Now that Overwatch is well into its metagame stride, we though it might be useful to take a look through the roster of Heroes that currently exists, and lay out our ratings of the five tanks you can choose to head into battle with. Like every Overwatch character, each one brings something pretty different to the table, and there's bound to be one that suits your tastes - however us or anyone else might choose to rate them!
This is all perfectly sensible and a good thing indeed, because different Hero designs match different playstyles. Some of these characters fulfil a very traditional role of providing cover for their team as a marching unit, for example, while others specialise in going a little more solo in order to isolate and pick off the more fragile enemy Heroes who would rather be left alone manning the backlines if that's alright with everyone else. Remember as well that they all have situational benefits, so you should keep an open mind on Hero selection as every battle wears on wears on.
For that reason there's a little bit of art mixed in with the science of how we've gone about ranking the tanks in the game this month. First of all, we have to consider which of these Heroes perform better across a broad range of different maps. Then there's the overall balance of power to consider, based on how Blizzard has currently chosen to tune each character's abilities. Finally we consider the metagame as a whole. With each month that passes after launch, players are getting wiser to both playing and countering individual Heroes.
We'll be reviewing this list on a monthly basis, taking all of the above into consideration each time. For this reason, should you choose to make this category of character your preference, you might want to keep us bookmarked - you'll always be directed to the latest and most up to date version of this article if you do so.
Editor's note: February Update #1 - With D.Va taking a bit of a knock in the latest patch, we've adjusted her position in our rating of tanks accordingly. Don't believe the naysayers, however, as she's still perfectly viable. You just need to change and improve your game a little to get the best out of her.
Tank Hero Tier List and Character Rankings - February 2017
Here's a quick look at the standings, with links to the relevant guides. Read further on down the page for a discussion of how we came to place each tank in our tier list.
As well as being one of the downright coolest characters in Overwatch, Winston's exceptional mobility makes him a formidable presence on just about any map, and in any team composition. A savvy player who understands how to prioritise targets on the backline will be able to dominate a battle when playing with this particular tank
It's a shame that his damage output is a bit rubbish but, well, he is a tank at the end of the day. The good news is that you don't have to worry about precision aiming when it comes to sustaining damage against your target. This lets you focus on leaping about and frustrating your opponent's own targeting instead!
While a recent nerf has given D.Va a bit of a kicking, she's still perfectly capable of serving a team. The playerbase may have wised up to some of her sneakier point-capturing tricks, but in skilled hands she can be an absolute menace at poking the enemy support heroes and also providing cover for her team in an aggressive push.
Once you've become a dab-hand at firing off Roadhog's Chain Hook and landing your target, you might consider moving him a position further up this list. Consider too Roadhog's ability to chug down a health-boosting drink with Take A Breather, and you'll understand why we rank Roadhog pretty respectably in our appraisal of the game's best tanks.
We're less enamoured with his extremely poor mobility overall though, and he's such a massive target that even the most cackhanded gunslinger shouldn't struggle to unload a full clip into his considerable bulk! As a result, they'll get to charge their Ultimates faster too...
More great Overwatch guides
Zarya appears in the second slot of our Tank ratings purely because managing her Energy system requires no small amount of experience to get right. That'll likely change in the months ahead as players get better at shielding this increasingly popular soldier - and her allies - in order to keep her weapon charged up. For now though, and up against the mighty Reinhardt, we think she's probably just about in the right place in our list.
That of course, doesn't mean you should always defer to the highest-rated tank! A skilled Zarya player can single-handedly change the course of a match, and an awareness of every Overwatch Hero's strengths and weaknesses is a vital part of mastering the game. Get stuck in, in other words.
Much as we love playing Zarya, we find it very hard to deny Reinhardt top spot on our round-up of the best tanks in Overwatch this month. That projected shield is fantastically versatile, whether you're riding the Payload to victory with your team behind you, or when you're just trying to ferry your friends through a heavily defended route.
Like all of the best Overwatch characters, there's a simplicity to Reinhardt's character design that makes him extremely effective at his core role, and yet there's mastery to be had for those who want to invest in him more heavily. That he's also a very good tank for total beginners to get started with is the icing on the cake really!