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Overwatch Strategy Guide
By: - Last Updated June 17, 2017

Sombra In-depth Strategy Guide
( FP's Overwatch Strategy Guide )

SombraSombra is one of the world's most notorious hackers.  Using her hacking skills to manipulate those in power, she is able to disable her opponents from using their abilities.  Like Tracer, Sombra is a very stealthy hero, as she is able to run around while being invisible thanks to her Thermoptic Camo ability, and transport herself around with her Translocator ability.  With these two abilities combined (hacking and stealth), Sombra is able to get behind enemy lines to disable strong defenses and initiate ambushes on her opponents.

To become a master with sombra, one will need to learn which enemies are more important to hack than others and when to hack them as well.  Sombra also has a unique ability to disable the enemy from picking up health packs by hacking them.  Sombra's ultimate EMP is basically an AOE hack, disabling all enemies around her from using their abilities for a short period of time, this can have huge implications on a battle.

Name:  (full name unknown)
Difficulty:  Hard
Role:  Offense
Age:  30
Location:  Dorado, Mexico
Occupation:  Hacker
Release Date:  Not yet released

Base Hitpoints:  200


In This Guide:
Machine Pistol
Thermoptic Camo
Strong Against
Weak Against
Neutral With

Main Menu

Passive Ability

Sombra's passive ability enables her to see injured enemies behind walls.  Any enemy that has their health below 50%, Sombra (and only Sombra) will be able to see these enemies behind walls, regardless of where they are on the map.

Sombra's passive ability is a powerful one.  Being able to see injured enemies behind walls goes hand in hand with her abilities to make it very easy for her to ambush and hunt down injured enemies.  The mechanics are simple:  Any enemy below 50% health will be revealed to Sombra (and only Sombra), regardless of where they are at on the map.  This means it is important to communicate with your allies to let them know where these injured enemies are at, especially to other offensive allied flankers like Tracer, Genji and Reaper.

Opportunist can also warn you of incoming enemies that could be dangerous to you, in which you can respond by moving away from the incoming danger by using Translocator or Thermoptic Camo (more on that later).

Main attacking weapon

Sombra's fully-automatic machine pistol fires in a short-range spread.

Ammo:  60
Damage:  2-8 (hitscan and falloff damage)
Headshot?:  YES
Reload:  1.5 seconds
Default Hotkey:  LM

Sombra's Machine Pistol is her only means of dealing actual damage to her enemies.  The pistol has a relatively large clip that can fire for a full 3.05 seconds before needing a reload, which is substantially longer than most other offensive hero's attack weapons like Tracer's pistols and Soldier 76's rifle for example.  Even though Sombra's pistol utilizes hitscan bullets (instant bullet travel), the pistol does falloff distance damage, so one will have to get close to the enemy to do any significant amount damage to the enemy.

Ability with cooldown

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

Duration:  Varies according to target (info below)
Range:  15 meters
Hack Time:  0.8 seconds
Cooldown:  8 seconds
Default Hotkey:  RM

Hack is Sombra's signature ability.  Hack enables Sombra to Hack individual enemy targets or health packs one at a time.

Mechanics of Hack on Enemy Targets

  • Hacking will stop and prevent all channeled effects, including enemy ultimates that are channeled.
  • Hacking has no effect on the passive abilities of heroes.
  • Once an enemy is hacked, the target will continue to be hacked for a duration of 6 seconds, and their healthbar plus ultimate status will be revealed for 20 seconds.
  • Sombra is unable to hack enemies that are behind shields or barriers (although an EMP does penetrate through them and will remove the shields and barriers).
  • If an enemy has their ultimate ready for use, hacking them will reveal this with the following icon above their healthbar:

Sombra's Hack Ult Status

NOTE:  I will discuss in-depth the uses of Hack against every hero in the counters section below (it is currently under construction).

Mechanics of Hack on Health Packs

  • When health packs are hacked, they stay hacked for 60 seconds.
  • Hacked health packs cannot be picked up by enemy players, but allies will still be able to pick them up.
  • Sombra’s allies can see hacked healthpacks through walls.
  • Hacked health packs respawn 3 times faster, which for small health packs would be from 10 seconds to 3.3 seconds and large health packs from 15 seconds down to 5 seconds.
  • When multiple Sombras (either from enemy or ally) attempts to hack the same health pack, the player that initialized the hack first will have control over the health pack.
  • Hacked health packs will have this icon above them, with a visible timer:

Hacked Health Pack (white area is time remaining)
Sombra's Hacked Health Pack

Mechanics of Hack on Turrets

  • Torbjorn Turrets will be stunned for 10 seconds.
  • Symmetra's turrets are not effected by Hack.

Ability with cooldown

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.

Duration:  6 seconds
Cooldown:  6 seconds
Default Hotkey:  Shift

Thermoptic Camo is one of Sombra's stealth abilities.  This camouflage ability will allow Sombra to set up easy ambushes and flanks on enemy targets.  This ability combined with her passive ability Opportunist provides a lethal combination for hunting down her opponents.  Keep in mind when you are invisible, you are not invulnerable, as being hit will put you out of the camo.  This means be cautious when using Thermoptic Camo and don't just run right through the middle of a battle where bullets are flying everywhere or you will most likely be hit and lose your camo ability.

