Symmetra Playstyle

Last updated on Jul 02, 2018 at 13:33 by Mournflakes 14 comments

Table of Contents

On this page, you will find out how to properly play Symmetra. From general playstyle advice, to more specific advice like ultimate usage or combos, we tell you everything we think matters to master your hero.

The other pages of our Symmetra guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.


Introduction to Symmetra

Symmetra is the first hero to go from the off support category to the damage category, but the change was a necessary one. While characters like Zenyatta were actually supporting their team, Symmetra was in a fog of unsuitability for most Overwatch games. However, now that Symmetra has been changed to a damage hero, she has finally found a role she can work in.

While Symmetra fits her damage role well, her playstyle is a unique one. Rather than rely on quick thinking and marksmanship to be of use to her allies, Symmetra players must rely on teamwork and cunning to thwart their foes. Creating ambushes, blocking ultimates, and dealing massive close-range dps are Symmetra's go to capabilities, and mindful players are the ones who will truly unlock her full potential.


Symmetra on Defense

Although Symmetra has become capable of higher damage outputs, building up Photon Projector's damage takes time. Since Symmetra has poor mobility, attacking the backline of the offense is typically not plausible. Therefore, while on defense, Symmetra should be played just behind ally tanks. When Symmetra is grouped with her tanks, she can use her Photon Projector to attack enemy barriers, which ramps up her damage. Therefore, Symmetra should be played just behind her frontline to help break the opposition's defenses.

While on defense, Symmetra's Sentry Turret Icon Sentry Turret placements are crucial to her team's success. As mentioned on her ability page, Sentry Turrets deal 50 damage a second, which means Sentry Turrets should be placed together for maximum damage output.

Symmetra can place her turrets on the map based on one of following focuses: defending an area or defending a teammate. When defending an area, Symmetra can place her turrets near choke points or objectives. When placing turrets with these areas in mind, Symmetra's goal is to defend a position from the enemy, forcing them to come through her turrets to get to their goal.

Symmetra can also place her turrets to defend a teammate. When the enemy team has a lot of mobility, Symmetra can place her turrets near allies like Widowmaker or Zenyatta to protect them from pesky flankers. With the help of Symmetra's turrets, a teammate should have an easy time defending themselves against an assailant or two.

On defense, Symmetra can use her Teleporter to help her team relocate to a different position if the enemy takes a different route from whatever they are currently defending. Additionally, Symmetra can use her Teleporter to send an ally to the enemy backline for a surprise attack. She can also use Teleporter to save an ally who has overextended into the enemy team.


Symmetra on Offense

While Symmetra shines on defense, she is also a worthwhile pick on offensive teams. Thanks to Symmetra's Teleporter Icon Teleporter, she and her team can pile onto high ground behind their enemies, completely negating an enemy choke point. For example, on Hanamura, rather than go through the choke point before capture point A, Symmetra can use her Teleporter to transport her team up to the ledge on top of the gate. Additionally, Symmetra and her team can use her Teleporter to go across the gap on the left side of Hanamura's capture point B to enter the temple from an new angle. This is just one of the many examples where Teleporter can create new passages for attackers.

Although Symmetra's turrets are harder to set up on offense, she can place her turrets on an objective to defend a capture point from defenders. Additionally, she can set up turrets in a health pack room to kill unsuspecting enemies who need healing (prime example being the bridge under point B of Temple of Anubis.)


Symmetra Defending Herself

When Symmetra is attacked by a flanker, there are a couple of things she can do to fight back. First of all, Symmetra can use her Teleporter Icon Teleporter to run away from the attack. Although this is a good way to thwart an assailant, Symmetra should remember that it takes 2 seconds to set up her Teleporter, which may result in Symmetra's demise before the Teleporter is ready for use.

If Symmetra is going to fight, she should attempt to throw down a Sentry Turret Icon Sentry Turret before the assailant begins their attack. Throwing down a turret is a situation decision, as it does take time away from attacking an enemy with Photon Projector Icon Photon Projector and Energy Ball Icon Energy Ball, so this should only be done when the attacker is spotted but has not yet engaged.

When dealing with Tracer or Genji, Symmetra's main hope is to charge an Energy Ball an score a direct hit. Energy Ball can deal 120 damage, which makes an easy cleanup on Tracer if her Recall Icon Recall is down. While Energy Ball can deal a lot of damage, it is a hard ability to hit on mobile targets, however, since an uncharged Photon Projector only deals 60 damage a second, Symmetra has little hope in anything other than hitting an Energy Ball and cleaning up with her Photon Projector.

It is also worth noting that a Symmetra who is out of place can use her Teleporter to bring allies to her position to help her deal with an attacker. Although this strategy takes a lot of communication, it can be a reliable solution to dealing with a threat.


Ultimate Usage for Symmetra

Symmetra's Photon Barrier Icon Photon Barrier has a gigantic health pool and can save a team from plenty of enemy ultimates. While Photon Barrier is easy to use, knowing when (and when not) to use this ultimate can make a world of difference.


Wrong Times to Use Photon Barrier

Generally speaking, here are wrong uses of Photon Barrier

  • When the enemy team has a two-player advantage over your team.
  • When your team has a two-player advantage over the enemy team.
  • When the hero/ultimate you are trying to defend against is unaffected by barriers (Genji's Dragonblade Icon Dragonblade, Hanzo's Dragonstrike Icon Dragonstrike, Winston's Primal Rage Icon Primal Rage, Junkrat's RIP-Tire Icon RIP-Tire).

Right Times to Use Photon Barrier

Now that we have covered incorrect times to use Photon Barrier, we can now cover (generally speaking) excellent uses of Photon Barrier.

  • To initiate a fight/dive.
  • To block enemy ultimates like Pharah's Barrage Icon Barrage and Soldier: 76 Tactical Visor Icon Tactical Visor.
  • To stop an enemy engagement/push.
  • To secure a teamfight on a critical portion of the map (a checkpoint or objective).

Positioning is a key component of effective Photon Barrier use. Where Symmetra's team is currently located, and where Symmetra places Photon Barrier, are both critical components of Photon Barrier placement. Symmetra can possibly place her Photon Barrier in an effective position relative to an objective, but if her team is out of position and the barrier does not block incoming damage from the enemy team, then it was a bad placement. Therefore, good Photon Barrier placements are situationally dependent as opposed to spatially dependent.

About our Author

Mournflakes is a flex Grandmaster Overwatch player who boasts a career high SR rating of 4433. His favorite heroes are Roadhog, Soldier: 76, and Ana. He has played Overwatch since its initial release, and has put over 700 hours into competitive play. When not writing guides, you can catch Mournflakes streaming on his Twitch channel.