Satya Vaswani, otherwise known as Symmetra, is one of the current five support heroes of Overwatch. Symmetra is a unique character in that she vastly differs from the rest of her fellow support heroes: she can’t heal, her gun doesn’t need to be aimed more than it needs to be near her enemies, and she can deal significant damage without even needing to be on the battlefield in that moment. Symmetra is underplayed but should not be underestimated, for although she’s not a huge tank like Reinhardt that will smash everything on the battlefield, she can tip the scale in her team’s favour and help them emerge victorious.
Symmetra’s Lore and Abilities
Symmetra was born in India and following the Omnic Crisis, she was identified as a light-bending architect with the potential to help the Vishkar Corporation in its goal of establishing self-sustaining cities to house India’s struggling people, and was taken in as a student at Vishkar’s Architech Academy. As a result of being one of the top students, she worked for the corporation by spreading its influence and interests into other parts of the world. She’s hard working, intelligent, creative, and all around brilliant – and these traits show through how she weaves her influence in the battlefield in seemingly small but significant ways.
Symmetra asserts her place on the battlefield by placing up to six turrets on surfaces across the map. These turrets, while small, can be powerful and severely slow down members of the opposing team if not outright kill them. Her gun is extremely strong; it doesn’t require aiming as it connects if it’s close enough to an enemy, and it only more damage the longer that it’s connected up to 120 damage per second. She also can charge up and shoot a very slow moving projectile that can go through barriers and deal a good amount of damage. As previously stated, she is the only support hero that cannot heal but she is also the only one that can provide shields to her teammates. Finally, she has an incredibly helpful ultimate: she is able to place a teleporter that will save precious seconds for her team to return to the point that they must defend.
(Image source: Blizzard Entertainment)
Characters Symmetra Is Strong Against
Tracer: The other day, I was defending Point A on Hollywood as Widowmaker. Expecting a team that didn’t have any composition that was out of the ordinary, my team and I were, surprisingly, greeted by an all-Tracer team. I quickly switched to Symmetra and saw other teammates do the same – this is because Symmetra is capable of utterly obliterating Tracer. Symmetra’s turrets excel at slowing down mobile characters like Tracer who rely on their speed to win, and she only needs to get close to Tracer in order to kill her in practically one go. If Tracer is unable to use her Blink ability for even a few seconds while she has a Symmetra on her tail, she’s practically done for. She doesn’t have high defences or even much health, so it only takes a few seconds of Symmetra’s increasingly powerful gun to eliminate her threat on the battlefield.
Genji: Similarly to Tracer, Genji relies on his mobility in order to kill and harass enemies without making it easy for them to catch him. He’s not much without his ability to double jump (which has been altered in a recent update) and climb on walls to escape the heat of the battle. He’s even less useful when his Deflect ability is rendered useless, which is exactly what Symmetra does. As Symmetra’s gun fires a beam instead of shots, it is impossible for him to deflect the damage back to her. It is also impossible for him to deflect the damage that her turrets do to him, which drastically slow him down, taking away at least half of his powers. If a Symmetra manages to be fast enough and catch up to him, it’s quite easy to take out an annoying Genji in a few seconds.
Characters Symmetra Is Weak Against
Pharah: Pharah is a huge damage-dealer against any character, but it’s very hard to go up against her as a Symmetra. Symmetra’s gun can kill an unaware Pharah, but there’s a good chance that Pharah fires one or two of her rockets at Symmetra and kills her more quickly. Symmetra’s charged-up projectile is also far too slow to deal any damage to her because she is such a mobile character. She can also easily and rapidly evade Symmetra’s turrets by launching herself up in the air; the turrets, while powerful, do not have an extensive reach and do not have particularly high damage. Thus, Pharah can move out of their reach with no problem and eliminate any turret she sees – sometimes multiple at a time – with just one hit.
Any other tanks: Symmetra has the potential to take out any of the tanks if they’re unsuspecting and have low or critical health, but it’s not likely that she’ll go up against a Zarya with full health or a Roadhog with his hook ready and survive; it’s not like she has a lot of health, either. She has a slightly bigger chance of survival with D.Va, but D.Va has to be close to getting ejected out of her mech in order for Symmetra to come in and quickly eliminate an agile and still powerful (albeit squishy) mech-less D.Va. Symmetra requires careful calculation and strategy in order to be effective on the battlefield, and recklessly going up against huge tanks aside from Reinhardt — which still involves a good degree of risk — is not in her style. With a few exceptions that are mostly based on circumstance, she’s best out of the front lines and secretly manipulating the battlefield in her and her team’s favour.
(Image source: Overwatch Wiki)
So Why Should You Have Symmetra On Your Team?
Symmetra is a very particular, perhaps niche, hero and if you know how to use her on the maps that are best for her, she can really impact the efficiency of her team. Really a Symmetra should only be brought out on 2CP maps, such as Anubis or the first point of a Hybrid map like Kings Row. She’s not meant to be a hard-hitter that’s ridiculously hard to take down — and that’s okay. The beauty of Overwatch is that those heroes aren’t always necessary in order to win; its beauty lies in how a varied and balanced team — with tanks, supports, and flankers — can still win without needing to be entirely composed of only the big damage dealers. She doesn’t need to be that in order to be strong in her own right and make a significant impact on the battlefield. Her teleporter is without a doubt one of the most useful ultimates in the game, if not outright the most useful. Her turrets, while easily taken out, deal good damage and can chip away the health of a persistent enemy that thinks they can stop and heal up to resume fighting, or make a last stand that might give their team the chance to overpower yours.
If someone on your team decides to be Symmetra, don’t automatically write them off; don’t write Symmetra off! Symmetra is classified as a Support hero, but she really works as a Defense hero — and she truly excels at being one. Give her a chance; she’s brilliant and more than capable of showing what she can do on the battlefield.