Uses for Thermoptic Camo

  • To chase after injured enemies to finish them off.  If you see them running towards a health pack you are near, simply hack the health pack.  After sneaking up to an enemy, consider hacking them first before firing, especially if they have a lot of health.
  • To run back to the fight faster after dying.
  • To sneak behind enemy lines to hack turrets, health packs, or certain enemy targets.
  • To escape from a losing fight (if Translocator is not available)..

Thermoptic Camo is Not a Great Escape Ability
Thermoptic Camo is not Sombra's best escape mechanism.  When activated, it takes about 3/4 of a second for Sombra to turn invisible, and if someone shoots her while invisible, she will drop the ability.  Because of this, it is better to use the ability shortly after losing visible contact with the enemy, such as right after moving behind a wall from your opponent.  If you need to quickly escape from the enemy during a battle, Sombra's Translocator ability is more ideal to use instead.

Ability with cooldown

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).

Duration:  15 seconds
Cooldown:  4 seconds
Default Hotkey:  E

Translocator is the other stealth ability Sombra has access to.  The Translocator is used as a teleportation device that Sombra can use quite frequently as the cooldown for it is only 4 seconds.

Translocator HID info
Sombra's Translocator

Translocator Mechanics

  • Sombra's Translocator is thrown out as a projectile that arks and then drops to the ground.
  • The Translocator does not stick to walls or ceilings.
  • The Translocator cannot be shot at by the enemy as it is indestructible until the 15 second duration is up for it, in which case it then disappears.
  • Can be activated in mid flight.
  • The Translocator will disappear if Sombra dies.
  • Sombra can use Translocator while also using Thermoptic Camo and it will not break the invisibility.  Although the enemy will still be able to see the indestructible Translocator projectile flying to its destination.

Strategies for using Translocator

  • Translocator can be used in conjunction with Thermoptic Camo to sneak behind enemy lines to flank the enemy.  Different maps will have certain strategies for using these two abilities together to sneak around the enemy unnoticed.  I will be working on these videos in the future.
  • Hack a health pack and then throw a Translocator on it.  When your in a battle and need to retreat due to too much damage taken, simply Translocate instantly to the health pack to heal up and repeat.
  • Translocator can be used during a battle to confuse your opponent.  Simply toss a Translocator to a different spot to further confuse the enemy of your whereabouts.
  • You can use Translocator as an escape mechanism during a battle by first throwing out the Translocator, then using Thermoptic Camo to safely escape from a losing battle.

Ultimate Ability

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

Duration:  6 seconds
Range:  20 meters
Default Hotkey:  Q

Sombra's ultimate acts like her single hack ability but in a wide area of effect.  It works good for supplementing pushes to make them more successful, or to dampen pushes done on your team.

EMP Mechanics

Basically EMP (and hack) will disable enemies from using their abilities, but their passive abilities will remain untouched.  To get a better sense of how EMP (or hack) works, I will list the things they mostly do not effect.

  • When activated, EMP will effect all enemy heroes around her line of sight in 360 degrees up to about 20 meters.  Walls and obstacles will block it.
  • Unlike Sombra's single hack ability, EMP does not work on health packs.
  • EMP will destroy shields and barriers.  EMP will even remove Zarya's barriers.
  • EMP (or hack) does not remove Mei's Ice Wall, and Ice Walls will act as a shield for enemies behind it to block the EMP from hitting them.
  • Enemies struck with an EMP (or hack) will still allow shield HP to regenerate.
  • EMP (or hack) does not work on Symmetra's Sentry Turrets or Teleporter.
  • EMP (or hack) will still allow enemies to gain ultimate charge.
  • EMP does not stop the effects of Lucio's auras, although he will be unable to switch them around while hacked.  If Lucio activated Amp It Up before being hacked, it will continue being activated while hacked.  EMP does remove Lucio's ultimate Sound Barrier from him and his allies.

How EMP Effects Ultimates:

EMP and Hack will prevent all enemy heroes from activating their ultimate, but some ultimates cannot be stopped by EMP or Hack during activation, here is the list:

Ultimates that will be stopped by EMP (or hack):

  • McCree's Deadeye
  • Pharah's Barrage
  • Reaper's Deathblossom
  • Roadhog's Whole Hog
  • Lucio's Sound Barrier

Ultimates that are NOT effected by EMP (or hack):

  • Genji's Dragonblade
  • Soldier 76's Tactical Visor
  • Bastion's Tank Form
  • Junkrat's Rip-Tire
  • Torbjorn's Molten Core
  • Widowmaker's Infra-Sight
  • Winston's Primal Rage
  • Symmetra's Teleporter
  • Zenyatta's Transcendence

Projectile (or instant) ultimates that are NOT effected by EMP (or hack):

  • Mei's Blizzard
  • Hanzo's Dragonstrike
  • Tracer's Pulse Bomb
  • Sombra's EMP
  • Reinhardt's Earthshatter
  • D.va's Self-Destruct
  • Zarya's Graviton Surge
  • Mercy's Resurrect


Sombra's Strength and Weaknesses Vs Other Heroes Are Coming Soon!




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In This Guide:
Machine Pistol
Thermoptic Camo
Strong Against
Weak Against
Neutral With

Main Menu