For ultimate abilities, see Ultimate Ability.
Reinhardt Overwatch 006

A Reinhardt is erecting his Barrier Field, when an ally Zenyatta uses his ultimate ability, Transcendence to counter the enemy Hanzo's Dragonstrike.

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 deal a very large amount of damage per second. Prior to their combination into this single category, damage heroes were previously one of two types:
    • Offense heroes generally have higher damage weapons and abilities than tanks and some defense heroes. They are usually excellent duelists with high mobility and good burst or sustained damage.
    • Defense heroes may have long range weapons or the ability to create turrets, and excel at area denial.
  • 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.

Ability types

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 abilties

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)
Nano Boost
Ashe The Viper (primary) Yes 20-40 meters

40-20 damage

The Viper (secondary/scope) Yes 30-60 meters

85-42.5 damage

Coach Gun
Baptiste Biotic Launcher (primary) Yes 20-40 meters
75-37.5 damage
Bastion Configuration: Recon Yes 26–50 meters
20-6 damage
Configuration: Sentry 35–55 meters
15-4 damage
D.Va Fusion Cannons Yes 11–30 meters
24-0.5 damage
Genji Deflect

[Hitscan notes 1]

Lúcio Sonic Amplifier (secondary)
McCree Peacekeeper (primary) Yes 20–45 meters
70-35 damage
Peacekeeper (secondary) 18–30 meters
50-25 damage
Moira Biotic Grasp (secondary)
Reaper Hellfire Shotguns Yes 11–20 meters

140-40 damage

Death Blossom
Soldier: 76 Heavy Pulse Rifle Yes 30–55 meters
20-5 damage
Sombra Machine Pistol Yes 15-35 meters

8-2.5 damage

Symmetra Photon Projector (primary)
Attack from her turrets
Torbjörn Normal attack from his turrets
Tracer Pulse Pistols Yes 11–30 meters
6-1.5 damage
Widowmaker Widow's Kiss Yes
Winston Tesla Cannon
Wrecking Ball Quad Cannons Yes 15–25 meters
5-2.5 damage
Zarya Particle Cannon (primary)
  1. Only when deflecting hitscan abilities.

List of projectile abilities

The abilities listed below are considered projectile abilities:

Heroes Projectile abilities


Damage falloff
Ana Biotic Rifle (primary)
Sleep Dart
Biotic Grenade
Ashe Dynamite
Baptiste Biotic Launcher (secondary)
Immortality Field
Bastion Configuration: Tank
D.Va Light Gun Yes
Call Mech

[Projectiles notes 1]

Doomfist Hand Cannon Yes 15-30 meters
66-19.8 damage
Genji Shuriken Yes

[Projectiles notes 2]

Hanzo Storm Bow Yes
Sonic Arrow Yes
Scatter Arrow Yes[Projectiles notes 3]

[Projectiles notes 4]

Yes[Projectiles notes 4]
Junkrat Frag Launcher
Concussion Mine
Steel Trap
Total Mayhem
Lúcio Sonic Amplifier (primary) Yes
McCree Flashbang
Mei Endothermic Blaster (secondary) Yes
Endothermic Blaster (primary)

[Projectiles notes 4]

Mercy Caduceus Blaster Yes
Orisa Fusion Driver Yes
Protective Barrier
Pharah Rocket Launcher
Concussive Blast
Reinhardt Fire Strike

[Projectiles notes 5]

Roadhog Scrap Gun (primary) Yes 11–20 meters
150-1.3 damage
Scrap Gun (secondary) Yes 15–30 meters
150–45 damage
Whole Hog Yes
Soldier: 76 Helix Rockets
Sombra Translocator
Symmetra Photon Projector (secondary)
Sigma Hyperspheres
Torbjörn Rivet Gun (primary) Yes
Rivet Gun (secondary) Yes 7–20 meters
150-6 damage
Tracer Pulse Bomb
Widowmaker Venom Mine
Zarya Particle Cannon (secondary)
Graviton Surge

[Projectiles notes 4]

Zenyatta Orb of Destruction Yes
  1. D.Va's Call Mech can damage enemies when it drops right on top of them.
  2. Only when deflecting projectile abilities.
  3. Only for the first arrow.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Only on its first phase
  5. 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

For a type of melee that almost all heroes can perform, see Quick Melee.

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.

Almost all heroes can use melee in the form of Quick Melee, except for Brigitte, Reinhardt, Torbjörn (when holding Forge Hammer), Genji and Winston (when using their Ultimate abilities).

