True to its name, the Lightning's icon is a yellow lightning bolt discharging at some points. The attack itself appears as a violet bolt of lightning over an opponent's head.
In gameplay, the Lightning can only be obtained at random from Item Boxes by Amy, Longclaw, Rouge, and Shadow. As with most other Items, Metal Sonic can also obtain the Lightning if he uses the Steal Item to steal it from the aforementioned users.
When used, floating balls of lightning will appear over opponents for a second before discharging, inducing an electric attack if hit. Should this attack connect, it will cause the recipient(s) to become temporarily stunned, take damage, and lose one of the power-ups they have on them. The Lightning can also be upgraded for each individual user by increasing their level to 6 and 12, increasing the duration of the stun the Lightning deals.
The player can avoid the Lightning by changing lanes during the delay. Lightning will always target the player in first place, or second if the user is currently in first.
In Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, the Lighting Item has received the most drastic changes throughout the game's update history, both for gameplay balance and bug-fixing reasons. Before Version 1.2.0, the Lightning's effects were unavoidable although it did not slow down opponents it hit and prior to Version 1.0.0, the Lightning instantly zapped all opponents but it did not take Rings from hitting opponents. Prior to Version 0.0.4, the Lighting also caused a bug which could drop all players out of the race when used.