Overwatch is a 2016 team-based multiplayer first-person shooter game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. Described as a "hero shooter", Overwatch assigns players into two teams of six, with each player selecting from a large roster of characters, known as "heroes", with unique abilities. Teams work to complete map-specific objectives within a limited period of time. Blizzard has added new characters, maps, and game modes post-release, all free of charge, with the only additional cost to players being optional loot boxes to purchase cosmetic items. It was released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows in May 2016 and Nintendo Switch in October 2019. An optimized performance patch for the Xbox Series X and Series S was released in March 2021. Cross-platform play is supported across all platforms.
Heroes are controlled using a controller. Every hero has a unique weapon. Some heroes have multiple weapons, which can be switched using 1 and 2. Abilities are normally keyed to Shift, E, and Q (the ultimate ability). Heroes have 150 to 600 HP and move at a base speed of 5.5 m/s (except Genji and Tracer, whose base speed is 6 m/s). Walking backwards reduces this speed by 10%. Crouching makes their speed 3 m/s (in every direction). Also, all heroes can jump at a height of 0.98 m.
Heroes exchange specific dialogue with each other based on their character history during matches and background.
Heroes will be added over time post-launch as free updates. Jeff Kaplan has not ruled out removing heroes from the roster in the future.
The idea of classes for heroes was to make it easier for new players to get into the game, and to easily understand how each character would play. When the Looking for Group feature was added, it became possible to enforce these roles.