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Snake up special ultimate.jpeg
Snake holding onto the Cypher in Ultimate.
User Snake
Universe Metal Gear
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Grabs on to a Cypher and flies up into the air to avoid attacks. Pressing down causes Snake to let go.
—Description from Ultimate's Move List

Cypher (サイファー, Cypher) is Snake's up special move.


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 as it appears in Metal Gear Solid 2.

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.

Trophy Description[edit]

The Cypher trophy in Brawl

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.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty



  • Unlike other characters, Snake regains his Cypher if Mario uses his cape on Snake while he is flying with the Cypher. Snake will still turn around but can use his Cypher again.
    • Additionally, he won't flinch after getting footstooled while flying with the Cypher and will be able to use the move again after dropping from the previous Cypher.
  • If Snake uses Cypher while another Cypher is still present, the unused Cypher will explode.
  • In real life, the Cypher has a maximum weight load of approximately 50lbs (23kg), meaning this maneuver would be impossible.
  • In Brawl, a glitch occurs whenever this move is interrupted by certain actions, Snake's helplessness will be stored and he cannot use Cypher until he leaves the ground and relands, which is achievable by either walking off the platform (which is a suicidal action if there is no ground beneath) or by simply jumping. This also applies to Sonic whenever he uses Spring Jump. The methods to achieve this glitch are listed below:
    • If Snake gets fired out of a Barrel Cannon and doesn't do anything until he lands, causing him to go into his lying position.
    • If Snake grabs a ladder and climbs to the top onto a platform. This was later fixed in a patch in Ultimate.
    • If Snake leaves Cypher and cancels the animation by a ground action while very close to the ground. This method is really noticeable by Snake not experiencing any landing lag. This was fixed in Ultimate.
  • Additionally, there's another glitch where certain stage elements will cause Snake to turn helpless, although in Brawl, he can still perform a midair jump if one hasn't been used. The methods to achieve this glitch are listed below:
    • Whenever Snake performs a tech or lands while throwing an item after getting fired out of a Barrel Cannon.
    • Whenever Snake jumps off a Spring (can be either the item or a stage element).
    • Whenever Snake grabs onto a ladder and lets go. This was later fixed in a patch in Ultimate.