Reinhardt is Overwatch’s classic tank. He’s found in nearly every competitive team composition thanks to an ultimate ability that can wipe out whole squads as well as a punishing charge attack that makes quick work of squishy characters.
His rechargeable Barrier Shield is a staple on the battlefield too, and can absorb a whopping 2,000 points of damage before breaking.
In Overwatch lore, Reinhardt Wilhelm is a 61 year-old German veteran of the Omnic Crisis. He’s a highly decorated hero with a big heart and gentle demeanor.
Reinhardt is probably the easiest tank for anyone to pick up and play, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t skill involved in playing him well. Like any tank, knowing when to initiate a fight is one of the biggest assets to have, as your team is relying on you to begin a push or withdraw when things get too hot.
A common mistake for Reinhardt players to make is to charge in without their team. This not only leaves the team without a shield, but it leaves Reinhardt completely defenseless.
Table of Contents
- 1 Strengths & Weaknesses
- 2 Abilities
- 3 General Tips & Strategy
- 4 Specific Map Tips
- 5 Match-ups
- 6 Skins
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Can protect allies from most attacks
- Can shield teammates from various ultimate attacks, like D.Va’s Self-Destruct and Reinhardt’s Earthshatter
- Can initiate team fights by pushing into contested areas
- Can hold chokepoints
- Can stun enemies with his ultimate ability
- Only as strong as his team—needs protection and support
- Slower mobility than most characters
- Limited range of attack
- Can’t attack while using his shield
- Health: 300
- Armor: 200
Main Attack: Rocket Hammer
- Description: A gigantic rocket-powered hammer (melee)
- Damage: 75 damage per hit
Ready to squish some bad guys? Reinhardt’s basic attack (which also serves as his melee attack) is a giant hammer capable of hitting enemies in a wide arc in front of him and slightly knocking them back.
Unlike other heroes, Reinhardt’s Rocket Hammer has a large rectangular hitbox that surrounds each swing, and lasts as long as his attack does—meaning you can swiftly move his hitbox around to reach more enemies by quickly swinging his hammer left and right. There’s no headshot multiplier with Reinhardt’s hammer, either, making his attacks effective no matter where they’re placed.
His attack is also the second strongest melee attack in Overwatch next to Genji’s Dragonblade (120 damage per hit). All other basic melee attacks do 30 damage per hit.
Ability 1: Barrier Field
- Description: A defensive shield. At full capacity Barrier Field can absorb 2,000 damage from (almost) any source
- Cooldown: Depends on whether Barrier Field is depleted or not (see below)
Reinhardt’s bread and butter is his Barrier Field. While raised, Barrier Field can protect against a variety of enemy attacks—but with a catch: Reinhardt moves slower and can’t perform any attacks.
As Reinhardt, your primary concern is keeping your team alive. Barrier Field is invaluable and should be used as much as possible. Even if your squad isn’t engaging enemies at the choke, holding your shield up will still deter most baddies from trying to charge through you.
Barrier Field is also useful for keeping your supports out of harm’s way. Protect your healers and they’ll protect you.
Barrier Field Can’t Block
- Any melee attacks
- Winston’s Tesla Cannon, Symmetra’s Photon Projector (orbs), Reinhardt’s Fire Strike
- Orisa’s Halt!, which can pass through a Rein shield and pull people from behind)
- Sombra’s EMP
- All characters can pass through Rein’s shield (even enemies!)
Barrier Field Can Block
- All other basic attacks, including Mei’s Frost Stream, Symmetra’s Projector Beam and Sentry Turrets, Torbjorn’s Turret
- Roadhog’s Chain Hook
- Ana’s Sleep Dart
- Sombra’s Hack (only if she tries to perform in front of Rein’s shield)
Barrier Field blocks the following Ultimate Abilities (as long as teammates are directly behind Reinhardt’s shield):
- Mcree’s Deadeye
- D.Va’s Self-Destruct
- Reinhardt’s Earthshatter
- Junkrat’s Rip-Tire (note that Junkrat’s tire can pass through Rein’s shield, in which case it will eliminate him)
There is a 2 second delay to recharge the shield, which then regenerates at 225 points per second. If the shield breaks then there is a 5 second delay before it can be used again.
Ability 2: Charge
- Description: Reinhardt charges forward, pinning an enemy against a wall
- Cooldown: 10 seconds
- Damage: 50 damage upon picking up an enemy, 300 damage if Charge connects with a wall, 50 damage to any additional enemies that get hit by charge along the way
Reinhardt’s Charge can quickly dispatch any non-tank hero if it connects, making it a very powerful ability. Even if Charge doesn’t pick anyone up, it’s still an effective way for Reinhardt to charge into battle or catch up to a team fight. You never know who you might rush into along the way.
