How to Survive in Cyberpunk 2077 on Very Hard Mode

Last Update: December 13, 2020 5:06 PM /


Cyberpunk 2077 Very Hard Mode Screen

Cyberpunk 2077 has a ton of challenges for you to tackle. Whether it's doing main jobs throughout the story or just wreaking havoc through the side gigs in Night City, there are plenty of gangs to fight through and quichacks to make. This is especially the case if you like the challenge of playing on Very Hard, where the difficulty is ramped up to its most extreme.  

So, here are some tips and tricks to playing Cyberpunk 2077 on Very Hard, so you can survive the onslaught of what awaits you in Night City.

What Very Hard Changes in Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 Very Hard Mode
Ready for the challenge? 

So the first question is knowing what Very Hard does. For the most part, the highest difficulty setting changes the following: 

  • Attack strength and resistance of V and the attack/health of your enemies.
  • Enemy aggressiveness:  the higher the difficulty, the more aggressive they are with their attacks, from grenade use to their own hacking.
  • Strong enemies are incredibly difficult to take down. Cyberpunk 2077 has no level scale, so if you are engaging with an enemy marked with a skull icon, you may want to reconsider fighting them directly. 

Enemy attacks can rip through V with ease due to the overall power creep of their weapons and hacking abilities, meaning fights will definitely need to be approached in different ways. 

Character Growth and Perks

Cyberpunk 2077 Perks
Choosing Perks for your perk trees is probably the biggest decision in the game. 

The most important thing players need to consider on Very Hard is your personal playstyle. Cyberpunk 2077 has no character classes, and no play style is favored over another, meaning multiple options for main and side gigs will always be available to you, from stealth to hacking to guns blazing. Each is given a chance to shine in every single gig in the game, even the more straightforward NCPD combat missions you can run into. 

Your character build is the most important part of your style of play; simply put, to survive Very Hard, you may need to specialize in a few fields versus becoming a jack of all trades. You can dip into a secondary role, say hacking as a secondary if your combat skills won’t help you, but by and large, specializing in a build is the best way to go. 

Paying attention to V’s attributes, skills, and perks is how you get an advantage. You can obtain 50 attribute points in Cyberpunk 2077, with each of the attributes capping out at 20, making it impossible to level up each attribute the whole way. Leveling up your attributes is the only way to unlock perks—major passive bonuses in Cyberpunk 2077—which in turn are where you can best customize V to fit your play style. 

Now, skills level up automatically through actions, similar to The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. So every time you breach a surveillance camera or shoot a shotgun, you increase the level of your perks. Skills offer smaller passive bonuses and extra perk points, so it may be worth experimenting a bit in the beginning with different skills, just to get the extra bonuses and perks if you can.

It should be noted that skills and attributes cannot be changed when you put points into them. Only perks can be respeced, and that is also pretty expensive to do. 

You will get 50 perk points for leveling up, and your skills can see a total of 81 extra perk points if you level up every single skill to close to maximum, for a total of 131 perk points, which is not enough to cover every perk in the game. While there are some essential perks to consider for pretty much any play style, there are at least two perks I would highly recommend each character invest in to give them an early edge in the game for Very Hard. 

Cyberpunk 2077 - Cold Blood Perk 

Cyberpunk 2077 Perk Tree Cold Blood
Cold Blood is really good, and if you invest further into the tree it becomes even better. 

A lot of people sleep on the Cool attribute, since it focuses heavily on stealth, but the Cold Blood perk tree is incredibly powerful if you invest in it. Even if you keep Cool at a minimum for your play style or go in aggressive and guns blazing, the Cold Blood perk grants you the Cold Blood passive ability, where you can get a small bonus to movement speed every time you kill an enemy for 10 seconds. Other perks in the tree will give you bonuses to damage, accuracy, armor, dodge, and more if you heavily invest in it. Plus, if you put three points into the cold blood perk, you get extra stacks of cold blood, meaning extra bonuses on top of each other.

Cyberpunk 2077 - Regeneration Perk

Cyberpunk 2077 Regeneration Perk
Regen is great early game, and with investment really powerful late-game.

The Athletics Skill tree is home to several good perks, but the most important, especially early on, is Regeneration. Regeneration was already seen in our essential perks guide, but it also applies here, being one of the best early perks in the game. Passive healing while in combat is a good perk to have in a tight spot. This is especially true when the enemies you face are being super aggressive towards you, not giving you much time to maneuver or even heal up with Maxdocs. It also leads to other bonuses in the Athletics perk tree that may be worth investing on. 

Play to Your Style

Cyberpunk 2077 Tech Sniper 2
Long Range or Short, play to your strengths and you will be rewarded. 

Really, survival is very hard and should be tailored to your play style. If you want to be super stealthy with a bit of brawling power, invest in Tech, Cool, and Body. Maybe you want to go full techno mage, then pump up Intelligence and Tech abilities to control the entire battlefield.

