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Sonic Wiki Zone
Sonic Wiki Zone

Attention. If you find a gold ring, please return it to the lost and found. Thank you.

Dr. Eggman, Sonic Colors (Wii)

The Ring[1][2] (リング[3][4] Ringu?), also known as the Gold Ring,[5] is an object that appears in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Rings serve as a unique health system in gameplay throughout most of the series; in most cases, as long as the players hold even one Ring, it will protect them from losing a life upon taking damage. Instead, the players lose a portion of their Rings, though the amount varies between games. Aside from this, Rings have served many other purposes in different games, and collecting them grants bonuses like extra lives, Continues and points.


Appearance and background[]


Sonic holding a Ring in his hand, from the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 version of Sonic Unleashed.

What secrets do they hold?

— Mission title, Sonic Forces: Speed Battle

The Rings' design is based on either the basic and round-edged wedding rings or solid brass round rings. The size of Rings varies in certain games; in-game sprites and models show them being about half the size of the playable characters, while certain cutscenes or promotional material show them being small enough to be held in the palm of the hand. On their own, they spin around in one spot and either lie close to the ground or float in midair.

While they do not appear special on the surface, Rings contain an unspecified form of energy referred to as "Ring Energy" which has energizing effects on machines, living beings and Super States. Rings' unique properties also allow large amounts of them to carried at once, although it is not known where one puts them as they apparently disappear when picked up; not even a genius like Tails knows for sure where they go.[6]


Being the most common item in the games, Rings can be found everywhere in the primary playable levels. Generally, they are arranged in large clusters or in strings along pathways, off ramps, above Springs, around loops, along Grind Rails, or simply in midair. In general gameplay, the player can collect Rings by simply touching them. When this happens, they disappear, only leaving behind a small sparkle effect while a chime can be heard.

Rings Everywhere!

Once hit, Rings will spread out from the playable character in a circular pattern. Image from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (16-bit).

The most recognizable and prevalent attribute of Rings is their function to prevent their holder from being defeated. In general, possessing even a single Ring prevents a character from losing a life upon taking damage from things such as impacts with enemies, enemy attacks or damage-inducing obstacles. If a character (unshielded or non-invulnerable) takes damage while holding Rings, they drop their Rings which are then scattered in a circular pattern and bounce around the environment, while the player gets stunned and pushed backwards. However, there are certain dangers Rings cannot protect against, such as being crushed, falling into bottomless pits, failing missions with a time limit and drowning. In the pre-mentioned cases, the player's Ring count will reset to zero should they restart the level. Taking damage without a Ring will result in the player dying. The protection from rings are powerful enough to save the wielder even from devastating damage of The End-Tattered Supreme.

During the brief period where the players drop their Rings after taking damage, there is a chance to collect the scattered Rings, but they will eventually all disappear after a while. Also, upon taking damage and dropping the Rings, the player is given a momentary period of invulnerability (which is represented by the playable character rapidly flashing between visible and invisible). The amount of Rings the player drops when taking damage varies between games. In most cases, the player will drop all of them when taking damage, while in other games, only a portion of them will be dropped. The Rings' scattering pattern also varies in many later games, like in Sonic Rush where they bounce farther away the more hits the player takes. However, the player will not usually lose Rings if their character possesses any type of Shield and/or invincibility.

In several games, fewer "recoverable" Rings are displayed on-screen when they are dropped than the number actually lost. While this amount varies, the maximum is usually around twenty; fewer are dropped in games on the Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear, about fifty are dropped in Sonic Rush, and about thirty-two in the mainline Sega Mega Drive games and the episodes of Sonic the Hedgehog 4. Regardless, it is impossible for the player to recover all their Rings when they drop them, unless they only carry a few of them.

SG image2011 0725 2209 2

Different types of gimmicks reward the player with Rings, such as the slot machines. Image from the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Generations.

