Satya Vaswani, AKA “Symmetra”
Photon Projector, Beam (Left-Click): Photon Projector’s Primary fire emits a short-range beam that homes in on a nearby enemy and dealing continuous damage, increasing the longer its connected. Her Photon Projector’s Beam has 3 levels and increases one level per second while connected to an enemy player. Level 1 happens instantly when fired at an enemy, taking 2 seconds of continuous firing to reach the max level of 3. If you lose contact with the beam for any amount of time, even when reloading Photon Projector will revert back to level 1. Due to the nature of Photon Projector, its important to constantly be reloading to take advantage of sustained, increased damage.
Photon Projector, Orb (Right-Click): Photon Orbs are going to be your main means of dealing damage, these slow but painful orbs rapidly charge Symmetra’s ultimate, Teleporter (Q). These orbs are unique as they can pierce through and damage all enemies in its path, including shields (with the exception of Reinhardt’s Fire Strikes). Because of the orb’s penetration capabilities, Symmetra is a great counter to any enemy that uses shields. When charging up Photon Orbs, it will reach full charge before the game automatically fires it for you. These orbs will reach max change when both the green and white circles in your center point meet with each other. Orbs do 25 to 125 damage depending on charge.
Symmetra’s orbs can inflict major damage to Reinhardt despite being protected by his shields.
Sentry Turrets (Shift): Symmetra can set up small turrets around the map that fire a constant photon beam to the nearest enemy, inflicting damage while slowing them simultaneously. Sentry turrets allow Symmetra to set up defenses, death traps to rooms, hallways, and many other areas where enemies may walk through. Having a range of about 30 feet, many people underestimate the true range of these turrets. She can have 6 turrets total and hold up to 3 charges max. Sentry Turret has a 10 second cooldown. When a turret is attacking an enemy player you’ll see an indication on the screen. This can signal incoming flankers and can give important information about incoming attacks on stationary heroes such as Bastion in sentry mode, Widowmaker, or even alerting an incoming rush to an objective point. Remember, always separate and stagger your turret placement so enemies have to aim for each individual turret rather than just killing a cluster of photon turrets.
Turrets charge Symmetra’s ultimate very rapidly so its crucial that they’re put in effective yet discrete spots. Some examples would be creating a death trap in alternative choke points. Because of the low health of flankers it would be best to break up turrets in sections of 3:3 or 4:2. Putting 3:3 in equal used choke points or using 4:2; 4 turrets in main choke points and 2 in an alternate route mainly used by flankers.
Hanamura’s first objective quad is a prime example of alternative choke points:
A good common strategy with turret placement is working the left room with 4 turrets and placing 2 turrets in the middle wall or stairs. Hanamura’s first choke point is hard to bypass with a proficient team defending, often leaving attackers to rely on flanking or going through the left hallway where the small health pack is at. Having 4 turrets in the room plus yourself will be sufficient enough to shutdown enemy flankers by yourself yet destroy whole teams when the whole fight comes to your trap room. Meanwhile, your 2 turrets on the stairs/wall will notify you of flankers running through the high door (middle circle) or stairs (right circle). This gives you time to communicate to stationary heroes like Bastion, Widow, and Hanzo to ready for an incoming attack.
Photon Shield (E): Photon Shield is a very simple ability that allows you to give allies a +25 hit point regenerating shield. Photon Shields will last until the hero dies. Note that multiple Symmetras can not stack shields. Photon Shield only has a 1 second cooldown. Its highly important to make sure all your allies have a shield on at all times by keeping track of the blue on their health bars.
Note: When heroes need a shield they will have an “E” directly over their body.
Ultimate: Teleporter (Q): Symmetra’s Teleporter is without a doubt one of the most interesting and unique ultimates in the game that can have many strategic uses. It gives the team the ability to recently killed & respawned allies right back into the battle, dramatically reducing the downtime of deaths. Teleporting dead allies right back into battle can be game changing by keeping battles persisting in your favor. When Symmetra places her Teleporter on the field, an exit pad spawns in her current location and connects to an entry pad at her team’s respawn point.
Teleporter Placement: This is where your knowledge of the game and more specifically the map really shines. Your ideal goal for placing your Teleporter is to be close enough to the battle, yet be placed discretely and far enough to where enemy flankers and scouts won’t be able to find and destroy it. Always assume that the other team will be aware of the existence of your Teleporter as soon as they realize that there is a Symmetra on the playing field. Be extremely clever on your spots when placing your Teleporter. If it is destroyed before it could be used fully it is a considerable blow for your team.
These two circles are really good spots for Symmetra’s Teleporter while defending on Hanamura. Most people will think of looking around in buildings and rooms within the objective area before even thinking about moving into the next zone. They’re far away from the battle to where nobody will really notice them, yet close enough to reduce the downtime of death significantly.
