Overwatch’s supports have similar duties to those in other hero-based games. Support characters fulfill roles other than absorbing damage or dishing it back out. Most frequently, they’re healers, restoring other heroes’ health or granting shields to protect them.
They can also debuff enemies by knocking them away or putting them to sleep, for example. Healers can deal a surprising amount of damage, sometimes at a benefit to themselves, and they’re frequently flexible in battle.
With that in mind, here are the best counters for each Overwatch support hero.
Ana is technically a sniper, like Widowmaker and Ashe. But she’s more of a healing sniper than a damage-dealing sniper. Aside from her strong Nano Boost ultimate, her biggest power is her Sleep Dart, which can put enemies to sleep until they take additional damage. It’s a unique stun that can help take out large, high-profile targets like tanks and certain damage dealers.
Sleep Dart isn’t effective against every hero, though. Characters who are small, fast, and hard to hit with precision shots can outmaneuver it: think characters like Genji, Doomfist, Tracer, and Lucio. It’s also hard—though not impossible—to hit Pharah and Echo with a dart while they’re in the air. Ana is generally a difficult character to play: She has very little self-heal and she only heals when she lands her shots on allies. Her low mobility makes her an easy target for enemies, too.
Baptiste is a powerful frontline healer. His Immortality Field can readily keep his team alive, especially if a shield tank is guarding it, and his Amplification Matrix makes it easier for a defending team to put out some damage while they hold a payload or control point.
At the same time, he suffers from some of the same problems as Ana. His primary fire is difficult to control, meaning that low to mid-skill players may not do a lot of damage as Baptiste. He also has very little self-heal: Only his Regenerative Burst ability heals him alongside his allies. His alternate-fire heal doesn’t heal him. Highly mobile heroes like Tracer, Genji, Hanzo, Lucio, Echo, and Pharah can get around his Amplification Matrix to attack from another side and Sombra can hack his Immortality Field, rendering it useless.
Brigitte is half support, half tank. She has more health than the average support character and can defend herself with her small shield, which looks like a mini version of Reinhardt’s. She’s also the premiere anti-dive character thanks to her powerful Shield Bash stun and the knockback from her Whip Shot. Genji and Tracer players should take note: Brigitte was literally designed as an anti-flank and dive hero.
Thanks to her half-tank status, Brigitte is a little slower and chunkier than the average support hero. She can’t stun flying targets like Pharah and Echo. Characters have to come fairly close to her for her stun to work, meaning that anyone who can stay at long range has more of an advantage. Strong, distanced burst fire is a good way to take her out.
Lucio is fast, small, mobile, and incredibly fun to play. His passive makes it easy to glide along walls and surfaces, skating into the enemy team and knocking people back with Soundwave, also known as the “boop.” He specializes in strong sustained healing and has the potential for some play of the game-worthy environmental kills.
Unsurprisingly, he’s got a lot of weaknesses to go with his strengths. Because he’s extremely fast and hard to hit, Soldier: 76 and Cassidy’s hitscan weapons will have an easier time finding their marks. Weapons that auto-lock, like Symmetra’s beam, Moira’s grasp, Winston’s electricity, and Torbjorn’s turret, are also helpful. Stuns from Cassidy, Roadhog, Mei, and Brigitte can halt his movement and Sombra can turn off his healing entirely with her Hack.
Mercy is the premiere easy-to-play, high-output healer. The beam from her staff locks on and makes it easy to deliver constant healing, even for beginner players. Though she’s targeted more consistently in upper tiers of play, she maintains her usefulness thanks to the sheer amount of healing she does and her useful jump-glide movement pattern.
Mercy does have a gun, but it takes time to swap to and it doesn’t do much damage. Almost everyone can out-damage her, though if you’ve gotten her into a fight situation, you’ve likely already lost: Mercy is better suited to make a quick exit by flying to a teammate than standing and fighting. Soldier: 76, Cassidy, Ashe, and Widowmaker can hit her easily with their hitscan weapons while she’s gliding slowly through the air. Dive heroes can pursue her, resulting in kills for characters like Genji, Tracer, Winston, and Symmetra.
Moira is a powerful, versatile, and frequently troublesome character to play against. The reach of her Biotic Grasp primary fire is extremely long to compensate for the fact that Moira can’t heal herself and others unless she attacks enemies. The beam auto-locks and deals sustain damage, which can spell death for the opposing team when paired with her bouncing Biotic Orb.
Thanks to her status as a sustained damage-dealer, burst fire that can out-damage Biotic Grasp can defeat her faster than she can defeat others. Characters like Junkrat, Pharah, and Ana are great for this. (Beware: She can also get a good handle on Junkrat if she’s fairly close to him thanks to his slow rate of fire.) Stuns stop her ultimate, so Cassidy, Ana, Mei, and Brigitte have the upper hand when she activates it. Extremely long-range heroes like Widowmaker and Ashe can also avoid Biotic Grasp altogether while still dealing damage.
Zenyatta is a tough character to play, but underneath his difficult exterior is a hero that rewards good aim and careful positioning. Though he only does a small amount of healing compared to other supports, his Orb of Discord enables him to prioritize targets for the rest of the team and assist in taking out high-profile enemies. His primary fire also does a significant amount of damage, particularly if you land a headshot.
All this power comes in a slow-moving package. Zenyatta has no movement abilities, making him extremely vulnerable to precision headshots from heroes like Widowmaker, Ashe, Cassidy, and Hanzo. His rate of fire is also slow, meaning that AoE burst fire is capable of knocking him out before he can ever hit his shots. Zenyatta players should fear Junkrat and Pharah. High-mobility heroes like Genji, Echo, and Doomfist can simply chase him out of the backline.