Now that Overwatch is well into its metagame stride, we thought it might be useful to take a look through the roster of Heroes that currently exist, 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: There's been no changes here this month and Winston still reigns supreme, however, we do expect some big shifts soon if the PTR tweaks to D.Va go live in the near future. A nerf to her Defense Matrix and the addition of Micro Missiles to her kit mean that she's an absolute joy to play now. What's more, Roadhog's been changed yet again, but it's still a little too early to say where he sits in the meta - so keep an eye out for any shifts in his position too. We'll update this article when PTR changes go live and we've had some time in the new competitive meta ourselves.
Tank hero rankings - Season 6
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.
Reinhardt consistently occupied our top spot for a very, very long time. He offered the best of both worlds, able to protect his whole team and push into a choke point with everyone behind him, or charge in and decimate everyone with an Earth Shatter. Unfortunately those days are over, and with every patch that’s been introduced this season, we’ve felt his grasp on the tanking top spot grow weaker and weaker with bugs creeping into almost all of his abilities.
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. Trouble is, he’s simply not mobile enough to keep up with the current meta’s aggression. He’s still a great pick in certain situations, but you’re probably better off picking another tank hero - until his bugs are fixed at least.
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.
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.
Winston’s surged to the top of our tier list because he’s simply this season’s unstoppable force. Mobile, aggressive and difficult to take down, he’s a nightmare to deal with. Sure his damage output might seem lackluster at first, but the slow cooker effect of his Tesla Cannon forces enemy's to make tough decisions - "do I get away but put myself out of position?" All in all, Winston's a must pick when it comes to tanks.