How to play Sombra: Overwatch strategy, tips, and tricks

Overwatch’s Mexican hacker has tons of potential.

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¿Dónde está Sombra?

Sombra, Overwatch’s Mexican hacker, is classified as a DPS flanking hero like Tracer and Reaper, but most of her interesting abilities have less to do with damage dealing. She can hack both players and health packs.

Her kit is specifically designed to get into the backline and bother the enemy team—chuck a translocator over the frontlines to teleport in, hack a character whose ultimate ability is essential to holding their defense, and get out using stealth. Playing Sombra right can add a serious advantage to your team.

Everything can be hacked

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Sombra’s hacking ability can be used on enemy characters and health packs, making this ability very versatile. She was initially introduced with a 12-second cooldown on her hack ability, making it far too precious to use wildly. Blizzard, however, buffed hack, lowering its cooldown from 12 seconds to eight. While it’s still important to choose your hack targets wisely, it’s much less precious. Hack has the potential to devastate teams on defense, taking down Reinhardt’s shield, for example, and creating an opening for attack.

Hacking an enemy takes their abilities offline for six seconds, including an enemy’s passive abilities or basic weapon. To use hack, you’ll have to get up close since it’s a short-to-medium range ability. Taking damage during a hack will shut down the ability, but Blizzard has made that easier to do, too. Casting hack takes just 0.65 seconds now.

Hacking health packs is one of Sombra’s coolest abilities. Health packs go offline for enemies for 60 seconds, and during that time, they refresh quicker for teammates—something that’s going to require other flankers who rely on health packs to rethink their strategies. Plus, this just puts Sombra in an interesting spot as a support and DPS hero.

Been here all along

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Stealth allows Sombra to go completely invisible for six seconds with an added speed boost. It’s got a six-second cooldown, which isn’t too bad, making stealth a good way to get back to your team after respawning, too.

Invisibility can be uncovered by taking enemy fire, so if enemy teammates see you turn it on, it’s not likely to help much. That said, it’s a good way to get into the backline quickly. Throw your translocator to a nearby health pack to quickly refresh your health and get back in there. You can’t attack enemies while invisible, though, unless you want to turn it off.

Widowmaker and Hanzo will prove themselves useful against Sombra in this instance. Hanzo’s sonic arrow will detect Sombra if she’s within his line of sight, though not behind walls, while Widowmaker’s infra-sight will reveal Sombra regardless.

Don’t worry about getting healed by Mercy while invisible, by the way—Mercy’s beam won’t show up for enemy teams.

See ya later

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Using the translocator, Sombra can teleport. The beacon will stay in place for an unlimited duration and can be manually destroyed using the interact key. It has a six-second cooldown, though. The beacon doesn’t need to have landed to be used, which will allow you to drop into fights from interesting angles. Be careful doing that, though. You’ll want to make sure your teammates are around for support. Sombra’s squishy. She’ll go down fast without help.

It’s essential for flanking, too, in getting close to the other team to knock ’em out with an EMP blast or to hack a major enemy with a shield—ahem, Reinhardt.

¡Apagando las luces!

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This is a game-winning ultimate. Sombra’s EMP sets off an electromagnetic blast that destroys enemy shields in a wide radius, while also hacking all enemies within the detonation area. Sombra herself is the center of the blast, so to use EMP effectively, you’ll need to use stealth abilities like her invisibility or translocator to really get in there. It’s essentially her hacking ability on a massive level. It’ll take down Reinhardt’s shield, disable Torbjörn’s turret, remove Lucio’s sound barrier, and stop McCree’s ultimate—and more.

Sombra’s ultimate is more focused on setting up the team for huge plays, so communication while playing her is going to be necessary. If no one on your team is around after you’ve used EMP, it’s not likely going to do much good.

Strong against

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Reinhardt, Zarya, Bastion

Reinhardt and Zarya are important in keeping their teams safe and their abilities ensure they’re able to do that. But by taking out their abilities, they become a lot less useful. Sombra has the ability to eliminate Reinhardt and Zarya’s key abilities—both have shields—and grant their team an opening to pick off important targets.

As for Bastion, Sombra can be devastating. One hack will pull Bastion out of its turret ability and remove its self-heal ability. And with Bastion’s recent changes, you need to remove his ability to heal. He’s tough in Configuration: Recon, but taking out his key abilities is a big advantage. Plus, Sombra can get in without being noticed and remove herself from battle before Bastion can knock her out.

Weak against

Widowmaker, Hanzo, Winston

Widowmaker and Hanzo are effective against Sombra for one major reason: They can reveal her when she’s in stealth mode. Winston is also a good hero for finding a Sombra lurking about. His tesla cannon can find a nearby Sombra without really knowing where she’s hiding. If he knows where her translocator is—or makes a good guess—his jump ability is the fastest way to get at a retreating Sombra.