The Ring Shooter[1] is a gimmick in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It is a device created for taking the playable characters through midair to different sections in the levels.


The appearance of the Ring Shooters varies between games. However, their standard feature is sending the users traveling short distances through midair.


Sonic traveling through a Ring Shooter's yellow ring path in Sonic & Knuckles.

When the playable character interacts with a Ring Shooter in gameplay, it will automatically send the playable character through a string of yellow energy rings that are generated on their own at high speed. These yellow ring paths will move through midair (often in erratic patterns) until they reach a new area in the level, upon which they will deposit the playable character riding them. The process of the playable character being transferred through the yellow rings occurs automatically, meaning the player is unable to control the playable characters for as long as they ride the ring strings.

Game appearances

Sonic & Knuckles

Ring Shooter ready to go

The Ring Shooter's launch pad in Death Egg Zone in Sonic & Knuckles.

In Sonic & Knuckles. and the lock-on game Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, the Ring Shooters look like Spin Dash launch pads next to cyan-colored gates. These gates have a three-second timer and high-voltage fuses on side. In this game, they are only featured in Death Egg Zone.

In gameplay, the Ring Shooter is initiated when the playable character walks up in front of it. The playable character will then be revved up automatically (like when starting up a Spin Dash) with two wheels while the Ring Shooter's timer counts down from three. Once the countdown hits zero, the playable character is launched through the Ring Shooter's yellow rings while in Spin Attack mode. The areas where that the playable character flies around in are large, and the ring paths will occasionally loop around amongst other things until the playable character arrives at their destination. At this point, the ring path will cease generating rings, leading to the playable character being dropped at their destination.

Ring Shooters are usually found in huge open areas of the Zone. All of these sections can be skipped altogether if the player chooses so, and sometimes, it is necessary to collect certain power-ups.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II


A Ring Shooter in Sky Fortress Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II, the Ring Shooters are redesigned as yellow, bizarre-looking, box-shaped cannons with a plastic cover covering their insertion hole. In this game, they are only featured in Sky Fortress Zone Act 3.

In gameplay, the Ring Shooters can be targeted with the Homing Attack. By Homing Attacking a Ring Shooter, the playable character will automatically open the lid on the Ring Shooter and jump into it, which will sent the playable character flying through the Ring Shooter's yellow rings without going into Spin Attack mode. Unlike the ring paths in Sonic & Knuckles however, the ring paths in this game will always deposit the playable character into a cylinder at the destination for the Ring Shooter's ring path. Upon receiving the playable character, these cylinders will then rotate and spit out the playable character so that they land safely on a solid surface.

Sonic Forces


The Ring Shooter's launch pad in Death Egg in Sonic Forces.

In Sonic Forces, the Ring Shooters have the same appearance and behavior they had in Sonic & Knuckles. In this game, they are only featured in Death Egg.

In gameplay, the Ring Shooters work just they did in Sonic & Knuckles; they rev Classic Sonic into a Spin Dash for about three seconds when he gets in front of them, before sending him rolling though their yellow ring paths. Like in Sonic & Knuckles, the ring paths will also fly around a large area and loop around other things until they reach their destinations. At this point, the ring path will cease generating rings, leading to Classic Sonic simply being dropped at his destination.




  1. Kellie (2 March 2012). Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode II – Concept Art Friday. Sega. Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved on 6 February 2015.

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