Overwatch 2 Guide: How to Play Symmetra

In this Overwatch 2 Symmetra guide, you'll learn how to shape order from chaos! With her colossal damage output from all sides, a level-headed Symmetra can slice through an enemy team like it's nothing. Read all about her abilities and bend reality to your will!

Overwatch 2 Guide How to play SymmetraIf Symmetra proves anything, it’s that it’s brains over brawn. Tank all you want, a well-positioned and fortified Symmetra can cut through tanks in a few seconds. However, since she often punches above her weight, Symmetra pales in comparison to the enemies she’s usually facing. If you rush in and face a Roadhog without a plan, you can expect that you’re going to be the one to draw the shorter stick. A guide for Symmetra focuses especially on what you have to do before you’re in combat.

So that’s exactly what I’m going to do! In this Symmetra guide, I’ll be going over her weapons and abilities, the right strategy and tactics, which heroes to look out for and which ones are easy pickings, and who the best heroes to cooperate with are. By the end of this guide, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to be a legendary Symmetra – by viciously punishing every team that lacks the coordination to fight you effectively.

As always don’t forget to check out our review of Overwatch 2!

Weapon: Photon Projector

Symmetra has only one weapon, but it mostly functions like two. Her Photon Projector is either a beam or a projectile, depending on which button you click. Logically, the projectile is Symmetra’s long-range option, while her beam is especially deadly at close-range. The difference between these two weapon modes means that Symmetra plays very differently depending on which one you use. When you use the beam, it’s all about being up close and personal. But when you use the projectile, it’s better to keep some distance between you and your target.

  • Default Keybind: Left Mouse Button
  • Damage: 60/120/180 per second
  • Ammo: 100
  • Max. Range: 12 meters
  • Reload Time: 1.5 seconds
Symmetra's laser beam can do enormous damage when she can connect it long enough.

Symmetra’s laser beam can do enormous damage when she can connect it long enough.

In beam mode, the Photon Projector is the bane of any large target. The longer you keep the beam connected to a target, the more damage it will do. At level 3, the beam does a frightening 180 damage per second. This means it cuts through a full-health Reinhardt shield in less than 7 seconds. As long as you keep hitting enemies or enemy objects like shields, the beam will climb to level 3. However, when you don’t, it will shrink back down to level 1, doing only 60 damage. The beam encourages you to be as aggressive as possible to maximize its damage output, but Symmetra’s low health and limited mobility make this a risky strategy. Try to resist the urge of going on a one-person killing spree. Sadly, Symmetra doesn’t have the bulk to do that.

  • Default Keybind: Right Mouse Button
  • Damage: 45 per direct hit (+45 max splash damage, 90 maximum)
  • Magazine Capacity: 10, on max charge
  • Reload Time: 1.5 seconds per shot
  • Charge Time: 1 second for max charge
  • No crit on a headshot
With 90 max impact damage, Symmetra's second attack is nothing to scoff at.

With 90 max impact damage, Symmetra’s second attack is nothing to scoff at.

Fortunately, Symmetra’s Photon Projector also gives her an option against a hero that isn’t a large, slow-moving target who’s easy to hit. Against far-away snipers or quickly moving targets that are next to impossible to lock on to for a long duration of time (looking at you Tracer). Symmetra’s Photon Projectiles can hit low-health targets hard and easily finish them off. I find that in most cases, the projectile is a more viable way for Symmetra to kill risk-free. After all, when you can keep a little bit of distance between yourself and the chaos of battle, you’re much less likely to die a fast and glory-less death. Symmetra’s all about composure and carefulness, so it’s good to lay low until you find the right moment to strike. While you’re laying low, the Photon Projectile makes for an ideal weapon.

Abilities: Once a Support…

In the distant past, in 2016, Symmetra was created as a support hero. She was originally supposed to be centered around shielding, but starting in 2018 she became more focused on high-damage output. Although her support kit got an almost complete rework, there are still plenty of traces visible in her current arsenal. If anything, it’s that Symmetra heavily relies on her team to be effective – and similarly, Symmetra can be a huge asset to any team if you coordinate well.

