Snake grabs onto his flying reconnaissance camera to recover. It will not make him helpless, but it 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 dealing 6%. In Ultimate, the Cypher can be destroyed, with it having 13 HP.
Despite the large amount of vertical distance that 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. However, he gains 7% damage-based armor from frames 8-96, adding a good layer of safety. If he uses it from below, he is extremely vulnerable to attacks and even spikes as it rises very slowly, but the attack must break the armor for this to happen. If an opponent gets hit by the Cypher after Snake lets go, they will take 6% damage.
In Ultimate, the armor threshold was increased to 8%, and is now active from frames 7-94. Due to Cypher now being able to be destroyed, if a move deals 13%, the armor and Cypher will likely be broken at once, allowing the recovery to be intercepted safely.
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 Snake use Cypher again if they get canceled by the Cypher projectile.
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 until Snake SDs. In Ultimate, due to stage spikes becoming untechable at higher percentages, this makes the strategy even riskier.
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.
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.
The Cypher is a real-life unmanned aerial vehicle developed by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. In the Metal Gear series, 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.