The best tanks in Overwatch

Here are all the tanks in Overwatch ranked from best to worst.

Screengrab via Overwatch League YouTube

Overwatch features eight total tank heroes, which are further split into two different categories: main tanks and off-tanks. 

Main tanks play the role of protector for their team. They absorb damage and draw out enemy abilities, making space for their DPS players to acquire kills. The main tanks of Overwatch include Orisa, Reinhardt, Winston, and Hammond.

Off-tanks, on the other hand, play more of a specialist role, supporting the main tank and protecting healers using unique abilities. Some of their abilities provide high damage output, which force enemy teams to think twice before charging into your backline. The off-tanks in Overwatch are D.Va, Zarya, Sigma, and Roadhog.

There are no bad tanks in the game, because even the worst tanks have their own unique advantages and work in different compositions and on different maps. Some tanks definitely see more play time, however, and offer more versatile utility to their teams.

Here are the power rankings for Overwatch’s best tanks.

Overwatch’s tank power rankings

Tier S:

Orisa

Orisa - Heroes - Overwatch
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Orisa is a highly effective main tank due to her excellent abilities which work together to punish enemies who push into your team. As far as her tanking abilities go, her Protective Barrier provides a 600 health barrier, and she has a unique Fortify Ability which reduces her damage taken by 40 percent and makes her immune to crowd control effects for four seconds. When these two abilities are cycled correctly, Orisa can provide damage absorption for her team and when properly played she is very hard to kill.

Orisa stands out from the other main tanks because she is the only one who is able to deal large amounts of damage from long range using her Fusion Driver. Although this projectile weapon lacks high levels of precision, it is excellent for pushing out large amounts of pressure onto enemy front lines and suppressing enemy pushes. Orisa also carries her own unique crowd control ability called Halt, which launches a projectile that, when detonated, will draw enemies nearby toward it. This can be used to pull enemies off cliffs or pull them out of position where your team can deal damage to them. 

On top of all of this, her ultimate Super Charger ultimate ability provides a 50-percent damage boost to your entire team once placed down. With such high levels of utility and her ability to bunker down and secure key lines of site, Orisa definitely belongs in the highest tier of tank.

Winston

Overwatch Winston guide: Strategy, tips, and tricks
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Winston is perhaps the best tank to select if you are looking to carry a team. He is the most popular main tank in dive compositions due to his Jump Pack ability, which allows him to jump as far as 22 meters away on a six-second cooldown, dealing damage to enemies he lands on. His primary weapon Tesla Cannon damages any enemy players within a cone of damage. This means that when properly utilized, Winston can deal significant damage to multiple enemies at the same time, lending him a great deal of potential.

Winston also has a combo which makes a significant impact on his total DPS. When he is about to land from a Jump Pack leap, you can use his melee attack and cancel the animation if it is timed properly. To pull this off, you need to hit the melee button right before landing. The combo timing is a little tricky, but once you get it down, your burst damage will be significantly higher.

Winston can manage a significant amount of damage as well. He carries a Barrier Projector which places a bubble shield which can absorb 700 health. He also has an ultimate, Primal Rage, which instantly gives him 900 health and 100 armor, which can keep him alive and in the fight when he is overwhelmed. If you are playing a Dive composition, consider Winston for your main tank.

D.Va

New 'Overwatch' map spotlights D.Va and the MEKA Squad | Engadget
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D.Va is an off-tank who relies on her high levels of mobility and ability to fire without reloading to provide constant pressure on an enemy team. She has been one of the best tanks in the game since the launch of Overwatch back in 2016 and is common in both Barrier and Dive metas due to her incredibly powerful abilities.

The biggest reason D.Va is the highest tier off-tank in the game is her strong Defense Matrix ability. This ability casts a field in front of D.Va’s Meka which absorbs any incoming projectiles. In addition to absorbing attacks like Reinhardt’s Fire Strike and Roadhog’s Hook, she can also absorb several ultimate abilities like Hanzo’s Dragonstrike, Mei’s Blizzard, and Zarya’s Blackhole. The ability to entirely negate ultimates like that is incredibly powerful, and the cooldown on this ability is very low.

She is also capable of dealing large amounts of damage. Her primary fire comes from her Fusion Cannons, which fire a shotgun blasts without ever needing to reload. Her primary damage fire is augmented with her Micro Missiles, an attack which launches a barrage of 18 missiles on an eight-second cool down. She is even equipped with boosters which allow her to fly around the battlefield to target individual enemy players.