Sentry Turret

  • Health: 30
  • Damage: 30 per second, -15% movement speed
  • Ammo: 3 stored, max. 3 on the field
  • Cooldown: 10 seconds per charge

Symmetra’s greatest ace is her Sentry Turrets – little laser beams that can fire from almost any surface. The ground, walls, ceilings, it doesn’t matter one bit. Once you fire off a turret, it will fly in that direction and stick to the first surface area it finds. With only 30 health and only 30 damage per second, it may seem like those turrets are a complete waste of time. However, that’s far from all there’s to them.

They take some time to travel to their destination, so be aware of that!

They take some time to travel to their destination, so be aware of that!

After all, you won’t just get a single turret, like Torbjörn. Symmetra gets to deploy three turrets simultaneously. Once she’s placed all three, every 10 seconds she can deploy a new one should an old one be destroyed or if a turret is better placed elsewhere. So with three turrets gunning an opponent down, that’s 90 damage per second. Add yourself to the mix, and you can see how that opponent shouldn’t be alive for very long. What’s more, anyone caught in a turret beam suffers a -15% movement speed. If you bide your time and patiently analyze the situation, Symmetra is among the deadliest heroes in Overwatch 2 – with fairly little effort.

Teleporter

  • Health: 50, 150 shields (regenerates 30 shields per second if avoiding damage)
  • Max. range: 30 meters
  • Duration: 10 seconds
  • Cooldown: 12 seconds

The teleporter is logically a very useful mobility support tool. Any allied hero can travel through it, letting them reach their destination much more quickly. If you need to reach a point fast, teleporters are the way to get your team through quickly. However, since it only remains up for 10 seconds, perhaps it’s better to think of them more as one of Symmetra’s very few mobility tools.

Moving around instantaneously has its advantages!

Moving around instantaneously has its advantages!

Symmetra doesn’t have a lot of options to get away from fights. If someone wants her dead, she’s usually going to die pretty quickly. Teleporters are one of the few means Symmetra has available to mess with her location. In a flash, you can get behind the enemy (or your own) lines, making life for that Genji that’s trying to kill you a lot harder. What’s more, Teleporters don’t just carry people. They also carry Symmetra’s Sentry Turrets or even ults like D.Va’s self-destructing MEKA and Junkrat’s RIP-Tire. I’m a huge fan of trying to find a safe high ground with Symmetra. Given how much she relies on strategic positioning, careful planning, and outsmarting her enemies, a height advantage can be just the touch of unexpected Symmetra needs to be highly effective.

Ultimate Ability: Photon Barrier

  • Health: 4000
  • Duration: 12 seconds
  • Max. range: 25 meters
  • Area of effect: Entire map

Indestructible wall? Indestructible wall. When Symmetra bends reality to her will, she summons a colossal barrier that stretches through the entire map, blocking all ranged attacks. As you can imagine, this ability can stop an enemy push dead in its tracks – but as with most of the ultimates in Overwatch 2, it’s not flawless. Melee attacks still work fine, and enemies can just simply walk through the wall to shoot you from the other side.

Nothing like a huge wall to stop an enemy assault.

Nothing like a huge wall to stop an enemy assault.

However, the Photon Barrier is still an enormous support to your team. If you’re with your team at a chokepoint, you’ll easily be able to fight off an assault. If you’re even in strength, the barrier certainly blocks enough damage to send the enemy team running. Strategically place your turrets behind the wall where the enemy can’t easily hit them, and you got yourself a serious fortress. Another way is to deploy the wall in the middle of the enemy team and dance around it while placing turrets left and right. If you need to stall the enemy, this is a great strategy. If you’re constantly switching which side of the wall you’re on, you’ll definitely block out a lot of projectiles, while your turrets do their work. Switch on your Photon Projector beam, and you’re looking at a one-person army.

Playstyle

When playing Symmetra, you need to have a plan for everything. With her incredible max damage output but low damage at first, problematic mobility, and low health pool, Symmetra needs to be clever about when and how to engage. Symmetra heavily punishes teams that fail to organize, since she can attack from so many directions and churn out massive damage as long as she doesn’t get hit. To get that level of disarray, your options are either to set up an ambush or wait for enemies to distract themselves so you get the opening to take them out.

