Cypher is near-essential to any Valorant team, thanks to his marvellous and multifaceted information-gathering skills. A good Cypher can pass his team all sorts of information on enemy whereabouts, giving the team an enormous advantage over their opponents. Our Valorant Cypher guide will walk you through each of Cypher’s abilities in turn, with in-depth tips and tricks on each one – including the craziest, most broken Spycam placements for each map!
Valorant Cypher guide
- Cypher abilities overview
- Cypher tips – Spycam (best Spycam placements)
- Cypher tips – Trapwire
- Cypher tips – Cyber Cage
- Cypher ultimate tips – Neural Theft
- Some additional Cypher tips
Cypher’s abilities make him an extremely focused Valorant agent, with three out of the four powers offering different ways of scouting out enemies. Let’s go over each ability in turn:
|Spycam | Signature | 1 charge | Can retrieve (15 second cooldown)|
|Equip a spycam. Fire to place the spycam at the targeted location. REUSE this ability to take control of the camera's view. While in control of the camera. Fire to shoot a marking dart. This dart will reveal the location of any player struck by the dart.|
|Trapwire | Purchasable | 2 charges | Costs 200c each | Can retrieve|
|Equip a trapwire. Fire to place a destructible and covert tripware at the targeted location, creating a line that spans between the placed location and the wall opposite. Enemy players who cross a tripwire will be tethered, revealed, and dazed after a short period if they do not destroy the device in time. This ability can be picked up to be redeployed.|
|Cyber Cage | Purchasable | 2 charges | Costs 100c each|
|Equip a cyber cage. Fire to toss the cyber cage in front of Cypher. Activate to create a zone that blocks vision and slows enemies who pass through it.|
|Neural Theft | Ultimate | 7 charges|
|Instantly use on a dead enemy player in your crosshairs to reveal the location of all living enemy players.|
Now we can discuss these abilities in more detail, and learn a bit more about the interesting and powerful plays you can pull off as Cypher.
- Once placed, your Spycam will stay there until either it is destroyed, or you retrieve it, or until the end of the round. There is no timer attached to this ability.
- The key to success with using Spycam (and Cypher in general) is to avoid becoming too predictable. Don’t always place your cameras in the same spots. Mix it up as much as possible between rounds.
- If an enemy destroys your Spycam (which can be done with a single shot from any gun), then the cooldown before you can deploy another camera is longer than if you’d retrieved the camera yourself.
- You don’t need line-of-sight on your camera in order to retrieve it, but you do need to be within a certain distance.
- Another key to success with the Cypher’s Spycam is to use the minimap. Even if you’re not looking through your Spycam, enemies caught by the camera will show up on the minimap within the camera’s view cone.
- It’s not always the best idea to fire a tracking dart the moment your camera sees an enemy. If your camera is in a powerful position and the enemy has not noticed it, it’s often better to remain silent and not give away the camera’s location, so that you can continue to benefit from it.
- While Valorant’s 0.49 patch removed many of the more broken Spycam placements in the game, many still exist, and it’s important to know them whether or not you’re playing as Cypher. Take a look at the below video compilation of the very strongest Spycam placements I’ve found post-patch.
Please note: some of the more… interesting… placements I’ve showcased in this video are likely to not be around forever, as Riot will gradually cotton on to them and remove them from the game. You’ve been warned.
- As with Spycam, the key with Trapwires is to mix up their positions from round to round. The worst thing you can do as a Cypher is to be too predictable.
- There is a maximum distance for how far a single Trapwire can stretch, which limits your options for placement somewhat. You can’t create ludicrously long map-spanning Trapwires.
- You can place a Trapwire on a horizontal surface (floor or ceiling) as well as on walls. In most cases it’s better to place Trapwires on walls, but vertical Trapwires can occasionally be useful as well.