Rings are normally earned by picking them up from the levels, but they can also be earned in other ways, depending on the game. Various games have Super Rings and similar power-ups which grant multiple Rings, Badniks in Sonic Advance 3 release Rings upon defeat, and completing Action Stages in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) give Rings for the Town Stages as awards. Many Zone gimmicks can as well reward the player with Rings. Once the player collects a hundred Rings, the player is usually awarded with an extra life and even sometimes with another one after collecting two hundred Rings. Likewise, the player earns points or sometimes continues by collecting Rings. The player can also complete certain requirements for unlocking extra features by obtaining Rings. Collecting and holding fifty Rings in several games will summon Star Circles or Giant Rings that lead to Special Stages, and in other games collecting enough Rings when passing checkpoints in the Special Stages will grant a Chaos Emerald.

Aside from the aforementioned cases, the Rings serve other purposes. In the various games, they have been used as currency in Shops as exchange for items, payment to unlock special moves in gameplay, or assist with moves such as the Boost or Light Speed Dash. Rings are also essential to fueling a Super State or similar forms of transformations, which in many cases can be activated after collecting fifty Rings. While in this state, the player's Ring count will typically decrease steadily, and once it reaches zero, the playable character reverts back to their normal state.


Blue Ring[]

Main article: Blue Ring

Blue Rings are loose variations of Rings and objects that appear in Sonic Colors. They are found in Acts with Blue Wisps, and touching them will grant points. When the player uses the Blue Cube Color Power, Blue Rings will turn into Blue Blocks, which cannot be collected nor broken, and vice versa.

Chaos Ring[]

Main article: Chaos Ring

The Chaos Rings are a set of six multicolored rings that appear in Knuckles' Chaotix. They were formed in the dimensional space created by the Newtrogic High Zone's ancient Special Rings, where the Master Emerald's pillar energy crystallized into six rings. Collecting all six of them and beating Knuckles' Chaotix rewards the player with the game's good ending.

Dark Ring[]

Main article: Dark Ring

Dark Rings are synthesized Rings that appears in Knuckles' Chaotix. Dark Ring come in either regular Ring or Giant Ring variations, which are reddish-brown, and are used by Dr. Eggman to power his Badniks and his mechs. When the player destroys a Badnik or one of Eggman's mechs, a Dark Ring will pop up and disintegrate completely.

Dash Ring[]

Main article: Dash Ring
Dash Ring

Two types of Dash Rings, from the console/PC version of Sonic Generations.

Dash Rings are Ring-based game gimmicks. In gameplay, the player can use them to dash through mid-air by passing through them. Dash Rings are either designed as mechanical rings or simple, orange-colored Rings. A sub-variation of the Dash Rings is called Rainbow Rings, which grant extra points or allow Trick Actions.

Dummy Ring[]

Main article: Dummy Ring
Sonic the hedgeog (2006) dummy rings

Tails using the Dummy Ring Bomb, from Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).

Dummy Rings refer to items used by Tails and Rouge in Sonic Heroes and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). They are used as a part of the playable characters' attacks, and can either cause explosive damage or paralyze enemies upon touch. Dummy Rings look identical to regular Rings, but they cannot be collected.

Giant Ring[]

Main article: Giant Ring

A Giant Ring, from the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World.

Giant Rings are larger variations of the regular Rings. They can either be summoned at the end of each Zone's Act by collecting fifty Rings or be found behind in hidden areas. Giant Rings are used as transportation devices to Special Stages, or, in very few cases, grant huge amounts of Rings to the player.

Power Ring[]

Main article: Power Ring
Power Ring Runners

Power Rings, from Sonic Runners.

Power Rings are a special type of Ring which appear in Sonic Runners. They are regular Rings which have accumulated a special energy as a result of being out in nature for a long time, giving them special powers, like empowering beings far beyond what regular Rings are capable of and repairing machinery.

Red Star Ring[]

Main article: Red Star Ring
Red Star Rings in Sonic Runners

A Red Star Ring, from Sonic Runners.