This makes Symmetra a fundamentally defensive hero. Even in offensives, she’s usually best suited as a forward defense – identify the path where the enemy is retreating, and prevent them from going there by setting up a trap. It’s not like Symmetra can’t be in an offensive, however. She’s a phenomenal breakthrough hero, able to carve through a Reinhardt shield in a few seconds when she’s fully charged. Whenever there’s a team fight, Symmetra has to be there to make the difference, either in the middle of it or from a distance through strategically placed turrets. Next in this guide, I’ll share a few situations and how Symmetra can get the most out of them.

Tips and Tricks

Always on the move

Symmetra isn’t a powerhouse. With her measly 250 health, when someone wants her gone, they usually can. As such, you don’t have the luxury to stay in place for a long time. Even if you’re behind the lines, you can easily be picked off by an enemy Hanzo or Widowmaker. It’s important to always move around to out-position any assassins the enemy sends after you. And if you’re in the middle of the fray, it’s only logical that you won’t just stand there waiting to be finished. Move erratically to minimize the chance of them hitting you. Your turrets have auto-aim, and they don’t (unless you’re up against an ulting Soldier:76) ! So if you hit them, but they can’t hit you…

With her vulnerability, your best bet is to move defensively most of the time!

With her vulnerability, your best bet is to move defensively most of the time!

Of course, there’s another advantage to always moving. To be at her most effective, Symmetra has to outsmart her enemies. No enemy falls for an obvious trap. So when you’re always in the same area, you’ll become predictable, and you’ll be much less useful. So place traps in different places! The less predictable you are, the harder it will be for the enemy to predict where your turrets will be. And if they spend too much time looking for turrets, they may not be killed by your hands, but your teammates will know what to do with a distracted enemy.

Concentrate your turrets – and keep them close

You can put your turrets everywhere, but turrets are always at their most effective when they’re close together. The little machines only have 30 health, so they’re more of a nuisance on their own, far from the fatal death trap they could be. However, together they can vanquish low-level targets without a problem. Especially heroes that don’t have any moves that make them intangible (like Reaper’s Wraith Form, Moira’s Fade, or Tracer’s Blink and Recall) will be easy pickings.

They're weak by themselves, but together they can easily finish off a Genji or two!

They’re weak by themselves, but together they can easily finish off a Genji or two!

When you find yourself attacked or in the middle of a team fight, it can be smart to quickly deploy turrets around you to give you an edge in the fight. When an enemy has to face incoming damage from 4 sides, killing you will be a lot harder. For that, turrets have to be close to one another. Make sure that you’re able to deploy them as you please. A Symmetra without turrets at her disposal is a lot more defenseless. Lastly, watch that your Sentry Turrets won’t be shot down before they reach their destination. If you fire off a turret directly into the enemy’s line of fire, it will disappear before it even gets a chance to be effective.

Attack through Defense

We’ve already touched briefly on this, but Symmetra is a fundamentally defensive hero. It’s much more difficult to set up an ambush while you’re attacking, and the enemy has an organized defense. You fire your turrets, and they dispose of them with three quick shots. You go in, and they dispose of you with three quick shots. Against an organized defense line, Symmetra is next to useless. So the trick is to prevent them from setting one up.

A boldly placed turret can cause just the right amount of disarray.

A boldly placed turret can cause just the right amount of disarray.

Although she lacks mobility, Symmetra is not slow and can easily run in front of a general push. If you’re pushing toward a point, make sure to target the enemy in their “supply line” the most direct path from their spawn to the frontline. They’ll be tangled up in your turrets where they’re easy pickings for you. Doors to capture points and underpasses are the kinds of areas where Symmetra can cut off a path of retreat. Symmetra works best in one fell swoop. Wait until it’s your time to shine, and then pierce them with everything you got!

The many uses of a teleporter

Ah, teleporters. Basically, Symmetra’s the only mobility tool. Although it may seem inviting to just plop down a teleporter at the start of the game for your team to gain some speed early on, that’s exactly what you shouldn’t do. Instead, use the teleporter to outsmart your way out of a fight that otherwise may seem impossible. If you’re being harassed by a threatening hero, a teleporter can get you somewhere they’ll take much longer to get to. By the time they’ve caught up with you, you’ve had plenty of time to run to safety.