Finally, D.Va’s Self-Destruct ability is S-Tier. During Self-Destruct, D.Va ejects from her mech and launches it at enemies as a massive bomb. Enemies hit by this attack typically die instantly, no matter how much health they have. Her ultimate can be used to clear points and win fights if you know how to use it right.

Tier A:

Zarya

Resource allocation in Overwatch | Dot Esports
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Zarya is one of the highest damage off-tanks in the game. Her Particle Cannon provides her with deadly short-range fire and a decent mid-range attack. Her primary fire damage increases the more damage Zarya’s Particle Barriers take. She can place these bubble-like barriers around herself and her teammates to keep them alive.

She also has access to perhaps the best ultimate in the game. Her Graviton Surge launches an arcing projectile which draws nearby enemies into a blackhole, where they are stunned and trapped together. This can be combined with any number of other ultimate abilities or high damage abilities to quickly wipe out entire enemy teams.

The biggest downside to Zarya is that she is relatively slow with no consistent movement abilities to speak of. But when she is properly utilized, Zarya is definitely one of the best off-tank options in the game, especially when you are playing with big frontline tanks like Reinhardt or Winston.

Reinhardt

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Reinhardt used to be the best main tank in the game. There was a time in Overwatch when you essentially had to play with Reinhardt if you weren’t running a dive composition. But with the addition of new heroes to the game which counter him, and the addition of Orisa who can tank as well as him and provides longer range damage, Reinhardt has been downgraded from top tier to A-tier. He is still capable of amazing things, but he is far more limited and less essential than he once was.

Reinhardt’s main ability is his 1,600-health barrier which recharges when he isn’t using it. When the barrier is down, he can swing his hammer for short range damage. His only long range threat is his Firestrike, which is also essential to charging his ultimate. He can also use a charge ability which has the potential to pin enemy players up against the wall dealing massive damage. This ability needs to be used carefully, however, since if you recklessly charge into the enemy backline it will probably get you killed. His ultimate ability is Earth Shatter, and it allows him to shatter the ground with an AOE effect which stuns enemies within its effective area. 

Reinhardt is a great tank, and there is always hope that he will find his way back to the top.

Sigma

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Sigma is very close to a top-tier character. The only reason he isn’t S Tier is that he has a limited set of movement abilities and his ultimate is a high risk, low pay-off proposition. Beyond that, however, Sigma is an incredible hero who has so much potential in the right team composition.

The biggest thing that makes Sigma great is his high-utility kit. He has a barrier which he can project outward and call back to himself at any time. He has his Kinetic Grasp ability which absorbs enemy projectiles in similar fashion to D.Va’s Defense Matrix, but on a 12-second cool down making it significantly less effective at absorbing ultimates than D.Va. Finally, Sigma has access to Accretion, which allows Sigma to create a huge rock and launch it at enemies. Enemies who are hit will take damage and be stunned and knocked down for a moment.

On top of all of this, he can put out pretty solid damage with his Hyperspheres. If you can stay alive and play with your team well, Sigma is definitely one of the most dangerous heroes in the game.

Tier B: 

Wrecking Ball

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Although Hammond can be a very effective tank at mid and even higher levels of the game, Hammond ends up being the worst main tank in the game. His biggest advantage is his mobility, but his biggest disadvantage is that he deals relatively low burst damage, is highly susceptible to enemy stuns and counterplay, and he simply cannot work against some compositions. He is by far the most limited main tank in the game, and he has the lowest pick-rate of any tank other than Roadhog in professional competition. 

This isn’t to say that Hammond is bad. Just because he is limited, doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for him in the game. Excellent Hammond technicians have even shown that he can have incredible potential when played well. But it is difficult to overlook the extreme limits on what he can do in comparison to every other main tank, which leaves him in the B tier.

Tier C:

Roadhog

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Roadhog is an off-tank who is tier C because of his limited situational use and his lack of team-focused abilities. He isn’t a bad hero by any means, but he doesn’t provide nearly as much support for his team as the other off-tanks available in the game. Since he works in far fewer compositions and rarely sees much playtime in the upper echelon of the game, he belongs in the lower tier of tanks.

The biggest selling point for Roadhog is his high burst damage. He has a Hook ability which lets him grapple hook enemies into close range, where he can blast them with his Scrap Gun primary fire. This combo has some game-changing potential if you can land it consistently. He also heals himself using his Take a Breather ability, so he can be a good pick in compositions where the tanks need to be more self-sufficient. But typically it will be best to select an off-tank hero who supports the team more like Sigma, Zarya, or D.Va, which is why Roadhog is here at the bottom.