A Tear is a ball of unstable energy representative of a system instability. They may be caused by explosions or form independently, especially over energy seas. Tears can sit dormant in circuitry and equipment causing malfunctions. They are very dangerous and harmful to touch. If they are hit hard by something, they can explode.
Tears can be contained inside energy fields until they are repaired, however catching a tear in a containment field is difficult. Guardians can repair tears with their Key Tools by giving the command 'mend'. Spectrals also have the innate ability to mend tears.
A tear is damage in the fabric of Cyber Space, leading to another location. Tears can be useful in that respect, as they may be stabilized into portals. There are several known means of stabilizing tears, but key tools are the most useful, as they are able to create a portal to anywhere, not just the tear's set destination. Once a tear turns into a portal, the tear is usually fully stabilized and will not reappear when the portal vanishes. However, larger tears will destabilize and reform after the portal disappears.
If a Game Cube drops on a tear the Cube will automatically stabilize the tear into a portal. This is because tears are unable to exist inside of a Game Cube due to the special nature of the Cube's interior. Once the Cube leaves the portal will destabilize back into a tear. (The Tearing)
Tears are incapable of forming inside a Game Cube after it has already landed. If an explosive from outside the Game goes off inside the Cube it will form an Infinite Data Else-If Loop. An even more dangerous natural phenomenon. (Racing the Clock)
Tears come in various sizes. Most are small, just a few inches across, but some are massive, larger than a city sector. At the Edge of Beyond there is a Tear the size of an entire system, leading to the Web. (The Edge of Beyond)
Depending on various circumstances, a tear can change from its natural state into something even more abnormal. After the Viral Wars had ended Mainframe began to shutdown. The city's sectors started to violently tear themselves apart. As the system's instabilities rose purple-colored tears started spawning everywhere, however these were not regular tears and User characters and Game Sprites were being continually released. Matrix was shocked thinking Users themselves were appearing in Mainframe, but Mouse corrected him, saying these were actually undeleted RAM left behind from Game Cubes the User had played. This forced all the defenders to fight them as the majority of characters had gone 'autonomous', attacking anyone within their range of perception. As the city grew more unstable more were being released. This process didn't stop until Bob eventually powered-down the sectors from inside the System Operating Core. (System Crash)