Abilities are the offensive and defensive capabilities of the heroes in Overwatch. Normal abilities are accessed via keybinds which can be swapped based on player preference in Game Options. Abilities help to differentiate roles from one another, as well as heroes from one another within roles.
- Damage is a sweeping role used to contain heroes that dealing a very large amount of damage per second. Prior to their combination into this single category, damage heroes were previously one of two types:
- Tank heroes protect allies, disrupt enemies, and occupy the front line. They have abilities that protect themselves and others with shields and crowd control.
- Support heroes heal, buff, debuff and provide utility.
In this page, abilities are unofficially classified into multiple categories; an ability can belong to several categories. This is the list of categories and their brief explanation:
- Ranged abilities: abilities which belong to this category are capable of taking effect at range.
- Melee abilities: abilities which belong to this category are capable of taking effect within short range, mainly through the use of weapons.
- Movement ability: abilities which belong to this category provide hero a method to move to another location beside walking.
- Barrier abilities: abilities which belong to this category evoke the use of barrier.
- Healing abilities: abilities which belong to this category can be used to replenish health.
- Buff/debuff abilities: abilities which belong to this category can be used to provide an advantage for self/teammates or a disadvantage for enemies.
- Crowd-control abilities: abilities which belong to this category can be used to affect the movement or ability usage of enemies.
- Area-of-effect abilities: abilities which belong to this category affect multiple targets within a specified area.
Ranged abilities are abilities capable of taking effect at range, either through launching a projectile or through generating an effect at a specified location.
Most ranged abilities are referred to as being either hitscans or projectiles.
- A hitscan ability has no travel time, and will hit a target within the shooter's crosshair as soon as the weapon/ability fires.
- A projectile ability has a travel time, and will hit a target only if the projectile collides with the target.
- Damage falloff is the damage deterioration inflicted on distant target. An ability with damage falloff does less damage the further the shooter is away from the target. Due to the difficulty of timing a long-distance projectile headshot, some weapons suffer reduced or no damage falloff.
Ranged abiltities also come with two other attributes: headshot and falloff damage. An ability can have both attributes, or have neither:
- A headshot is any shot that successfully hits the enemy's critical points, the name coming from this typically being the head. Each headshot deals 2 times the damage of a bodyshot, the sole exception being 2.5 times for Widowmaker's scoped headshot. When a headshot is made a red X mark will glow in the crosshair and a unique hit noise will be made.
- The location of the critical headshot spot is not always the head due to the nature of different heroes. Exceptions include:
- Bastion's Configuration: Sentry instead places his head at the back of his model, as a large blue glowing box. Configuration: Tank has no critical spot and suffers only bodyshot damage.
- D.Va's headshot location is her MEKA cockpit, making it somewhat larger. Outside of her MEKA, standard headshot rules apply.
- Wrecking Ball's headshot spot is Hammond himself. In ball configuration he has no critical hit location.
List of hitscan abilities
The abilities listed below are considered hitscan abilities:
|Heroes||Hitscan abilities||Headshot||Damage falloff|
|Ana||Biotic Rifle (secondary/scope)|
|Baptiste||Biotic Launcher (primary)||Yes||20-40 meters|
|Bastion||Configuration: Recon||Yes||26–50 meters|
|Configuration: Sentry||35–55 meters|
|D.Va||Fusion Cannons||Yes||11–30 meters|
|Lúcio||Sonic Amplifier (secondary)|
|McCree||Peacekeeper (primary)||Yes||20–45 meters|
|Peacekeeper (secondary)||18–30 meters|
|Moira||Biotic Grasp (secondary)|
|Reaper||Hellfire Shotguns||Yes||11–20 meters
|Soldier: 76||Heavy Pulse Rifle||Yes||30–55 meters|
|Sombra||Machine Pistol||Yes||15-35 meters
|Symmetra||Photon Projector (primary)|
|Attack from her turrets|
|Torbjörn||Normal attack from his turrets|
|Tracer||Pulse Pistols||Yes||11–30 meters|
|Wrecking Ball||Quad Cannons||Yes||15–25 meters|
|Zarya||Particle Cannon (primary)|
- ↑ Only when deflecting hitscan abilities.
List of projectile abilities
The abilities listed below are considered projectile abilities:
- ↑ D.Va's Call Mech can damage enemies when it drops right on top of them.
- ↑ Only when deflecting projectile abilities.
