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 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 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)|
|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|
|Mei||Endothermic Blaster (primary)|
|Reaper||Hellfire Shotguns||Yes||11–20 meters
|Soldier: 76||Heavy Pulse Rifle||Yes||11–20 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|
|Zarya||Particle Cannon (primary)|
- ↑ Only when deflecting hitscan abilities.
List of projectile abilities Edit
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 Edit
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.
Other abilities listed below are considered melee abilities:
- D.Va's Boosters.
- Genji's Swift Strike and Dragonblade.
- Reinhardt's Rocket Hammer and Charge.
- Torbjörn's Forge Hammer.
- Winston's Jump Pack and Primal Rage.
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 additional perks such as dealing damage to enemies. By default, every hero's movement speed is 5.5, with the exception of Genji and Tracer, who both move at 6.0 . The abilities listed below are considered movement abilities.
- D.Va's Boosters (controlled and steered temporary forward flight with damage and knockback on point of contact).
- Hanzo's Wall Climb (upward movement on vertical surfaces).
- McCree's Combat Roll (quick omnidirectional movement with instant gun reloading).
- 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).
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 (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" Edit
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).
Barrier abilities Edit
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:
- Orisa's Protective Barrier.
- Reinhardt's Barrier Field.
- Symmetra's Photon Barrier.
- Winston's Barrier Projector.
- Zarya's Particle Barrier and Projected Barrier.
Healing abilities Edit
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.
- Mercy's Caduceus Staff.
- 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.
- Torbjörn's Molten Core (fully heals his turret upon activation).
- Winston's Primal Rage (fully heals himself upon activation).
Buff/debuff abilities Edit
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 Edit
The abilities listed below are considered buff abilities:
- Bastion's Ironclad (reduce damage taken).
- Hanzo's Sonic Arrow (visibility through walls).
- Mercy's Caduceus Staff (secondary fire; increase damage dealt).
- Reaper's Wraith Form (invulnerability and increased movement speed).
- Sombra's Stealth (invisibility and increased movement speed).
- Symmetra's Shield Generator (added shields).
- Widowmaker's Infra-Sight (visibility through walls).
- Winston's Primal Rage (increased health and reduced jump pack cooldown).
- Zenyatta's Transcendence (invunlerability and increased movement speed)
Debuff abilities Edit
- Ana's Biotic Grenade (enemy targets; prevent healing).
- 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 Edit
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 (prevent ability usage; not affected by Fortify).
- Symmetra's Sentry Turret (reduce movement speed).
- Winston's Jump Pack and Primal Rage (knockback).
- Zarya's Particle Cannon (secondary fire; knockback).
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:
- Ana's Biotic Grenade (affect an area around the point of contact).[AoE notes 1]
- Bastion's Configuration: Tank (affect an area around the point of contact).[AoE notes 2]
- McCree's Flashbang (affect an area around the point of contact).
- Mei's Blizzard (affect a round area around the point of contact).
- Mercy's Resurrect (affect an area around the hero).
- Reaper's Death Blossom (affect an area around the hero).
- Roadhog's Whole Hog (affect a wide area in front of the hero).
- Soldier: 76's
- Tracer's Pulse Bomb (affect surrounding area when exploding).[AoE notes 2]
- Widowmaker's Venom Mine (affect every enemy in the surrounding area when triggered).[AoE notes 2]
- Zenyatta's Transcendence (affect an area around the hero).
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Also able to self-heal.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Also have self-damage.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Also have self-effect (no damage however).