Cypher is one of the few Valorant agents equipped with tools to scout out the enemy position and feed that information to his team.
Sova can acquire information just as easily but telegraphs his location while doing so. A patient and calculated playstyle are required to make the most out of this spy. The main trick to being an effective Cypher is knowing common rotations, and entry points to each objective. Nearly all of his abilities require forethought and setup, but that isn’t to say he can’t react quickly. Even when Cypher is left on his own, the tools in his arsenal are used to keep tabs on the opposition.
Cypher the Spy Guy
Cypher’s first ability, and the one that got him the most popular, is Spycam. Spycam is exactly what the name sounds like, a camera that can be placed on walls for observation. Cypher can activate the camera to look through it but doing so makes it a target. When activated, the camera will blink red to indicate you are being watched. The Spycam comes equipped with a tracking dart that can be shot onto an enemy revealing their location. In coordinated teams, it is best not to shoot an enemy with the tracker dart and rather communicate the enemy position to your team.
Cypher’s second ability, Trapwire, is a way for him to cover his backside or watch hallways for transitions. Trapwire can be placed diagonally, at the base of the floor, and up high in windows, the only requirement is that the two nodes must connect. If an enemy walks through the wire, there is a short time frame to destroy the node. Cypher is alerted when his Trapwire is destroyed only feeding him more information. If the enemy is unable to destroy the node before it explodes, they take damage, are stunned, and have their location revealed. Cypher can place the Trapwire from a decent distance, but positioning for this ability is crucial. A Trapwire placed too low can be jumped over, and a Trapwire placed too high can be crouched underneath. Use Trapwire as a way to keep tabs on enemy rotations, or to cover a flank during rotation of your own.
Cypher’s Cyber Cage is his smoke ability that projects a circular digital screen blocking sight. Cyber Cage is thrown out as a pad that can be activated from just about anywhere on the map. Cypher can use these offensively and defensively, but beware that unlike Brimstone’s smoke, Cyber Cage has no top. Any enemy perched on the high ground will have the perfect opportunity to take your head off. Cyber Cage makes a noise when entering and exiting, and stacking two of these in a line is effective at deterring pushes and blocking sightlines.
A Guide to Mind Games
Neural Theft is Cypher’s ultimate ability, and it can only be activated on an enemy’s dead body. Cypher will toss his hat onto the body and extract the enemy position from their mind. The entire enemy team is revealed for a few seconds, giving enough time to rotate into an advantageous position. Neural Theft is a nice tool to psyche out the enemy and force them to reposition out of fear.
If it wasn’t too obvious, Cypher is at his most powerful when forcing the enemy to play into his hand. Acquiring information throughout the match is the agent’s main utility versus the fragging potential of the Duelist class. On defense, Cypher has plenty of time to set up his tools and prepare. On attack, Cypher has to focus on covering his backside and keeping tabs on the enemy. This agent may not always play with his team, but Spycam allows for another set of eyes to watch off-angles and flanks while remaining across the map. Cypher is a must pick on maps like Ascent and Haven. Information is power, and in coordinated teams, Cypher is one of the most powerful agents in competitive Valorant.