We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Overwatch 2 roles and role queue explained

There are three Overwatch 2 roles to get acquainted with as you learn to play Blizzard's free multiplayer game for the first time, so here's a quick explainer.

Overwatch 2 roles: Damage hero Reaper holding two shotguns

Want to know more about Overwatch 2 roles? Blizzard made the decision to implement the role lock system right from the start of Overwatch 2. Instead of having players pick any character at the beginning of each game and hope they form a cohesive team, the role lock system ensures each team has some form of structure.

This tweak has introduced a number of Overwatch 2 changes to several heroes, including some Overwatch 2 characters being completely redefined as they switch to a brand new role. The current role structure on each team consists of two DPS, two support, and one tank. If you’re new to the different Overwatch 2 roles, you might want to know how the roles work in this free PC game.

The three Overwatch 2 roles are:

  • Damage
  • Support
  • Tank

Overwatch 2 roles: Damage hero Genji brandishing a shuriken


This Overwatch role is all about dealing damage and going for the frags. Whether that’s using Ashe’s array of weapons, or blasting people to smithereens using Soldier 76’s assault rifle, your only job in this role is to find enemy players and take them out.

Just because you’re a fragging machine doesn’t mean you’re invincible – DPS players have a lot of offensive tools at their disposal, but defensively you can find yourself vulnerable to other enemy damage dealers, and even tanks and supports if you’re being reckless. You need the help of your team’s support and tank characters to ensure you don’t overcommit and get trapped. Check out our roundup of the best Overwatch 2 DPS heroes for our top picks.

DPS passive ability: Heroes gain +25% movement speed and reload speed for 2.5 seconds after eliminating an enemy.

Overwatch 2 roles: support hero Mercy offering a helping hand


Support characters are there to boost the team, either by offering healing, or buffing abilities and survivability through other means. Mercy, for example, is the quintessential healer, whereas Brigitte has other support abilities that can stun or knockdown enemy players, while also buffing allies with extra armour.

Whatever flavour of support you choose to offer, just know that you’re not there to get kills. Support players are generally the worst duelists in the game, just stick to your main job and you should be fine. Check out our roundup of the best Overwatch 2 support heroes for our top picks.

Support passive ability: Heroes automatically regain 15 HP per second after going 1.5 seconds without taking any damage.

Overwatch 2 roles: Tank role D.Va posing in front of her mech's self-destruct sequence


Featuring high health and survivability, tanks are there to protect players from the worst of what the opposing team has to offer, as well as disrupt enemy abilities and plans.

Holding ground and using crowd control in Overwatch 2 is important, especially now that teams have to contend with having one solo tank. Tank players should definitely be mindful that their role in the team is more important than it’s ever been. Check out our roundup of the best Overwatch 2 tank heroes for our top picks.

Tank passive ability: Heroes are 30% more resistant to knockback attacks, and they receive 30% less ultimate charge when attacked by enemies.

What is Role Queue in Overwatch 2?

If you’re completely new to Overwatch 2, you may find that you have to unlock the Role Queue mode beforehand. All you need to do is complete five Open Queue matches in Quick Play to gain access to the rest of the game modes in Overwatch 2.

That’s everything you need to know about Overwatch 2 roles. Don’t forget to check out our regularly updated Overwatch 2 tier list which breaks down the best heroes to pick in each role. We also have a guide on how to change Overwatch 2 crosshair settings if you want to improve your aim.