Symmetra getting two ultimates in huge Overwatch buff

In Overwatch news, we’ve known that a big change was due for Symmetra’s character since the designers told us so. But today we learned what those changes are – she’s going to be the first character to have two ultimate abilities. When it’s ready, the player will be able to choose between her usual teleporter or a shiny new shield generator, providing powerful shields to all allies in its radius. There’s more on the why and how of this, as well as details of other big changes, in a developer update by designer Jeff Kaplan. You’ll find that lurking below.

The extra ultimate is clearly a huge boon. It can function without line of sight, meaning it can still be hidden from enemies in that familiar and frustrating way her teleporter usually is. Even more radically, her old shielding ability is now being stripped out completely and replaced with a “photon barrier” which is more similar to the damage-stopping shields of Reinhardt, but slides along a single path in the direction you fire it.

They’ve also given the teleporter more health and some shields of its own, allowing it to recover slightly from opportunistic shots from enemies. And she can now place all six turrets straight away at the beginning of a match, whereas before you could only place three and wait for the rest to slowly “unlock” over time. The cooldown for turrets has also been decreased from 12 seconds to 10 seconds and her primary weapon fire, the beam, will have a slightly increased range.

Phew. That is a big makeover, probably the most extensive re-jigging of any Overwatch character thus far. It’s like she’s had some kind of nervous breakdown and decided to change everything about her life.

All these changes are coming to the public test realm before hitting the rest of us some time in the future. On top of this, a new control map, Oasis, is also coming soon to the public testing realm, but isn’t expected to reach the rest of us normies until early next year.

What do you reckon about all that? Will this make more players choose her, or will it be the Sym old story?


  1. Tacroy says:

    I’m honestly surprised it took this long to at least rejigger her ultimate – it made the character completely useless once your team gets pushed back a couple of times.

    And her E ability was always a pain in the butt to keep up.

  2. Procrastination Giant says:

    I’m really rather happy with those changes since they did manage to touch upon pretty much everything that’s currently “wrong” with Symmetra without fundamentally changing how she’s played or positioned. The shield generator obviously sounds fantastic, since it might actually make her viable on attack as well as point b defense on some maps now, but for me the most exciting change is actually the new E ability mentioned in the video. Nicely adds to her original stationary, area control playstyle while also giving her an active tool that could be useful during pushes.

    Feels like they’ve really thought this through – At this point I’m almost perpetually pleasantly surprised by the Dev team.

  3. Hyena Grin says:

    I quite liked playing Symmetra, but often felt like I wasn’t able to contribute as much as I could with other characters, so I’m really happy to see these changes.

    I’m curious to see how the balance shakes out. If her moving shield skill and the shield generator can be used offensively in the way they seem to imagine, it’d be fun to get good at using her in offense.

  4. Raoul Duke says:

    I’m looking forward to RPS giving some coverage to the major update to Dirty Bomb that’s rolling out today…