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Overwatch’s Symmetra is getting some huge changes!

Time to warm up your Photon Projector, Overwatch's Symmetra is about to receive some massive changes on the PTR. After quite the turbulent time, it seems Symmetra may finally be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

Overwatch's Symmetra is getting some huge changes!
Symmetra sure has seen some difficult times recently. Her usage has been highly debated since the early days of Overwatch, placing her as one of the most situational heroes in the entire game and, whilst she is definitely playable, she gets the most value on the first stage of defence rounds, after which data suggests usage of her highly drops off, as players switch off of her for heroes that are more suited to the change in combat.

Blizzard has seen this issue and addressed it in a new developer blog, in which they detail the changes they have proposed for Symmetra to make her a much more useful hero, and one that better fits the Support role she is categorized into. The proposed changes are as follows:

Ultimate Ability

Previously, Symmetra's ultimate ability was her Teleporter, which offers a fast way to get into the fight, at the downside of the high possibility of it being found and destroyed by enemies. As game knowledge grew, people became more and more adept at finding teleporters, and it didn't help that they emitted a loud noise, and friendly teammates would announce the presence of an enemy teleporter when it was deployed.

With the proposed changes, Symmetra now has two ultimates to choose from. The first is her usual Teleporter, which now has increased health with some portion of it being shields, meaning health can regen on the teleporter, requiring enemies to focus it down more efficiently. The second ultimate is a Shield Generator, an area of effect device that ignores line of sights and deploys extremely powerful shields to friendlies, a powerful device indeed that should help players to hold choke points way more effectively than before.


The first change to abilities is Symmetra's shields. Previously she could give shields to teammates, which would add 25 extra health that would regenerate upon a small period without taking damage. Blizzard felt that this was too much of an arduous setup activity, running after your teammates to apply these shields. This ability has instead been replaced with something new called the Photon Barrier, which acts similar to a Reinhardt shield, but moves across a movement track. This means you can signal the start of a push with this shield, effectively push a choke point with mobile cover, or even play Symmetra very aggressively.

Turrets have also been changed. Before, Symmetra could set up a maximum of 6 active turrets, with a maximum of 3 being held on the ability bar at any one time. Blizzard felt this was also an arduous process and didn't allow her to adapt well, so therefore Symmetra can now hold all 6 turrets on the ability bar, and the cooldown on these turrets have been reduced from 12 seconds to 10 seconds, thus meaning she can now be much more flexible with these turrets around the frontlines of battle.

Photon Projector

Not much has been changed with Symmetra's weapon, but the range of her primary fire, a beam that attaches to targets, has been increased slightly to make her just that little bit more flexible, although she is still now very much a close quarters hero.

These changes will reach the PTR soon. Other notes within the video reference the Oasis map, which will join the Symmetra changes on the PTR soon, and hopefully be in the live game in early 2017. Blizzard are also adding a new social feature that lets solo queue'd players party up with other randoms easily. More details and a full explanation of the Symmetra changes can be found in the video below.

Developer Update | Symmetra Redesign | Overwatch

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