As still a relatively new game, Overwatch 2 is still in the process of being balanced. The original Overwatch was an exceptionally well-balanced game, but all of the wide-reaching changes that its sequel made mean that the latter is still getting its feet underneath it. Despite this, the game continues to stand as a shining example of live-game balance, and the devs have made an explicit commitment to keeping the game fair and fun.
One of the reasons for this is that the Overwatch franchise’s gameplay isn’t built on a true system of counters. It doesn’t have the consistent rock-paper-scissors effectiveness of something like Pokémon. Instead, it’s built on a complex system of team-based interactions, individual matchups, and skill. Fewheroes have a real “hard counter” that they should consistently avoid. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some characters that do better against, say, Genji than others. It simply means that playing one of those characters into Genji doesn’t automatically result in success.
With that in mind, here are the best counters for each Overwatch 2 hero.
For more details, check out our full tank counters guide.
Heroes with beam weapons, like Zarya, Symmetra, Moira, and Winston, are the best D.Va counters since her Defense Matrix can’t absorb them. Thanks to her large hitbox while inside her mech, she also takes a fair amount of damage from weapons with area of effect explosion potential, like Junkrat and Pharah. Another way to whittle a D.Va down is to force her to use all of her Defense Matrix on one target, like a Bastion in turret form or a Sojourn running around. This forces D.Va to target them or use all of their Defense Matrix quickly, leaving them open for attack.
The highly-mobile Doomfist struggles against other mobile heroes. Quick heroes can jump over his Power Block and deal damage to his vulnerable back, and they’re harder to hit with his Rocket Punch. Some of these include Tracer and Genji. Sombra will always be a good counter against Doomfist since her hacks can make him nearly immovable and easy to focus down. Heroes with long-range attacks, like Widowmaker, Ashe, Bastion, and Ana can skirmish with him at long distances to stay out of the way of his close-combat attacks.
Junker Queen counters
Heroes who have a self-heal or self-shield ability, including Wrecking Ball and Lucio, can negate some or all of Junker Queen’s wound damage, rendering part of her kit useless. Long-range heroes like Widowmaker and Ana can stay out of the range of her shotgun and her short-range AoE attacks. The true counter to Junker Queen will always be Kiriko, as her healing negates her bleed and her suzu negates her ultimate.
Heroes whose weapons aren’t projectile-based, including Symmetra, Moira, and Winston, won’t be affected as much by Orisa’s Javelin Spin. Heroes who draw power from damage being dealt to them, like Zarya and Doomfist, can better withstand her onslaught while powering themselves up.
The usual tankbusters, including Reaper and Roadhog, can shred Ramattra quickly thanks to his lack of self-sustain. Highly mobile heroes, including Tracer, Pharah, and Genji, can jump around him and dodge his melee attacks. They can also attack him from the back when he’s blocking in Nemesis Form. Since Ramattra primarily deals in close-range damage, especially in Nemesis Form, long-range heroes like Ashe and Widowmaker can snipe him from far away. With the strength of Cassidy’s damage and movement, he’s a safe choice against Ramattra.
Anyone who can shut down his barrier can crack Reinhardt. Sombra can do it with Hack whereas Cassidy, Bastion, and Mei can whittle it down, preventing him from deploying it. Junkrat and Pharah are excellent barrier-busters thanks to their high burst damage.
Junkrat and Reaper are two great counters to Roadhog and his massive hitbox, allowing you to chunk him down quickly if positioned right. Highly mobile heroes like Echo, Pharah, Genji, Tracer, Sombra, and Wrecking Ball can quickly escape his hook. Roadhog’s gun is great for busting tanks—including himself. Roadhog counters other Roadhogs. Widowmaker, Pharah, Echo, Junkrat, and Ana all attack at a distance, which makes it hard for Roadhog’s shotgun to hit them. Just watch out for his hook.
Sigma’s projectiles are all fairly slow. Lucio, Genji, and Tracer are all small and fast and dodge his attacks more easily. Sombra’s Hack prevents him from putting down new barriers. Ramattra and Roadhog both can fight against Sigma up close and avoid his barriers while doing good damage.
Like Roadhog, AoE from Junkrat, Pharah, and Zarya’s alt fire tends to splash onto his big model. Bastion or Cassidy can almost single-handedly stop a dive by focusing a Winston down. Stuns from Ana and Doomfist can prevent Winston from diving into or out of a backline.
Wrecking Ball counters
The easiest way to prevent him from denying an area or rolling away from a fight is with a stun from Mei, Ana, or Roadhog. Much like Doomfist, Sombra can help make a Wrecking Ball slower and easier to focus down as a team.
Fast, high damage from Junkrat, Pharah, Echo, and Bastion can defeat her before she has a chance to gain full energy. Be careful, though: Zarya counters burst damage thanks to the way her barrier works. D.Va can consume Zarya’s Graviton Surge with her Defense Matrix. Genji can deflect it, turning it into a utility for his team.
