Filling the role of DPS in ranked matches is a pretty hefty responsibility. By playing as a DPS character, you’re telling your team that your primary responsibility will be to take out the bulk of the opposing team.

Every character in Overwatch has DPS, but when characters are labeled as “DPS”, what that means is that their specialty is racking up eliminations. Every role on a team is extremely important, but when it comes to the role of DPS, it’s arguably the hardest seeing as it’s the least consistent aspect of nearly every team.

While tanks can consistency soak up damage while support characters consistently heal them along with everyone else, DPS can’t always guarantee 50 kills a game.

I’m certainly not trying to disparage any character type in the game, but the skill gap between playing as a DPS character compared to virtually every other role in the game is pretty large.

There’s a fairly wide array of factors as to what makes certain DPS characters more viable than others. These things range from a character’s learning curve to their overall skill set to what game modes and maps they’re more effective on. So in order to help maximize your chances of winning, here is the Top 5 list of the most viable DPS characters in Overwatch.

5. Reaper

Reaper is certainly a fan favorite and is definitely one of the more fun characters to play as. Considering his lack of range but exceptional damage output, Reaper’s primary goal in each match is try to flank the other team and take them by surprise.

Considering his wraith form, he has the ability to essentially escape any dangerous situation so long as he’s relatively close to his team. Not to mention that he is hands down one of the easiest characters to play with when it comes to his learning curve.

While he can be effective in virtually any game mode, he’s best suited for control and defense in which it’s easier for his team to control the area of engagement.

As far as maps go, Reaper shouldn’t really be used in maps with a lot of spacing or elevation. Not to mention that because of his lack of range, pretty much any character that has decent range or can create spacing can counter him.

4. Genji

Out of all the characters on this list, let alone the rest of the game, Genji probably has the steepest learning curve.

However, despite the high skill level required to be effective with him, Genji is one of the most dangerous characters in the game. Because of his crazy mobility, Genji is capable of being a nigh untouchable pest for the opposing team in which he can attack from virtually any angle. The moment he disrupts the opposing team enough to create an opening for his own is when he really shines. Genji is one of the best finishers in the game, in which he’s excellent at racking up final blows.

When it comes to maps and game modes, there really aren’t many that Genji isn’t suited well for. He really shouldn’t be used for defense or on maps with few escape routes for him to exploit, but other than that he’s pretty damn versatile.

The only characters that can really counter him are characters that can impair his movement such as McCree, Roadhog, Mei, and Symmetra. Plus he’s not particularly great at taking on tanks neither.

3. Pharah

In my honest opinion, I believe that Pharah is probably the most fun character to play with in Overwatch. Just the fact that she can fly alone makes her not only very fun to play with, but also an extremely versatile player. When she’s paired up with Mercy, Pharah is practically unstoppable because she can essentially set the tone for the entire match. Because of her splash damage and ability to create space, she’s the bane of essentially every close-range character’s existence.

Pharah can be effective in any game mode, but in terms of maps, she’s not exactly great on maps focused more on close quarters fighting.

However, while she is great at wiping out characters with poor range, long-range characters can take her out fairly easily considering the fact she’s in clear view for the majority of a match. Unless Mercy is backing her up, Widowmaker, Hanzo, McCree, and Soldier: 76 can essentially turn her into a non-factor.

2. Tracer

When it comes to mobility, Tracer is just simply unmatched. Her abilities to teleport and reverse time not only make Tracer extremely difficult to hit, but she can also undo any damage done to her if she reverses time within her window of opportunity. Tracer is already pretty easy to play with, but if you dedicate enough hours to her, she can become virtually unstoppable. Considering the fact that her primary job is to flank, with abilities as overpowered as teleporting and time reversal, you can imagine how much of a pest she can be.

However, because of how squishy she is, her margin of error when it comes to using her abilities is very unforgiving. Not to mention that she’s not really viable for defense or smaller maps since she thrives far more when she’s able to move around a lot. Much like Genji, tanks along with characters capable of impairing her movement like McCree and Roadhog can counter her.

1. Soldier: 76

There is no character in the game even remotely as versatile as Soldier: 76. With his ability to heal himself, unlimited sprinting, amazing range, and the low skill level required to be effective with him, Soldier: 76 is hands down the most viable character in Overwatch. While he’s not necessarily the best choice for every situation, there is essentially no map, game mode, or situation he can’t be effective in.

His primary fire makes him pretty devastating at long-range while his helix rockets allows him to counter characters effective at close-range. What’s even crazier is that characters who are meant to counter him, such as McCree, Genji, Zarya, and Reinhardt, can be negated pretty easily if his abilities are used correctly. It would practically be impossible to look at nearly any team’s composition in competitive mode and not find at least one person playing as Soldier: 76.