Season 4 of Apex Legends is here, and Crypto is no longer the latest Legend to be added to the ever-expanding roster of colourful, powerful characters. But that’s not to say his day in the sun is over. Crypto’s skillset is still unlike anything we’ve seen so far, and opens up a whole new way of playing this fantastic high-octane battle royale. Our Apex Legends Crypto guide will walk you through each of his abilities in turn, alongside all sorts of useful tips and tricks on making the most of your time with this high-tech Legend.
For full details and opinions on all of the characters together, take a look at our Apex Legends characters guide for everything you need. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a focused guide like this one but on a different Legend, then simply take a look at the table below and click on a link to be taken to the hero of your choice.
Apex Legends Crypto guide – abilities, hitbox, tips
As with every other Apex Legends character, we’ve got a fair amount to talk about with Crypto, the Surveillance Expert. Feel free to use the links below to skip ahead to a particular section.
- Crypto guide overview – character strengths and weaknesses
- Crypto hitbox vs other Legends
- Crypto Passive ability – Neurolink
- Crypto Tactical ability – Surveillance Drone
- Crypto Ultimate ability – Drone EMP
- Crypto top tips and tricks
On first glance of Crypto’s three inextricably connected abilities, you might think he is simply a counter to Wattson and the more defensive, turtling-oriented playstyle that emerged with her introduction at the start of Season 2. But in fact, Crypto is possibly the most interesting character we’ve seen so far, and his appearance is bound to shake up the Apex Legends meta for some time.
His principal ability is of course the Surveillance Drone tactical, which gives his entire team an unprecedented level of access to information on enemy whereabouts in the area. The obvious drawback is that while piloting this drone Crypto is vulnerable – so already we can see that this is a character all about situational awareness and careful planning.
While Crypto lacks any sort of abilities that might help him during a firefight (such as Wraith’s Into the Void or Bangalore’s Double Time passive), he is not entirely defenceless. His Ultimate, which must be activated from his drone, will charge up and unleash a powerful EMP over a large radius, damaging and slowing down enemies. As such Crypto also has great initiation potential, and seems to live for the moments just before the fight starts.
Crypto hitbox vs other Legends
The above is a composite of various hitbox images created by YouTuber “SookieSpy”, which bring to light the incredible discrepancies in character hitboxes in Apex Legends. Season 1 brought with it some changes to the hitboxes of Gibraltar, Caustic, and Pathfinder to better fit their character models, but the fact remains that Gibraltar is about twice the size of Wraith, and thus, twice as easy to hit.
This is now addressed with two Passives which are shared among multiple characters; Fortified, for Gibraltar and Caustic, which reduces their incoming damage by 15% and grants them immunity from gunfire slowdown; and Low Profile, which affects Pathfinder, Wraith, Lifeline, and Revenant, and increases their incoming damage by 5%.
Crypto’s slight frame looks to place him somewhere in the centre of this spectrum, with what we’re guessing is a similar hitbox to Bangalore. This is borne out by the lack of a size-based Passive (Low Profile or Fortified) – but the fact that Crypto lacks any mobility or direct survival-based abilities means you’ll need to stay safe and keep moving whenever you’re not using your Surveillance Drone.
Crypto abilities guide
Now it’s time to take a proper look at each of Crypto’s abilities. As with all Legends, Crypto enjoys a Passive, Tactical, and Ultimate ability – but unlike some, all of his abilities feed directly into one another, allowing for some excellent teamplay and useful surveillance throughout a match. Let’s take a look at each ability in turn.
Passive ability: Neurolink
- Description: Crypto and his teammates see what his surveillance drone detects up to a 30m distance.
Crypto’s Passive, much like his Ultimate, is bound up with his primary Tactical ability, Surveillance Drone. Without Neurolink, the drone wouldn’t be nearly as useful as it is, nor as interesting. Simply put, it is what enables the drone to highlight any enemies that it sees (whether or not you’re piloting it), and what allows your entire team to see those highlighted enemies – even through walls.