- ↑ Only for the first arrow.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Only on its first phase
- ↑ Reinhardt's Earthshatter is not technically a projectile ability, but it will take a small amount of time to travel. Nonetheless, the further enemies will have more chance to avoid the attack.
Melee abilities are abilities that take effect only within a short range of the hero using the ability, generally within arms' reach of the hero's position. Some melee abilities allow hero to move and attack at the same time, making those abilities a perfect choice to make a follow-up attack or escape.
Other abilities listed below are considered melee abilities:
- Brigitte's Rocket Flail and Shield Bash.
- D.Va's Boosters.
- Doomfist's Rocket Punch and Rising Uppercut.
- Genji's Swift Strike and Dragonblade.
- Reinhardt's Rocket Hammer and Charge.
- Torbjörn's Forge Hammer.
- Winston's Jump Pack and Primal Rage.
- Wrecking Ball's Grappling Hook (when hitting a player while attached to an object).
Movement abilities are abilities which improve movement for a hero. This includes: increasing the speed at which a hero moves to a location, giving a hero an alternate path to a location, or letting a hero move to a location which is inaccessible through walking. Some movement abilities have additional perks such as dealing damage to enemies. By default, every hero's movement speed is 5.5 Steel Trap and Graviton Surge., with the exception of Genji and Tracer, who both move at 6.0 . The abilities listed below are considered movement abilities, and are disabled by
- Ashe's Coach Gun (self-knockback ability with damage)
- Baptiste's Exo Boots (vertical movement ability)
- Brigitte's Shield Bash (quick forward movement with damage and stun)
- D.Va's Boosters (controlled and steered temporary forward flight with damage and knockback on point of contact).
- Lúcio's Wall Ride (horizontal movement with slight upward movement along vertical surfaces).
- McCree's Combat Roll (quick omnidirectional movement with instant gun reloading).
- Reaper's Shadow Step (forward-facing self-teleportation).
- Reinhardt's Charge (steered fast forward movement with stun, knockback, and damage to enemies).
- Soldier: 76's Sprint (increased movement speed).
- Symmetra's Teleporter (point to point teleportation).
- Widowmaker's Grappling Hook (flight towards point of contact).
- Winston's Jump Pack (forward catapult with damage and knockback on point of contact).
- Wrecking Ball's
Strangely, Symmetra's Teleporter cannot be disabled by Steel Trap or Graviton Surge.
Unorthodox movement abilities
Some abilities are able to improve movement in unorthodox ways, such as increasing jump height by self-damage. These abilities are capable of improving movement in unorthodox methods:
- Junkrat's Concussion Mine (pushes players away from the mine; can be used to give Junkrat a super jump if detonated when he is on top of it).
- Mei's Ice Wall (can be used to elevate players by building the wall underneath them).
- Pharah's Concussive Blast (horizontally pushes players away from point of contact; can be used to give Pharah a horizontal movement boost).
With certain abilities, if a hero faces the ground and presses both the jump button and the ability button simultaneously, they can use the knockback from the ability to increase their jump height. This is a common tactic in games with explosives and is dubbed "rocket jump" by the gaming community. All of these abilities will cause self-damage. The abilities listed below can be used to perform a rocket jump:
- Bastion's Configuration: Tank.
- Pharah's Rocket Launcher.
- Soldier: 76's Helix Rockets.
- Zarya's Particle Cannon (secondary fire).
- Brigitte's Rally.
- Genji's Dragonblade.
- Lúcio's Crossfade: Speed.
- Moira's Coalescence.
- Reaper's Wraith Form.
- Torbjörn's Overload.
- Wrecking Ball's Roll
- Zenyatta's Transcendence.
Barrier abilities are abilities which create a translucent barrier in a certain area. Barriers block all incoming enemy damage and allow all friendly damage to pass through them. The abilities listed below are considered barrier abilities:
- Brigitte's Barrier Shield
- Orisa's Protective Barrier.
- Reinhardt's Barrier Field.
- Symmetra's Photon Barrier.
- Winston's Barrier Projector.
- Wrecking Ball's Adaptive Shield.
- Zarya's Particle Barrier and Projected Barrier.
Healing abilities are abilities which replenish a hero's health. The abilities listed below are considered healing abilities:
- Bastion's Self-Repair.
- Lúcio's Crossfade: Heal.
- Mei's Cryo-Freeze.
- Reaper's The Reaping.
- Roadhog's Take A Breather.
- Soldier: 76's Biotic Field.
