Chart of Overwatch heroes’ health to hitbox ratio shows how easy they are to eliminate

Some heroes have more "survivability" than others. Here's what that means for your games.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

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Have you ever wondered why some Overwatch heroes seem to be easier to eliminate than others? There might finally be some solid, community-driven data to prove theories about elimination potential. A fan-made chart showing the comparison between a hero’s health and hitbox ratio provides surprising data about which heroes are more likely to survive in a fight.

Within most first-person shooters, a “hitbox” is defined as the area around a character model that registers as a “hit” when an enemy fires at them. To compensate for lag and movement time, the hitbox often extends past a character model’s “lines.” A shot from a McCree player might still hit a Zenyatta player even if the shot appears to go over the support hero’s shoulder, for example, thanks to a hitbox.

A Reddit user created an extensive chart using hitbox data from their own research as well as that from another user. The chart gives a graphical representation of each Overwatch hero’s hitbox in relation to their health. In addition, each hero’s health in relation to their head hitbox is shown. Each hero is compared to Ana as a baseline model, which can be more easily seen in this diagram.

This is a lot of great data, but what does it mean for the average player? The blue bars on the graph show each Overwatch hero’s health to hitbox ratio, organized by tank, damage, and support. A taller bar means that the hero has more health in relation to their smaller hitbox, which improves their “survivability.”

For most heroes, this data makes sense. Roadhog and Reinhardt are two good examples. While they have more health (600 points) than most heroes, they’re also bigger and have a larger hitbox. Because of this, their health to hitbox ratio is relatively low and they’d be easy to eliminate with enough body shots from enemy players.

The orange bars are where things get interesting. This shows each Overwatch hero’s health to head hitbox ratio. The head hitbox on a hero is generally smaller and is the area in which enemy characters can get a critical shot, or a “headshot,” onto a hero.

Imagine a Widowmaker taking aim at each hero. Heroes with extremely low health to head hitbox ratios would be easy to eliminate if the Widowmaker hit a critical shot. Many support and damage heroes fall under this category. Zenyatta, for example, has a low health to head hitbox ratio. Of all the support heroes, he would be the most vulnerable to critical hits.

Most of the data in this chart is obvious once it’s understood. Small, quick heroes like Hanzo and Mercy would have smaller hitboxes, making them more likely to survive in a firefight. Large heroes, even though they have high health, are balanced out by larger body and head hitboxes.

A few strange outliers occur, however. Support hero Brigitte has absolutely enormous survivability thanks to her high health and small body and head hitboxes. Any player who’s struggled to eliminate a Brigitte would probably agree with this data.

Tank heroes Sigma and Zarya have an extremely high health to head hitbox ratio, meaning it’s harder to hit a critical shot on them than other tank heroes, like Roadhog. As one of the smaller tanks by body size, Zarya also has a high health to hitbox ratio in general. She’d be harder to hit and eliminate than a larger tank, like Reinhardt.

Many damage heroes have predictable ratios that scale with how large they are, but a few heroes have advantages, according to this data. Mei, Sombra, Soldier: 76, Pharah, and Hanzo all have health to head hitbox ratios that are markedly above their health to hitbox ratio. This means that players are less likely to hit a critical shot on these heroes than they would on another hero thanks to their smaller head hitboxes.

While the chart is full of interesting information, remember that survivability is based on a variety of factors within a game of Overwatch. Even if a hero’s health to head hitbox ratio is high, very little will save them from a talented Widowmaker. A highly-skilled tank can manage to avoid damage within a teamfight despite their low health to hitbox ratio.

The chart does provide information about character creation and also shows the ingenuity of the Overwatch community in collecting strange but useful data.