Symmetra had a massive rework in Overwatch, probably the biggest hero rework in the history of the game so far, as every aspect of her kit changed and her role was changed from support class to defense. New Symmetra is available to try now on the PTR and it seems like this forgotten hero will finally be a viable choice on all fronts, and perhaps even a game changer.


​All of Symmetra’s abilities have been changed and each change is very significant. Symmetra is the only hero so far to switch roles, and going from support to defense requires a lot of priority changes which is reflected now in her kit. She does more damage, the damage is faster and more fluidly distributed, and easily inflicted on enemies both at long and short range.


Symmetra has also acquired a few meta and game changing abilities that make playing Symmetra and even playing with a Symmetra on your team more difficult and cerebral. Players dealing with Symmetra are going to have to think outside the box from now on until the ​Overwatch community understands just how truly powerful and impactful Symmetra is now.

Photon Projector:


​Symmetra’s primary fire, Photon Projector, no longer locks onto targets. This short-range attack is now more like Zarya’s Particle Cannon, extending in a solid beam in front of Symmetra. The Photon Projector’s range has been increased to 10 meters, which is requires Symmetra to get close to enemies. 


The old Photon Projector would increase in damage the longer it was locked onto an enemy, amping up by 30/60/120 every second. The new Photon Projector now takes two seconds to amp up 60/120/180, making it ​harder to reach full damage but maxing out at more damage overall.


​Handily, the new Photon Projector generates ammo instead of spending it when used to damage barriers (like Reinhardt’s shield).​​


This attack is short-ranged and most effective when Symmetra is taking advantage of her tank’s shield. Try your best to aim your beam at an enemy while staying behind them, moving in a circle as they try to hit you. Remember the longer you can use this attack the more deadly it becomes, so be mindful of ways to keep yourself alive while you use it.

Alternate Fire/Energy Balls:


Symmetra’s alternate fire used to be a slow, meandering volley of energy balls that would increase in size the longer you’d load the energy, but still float through the air at a slow pace. Now her energy balls are much more rapid, shooting through the air at a higher speed and the rate of charge up has been increased as well.


These energy balls used to pierce targets upon impact but now they explode on contact, including walls and objects, creating splash damage. You do not have to be as precise with this ability as before, shooting at your opponent and the area surrounding will cause damage.


This is one of Symmetra’s long-range attacks and can be used to aggravate enemies from far away, and force snipers out of their positions. Since damage has been changed to 60 impact/60 explosive, you can almost treat this alternate fire like you would a Junkrat bomb. Just fire away and hope for the best!

Sentry Turrets:


Symmetra used to have six turrets that only had one health and could easily be destroyed by just about anything if she didn’t place them properly. Jumping and placing turrets at the same time to ensure the turrets had a good vantage point is a thing of the past. 


Symmetra now has only three turrets instead of six, to make up for that the turrets now have 30 health up from just one health, and their damage and slow effects are increased. 


Instead of carefully placing turrets in sneaky, creative spots, Symmetra can now fire her turrets into the distance, and they will keep going until they reach a surface to land on. The cooldown on the three turrets has been reduced so you can fire your turrets wherever you need to deal damage from far away as often as you need to.


This ability allows Symmetra some semblance of being two places at once (that’s a Symmetra joke of course). Before, setting up a trap with all available turrets gave Symmetra the freedom to catch enemies in different locations while being able to help her teammates. Now, if you see a back line teammate struggling against an enemy, you can fire a turret their way to aid in damage. You can send all three turrets to an area of the map where you know your team needs help. You can fire your turrets some place as a tripwire if you need to know when and where enemies are planning to attack. 


The ability to place these turrets virtually anywhere will give you and your team the element of surprise.

Teleporter:


Perhaps the biggest change to Symmetra and the ability with the most potential to change the meta yet again is Symmetra’s teleporter. Instead of being her ultimate, the teleporter ability is now a normal ability, used on a cooldown.


When you activate the teleporter, you can put the exit anywhere on the floor or any platform up to 25 meters away. The ability is now similar to Reaper’s Shadow Step in how you place the exit teleporter. The entrance will be automatically built in front of Symmetra so be mindful of where you are when you use this ability.


The teleporter’s health has been lowered to 300, and if either exit or entrance is destroyed, the other will be removed automatically. The teleporter only lasts ten seconds at a time.


Being able to use the teleporter at will opens a lot of doors for all heroes - not just Symmetra herself. This could have the potential to save teammates from ultimates, allowing them to evacuate from sticky situations. It can make barely mobile heroes like McCree able to reach vantage points like never before, and placing a Bastion in unpredictable places will be something very difficult to get used to on the opposing side. Getting on the point or the payload will be easier than ever before.


The most interesting change to the teleporter however, is the ability to send things - not just heroes - through the teleporter. That includes Junkrat’s tire, D.Va’s self-destruct, and even Symmetra’s own turrets. The possibilities this change presents are endless, and could change the game as we know it.


Photon Barrier:


Symmetra’s old Photon Barrier was a small shield that would stay mobile, moving forward at a normal hero’s pace. It was a normal ability that could be used in a pinch if Symmetra needed cover or to spare a teammate from a small amount of damage. Symmetra’s new Photon Barrier is her ultimate and it deploys an incredibly large, infinite barrier that stretches across the entirety of any map. Like Mei’s Ice Wall, the orientation of the barrier can be changed by pressing the ultimate button again. The barrier has 5000 health and can be walked through by teammates and enemies alike, but remains steadfast against damage.


This barrier can be used for obvious things like protecting your team from an enemy ultimate or providing cover for your team while protecting a point, but the infinite aspect of the barrier makes it more interesting. Symmetra can literally divide and protect herself and others from anywhere on the map. She can be an asset to a fight she’s not even a part of. Nothing in the game is like this and the repercussions of this massive ability have yet to be seen.


All of these kit changes seem wildly powerful and game-changing, and while some of that will remain it’s important to remember that new Symmetra is only available on the PTR, and that she’s there for a reason. Anything and everything could be changed, added, removed, before Symmetra goes live. If you care about the state of the game and what these changes could do, consider playing the PTR and providing the Overwatch team with helpful feedback.


Symmetra has been a huge question mark in Overwatch for years, remaining the most under-picked and least viable hero in the game since the launch of Overwatch. She’s never been used in an official match in the Overwatch League and Symmetra mains have been the most downtrodden members of the Overwatch community. Now Symmetra has the potential to be the strongest, most versatile hero in the game and this was definitely worth the wait.


Welcome to the new Symmetra meta.

Photo courtesy of Blizzard