New Overwatch update adds more than Winter Wonderland event

Symmetra's redesign is finally available on the Overwatch live server.

Image via Blizzard

Overwatch developer Blizzard Entertainment’s Winter Wonderland—unleashed yesterday—isn’t the only update that hit the game’s live server. With a bunch of snowballs and some holiday cheer comes some Overwatch quality of life features and a Symmetra overhaul.

All the new features and fixes are available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.


Image via Blizzard

The Symmetra redesign went live on Overwatch‘s public test realm in late November, but the update is now available for all players on the game’s live server.

Almost all of Symmetra’s abilities have been tweaked in some way—her photon shields, for instance, have been replaced entirely. Now, Symmetra is able to generate a moving shield that blocks enemy fire as it moves forward. Additionally, Blizzard has increased Symmetra’s initial turret limit to six and reduced the cooldown from 12 seconds to 10 seconds.

Symmetra’s teleporter is still an important part of her kit, but to give the support hero options, Blizzard gave her a second ultimate—the shield generator. Like her teleporter, the shield generator is a placeable item. Allies within its radius will be granted an additional shield, making this especially important in holding capture points.

With her new kit, Blizzard hopes players will find Symmetra more viable overall.


Image via Blizzard

Zarya’s update isn’t a buff or a nerf, Blizzard said in its Overwatch patch notes. It’s just a bug fix—but a major one, at that. Blizzard found that certain attacks, like Reinhardt’s fire strike or Hanzo’s dragonstrike, which deal damage to the barrier and the hero within the barrier, dealt damage to the barrier twice. That’s not how Blizzard intended things to work, so it’s fixed that bug.

“Sometimes this benefited Zarya (for example, jumping in front of Reinhardt’s fire strike was a good way to generate a large amount of energy quickly), and sometimes it really hurt her (Genji’s dragonblade, for example, would cut through her shield in one swing, instead of two),” Blizzard said in the update’s patch notes.

Blizzard will be keeping an eye on Zarya to make sure this doesn’t change her play too much.

Custom Games

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Overwatch‘s one-on-one mystery duel and three-on-three elimination game types are now playable as custom games. Fans have been begging for the feature to be added since the mode was introduced in late November.

Eventually, Blizzard intends to release a one-on-one custom game type that allows players to select the hero pool mystery duel chooses from, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan said in the Blizzard forums.

Stay as Team

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A small feature that has the potential to change player experience for the better, the Stay as Team button allows teams to, well, stay together. And it’s a dream.

Hitting up the solo queue can be terrible, since you’re not guaranteed a team that’s compatible. If you don’t have anyone else to play with, then it’s your only option. And it feels good when you find a team that you do mesh with—team composition, callouts, a pleasant atmosphere. Before the patch, it wasn’t always easy to stick with a team of random players after a good match. If too many people left, everyone would get kicked from the queue.

The new button makes it so you’ll never disconnect when you want to stick together. You’ll find it on the bottom of the screen after a match.


Image via Blizzard

Sombra got a boop voice line, finally. Thanks, Blizzard!