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: In keeping with recent times, there aren't any significant changes to touch upon this season. D.Va and Winston are clearly the best Tank picks, while Reinhardt and Zarya sit strong in the middle of the pack. That's not to say that Orisa and Roadhog aren't equally viable either - Tanks are in a good place. We'll continue to monitor how things play out as the season progresses and update this [age accordingly - stay tuned!
Tank hero rankings - Season 9
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.
Orisa's a fantastic pick when it comes to increasing a team's defensive capabilities. Paired with a Reinhardt, it can make things very frustrating for enemy teams as they struggle to break through their Barrier combo. Unfortunately her lack of versatility means that she'll always struggle to break into the top tiers. She's a niche pick and one that fits into a very specific team composition with a particular plan of action. Strong in the right hands, but a risky pick if you're unclear what your team's got in mind.
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.
We've found that Roadhog's starting to regain the popularity he once held in the game as players come to realise his new-found role as a tank that simply won't go down.
Zarya find herself in a great spot at the start of Season 9, and with good reason too. She pairs well with other frontline heroes like Reinhardt, giving them shields that raise their survivability while siphoning the damage they take to bolster her own. Admittedly, her Energy system can be a little tricky to master but once you've got the hand of balancing ability usage and cooldowns - you're onto a winner.
We're happy to see Zarya back in the competitive fold after a lengthy slump last season. A skilled Zarya player can single-handedly change the course of a match and while she requires more mechanical nouse than some of the other tanks in the roster, we highly recommend picking her up and getting stuck in.
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. We thought those days were over during the latter stages of Season 5 and the entirety of Season 6, but he's seeing a resurgence as Season 7 progresses. The big guy is back!
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.
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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 an 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.
D.Va's perhaps one of the most powerful heroes in the game, all on top of being a tanky menace. Able to zoom towards vulnerable targets and barrage them down in an instant, take huge amounts of punishment and soak up entire enemy Ultimate abilities with her Defense Matrix, there's nothing she can't really do at the moment. In the right hands she's clearly this Season's best Tank hero and it'll take some nerf before she's knocked off her lofty pedestal.