Time for a quick getaway!

Time for a quick getaway!

Of course, teleporters have offensive use, too. They can be key in giving Symmetra that little bit more mobility to prevent enemies from reinforcing their front line and harassing them while they try to reach it, or they can even be used to launch turrets into unexpected places. Teleporters don’t just accommodate heroes! They also let turrets, and even exploding MEKA’s through. So a teleporter is much more than just a way to get from point A to point B faster. It has creative use in battle, too.

Use height advantages

Again, Symmetra is most effective when she’s unexpected. When jumping down from a ledge onto a group of enemies, she has the overview to carefully and strategically place her turrets, much more easily than when she attacks head-on. This strategy is not risk-free – Symmetra is still as squishy as ever, even when she uses heights to her advantage. However, more than anything it’s her ability to much more carefully and strategically place her turrets that will give her an edge in such a scenario.

It's good to keep a strategic overview.

It’s good to keep a strategic overview.

Especially on Horizon Lunar Colony, Symmetra is a phenomenal defense hero. She can use her teleporter to be present near all angles of the chokepoint while retaining her height advantage over enemies that have a hard time aiming up (such as Reaper and Junkrat). Furthermore, the tire above the capture point has a surface where you can put a teleporter, so you can use that to your advantage to outsmart, trap, and destroy the team should they ever be foolish enough to enter your turf.

When should I swap?

However much I love playing Symmetra, she suffers from some major weaknesses, as most guides will point out. Her damage output is very high, but it’s difficult to survive long enough to reach the max. If you find your turrets doing barely any damage, unable to hold any line of defense, or constantly dying to heroes like Genji or Reaper, it may be time to switch it up. Moreover, being on attack may be plenty of reasons for switching. Although Symmetra can be useful in a push with her colossal breakthrough, she’s not built to keep up an offensive presence. Lastly, if the enemy team is tightly coordinated, you may want to switch to a hero that can cause chaos rather than one that can only profit from it. Heroes that can wreak havoc behind enemy lines like Pharah, Tracer, Sombra, and even Roadhog may be a better choice at those times.

Finding yourself alone all the time? Then this might not be your Symmetra game.

Finding yourself alone all the time? Then this might not be your Symmetra game.

Hero Interactions

With her high yet very situational potential, Symmetra naturally has advantages and disadvantages over other heroes in Overwatch 2. For the next part of this guide, here’s a quick shortlist of who Symmetra should be excited about facing, who you should look out for, and who you may want to ask your friends to pick to support your Symmetra game.

Positive Matchups for Symmetra

  • Brigitte is no match for Symmetra. Although she can stun you with her Shield Bash attack, her shield only serves to charge your laser. In the end, you’ll emerge more powerful than you could possibly imagine, and she’ll emerge at spawn.
  • Genji can be a threat, especially if he swoops in for a quick kill. However, when you have your turrets on hand, he shouldn’t be a single problem. The slowdown they cause ruins Genji. Furthermore, he can’t even deflect your primary attack.
  • Lucío’s main power is his mad speed, keeping him out of trouble. However, if he runs into a turret nest, he has no easy way out. With the slowdown, any Lucio becomes a sitting duck, waiting for you or a team member to finish them off.
  • Reinhardt has the same problem as Brigitte, although far more extreme. Symmetra can just charge up her beam with a Reinhardt shield, and once it’s cut through it will be only a few seconds before she’s through Reinhardt as well. Just be careful you don’t end up in a charge or a swing of the hammer – Symmetra tends not to survive that.
  • Wrecking Ball is a big target that doesn’t have the damage output to fight back effectively. Fighting against Wrecking Ball should quickly yield you a way more powerful laser beam.
  • Zenyatta can be a threat, especially on medium to long range. However, at close quarters Zenyatta is just too slow and fragile to fight Symmetra effectively. Add turrets to the mix, and Zenyatta won’t be a problem.