Here’s more information on the best counters for damage heroes.
Heroes who are small, fast, and hard to hit, like Genji, Tracer, and Echo, can more easily flank her and avoid her precision shots. Soldier: 76’s auto-fire can frequently kill Ashe faster than she can kill him. Cassidy can out-duel an Ashe at close range thanks to his grenade.
Burst fire and AoE from the usual suspects—Junkrat, Pharah, and Zarya’s alt fire—can take out Bastion quickly, particularly when he’s slowed in Configuration: Assault and receiving fire from multiple directions. Stuns, particularly long-distance ones from Ana and Roadhog’s hook, can stop Bastion long enough to take him out. Bastion is often a slow-moving target, which makes landing stuns easier. Small heroes who can force Bastion to move around and focus them, like Genji and Tracer, can whittle him down while keeping your tanks alive.
Genji can deflect Cassidy’s High Noon ultimate, sometimes resulting in an instant kill on Cassidy. Sigma can commit his shield to blocking angles that Cassidy takes, forcing him to reposition. Heroes with shields, like Reinhardt and Winston, can hide themselves and their teammates from High Noon. Cassidy, if you’re better at hitting shots or landing grenades, is a good counter to Cassidy.
Like all flying heroes, Echo has a glaring weakness to hitscan shots from Soldier: 76, Cassidy, Ashe, and Widowmaker. If she stays on the ground for too long, tank heroes with stun abilities can stop her from flying and take her out quickly. Winston and Orisa both can pressure Echo in the air, no matter what they’re doing.
Genji can’t deflect beam weapons from heroes like Zarya, Symmetra, Moira, and Winston. Auto-locking beam weapons are even better. Mei and tanks with crowd control abilities can slow down Genji’s mobility, making him easier to hit.
Hanzo has a difficult time hitting highly mobile heroes like Tracer, Pharah, Lucio, Wrecking Ball, and Genji since his arrows aren’t hitscan. Genji can deflect his Dragon Arrow, turning it into a utility for his team. D.Va can also consume the initial projectile with her Defense Matrix.
Junkrat’s rate of fire is slow. Fast-firing heroes like Cassidy, Soldier: 76, and Genji can take him out before he can land grenades. Heroes who are highly mobile on land or in the air—like Pharah, Echo, Tracer, Lucio, and Wrecking Ball—can avoid his grenades easily. Careful as a Tracer or Lucio, though, as Junkrat can one-shot you if you’re too close. Zarya’s energy barrier was made to work against attacks like Junkrat’s. She can gain a ton of energy from his shots and protect her team at the same time.
Sombra’s Hack blocks Mei’s ability to heal and become invulnerable. Airborne heroes like Pharah and Echo can fly around Mei’s defensive Ice Wall. Long-range heroes like Widowmaker, Soldier: 76, and Ashe can take out Mei before she gets close enough to freeze them.
Pharah has a hard weakness to heroes with hitscan weapons, like Soldier: 76, Cassidy, Ashe, and Widowmaker. If Sombra hacks her while she’s on the ground, she won’t be able to fly, rendering her attacks mostly useless. Same with tank stuns or Mei’s primary fire.
Reaper’s shotguns are most effective at extremely short range. Snipers and heroes who can attack at a distance—like Pharah, Widowmaker, Echo, Ana, and even Junkrat—can defeat him before he has the chance to get close. A Reaper can counter a Reaper. Try and get the enemy Reaper to use his invulnerability first, as that allows you to attack aggressively before using your own to get away.
Because Sojourn’s primary fire is technically not hitscan, fast-moving heroes like Lucio, Genji, and Tracer can out-maneuver her, making it difficult for Sojourn to hit them. Dive heroes like Winston can jump on Sojourn, forcing her to slide away or, if she’s already used it, making her very weak.
Soldier: 76 counters
Soldier: 76 specializes in sustained damage, so those who can defeat him more quickly with burst fire have the advantage. Pharah, Junkrat, Roadhog, and Cassidy’s Fan the Hammer are all great for this. (Soldier: 76 can just as easily counter some of these heroes, though, so be careful.) Widowmaker and Ashe can out-range Soldier: 76, so if you can hit shots, you can try these heroes to out-duel him. Genji can deflect everything a Soldier: 76 can throw at him asides from his heal.
While Sombra’s ability to become invisible is powerful, it doesn’t grant total immunity. AoE from Pharah, Junkrat, and Winston can reveal her while she’s trying to sneak around. Hanzo’s Sonic Arrow will also reveal her if it lands near her. Stuns from Mei and Ana can prevent her from teleporting back to safety. Kiriko can use her suzu to protect her hacked allies.
Burst fire from heroes like Junkrat, Pharah, and Echo is great against Symmetra’s slow but steady sustained fire. AoE attacks with lots of splash damage can easily destroy groups of her turrets. Junkrat, Pharah, and especially Winston are great for taking out turret nests.
