There is a lot of debate within the community as to whether Symmetra should be called a support or defensive character and whether or not she needs a buff or is fine the way she is. Either way, she can be a hero that can help make or break a game. There are a few tips and tricks that I wanted to share, I hope it helps you. This is aimed at people who are wanting to learn how to play her or have limited time and trying to improve. If you’ve got anything to add I’m more than happy to add other tips, just leave a comment and I’ll add it (with credit to you).
I wont go through her abilities, because you can find that information on your wiki of choice (my preference).
A: This is where your sentries are located within the map. If they have a bronze / tan coloured exclamation (!) mark above them, an enemy has walked into their range and activated it.
B: This shows you how many sentries you have. You have at most 6. Once you’ve placed 6, they will start to cycle through by deleting the oldest first.
C: This is the amount of charges your teleporter has left. You can announce this to your team by reporting your ultimate status. Your teleporter has a maximum amount of 6 charges.
D: This shows you the amount of sentries you can place off cool down. Once you have expended this, you need to wait another 10 seconds before you can place another.
Using Sentries Wisely
Your sentries are a huge advantage, when used correctly. While it can be fun to place all of your sentries within the one door way and you may get a kill or two from it, you’re potentially wasting their ability. There are two main ways of placing the sentries and they are stacking around a doorway, arch or contained within a small area. This is called “Death’s Door” or “Microwave”. The other is spreading the sentries around in a gauntlet. Both are shown in the videos below. The videos show someone walking through and someone fighting them. Both have their advantages however there is a strong preference towards a gauntlet, due to the tactical advantages it offers in terms of damage, surprise and killing time.
When you make what is called “Death’s Door” you maybe kill one person who is unlucky enough to come across it and for some reason keep running through. On their second pass through, they’ll quickly eliminate all turrets without batting an eye (see fighting Death’s Door).
Should they be followed by another person, that second person will most likely attack the sentries and then rush through the point, potentially killing you in the process. Should you kill a person, you’ve sent them back to the spawn point and they’re away from their team, which is good. However, now they know where your sentries are and will be able to combat them with the flick of a wrist.
When you make “Death’s Door” any character can kill them, it doesn’t have to be Winston. They just need decent / good reflexes. This severely hurts the team as now you have no sentries out and they are a major part of your kit. Not only have you cost yourself additional time in setting up again, you’ve also not cost the enemy any time in trying to find the sentries in order to clear them out so that no one gets hit by them again.
Similarly, some characters find it easier to escape the sentries than others. Death’s Door can be neutralised by a Mei wall, Tracer blinking through, Reinhardt charge, Reaper casting wrath form and so forth. While it does have its uses more often than not, you’re better off spreading them around as this makes it more difficult for the enemy team to avoid.
When you make a gauntlet, you’ll have the same impact and kill someone if they continue running. This time you’ve got the bonus of the enemy still not quite knowing where they all came from or where you’re going to replace any that they happened to kill along the way. Spreading them out allows you to have the element of surprise. Continuing to cycle through your senteries and putting them in different spots when they’re killed means that the enemy is always on their toes.
Watching the video you’ll see that the person has to change their point of view in all directions, in order to clear out the sentries. The Mei in the videos commented that he had no idea where or when the next one was going to hit him, which made it more difficult to break through. It also takes up more time for the enemy to take down. Even a Winston would have trouble clearing them all out without another one hitting him, as the sentries have a 10m range oppose to Winston’s 7m range.
Sentry Placement on corners
In creating the videos above, we also toyed around with destroying them and found this little nugget of information. While the sentries are destroyed by area effect damage, this doesn’t mean that they can’t be protected from the direct impact. The first shot in the video destroyed the sentries that were placed on the right most side of the wall, it took a more direct hit to take down the one in the middle and an almost, if not direct hit, on the one further to the left. When placing sentries, this information can be useful to help protect them from area effect damage.
Getting Ultimate Charge
Like all heroes, Symmetra gets her ultimate charge by doing damage to the enemy. This includes damage from her sentries.
Your role as Symmetra is to survive and place the teleport or shield generator. If you die before doing this, you’re not utilising the hero correctly, so playing it safe is often the best course of action. However there is always the risk vs. reward. While doing something crazy may yield more charge, it isn’t worthwhile if it results in your death. Do what makes you feel comfortable. I recommend sticking with your tanks, using your secondary attack and popping out when it’s fully charged. If anyone is within range, use your main attack. Don’t get baited out and don’t over extend.
I’ve had some success in placing 5 sentries around as lookouts in a gauntlet and used the 6th as an ‘attack sentry’. Placing it down in a position where it can attack the enemy as they are attempting to break through the line EG: At the feet of the tanks, behind Reinhardt’s shield. It may get destroyed quickly however, your charges should be fine to replace it. Ideally, should be in a position where it isn’t destroyed instantly but still does damage frequently.
There is always the temptation of placing your sentries within the one area by the enemies spawn so that you get the ultimate charge early however, this also comes at a high risk. In order to place enough down to make it worth while, you need to be at the spawn point as well. Meaning it will most likely be 1:6, so the odds are stacked against you. In addition, this means that you’ll die, leaving your team 5:6 and you’ll have to replace your sentries, consuming at least an additional 30 seconds.
