Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 is out, and with it, a lot of systems have changed. Some of those biggest changes have been to the perk and skill systems, as well as to how you can respec your character. In this guide, we'll walk you through what the new versions, what you should expect, and highlight some of the best perks and skill unlocks.
How do Cyberpunk 2077 Perks Work After 2.0?
Each time you level up you get two points to spend, one on a Cyberpunk 2077 attribute, and another on a perk. Aside from Relics, only available as part of Phantom Liberty and covered in our Relic guide separately, all of the perks are tied to a specific attribute.
Gone are the separate screens of perks under each attribute from previous versions of Cyberpunk 2077. This update has a new focus on a cleaner picture of the perks available in each attribute. Each attribute has between 30 and 40 perks available, with several that have multiple levels. The most expensive tree to fully unlock, Intelligence, requires 47 perk points, while the cheapest is Body at 41.
In addition to the points gained at each level, you gain a perk point when you hit skill level 15 or 35 in a particular skill. There are also some perk shards you can find as rewards for certain jobs throughout the game.
Perks still progress in a tree-like system, with each attribute having several different trees on its page. There are four levels of perks, with each having an attribute requirement. They are:
- Rookie: 4
- Pro: 9
- Phenom: 15
- Legend: 20
In each area, there are major and minor perks. The major ones have multiple levels to unlock and the minors are children of the main nodes. You can see the differences in the size in the picture above, with the minor ones being much smaller. You can only unlock other perks in a tree after you fully level up a major perk, which will let you take the minor ones or advance to the next major perk if you have enough points in the attribute to do so.
How do Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 Skills Work?
As part of overhauling the advancement system, skills also got a rework. They now are their own 60-level progression, but you don’t have to worry too much about that. There are 5 different skills: Headhunter, Netrunner, Shinobi, Solo, and Engineer.
Each of these is tied to an attribute: Headhunter to cool, Netrunner to intelligence, Shinobi to reflexes, Solo to body, and Engineer to technical ability. You level these up as you play by doing what you were already going to do with those abilities. As a brief example here is something you can do to improve each skill:
- Headhunter: Make headshots with precision rifles, handguns, or sniper rifles,
- Netrunner: Use quick hacks on foes,
- Shinobi: Dash around the map and in combat,
- Solo: Mow down foes with light machine guns,
- Engineer: disarm mines or turrets
While you can focus on these actions, or others, to quickly improve skills, generally it’s fine to just let them improve as you play the game. You get bonuses every 5 levels, typically tied to improving what you were already doing in the game. Notably among those bonuses though are extra perk points that you get at levels 15 and 35.
There are some other skill rewards that stand out too. These aren't ones that are just a small percentage boost generally, but give a more noticeable impact on play:
- Solo level 5: Gives you 50lbs of carrying capacity, which can be a real help for lugging around loot,
- Engineer levels 10, and 30: These increase your cyberware capacity by 5 and 10 points respectively,
- Headhunter level 20: No weapon sway while crouching is a very nice thing to have,
- Shinobi levels 5 and 25: improve movement speed by 5%, which is just a nice quality of life feature.
How to Respec Attributes in Cyberpunk 2077
Whether with a new character, or an old one you've revisited, sometimes you want to change things around. While attributes aren't something you can change much, they did add a new way to respect attributes in update 2.0 to let players adjust to the new systems.
Each character will have the ability to have one attribute respec, whether that is an existing character you’re booting up for the first time in months, or a new V you’ve decided to start.
To make use of this, you merely go to the character page and look to the bottom left, where there’ll be a button labeled Reset Attributes. Click it, and a warning will pop up saying you can only do it once. Click yes, and all your attributes and perks will be reset, letting you choose how to spend them again. After you use this respec, the button will be removed from the page.
How to Change Perks in Cyberpunk 2077
While changing perks used to be a chore, it is now really easy to change your build, as long as you are keeping the same attributes.
