Overwatch 2 best heroes for beginners
Image: Nintendo Life

The best Overwatch 2 heroes for beginners help ease you into Blizzard’s FPS game, whether you’re a total newcomer or only dabbled in the original Overwatch.

While the full range of characters is blocked off for first-time Overwatch players, that’s not necessarily an issue. Some of the starting characters are among the best in the game for newcomers and remain competitive even after you grow more familiar with Overwatch 2's mechanics.

In this guide we'll cover how to unlock heroes and which characters are best if you're starting Overwatch 2 for the first time.

How to unlock more heroes in Overwatch 2

If you’re brand new to Blizzard’s hero shooter, the character pool is initially restricted to a small roster of heroes in each category, ostensibly to ease you into how each role works.

You have 13 characters to choose from, spread across Overwatch 2’s three roles: DPS, tank, and support.

After you play 100 matches, the entire Overwatch 2 roster becomes available, minus heroes you have to unlock through the battle pass.

Overwatch 2 best characters for beginners

Best tank characters for beginners

Reinhardt is the embodiment of tanks and one of the best defenders in Overwatch 2, whether you’re just starting out or have a few hundred matches under your belt. Reinhardt wields a massive hammer in battle, capable of dealing extensive damage to any foe in its way, and while the range might not be as impressive as something like Orisa’s javelin, you can make short work of nearby enemies with it.

Overwatch 2 Reinhardt
Image: Nintendo Life

If not, Reinhardt can also dash forward, grabbing foes and dealing extra damage if he rams into a wall with them.

Reinhardt’s biggest asset is his shield, though. He raises a broad barrier that moves with him and can take up to 1,200 damage before it breaks. The shield restores HP when it breaks, and it only has a cooldown timer of five seconds. Whether you’re defending an objective or just providing cover for your team to advance, Reinhardt is an essential part of any team and can hold his own even without a healer nearby.

Orisa is a strong second and a solid choice if you prefer a more active tank. She has greater range with her main weapon, a fusion rifle, and can toss an energy javelin to stun foes and knock them back. Orisa can also spin her javelin to block incoming projectiles and fortify herself to reduce incoming damage.

Both of these abilities have long cooldown timers, though, so Orisa isn’t quite as adept at defending the party as Reinhardt. If you want a heavy DPS that can absorb plenty of damage, though, Orisa is the tank for you.

Best DPS characters for beginners

For players who are totally new to Overwatch or this style of game, DPS stands for Damage Per Second. Essentially, DPS characters deal the most damage in the shortest amount of time, giving you the most bang-for-your-buck, firepower-wise.

The first Overwatch used Soldier 76 as the tutorial hero for good reason. He’s not just one of the most well-rounded heroes for beginners. He’s one of the top DPS characters in general. Soldier 76 functions like a traditional shooter character, with a high-powered rifle and a regular sprint ability.

He also has a self-heal ability with a short cooldown timer and can lob rockets at enemies with his alternate weapon. Best of all is Soldier 76’s ultimate ability – which, thanks to his rifle’s fast fire rate, usually charges faster than other heroes’ ultimates – since it automatically locks onto targets without you needing to aim. Just fire and watch.

Overwatch 2 Soldier 76
Image: Nintendo Life

Tracer is another strong pick and a solid introduction to what makes Overwatch different from other shooters, namely, its emphasis on confounding enemies with movement. Tracer is unique in that she only has two offense skills – her dual pistols and her ultimate ability – while the rest of her kit centers on movement.

Tracer can dash at high speeds up to three times in a row, and her ability lets her rewind time slightly, restoring health and ammo to a few seconds prior to when you activated the skill. Getting used to Tracer takes practice, but her speed and peerless escape abilities make her tough for opponents to pin down.

Best support characters for beginners

Anyone just starting out with support heroes should give Moira a try. Her setup is a hybrid of DPS and support, with a main attack that can heal others or damage enemies and heal Moira herself. Moira can also fling an orb of energy that either damages foes or heals allies, and her ultimate does both simultaneously.

Just don’t forget to actually heal your team, especially if the other support character isn’t a dedicated healer.

Overwatch 2 Moira
Image: Nintendo Life

The downside is that Moira only has one movement ability, and it comes with a comparatively lengthy cooldown timer. If you’re facing one target, you can probably strafe while attacking and defeat them, but dealing with two or more at once is when things look bad for Moira.

If you want to shake things up a bit, Lucio is the ideal choice and one of the best supports even when you unlock all the others. Lucio provides a constant source of healing or movement speed, depending on which song you have him play, with no cooldown timer. His alternate weapon fires a sound blast that knocks enemies back and keeps your party safe, and you can amplify the current song’s effects for even greater healing or speed.

Add that to Lucio’s main weapon, which fires energy blasts and deals a respectable amount of damage, and you’ve got an excellent, well-rounded hero for any situation.