Negative Matchups for Symmetra

  • Junker Queen is one of the more frustrating tanks you can face. Despite her large health pool, she isn’t a very big target. As such, it’s hard to keep your laser beam connected long enough to carve through her as you’d do to a Reinhardt. It’s best to stay out of the way and let someone with more reliable ranged attacks take care of her.
  • Moira is a similarly troublesome hero. Although she has limited health, her Fade ability lets her escape your turrets with fairly little effort. Her ability to lock onto you, while you can’t lock onto her, gives her a major advantage in one on one combat.
  • Pharah is simply completely out of range. Since she’s mostly flying around, she won’t be near your turrets very often. Only your alt-fire is a reliable option to hit her, but with her rockets, she’s much more likely to hit you. Ask your local hitscanner for help.
  • Reaper‘s Wraith Form keeps him out of trouble when facing your turrets, much like Moira’s Fade. Symmetra is most punishing when you’re close to your enemies – but so is Reaper. And in close combat, Reaper’s damage output makes quick work of Symmetra.
  • Winston is a major threat to any Symmetra. His Tesla cannon can hit multiple targets at once, ensuring he can take out your turrets and you simultaneously. Once you have a Winston after you, the best option is to run away as fast as you can.
  • Zarya is probably the biggest threat to Symmetra. When I play Zarya and see an enemy Symmetra, the first thing I think is “free charge.” Rather than dealing damage, your turrets most of the time end up charging Zarya. Even if you don’t want to, your presence is likely only a buff to the enemy Zarya.
As a hard-hitting, mobile tank, Junker Queen poses a major threat to Symmetra.

As a hard-hitting, mobile tank, Junker Queen poses a major threat to Symmetra.

Heroes to Pair with Symmetra

  • Bastion has what Symmetra doesn’t – consistent damage. Although Symmetra can do a lot of damage, Bastion can do it consistently. Especially since Bastion can now move around, together with Symmetra they form a formidable defensive duo.
  • Cassidy makes up most of Symmetra’s glaring weaknesses. He has the right range and rapid-fire ability to finish off most threats to Symmetra, while she can offer defensive advantages that will give Cassidy a close-range edge. What’s more, their ultimates combine very nicely. Having Cassidy do a High Noon behind an invincible wall just feels broken, and that’s because it is.
  • Genji can also quickly finish off the low-health targets that Symmetra left behind. With his ridiculous mobility and speed, Genji can sweep in and pick off low-health targets like it’s nothing. While Symmetra distracts and focuses on the big targets, the evasive but squishy targets are up for grabs for Genji.
  • Lucío amplifies one of Symmetra’s most important abilities – her ability to dodge. When both she and her target miss consistently, Symmetra tends to come out on top with her auto-aiming turrets. Dodging is the name of the game, and Lucío’s speed boost makes that a lot better. What’s more, his ability to heal in a large area of effect makes Symmetra’s survivability a lot better
  • Reinhardt is the walking rock Symmetra needs. She can do loads of damage from close by, but her squishiness often prevents her from reaching her maximal potential. So what if there was a huge shield in the area that would keep her from taking all that damage? Reinhardt offers that exact security, making him a great pick to accompany Symmetra.
Above all, you need a team that knows how to work together!

Above all, you need a team that knows how to work together!

Putting the enemies in their place

Congratulations on reaching the end of this Symmetra guide! Now when you’re out and about on the battlefield, it may be tricky to play the analytical wait-and-see game right away. Her kit invites aggressive gameplay, and your team may not be able to coordinate at all. However, when you keep your cool and remain composed, you can soon become the true mastermind of the game, as reality bends to your will. She is the perfect hero if you don’t like aiming since Symmetra takes little aiming skill. Still, she requires a lot of strategic insight and knowing when and where to strike.

Have fun shaping order from chaos!

Have fun shaping order from chaos!

Check out Symmetra’s origin story, Stone by Stone, which tells the tale of Vishkar’s great “architech.” I hope you enjoyed this Overwatch 2 Symmetra guide. I hope even more that it helps you on your journey to putting enemies in their place! Don’t forget to check the other guides we’ve got for the game! If you haven’t played the free-to-play game, go ahead and try it out now, available on all major platforms including PC, Xbox, PS5, and Nintendo Switch.

THIS IS HOW TO PLAY NEW SYMMETRA | OVERWATCH 2

Capitalize on the other team’s chaos – check out this great video on Symmetra by Just Stevo.

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