To change them, open the character menu, and click on the attribute to go to the perk screen. Hover over the perk you want to respec, and it will show you a button press to refund it if possible. If that prompt is not there, what you need to do is look at dependencies that make use of that perk, and refund those first.
Once you’ve refunded all the perks that depended on it, you can refund the original perk you were looking at, and voila, you’ve got perk points to spend elsewhere.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 Body Perks
Cyberpunk 2077’s Body Perks fall into three groups, all of which require a lot of physical prowess to make use of.
The first group is for Shotguns, Light Machine Guns, and Heavy Machine guns. The perks in this section of the tree improve your ability to make use of the guns, by improving reloading, mobility, recoil, and unlocking the ability to obliterate foes at low HP with those weapons.
The second set focuses on improving your health at the rookie level but is focused primarily on a new ability it unlocks at the Phenom level – Adrenaline Rush. This mode can give you a number of bonuses (which you can improve with related perks) to let you smash your enemies into smithereens with your guns or hammers. Most importantly though it helps keep you alive longer.
Speaking of hammers, the third part is for blunt weapons – the melee weapon type, not your V dropping some harsh truth bombs. This improves your ability to use them by decreasing stamina costs and improving speed, while also unlocking several special moves with blunt weapons.
Best Cyberpunk 2077 Body Perks
Adrenaline Rush – This is a signature ability of the body perk line, and it can massively improve your survivability once you unlock it if you want to dive right into the action. The adrenaline rush mode kicks in when you’re low on HP giving you functionally a second HP bar based on the adrenaline you’ve built up. It’s a massive boost, especially with its child perks, and lets you absorb an astonishing amount of punishment before you are flatlined.
Onslaught – Not all capstones are created equal, and one can just compare Onslaught with the shotgun capstone Rip and Tear to see that. Onslaught is a nightmare for those opposing you, as you will likely never need to stop firing with your machine gun as long as you’re reasonably on target. You’ll refill 20% of your ammo each time you neutralize a foe, letting you mow down the opposition.
Like a Feather – A lower-level perk, Like a Feather is an innocuously significant perk for those wanting to use shotguns and machine guns. Most of the heavier guns in the game slow down your movement, making getting to cover or other areas more difficult. While armor and adrenaline rush can help a lot with survivability, Like a Feather just removes the penalty to movement speed, meaning you too can get to cover.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 Reflex Perks
Speed is the name of the game with the Reflex perk choices, as you have a number of abilities that all reflect the ability to act or react with surprising speed.
On the left tree are perks about some of the fastest weapons in the game: the assault rifle, and the SMG. The perks reduce the stamina cost for firing, improve the handling of the weapons, and generally make it better to use these fast-firing weapons.
The signature line in some ways is down the middle, where your mobility can be improved significantly. Dashing and air-dashing give you a lot of mobility that you would otherwise be lacking, letting you move around the map in and out of combat in a snap. The minor perks improve your protection while moving, and let you shoot, reload, and take similar actions while using that mobility.
Finally is the blades training on the right. These perks are all about improving your ability to make use of the bladed weapons in the game. These will let you slice and dice your foes with abandon, and even include the ability to block and reflect bullets at foes.
Best Cyberpunk 2077 Reflex Perks
Dash - Dashing is a big ability in the perk tree, and the center line is all about building off of it for even more mobility. This ability lets you go around the map with a lot of speed, and escape assaults, close the distance to your foes, or move into cover with great dispatch.
Air Dash - Making dash faster and cheaper to execute are good first two levels, but the ability to add an air dash to your movement is a great help for mobility. It makes getting to areas a lot easier, and it synergizes greatly with double jumps.
Sharpshooter - If you are looking at assault rifles, this is a key perk to get, that unlocks at the phenom level. Sharpshooter lets you stack seven minor buffs to stamina recovery, that you earn by shooting your opponents. That's right, just for doing what you wanted to do, you get the ability to do more of it.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 Technical Ability Perks
Cyberpunk 2077’s Tech perks are a bit weird because there's a gadget line, a cyberware line, and a small tech weapon line. It leads to a certain amount of grab bag approach, but this is all about improving your hardware's effectiveness.
