‘Ruins the concept’: VALORANT players think Riot made huge mistake with Cypher nerfs

Cypher received several ability nerfs alongside Viper in VALORANT’s latest update, but no one seems to be on board with the changes to his Spycam.

Cypher and Viper mains took a big L to open Episode Eight Act Three, with VALORANT Patch 8.08 delivering a swathe of changes. While Viper’s nerfs impact all of her abilities (aside from her ultimate), Cypher’s nerfs weren’t nearly as lethal on the surface. First, his Trapwires now have a longer re-arm time, and the slow doesn’t last as long. This tweak is reasonable, considering how much stronger the sentinel became after those trips were buffed in Patch 7.09. You could definitely argue it was time for Cypher nerfs.

Cypher in VALORANT cutscene on a computer with blue lights shining from the keyboard
Another dominant agent has been hit with a nerf. Image via Riot Games

If the Trapwires were the extent of Cypher’s nerfs, players would’ve been fine. However, his Spycam was also changed; enemies can now hear audio cues when they’re being watched through the cam. Many players agree this change was unnecessary and disappointing, including the Sentinels head coach. “Hidden cams were interesting to play w/ & against. Seems like this change just removes a lot of the ability’s depth,” Kaplan commented

The team’s IGL and Cypher player, johnqt, shared a similar sentiment: “That camera nerf is the most casual friendly change ever and ruins the whole concept of the ability.” Indeed, the whole essence of Cypher’s character centers around stealth. Prior to this update, the ability already made a clunky sound when Cypher opened the cam, and it stayed visible to the enemy while in use. Adding audio to the cam ability immediately gives away you’re being watched while spoiling the fun of having optimal hidden spots on maps. The whole thing leaves Cypher far less sneaky than he makes himself out to be.

But while pros are already quick to find and destroy the cam, the new audio cue could definitely help lower-ranked players who aren’t as familiar with common cam spots. This “casual friendly” change reminds me of when the devs added an extra effect to indicate when a smoke would disappear; that didn’t really end up making a huge difference.

With the patch still fresh, it’s unclear how these nerfs will hit Cypher’s pick rate, but I wouldn’t be surprised if sentinels start picking up Killjoy again. I hate playing against Cypher on maps like Sunset, so I’ll be happy if I see less of him now.

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