Cyberpunk 2077 is a big game. It has a lot of systems layered on top of each other, and a lot to understand — all at once. Apart from a thematic emphasis on the consequences of one’s actions, the choices you make do matter (just… not Lifepaths. Not really.) and can affect everything from your own character’s ability and combat prowess to the ending of the story itself.
This isn’t a guide about what skill points are, or how to save cars, or orienting complete beginners to the basic mechanics of the game. Rather, this is a series of tips regarding small aspects of Cyberpunk 2077 to keep note of in order to maximize your experience while swimming through the dark waters of Night City’s criminal underworld.
Cyberpunk 2077 Tips & Tricks
Quickhack Everything (Even If You’re Not a Netrunner)
When you’re blasting that scanner in search of items amid the bloodbath you just created, don’t forget to look out for those red boxes too. Just because you prefer to go the straightforward route of the hammer and just smash everything, it doesn’t mean you don’t need valuable XP you can obtain from quickhacking and the perk points that come with it. Everything, from radios to vacant computer terminals to floodlights in abandoned garages can be hacked, and it only takes a few seconds to do so. Again, even if you don’t use quickhacks in combat, quickhacking everyday items gains you valuable XP and perk points you can use elsewhere. So make sure not to leave all that on the table, capeesh?
Attribute-gated Doors can be Bypassed
Maybe you’re playing the Woman of La Mancha side job and you don’t have 7 attribute points in Technical, or you’re doing gigs and are sick of coming across doors you don’t have the Body to kick down, the good news is that the only thing these attribute-gated doors are hiding from you are shortcuts. Any door guarding an objective that must be reached can be bypassed through other means. Whether it’s finding a computer to unlock it with, or heading out to find a balcony and some air-conditioning to parkour over to get to the other balcony,
Don’t Be Afraid to Generalize your Character — But Know Your Destination
While specialist builds are certainly viable ways to approach the game — from going all-in on a Crit Pistol build or a fun, Katana-only Netrunner character — you shouldn’t worry about wasting your points in any one category. Cyberpunk 2077 rewards generalists with multiple ways to solve the problems it presents them with. Sometimes not going guns-blazing into a mission can reap greater rewards. Or, when the time does come to start massacring enemies, being able to make use of quickhacks, weapon-perks, and some extra goodies from Body and Technical.
That said, it should be noted that you should identify the most important perks from the different skill trees available — especially the rightmost actives and leftmost passives. These are the strongest perks in the game and give you a lot of bang for your buck. The key is not be hesitant and overly restrictive about allocating a few points into utility — not just combat. This can mean saving perk points for later use — like when you can put in the attribute points you need to unlock them.
Pick Up Everything and Backtrack
An important thing to realize early on is the importance of backtracking through environments when you’re done clearing them. Whether it’s something as simple as sweeping up an Assault in Progress or moving backwards through Konpeki Plaza as you shoot your way out through Arasaka security forces, environments host a surprising amount of loot and other goodies that you can miss, even if you keep spamming the Scanner, that can net you valuable Epic items and other great supplies you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
Don’t Buy or Craft Ammo
This somewhat ties into our previous point of backtracking. There is no need to purchase ammo from your local weapons shop — no matter how much Wilson pleads you to. There’s simply enough ammo to be found on fallen enemies and shelved in active environments that anybody who isn’t emptying whole clips into the air will find more than they can ever use simply by playing through the game and being sure to pop the scanner and keep an eye out for those signature grey boxes. This also pertains to consumables, like maxdocs, bounce backs and the game’s wide variety of grenades — except for the extra special ones, you’ll find more than enough just by being attentive as you play.
Melee Weapons Do Work
Whereas in most games, especially shooters, melee weapons take a back seat to the flash and flair of a badass handgun or overpowered plasma cannon, Cyberpunk 2077 takes a note from Altered Carbon and makes melee weapons a very viable path to use as a main set of weapons. With gap-closers, evasion, stealth, and quickhacks, the advantage of range can be minimized and builds that make exclusive use of melee weapons are perfectly viable if you enjoy the playstyle.
Sometimes No Choice is a Choice
While the quickly-depleting red bar that pops up whenever you have a timed choice might suggest otherwise, you can always choose to not say anything at all. This may sometimes work against, sometimes it may work for you, and other times it may simply change the course of the dialogue in a subtle way. The key is to really play according to how you see your own incarnation of V — murderous chatterbox, even-keeled hero, or even stoic badass. It’s entirely up to you.
Stop and Smell the Roses
Cyberpunk 2077 let a lot of people. It made a lot more people happy, but with hype-levels measuring well over 9000 in the lead-up to its release, Cyberpunk created impossible expectations for itself and rendered many fans bitter when it failed to live up to them. It’s not the game to end all games. Cyberpunk 2077 won’t be changing the world, erasing war, and ending famine. It’s only an amazing RPG. When you gas up and ride out for Night City, remember that the best thing about Cyberpunk is its setting and narrative. Immerse yourself in your character and you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more than you would if you go in expecting a 30 hour Counter Strike-style deathmatch. Do the sidequests, the gigs. Pursue romances. Explore nonviolent options. Talk to NPCs. CD Projekt Red didn’t spend 9 years and three hundred million dollars on just shootouts.