Among the usual roster of snipers and run-and-gun soldiers, Overwatch has some of the most imaginatively designed characters we've seen in a shooter for some time, and a fair few of these can be found under the Offense category of heroes. Some of these characters specialise in obliterating the enemy with a combination of speed and burst damage, for example, while others take a more tactical approach to combat.
Regardless of how they choose to get the job done, all of these characters are designed to work well in a pretty broad variety of team compositions - not to mention across a wide variety of maps and game modes. When you're queuing up for a solo match with a handful of random strangers, however, then it's safe to say that some picks can have a much bigger impact on the outcome of battle than others.
For starters, you can't guarantee that someone will provide solid Support, for example, which means that Heroes who possess amazing mobility and self-sustain abilities become a very appealing pick. You might also have to think beyond your own team composition too. If your teammates are struggling to break through the enemy's front lines, then Heroes like Reaper and Tracer allow you to take matters into your own hands and eliminate a particularly stubborn threat very quickly. In maps with plenty of wide open spaces, Pharah can be used to devastating effect. A flexibility approach to Hero choice is vital, in other words.
To help you pick out a Hero that can make a significant difference as a solo soldier, we've put together our ranked list of who we believe are the best Offense heroes in Overwatch as of the latest patch. We'll update this article every single month, taking into account the most recent balance patches, as well as the prevailing mood in the current metagame, and the opinions of the pros. Let us know your own picks in the comments section at the end of this article!
Editor's note: March Update #1 - No big changes for the Offense category of heroes this month. As the Bastion metagame settles, however, we may a few heroes increases in relative power. We'll update this article again towards the middle of the month, when we have a clearer idea of how everything's shaping up.
Offense hero rankings - Season 4
|1||Soldier: 76||Soldier: 76 guide||Offense|
While Sombra brings a very unique set of skills to the game, such as hacking health packs and enemy abilities, she's yet to make a real dent in the established order of things. This may be a deliberate strategy on Blizzard's part, where they prefer to start a hero off as relatively week and buff them into the meta over time - see Ana.
We suspect she's best played on a tightly coordinated team, with plenty of communication over what and who's being hacked. She can also be used as part of a kill squad to snag opportunistic kills from mortally-wounded opponents.
Pharah hasn't budged in positioning within our round-up of those Offense heroes most capable of making a major difference to a team's fortunes, but there's one small caveat. You really want to get to know the maps extremely well before heading into battle with this Hero, as you require a large degree of spatial awareness if you're to have her aerial bombardment skills make a significant effect on the battlefield.
It also takes a little bit of practise to combine her mobility with precision aiming, so do yourself and your future teammates a favour and go and smash up a few bots before joining the solo queue!
Reaper fills a very specific role in the game, roaming around the map and picking off targets who never see him coming. He does his best damage when he's up-close and personal with his victims, chipping through their health shot after shot.
This is a hero that will suit people with a fairly broad knowledge of the other characters in the game, as his sneaky teleportation skills allows him to reach defensive enemies that would otherwise be hard to pick off. Played right, Reaper is a walking (floating?), talking game-changer in his own right.
If you really and truly know what you're doing with Genji, then you could probably push him up further in this list, but his skill ceiling means he tends to fair less well against other Heroes in this category. If one hero highlighted the difficulty of ranking the characters in Overwatch it's this guy - so much is dependant on your personal skill level!
More great Overwatch guides:
McCree packs an extraordinary punch when played on just about any team, although he does suffer somewhat from a lack of strong emergency mobility options. You'll also need very sharp reflexes to pull off his stun/flurry combo with any degree of accuracy. An initial nerf was followed by a bit of a buff to ensure this Offense Hero remains reasonably high up the list.
While she's extremely tricky to play, a Tracer on the rampage is a thing to be feared indeed. She can have a devastating effect on the shape of a match - particularly given the current strength of burst damage - but you need quick wits to make the most of her in situations that are often extremely frantic.
Even Tracer's Ultimate - though very powerful - requires nimble reactions and aiming skills if you're to get the most out of it. Still, her ability to tear apart both turrets and tanks alike make her an incredible asset to any team - assuming she's being wielded in the right hands, of course...
1. Soldier: 76
Some find Soldier: 76's combat style just a little too vanilla to get all that excited about, and it's certainly true that he's not exactly the most imaginative character on the roster of Overwatch Heroes.
This grizzly marine is more than just a run-and-gun soldier though, and the extra healing support that he provides his team with can be enough to salvage a really rotten engagement. The fact that he can also sprint back into battle nice and quickly makes him a very versatile offensive force to be reckoned with in the solo queue.