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For ultimate abilities, see Ultimate Ability.
Reinhardt Overwatch 006

A Reinhardt is erecting his Barrier Field, when an ally Zenyatta activating his ultimate ability, Transcendence to counter 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.

  • 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 protect allies, disrupt enemies, and occupy the front line. They have abilities that protect themselves and others with shields and crowd control.
  • Support heal, buff, debuff and provide utility.

Ability types Edit

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 Edit

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.

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 head for most humanoid heroes, and the blue core for Bastion in Sentry mode); any other hit is called a bodyshot. Each headshot deals 2 times the damage of a bodyshot, except for Widowmaker's scoped headshot which deals 2.5 times the damage of a bodyshot. When a headshot is made, its X mark in the crosshair will glow red and spread wider compared to bodyshot's mark.
  • 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.

List of hitscan abilities Edit

The abilities listed below are considered hitscan abilities:

Heroes Hitscan abilities Headshot Damage falloff
Ana Biotic Rifle (secondary/scope)
Nano Boost
Bastion Configuration: Recon Yes 26–50 meters
6-20 damages
Configuration: Sentry 35–55 meters
4-15 damages
D.Va Fusion Cannons Yes 11–30 meters
0.5-24 damages
Genji Deflect

[Hitscan notes 1]

Lúcio Sonic Amplifier (secondary)
McCree Peacekeeper (primary) Yes 20–45 meters
20-70 damages
Peacekeeper (secondary) 18–30 meters
22-45 damages
Mei Endothermic Blaster (primary)
Reaper Hellfire Shotguns Yes 11–20 meters
2-140 damages
Death Blossom
Soldier: 76 Heavy Pulse Rifle Yes 11–20 meters
5-17 damages
Sombra Machine Pistol Yes 15-35 meters

2.5 - 8 damage

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

List of projectile abilities Edit

The abilities listed below are considered projectile abilities:

Heroes Projectile abilities


Damage falloff
Ana Biotic Rifle (primary)
Sleep Dart
Biotic Grenade
Bastion Configuration: Tank
D.Va Light Gun Yes
Call Mech[Projectiles notes 1]
Genji Shuriken Yes
Deflect[Projectiles notes 2] Yes
Hanzo Storm Bow Yes
Sonic Arrow Yes
Scatter Arrow Yes[Projectiles notes 3]
Dragonstrike[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 26–55 meters
22-75 damages
Blizzard[Projectiles notes 4]
Mercy Caduceus Blaster Yes
Orisa Fusion Driver
Protective Barrier
Pharah Rocket Launcher
Concussive Blast
Reinhardt Fire Strike
Earthshatter[Projectiles notes 5]
Roadhog Scrap Gun (primary) Yes 11–20 meters
2-225 damages
Scrap Gun (secondary) Yes
Whole Hog Yes
Soldier: 76 Helix Rockets
Sombra Translocator
Symmetra Photon Projector (secondary)
Torbjörn Rivet Gun (primary) Yes
Rivet Gun (secondary) Yes 7–20 meters
6-150 damages
Rockets from his level 3 turret
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 Edit

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 ability 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 Reinhardt, Torbjörn (when holding Forge Hammer), Genji and Winston (when using their Ultimate abilities).

Other abilities listed below are considered melee abilities:

Movement abilities Edit

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 addition perks such as dealing damage to enemies. The abilities listed below are considered movement abilities.

  • D.Va's Boosters (controlled and steered forward flight for a period of time).
  • Genji's
  • Hanzo's Wall Climb (upward movement on vertical surfaces).
  • Lúcio's
    • Crossfade: Speed (increase movement speed for all friendlies around the hero).
    • 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
    • Wraith Form (increased movement speed with invulnerability).
    • 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).
  • 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)

Genji's Dragonblade and Zenyatta's Transcendence both increase movement speed, but are not considered to be movement abilities.

Unorthodox movement abilities Edit

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 (elevates players standing on the marked area before wall is built).
  • Pharah's Concussive Blast (horizontally pushes players away from point of contact; can be used to give Pharah a horizontal movement boost).

"Rocket Jump" Edit

These abilities increase the player's jump height if they face the ground and press both the jump button and the ability button simultaneously. All of these will cause self-damage.

Barrier abilities Edit

For more details on barriers, 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 Edit

For a detailed list of healing abilities, see Health, Armor, and Shield#Healing abilities.

Area-of-effect abilities Edit

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 Also able to self-heal.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Also have self-damage.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Also have self-effect (no damage however).

See also Edit

Patch changes Edit

  • 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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