New Overwatch PTR build available now – check out the new Symmetra, hear Sombra say “boop” and try Stay As Team

By Brenna Hillier
23 November 2016 04:09 GMT

Overwatch PC players can try out the new Symmetra, along with a couple of other trial features.


The Overwatch PTR is open again, allowing PC players to help test out Blizzard’s latest proposed changes.

The biggest news is of course the overhaul to Overwatch’s most troubled hero, Symmetra, which leaves her with two ultimates. Let’s hope this redesign brings her into more active rotation.

Blizzard said it replaced Symmetra’s passive ability, Photon Shield, with a more active one – Photon Barrier. This means she can “lead the charge on offense or help shut down a big push on defense by actively blocking damage” for your Overwatch team.

The addition of a second, alternate Ultimate ability, Shield Generator, is designed to make Symmerta useful in more scenarios you’ll encounter in Overwatch. Blizzard has noticed players switched away from Symmetra except in very specific situations.

Symmetra players can now build turrets faster, and a rebalance of the Arc Welder makes it easier to build and maintain charge. All in all, the changes make Symmetra more useful, reflecting her role in the Overwatch canon (as well as improving balance).

That’s not all the patch does, of course. Zarya has had a bit of a tweak, too, and bowing to Overwatch fan pressure (and doing what it should have done in the first place), Blizzard has added a “Boop” voice line for Sombra.

Oh yeah and there are more options for custom game modes and the ability to choose “stay as team” when you find some good randos – assuming they like you back.

Here are the full patch notes. For details on how to sign up for the PTR, visit the Overwatch blog.

Overwatch PTR November 22 patch notes

  • 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

Symmetra hero balance changes

    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
    Updated abilities
  • 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

Zarya hero balance changes

    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

As ever, many of these change are intended for all platforms but some may be PC only – and there’s no guarantee these changes will make it off the Overwatch PTR and into the live build as is, or even in adjusted form. It is a test server, after all.

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