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Beginner’s Guide to Cyberpunk 2077

December 19th, 2020 by Marc Comments

Being dropped in the middle of Night City can be quite intimidating. Though the neon glow may be welcoming, the people can be less so. To guide protagonist V throughout their journey in the densely populated city in the Free State of Northern California, you’re going to need to know what you’re doing.

A game as expansive and content-rich as Cyberpunk 2077 offers players a ton of opportunity for customization. From the character creation to the chosen playstyle, it’s all a matter of preference. However, there are a few things every visitor of Night City should keep in mind. In this beginner’s guide to Cyberpunk 2077, we’ve pieced together some tips and a breakdown of some of the mechanics to help keep you alive and kicking.

If you haven’t gotten this game in your arsenal yet, what are you doing? Get your Cyberpunk 2077 GOG keys and get the game now!

Then come back and read through this guide before stepping into V’s shoes to fully understand what you’re getting yourself into.

Making V

Long before Cyberpunk 2077 was released, you’ve heard about the game’s character creation. Tinkering with V’s appearance for hours isn’t going to change how the game plays. It’s the Attributes that really count, and in this game, they’re the only thing dictating your character’s “class.”

Unlike most RPGs, there are no specific classes that assign particular skills, strengths, and weaknesses. It’s 100% up to the player to determine what they want to sink Attribute Points into.

In Cyberpunk 2077, there are five attributes:

  • Body
    • Governs physical strength, health, stamina skills, and attributes
  • Reflexes
    • Governs speed and dexterity, critical strikes, evasion skills, and attributes
  • Technical Ability
    • Governs technical prowess with machines, gadget crafting skills, and attributes
  • Intelligence
    • Governs hacking skills and attributes
  • Cool
    • Governs stealth skills and attributes

Attached to each Attribute are also Perk (Skill) Trees that unlock new abilities and increase specific stats. Under the Body Attribute, for example, the Assault Perk Tree will allow you to increase V’s proficiency with long-range firearms, boosting things like headshot damage and aiming speed.

The higher the Attribute level, the more Perks you unlock. This really makes spending Attribute Points a thinking game, as you typically want to focus on two or three for each character build. Say you want a brute that can dismantle Night City’s security. Then you’ll want to focus on Body and Technical Ability Attributes and Perks. If you plan on running into battle for some up-close and personal melee, consider regenerative Perks and armor boosts.

Attribute and Perk points are separate and should be handled differently. It’s sometimes worth sitting on Attribute Points and allowing them to accumulate so you can best determine what to sink them into.

What is a Lifepath?

CD Projekt Red throws a curveball with V’s Lifepath. When you reach this screen, it seems like you’re about to pick a game-changing class. Alas, the Lifepath actually has no bearing on the gameplay and serves only as V’s backstory. Though each Lifepath (Nomad, Street Kid, and Corpo) has a different prologue, none of them alter V’s starter build.

But your Lifepath choice can alter some conversations, provide a unique dialogue prompt, and make chatting with certain characters easier. You may even be able to score information easier.

Keep the following in mind when choosing your Life Path:

  • Nomads get along with other Nomads but have issues with Street Kids and Corpos
  • Street Kids are good with other Street Kids but struggle with Nomads and Corpos
  • Corpos fit in with other Corpos but draw negative attention from Nomads and Street Kids

Cyberpunk 2077 Tips

With the preliminary stuff out of the way, let’s get down to some game-changing tips.

Save, Save, Save!

CD Projekt Red designed Cyberpunk 2077 to autosave, but don’t rely solely on it. What happens if an encounter does not go in your favor and you have to reload an autosave from 15 minutes ago? Sure, Night City is fun to explore. Everything, though, risks feeling repetitive if you’re stuck playing the same segments over and over again. Manually save your game, especially if you suspect something big is coming.

This is pretty much a no-brainer for any RPG at this point, however, it’s worth mentioning again for beginner players.

Find Guns, Don’t Buy Them

When you’re running around with a little peashooter, it may be tempting to spend your hard-earned cash on a fancy firearm. In Cyberpunk 2077, though, the best weapons aren’t purchased. They’re earned.

Everything in Night City becomes obsolete so very quickly. That high-powered rifle you purchased ten minutes ago has likely already been trumped by a shotgun you scored from a fallen enemy or side mission. 

Play Favorites with Iconic Weapons

There are a lot of weapons lying about Night City, all with your name on them. However, “Iconic” Weapons are the creme de la creme. Available through specific locations, story quests, and side-quests, Iconic Weapons are imbued with abilities and perks that increase their value. It may be tempting to break them down for parts or sell them for cash, especially when you feel like you’ve found a more powerful weapon, but that’s not recommended.

If you feel like your Iconic Weapon is losing some of its juice, head to the Crafting menu and amp it up with some upgrades. Some tweaking can keep your powerful Iconic Weapon in your arsenal for much longer than standard firearms.

Don’t Drive Recklessly

Driving around Night City is not only convenient, it’s fun. It can also be a hazard. Lose control of your vehicle just once, and you may slam into a civilian. That’s going to garner the attention of the unrelenting Night City Police Department, which will make your life hell.

Avoid increasing your wanted level at all costs by driving carefully and keeping a keen eye out for NPCs you may run over.

Build Relationships, See the World

Some of the best content in Cyberpunk 2077 is experienced only by those that really play the game. It’s so easy to go Grand Theft Auto in Night City and play the classic game of “How long can I survive?” but there’s no progress to be had.

Be sure, as you’re playing, that you’re completing Side Jobs and Gigs as they come up. Don’t skip side missions and do everything you can to keep your relationships solid. The better your relationships are with other characters, the more likely you’re going to get something from them at some point. If there’s one character you want to focus on, complete the jobs they give you.

Your time spent with these characters will be fruitful.

Who Needs Keys?

Not every door is accessible to a newcomer in Night City. For someone that’s been around the block, though, the options start opening up. Depending on how you spend your Attribute Points, you could unlock access to Perks that make locked doors a breeze to deal with.

Your Body and Technical Ability Attributes feature Perks that can either force open doors or hack into them. Since you’ll want to explore every inch and not miss any loot, it’s worth saving a point or two to sink into these valuable skills.

Scan for Goodies

It only takes a press of a button to scan an environment. When you Quick Scan a new area, V will mark all the items lying about. By scanning frequently, you’ll be sure not to miss a thing – including hackable components.

In the late-game material, you’ll also be able to scan your enemies for weaknesses and the rewards they drop.

Hack Often

It’s a skill you have, so you might as well use it. Quite frankly, it’s also incredibly helpful in surviving your journey in Night City. Terminals may dish out extra credits, computers can grant you access to camera feeds so you can scout enemy locations, and you may even be able to remove hazards from your path.

Despite what kind of character build you go with, Hacking is a core component to Cyberpunk 2077 and should be used as often as possible to ensure that you have the edge you need.

Be Mindful of Risk Levels

Unless you’re feeling very courageous, it’s best to avoid taking on higher risk quests and enemies. To see the risk level, check quests in V’s journal or watch for opponents with a skull icon. Trying to take those on too early will surely end in your swift defeat.

Go Tackle Night City

It’s safe to say you’re ready to jump into V’s shoes and tackle the wonders of Night City. Best of luck on your quest and be sure to check back to this guide if you forget any of the points we’ve made. Most importantly, have fun!

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….