By Emily Barnes
In our last top ten list, we dived into the Overwatch characters whose abilities and kits are easier to learn and use in-game. That list is great for new players of Overwatch who are looking to integrate themselves into the game smoothly and without trying to learn an extremely difficult hero. This list is going to be the opposite and list the top ten most difficult Overwatch heroes. These heroes are not unlearnable or unusable, and you are more than likely to get a ton of value from using these characters correctly. These characters can be the most difficult for your enemies to counter effectively and stop you from dominating their team.
These heroes definitely have “carry” potential and can be extremely powerful across every competitive rank in Overwatch. The player who chooses to learn how to use these characters needs to pay strong attention to their cooldown management and how they are using the hero’s abilities. Keep reading to see the Top Ten Most Difficult Overwatch Heroes to Play!
Pharah is one of the most unique characters in the game due to her Jump Jet ability that allows her to launch herself in the sky and fly. Pharah’s primary weapon is a Rocket Launcher that shoots high damage dealing rockets. Flying with a rocket launcher may sound easy, but Pharah can be very easily countered by hit scan damage characters such as Widowmaker, Mccree, Soldier, Ashe, and even Tracer. Pharah has so many direct counters that playing her can seem impossible especially in Diamond rank and above. Pharah players need to be extremely aware of their positioning in the air and the line of sight of the enemy team.
Zenyatta is one of the most interesting support characters due to his abilities and especially his defensive ultimate ability Transcendence. Transcendence makes Zenyatta invincible and the area around him automatically heals his teammates. Transcendence is very good at countering enemy damage and ultimates, and using it at the right moment is very important. Communication can be very helpful for Zenyatta players to call out his Discord Orbs that significantly boost the damage his teammates do. Zenyatta is a very powerful support that may not be able to do a ton of healing but he makes up for it in damage amplification. However, Zenyatta completely lacks mobility which makes him extremely vulnerable. For these reasons he is considered off meta in the current season.
Zarya is one of the most popular characters in Overwatch as she is extremely fun and rewarding to play, while pairing greatly with her fellow tank Reinhardt. Zarya has two barriers: The Particle Barrier which shields herself and the Projected Barrier which shields her teammates. When enemies damage her barriers Zarya’s primary fire weapon, the Particle Cannon is charged with energy and in turn does more damage. Zarya’s ultimate ability Graviton Surge can be paired with other teammates ultimates for maximum efficiency. Zarya takes some serious ability know-how as using her barriers at the right time can result in her becoming full charge, letting her do tons of damage to her enemies.
Genji is one of the more popular damage heroes across every rank as he has high mobility which makes him very fun to play. However, being so mobile can often cause Genji players to end up in situations and places they shouldn’t be, getting them killed. When playing Genji you need to be hyper-aware of your positioning and where your teammates are as well. One of Genji’s abilities called Deflect can reflect enemy projectiles. Genji has the ability to even reflect enemy Zarya’s Graviton Surges, completely wasting an enemy ultimate and giving his team the advantage. Genji can be extremely powerful when put into the right hands, but using his abilities right requires a skilled Overwatch player.
Sombra is another very unique hero on the Overwatch roster due to several of her abilities including her Hack, Stealth, EMP, and Translocator abilities. Stealth allows Sombra to become completely invisible and move quickly which is great for moving around undetected by enemies. Her Translocator is a beacon she can toss on the ground and she can instantly teleport to the beacon’s location, but it can be destroyed. Hack is her most iconic ability which hacks her enemies and for a certain period of time makes them unable to use their abilities, and her ultimate EMP just hacks everyone around her. Sombra is a difficult hero because she can get a lot of value but also not get any at all due to being invisible most of the time not doing damage and hacking the wrong enemies.
Ana is one of the most highly picked characters in Overwatch, especially in the highest ranks. She is a main healer who has a rifle as a primary weapon that shoots bullets that heal her teammates and damage her enemies. Ana requires decent aim to play her well, unlike some of the other support characters. Ana has an ability called Sleep Dart that shoots a dart to “sleep her enemies” for a short period of time rendering them useless. This can be very useful with stopping enemy ultimates and flanks. A good Ana should know exactly when to use her sleep dart and to not waste it.
Doomfist is a very intimidating character to many due to his high-risk cooldowns and high mobility. Doomfist can be extremely powerful and effective at tearing up his enemy team’s backline, however it’s much easier to waste Doomfist’s abilities and end up in a bad situation. Doomfist’s primary weapon is his Hand Cannon paired with his Rocket Punch, which makes his punches super deadly when fully charged. Doomfist can also uppercut his enemies and smash them into the ground with his Seismic Slam ability. Doomfist’s ultimate ability is called Meteor Strike where he goes into the sky and comes crashing down dealing huge damage.
In my opinion, Winston is the tank that is the most fun to play. He has a high health bar and very high mobility which makes diving very fun. However, similarly to some of the other characters on this list, his high mobility in the wrong hands can put him in very bad situations to get punished by the enemy team. When diving with Winston make sure to save your Jump Pack ability as it allows you to launch Winston into the air away from enemies. Winston’s primary fire is a Tesla Cannon that fires an electrical barrage that hits any enemies within a short-range. Winston also has a Barrier Projector that puts out a bubble-shaped shield for his team, and his ultimate ability, Primal Rage, shortens his cooldowns and boosts his health.
Widowmaker’s kit is very easy to understand, she’s a sniper who can one shot low health enemies with a well-placed round to the head. She has a grappling hook that can conveniently put her on high ground to land her long-range shots, and she has a Venom Mine which sticks to a surface and explodes when enemies step on it, dealing poisonous damage. Widowmaker should be played by players who are confident playing sniper-style characters and have previously been decent at aiming in first-person shooters. Widowmaker can be game-changing when she successfully hits her shots, but when she isn’t hitting her shots, she doesn’t do hardly enough damage to be useful to her team. Other than her grappling hook Widowmaker has very limited mobility making her very easy to dive and be countered by dive heroes such as Winston, DVA, or even Genji.
Tracer is the poster character for Overwatch and definitely deserves the number one spot on this list of the most difficult heroes. Her primary weapon is two rapid-fire pistols named Pulse Pistols. Tracer has the ability to travel through time with her Blink and Recall abilities. Blink allows her to blink through space and appear a few yards away, and she has three blinks on a few second cooldown. Her Recall ability allows her to blink backward in time and regain any health from the damage she took before using Recall. These abilities can be very useful but have to be timed and used effectively in order for her to get value. Tracer can terrorize her enemy supports and a good Tracer will almost force her enemies to counter her with crowd control abilities to stop her. Tracer is also extremely good at stalling points.
Just because these heroes are considered to be difficult should not stray players away from giving them a try. Even if you are completely new to first-person shooter games or Overwatch, you can always get better with practice and paying attention to your cooldowns. The best part of Overwatch is the roster of unique and interesting characters to play, and you should definitely play all of them at least once to get a feel for the character’s abilities. All of these heroes can be hard to use, but when you do use them well in-game you will be extremely hard to control and most likely gain significant rank. While climbing the ranks, you may hit a wall at platinum (like most other players!). If you find yourself stuck in platinum, check out our guide to help you break into diamond!