ability that leaves you open to the enemy fore for more than a second (almost the length of the ability debuff).
Machine Pistol’s damage output is also among the lowest among DPS characters. No wonder she has the lowest win rate in the game.
Baptiste (pick rate – 2.49%, win rate – 47.52%)
The hero doesn’t necessarily have bad abilities. In fact, I love their utility. Unfortunately, he has some of the most unreliable heals in the game. Your team has to be grouped together all the time to get the most out of them, which isn’t the best approach in Overwatch 2.
If you’re looking for someone to perform a similar role, Ana will be a much better pick.
Question: Who is the strongest Overwatch character in the current meta?
Answer: Right now, Doomfist is probably the strongest hero in the game, closely followed by Kiriko, Lucio, and Reinhardt. These characters not only produce excellent results, but they’re also, for the most part, beginner friendly.
Question: What character should I play in Overwatch 2?
Answer: If you’re new to Overwatch 2, I suggest that you play support characters that don’t rely that much on shooting. Good examples are Lucio and Mercy. You can also play tanks that have low skill requirements, such as Reinhardt.
Question: What is the hardest character to play in Overwatch 2?
Answer: According to many pros, Tracer was and currently is the hardest character to play. Sigma, Echo, and Widowmaker can also be challenging.
Overwatch 2 Character Tier List: Conclusion
As with any other tier list, this one only reflects the current state of the meta. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of these categories changed in the next few months.
Unfortunately, some of these characters feel incredibly devastating to the point where you don’t even want to play Overwatch anymore. The others have fallen off the cliff, such as Sombra and Hanzo, and most players wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole.
Whatever the case may be, things will change sooner than later. And if you’re tired of balancing issues, you can always play Arcade modes where people don’t tryhard as much.