The gadget section of the tree is sort of a free-for-all area at the lower tiers. This area of the tree improves various items you’ll be using like health packs, grenades, and the projectile launcher system. There’s a part of it that focuses a lot on explosions around the Phenom level, so if you want to make things go boom, you’ll want to invest here.
If you want to go heavy into cyberware, the next section is your area. Starting at the Pro level of perks, these will let you get more out of your cyberware, have more cyberware capacity, unlock new slots, and even allow the use of an exclusive piece of cyberware.
The last segment of the tree is about tech weapons, and oddly enough this doesn’t start until the Phenom level so don’t expect to get many perks early on here. There are only 6 perks in this area, but it gives some unique abilities for tech weapons.
One thing worth noting is that compared to the previous versions of Cyberpunk 2077, there is nothing about crafting in the technical ability area. Perks are completely separate from getting or using crafting aspects of the game.
Best Cyberpunk 2077 Technical Ability Perks
In Charge – A child perk to Bolt (a pretty decent perk itself), this perk lets you choose to hold charges on tech weapons. Given that tech weapons, and perks related to them reward charging, letting you hold the charge and release when you want is a powerful ability.
Chipware Connoisseur – This is a bit of an odd perk, but it lets you choose what stat modifiers your cyberware gets when you upgrade it. With this and its predecessor perk, you get additional stats, and get to pick which ones are most relevant to you when you upgrade them, meaning you aren’t stuck with a poor roll for some cyberware you find.
Edgerunner – While I had originally planned to be contrarian and go with another good perk, it’s impossible to ignore how good Edgerunner is. This perk lets you add tons of extra cyberware if that’s what you want to do, and the health penalty can be essentially mitigated by the extra armor you’re adding with the cyberware you put on. If you want to be a heavily chromed badass, this is the perk for you.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 Cool Perks
If it’s about precision, the perks under the cool attribute are likely to cover it, as it’s all about keeping your cool under pressure to do exactly what you need to do.
The first tree, on the left, focuses on pistols, revolvers, precision rifles, and sniper rifles. Many of these perks focus on improving critical hits, stamina use, and making the most of precision with these weapons. If you want to be a cold sniper or imitate John Wick, these are important perks for you.
The middle line is about improving crouching, and letting you be more mobile under fire. The big addition here is the ability to crouch sprint at the Phenom level. While reflexes mobility perks open up the map and let you travel with abandon, Ninjutsu and other cool perks are about moving in cover and keeping a low profile.
Lastly, we have one of the most important perk trees for players of a certain stripe. Cyberpunk 2077 update 2.0 embraced the community's desire for knife throwing by adding a lot more to it than just the single perk there previously was. Instead, now there is a series of perks that improve your weapon throwing, add finishers, and more.
Best Cyberpunk 2077 Cool Perks
Deadeye – If you want to snipe down foes with handguns or snipers, Deadeye is a really good perk for you with two good buff levels, and then the titular mode which removes bullet spread and boosts precise shots. It does require that you maintain high stamina, but there are several related perks that can help with that.
Focus – One of the perks that can help you keep high stamina is focus. Focus mode is unlocked at level 2, and while you are in it your shots don’t cost stamina, which helps keep your shots steadier, and lets you keep other perks like deadeye active. The fact that it lasts a short period, and costs 40 stamina when it’s over makes it more suited to handguns and high rate of fire precision rifles than sniper rifles, but it's a really good perk.
Ninjutsu – In the mobility section of Cyberpunk 2077's Cool perks, Ninjutsu is what I would call the main perk. The key part to it is that at level three it unlocks crouch sprinting, which is a boon for in-combat mobility, especially if you aren’t dashing around. Being able to keep high speed while behind cover is great in combat, and also excellent if you need to move fast and stealthily.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 Intelligence Perks
Intelligence could just as easily be called the netrunner tree, as two-thirds of its perks are about hacking and using your cyberdeck on opponents.
