What’s up, Monkeys? Your Supreme Leader here, writing for you about playing supports in Overwatch. There’s a lot I want to cover so I’m making this a mini-series of articles for you and calling it Supreme Support.
For those of you who don’t know me or haven’t played much with me, some background info: I am in no way the best Overwatch player around; I just really enjoy the game and play it on different levels. My main account was at 3750 SR (at the time of writing) and I have smurfs in Diamond, Platinum, and Gold. The point of this series is hopefully to help you guys rank up in competitive by sharing a little about my playstyle. These are just things that work for me, I am not saying you need to play like this as we are all different people.
Support heroes in Overwatch are probably the most satisfying to play of any support characters in any game. I love booping people off ledges, coming in for a F-you rez, shutting down an ulting Genji by making him take a nap, building a death room of turrets, or just throwing balls at people.
I have played my fair share of PvP shooters, think Battlefield, Call of Duty, and my failed attempt to play Rainbow 6: Siege (ask Roy, it was really bad). I always tend to gravitate towards support characters as I’m not a very good DPS or Tank player. Playing Support makes me feel like I have some form of impact by supporting my team, rather than just running around feeding my opponents and dying the whole time playing a DPS.
In Overwatch, playing Support makes me feel even more useful to my team and I feel like I can finally stand my ground without constantly dying. Each hero in Overwatch is, in my opinion, relatively balanced. Except for Junkrat. Man, I hate Junkrats with a passion. Junkrat mains belong in the Lego Room. Anyway, back to my point, each Hero in Overwatch has their own unique set of abilities that make them play in a certain way. I’m only going to talk about support heroes in this article though. (Sorry, not sorry, non-support mains!)
Each support hero in Overwatch is really sustainable compared to other games; Mercy can Guardian Angel away from danger, Lucio can outrun basically anyone by Speed Boosting away, Ana can Sleep Dart any pursuers and easily win a 1v1 against a squishy DPS hunting her down, Zenyatta can Discord and practically insta-kill any squishy with a charged shot and Symmetra… well… she just microwaves the shit out of anyone and anything.
Playing Symmetra, the Microwave Queen
Primary Fire – Photon Beam: Locks on to an enemy and deals continuous damage; damage increases while locked on (aka “microwave”). 7.5/15/30 damage per hit.
Secondary Fire – Energy Ball: Charged, slow-moving projectile; increases in size and damage when charged longer. Can pass through enemy barriers. 25-125 Damage.
Sentry Turret: Small, frail (1 HP) turret that can be build on flat surfaces. Fires a beam which locks onto a single enemy that slows and damages. Maximum six turrets stored; Maximum six turrets on field. 25.5 damage per second, -20% movement speed (stacks).
Photon Barrier: Throws a large, oval shield that travels in a straight line and absorbs damage. 1000 HP.
Ultimate – Teleport: Creates a Teleporter (exit only) which connects to the Spawn Room. Using the teleporter depletes one charge. 6 charges.
Ultimate – Shield Generator: Creates a Shield Generator which provides shields to all allies within its radius. +75 shields, 50m radius.
Mei’s Personal Settings
Horizontal Sensitivity: 100
Vertical Sensitivity: 70
Aim Technique: Dual Zone
This week I want to talk to you all about Symmetra — and before you guys have a go at me about how she shouldn’t be a Support, hear me out! She may pack huge punch and hold her ground, but she offers the team so much utility that she really shouldn’t be classed as anything else. Her abilities aren’t great for her to be a DPS, she has no range outside of her Energy Ball which travels so slowly that it’s easily dodged. Now, with that out of the way… let’s begin!
I play a shit ton of Symmetra; I’m even thinking of making a Symm-only account just for her. My main account even boasts her Golden Gun. So there… tips from a Golden Gun Symm, guys. Okay, enough bragging… let’s get talking about the Queen of Microwaving-Players-to-Their-Deaths.
Symmetra is, for me, a not-so-mechanically demanding hero to play, but she requires a lot of game sense and observing your team. She is about making decisions and putting things up when and where they are needed. There really isn’t a “play Symm like this and you will win” thing for her. You really have to judge the situation every time.
