Riot dev explains how Cypher buffs fix Valorant’s “lackluster” agent

Riot Games

The Riot devs have explained how the recent Cypher buffs were a breath of fresh air for Valorant’s OG Sentinel agent.

With now a staggering 20 agents in the popular first-person shooter, It’s evident that a lot of work goes into balancing each and every one of our favorite agents, and Valorant players are no strangers to game-changing patches.

Sometimes completely shaking up the meta, arguably for better or worse, we’ve seen agents get entire reworks. Notably, the likes of Yoru and Viper have seen massive changes since their release.

With the recent 5.10 patch, Cypher was next up on the list to receive some long-overdue buffs, which the devs have now shed light behind.

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“A big thing we think about Cypher, if we were to talk about what is his unique strength, is he’s the global information network,” said Valorant’s lead agent designer Jay Watford.

“He should know what’s going on around the map and be able to set up and clue his teammates into what’s going on and become one of our most strategic characters where he’s using all of the positions of enemies against them.”

According to the agent designer, the placement of Cypher’s trapwire became too predictable, prompting the need to increase the length of the ability, which gave the Sentinel a ton of new setup possibilities.

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“Increasing the length of the trapwire just gives him enough mixup and enough different setups in enough different places where he can place them now,” the dev explained. “Enemies have to stop and think and feel that pressure, that kind of global web he’s weaving.

“The thought is there is a tipping point, where he can have enough setups where a really good Cypher doesn’t just put the tripwire in Spot A anymore. Now they can place it in Spot A-B-C-D-E and play differently around those.”

Touching on the ultimate buff, Watford explained how Cypher’s Neural Theft felt “lackluster” when compared to other ultimate abilities. “He has this restriction of having to get the corpse, and then he had the restriction of the timer, and then he had the restriction of the distance. You had to hope the time that you used it was powerful and you got a bunch of value out of that one ping,” the dev said.

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“The stars had to align for him to have a huge amount of impact with the Neural Theft.”

Now with the recent changes, removing some of the restrictions while also increasing the time he can “pull the strings,” gives Cypher more flexibility to call the shots in-game.

As of now, it’s unclear if the new Cypher buffs will put the creepy Moroccan agent back at the top of the meta, but it sure is refreshing to see another Sentinel battle Chamber for the top spot.

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