Overwatch 2 has entered it’s 4th season, complete with a new battle pass, new skins, and a new support hero Lifeweaver. As always, I recommend that you use the characters you feel that you do best with. But, if you’re looking for an edge in the competitive scene look no further than this guide. Remember, your rank doesn’t reset at the beginning of the season, but you’ll be matched with a wider pool of opponents that’ll let you get a leg up even if you finished in Bronze last season. You won’t receive a rank until you reach 5 wins or 15 losses, whichever comes first, so there’s plenty of time to find your footing for either role queue or open queue comp.
As the game has become more balanced each season, I prefer to move away from calling a good character “S Tier” and something more like “Never a bad idea.” Whereas with the “D Tier” characters, I call them situational. Genji is not going to be great most of the time, but when he pulls off a nanoblade for a 4 or 5 man-kill accompanied by an Ana on an open map like Junkertown, it’s hard to call him D-Tier anymore. So, with all that in mind, here’s a few heroes that I would consider “never a bad idea” for Overwatch 2 season 4.
Damage heroes have a wide berth in Overwatch 2, and can largely be divided up by where they fight best in a team fight. Some, like Junkrat or Cassidy, are front-line fighters that push the team and must trust their healers to keep them alive with ranged healing. Meanwhile, you’ll find Soldier 76 in the mid field protecting the healers and Widowmaker in the backline sniping targets from afar. Ultimately, your goal is to get kills. High damage stats aren’t helpful to your team unless you’re also finishing off the enemy team!
Soldier’s primary selling point from the launch of Overwatch was his consistency. To this day, that’s still true. It’s incredibly easy to deal out concentrated damage with his primary fire. If you can hit a 200 HP target with a few shots to the head, his primary fire/alt fire rocket combo is a guaranteed kill. Soldier has a short reload time and is constantly firing, so he’s a great choice if you’ve got a damage booster like Mercy on your team. Concentrate on aiming for the head, playing midfield, and not straying too far into enemy territory. The keyword with Soldier is pressure – he’s become incredibly suited to pushing the team forward while not making himself vulnerable, with the obvious escape routes of his Dash and Biotic Field. You don’t need to get every single kill, you just need to make the enemy feel like they’re going to get killed. Be consistent, keep close to your healers, and you’ll rocket up the ranks.
Everyone this season is talking about Tracer and her meteoric rise to the top of the tiers. But was she ever really gone? Some were worried that with Brigitte getting her stun back, Tracer would become near-useless again, but Brig’s new short stun doesn’t seem to be keeping Tracer in place long enough to get her killed in practice. Whether you’re scoring kills behind enemy lines in a dive composition or simply distracting the enemy DPS while your own take the flank, you can pretty much benefit from having a Tracer on your team in any situation. Even though her damage has been nerfed a tad over time, her mobility remains unmatched. In a Season 4 dive comp, your team absolutely requires a Tracer, and really the only technical skill to develop besides aiming is simply keeping your game sense awareness up. Most DPS heroes can one-shot Tracer, so know where the enemy is, know where your safe zones are, and know how many Blinks you have left at all times!
Junkrat has been a roller coaster of usefulness over the lifespan of Overwatch, ranging anywhere from S tier to bottom of the barrel (remember when he used to damage himself with his own grenades?). Luckily for Junk mains, he’s back on top this season. With Reinhardt and Sigma rising in usefulness, Junkrat has become an excellent counter for shield tanks. Unlike your diving Tracer and your mid-line Soldier, Junkrat takes the front-line when pushing the enemy team. His damage output just by the numbers is absolutely insane, and its only limiter is the player’s ability to predict where the enemy is moving. While the Junk Trap is a solid flank protector, and his high damage output makes him a force to be reckoned with for shields, the real key to his success is the Rip Tire. His ultimate ability is essentially a better version of D.Va’s Self-Destruct, allowing you room to steer, run the tire behind cover, and still do explosive damage behind enemy lines. An enemy Reinhardt will be able to block most offensive ultimates, but the junk tire can simply roll right through the shield and blow Rein and his entire team to the respawn screen.
With Overwatch 2 switching down to one tank per team, all the tank heroes have been reworked to exist on their own, reducing the time to kill for team fights and speeding up the game. There does come a question: what is the role of each tank is anymore? While they’re all intended to soak damage and pull aggro from the enemy team, they’re not all going to be useful in every composition. These tank heroes are useful in the largest variety of compositions.
With Winston’s insane mobility and survivability, he continues to be the core of any dive composition. While he’s certainly gained a reputation as the dive king, however, it’s not all he’s good for. Winston, especially with a helpful Zenyatta harmony orb or a skilled Ana, is the biggest threat to the enemy ranks in Overwatch 2. The second he drops in from the sky, he’s already broken the enemy formation. While his shield gives him a good 4-5 seconds before having to bounce, his 550 HP can take quite a punch before he’s shot down. Like I said above, the main goal of a tank is to pull aggro from your weaker teammates. Winston’s primary fire isn’t strong, true, but it can hit up to five targets at the same time if they’re all standing close enough to each other. He’s not out there to get kills – you’re likely not going to get many. But they second this 800 pound ~monkey~ scientist drops in, the enemy team’s strategy goes into the toilet.
