Cyberpunk 2077 has kicked off the next-generation of gaming with a bang – even if the next-gen version of the game isn’t due out until next year. The enormous CD Projekt Red RPG has landed after years of anticipation, and during the review period, we’ve seen it through to its bitter end.
Given the scale and scope of the game, we believe we’ve got some useful nuggets of knowledge to share for players who are jumping into the game at launch, to help you have the most pleasant experience possible in this inimitable dystopian world. Here’s everything you need to know before you play Cyberpunk 2077.
1. Don’t worry too much about your lifepath
Approaching launch, a lot of Cyberpunk’s trailers and marketing made mention of the game’s lifepath system. At the start of your playthrough, you’ll be prompted to pick between a Corpo, Street Kid, or Nomad lifepath that will impact the wider story.
It’s a neat feature, but you really don’t have to worry or stew about it, as it doesn’t have any major effects on the game beyond the first few hours. You’ll start out in a different scenario depending on what you choose, but after that the ramifications are minimal.
We encountered only one or two situations in our playthrough where being a Nomad resolved a quest quicker due to common ground with another character – and there were always other solutions. So just act on instinct and dig in!
2. Quick Save and Quick Load are your best friends
Cyberpunk’s combat arenas have an essence of Deus Ex about them, given the sheer variety of ways you can approach them. This is why it’s important to save often, and use your quicksaves to experiment within these situations like you’re playing an immersive simulator game (Deus Ex and Dishonored are examples of these types of games).
Some of the most fun you can have in Cyberpunk is figuring out how to manipulate the environment to your advantage, or trying to stealth through areas that are near impossible to approach in a covert fashion. Just make sure to press the pause button and tap Triangle/Y on your controller to log a quick save before you try anything stupid…
3. Don’t be a Jackie Welles of All Trades, specialize in something
One mistake we made during our playthrough was allotting our points too evenly across the game’s core attributes. While we focused on Technical Ability and Intelligence and still became satisfying hacker masterminds, the spread was too thin to reach the revolutionary upper echelons of an attribute’s unlockable skills which we’re now exploring in the postgame.
It’s alluring at first to get every attribute to a decent level, given that some weapons and cyber ware is gated by your Body or Reflexes stat – and you’ll want to have enough know-how to sidestep tricky conversations or crack open doors. But focus on two main stats and push them a lot higher than the rest to make the most of the game, even if it feels scary. You can reset your perk points (not your attributes) at a Ripper Doc but it costs a whopping 100,000 eddies, so do be careful.
4. Seriously, don’t rush the main missions
Like Skyrim and other similar FPS RPG games, Cyberpunk’s core questline is over sooner than you think, especially if you rush it. The game is designed so that you’ll take careful steps away from the narrative to do your own thing in between the major beats of the story. As well as unlocking special dialogue and ending options by developing side stories, the crucial aspect of this is that you’ll level up and get your skills up to scratch so you can pass certain dialogue checks and meet the requirements to open doors, hack devices and unlock alternate routes and extra opportunities in the main missions.
This is a game best experienced slowly. It could have been over in 20 hours, but we wrapped it at 45 just to make the most of its characters, combat, and world. The good news is that you can come back to your ‘Point of No Return’ save after you finish any of the endings – so you don’t have to do everything. Just make sure you wrap up any story relevant side missions before you enter the endgame. Trust us, it’s worth it.
5. Get the access point skills first for easy money and components
In the skills menu hit up the Breach Protocol tab under the Intelligence attribute and unlock the Advanced Datamine upgrades as soon as possible. Beyond the difficult and limited street brawls, hacking access points in Cyberpunk 2077 is the best way to earn Eurodollars, so making it so you double your income every time you use one is going to make it easier for you to afford those costly augmentations at a Ripper Doc.
You should also nab the skill Datamine Mastermind that doubles your component output for every successful hack, as this will make crafting special items and upgrading your arsenal very easy and accessible in a pinch.
6. Upgrade your Operating System as early as possible
Before buying the double jump or one of the cyberweapons (such as the Mantis Blades or Monowire) you should save up and upgrade your main Operating System to increase its capacity. At the start, you’ll only have a limited pool of RAM and three quick hacks available to you at a time, which really limits the amount of havoc you can cause in combat.
You might not want to play as a hacker, but just having more RAM early on will let you interact with more environmental elements to set up satisfying traps, coaxing out the awesome possibilities of the game’s immersive simulator-style systems.
The humble mobile phone call isn’t as dead in 2077 as it is in 2020, and V will spend a surprising amount of time on the blower with their pals throughout Cyberpunk’s narrative. Regardless, it’s easy to overlook the benefits of making leisure calls to your friends to chat about matters beyond work. Once you complete major junctures in the campaign (especially when you suffer a loss, hint hint) you should call up all of your friends and check in on them.
Beyond being a good friend, the extra dialogue can lead to quests and content that may have been missed otherwise. There’s a surprising amount of depth tied to each contact which seems locked to these optional phone calls, so make sure you don’t miss them!