Sonic Sphere is a Tech that allows the player to transform into a ball which can move very quickly by using a sphere dash. While activated characters are shown as a purple and black sphere. It's unlocked using eight Tech Cards at a Tech Console or the Tech Lab of the Outpost and fits inside the Head tech slot.
Sonic sphere has similar functionality to Distortion Sphere, but has a lower base speed of 10 (default run speed in humanoid form is 14). In addition, when initially transforming into sphere form and whenever an attempt to transform out of sphere form fails due to insufficient space for the humanoid form, the transformation key can be held down to charge up for a dash. If the key is held for longer than 0.5 seconds, the player will launch forward and upward when the key is released. If transformation is done in mid-air, charging will not begin until the player hits the ground, and if something knocks the player off the ground during the charging process, charging will pause until the player hits the ground again.
The launch velocity is dependent on the length of time that the key is held before release up to 1.5 seconds. Specifically, a fully-charged launch (time >= 1.5 seconds) propels the player at a speed of 80 in the forward direction and a speed of 10 in the upward direction, and for times between 0.5 and 1.5 seconds, these speeds are 80 * (time / 1.5) and 10 * (time / 1.5), respectively. For example, charging for exactly 0.75 seconds will cause the player to launch at a speed of 40 in the forward direction and 5 in the upward direction because (0.75 / 1.5) = 0.5.
The Sonic Sphere's dash is useful for traversing Asteroid Fields, where the low gravity and the lack of fall damage allow a single dash to cover a large distance.
Like all Head Techs, the Sonic Sphere can be used to access pathways that are too small for the player to walk inside. However, players in sphere form cannot jump very high, nor can they warp back to their ship, and will need to switch back to normal form to warp. Jumping in Sonic Sphere form is impossible while submerged in a liquid.
To activate the sphere press 'F'. Hold 'F' to charge the sphere's speed. To switch to normal form press 'F' again while in a space large enough to accommodate the character's humanoid form.
Transforming into the Sonic Sphere consumes 50 energy, and charging up for a dash costs 30 energy for a fully-charged dash. As with all Head Techs, energy regeneration is blocked while in Sonic Sphere form and for 1.5 seconds after exiting it.
Roll speed (but not horizontal launch speed) is improved by Run Boost, and jump height (but not vertical launch speed) is improved by Jump Boost. The Gravity Augment, the Light buff, and the Low Gravity Zone that comes with some Staffs are helpful for increasing the distance covered by a sphere dash as well as decreasing or eliminating the fall damage that might otherwise be sustained from such a launch. Energy Boost, though generally not necessary for Head Techs, is more useful than usual for the Sonic Sphere due to the ability to perform several sphere dashes without transforming back into humanoid form.
Players still receive full damage, thus you can be attacked easily whilst traveling. It is possible to trap a player in a sphere by placing blocks completely around them. Unable to leave sphere form without any space, they must resort to waiting for the blocks to be destroyed.
- The sphere appears to be based on the signature 'Morph Ball' technology utilized by Samus Aran, the protagonist of the Metroid franchise. The Sonic Sphere's charge functional additionally makes it similar to the Boost Ball upgrade from the Metroid Prime sub-series.
- The charge functionality and name are similar to early Sonic the Hedgehog games.