Just remember, once you begin a Charge you can’t stop or attack until you hit something. If you missed an enemy or are close to flying off the edge of a map, try to curve into a wall or pillar to stop yourself.
If two Reinhardts use Charge against each other they’ll both be briefly stunned. On the other hand, an enemy Reinhardt holding his shield up is a perfect Charge target, since Charge can go through any shield (except Zarya’s protective barriers).
If you’re trying to Charge an Orisa through her Protective Barrier, make sure her Fortify ability is on cooldown. Fortify not only stop’s Charge, but will stun Reinhardt briefly and deal 100 damage to him.
Ability 3: Fire Strike
- Description: A ranged attack that damages any enemies in its path
- Cooldown: 6 seconds
- Damage: 100 damage to any enemies that are hit
Fire Strike is Reinhardt’s only means of hitting enemies beyond his hammer’s perimeter, but with a 6-second cooldown it can be used fairly liberally.
Fire Strike can penetrate any shield, making it a great way to hit enemies that are grouped behind an Orisa, Reinhardt or Winston shield. The only thing that can stop Fire Strike is D.Va’s Defense Matrix, Zarya’s Particle Barrier, Mei’s Ice Wall and Genji’s Reflect.
Good opportunities to use Fire Strike:
- Against an enemy Reinhardt or Orisa—Fire Strike passes through shields and hits anyone behind them
- Against Torbjorn Turrets and stationary Bastions
- Removing Junkrat’s mines and traps
- At an ulting Parah or McCree (as long as your shield doesn’t need to be up)
- Description: Damages and stuns enemies in front of Reinhardt
- Damage: 50 damage and 2.5 second stun to all enemies hit
Reinhardt has arguably one of the best ultimate attacks in Overwatch.
Earthshatter is a powerful AoE attack that, when combined with the full force of your team, can easily stop an enemy team from advancing, if not outright win entire matches. It can only be stopped by shields and barriers, such as Mei’s Ice Wall and Zarya’s barriers. Orisa’s Fortify, Mei’s Cryo-Freeze, Reaper’s Wraith Form and anyone coming immediately out of Mercy’s Resurrect can survive Earthshatter.
Earthshatter can be combined with D.Va’s Self-Destruct and Junkrat’s Rip-Tire for spectacular team kills, or McCree’s Deadeye for easy picks.
Earthshatter can briefly stun and damage a Torbjorn turret.
After using Earthshatter, target supports first, then squishier DPS heroes and tanks. A great combo is to Earthshatter to stun foes, then Fire Strike for a quick 100 damage and either start swinging Reinhardt’s hammer or use Charge against a weak tank or stunned Bastion.
Beware that most enemy players will be on the lookout for your Earthshatter if they see you. While hitting 4-6 players is any Reinhardt’s dream, it’s still worth using Earthshatter if all you can take out is a support or tank.
Other Important Earthshatter Tips
- Earthshatter has a cast time of 0.5 seconds—more than enough time for enemies to take down Reinhardt before his hammer falls.
- Earthshatter has a cone-shaped hitbox with a range of 20 metres.
- If Reinhardt tries to use Earthshatter while airborne (i.e. jumping from high ground or being lifted by Roadhog’s ultimate), Earthshatter won’t begin until his hammer connects with solid ground.
- Before using Earthshatter have your squad break any enemy shields on the battlefield. They will interrupt Earthshatter’s progress.
- Earthshatter can pass through the Payload.
General Tips & Strategy
If you’re attacking on an Assault/Escort map, your job is to push your team through chokepoints and reach any objectives. Once you have the Payload, keep pushing it along while keeping your shield raised, or ride the Payload with a Bastion or Torbjorn turret tucked behind you.
While defending, hold any chokes or entrances that enemies can use to filter in through. You don’t necessarily need to stand right on the objective or Payload while defending. Unless you need to contest the point, Reinhardt should utilize his surroundings—such as an archway or narrow passage—to create the best defense.
Play defensively and work with your team. As Reinhardt you should never rush headlong into a battle unless you know your team will clean up behind you. Running into a fight without your team is suicide, but with coordination you can charge a D.Va or enemy Reinhardt if you know your team can survive without a shield.
Don’t leave the choke if a single enemy makes it through your shield. While it might be tempting to turn and run to protect the point, that’s what your teammates behind you are for. Your job is to hold the choke from the rest of the enemy forces.