Long-distance AoE and burst fire from Pharah and Junkrat is a great way to quickly destroy Torbjörn’s turret. Highly mobile heroes whocan stay out of his ground-based ultimate, like Pharah and Echo, render it effectively useless. (Note that Torbjörn’s auto-locking turret counters these heroes while they’re in the air as well.) Sombra can hack his turret, disabling it for a short period of time.
Trying to hit small, fast-moving Tracer with precision weapons is a waste of time. Instead, try hitting her with characters who use auto-locking weapons, like Symmetra, Moira, Winston, and Torbjorn’s turret. She can also be stunned by Mei or tanks with crowd control abilities, particularly if she tries to dive or flank. A Tracer can counter a Tracer, forcing her into a duel instead of letting her run rampant on your supports.
Widowmaker’s secondary close-range fire is pretty awful, so flank-heavy heroes who can get behind her, like Genji and Tracer, have the advantage. Even when they’re far away, they’re tricky for a sniper to hit. Genji can also deflect Widowmaker’s shots, resulting in a potential instant kill. Widowmaker counters herself. Other Widowmakers can easily snipe her if she’s standing still, as can other headshot heroes like Ashe and Zenyatta.
For more in-depth information about support counters, check out our full guide.
Heroes with a lot of maneuverability—like Genji, Echo, Pharah, Doomfist, and Tracer—are generally too fast and mobile to be hit by her Sleep Dart. Ana is hard to play in general thanks to her lack of mobility. She’s easily targeted by a wide variety of heroes, particularly in the upper ranks of play, including Winston, Orisa, Ramattra, and so on.
The usual mobility suspects—Genji, Tracer, Hanzo, Lucio, Echo, and Pharah—can get around his Amplification Matrix to avoid taking additional damage. Sombra can hack his Immortality Field, disabling it for a short period. Baptiste’s team will likely be huddled around it, which makes them sitting ducks for focus fire. Widowmaker, Cassidy, and Ashe can force Baptiste to reposition or use his immortality lamp early.
Brigitte is made to counter close-combat divers, so flying targets that don’t frequently hit the ground can evade her Shield Bash and Whip Shot. Pharah and Echo are the classic choices. Shield-busters like Pharah and Junkrat can quickly break her barrier shield.
Kiriko’s only damage-dealing ability is her Kunai alternate fire, and it’s a tough projectile to hit. Highly mobile heroes like Tracer, Sombra, and Genji can make it difficult for her to land those coveted headshots. Roadhog, Mei, and Ana can also stun her, making it difficult for her to teleport or climb away.
Sombra’s kit might be the bane of Lifeweaver’s existence. Lifeweaver’s platform and grab abilities will be made null and void by a simple Sombra hack. Soldier: 76’s arenal will make light work of Lifeweaver’s platform. He’ll also be able to shred through a Lifeweaver’s health points easily, as the support doesn’t possess the movement to escape far enough.
Most hitscan heroes—including Soldier: 76, Cassidy, and Ashe—are better against Lúcio because hitscan is easier to land on a moving target than other types of shots. This doesn’t include Widowmaker because of her slow rate of fire and the precision nature of her gun. Like other highly mobile characters, auto-locking weapons are great against Lúcio. The best options are Symmetra, Winston, Moira, or Torbjorn’s turret. Roadhog and Mei can disrupt Lúcio’s mobility with slows and stuns. Sombra can disable all of Lúcio’s AoE healing with Hack.
As a semi-flying target—OK, gliding—Mercy shares Echo’s and Pharah’s weakness to hitscan weapons from the likes of Cassidy, Ashe, Widowmaker, and Soldier: 76. Heroes who can dive in and pursue her—like Genji, Winston, Tracer, and Symmetra—also have an advantage, especially if they catch Mercy in a corner with no one to fly to. Everyone out-damages Mercy’s gun, and it’s now harder to use than it was in the first game.
Burst fire from Junkrat, Pharah, Echo, and similar heroes can out-damage Moira’s sustained self-heal. Ana, Mei, and Roadhog can stun her out of her Coalescence ultimate. Long-range heroes like Ashe and Widowmaker can stay out of the reach of her Biotic Grasp. Moira can no longer Fade out of AoE ultimates like Zarya’s Graviton Surge, leaving her vulnerable.
AoE and burst fire from the likes of Junkrat and Pharah can knock out Zenyatta before he has a chance to land his precision shots. His slow-moving head is target practice for headshot heroes like Widowmaker, Ashe, Cassidy, Kiriko, and Hanzo. Because Zenyatta is something of a headshot hero himself, this means he can counter himself, too. Fast, small-moving characters like Tracer and Genji can focus down Zenyatta easily thanks to his lack of movement. The only way to counter that as Zenyatta is to kill them or get support from your teammates.
About the author
Emily is a staff writer covering Apex Legends, Overwatch, Pokemon, and general gaming for Dot Esports. Her other bylines include Digital Trends, Screen Rant, and GameSpew. She also works as a narrative designer in games. Get in touch with her on Twitter @thepokeflute.