Welcome to part 3 of our Overwatch Character Highlight series! In this series, we're teaching you tips and tricks to Overwatch's vast character roster so you can use every character to their full potential. Today's highlight: Symmetra!
Symmetra is one of the most oddball characters to play, as she's the only support character that has no healing capabilities, instead, she's a support builder class. Symmetra works best when playing defense; the extra time before the match starts allows her to set up her sentry turrets and provide shields to allies. She's certainly playable when on attack, but you have to act fast. Once the enemy team sees that you're trying to set up your turrets, they're not going to let you get many out.
Symmetra's Abilities Include:
- Primary Fire
- Symmetra can produce a tracking laser from her primary fire. You need to be relatively close for it to grab onto an enemy, but once it does, it twists and curves to stick to them and slowly drains their health as long as it's attached. Unlike characters like Zarya who have a straight forward laser, Symmetra can dodge around while using her gun and easily continue doing damage. This laser thether becomes stronger as it stays connected, making it very threatening to characters with naturally low health, or tanks that can't get a shot on her.
- Alternate Fire
- The alternate fire to her laser charges an energy orb that fires directly forward but travels slowly. The orb can be charged, and the longer you do, the larger it gets. This makes it hard to hit someone, as it's very easy to dodge, but when it does, it does a huge amount of damage. There's two ways to effectively use this: either charge up your orb and try to time it in groups (as it goes through multiple enemies) or as someone is coming around a corner, or fire several small orbs and make them hard to dodge. One thing to keep in mind is that these energy balls can go through energy shields like Reinhardt's and Winston's, which makes them easy targets for a fully charged shot.
- Laser Turrets
- Symmetra can create small laser turrets and place them on nearly any surface. Alone, they're just a minor annoyance, but in groups, they're a force to be reckoned with. Symmetra starts with 3 turrets ready to be placed, and 3 more can be generated over time, allowing for 6 to be placed at any given moment. It takes at least three turrets to make any real impact, but 4 or more at any given time can be lethal to some characters.
- Photon Shields
- Symmetra can grant everyone on her team (besides herself) 25 points of shield health. It feels like it's almost nothing for the amount of damage they can soak up, but the shields will recharge as long as they stay alive. It really doesn't seem like much but it can make a difference.
- Ultimate: Teleporter
- Symmetra's ultimate creates a teleporter for your team. You place the exit teleporter on the map and an entry teleporter appears in your spawn room. It seems underwhelming at first, and it's usefulness seems circumstantial, but on the maps where you have a long trek back to the point or payload, a teleporter can make all the difference. Your teleporter will disappear after 6 uses; however, if your turrets are getting lots of work done, then it won't be hard to build another teleporter.
Tips and Tricks For Playing Symmetra
- Think about where the best place is to set up your turrets—grouping them up is better than one turret in 6 different places. However, two groups of either three, or two and four, can be better than one group of six. Of course six turrets in one place can definitely be effective, but then you're covering less ground. Choke points or small confined rooms that contain healing items are fantastic places to stick your turrets. Nearly every map has a room like this—put them in the corners of the room and around the inside of the door. Placing them on the point can be useful, but considering that's where everyone is going to go, they become more of a target.
- Regarding the teleporter, there are just some maps where the teleporter isn't AS useful as it could be. Like on Hanamura, the second point is right by the defending player's spawn, so there's no use for it. Of course, if you're on attack and you manage to get a teleporter to the second point, then it's incredibly valuable. It's a good idea to place turrets around or near your teleporter just to keep enemies from getting to it as easily.
As a Symmetra player, your focus should be securing specific areas, controlling choke points, and not getting too over eager. It might sound obvious but you should remember that rushing in to combat is not going to help anyone. Hang around your sentry turrets and use their power to help take out enemies fast.
Heroes Symmetra is Best Against
If you can lead a weak offensive hero (or really any hero) into your sentries and then hit them with your laser, you can pick them off pretty easily. As long as Roadhog doesn't sneak up on you, you can maneuver around him and suck him dry. This goes double for D.Va who has more armor, but less health than Roadhog. D.Va out of her suit can't do much of anything against Symmetra at close range.
Counter Heroes To Watch Out For
Symmetra doesn't have any specific counters, but that's partly because Symmetra herself is rather fragile. Her health is only 200, and half of that is shields, so it will regenerate to 50%, but even at full health, that's almost nothing. Characters who are really good at jumping Symmetra are going to be a pain: Roadhog who can hook you, Winston who can leap, and any character who can do a lot of damage at once. Another thing to consider is the heroes who can easily get rid of your sentries. Reinhardt can easily wipe them with his hammer, Pharah could knock out a group with a rocket, and Junkrat can bombard them.
And that's Symmetra! I hope these tips helped learn to play her better, and if you liked this, consider checking out my other highlights on Zarya and Junkrat. As for the next few heroes I write about, who would you like to see? Leave a comment below and if a hero is popular enough I'll write about them next!