He grabs onto the flying reconnaissance camera to recover. It will not make him helpless, but will take away his mid-air jump. One can cancel the ride early by performing any attack (excluding the up special), pressing down, or by airdodging, upon which the Cypher will become an upward projectile. Despite a large amount of vertical distance this move covers, Snake is very vulnerable to edgeguarding while using it because it does not have a damaging hitbox until either Snake cancels the move or he is hit out of it.
If Snake damages himself with his C4 or Hand Grenade, he can reuse the move and augment his recovery. At higher percentages, this becomes more difficult to do, because Snake must tech against the stage to avoid being star KO'd or stage spiked. If done right, this makes his recovery effectively infinite.
While using this move, Snake has a special kind of knockback resistance, ignoring the knockback from any hitbox that deals exactly 7% or less. If he uses it from below, he is extremely vulnerable to grabs, attacks and even spikes as it rises very slowly, but the attack must deal over 7% damage for this to happen. If an opponent gets hit by the Cypher after Snake lets go, they will take 6% damage.
If Snake is grabbed during this move and is not thrown or hit, he cannot use this move again when he struggles free, unless he is hit after this happens. Special grabs will not let him use Cypher again if it grabs him from above in the way their special grab get canceled by the Cypher projectile.
In Ultimate, Cypher was given a few changes to prevent Snake's movement from being as limited: he is now able to grab the ledge while using Cypher if he is facing it, and with the reintroduction of directional air dodges, his recovery gains a slight increase in distance.
The Cypher is a real-life unmanned aerial vehicle developed by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. Cyphers were the automated flying security cameras that patrolled the bridges between the struts of the Big Shell in Metal Gear Solid 2. A Cypher is also used by The Patriots during the Tanker chapter, taking a picture of Snake standing over a defeated Olga Gurlukovich in order to frame him for a terrorist attack on the marine tanker Discovery. Though neither Snake nor Raiden ever used one to hitch a ride, this move is a good example of Snake's resourcefulness and wouldn't have been out of place in a Metal Gear game. There is also a Gun Cypher derivative which is armed with a light machine gun.
An unmanned aerial surveillance vehicle used by the U.S. Army. It uses a fan in the center of its body to hover and a camera on its upper fuselage to monitor from the skies. It has a number of models, including the armed Gun Cypher and the remodeled Cypher II. Its small size and continuous flight ability make it extremely effective in guarding against intruders.