A Beginner's Guide to Symmetra

by Josh Bury Feb 6 2017
Thumbnail image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Though technically classified as a support, Symmetra plays a very defensive role for her team, with her sentry turrets acting as both a deterrent to attackers and an early-warning system.

She also deals a significant amount of damage with her Photon Projector, meaning that she must be dealt with in close combat before she gets out of hand. Finally, her utility from her abilities and ultimates make her a valuable member of the team in many situations.


Symmetra's Photon Projector is her primary weapon, offering her two ways to personally engage enemies. Primary fire emits a stream of energy that locks on to a nearby enemy at very close range, with the damage ramping up as long as the beam is connected.

Photon Projector's secondary fire charges up an Energy Ball that travels indefinitely but slowly in a straight line, until it hits a solid surface. As Symmetra`s only true long-range option, it can be fired into a narrow chokepoint or common path of attack to deal damage.

Sentry Turret is a small turret that can be deployed on most surfaces. When an enemy becomes visible, the turret fires a constant beam of energy at them, dealing damage over time. The turret is fragile and is destroyed by any damage at all. Symmetra can have up to six of them active at any one time.

Photon Barrier projects an oval-shaped shield that moves forward slowly in a straight line, blocking damage from enemies until it hits a solid surface.

Symmetra, unlike most heroes, has two ultimate abilities and can choose which to activate when her charge is full. The first, Teleporter, places a teleporter in her team's spawn and another at a location of Symmetra's choosing, allowing her team to quickly travel from spawn to the second teleporter. It can be destroyed by enemies and is consumed after six total uses.

If she instead places a Shield Generator, Symmetra will provide a substantial amount of shield health to heroes in a large area around the generator. Like the Teleporter, it can be destroyed. However, it does not have a finite number of uses.

When is Symmetra a good choice?

Symmetra is more of a niche hero and, despite her classification as a support, brings no actual healing to her team.

What she does offer is a versatile toolkit that can hinder attackers, provide utility to her team and deal substantial damage to enemies at close range.

Symmetra is a good choice when:

  • Her team is not relying on her for support, as she cannot heal her allies
  • The player has a strong understanding of likely routes of attack: both for placing sentry turrets, and for lying in wait with her photon projector
  • Her player is on the defending team, allowing her to set up sentry turrets before the enemy attacks

Symmetra can be more difficult to play when:

  • She is on the attacking team, as this limits her ability to get value from her sentry turrets
  • Her team is relying on her as a support, as her skillset is more focused toward utility despite her designation as a support

Symmetra excels in areas where:

  • She can use side routes and sneaking to blast enemies with her photon projector, like on Hollywood's second section
  • She has ample hiding places for her sentry turrets, like on the first point of Volskaya Industries

Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.