'Apex' Season 3: Crypto abilities, skins, skills, guide for the new hero

This Surveillance Expert is watching you.

With the launch of Apex Legends Season 3 on Tuesday comes the introduction of a new Legend slated to compete in the Apex Games, the battle royale competition set within the Titanfall video game universe developed by Respawn Entertainment.

Apex Legends Season 1 gave us Octane, Season 2 gave us Wattson, and now Crypto has emerged as a new contender.

Tae Joon Park is a wanted man on charges of murder and espionage, which is why he went off the grid and took the moniker Crypto to hide his identity. In a “Stories From the Outlands” animated video published September 19 called “Forever Family,” we learn that Park and his foster sister Mila Alexander were engineers and hackers who discovered an encrypted algorithm that could predict the results of any Apex Games match. Within the universe of Apex Legends, this attracted the attention of the Syndicate, the shadowy organization that manages the competition.

In the wrong (or perhaps right?) hands, this tech could be used to rig any competition to make a lot of money, which explains why the Syndicate framed him for murder and forced him into hiding. Now he’s in the Apex Games looking for redemption — with 40 sleek skins to unlock and choose from.

Crypto’s primary tactical ability is Surveillance Drone, an aerial robot that allows the player to survey the surrounding area. If destroyed, another can be deployed after 40 seconds. Already, players have figured out that Pathfinder’s Grappling Hook can be used on the drone, so teams that co-ordinate around a combo of these two abilities will have an unprecedented degree of maneuverability.

The passive Neurolink ability marks any enemies within 30 feet of your position that are tagged by the drone, so in a situation where Crypto can hide indoors and use the drone to scout the surrounding area, this can be a real boon to all allies.

His ultimate ability Drone EMP deals shield damage, slows enemies, and disables traps. In circumstances where enemy teams might have a defensive position locked down, the EMP blast can even the odds and overwhelm them. This seems like a really effective counter to characters like Gibraltar, Caustic, and Wattson who lay down traps or shields.

One detail highlighted by Apex Legends video creator Frothy this week also points out an additional passive ability for the drone, which is a hack into the in-game character banners displayed in different places. Rather than show the characters’ kill counts, it’ll instead display the number of nearby enemy teams and their distance from your party. The data isn’t all that specific, but it’s enough to give Crypto a totally unique edge in the game. The drone can also interact with doors and boxes with loot, adding an interesting dynamic.

Crypto looking cool with his drone in the background.

Respawn Entertainment

Crypto should be using his aerial drone constantly to monitor nearby areas, and Frothy suggests parking it near a cluster of banners so the player can put that data to good use. The 40 seconds is a long cooldown, but that shouldn’t cause players to hesitate using Crypto’s ultimate ability to bomb enemies. Using Drone EMP with Wraith’s portals to get the drop on enemy teams will prove an effective tactic, as will the aforementioned combo with Pathfinder’s grappling hook.

There’s another interesting combo using Bloodhound’s tracking in conjunction with Crypto’s drone. Any team with that combo will have unmatched control over the battlefield.

It’ll be some time before things shake out enough to know where Crypto stacks up in the game’s current meta, especially with Season 3 introducing an unfamiliar map to players. But this early in the season, he looks like a top tier character in the right hands.

Crypto is now available to play in Apex Legends.

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