On the left, we have a number of useful abilities for hackers, with the Hack Queue being the core ability of the tree. There are also abilities here that speed up hacking, reduce RAM cost, and increase RAM recovery, as it’s all about making that deck useful.
The middle line continues with many similar abilities. The signature of this line though is Overclock. When you activate Overclock by pressing a button, you can use more RAM than you have available, at the cost of 10 health per point over the limit. There are also several abilities that modify and further improve it.
The last part of the Intelligence perk tree is for Smart Weapons. Hurray, it's not hacking?! If you want to use Smart Weapons, you will want these perks as they improve target locking, allow multiple target locks, and a number of other highly useful abilities.
Best Cyberpunk 2077 Intelligence Perks
Overclock – A phenom-level perk on the middle, this perk is incredibly useful if you want to be a combat decker. With the nerf to quickhacks, Overclock becomes a near necessity if you want to take down foes with the hacks, and many other perks build on it. With a lot less free spreading, you need to use more of those hacks, which Overclock lets you do.
Eye in the Sky – A Rookie-level perk, this is one that everyone should consider picking up. It highlights access points and cameras nearby, helping your general visibility and knowing what is in your area. If that’s not enough, it also gives you -1 RAM Cost and +50% duration on control hacks uploaded through cameras, making it essential for stealthy Netrunner playthroughs.
Spillover – While it is a bit cheating to take one of the capstone perks, Spillover is really, really good. Anyone who’s played a Netrunner in this game knows that the ability to have hacks go from one enemy to another is huge and some higher-level quickhacks have provided it in the past at the highest-tier versions. With that seeming to have gone away, Spillover's 50% spread chance while in Overclock lets you relive the good old days.
Cyberpunk 2077 Car Perks
In each of the perks trees, there's also a car perk that affects vehicles. All of them are at the rookie level, and since there are only five I thought it best to take a look at each and give you the best information about them. In rough order of strength, they are:
Fury Road - Body - This perk improves your ability to ram other vehicles as your V no longer takes damage from vehicle collisions, and your car only takes half damage. To further encourage using your vehicle as a battering ram, you also do 50% more damage when ramming. It’s handy as well if you’re not a great driver or during the Phantom Liberty car heist gigs.
Carhacker - Intelligence - For Netrunners though, there is another option for the top car perk: Carhacker. This lets you do what the name says: hack cars and what fun it can be to set off car alarms, send them racing away, or even make them explode. This opens up new possibilities in how you approach some combats and gives a fun set of tools to play with.
Stuntjock - Reflexes - After those two are the second-tier perks, which I would put Stuntjock at the top of. It gives you a couple of tricks for getting out of vehicles, but more importantly, it cuts bullet spread in half while driving and removes the movement penalty to accuracy. This makes it a lot easier to aim at your opponents while driving, and overall this perk is perfect if you want to act like you’re in an action movie.
Gearhead - Technical Ability - Gearhead is, well, fine. It's fine. It improves your vehicle's health by a third, which is appreciated if you are driving into things a fair amount (combine it with Fury Road!) or doing vehicular combat. It also gives your weapons mounted on the vehicle +25% damage and speeds up their lock-on time by 0.7 seconds. This is probably most useful if you have the Phantom Liberty expansion which adds a second weapon type, missiles, that benefit a lot from lock-on. It’s just so boring as a perk and doesn't really add that much, but there's nothing wrong with it.
Road Warrior - Cool - Road Warrior is the most circumstantial of the perks, because like Carhacker you have to have the proper tools for it to function, but its reward is much lower. It lets you take advantage of Sandevistan, and Kerenzikov while driving which can be useful, but each of those requires a piece of cyberware you need to equip. Slowing time with Sandevistan is pretty sweet if you are already down that line, and you want to handle a tricky turn or shoot out opposing tires. It also tosses in a 25% bonus to weapon damage if the vehicle is drifting or airborne.