Overwatch: Blizzard Details Big Changes Coming to Symmetra

November 22, 2016Written by Michael Briers


As promised, Blizzard has detailed the major changes coming to Overwatch‘s Symmetra, which are already available to test via the shooter’s PTR.

In outlining its reasoning behind the overhaul, Blizzard notes that it wanted to nix two issues: that Symmetra “didn’t feel active enough, and she often felt weak in certain situations on different maps and game modes, due to her Teleporter.”

To address the first point, we removed her more passive Photon Shield ability, and replaced it with a much more active ability: Photon Barrier. Now, Symmetra can help lead the charge on offense or help shut down a big push on defense by actively blocking damage for your team.

For the second point, we noticed players would often switch off of her when they felt like her Teleporter wasn’t as useful. For example, when playing her on defense on an Assault map, players often only used her to defend the first capture point, then quickly changed if that point fell. To help her feel more useful in more situations, we’ve given her an alternate to her Teleporter. The Shield Generator is just as important for the enemy to deal with, but is useful in more situations than her Teleporter.

Word of those character changes arrive in tandem with the patch notes for November 22’s PTR update, the details of which are as follows:


  • Added a new “Boop” unlockable voice line for Sombra
  • Players can now select the 1v1 Mystery Duel and 3v3 Elimination game modes from the Custom Game menu
  • Added a “Stay as Team” feature, which allows players to remain grouped with their teammates after the match has ended

Hero Balance Updates


New Abilities

  • Photon Barrier

    Replaces her existing Photon Shield ability

    Generates a large energy barrier in front of Symmetra that blocks enemy fire as it travels forward
  • Shield Generator (New Ultimate Ability)

    Symmetra’s Ultimate ability now offers a choice between her Teleporter and a new option: Shield Generator

    Shield Generator places a device that grants additional shields to any ally within the its effective radius, regardless of barriers, walls, or obstacles between heroes and the Shield Generator
  • Photon Projector (Primary Fire)

    Range has been increased from 5 meters to 7 meters
  • Sentry Turret

    Number of turrets that can be carried has been increased from 3 turrets to 6 turrets

    Cooldown has been reduced from 12 seconds to 10 seconds
  • Teleporter

    Decreased health from 200 to 50

    Increased shields from 0 to 350
  • Photon Shield

    Replaced with the new Photon Barrier ability


  • Particle Barrier/Projected Barrier
  • Attacks that deal damage to both a barrier and the target of a barrier (such as Reinhardt’s Fire Strike, Hanzo’s Dragonstrike, etc.), no longer deal damage to the barrier twice

Some of those appeared on our list of desired changes, so career Symmetra players might be pleased by these ideas.

What do our readers make of those changes being made to Symmetra?

[Sources: Blizzard, PlayOverwatch (YouTube)]