Knowing where to invest perks for weapon types and play style is just as important here too. Tech abilities, for example, may seem pointless if you use rifles for example, but the Engineering perk tree is home to passive bonuses for tech weapons as well. If you prefer using tech rifles over regular power rifles, dipping into Tech abilities for the tech weapon perks makes your tech rifles even deadlier than before. 

Here is a breakdown of what attributes and perk trees you need for the different weapons and playstyle types in Cyberpunk 2077:

  • Pistol - Reflex, Handguns Tree
  • Shotguns - Body, Annihilation Tree
  • Assault Rifles - Reflex, Assault Tree
  • Sniper Rifles - Reflex, Assault Tree
  • Light Machine Guns - Body, Annihilation Tree
  • Submachine Guns - Reflex, Assault Tree
  • Bladed Weapons - Reflex, Blades Tree
  • Blunt Weapons - Body, Brawler Tree
  • Fists - Body, Brawler Tree
  • Grenades - Tech Ability, Engineering Tree
  • Tech Weapons - Tech Ability, Engineering Tree
  • Cyberhacking - Intelligence, Quickhack Tree
  • Stealth - Cool, Stealth Tree
  • Hacking - Intelligence, Breach Protocol Tree

There is a lot of flexibility in character building that allows success for any play style, it’s just a matter of planning your build ahead of time to give you the right bonuses to survive. 

Up-to-Date Gear

Cyberpunk 2077 Crafting
Always try to keep your gear upgraded. 

While having a solid character build is important, so is the gear you use. Whatever your primary weapons and armor are, you need to constantly upgrade them to keep them usable. Cyberpunk 2077 is a bit flexible with this; you can upgrade pretty much any piece of gear in the game if you have the proper components for it.

The components are simple resources which can be collected from the world or by breaking down and disassembling items you grab. Everything, from guns to clothing to junk items, can be turned into components. You then simply gather enough components and go to the crafting tab and head to upgrades. 

Keeping your weapons and armor as up to date as possible will help you survive very hard mode without sacrificing the work put into your favorite look or firearms. Item slots also help with this too. Most weapons have slots where you can add mods from scopes to silencers, while armor can increase carry weight, damage to certain enemy types, or grant other bonuses. I would highly recommend finding pieces of gear that have slots to modify later, as those extra bits can go a long way in helping you increase your survivability.

Another area to always update is your cyberware. While they are entirely optional with no negative drawbacks, having cyberware that increases your armor, fighting abilities, scanning, and more offers plenty of bonuses that are too hard to pass up on. To get access to some of the best cyberware, you need to increase your street cred and spend a lot of eddies, but it is well worth the investment to give you extra survivability in pretty much every combat situation.

Don’t Sleep on Consumables

Cyberpunk 2077 Consumables
Most people will ignore consumables, but you really shouldn't in very hard mode. 

While everyone is probably familiar with the Maxdoc medpacks, you can also prep by consuming other food and drink items. Most of the food and drink items are super abundant in Night City, and for lower difficulties don’t really offer much since they are not usually needed. For very hard mode, they are a cheap way to either recover some stats or offer a minor boost in certain situations that should not be ignored. Remember, you need every advantage possible to survive very hard. 

First, food and drink items can give you one of two statuses: Hydration and Nourishment. Hydration gives you a 50% boost to stamina regen, with a 10% boost to max stamina. Nourishment gives you a 5% health boost, and .5 health regen out of combat. Both come recommended before you start a side gig or long combat scenario, or to be consumed in the few moments of downtime you have in between fights. 

You can also find uncommon or rare boosters with longer durations than other consumables. These can offer special bonuses, from increasing your stamina by 50% to increasing your RAM unit counts for quickhacking. Definitely be on the lookout for these boosters as they can help you in most combat or stealth situations. 

Final Thoughts on Very Hard

Cyberpunk 2077 Combat 2
Once you have your build ready, you will be firing on cylinders in very hard. 

For the most part, that wraps up what you consider when taking down very hard mode in Cyberpunk 2077. It all really comes down to learning your playstyle and specializing in it as much as possible. Whatever method you choose that makes you survive Night City, however, will be well worth the battle. 

So think tactically, build V to your play style, and keep things upgraded, and you will be fine. So good luck, and live free, choombas.

Make sure to check out our guides hub for more guides and information on Cyberpunk 2077.

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| Staff Writer

A longtime player of games, creator of worlds, and teacher of minds. Robert has worked many positions over the years, from college professor to education… More about Robert

More Info About This Game
Learn More About Cyberpunk 2077
Game Page Cyberpunk 2077
CD Projekt Red
CD Projekt
Release Date
December 10, 2020 (Calendar)
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