Some notes for Symmetra’s Teleporter:
- Teleporter will not gain ultimate charge while it is out
- You can only have one Teleporter per Symmetra
- Teleporter has 6 charges (can teleport 6 allies)
- Entry Teleporter will always be in the same spot unless multiple Symmetras are present
- When Symmetra puts down a Teleporter, the spot where she is standing is the direction your allies will spawn out of. Be sure to keep this in mind each time you put down a Teleporter.
Purpose: Symmetra uses Photon Shield and other unique capabilities to be a utility-driven support for her team. From my perspective you really want to couple her with another support because she isn’t a healer. While Symmetra is a solid “support” hero – if she had a true archetype, she would be defense-support. Having a Symmetra on your team is always welcome and will always be of great service.
Playstyle: Despite being considered a Support hero in Overwatch, Symmetra does not have any means of healing her allies. For healing, there is Mercy, Lucio, and Zenyatta. She’s picked for her utility more than anything. Playing Symmetra proficiently requires strategy, methodical plays, as well as having a fairly thorough knowledge of maps. Instead of being in the midst of battle, Symmetra often finds home and security in enclosed spaces, working these areas by making trap rooms that are littered with turrets and baiting flankers or even whole teams into their demise.
“The true enemy of humanity is disorder.” – Symmetra
Defending: Symmetra is an A+ choices for the first part of any defender’s game. Defenders have the longest run to get back into the fight after dying, which makes a Teleporter an extremely useful tool at the beginning of a defending game. Symmetra will be readying the map by setting up death traps and thinking ahead about where she’ll place her Teleporter. Just remember that the Teleporter becomes less useful as you progress into the game and the enemy team moves attack points.
Attacking: For attacking, the advantages and disadvantages are opposite as when you were defending! This means Symmetra’s Teleporter is not that useful in the beginning of the game but gets incredibly useful near the end of the match. Sentry Turrets should be placed in rooms and hallways to prevent offensive heroes from ambushing your team from behind, but you will find that turrets become useless as you push forward. This means you will constantly be having to put new turrets up as you progress.
With Symmetra’s arsenal and teleportation capabilities she is an excellent hero for both attacking and defending teams that have very good communication. Teleporter is a game changing ability that really helps your team get back into the fight, easily turning the tide of battle thanks too Symmetra.
Priorities: Symmetra’s first priority is to always keep your shields on all allies. Obviously you should be sticking shields on everyone at the beginning of the match where they spawn, then reapplying them as people respawn and return to the battlefield. Secondly, she should be prioritizing turret placements first to ensure a swift charge of the Teleporter. Symmetra needs to predict then notice the pattern of behavior of her enemies to create effective trap rooms, changing the flow of the battle in her favor. Predict, Observe, Plan, Execute: Brain games meet first person shooters is Symmetra in a nutshell.
Playing Against a Symmetra
Pharah: Pharah is a big threat to Symmetra as her turrets are practically useless. Pharah mostly flies in the air, bypassing most rooms and hallways. Pharah’s rocket launcher is one of the easiest weapons to take out Sentry Turrets since it attacks with splash damage.
Winston: Winston is probably the best counter to Symmetra’s Sentry Turrets. Due to Winston’s Tesla Cannon and its automatic aim, all he has to do is walk in the room and hold down the left click. Symmetra, on the other hand can use her Photon Projector inside or outside of Winston’s Barrier Projector thus making it completely useless.
“I am taking the objective, all is going according to plan.” – Symmetra
Torbjorn: Torbjorn is very stationary and doesn’t often wander around like other offensive heroes, therefore he doesn’t run into Sentry Turrets often. Torbjorn’s turret can pose a huge problem to you due to Symmetra’s lack of mobility. However, Photon Orbs will do decent damage against his turret and it will force him to stay at it, repairing it and allowing you to charge up your ultimate.
Tracer: Symmetra’s short range photon projector and turrets work very well against Tracer. Due to Tracer has a low HP of 150 and everything about Symmetra is pretty much automatic aiming, it doesn’t take much to take a Tracer out. Because of this, its better if Tracer just stays away from Symmetra. However, Tracer is a huge threat to Symmetra’s Teleporter.
Playing With a Symmetra
All tanks: All tanks should observe what Symmetra is doing and plan accordingly. Tanks should be trying to move enemy teams into trap rooms so the battle is in your favor. Do this at the start so Symmetra can get her Teleporter down as soon as possible.
Zenyatta: Use Zenyatta’s low max health and high kill priority to lure enemies, especially flankers, into trap rooms. Not only can you heal from the side you’ll be protected from Symmetra’s turrets.
I really loved playing Symmetra on the Overwatch beta but realized I could only excel on her in certain maps. She is a very unique character that is very map dependent. Do not let people fool you saying that Symmetra is only viable in defending for her utilities are always wanted. Only on King of the Hill maps I have struggled playing her. I would describe her play style as how I did earlier: a real time strategy game in a first person shooter world.
All pictures and information are copyright of Blizzard Entertainment. Gameplay tips and interpretations are copyright the writer.