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Overwatch: Sombra abilities and strategy tips

Learn how to play Overwatch's hacker

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Overwatch’s notorious hacker, Sombra uses a lethal combination of stealth and debilitating attacks to manipulate her enemies. She’s an excellent addition to the roster and shares a similar combat style to Tracer. Her strength lies in her Hack ability, which gives great potential to disrupt and dictate the flow of a battle, while her Thermoptic Camo and Translocator greatly enhance her positioning. For those looking to create some extremely imaginative plays, Sombra is great pick.

Sombra’s Abilities

Machine Pistol [LMB] – Sombra’s fully-automatic machine pistol fires 20 rounds per second in a short-range spread. Each clip holds 60 bullets and feels very similar to Tracer’s Pulse Pistols. Make sure to focus wounded heroes with the help from your passive to really make the enemy team cower in fear.

Hack [RMB] – This is Sombra’s signature move and allows her to hack enemies to temporarily stop them from using their abilities, or she can hack first aid kits to stop her opponents from using them. Hacked first aid kits also respawn much quicker as a result of Sombra’s interference. Good map knowledge is vital if you want utilise Hack to its full potential.

Thermoptic Camo [LSHIFT] – Thermoptic Camo is a cloaking device that grants invisibility and greatly increases Sombra’s movement speed. This ability can allow you to get into position unnoticed so you can focus on hacking key targets or infiltrating the enemy backline. However, being damaged or using Sombra’s weapon and offensive abilities will instantly cancel the effect, so make sure you use Thermoptic Camo wisely.

Translocator [E] – This nifty device allows you to toss out a teleporter like a grenade. When active, Sombra can teleport back to the beacon’s location. Use Translocator to recall from the action if you need a swift escape, or use it to position yourself near a health pack to give yourself a quick top up before heading back into the fray. Try and use Translocator in coordination with Thermoptic Camo to catch your enemies off guard.

Opportunist [Passive] – Sombra’s passive allows her to see obscured enemy heroes when their health is below 50%. This gives the cybernetic hacker vital information on enemy locations and movements. However, this information is not available to her team, so she must be in constant communication with her allies to unleash the passive’s full potential.

EMP [Q] – When activated, Sombra releases electromagnetic energy in a wide radius, destroying enemy barriers/shields and hacking all opponents caught in the blast. If properly executed, this ultimate can be utterly game-changing. Being able to hack and deny enemy ultimates greatly disrupts the flow of battle and gives Sombra’s team excellent opportunities to steal that all-important victory.

Sombra Strategy Tips

Sombra is a hero who requires great timing and synergy to be effective on the battlefield. Her abilities give her plenty of opportunities to disrupt enemy tactics and make her extremely flexible in combat. She has great area control and area denial with her Hack ability and her playstyle oozes potential.

When playing Sombra ensure your primary goal is to take control of health packs with your Hack ability. Denying your enemy health will allow your team to capitalise off the reduced respawn and greatly diminish the survivability of your opponent. If you see an enemy running to a health pack use your Thermoptic Camo to catch up to them and quickly hack it to stop them from getting the aid they desperately need. Remember to Hack a health pack and place your Translocator on top of it. If you get into trouble simply teleport back and give yourself a healthy top up, but be aware of enemy players camping the beacon, especially Junkrat who can prepare an explosive trap ready for your arrival.

Sombra excels at using hit and run tactics to distract her enemy. Thermoptic Camo and Translocator not only enhance your movement when traversing the map, they also allow you to sneak behind enemy lines. Try to gun down squishy foes with your machine pistol before teleporting back to the safety of your team. If you can catch an enemy unaware, hack them to greatly reduce their effectiveness. Hack is particularly effective on heroes like Roadhog as it stops him from healing himself, giving your team a few seconds to chip away at his huge health pool.

Sombra’s EMP is not like other offense class ultimates as it doesn’t damage those caught in the blast. Don’t expect to able to run into a fight and sweep the entire enemy team with your ultimate by yourself. The effectiveness of Sombra’s EMP relies heavily on timing and positioning. If the enemy is itching for a teamfight and you see your opponents channelling their ultimate abilities, drop your EMP to disable some of their abilities and give your team a few seconds to capitalise off their reduced damage output.

Just remember that Hack and EMP affect enemy ultimates in the same way McCree’s flashbang does, so not all ultimates and abilities will be cancelled. For example, her EMP can stop Reaper’s Death Blossom but cannot stop Genji’s Dragon Blade ultimate. Try to use Hack on an enemy before landing your EMP to extend the hack even longer. This combo is useful for keeping a tricky target locked down, shutting them out of the fight completely.

Step back up to our complete Overwatch character guide. Or find out how to counter Roadhog with our Overwatch counter guide.

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