She’s got a bunch of super-annoying abilities and that’s not counting her Ray of Death (Primary Fire). Her pesky Sentry Turrets, if placed well, can finish off almost anything with 25.5 damage per second. I like to place them well apart in really obnoxious places. Placing them in one location (but spread out) increases your chances of killing someone as they waste precious seconds finding and destroying them (unless it’s Winston) and it really builds up your ult charge quickly. I call these contraptions “Death Rooms” or “Death Walls” depending on where I’ve built them. Another thing I love to do is place them around a health pack because an enemy running towards one is already low so your turrets can finish them off before they even touch it.
On to her secondary fire, AKA her charge shot (AKA, Energy Ball), it packs 25-125 damage depending on the duration of the charge. It’s really powerful, really slow, and can be easily deflected by Genji, but also passes through enemy barriers (like Reinhardt’s shield). What I do at the beginning of any Defense map is aim at the enemy’s spawn with a fully charged shot. Next, I run to the choke and spam my Energy Balls at the direction they’re coming from. This gives you a shit ton of ult charge and you’ll have your Teleporter/Shield Generator very quickly.
Her Photon Barrier is also a very useful ability as it’s a moving shield that travels very far. Perfect for blocking High-Nooning McCrees or aim-botting Soldiers. Or, if you’re a very aggressive Symm like I am… I use the shield and then run after it, chasing down my targets with my Ray of Doom (Primary Fire).
Speaking of Primary Fire… your Photon Beam locks on to any target you point it at and does 7.5 damage per hit initially, increasing up to 30 damage per hit while you do 4 hits per second. That’s 120 damage per second; you literally melt everything you connect to. It’s very important to keep moving while you’re locked on as your weapon has a very short range which makes you very vulnerable. I jump around my target because the lock-on means I don’t need to aim, just keep them in my sight.
Finally, her ultimate ability. You can choose between a Teleporter or a Shield Generator. Whichever you pick, I recommend waiting a bit before building it and hiding it well because it is vulnerable to everything. I usually wait before I put my Teleporter down as every second it’s up is an extra second for the enemy team to find and destroy it. Sometimes, when I know they are coming for my Teleporter, I’ll put up my Sentry Turrets around it and guard it so my team can respawn while I attempt to punish all who come for it. Also, always remember: a Symm dying with her TP ready, but not built is one of the worst things you can do. In the case of a Shield Gen, it lasts forever so I don’t put much emphasis on guarding it as you get your ultimate very quickly and can just put down another one.
I’d like to share with you some things I do with Symmetra on the different map modes. These are just things that I do personally and is in no way intended as a “do this and you win” guide.
First, we have the Two Control Point (2 CP) mode which is, in my opinion, the most effective map mode to use Symm to her full potential. I like to put up harassment turrets outside the enemy team’s spawn. I usually place about three or four outside their spawn door and the rest en-route to the choke. Then, as the timer goes down and the match starts, I fire a fully charged Energy Ball at their spawn and head back to the choke ASAP. Once there, I start building my second set of turrets so they can chip away at anyone who breaches the frontline. I use about three or four turrets for this and set up the rest en-route to the point. After I set up these turrets, I stay towards the back of the choke, about halfway-ish between the choke and the point. This is where I start spamming my Energy Balls. I don’t fully charge them and I just move around spamming them in all directions towards the choke. They’re much more difficult to dodge this way because they’re just everywhere and the enemy is also busy facing your team. Doing this charges your ultimate so quickly that at this point you should have your TP ready. DO NOT put it down just yet. Wait and observe your surroundings. Look at how your team is holding up, if they are holding the choke well there is no need for a Teleporter, you can at this point think about a Shield Generator, but since this is the first point I prefer to put down a TP to get my dead teammates back quickly. So I hold it and keep observing while helping my team. If the enemy is about to break through the choke, fall back and put up a third set of turrets on the point itself. I use all six at this point. Then, as I see my teammates fall, I put down a TP close to the point. If there are still teammates standing and they are on the point, I’ll stay with my TP for a little bit until the other teammates are back. If I am the last one standing, I put it up and run back to the point to buy time while praying that my team makes it back in time. Another strategy is to put the TP early in a small room and cover the room with turrets and punish all those who try to come destroy it. I only use that strategy when I am up against a lot of squishies.