- Sombra's Hack (reduces respawn time of a health pack when used on one).
- Tracer's Recall.
- Winston's Primal Rage (fully heals himself upon activation).
Buff and debuff abilities are abilities which, when activated, can apply either a positive effect or negative effect to one or more heroes.
The abilities listed below are considered buff abilities:
- Baptiste's Immortality Field (prevent health from falling below 20 percent)
- Bastion's Ironclad (reduce damage taken).
- Brigitte's Rally (add armor)
- Doomfist's The Best Defense... (gain decaying temporary shield)
- Hanzo's Sonic Arrow (visibility through walls)
- Reaper's Wraith Form (invulnerability and increased movement speed)
- Sombra's Stealth (invisibility and increased movement speed)
- Torbjörn's Overload (added armor, increased movement, reload and attack speed)
- Widowmaker's Infra-Sight (visibility through walls)
- Winston's Primal Rage (increased health and reduced Jump Pack cooldown)
- Wrecking Ball's Adaptive Shield (add temporary shields)
- Zenyatta's Transcendence (invulnerability and increased movement speed)
- Ana's Biotic Grenade (enemy targets; prevent healing).
- Ashe's Dynamite (apply damage over time)
- Mei's Endothermic Blaster (primary fire) and Blizzard (reduce movement).
- Sombra's Hack and EMP (prevent ability usage; not removed by Zarya's barriers).
- Symmetra's Sentry Turret (reduce movement speed).
- Widowmaker's Venom Mine (apply damage over time).
- Zenyatta's Orb of Discord (increase damage taken).
Crowd Control abilities
Crowd control abilities are abilities which reduce, restrict, or prevent movement, as well as usage of weapons and/or abilities. Crowd control also includes displacement of enemy positions such as knockback. Some abilities use debuffs to crowd control. Orisa's Fortify ability makes her immune to all the crowd control effects of the abilities. Abilities which hamper the user's movement but don't have other crowd control traits are not considered crowd control abilities. The abilities listed below are considered crowd control abilities.
- Ana's Sleep Dart (stun).
- Bastion's Configuration: Tank (knockback).
- D.Va's Boosters, Call Mech, and Self-Destruct (knockback).
- Lúcio's Soundwave (knockback).
- McCree's Flashbang (stun).
- Orisa's Halt! (displace and reduce movement speed).
- Pharah's Rocket Launcher and Concussive Blast (knockback).
- Soldier: 76's Helix Rockets (knockback).
- Sombra's Hack and EMP (prevents ability usage; not affected by Fortify).
- Symmetra's Sentry Turret (reduce movement speed).
- Winston's Jump Pack and Primal Rage (knockback).
- Wrecking Ball's Grappling Hook and Piledriver (knockback)
- Zarya's Particle Cannon (secondary fire; knockback).
Area of effect (AoE) abilities are abilities which can affect multiple targets within a specified area. The affected area can be on the path of the projectile or in the surrounding zone of a hero or the point of contact. Some AoE abilities may harm the user if they are in the effect area. The abilities listed below are considered AoE abilities:
- Ana's Biotic Grenade (affects an area around the point of contact).[AoE notes 1]
- Biotic Launcher (secondary fire; affects an area around the point of impact).
- Regenerative Burst (affects an area around the user).[AoE notes 1]
- Immortality Field (affects an area around the drone).[AoE notes 1]
- Amplification Matrix (affects a rectangular area in front of the hero but on either side)
- Bastion's Configuration: Tank (affects an area around the point of contact).[AoE notes 2]
- McCree's Flashbang (affects an area around the point of contact).
- Mei's Blizzard (affects a round area around the point of contact).
- Mercy's Resurrect (affects an area around the hero).
- Moira's Biotic Orb (affects either friendlies or hostiles in an area around the orb).[AoE notes 1]
- Reaper's Death Blossom (affects an area around the hero).
- Roadhog's Whole Hog (affects a wide area in front of the hero).
- Soldier: 76's
- Photon Projector (secondary fire; affects every enemy on its path).
- Tracer's Pulse Bomb (affects surrounding area when exploding).[AoE notes 2]
- Torbjorn's Molten Core (affects every enemy with a pool of lava).
- Widowmaker's Venom Mine (affects every enemy in the surrounding area when triggered).[AoE notes 2]
- Wrecking Ball's
- Zenyatta's Transcendence (affects an area around the hero).
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Also able to self-heal.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Also have self-damage.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Also have self-effect (no damage however).