How to play as Cypher: Valorant's one-man surveillance Sentinel Agent

by Andy Williams


Cypher is Valorant's one-man surveillance network who can use his utility of gadgets to get the edge over his opponents. In this guide, we'll break down why the Sentinel Agent is integral to your team's strategy. 

Armed with information-gathering abilities, Cypher operates as the team’s forward scout, without ever having to leave the spawn. With a string of gadgets at his disposal, the Moroccan Agent can gather essential intel — whether he's helping take control of the map or defending a Reactor Site. 

As a Sentinel, Cypher is designed to be most effective on Defense, but there's more to this Agent than meets the eye. We delve into everything there is to know about Cypher, including why he can be one of the strongest characters on Attack!


Cypher's abilities

Valorant's Cypher.
Riot Games

Cypher, like every other Valorant Agent, comes equipped with four abilities. Two of his abilities have to be purchased (core abilities), while one is gifted at the start of every round (Signature Ability) — and the other is earned via accruing points (Ultimate Ability).

  • Ability 1 — Trapwire (200 Creds): EQUIP a trapwire. FIRE to place a destructible and covert tripwire 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, and dazed after a short period if they do not destroy the device in time. This ability can be picked up to be REDEPLOYED.
  • Ability 2 — Cyber Cage (100 Creds): 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.
  • Signature Ability — Spycam (1 free): EQUIP a spycam. FIRE to place the spycam at the targeted location. RE-USE 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.
  • Ultimate Ability — Neural Theft (7 Points): INSTANTLY use on a dead enemy player in your crosshairs to reveal the location of all living enemy players.

The Moroccan’s kit revolves around gathering as much information as he can, before sharing that with the team so they can execute gameplans mid-match. Pro tip: Combining Cypher's Trapwire with a Cyber Cage is the perfect way to hold-off certain choke points around the map.


Cypher gameplay

Dexerto acquired the talents of Counter-Strike legend Mathieu ‘Maniac’ Quiquerez to showcase Cypher's abilities, while the former CS pro put on a clinic of exactly how to use the Agent.

Cypher’s strengths are most definitely situational. When defending, there won’t be many who can outshine Morocco’s surveillance. Being able to get the inside scoop on with a well-placed Spycam is a handy tool to have in your arsenal. 

At 1:38, Maniac manages to spot an enemy near Reactor Site A on Haven, giving him crucial information as to what the enemy team's intentions were for that round.

Cypher's Spycam in Valorant.
Riot Games / Dexerto
Pressing Mouse 1 while aiming over the enemy will allow you to tag an enemy.

The Sentinel Agent’s other abilities are strongly suited to single-handedly holding down Reactor Sites too. You can set up Cypher's Trapwire in places where the enemy will least suspect, so you can daze them and swoop in for an easy kill while the enemy is caught off-guard.


So if Cypher is so well suited to defending, what happens on Attack? Don't let the Agent's Sentinel style fool you, as Cypher can be just as effective on the offense! 

At 3:23, Maniac uses a perfectly placed Spycam to locate an enemy attempting to early flank. With the intel on their whereabouts, all he has to do is pounce on them while they're distracted — making for a very easy kill.

Placing Cypher's Cyber Cage down in and around key areas are especially handy when trying to breach a Reactor Site. Diverting your opponents line of sight can give you the upper hand if you're preaiming exactly where you anticipate them to be!


Dexerto's take: Essential on Defense

Cypher has a steep learning curve, compared to some of the other characters. Alongside Sage, the Moroccan is definitely an Agent you want to be keeping alive for the latter portions of the round.

An especially useful tool is his 'Neural Theft' Ultimate Ability. Using this as you're about to attack a Reactor Site will show you exactly where your opponents are stacked — giving you a a clear advantage of what expect while sweeping in to take control.

If you're happy to adopt a more conservative playstyle – where you value consistency over flashy kills – while making an informed play, as opposed to taking risks... Then Cypher is most definitely the Agent for you.