Reinhardt, my original main, continues to be an excellent and steady pick for any team. Despite the new Season 4 nerf to his HP, bringing shield health down from 300 to 250, Reinhardt is still extremely hard to kill. Rein has 600 total HP, making him one of the heartiest heroes in Overwatch 2. While a lot of beginners see Reinhardt as a defensive tank due to his large shield, he thrives best in highly aggressive compositions where he leads the team. There’s a joke among Reinhardt mains that you just need to hold left click + W to win – the secret is, it’s not really a joke. Keeping on the offensive as Reinhardt and taking advantage of his huge swing radius for crowd control simply can’t be topped, and his Earth Shatter ultimate has high potential for a team wipe. If his healers stay close and his DPS teammates keep putting down pressure, there’s not a lot that can stop Reinhardt!
Ramattra, the dark wizard Omnic, is one of the newer additions to the ranks of Overwatch 2. Ramattra may not be the best at traditional tanking, but he is certainly very good at a lot of other things at the same time. He’s got good poke damage from a long distance to draw enemies out beyond their front lines, but also has great short range burst damage in Nemesis form. Ramattra plays best aggressively, much like Reinhardt, and you’ll be building that ultimate charge in no time if you keep putting out consistent damage. Try not to use all of his abilities at once. If you stagger your cooldowns, you should virtually never be caught in a situation where you can’t either escape or kill your attacker. His ultimate is always worth using if you can group at least 2 enemies into your Annihilation. Like a lot of the larger tanks, if he comes rushing through to an enemy team in Nemesis form, the team will break formation to get away from him. All in all, he does a good job surviving, getting a kill or two, and drawing enemies out of place. Just stay light on your feet!
Like many Overwatch 2 players, I feel the Support heroes have not been receiving much love from Blizzard. I’ve got well over a hundred hours on Mercy as almost as many on Lucio, so believe me, I know the struggle. “I need healing! I need healing!” It never ends! Luckily, there have been some notable recent buffs to Mercy and Brigitte that make them both a lot more viable, and Blizzard has been (gradually) increasing all of their survivability.
Mercy mains almost certainly have developed chronic whiplash by now. I don’t think any other character has gone through more changes over the course of Overwatch‘s life than my good friend Dr. Ziegler. So, for Season 4, Mercy has once again received a litany of changes. First, her healing per second has been increased from 45 to 55, putting her more on level with her arch-nemesis Kiriko. However, she doesn’t get a heals boost for low health allies anymore. The cooldown on Guardian Angel has had a massive decrease from 2.5 to 1.5 seconds, and if you’re interested in more granular changes, her lock state cooldown has been increased from 1.5 to 2.5 seconds after entering a bunny hop/slingshot, making it take a little longer before she can begin healing again. To me this is a fair trade, since Blizzard and the players have gone back and forth fighting for Mercy’s right to bunny hop for years. Last season, she received another buff that boosts her self-healing while she’s healing another target. Factoring that in, she’s back on top of the pack where she belongs.
When Brigitte dropped back in Overwatch 1, she was an absolute menace to society. If you’ve ever played the game, you’re well aware of her on-again off-again stun ability. The range of her repair packs has been reduced by 5 meters, but don’t worry about that. We’ve got some major buffs to counterbalance. Let’s talk about Rally. Brig’s ultimate has not been great the past few years, but, after this rework, it’s going to be the key to winning matches. She now gains 100 armor health during Rally, more than doubles the size and durability of her shield, and is able to shield bash multiple enemies. With the cooldown count of Shield Bash, you can easily get two of these off during one Rally. This is insane. However, be aware that Rally isn’t really a defensive ult – it is a hardcore aggression ult that requires your team to push with you. If you can pull off a Rally with your whole team intact, it’s going to be next to impossible for the enemy to stop a team wipe.
Overwatch 2′s premiere new hero is still going strong, coming in second place for most heals per second with 72 (following Ana with 75). Kiriko flat out is the best bang for your buck healer, being that Ana requires aiming well and losing time going in and out of scope. Kiriko does, however, require you to be smart about your positioning. If you get caught alone with Swift Step on cooldown, you are already dead. Stay close to your team, dish out Kunai consistently whenever your team’s health tanks are full, and save your ultimate for a team fight. Kiriko is a solid character I think anyone can pick up and play decently, but if you can get your timing and positioning right with her, you can hard carry your team in lower ranks.
Remember, oftentimes the best hero to play is the one you feel the most comfortable with. If you’re in a dive team comp that isn’t working and aren’t used to Winston, and have 50 hours on Sigma, it’s probably better to just play Sigma. Nevertheless, these picks should get you started in Overwatch 2‘s Season 4 rankings. Also note that while major balance changes are typically done when new seasons start, Blizzard absolutely has made and will make major hero changes overnight with no announcement.
Who will you be playing during Season 4 of Overwatch 2? Comment below and let us know!