At the second point on 2 CP Defense, I put my turrets all over the place. At the main entrance and a few on point. Here, I will usually put up a Shield Gen or alternatively, if the enemy is using a squishy-heavy team composition, I like to lure the flankers towards my Shield Generator or TP and finish them off. However, if my team is dying too much or not getting enough heals at this point then I’ll switch to a healer.
For Hybrid maps I use the same tactic as on the first point of a 2 CP map. If my team is not able to hold the capture point then I’ll start observing and see if I should keep playing Symmetra or switch off to another healer. The thing with Symmetra is that she is very situational and requires you to make decisions quickly. If my team is dying too much or my healer is struggling while we try to stop the Payload then I’ll switch off to another healer. In these cases I prefer to switch to either a Zenyatta or Lucio as most of the time it will either be a Mercy or Ana doing the solo heals. But if you are holding well, it never hurts to stay on Symmetra as she is so powerful in melting down the enemy.
Payload maps… These maps are tricky on Symmetra. It all boils down to your turret placement and if you manage to stay alive long enough to set up your TP. You are essentially a builder and, since the payload is constantly moving, you will have to be constantly moving your turrets. I can’t really give you any specific spots to put them, but what I do in these situations is spread them out in a way that they will all focus on one target in every corner or long straight in the game. I place my turrets like this because Symmetra has no range. I have to get up close to defend the payload so I use my turrets to help me microwave my targets even faster.
King of the Hill maps are probably the most interesting map to play Symmetra on. It’s very high risk, but at the same time, very high reward. If you fail… you fail hard here, but if you manage to get yourself set up early… you become a fucking beast. On KOTH maps the enemy has to be on the point to hold it for the whole round. If your team is on the point and you have your turrets set up, you will give the enemy team hell. They have to face your team, your Beam of Death AND your turrets at the same time. It causes utter chaos as they have to choose between destroying your turrets or getting picks off your team. This game mode is, in my opinion, very intense for Symm and you need to be constantly moving and placing turrets everywhere on point. On these maps I usually put down a TP near the point unless I have a really good healer on my team. Then I put up a Shield Gen for my team so we can last longer during fights.
Finally, let’s talk about Symmetra on attack. I do not advise using her on Payload maps when attacking, but on Hybrid and 2 CP maps she can be very viable and super useful if she coordinates with her team. One tactic I use is to build a Death Room, preferably somewhere with a health pack and get my team to lure the other team inside it. Then I sneak up behind the enemy lines and put down my TP so when my team mates die, they come back right at the enemy backline and we basically rip them a new one from behind. But this requires a lot of coordination. I do not advise this in solo queue. If you insist on trying this out in solo queue, then I advise you build turrets around a corner or behind a wall and lure people towards you, don’t go hunting kills but let them come for you instead.
I’m sure some of you who have watched Steve-O (World’s #1 Symmetra) play and you’re wondering “Supreme Leader, why are you not talking about spawn camping with Symm on Payload maps?” Well the answer is: it’s so situational and an average player is not able to do this as you leave your team in a 5v6. While spawn camping with your turrets is super annoying and does buy your team a lot of time by delaying enemy respawns from returning to the fight, in your every day Overwatch game, this just doesn’t work. I have more success doing this in Masters or high Diamond games than in any other tier (I’ll probably be able to do this in GM too, but I gotta get there first). This is purely because, at those levels, people actually understand that Overwatch is a team based game. You have to coordinate and instead of moaning about someone playing an off-meta hero, you adapt to work with the off-meta hero.
That’s it for Symm, these are just general and personal things I do with her and it works for me and my playstyle. I hope it’s of some use to you guys and helps you rank up in competitive! I’ll be talking about Zenyatta next, so make sure you like us on Facebook and keep a close eye on our Social Media channel on the server to avoid missing out on my verbal diarrhea about support heroes. Thanks for reading!