Ranged abilities are abilities capable of taking effect at range, either through launching a projectile or through generating an effect at a specified location. Ranged abilities are in contrast to melee abilities. Most abilities are ranged abilities.
Hitscan and Projectiles
Most ranged weapons and abilities are referred to as either being hitscan or projectiles.
A hitscan weapon/ability has no travel time, and will hit a target within the shooter's crosshairs as soon as the weapon/ability fires. Examples include Cassidy's Peacekeeper and Widowmaker's Widow's Kiss.
Certain ranged weapons and abilities have a property known as damage falloff. Damage falloff means that the weapon/ability does less damage, the farther the shooter is away from the target when it hits them. If Ashe hits an enemy who is standing right next to her with The Viper, it will deal full damage. If, however, Ashe hits a distant enemy with The Viper, it will deal much less damage (because of how far away the target is from Ashe).
Weapons affected by damage falloff:
- Baptiste: Biotic Launcher primary fire
- Bastion: Recon and Sentry primary fires
- D.Va: Fusion Cannons
- Cassidy: Peacekeeper
- Reaper: Hellfire Shotguns
- Roadhog: Scrap Gun primary fire
- Soldier: 76: Heavy Pulse Rifle primary fire
- Sombra: Machine Pistol
- Torbjörn: Rivet Gun alternate fire
- Tracer: Pulse Pistols
- Widowmaker: Widow's Kiss: Assault
- Ashe: The Viper
Weapons not affected by damage falloff:
- Zenyatta: Orb of Destruction and Orb Volley
- Widowmaker: Widow's Kiss: Sniper
- Orisa: Fusion Driver
- Ana: Biotic Rifle and Sleep Dart
- Symmetra: Photon Projector alternate fire
- D.Va: Micro Missiles and Light Gun
- Mercy: Caduceus Blaster
- Torbjorn: Rivet Gun
- Lúcio: Sonic Amplifier
- Genji: Shuriken and Fan of Blades
- Pharah: Rocket Launcher
- Soldier: 76: Helix Rocket
- Mei: Endothermic Blaster alternate fire
- Echo: Tri-Shot and Sticky Bombs
Headshots and Bodyshots
Some ranged weapons have the ability to perform headshots. A headshot is when the weapon impacts the target's head. This doubles the damage dealt by the weapon. If the shot impacts the target anywhere else, it is a bodyshot, which only does the base damage of the weapon.
Different heroes have different sized heads, making headshots easier to perform on certain heroes compared to others.