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Once obtained, the player can utilize the Lightning by pressing its icon on the bottom of the HUD. When used, the Lightning's bolt cluster will appear above the rival that is in first place. If the user is leading the race however, then the bolt cluster will target the rival character in second place. Regardless, the bolt cluster will float in the air above its target for a few second before discharging a jolt below them. If a rival character gets struck by this jolt, they will be stunned, thus causing them to lose Rings and stop moving for a moment, and lose one random power-up in their inventory slots on the HUD. To avoid the Lightning, the playable character has to move to another lane, away from its bolt cluster, before it discharges.
The Lightning can also be upgraded by leveling the user up to level 6 and 12 respectively. For each upgrade, the player will be guaranteed to obtain more Lightnings to use in the Projectile Item slot from a single Item Box; at level 6, there is a guaranteed chance of getting two Lightnings, and at level 12, there is a guaranteed chance of getting three Lightnings.
In Sonic Forces: Speed Battle, the Lighting 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.