The Symmetra Overhaul is Finally Playable on the Overwatch PTR

Joe O'Brien

Overwatch players can finally try out the Symmetra overhaul on the PTR.

Blizzard confirmed a rework was in the works for Symmetra several months ago, and the changes can now finally be seen in-game with the latest PTR update.

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Symmetra has always been one of the more troublesome heroes, with her highly specialized kit serving to make her inviable, or at least sub-optimal, in most scenarios. Blizzard has never wanted to make all heroes equally viable in all situations, but in Symmetra’s case they weren’t happy with her place in the game.

This isn’t the first time that a major change has been made to Symmetra, but this is perhaps the most drastic, adjusting her entire kit and even changing the category she fits into. Formerly a “Support” hero, Symmetra on the PTR now fits into the new “Damage” category, which was formed from the combination of “Attack” and “Defense” groups in the same patch.

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The overhaul moves Symmetra’s teleporter from Ultimate to a regular ability, lasting less time and with less health but with much more versatility of placement, and also allowing transport of more things, such as Junkrat’s Riptire.

To replace the teleporter Ultimate is an overhauled Photon Barrier ability, which places a massive, 5000-health barrier that can span the entire map.

Meanwhile, her turrets are now projectiles which stick to the first available surface, rather than needing to be placed directly, and her primary weapon has also been reworked for more precision.

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The full notes on Symmetra’s new abilities can be read below:

New abilities:

  • Photon Projector
    • No longer locks onto targets
    • Range increased to 10 meters
    • Damage ramping now takes 2 seconds per damage level instead of 1 second
    • Damage ramp increased from 30/60/120 to 60/120/180
    • Now generates ammo instead of spending it when hitting a barrier
  • Alternate Fire
    • No longer pierces targets
    • Now explodes on contact
    • Projectile speed increased
    • Charge up speed increased
    • Damage changed to 60 impact / 60 explosive
  • Sentry Turret
    • Turret is now placed like a projectile instead of being set in place
    • Can hold a max of 3, down from 6
    • Can now deploy a max 3, down from 6
    • Damage increased
    • Amount of slowing effect increased
  • Teleporter
    • Can now place the exit up to 25 meters away from Symmetra
    • Entrance will automatically be built in front of Symmetra, rather than at her team’s spawn point
    • Lasts 10 seconds
    • Health lowered to 300
    • More things can teleport through it (e.g. Junkrat’s RIP-Tire)
    • Entrance can be destroyed
      • If either the entrance or exit is destroyed, the other is removed
  • New Ultimate: Photon Barrier
    • Deploys a barrier that is big enough to span and cut through an entire map
    • Orientation can be changed by pressing the ultimate button again
    • Has 5000 health

Developer Comments: The goal of these changes is to move Symmetra to her new damage role and make her more flexible and viable across more areas of the game than she was previously. Now that Symmetra is no longer a support hero, she is expected to be able to dish out heavy damage, and these changes allow for her to do so. She should be more powerful and interesting in more team compositions and maps, and she should also be stronger on offense and defense.