Symmetra’s secondary attack is great for denying space to the enemy team. Whether you’re charging it up all the way or peppering the area, you should always be spamming attacks. You need to make sure your shots aren’t always aiming in the same direction, change it up a little. You can also jump sometimes while releasing them to change the height. When you’re peppering, you’re disallowing / reducing the chance that the enemy team can take position within that area.
If you see a sniper, turret, sentry or Bastion sitting somewhere, send your shield, load up a full charge and send it their way. Follow it up with some peppered small shots either side.
Denying the enemy area helps with keeping them in their space and out of yours. If you’re being random in your shots, it’s even more difficult for them to predict where the next one will appear.
Remember: Your attacks can hit through multiple players and Reinhardt’s shield.
You can also use your shield to help out your tanks. It gives Reinhardt a chance to recharge his shield along with allowing healers to catch up healing. You can also use your shield to deny the enemy teams ultimates such as Pharah, D.Va, Zarya, Roadhog, McCree and Soldier to make a few. Sending your shield out denies them the full impact, so try to save this cool down for specific purposes. You can also use it in close combay with a Roadhog and deny an instant kill.
Shield Generator or Teleporter and where do you put them?
Now let me apologise if you were here to find new and exciting places for her ultimate. This isn’t something I can do for you, I’ll provide come examples of where I place them, feel free to share yours below! Experiment with their placement, you’ll soon find your own places. It’s impossible to give you a position with certainty and claim that it is the spot to put it. Generally speaking the paths that are less travelled (so that it wont be found) and or most protected (you’ll be able to babysit it) are the best spots to place them. You may even have some luck with putting the teleporter or shield generator out in the open to bait the enemy team into making a foolhardy charge to get rid of it.
In addition, every game is different. Take into consideration all of the following and be mindful of the pace of the game.
- Slow down and think about where you place it, don’t just rush and plop it because the Ultimate is ready.
- Sometimes the best places to pop it down can surprise you, and the enemy.
- Think tactically.
- Do you want to use the teleporter to flank the enemy team?
- Are you attacking and wanting to try rushing the point? (As seen in this video by K_is_For)
- What do you want to achieve with the teleporter?
- Do you need the Shield Generator for extra health? Then go from there.
- Do you have a strong hold on the point or payload?
Having an in-depth knowledge of the maps is vital. Spend time in custom games walking around the maps and explore the little nooks that exist. What areas can you get to or protect enough to warrant placing a teleporter or shield generator? Do you have a Mei on your team that can prop you up into an even more unexpected area?
Generally speaking, there is no hard and fast rule that will work in 100% of games. Part of playing Symmetra is knowing what your team needs, extra health or quick return to the point. It’s also worth keeping in mind how quickly you gained the charge. If you build charge slowly, you might be better off placing a Shield Generator because you’ll get more use from it. However, if you get ultimate charge quickly, then a Teleporter might be more worthwhile. Although, consider whether or not your team is dying, if they are you might want to weigh up what would be more use, a teleporter to get them back to the point quicker or shield generator to prop up your team’s health pool.
Shield Generator Placement
If you decide to go with a teleporter, communicate with your team about where to go when they exit “out TP and left“. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve exited a teleporter just to be bamboozled by where I am, with no direction of where to go. Also, help your team out by placing the teleporter in the direction they need to run, not towards a wall.
Remember: The direction you exit the teleporter, is the shown by the huge arrow you’ll see on the ground when placing it. Be mindful of the direction you pop it down so that you don’t confuse your team members.
Shield Generators are great at increasing your teams health. If you’re in a mode other than Comp and QP, be mindful that their effect stacks. Additionally, the shield generator is great when coupled with an armor pack from Torbjorn, so team make up is something to consider when deciding to place the Shield Generator.
Other factors are the make up of your team. If you have team members that could use the extra health, then consider placing a Shield Generator.
Ultimates + AoE Damage
Sombra: Her ultimate can shut down sentries from working however, won’t destroy them. It will however, destroy any shield that you’ve sent out, just as it would a Reinhardt shield. Additionally, her ultimate will damage the teleporter and shield generator, taking it down to a few bars of health.
D.Va + AoE abilities: D.Va’s ultimate will destroy all sentries placed in line of site, as will any other AoE damage.
Soldier:76 + McCree: Their ultimate abilities will not target your sentries.
Placing your ultimate is where risk vs. reward comes into play again. The closer you have it to the defence point, the greater the risk of it being discovered, same with an attack Symmetra. However, in return for the risk you get the reward in team mates being able to get back quicker. This is something that you will have to weigh up during each game.
Some things to consider are:
- How long did it take you to build up ultimate charge?
If it took you a little while, you may want to use a shield generator.
- How desperate are you for team members to be back on the point?
You may want to risk putting the teleporter closer to the defence point, for your team to charge through.
- How likely is it that the teleporter will be found, and killed by the enemy team? How many flankers does the enemy team have?
If someone is likely to find the teleporter without it being used, you’re wasting your time, find somewhere safer or pick a Shield Generator.
The Shield Generator has a large range that goes through walls. This is something to keep in mind when placing it. You want to cover your team as much as possible without putting the Shield Generator itself at risk. On some maps like Temple of Anubis and Hanamura on defence, you can place your Shield Generator just outside the spawn point. It is risky however, better than not having a shield generator at all.
Hope this has helped, thanks for reading.
Want your game play added? Post a link to your video in the comment section below and it might be added!
Credit / Thanks to
Sulas for helping put the videos together
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