- Unless you’re playing against some rather inexperienced players, you’ll almost never get the chance to actually stun an enemy with your Trapwire, because they’ll know to shoot it immediately if they activate it. But don’t worry; even without the stun, simply knowing where the enemy is makes an enormous difference in a round.
- Your aim when placing a Trapwire is to position it so that an enemy is completely incapable of passing without either breaking or activating the trap (or using an ability like Omen’s teleport). Whether they activate it or shoot it, you’ll be alerted to their presence.
- A particularly sneaky place for a Trapwire is across the ropes on Split. Players almost never expect this placement, and it nullifies the surprise factor of an enemy sneaking through the vents that connect the main sections of the map.
- Don’t place the Trapwire so low that an enemy could jump over it. And by the same token, don’t place it so high that they can jump over it. If you’re unsure about the correct placement, hop into a custom match by yourself as Cypher, place a Trapwire and try to bypass it without touching the wire.
- The Cyber Cage lasts around 7 seconds once activated – longer than Jett’s Cloudburst or Phoenix’s Blaze, but not as long as the smokes of Omen, Viper, or Brimstone.
- The slow effect activates specifically when an enemy comes into contact with the edge of the smoke, rather than it universally affecting everyone inside the smoke as you might expect. There is also an audio notification when an enemy comes into contact with the edge of the cage.
- Cyber Cage is completely hollow, and the only non-spherical smoke in Valorant. Much like Omen’s Dark Cover, you aren’t Nearsighted while inside the Cage.
- You can throw a Cyber Cage on top of a Trapwire, and activate it when you hear the Trapwire being triggered. As long as the edges of the Trapwire are outside the cage, it will be harder for the enemy to shoot them in time.
- You don’t need line-of-sight to activate a Cyber Cage, and you don’t need to be within a certain distance. You could activate a Cyber Cage from across the map if you wanted (and it’s not a bad idea, because you can lead the enemy team into thinking you’re somewhere you’re not).
- It’s often a good idea to activate the Cyber Cage immediately after throwing it, so you can get some quick cover or break up an encounter. You don’t always need to wait and activate it remotely.
- Cyber Cage is fantastic for creating so-called “one-way smokes” – that is, placing them in such a way that you can see below the smoke and can shoot the enemy’s legs, and they cannot see you at all.
- Neural Theft only works on a fresh corpse – that is, the corpse of someone who has died less than 20 seconds ago. Thankfully, you’ll be able to see a timer bar over each corpse notifying you of which corpses are viable for Neural Theft.
- Bear in mind that Neural Theft does not activate instantly. There is a wind-up time of around 2 seconds before the enemy positions are revealed; though you can still move around and act during these 2 seconds.
- Cypher’s ultimate does not give his team dynamic information on enemy whereabouts: it only shows a still outline of where each enemy was at the instant of the ability’s activation.
- Don’t fret so much about wasting your ultimate, because there are many situations where it is useful. Whether it’s a 4v1 and you’re just searching for the location of the final enemy, or you’re about to place the spike and want to make sure there’s no one guarding the site, Neural Theft will always be useful as long as you act on the information you’re given.
- Part of your responsibilities as a Cypher player is to make sure all your traps and abilities are in the right spot throughout the course of a round. Don’t just leave things where they won’t be useful: if the enemy rotates to a different location and the focus shifts, pick up your Spycam and your Trapwires so you can use them elsewhere.
- Cypher is fantastic for locking down a site – so much so that it’s a viable strategy to leave a site completely undefended but with lots of Trapwires and a Spycam on the lookout, so that you know if and when the enemy is making a push.
- Cypher is not just a defensive agent. Information is the single most important ingredient in the recipe for success in Valorant, whether you’re attacking or defending. Cypher isn’t just the man in the van staying behind watching while everyone else finishes the mission: he can be played just as aggressively as any other character.
With that, we’ll conclude this Valorant Cypher guide. But we’ve got plenty more to offer for any Valorant player looking to increase their skill and knowledge! Click any of the links below to head over to a different Valorant guide.
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