Use Charge to quickly cross a map. If you need to catch up with your team, Charge right out of your spawn. You’ll likely have Charge available again by the time you reach the fight.
Think about your team. It’s tempting to swing your hammer at a pesky Genji, but dropping your shield gives the enemy team a chance to not only shoot you down, but also focus on your team behind you.
Tell your team when you need to reset your shield’s strength. Even though observant players will notice your shield cracking before it shatters, it helps to communicate with your team when you need to step away from the choke. This allows another tank to step up and absorb damage while your shield resets.
Make liberal use of Earthshatter. Reinhardt can build his ultimate quickly, so rather than conserving it for just that right moment it’s better to drop it if you can get a crucial pick. If you catch a stray Mercy or Soldier in your way, take them out.
When using Earthshatter, avoid charging into stunned characters immediately after. While you may get one pick, you’ll scatter the enemies still on the ground, making it difficult for your team to pick them off. You also do less damage than, too. Try using Earthshatter, then Fire Strike to hit clustered enemies, and then swing your hammer around.
Specific Map Tips
Reinhardt performs well on practically every map, however there are a few he particularly shines on.
Reinhardt is a great pick for defending Point A on King’s Row, as his shield can block the width of the first chokepoint.
Whether positioned to the right or left of the gate, he can allow teammates to fire shots and look for flankers, while defending from any snipers that are perched at the top of the enemy spawn.
Holding the high ground on Numbani’s Point A is a well-known strategy, and having a Reinhardt positioned at the right doorway will discourage Roadhog hooks and aggressive Zaryas.
Reinhardt can hold both chokepoints on El Dorado, but another way to position him is at the top of the building to the right of the choke and enemy spawn point.
Not only is the high ground a natural advantage, but less coordinated teams will have a hard time at pushing the payload towards the first choke if a Bastion or Soldier is peppering them behind a Reinhardt shield.
Reinhardt is formidable against most Overwatch characters, but without his protective Barrier Field he can be dispatched easily by ranged attacks if you’re not careful.
D.Va: D.Va can use her Defense Matrix to eat a variety of enemy attacks, but it can’t stop a giant German knight with a rocket-powered hammer. D.Va is like a soda can waiting to be crushed. If you see one on the enemy team, start swinging.
Genji: Although Genji can dash through your shield and into your backline, he’s easy pickings for Reinhardt’s hammer. If you hear a Genji ulting, start swinging.
Torbjorn: Poor Torb can’t do much when Reinhardt’s shield blocks his turret. Torb is an easy pick and his turret can be destroyed with a quick Charge or Fire Strike. However, if Torbjorn uses his ultimate, keep your shield up and help your team find cover.
Reinhardt is countered by
Bastion: Bastion is still a go-to pick for forcing Reinhardt out of a fight. He quickly cuts through Rein’s shield, and even if Reinhardt charges at Bastion there’s a good chance Bastion can take him down before the charge connects.
Pharah: Not only can Pharah’s ultimate ability cut right through Reinhardt’s shield, but by harassing him from the air she can draw Reinhardt’s attention away from any point he’s protecting.
Sombra: Sombra can hack Reinhardt’s shield, leaving him instantly exposed to any damage.
Reinhardt’s rare skins are all colored variations of his Classic skin—a mechanized suit of knight’s armor that Reinhardt wore during his time with the Crusaders.
- Bundeswehr: Army camouflaged armor, from Reinhardt’s time spent in the German Armed Forces.
Paragon: Reinhardt is a shining white knight after all, and this white-gold armor makes him look the part.
- Coldhardt*: Reinhardt emanates ghostly blue flames from a cracked and frozen suit of armor. (Halloween Event)
- Lieutenant Wilhelm*: Reinhardt’s official Overwatch armor that he wore during the King’s Row Uprising. (Uprising Event)
Credits: 250 (Basic), 750 (Special Event)*
- Bloodhardt: A blood-red suit of armor styled after a dragon with a fiery inner core.
- Blackhardt: A sleek black suit of armor styled after a dragon with a fiery inner core.
- Stonehardt: Reinhardt’s face is uncovered in his regal suit of stone armor adorned with lions.
- Lionhardt: A golden suit of armor adorned in lions.
- Balderich: The armor worn by the commander of the Crusaders, Balderich Von Adler, during the Omnic Crisis.
- Greifhardt: Balderich Von Adler’s armor in the present day, which sits in the empty and overgrown halls of Eichenwalde’s castle.
- Wujing*: A suit of armor based on the character Sha Wujing from the Chinese novel Journey to the West.
Credits: 1,000 (Basic), 3,000 (Special Event)*