Sombra Overwatch guide: Hack enemies, get info, win games cover image

Sombra Overwatch guide: Hack enemies, get info, win games

Need help hacking? Let our Sombra Overwatch 2 guide provide the pointers on entry, exit, and best times to EMP.

Sombra is one of those Overwatch 2 Heroes that, when they appear in your games, elicits one of two reactions. It's either "Oh good, they don't know what they're doing" or "Oh god, what do we do about Sombra?" One of the most technical characters in Overwatch, there's no in-between with the game's resident hacker. Either you're harassing the enemy backline and getting info or you're getting clipped in the head by Mercy. Allow us to provide some clarity with our Sombra Overwatch 2 guide!

Within we'll talk about the five things you can do as a Sombra player to help your team. This includes what and who to hack or not hack, controlling the map, and how to use EMP for actual value.


Sombra Overwatch guide: The basics

Let's get the basics of Sombra and her kit out of the way for the sake of completion.


  • Deal 25% more damage to hacked targets.
  • Opportunist detects enemies below 50% health.
  • The silhouette has a glowing effect to it, different from other wall vision effects.
  • Reveals enemy health bars that are below 100% to Sombra only, without requiring Sombra to have dealt any damage to them.
  • Can benefit from Hack effect applied by another friendly Sombra.

The core of Sombra's kit. Essentially, Sombra is aware of the enemy team's health and location in ways that other Heroes don't get for free. Likewise, she does more damage to hacked opponents. This means the mere threat of being hacked is a threat at any time for everyone but the meatiest of Heroes.


  • Damage per second: 150 while firing (102.27 overall w/reload)
  • Damage per second: 187.5 while firing (Hacked Target) (127.84 overall w/reload)


Sombra's core ability, which allows her to interrupt enemy abilities, cancel out movement effects, and deny health packs from the opponent. Her Hack doesn't allow for the long-term denial of abilities like the old version. But the Overwatch 2 iteration of Hack is still one of the best abilities in the game.

This will shut down specific abilities such as Reinhardt Charge, Roadhog's heal, Mercy's Guardian Angel, and more. Far more valuable is its ability to turn off and cancel certain Ultimate attacks. This includes:

  • Sigma's Graviton Surge
  • Orisa's Terra Surge
  • Mei's Blizzard
  • Hanzo's Dragon Strike
  • Junker Queen's Rampage
  • Lucio's Sound Barrier (if caught before he hits the ground)
  • Reaper's Death Blossom
  • Pharah's Barrage
  • Echo's Glide
  • Moira's Coalescence
  • Wrecking Ball's Grappling Hook/Ball Mode
  • Ashe's B.O.B.

This is to say that Sombra, at a base level, is a hard counter to a number of Heroes. Because of that, it's often hard to quantify the value of a friendly Sombra. Are they not getting kills but turning off key abilities and wasting Ultimates?

Some random notes on certain Hack interactions:

  • Hacked enemies have their health bar revealed to Sombra's team for 10 seconds. If their ultimate ability is ready, an icon appears on top to show this.
  • Hacked Health Packs respawn four times faster — 2.5 seconds for small Health Packs, 3.75 seconds for mega Health Packs — and can be seen through walls to all allies within 30 meters. Hacked Health Packs cannot be used by the enemy team.
  • Taking damage interrupts Hack and it will go on a 4 second cooldown. If Hack is interrupted without taking any damage, it does not go on cooldown.


The thing that makes Sombra such a terror in Overwatch 2. While stealthed Sombra avoids being targeted by auto-attacks such as Moira's damage orb, Symmetra and Torb's turrets, and B.O.B.. Also, in a major change from Overwatch 1 the use of her Hack ability no longer pulls you out of stealth.

This has major psychological ramifications for her kit and gives Sombra the ability to "poke" enemies, akin to how poking works in fighting games. It also gives Sombra the ability to distract the enemy and force them to turn around at times, all without Sombra ever leaving stealth or shooting her gun.


Sombra's "get out of jail, free" card. Throw a beacon down anywhere on the map. Activate again in order to return to the beacon. Rinse, repeat. This allows Sombra to get out of trouble, relocate to safety, and come back to do it all again. A good Sombra player will value safely translocating out of trouble rather than risking death just for a backline kill.

In addition to using the Translocator defensively, you can also use it as an EMP setup, as seen above. However, always be aware that the enemy can find and destroy your beacon. This not only places it on cooldown but also removes your escape route.


Arguably the biggest threat in Sombra's kit, EMP hacks, damages, and rips through defensive abilities. Not only does EMP place hacked status on everyone it hits, but it also turns off ability-generated shields and overhealth such as Brig's Rally and Lucio's Sound Barrier. Additionally, it turns Sombra into a Final Fantasy-esque Black Mage and basically casts Gravity magic on the enemy team, dealing almost half their current health.

The biggest problem with EMP is that, while impressive, it absolutely requires a team follow-up. We've all been in Quick Play with a Sombra that thinks using EMP solo is a win card and I'm here to tell you: Nope. It's true that a well-timed EMP can turn the complexion of a fight in an instant, but it can also wiff just as easily.