Red Star Rings are a more common variation of Rings which were introduced in Sonic Colors. Red Star Rings are slightly larger, red rings with a star in their center. Usually, Red Star Rings are collectible items found in each Act/Zone, which can be used to unlock different features upon collecting them, such as new Acts in Game Land, concept artwork, or music tracks. Sometimes, they are also used as a game's premium currency.

Revival Ring[]

Main article: Revival Ring

The Revival Rings only appear in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood as consumable items. They can revive one knocked-out party member while restoring ten percent of their Health Points.

Ring of Life[]

Main article: Ring of Life

The Rings of Life only appear as consumable items in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood. It can be used to revive any party member while fully restoring their Health Points.

Special Ring[]

Main article: Special Ring

Special Rings only appear in Sonic Advance 2, where the player has to collect seven of them in each Stage to enter Special Stages. They are slightly larger than regular Rings, with upward-pointing wings and a star in their center.

Super Ring[]

Main article: Super Ring
Item Box Adventure 2

A Super Ring Item Box, from Sonic Adventure 2.

Super Rings are the most commonly used variations of Rings, which are often found inside Item Boxes. Such Item Boxes have a Ring icon on them and breaking them will grant the player ten extra Rings.

World Ring[]

Main article: World Ring
Sonic and the Secret Rings wp World Rings

The seven World Rings, from Sonic and the Secret Rings.

The seven World Rings are magical items that appear in Sonic and the Secret Rings, which bind the reality of the world of the Arabian Nights together. During the game, the Erazor Djinn sought the World Rings to conquer the Arabian Nights, and used Sonic to get them. Each World Rings come in a different color and represent a different emotion. Like the Chaos Emeralds, they can also empower beings, though their collector's life must be sacrificed to unlock their power.

Early canon[]

As documented in the second Sonic the Hedgehog Bible draft released by Sega of America, the Rings (referred to as gold rings) were what made up Dr. Ovi Kintobor's Amazing Transformation Machine (or "ATM" for short). This machine consisted of thousands of rings that constantly flowed "good karma" around the machine's core as it transferred evil from one object to another.[7] However, when the ATM exploded, the gold rings were scattered throughout the zones of Mobius.[8] When Sonic later came across the Rings and picked them up, they would protect him from harm.[9]


  1. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Genesis) United States instruction booklet, pg. 4.
  2. Sonic Unleashed (Xbox 360) United States instruction booklet, pg. 13.
  3. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Mega Drive) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 18.
  4. Sonic Unleashed (Xbox 360) Japanese instruction booklet, pg. 15.
  5. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega Genesis) United States instruction booklet, pg. 5.
  6. Sonic Team (1 November 2011). Sonic Generations. PlayStation 3. Sega. Cutscene: Ending. "Classic Tails: He [Modern Sonic] collects how many? Wow, where does somebody put all those gold rings? / Modern Tails: You know what? I don't know. I keep forgetting to ask."
  7. Sonic the Hedgehog Bible Draft II (PDF). Hacking CulT. Archived from the original on 25 October 2020. Retrieved on 25 October 2020. "He also has his ATM ready to transfer the last bit of the world's evil into the Gray Emerald and stabilize the Chaos Emeralds. The ATM consists of thousands of gold rings that constantly flow good karma around the machine's core as it transfers evil from one object into another."
  8. Sonic the Hedgehog Bible Draft II (PDF). Hacking CulT. Archived from the original on 25 October 2020. Retrieved on 25 October 2020. "The radiation blast blows up the ATM, scattering the golden rings throughout the zones."
  9. Sonic the Hedgehog Bible Draft II (PDF). Hacking CulT. Archived from the original on 25 October 2020. Retrieved on 25 October 2020. "Scattered during the explosion of the Amazing Transformation Machine, rings protect Sonic when he's touched or attacked by an enemy."