I’d go so far as to say that this is the ability that really makes Crypto fantastic in his situational awareness and surveillance abilities. It has much the same effect as Bloodhound’s Eye of the Allfather – and that’s certainly not a bad thing by any means.
Tactical ability: Surveillance Drone
- Description: Deploy an aerial camera drone. 40 second cooldown if destroyed.
Crypto’s bread-and-butter ability is his Tactical, Surveillance Drone, which sends up a drone into the sky (or on the floor if you wish) to scout the immediate vicinity for enemies.
And when I say immediate vicinity, it isn’t actually that immediate – you can fly a startling distance away from where you’ve left Crypto remotely piloting the thing. While the drone is out, you can freely switch between Crypto and Drone; and whether or not you’re in piloting mode, any enemies that are seen by the drone’s camera will be automatically highlighted to you and your teammates (thanks to the Neurolink passive).
It’s a huge amount of fun to go around piloting this drone, and it’s exceptionally useful as a pre-fight scouting and planning tool, too. Another handy tip is that if your drone were to check out one of the many banners dotted about the new map, they will tell you how many enemies are in your drone’s vicinity.
There is a downside, and that is that the drone, while fairly small and nippy, has effectively 1 hit point and will die to a single shot from anything. If shot down, Crypto won’t be able to summon the drone again for 40 seconds – which isn’t actually that long, to be honest. And when you can do fantastic things like open doors or chests – or safely collect your teammate’s banner – well, this really does look like an ability with enormous potential for power and creativity.
Ultimate ability: Drone EMP
- Description: Charge up an EMP from your drone. The blast deals 50 shield damage, slows players, and destroys traps.
Crypto’s Ultimate ability, Drone EMP, is the only one of his trinity of powers that can actually be used offensively – and it’s pretty fantastic. The thing you’ve got to understand is that this drone is pretty fast and easy to miss, and the EMP not only charges up very quickly but also blasts out a spectacular distance. I’ve yet to see an EMP averted or ruined in any way; however, what I have seen – a lot – are teams that don’t take advantage of this fantastic initiation ability.
50 shield damage is a lot of health that you don’t need to spend time depleting during a fight, and it’s pretty easy to hit multiple enemies with this EMP. You’re also slowing them, much like an Arc Grenade does – and we all know how annoying and disorientating that is. But these things can be overcome quickly unless you coordinate properly with your team and hit them with everything you’ve got in the first seconds after the EMP lands, while they’re all still reeling.
It can also be used quite effectively as a niche last-ditch attempt to halt an enemy team’s aggressive push. If you’re able to hit all of them, then that team is suddenly 150 HP less powerful than before, which may well force them to reconsider their advance.
How to play Crypto – top Crypto tips and strategies
Finally, let’s finish up with some more general tips and tricks on winning Apex Legends matches as Crypto.
- It’s all about planning. Crypto, as I said, lives for the moments just before each firefight. When he’s actually fighting, he’s no more special than anyone else – in fact, he’s at a disadvantage compared to those whose abilities benefit them during fights. Where Crypto excels is in scouting, discovering the whereabouts of nearby enemies, and planning the perfect initiation and attack to take them down with minimal fuss.
- Learn to use the drone as well as the Legend. The drone takes some getting used to, but you’ll need to be able to pilot it properly and confidently if you’re to make good use of Crypto’s skillset. It doesn’t matter terribly if you get the drone shot (it’ll respawn in 40 seconds anyway); the main thing is to use it to find out as much as you can about the enemy’s location and status.
- Communicate with your teammates. While the drone will automatically highlight enemies that it spots, it’s up to you to ping them to alert the rest of your team. While communication has always been an enormous aspect of Apex Legends for any character, it’s especially so considering Crypto’s role as the strategist and initiator of the squad.
And with that, we’ll wrap up our Apex Legends Crypto guide for the time being – but be sure to check back for all the latest tips and information on this powerful Legend!