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What Shields Can and Can’t Sombra Hack?

overwatch 2-2-2

With the latest patch, Sigma had some significant changes, but one of the most important changes is how his shield interacts with Sombra’s Hack ability. As a shield based character, Sigma relies on being able to quickly put out and retract his shield, using either to protect key allies, cut off important grounds for enemies, or to kite to safety. With the change, if Sombra hacks Sigma, not only will he be unable to move the shield for the duration, it now drops entirely. But how does Sombra interact with other shield based characters?

Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Before beginning, it must be pointed out that the type of hack talked about is the right click ability, and will not be referencing Sombra’s EMP ultimate. This is because Sombra’s emp shuts down all things, including shields, in its radius. Sombra’s EMP is all-encompassing, whereas the hack itself is a bit different.

The first character to discuss is the original shield himself, Reinhardt. Reinhardt holds right-click in order to lift his 2000 health shield and can release the button to drop it. Like Sigma, however, when he is hacked, not only does he lose control of his shield, it drops entirely, whether he was holding it or not during the hacking process.

sigma overwatch
Image Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

However, with characters like Winston or Orisa, once the shield is placed, even when hacked, the shields will stay up. This is because they operate with shields that are, in a sense, operating as “fire and forget” shields. Where Reinhardt or Brigette have to consciously lift and drop their shields, Winston and Orisa simply place them and use them without any further interaction.

This change ultimately aligns Sigma with the other tanks to create a sort of consistency among shield users. Beforehand, Sigma was an odd one out. The consistency this change creates makes it easier for newer players and those who return after Sigma’s introduction to make sense of just what Sombra can and can’t do. This patch makes the game make more sense overall and benefits the game more than just in a gameplay sense, but a holistic sense as well.

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