Orb switches are objects which appeared in Sonic Heroes. They are a mystical variant of Switches which are only encountered in the haunted areas of the game.
Orb switches are found exclusively in Hang Castle and Mystic Mansion and perform one of two functions: In Hang Castle, an orb switch will flip the level upside down, and in Mystic Mansion it will teleport the team to other locations in the mansion or make minor changes to a room (including spawning enemies). Orb switches may appear on their own or in a group up to three. When touched, they will release symbol particles from the pad and a bright light which will permeate from the middle of the screen. Once triggered, the switch becomes inactive and teams cannot return to where they came from using that switch.
In the PlayStation 2 version of Sonic Heroes, When the codes to the orb switch's light effect has errors caused by the glitched water texture effect in some areas, the alpha blending will change to use the same mixing method as the warp light mostly for Team Chaotix's Warp Flower or Detonator Switch causing them to release a neon light that brightens the screen (except for the HUD interface) in the middle of the screen instead or possibly revert back or ignore the model's transparency leaving black on the edges and making it not see through. If they restart from the specific checkpoint after the part the glitch occurred or if Leaf Swirl has been used, the light's blend mode will be reverted. The bug can also be indicated when Charmy's wings are additive. This PS2 bug can also be usable in the GameCube version using the additive switch effect fix Action Replay code. With that used, the light will pop in the screen bright regardless of any glitches in the game.
If the player uses the Tornado Jump on an orb switch, a small sphere of the same color of the user's aura will be created near the orb. When the engulfing light effect appears brighter, the sphere highlights will lighten within the whitepoints.
If a player uses Leaf Swirl to make either Charmy and/or Vector stay within the orb without touching it and change formations at another position without using the technique first, the switch will trigger at any position during the transportation proccess.
A bug on the prototype (10.8) release causes the Power character to gradually fly up after using Body Press on two switches in the statue room. This was due to how the collisions for the object were programmed. It was fixed in later releases of the game.
When using Team Blast while on top of the Orb Switch's cage with eithter Team Rose or Team Chaotix in Power formation to destroy surrounding enemies, the warp effect will permeate before being taken outside the castle.