Other abilities listed below are considered melee abilities:

Movement abilities

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 m/s, with the exception of Genji and Tracer, who both move at 6.0 m/s. The abilities listed below are considered movement abilities, and are disabled by Steel Trap and Graviton Surge.

  • Jump
  • 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).
  • Doomfist's
    • Rocket Punch (quick forward movement with damage, stun, and knockback)
    • Rising Uppercut (quick upward movement with upward knockback)
    • Seismic Slam (quick forward movement with reverse knockback)
  • Genji's
  • Hanzo's
    • Wall Climb (upward movement on vertical surfaces).
    • Lunge (quick omnidirectional movement).
  • Lúcio's Wall Ride (horizontal movement with slight upward movement along vertical surfaces).
  • McCree's Combat Roll (quick omnidirectional movement with instant gun reloading).
  • Mercy's
  • Pharah's
  • Reaper's Shadow Step (forward-facing self-teleportation).
  • Reinhardt's Charge (steered fast forward movement with stun, knockback, and damage to enemies).
  • Sigma's Gravatic Flux (grants omnidirectional levitation during ultimate)
  • Soldier: 76's Sprint (increased movement speed).
  • Sombra's
    • Stealth (increased movement speed with invisibility).
    • Translocator (self-teleportation to beacon).
  • Symmetra's Teleporter (point to point teleportation).
  • Tracer's
    • Blink (quick omnidirectional movement).
    • Recall (self-teleportation with healing).
  • 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).

"Rocket Jump"

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:

Speed-increasing abilities

These abilities, while increasing movement speed, are not classified as movement abilities, and therefore are not disabled by Steel Trap and Graviton Surge.

Barrier abilities

For more details on barriers and associated abilities, see Barrier.

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:

Healing abilities

For more details on healing abilities, see Health, Armor, and Shield#Healing abilities.

Healing abilities are abilities which replenish a hero's health. The abilities listed below are considered healing abilities:

Buff/debuff abilities

Buff and debuff abilities are abilities which, when activated, can apply either a positive effect or negative effect to one or more heroes.

Buff abilities

The abilities listed below are considered buff abilities:

  • Ana's
  • Baptiste's
  • 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)
  • Lúcio's
  • Mercy's
    • Caduceus Staff (secondary fire; increase damage dealt).
    • Valkyrie (flight, enhanced Guardian Angel and Caduceus Staff)
  • Orisa's
    • Fortify (damage resistance and crowd control resistance)
    • Supercharger (increase damage dealt)
  • Reaper's Wraith Form (invulnerability and increased movement speed)
  • Reinhardt's Steadfast (damage resistance to knockback abilities)
  • Sigma's Kinetic Grasp (gain decaying temporary shield)
  • 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)

Debuff abilities

Zarya's Particle Barrier and Projected Barrier remove debuffs in addition to their normal functions. The abilities listed below are considered debuff abilities:

Crowd Control abilities

For more details on crowd control abilities and associated abilities, see Crowd control.

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.

Area-of-effect abilities

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:

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Also able to self-heal.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Also have self-damage.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Also have self-effect (no damage however).

See also

Patch changes

  • Overwatchemblem black November 15, 2016 Patch: Dealing damage to things other than players (like Torbjörn's turret or Symmetra's teleporter) no longer charges ultimate abilities.
  • Overwatchemblem black September 1, 2016 Patch: Ultimates that consume the ultimate meter when activated will now drain the meter more quickly (.25 second instead of 1 second). Reverted a recent change that reduced the size of heroes' projectiles. Most hero abilities will no longer interrupt quick melee attacks. Ultimate abilities will now interrupt quick melee attacks.
  • Overwatchemblem black July 19, 2016 Patch: Reduced the chance for larger projectiles to hit targets around corners. Self-healing abilities now charge ultimate abilities.
  • Overwatchemblem black June 28, 2016 Patch: Fixed a bug that would cause players’ weapons to auto-snap straight up or down when the crosshair was aimed between 85 and 90 degrees. Fixed a bug that would move players toward the source of a knockback rather than away from it.
  • Overwatchemblem black March 22, 2016 (beta) Patch: It is no longer possible for some AoE weapons to deal damage to an enemy player if that player is on the other side of wall they’re partially clipping into. Ultimate charge should no longer reset whenever a player selects a different hero and then cancels while dead.
  • Overwatchemblem black February 9, 2016 (beta) Patch: Ammo will now reload in the middle of a weapon's reload animation, instead of at the end of it.
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