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Sombra’s Abilities Hacked

Sombra is finally here. The long-teased Overwatch character was announced at the BlizzCon opening ceremonies today. She’ll be coming to the Public Test Realm next week. Sombra is described as a “stealthy offensive infiltrator” with teleportation, hacking, and invisibility powers.

Think of her as Tracer 2.0 . Let’s break it down.


Machine Pistol

“Sombra’s fully-automatic machine pistol fires in a short-range spread.”

Machine Pistol, sees Sombra shooting away at enemies from a close distance. Putting her in the league of a close-range, low accuracy fighter. Her machine pistol reloads a bit more slowly than Tracer’s Pulse Pistols, but it has a bigger magazine of 60 bullets compared to 40.



“Sombra hacks enemies to temporarily stop them from using their abilities, or hacks first aid kits to make them useless to her opponents.”

Sombra infiltrates her opponents to stop them dead in their tracks. Hacking opponents to suppress their abilities is interesting, as an astute player could prevent a Mercy resurrection, or otherwise delay an ult to ineffectiveness. She could also ground a Pharah and flip the switch on Reinhardt’s shield, which is a bit terrifying. From the short clip, though, it looks like Sombra has to get pretty close to execute the ability, and it takes a few seconds to take effect.

Her ability to render restorative items useless looks to be quite annoying. Running up to a first aid kit to find it doesn’t work would be irritating as hell.

Here are a few points to note: Hack attempts are interrupted if Sombra takes damage, and she can’t hack while invisible. Hacked enemies are visible through walls to your whole team, along the lines of Widowmaker‘s Infra-Sight. Hacks on enemies last for about 6 seconds, but hacks on other things last much longer, probably a minute or two.


Thermoptic Camo

“Sombra becomes invisible for a short period of time, during which her speed is boosted considerably. Attacking, using offensive abilities, or taking damage disables her camouflage.”

Thermoptic Camo makes the stealthy hero both fast and invisible, and she’ll remain so until she uses another ability or takes damage. This or EMP will be Sombra’s most controversial ability. When invisibility powers are too effective, everyone else’s fun tends to disappear, too. Too many restrictions or an obvious shimmering outline, though, and what’s the point?

Blizzard has gone with the standard setup. An invisibility timer which can be interrupted by taking damage or taking an action. Tom says that invisibility lasts 5 or 6 seconds and that the speed boost she gains during invisibility is faster than Reaper’s Ghost Form, but not as fast as Zenyatta when he’s cast his ult.



“Sombra tosses out a translocator beacon. She can instantly return to the beacon’s location while it is active (including when it’s in mid-flight).”

Translocator is akin to teleportation with Sombra throwing out a special device into the field that she can then return to instantaneously. This is Sombra‘s escape route. After using invisibility to get within range for her hack ability or ult, she’ll be able to teleport to safety like Tracer, just with the added step of having to throw out a beacon beforehand.

Once thrown, it has about a 15-second window to be used. After you translocate, there’s a 6-second cooldown before you can throw it out again.



“Sombra discharges electromagnetic energy in a wide radius, destroying enemy barriers and shields and hacking all opponents caught in the blast.”

EMP, which Sombra’s ultimate ability, uses electromagnetic energy to disarm defending foes. It’s basically like a super-hack. This is a worryingly badass ultimate. If I’m reading it right, this will destroy Mei‘s ice barriers, take down Reinhardt’s shield. As well as all other shields including Zarya’s, Symmetra‘s ally shields, and erasing the shields created by a Lucio ult. It can also disable turrets, interrupt any ults in progress, and disable all other enemy abilities for some period of time. Using invisibility to get into the center of a defended point and laying down this ult will win matches for sure. On paper, it definitely follows Blizzard’s code of “Make everyone feel OP.”

Sombra be playable on the Public Test Realm next week for players on Windows PC.