How to Play Cypher

Brandon Howard  | 

VALORANT's Cypher has the best intel kit in the game. (Photo courtesy Riot Games)

VALORANT is the newest entry into the tactical FPS genre from Riot Games, the team behind League of Legends. VALORANT is primed to break out in the competitive gaming world and a blossoming esports scene is already underway while the clean, simple design and refined gameplay protect its competitive integrity. One of the biggest things that sets it apart from tactical shooters is a diverse range of agents each with their own special abilities that can turn the tide of a match at any moment.

Cypher is a character all about gaining knowledge of your opposition while being a nuisance in the process. Let’s take a closer look at what makes Cypher such a powerful hero and how to play him.

The Basics

While each agent in VALORANT has their own unique abilities to help out the team, everything outside of that remains universal among all the agents. Gunplay, positioning, aiming, gathering information and executing a strategy as a team reigns supreme. Like all the other agents, Cypher comes with four powerful abilities that when used right, can help secure the win.


Cypher’s first basic ability is Trapwire. Players can purchase up to two during the buy phase with each costing 200. They are a valuable tool of Cypher’s as they are placed between two surfaces and act as a, well, tripwire, of sorts. They are invisible to enemies but can be heard once close enough. If an enemy walks into a trapwire, they will be revealed and disoriented after a short period of time.

Cyber Cage

His second basic ability is Cyber Cage. Like Trapwire, players can purchase up to two cyber cages during the buy phase and each one costs 100. Cyber Cage is another variation of a smoke but with some unique characteristics. The cage is remote activated and enemies will be slowed once inside the cage. It also provides ample cover as well.


Cypher’s signature ability is Spycam. This ability recharges throughout a given round after getting picked up or destroyed and is always equipped during the buy phase. Spycam can be placed on surfaces across the map and activating this ability again allows players to view the map through the eyes of the camera. When controlled, the camera can fire a tracking dart at opponents which continues to reveal their locations for a few seconds or until they pull out the tracking dart.

Neural Theft

Finally, his ultimate ability is Neural Theft. Cypher throws his hat on a dead opponent and reveals the location of all other opponents on the map for a brief moment. Ultimates are charged in a variety of ways including getting kills, defusing the spike and capturing Ultimate Orbs that are placed throughout the map.

Utilizing Cypher’s Kit

Cypher has a powerful kit that is used to gather as much information as possible about the enemy team. When utilized properly, Cypher is a major factor to a team’s success and can frustrate opponents by slowing them down, disorienting them and revealing their location. Let’s look at how to get the most out of his kit.

Trapwires are such an important part of Cypher’s kit and serve a few purposes depending on a given situation. When defending, placing them in spots where the enemy has to walk through to get to a point is important. Even if they hear it and destroy it, players are alerted that it has been destroyed which gives an idea where enemies are located. Pair a trapwire with a cage on defense for another level of defense and another thing an opponent has to worry about. When attacking, they can be useful to deter defensive flankers once teams have committed to a bombsite. They also help with defender’s late rotation. Placing a trapwire somewhere can allow a player to focus on other parts of the map while possibly keeping blind spots in check. They can also be picked up and placed in other places for those rotating or holding a new position.

Cyber Cages are the most prevalent part of Cypher’s kit but provide useful utility. Cages can block off lines of site and slow down enemies, making it harder for them to push in. This can buy players time when trying to plant or defuse the spike and also repositioning to get ready for the gunfight.

Cypher’s Spycam is a key tool in his kit and allows him to scope out areas without exposing himself to risky sight lines. The camera works especially well on defense while holding the long sight lines that each bombsite has. Try placing the camera in unique places that allow a full range of sight and makes it hard for the opponents to detect where it is. Being able to spot an opponent’s location is a powerful tool. When seeing opponents on the camera, call out how many and where they are to teammates. Like the wires, the camera can be recalled and placed somewhere else once a player repositions.

His ultimate ability provides a brief snapshot of where opponents are on the map. The reveal doesn’t last long but is useful when trying to make a late push or decide where to rotate to. Knowing where the opponents are set up on defense or where they are coming from when attacking can allow the team to position themselves and be better prepared to take a gunfight. Learning how to correctly use Cypher’s ultimate can be tricky but using it when needing to defend a planted spike or defusing one is useful.

Gathering information is VALORANT is incredibly important and knowing where enemies are located can often be the difference in a victory or defeat. Cypher is the king of gathering intel and when used correctly, is a key asset for the team. Stay one step ahead of opponents with Cypher and help lead the team to victory.

Brandon has worked with a variety of clients in his freelance writing career before transitioning into the esports scene where he obsesses over the Overwatch League and the Call of Duty League. He enjoys good conversations, concerts, reading, writing about/playing Overwatch, night drives, movies, and laughing. Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose.