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Can you break Cypher’s ult?

Cypher’s ultimate ability, Neural Theft, allows him to temporarily take control of enemy Sova’s or Chamber’s reconnaissance abilities. This can be a powerful tool for gathering intel on the enemy team. However, there are ways for the enemy Sova or Chamber to counterplay and prevent their abilities from being as effective for Cypher.

What is Cypher’s Neural Theft?

Cypher’s ultimate ability Neural Theft allows him to hack into the mind of an enemy Sova or Chamber who is dead or weakened. This gives Cypher temporary control over their reconnaissance abilities.

If used on Sova, Cypher gains control of Sova’s Owl Drone and can pilot it freely to scout the map. He sees and hears what the Owl Drone sees for 15 seconds.

If used on Chamber, Cypher hijacks Chamber’s Trademark trap and can activate it at will to track enemies who walk through its radius. This allows Cypher vision on enemies caught in the trap for 15 seconds.

Neural Theft is on a 12 round cooldown, meaning Cypher can use it approximately every other round if he charges his ultimate orb fully. It lasts 15 seconds per use.

How to Counter Cypher Stealing Sova’s Drone

If Cypher uses Neural Theft on Sova, there are a few things Sova can do to counter it:

  • Destroy the Owl Drone before dying – If Sova shoots his own Drone before getting killed, Cypher won’t be able to take control of it.
  • Wait 15 seconds for Neural Theft to end – Cypher only gains control of the Drone for 15 seconds, so waiting it out prevents further intel.
  • Shoot the Owl Drone immediately after respawning – Sova should make destroying the hacked Drone his first priority.
  • Be unpredictable with the Owl Drone – If Sova uses the Drone in tricky spots, Cypher may have difficulty piloting it.
  • Bait the Neural Theft with the Owl – Sova could potentially waste the Neural Theft by intentionally getting killed with Owl out.

Overall, destroying or quickly reclaiming the Drone limits how much value Cypher can get from Neural Theft on Sova.

How to Counter Cypher Hijacking Chamber’s Trademark

If Cypher uses Neural Theft on Chamber, Chamber can use the following tactics:

  • Pick up Trademark before dying – Chamber should try to retrieve his Trademark trap before he gets killed to prevent the hack.
  • Wait out the Neural Theft duration – It only provides vision for 15 seconds, so Chamber can simply wait it out.
  • Flank while tracked – Since Chamber knows exactly when he’s revealed, he can try to bait and outplay.
  • Save an aggressive push until after – Chamber should hold off on an aggro move until after the Neural Theft ends.

Overall, Chamber can minimize the intel Cypher gains by quickly picking up the Trademark, waiting out the hack, or adjusting his playstyle accordingly.

Other Ways to Counter Cypher’s Neural Theft

In addition to Sova and Chamber adjusting their ability usage, there are other ways for the team to counter Neural Theft:

  • Kill Cypher before he can use it – Focus fire can prevent him from using the ultimate.
  • Wait for cooldown instead of giving him charges – Avoid dying to Cypher so he can’t farm charges.
  • Bait it out and play retake – Retaking a site after Neural Theft ends can minimize its value.
  • Use abilities to break LOS – Smokes, walls, etc can block vision from a hacked Drone or Trap.

When is Neural Theft Most Impactful?

There are certain situations where Cypher’s Neural Theft can generate massive value:

  • On Chamber when playing retake – Gives constant vision on bomb planter.
  • On Sova on eco rounds – Very limited ways for Sova to counter without guns.
  • Chaining it back to back rounds – 12 round cooldown lets him reuse often.
  • When Sova/Chamber is playing far from team – Harder for them to destroy the utility.
  • At the start of the round – Catches more enemies off guard before they are ready.

Tips for Cypher Using Neural Theft

Here are some tips for Cypher players to maximize the impact of Neural Theft:

  • Try to use it on Sova’s Drone over Chamber’s Trap – Generally more flexible.
  • Look for flanks and enemy rotates – The Drone lets you see behind your team.
  • Quickly hide the Drone and use for multiple spots – Don’t just fly straight in.
  • Make sure to call out enemy locations seen – Share the intel with your team.
  • Use it early in the round to gain info before a execute – See their positions as you enter site.
  • Combo with your Camera to watch two areas at once – Extends your surveillance network.

Lineups for Neural Theft Camera + Drone

Here are some useful lineups to get vision in multiple spots by using both Camera and Neural Theft Drone:

Map Spots to Watch
Bind Camera halls, Drone site
Haven Camera nest, Drone long
Split Camera mid, Drone A heavens
Ascent Camera mid, Drone catwalk
Icebox Camera tube, Drone kitchen
Breeze Camera cave, Drone site
Fracture Camera dish, Drone site
Pearl Camera mid, Drone tree


While Neural Theft can be a powerful tool for gathering intel as Cypher, there are many counters that coordinated teams can employ. Destroying the hacked utility, waiting out the duration, and playing more passively are all effective. Additionally, Sova and Chamber can adjust their ability usage to minimize the impact.

However, in the right situation and with some clever use, a skilled Cypher can still take advantage of Neural Theft to gain an information edge over enemies. Using it early, chaining back to back, or comboing it with Camera can lead to high value. Overall, it is a strong ultimate but has clear counterplay available.