There's a lot more to life as a Support Hero in Overwatch than simply keeping your team alive, and we think the developers at Blizzard have done a pretty amazing job of providing an interesting mix of Support characters in the game. Regardless of whether you enjoy sustaining your teammates with healing powers, boosting up their damage output, or just laying devilish traps for enemy Heroes to tumble into, we think you'll find a firm favourite in this category extremely quickly.
Each one of the Support Heroes in our category tier list assist their teammates in very specific ways, and in pre-made teams you'll want to pick a character that plays into the strengths of an equally specific team build. That's all well and good, but an awful lot of players will end up spending the greater part of their time queuing up with random players. When this happens, and there are limited guaranteed synergies to play into, it can be quite tricky to know which of the four Heroes in this category provide the most generally useful help in battle.
This is where our own round-up of the best Support Hero to play comes in. You should of course keep in mind the usual caveat that you'll always play more efficiently with a Hero you love - rather than one you feel forced to pick by sites like us - and that you should absolutely switch to a "lesser" Hero in order to deal with a specific bottleneck. Still we've ranked all four of the Support Heroes by our own preference, as well as the general wisdom of the crowd that prevails in the current metagame.
EDITOR'S UPDATE: Season 12 has arrived and the Support meta couldn't be more balanced. Ana's made a massive resurgence, while almost every other healer remains viable. A good season for supports from the looks of things!
Support hero rankings - Season 12
Here's a quick look at the standings with links to the relevant guides. Read further on down the page for a discussion of each individual Support Hero.
Lucio's a jack of all trades, but a master of none. Having said this, we he's been granted some buffs to his auras that could elevate him higher up the list, but we'll have to wait and see how things pan out. Watch this space.
Brigitte's burst onto the competitive scene since her launch and she's a common sight in many players' matches. She's less of a healer, and more of an off-tank who provides some additional frontline presence, as well as the ability to armour up her allies.
On top of all this, she synergises well with heroes like Reinhardt and Zarya who're in the meta currently and can switch from defensive to offensive in the blink of an eye.
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Moira's a great pick if you're after a mixture of powerful healing and damage dealing abilities. While you could argue that Zenyatta's a better counterpart right now, this isn't entirely the case. She separates herself with stronger burst healing and the ability to flee sticky situations in the blink of an eye.
Like Symmetra, Zenyatta has some extremely powerful buffing and debuffing abilities, and his Ultimate ability is incredible for preventing team wipes and keeping the pace of the game moving forwards. Zenyatta has enjoyed a huge surge of popularity in both the casual and competitive play scenes in recent weeks, and shoots up our rankings accordingly. If you've not previously made time to master the monk, now's the time to make amends.
Mercy's still a solid pick at all levels of play thanks to her consistent healing capabilities, but more importantly, her damage boost. It synergises well with many of the DPS heroes currently in the meta, (Hanzo, Junkrat and Pharah) allowing them to burst down enemies even faster than they usually would. Let's not forget that her Ult's still as potent as ever!
Ana's kit centers around having decent aim and impeccable situational awareness, and she's proven herself to be a formidable healing and fighting force in the competitive scene. Right now, she's not quite up to her peak, but she's getting a little more play nowadays that fights are longer due to all the tanks knocking around. She's a generally a stronger pick on tightly coordinated teams, but we're seeing her making a huge resurgence - welcome back to the top old friend.