Crypto is one of just three recon-oriented characters in Apex Legends, and thanks to his versatile and powerful surveillance drone, there is no one better when it comes to situational awareness. With Crypto, you must master control of both the man and the drone. A tough task, to be sure, but our Apex Legends Crypto guide will help you with all sorts of practical tips and tidbits on how to use his skillset and abilities effectively.
On this page:
- Apex Legends Crypto guide: strengths & weaknesses
- Crypto abilities overview
- Crypto hitbox vs other Legends
- How to play Crypto – top tips and tricks
Apex Legends Crypto guide: strengths & weaknesses
Crypto’s 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 good initiation potential, and seems to live for the moments just before the fight starts.
Crypto abilities overview
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. Let’s take a look at each ability in turn.
- Recon (Passive)
- Scanning Survey Beacons reveals the next circle’s location.
- Neurolink (Passive)
- Crypto and his teammates see what his Surveillance Drone detects up to a 30m distance.
- Surveillance Drone (Tactical)
- Deploy an aerial camera drone. 40 second cooldown if destroyed.
- Drone EMP (Ultimate)
- Charge up an EMP from your drone. The blast deals 50 shield damage, slows players, and destroys traps.
Passive ability: Neurolink
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.
Tactical ability: Surveillance Drone
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. While piloting the drone Crypto himself remains stationary, and you can switch from drone to Crypto on the fly, or recall the drone in order to deploy it elsewhere.
Here are our top Surveillance Drone Tactical tips for Crypto:
- The major downside to Crypto’s entire skillset is that he is vulnerable while piloting his drone. Make sure you’re safe before using it, and if your teammates need you, be sure to back out of the drone and help them on foot.
- Don’t just rely on your Passive to highlight enemies, because the highlighting range is fairly low. If you see an enemy, ping them for your teammates.
- You can remotely access various things with Crypto’s drone. You can open and close doors, open supply bins, retrieve your dead squadmates’ banners and even use Respawn Beacons or Survey Beacons.
- Hold your Tactical button to deploy the drone and then immediately exit back out of it. This is useful for when you only want the drone out so you can immediately detonate your Ultimate around you.
- Crypto’s drone is fairly hard to hit, but it has low health, and the cooldown penalty of your drone being destroyed is quite severe, so be sure to stay on the move with your drone if there are enemies nearby aiming at it.
- If your squad is in a firefight, it’s always better to forget about the drone and just focus on helping them as usual. If you spend all your time in your drone, your team will basically be fighting a 2v3 or a 1v2.
Ultimate ability: Drone EMP
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 powerful. Using this ability takes 3 seconds to detonate, after which the EMP shockwave will deal 50 damage to all nearby enemies, and slows them much like an Arc Star explosion.
Here are our top Drone EMP Ultimate tips for Crypto:
- The slow effect applies to all players in the radius, including allies. Only enemies and you will take damage, however.
- You don’t need to be in the drone view in order to activate your Ultimate ability. However, the drone does have to be deployed somewhere.
- Enemy players can and will shoot down your drone during the 3 second charge-up time unless you use cover to break line of sight.
- Crypto’s EMP will immediately destroy Gibraltar’s dome, Wattson’s fences and pylons, Caustic’s gas traps, Mirage’s decoys, Lifeline’s drone, and even enemy Crypto drones caught in the blast.
- As previously mentioned, it can be a good idea to detonate your EMP around yourself if you’re in a close-quarters engagement. The slow effect and damage can ruin an enemy team’s chances of victory.
Crypto hitbox vs other Legends
Apex Legends characters all have differently sized hitboxes, a fact which caused a bit of controversy in the early days of the battle royale. Nowadays, the discrepancies in hitbox size are addressed by two additional Passives shared out among several Legends:
- Fortified is for the larger Legends (Caustic and Gibraltar), and gives them a 15% damage reduction and immunity to slowdown when hit by bullets.
- Low Profile is for the smaller, harder to hit Legends (Lifeline, Pathfinder, Wraith, and Wattson) and makes them take 5% more damage from all sources.
Crypto is definitely one of the smaller Legends, but not so much that he warrants the Low Profile perk. He is likely to rank similarly to Mirage or Bloodhound in terms of relative hitbox sizes.
How to play Crypto – top tips and tricks
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! In the meantime, check out our Apex Legends characters guide for tips and details on every Legend.