Valorant is the first-person shooter game from the Creators of League of Legends — Riot. It took the world by storm when it released 2020 and has been one of the most played FPS games since. What makes Valorant unique is the roster of their Agents with their own set of skills. Mastering the agents is one of the keys to fully mastering and enjoying the game. This will prove difficult because unlocking agents in Valorant isn’t easy — or cheap. The agents are divided into four types: Duelist, Sentinel, Initiator, and Controller. If you want to learn more about Sentinels, we’ve got you covered.
Sentinels are agents that play defense and are often in the back lines to fully utilize their abilities. The description in the game reads :
“Sentinels are defensive experts who can lock down areas and watch flanks, both on the attacker and defender rounds.”
This is how Riot describes Sentinels. They are the backbone of any team fight and are relied on heavily for healing and tactical zone defense. They have slow-paced abilities that often decide between the victory and defeat of a tactic. That said, there are a total of three Sentinels in the game each with its own set of game-changing abilities: Sage, Cypher, and Killjoy. Each one of them has very different skills and therefore his/her specialty and playstyle.
Let’s check one of these Sentinels out and help you figure out if he will suit your playstyle.
Cypher is an information broker that hails from Morroco. He is a surveillance specialist and is a powerful ally in the right hands. Utilizing a lot of gizmos and gadgets, Cypher can help give his team information about the whereabouts of enemies across the map. Cypher keeps tabs on enemies wherever they are on the map to give his team the upper hand in the heat of battle. If you don’t like being flanked by enemies or being deceived to a different location, Cypher’s abilities can overcome this tedious situation.
This ex-bank robber’s abilities don’t inflict damage as Duelists do, so his performance will rely heavily on his skills, placements and good aim partnered with a strong gun. His abilities are invaluable for defense and can change the tide of battle in an instant. He can visually monitor enemies with his ultimate and even disable agents when they approach Cypher’s territory carelessly. If you like using complicated and tactical agents relying on information and surveillance, then Cypher may just be the one for you.
Trapwire- 200 credits
When you press C, Cypher deploys an invisible tripwire to a surface connecting it to a surface opposite it. When enemies cross it, they will be dazed (visual and movement impairments) for 3 seconds and revealed on the map even behind walls. You only have a maximum of two Trapwire skills per round, but it can be taken back and redeployed in another location so feel free to use it when you see fit. It is recommended to deploy this skill at a height not too low for enemies to jump over it and not too high that enemies can crouch under it. When placing it, try crouching to get the right height reference for Tripwire.
This skill has an audio cue and can be seen when in melee range to enemy agents. It can be destroyed easily so using it in combination with Cypher’s Cyber Cage, it’s a sure guarantee to trap an agent and reveal where they are. You can time your attack to when your enemies see the wire and shoot at it. Additionally, when tripwires are destroyed, Cypher mentions this in-game so you will have a rough idea of where the enemies are. This skill is great for defending, but it can also be used as a defense against flanking when you’re attacking. You will need to be creative and one step ahead of enemies to use this skill to its full potential.
Cyber Cage – 100 credits
When you press Q, Cypher equips a Cyber Cage and throws it to the ground. Pressing F again while pointing at the placed trap will activate the skill and raise a digital cage. This cage blocks the enemies’ line of sight similar to the smoke skills of Omen and Brimstone. Enemies that pass through the cage are slowed and there will be an audio cue alerting Cypher and his allies that an enemy has entered the cage. This gives you and your teammates the advantage of knowing where they are and you can feed them with bullets.
Cyber Cage lasts for 7 seconds, which is enough time to deter an enemy’s attack or give your team enough time to escape and reposition. Any enemy caught inside the cage will have dampened hearing, letting you run or jump around the cage and they wouldn’t hear you. If an enemy is at a higher elevation, they can see the inside of the cage, so if you have an enemy Jett, it might not be a good idea to linger inside or behind the cage. You can also activate this skill using your Spy Cam, so even if your cage is far away, defending a different site is no problem for Cypher.
Spy Cam – Free
This is the signature skill of Cypher. Pressing E equips Cypher with a deployable invisible surveillance camera. This camera is placed on walls and remains invisible while not in use. Pressing E again will allow you to see through the Spy Cam’s eyes and become visible to enemies. This way, Cypher can continue to monitor a site on the far end of the map. It’s recommended to place the camera at a high spot to give you a wider angle of view and give you more information.
While in Spy Cam mode, you can press the Fire Button to fire a tracking dart. Any enemy hit with this dart will have his/her position revealed for 6 seconds intermittently, so you will need to anticipate their movement based on the short info pulses you see. Using the dart will give away your camera’s position, so depending on the situation, it might be best to use the camera purely for visual surveillance and give this information to your team through comms.
You can recall the camera for a 15-second cooldown in case you want to place it somewhere else. If a camera is destroyed, it takes a 45-second cooldown, so you might be able to use it only once per round. Using Spy Cam effectively can change the tide of battle. You can see precisely where enemies are before an assault or see the enemy’s approach when defending. Placing the camera on a different site will enable Cypher to defend in A while keeping an eye out on site B. When used effectively, Cypher can even defend an entire site by himself by combining all his skills and a good game sense.
Neutral Theft- 6 Ultimate Orbs
This is the Ultimate Skill of Cypher. Pressing X will enable Cypher to locate all living enemies on the map in exchange for his hat. Find an enemy corpse and use this skill on it; the hat will float above the corpse and extract the positional information of all remaining enemies to your team. It’s only a brief moment but this is sufficient to tell you where the enemies are and where they aren’t. This skill is like having a tracker on all enemies for a short time so you and your team can respond to them accordingly.
Since Valorant is a game that relies heavily on information, Neutral Theft is an indispensable ability that can even make 1 vs 4 situations favorable. By timing the use of Cypher’s ult skill, you and your team can position yourself properly while defending a site or flank effectively when attacking. Neutral Theft can only be used on an enemy corpse that died less than 20 seconds before the use of the skill. You can see a timer bar above enemy corpses for your reference. Upon using the skill, there is a 2-second wind-up time before it reveals the enemies’ positions. This skill is what makes Cypher a threat on the battlefield, so he is often preferred to be hunted first by enemies before any other agent. But using this skill effectively can greatly chop away at the enemy’s advantage and render their surprise attacks unsurprising.
Cypher Bonus Tips
- Coordinate with your team. Cypher is an information broke, as such, his abilties are useless if the info you’ve gatehred are not dissiminated to your team properly.
- Do not use your Tripwire and Spy Cam on the same spot over and over again. You will be doing Cypher a disservice by being too predictable.
- Don’t linger in an area too long. If the enemy team decided to rotatem then pickup your Tripwires and Spy Cam to defent the other site(s). You need to give as much information as you can to your team to give them the advantage over tricky situations.
- Cypher’s information-gathering skills doesn’t make him a helpless cctv agent. Using your skill efficiently will help your team tremendously, but Cypher can be palyed aggressively just as you would any other agent.
Do you think Cypher is for you? His full potential lies in his ability to give his team and himself as much information about the enemy as possible. Cypher is required to be familiar with all the nooks and crannies of the map and be constantly checking his own abilities’ status. Prep time is important for Cypher users, you need to plan ahead where you want to place your traps and make an educated guess of where enemies will most probably rush in or flank. Cypher requires you to be sneaky and prepared in any situation. If you like chess and see Cypher as a perfect fit for your strategy-dependent playstyle, then we recommend using him on your next match.