Overwatch Roles Intro

To get better at Overwatch, you need to have a good understanding of each hero’s role. While the game put all of its characters into 3 categories: DPS, Support, and Tank; it is a bit more complicated than that. Some of this is more well-known, like how Tracer and Genji are called flankers, or McCree and Soldier:76 can be considered the main damage output of the team.

In this article, Our Overwatch skill rating boosting team will be putting heroes into smaller subgroups that reflect their role in more details, helping you to get a better understanding of them.

DPS Roles


Flankers are people who focus mostly on the enemy’s backline before or during the team fight. Some obvious examples are Genji, Tracer, Reaper, and Sombra since they excel at getting behind the enemy and causing havoc. While not dealing as much damage as the main DPS, flankers can single-handedly win a team fight if they can pick off the opposing support early, leaving their frontline much more vulnerable.

Flankers make up for the lack of their damage by having good mobility skill, better than any others in the game, and since their targets are usually the squishier ones, the high damage is not that necessary.


Spammers are heroes who, you guessed it, spam (Spamzo anyone?). They are useful in holding down certain chokepoints, along with breaking the enemy’s shield. Their common trait is that they have high damage output but is usually hard to be accurate from mid to high range, check our hitboxes guide by our Overwatch SR boosting team.

The spammer group consists of Pharah, Hanzo, Junkrat and Bastion. 3 out of the 4 has a projectile attack that deals a lot of damage, while Bastion, even though being a hit-scan character, is hard to aim with due to widespread. All of them can keep a chokepoint in check pretty well, and they can all eat the enemy’s Reindhardt/Orisa’s shield for breakfast.

Main DPS

This role is the most straight-forward in our of the 3 categories: they do damage. While spammers can also do damage, oftentimes even more than the main DPS and even with better range, these guys have one thing that none of the spammers have: accuracy. When ⅓ of the time your target is not a tank and therefore doesn’t have a hitbox of a car, this factor comes into play.

They are better at picking off people than the spammer, like getting that annoying Pharah out of the sky, or killing the Tracer that’s running around your backline, and better at dealing damage than the flankers, making them a huge threat toward anyone in the game. All they need to do is stay alive and keep the crosshair glued to the enemy, then fire away. This sounds easier than it actually is, since during a real game you’ll need to have good positioning and a good aim in order to dish out damage, but that’s the basic gist of it.

Which one of the 3 DPS that you use is up to you, since in many situations they have the same role. However, there are times when one shines better than the others. For example, if you want to deal with a Tracer and McCree is your best bet, while if you want to kill an enemy spammer Widowmaker is usually the much better choice, if you can aim well of course, claims our OW boosting team.


Main Tank

These are the guys whose job is to actively shield and take damage for their teammates. They all have some kind of defensive ability (Shields, Barrier, and Defense Matrix), and are capable of controlling an area by shielding and blocking off the entrance. Having a good tank is the key to counter the opposing main DPS because while having a lot of damage, they usually don't do enough to get through the shield before the enemy team gets in position.

In close range, they can out-damage every other character in the game in terms of a 1v1 fight. That’s not what you should be doing, however, since your main task is to be the shield for your team, not the sword (or Hammer, or Gun), suggests our Overwatch skill rating boost team.


The next role in this category is the Initiators. While they’re bulky on their own and can survive for quite a long time, they have nowhere near the main tank’s durability. While Mei and Winston both have some form of a shield, they usually use it to protect themselves rather than their teammates. These guys, as the name suggested, excel at starting a fight, whether by jumping straight into the enemy’s team (Winston), or getting an important pick at the start of the fight (Roadhog, Mei).

The Initiators are also a good counter to the enemy Flankers because they have abilities that can shut down their mobility completely. Just with the presence of the heroes in the lineup can sometimes be enough to hold the enemy’s attack back, since no one wants to get picked off by Roadhog, or having their support/main DPS die to a Winston behind their back. Their ultimate are some of the best disrupting skills in the game as well, with 2 with knockback and one that can completely free an area of the enemy, usually resulting in the enemy backing away from the point.


Offensive Healer

The Healer, as described in their name, heals. Offensive Healers will usually be closer to the frontline than the Defensive Healer, utilizing their abilities that are useful in helping others getting kills. Lucio can speed boost the team in position/chase an escaping enemy, or even jump on the enemy backline and do the heavy work himself with his recent damage buff.

Ana, while not as mobile as Lucio, possess a wide range of utility, from a 6 seconds disable that can completely shut down an ultimate to a grenade that can prevent the enemy from healing up (which is possibly the best skill in the game).

Defensive Healer

On the opposite side, we have defensive healers. These guys don't do much for utility, nor do they need to stick close to the frontline. Their job mostly is to stay alive and out of sight, while doing whatever they can to help the team. Mercy is and always will be the most prioritized target for flankers and initiators alike, so your job is to stay alive however you can, and even more so when you have resurrect up.

Keeping a distance from the frontline while also being aware of any flankers coming your way is the key to survive. Same can be said for Zennyatta, except that with him you can also dish out a lot of damage from far away. Even the tankiest character will meld under Orb of Discord and focus fire, so make sure you utilize that to full potential.

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