Sombra Overwatch Guide: Strengths, weaknesses

What is Sombra good at in Overwatch 2? This really all depends on what kind of style your team is playing. Are you in a dive comp and trying to use Sombra as an opening on squishy Heroes? Is your job to scout ahead, ping where the enemy is heading, and distract accordingly? She can do all that, but you also need to know what she cannot do.


  • One of the strongest 1v1 duelists in the game
  • A stealthed Sombra can abuse the ping system to your advantage
  • Able to turn off enemy abilities and weaken tanks
  • Hacked health packs in key locations actively hurts enemy Wrecking Balls, Tracers, etc.
  • A fast, strong gun that when used correctly leads to consistent damage
  • Counters Heroes hard to deal with at low levels such as Genji, Tracer, Widow.


  • Set-up heavy and can sometimes be out of team fights more than she's in them
  • Low damage compared to most other DPS picks
  • A selfish playstyle that the player must actively work to avoid
  • Her only defensive ability requires her to fully exit a team fight
  • EMP is easy to waste due to its nature as a set-up or finishing move
  • Gun is unwieldy and takes practice to learn its spread and spray
  • Can leave herself open to being spotted with bad movement/poor beacon placement

Sombra can prove to be a fantastic counter-pick in the hands of a knowledgeable player. However, don't assume that she's just Tracer with a teleport. Sombra is most effective when popping up in the heat of a team fight, not leading backline dives and attempting to score solo kills. More often than not you'll eat a charged headshot from a Zenyatta than do anything cool.

Now, let's talk about what you can do as a Sombra player to get better and win games.

Sombra tips: The fear of God

The biggest worry when a Sombra is on the enemy team is her hack. You can almost always bet that said Sombra is watching and lurking nearby at all times. However, this doesn't mean you should just immediately dive on that enemy Hero you just hacked. Part of playing Sombra is the mind games involved, and sometimes that means hacking a target, letting everyone turn around, and then repositioning.

Get used to using corners while making your hack attempts rather than standing directly behind the target. You should never be standing still while performing hack. Likewise, it sometimes pays off to hack a target, let them turn around without attacking, then go in on them once they go back to what they were doing.

A great Sombra player will mix up when and how she's making her dive attempts, and also knows that sometimes the hack is more important than getting a kill.

Fight or flight

Some Sombra players think they are made of glass, but this just isn't the case. The urge to instantly bail out of a fight once an opponent looks at you can be strong. However, trusting your team, using cover, and staying in a fight can sometimes pay off. Sombra is a strong counter to almost every Hero and that can mean sometimes not being stealthed and just hanging in the middle of a fight.

Like the above highlight, you should be assisting your tank on pushing to a weak target, while also watching for low-level Heroes to pick off. Make use of the fact that Sombra always knows when an opponent is in grave danger.

Sombra Overwatch 2 guide: Ping, ping, ping

The new ping system truly makes Sombra a danger in Overwatch 2. Not only does it turn her into the best scout in the game, but it also allows her to call out low-HP targets. Make it a habit to be constantly pinging when playing Sombra. This goes double for calling out critical enemies in the middle of a team fight so that your crew knows who to fire upon.

Know your matchups

A good Sombra player knows which Heroes suffer most from her Hack. This includes Wrecking Ball, Genji, Moira, Pharah, Reinhardt, Mercy, and more. The common denominator with all of those Heroes? They each have a core ability that is either turned off or punished by Sombra's Hack. With the right timing and knowing your opponent's playstyle you can do things such as Hack a Wrecking Ball out of his dive attempts almost every single time.

Facing a charge-happy Rein? Have that Hack ready and make sure he never splats a single person ever again. Hack Mercy and Pharah out of the air and force them to scramble to safety. An enemy Moira should never be able to get off a full Ultimate ever again while you're on the board. Just plan on playing reactively and think less about setting up dives. Trust me, they'll come to you.

Better no EMP than too soon

The sign of a bad Sombra is how they employ their EMP Ultimate. My gaming group jokes about the "quick play EMP," a use of the Ultimate when nobody is around to follow-up. Too many players think that EMP is a win button and while, yeah: In the hands of an Overwatch League pro it is a literal map-winning move, it also requires a number of factors.

What is your team doing? What is the enemy team doing? Where are both teams? What Ultimates are online? Do you have an escape route? What target is the weakest upon EMP going off? Are you using it to counter a defensive ability?

And all of those questions essentially need to be asked in a matter of seconds or you miss your shot. So, do yourself a favor: If you aren't entirely sure if it's time to EMP then don't hit the Q button. There's nothing wrong with holding onto EMP for the next fight, but don't use it just because everyone is hitting their Ults. A great Sombra EMP either turns off abilities, weakens the most amount of enemies, or makes the opponent scatter.

Do all three? You got yourself a EMP stew, baby. Now, get out there, hack some enemies, use your ping button, and win some games.

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