- This article is about playable characters. For the animated short, see Hero.
There are 32 playable heroes in Overwatch. Each hero offers a unique style of play, and is classified under one of three roles: Tank, Damage, or Support. Each team can only have 2 of each hero, although some Arcade game modes allow multiple. Players can switch heroes in the spawn room.
Heroes come from a variety of national/ethnic backgrounds, and occasionally speak in their native languages during matches.
Heroes are controlled using a controller. Every hero has a unique weapon. Some heroes have multiple weapons, which can be switched using 1 and 2. Abilities are normally keyed to Shift, E, and Q (the ultimate ability). Heroes have 150 to 600 HP and move at a base speed of 5.5 m/s (except Genji and Tracer, whose base speed is 6 m/s). Walking backwards reduces this speed by 10%. Crouching makes their speed 3 m/s (in every direction). Also, all heroes can jump at a height of 0.98 m.
Heroes exchange specific dialogue with each other based on their character history during matches and background.
The idea of classes for heroes was to make it easier for new players to get into the game, and to easily understand how each character would play. When the Looking for Group feature was added, it became possible to enforce these roles.
List of Heroes by release date
There were originally 21 heroes at the launch of the game. Since then, 11 additional heroes have been added. New heroes are released roughly every 4 months, typically in March, July, and November. The November reveal happens during the opening ceremony of BlizzCon.
However, with the announcement of Overwatch 2, this tradition breaks. Multiple heroes are expected to released at once with the release of Overwatch 2 and "at least" 1 new hero was expected to release before then. With the addition of Echo, the promise of "at least" 1 new hero has been fulfilled. It was later confirmed in an interview that Echo would be the final hero before the release of Overwatch 2.
|No.||Hero||Role||Reveal Date||Release Date|
|01 ||Tracer||Damage1||2014-11-07 7 November 2014
|2016-05-24 24 May 2016|
|13||Zarya||Tank||2015-03-06 6 March 2015|
|15||Soldier: 76||Damage1||2015-07-07 7 July 2015|
|16||Lúcio||Support||2015-08-05 5 August 2015|
|17||Roadhog||Tank||2015-09-22 22 September 2015|
|19||D.Va||Tank||2015-11-06 6 November 2015|
|22||Ana||Support||2016-07-12 12 July 2016||2016-07-19 19 July 2016|
|23||Sombra||Damage1||2016-11-04 4 November 2016||2016-11-15 15 November 2016|
|24||Orisa||Tank||2017-03-02 2 March 2017||2017-03-21 21 March 2017|
|25||Doomfist||Tank1||2017-07-06 6 July 2017||2017-07-27 27 July 2017|
|26||Moira||Support||2017-11-03 3 November 2017||2017-11-16 16 November 2017|
|27||Brigitte||Support||2018-02-28 28 February 2018||2018-03-20 20 March 2018|
|28||Wrecking Ball||Tank||2018-06-28 28 June 2018||2018-07-24 24 July 2018|
|29||Ashe||Damage||2018-11-02 2 November 2018||2018-11-13 13 November 2018|
|30||Baptiste||Support||2019-02-25 25 February 2019||2019-03-19 19 March 2019|
|31||Sigma||Tank||2019-07-22 22 July 2019||2019-08-13 13 August 2019|
|32||Echo||Damage||2020-03-18 18 March 2020||2020-04-14 14 April 2020|
|33||Sojourn||Damage||2019-11-01 1 November 2019
(Overwatch 2 announced)
|26 April 2022|
(Overwatch 2 PvP beta released)
When a hero is pitched, a group of five developers examine the concept from the perspectives of gameplay, character concept and story to see if the idea is worth fleshing out. If that's in the affirmative and the concept is settled, the team of five becomes a team of ten to fifteen, who are tasked with "finding the fun" in the hero and bringing out its "core." This includes work on art, design, engineering, audio and quality assurance. Once this is completed, the hero gains (or will have gained) forty or more developers, which build its respective content (skins, emotes, voice lines, etc.) For early heroes, it was common to theme the hero mainly around their weapon (Widowmaker and Pharah are examples of this).
After the hero is fully playable, a different group is brought in to build the hero's story; by this point around eighty developers. These individuals work on material such as origin videos, comics and animated shorts. After that, the hero then needs to be publicized. By this last stage, over 150 individuals will have worked on the hero in some form.
The following heroes have been cut during development of the game:
- Jetpack Cat
- Mama Hong
- Shield Guy
- A female Russian hero that was pitched in the early days of development. She would be riding a bear and dual-wielding AK-47s. Her ultimate would be for the bear to also pull out dual AKs.
Heroes in development
- Mauga was originally supposed to be Hero 31 as a result of the developers wanting another barrier Tank and wanting to expand upon Talon lore; however, when working on the hero's kit, they found it not in line with Mauga's personality. As a result, they created the hero Sigma instead. Jeff Kaplan says the team has big plans for Mauga and is still interested in making him a playable hero someday.
- A hero seen holding a crooked staff, described to look like somewhat like a wizard, warlock, or voodoo priest.
- A female hero with a fox and four-sided weapon.
The Overwatch development team added a dummy string very early on containing the name of a fake hero: Dying Breed. This was done to identify if the game's files were datamined and uploaded to the internet. They forgot to remove the string when the beta was shipped, and it created some confusion among the team members who discovered it for the first time. The string has long since been removed.
- 2015-08-16, Reddit Q&A about Solider 76 | Overwatch. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2015-08-06
- 2015-12-07, DEV UPDATE TALKS FREE FUTURE HEROES, GAME SYSTEM AND OPTIONS UPDATES. Blizzpro, accessed on 2015-12-15
- Game Informer #81: Designing Overwatch: From Titan to Torbjörn
- 2017-05-17, Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan Answers Overwatch Questions From Twitter | Tech Support | WIRED. YouTube, accessed on 2017-05-18
- 2019-11-02, Overwatch 2 | Future New Heroes & Likely Release Window - Jeff Talks OW2. YouTube, accessed on 2018-11-02
- 2020-03-19, Echo Last Hero Character Before Overwatch 2. IGN, accessed on 2020-04-14
- Blizzcon 2017 - Making of Overwatch
- 2018-11-03, OVERWATCH: BUILDING A HERO. Blizzpro, accessed on 2018-11-14
- 2022-04-16, Overwatch 2: Sojourn | Developer Update. YouTube, accessed on 2022-04-20
- 2017-11-05, OVERWATCH ARCHIVES PANEL. Blizzpro, accessed on 2017-11-19
- Sigma gameplay reveal 10am PDT! BIRTHDAY STREAM!
- 2019-11-05, Details On An Unannounced Overwatch 2 Hero. Game Informer, accessed on 2021-05-25
- 2016-05-24, Overwatch Visual Source Book. pp. 168. Blizzard Entertainment. Retrieved on 2017-11-26.