Now that Overwatch is well into its metagame stride, we though it might be useful to take a look through the roster of Heroes that currently exists, and lay out our ratings of the five tanks you can choose to head into battle with. Like every Overwatch character, each one brings something pretty different to the table, and there's bound to be one that suits your tastes - however us or anyone else might choose to rate them!
This is all perfectly sensible and a good thing indeed, because different Hero designs match different playstyles. Some of these characters fulfil a very traditional role of providing cover for their team as a marching unit, for example, while others specialise in going a little more solo in order to isolate and pick off the more fragile enemy Heroes who would rather be left alone manning the backlines if that's alright with everyone else. Remember as well that they all have situational benefits, so you should keep an open mind on Hero selection as every battle wears on wears on.
For that reason there's a little bit of art mixed in with the science of how we've gone about ranking the tanks in the game this month. First of all, we have to consider which of these Heroes perform better across a broad range of different maps. Then there's the overall balance of power to consider, based on how Blizzard has currently chosen to tune each character's abilities. Finally we consider the metagame as a whole. With each month that passes after launch, players are getting wiser to both playing and countering individual heroes.
We'll be reviewing this list on a monthly basis, taking all of the above into consideration each time. For this reason, should you choose to make this category of character your preference, you might want to keep us bookmarked - you'll always be directed to the latest and most up to date version of this article if you do so.
Editor's note: June Update #1 - Recent updates to a couple of tanks, and shifts towards a more aggressive meta have seen our tier list shuffle. For the time being though, every tank still remains a really solid pick and a key part of any team.
Editor's note: June Update #2 - Roadhog's seen some major changes in the last patch (1.12), and it's hurt his viability in the vast majority of team compositions. We've moved him down a rung to reflect his nerfed state. Otherwise, every other tank hero still remains a strong pick.
Tank hero rankings - Season 5
Here's a quick look at the standings, with links to the relevant guides. Read further on down the page for a discussion of how we came to place each tank in our tier list.
Roadhog's received quite the overhaul in the most recent patch. Before, landing his Hook would almost certainly have resulted in an elimination - now it's a thing of the past. He's not quite as effective as he used to be when he straddled the line between tank and damage dealer. Now, he's firmly in the tank bracket, but this isn't to say that he's been rendered useless. His Scrap Gun still spews a great deal of damage in an extended firefight, and his Hook can wrench enemies away from their allies.
Decent Roadhog players are still capable of having a huge impact in game, it's just that in his current state, the majority of players will find it harder to do so. We'll keep monitoring how he fits into the competitive mix, and update his ranking accordingly if he receives any changes in the future.
Zarya appears lower in our Tank ratings purely because managing her Energy system requires no small amount of experience to get right. She's not the most mobile either, and with a lower health pool than most, she can be left vulnerable on the battlefield without a team supporting her. In solo queue she's heavily reliant on utilising her shields and building charge, which is difficult if you can't coordinate with others so well.
That of course, doesn't mean you should always defer to the highest-rated tank! A skilled Zarya player can single-handedly change the course of a match, and an awareness of every Overwatch hero's strengths and weaknesses is a vital part of mastering the game. Get stuck in, in other words.
Overwatch's latest tank hero boasts a deployable shield that's perfect for pushing objectives. She's also able to rattle off a steady stream of bullets into enemies behind the safety of her shield, making her an even stronger anchor tank for the team. Just be careful playing her against a team of flankers as she's one of the least mobile tanks in the game and struggles to fend them off. Although she's a decent pick with a coordinated team behind her, it's this reliance on teamplay that sees her occupy a lower spot in our tier list for solo play.
Note that her kit's been changed on the PTR and we'll be adjusting her place on this tier list accordingly when we get a feel for how she performs.
More great Overwatch guides
Recent changes to her Defense Matrix have seen her popularity increase as she's now able to protect key allies with ease. The playerbase may have wised up to some of her sneakier point-capturing tricks, but in skilled hands she can be an absolute menace at poking the enemy support heroes and also providing cover for her team in an aggressive push.
As well as being one of the downright coolest characters in Overwatch, Winston's exceptional mobility makes him a formidable presence on just about any map, and in any team composition. A savvy player who understands how to prioritise targets on the backline will be able to dominate a battle when playing with this particular tank
It's a shame that his damage output is a bit rubbish but, well, he is a tank at the end of the day. The good news is that you don't have to worry about precision aiming when it comes to sustaining damage against your target. This lets you focus on leaping about and frustrating your opponent's own targeting instead!
As much as you can swap between the top two on our list dependent upon the situation, we find it very hard to deny Reinhardt top spot on our round-up of the best tanks in Overwatch this month. That projected shield is fantastically versatile, whether you're riding the Payload to victory with your team behind you, or when you're just trying to ferry your friends through a heavily defended route.
Like all of the best Overwatch characters, there's a simplicity to Reinhardt's character design that makes him extremely effective at his core role, and yet there's mastery to be had for those who want to invest in him more heavily. That he's also a very good tank for total beginners to get started with is the icing on the cake really!