Cyberpunk 2077: The best 15 perks for every build
Cyberpunk 2077 has hundreds of perks to choose from, which is a little overwhelming. Most are just build reinforcing perks. Want to use rifles? Get perks that increase damage with rifles. Want to sneak around? Stack up on stealth perks. Want to hack your enemy’s brains? Get perks that increase your hacking ability.
That being said, there are a few hacks that nearly everyone should get, either because they just increase your survivability, increase your damage, or enable strategies and quality of life improvements that the game probably should have had without perks in the first place. These are the 15 perks we think you should pick up, regardless of your build.
Athletics perks largely have to do with your health and health regeneration, so you could imagine that these are some of the best generalist perks in the game. No matter what your build is, making yourself harder to kill is always good. A lot of athletic perks focus on increasing armor or increasing health, but there are a few that are core abilities you should unlock.
Epimorphosis – Health regenerates out of combat
Simple. Take a breather after combat and you’ll be fixed up in no time. No need to use expensive restorative items.
Regeneration – Health regenerates during combat
Similarly, this will give you some passive health regen while in combat, making it easier to soak a few more hits. You can just chill in cover to get your health back, like all popular FPS games of the modern-day.
Marathoner – Sprinting does not consume stamina
Much of Cyberpunk 2077 is getting from point A to point B and the driving mechanics are horrible. Picking up this perk means you never have to drive anywhere. Just go for a run.
Cardio Cure – Health regenerates faster as you move
This is probably the best defensive perk in the game. Yes, I’m not joking. If a battle starts going south just turn tail and book it. Cardio cure increases your health regeneration and you’ll shrug off any errant bullets until you get to safety. Just chill out and wait and soon your health will top out.
For the most part, Annihilation deals with shotgun and other short-range gun damage, meaning that there aren’t a lot of perks here that work for every build. There is one though, and it’s important.
Dead Center – Increases damage to torsos
Most perks in perk trees only affect the weapons in those trees. Dead Center, on the other hand, affects all weapons. For the most part, you will be aiming for the center of mass no matter what weapon you use. Even swords are more accurate when swung at a torso. This is basically a damage buff across the board and it would be crazy not to pick it up.
Street Brawler perks increase your damage with fists and blunt weapons meaning there are no generalist perks to pick up here. However, if you are going for a Street Brawler build, consider perks that increase stun and that cause your health to regen while in melee combat. That will keep you alive while keeping all enemies in an infinite stun lock.
Assault is another weapon focused tree mostly focused on rifles. Once again there are no particularly good generalist perks here, but you might want to look into perks that increase damage in proportion to distance. That will allow you to pick off enemies without ever putting yourself into harm’s way.
Another weapons tree focusing on pistols and revolvers, again with no good generalist perks. However, there is a really great combo in OK Corral and Wild West and… basically all the perks with cowboy names. These will increase your damage to enemies as long as you pump bullets into the same target, and increase damage to those enemies as their health falls, AND increase the damage your last bullet does. With this build, you can quickly pump a full clip into any enemy, even bosses, and watch them fall.
Another weapon-specific tree focused on blades. There is another great build here where you take the perks that increase the damage you do in proportion to the amount of life your opponent has lost, bleed perks, and increased combat speed perks. It will make your opponent’s melt away in two strokes, one to make them bleed, and one to finish them off.
It’s hard to get through the game without crafting at all, so there are a few good crafting generalist perks to pick up. If crafting isn’t your bag, you don’t have to go much deeper than this.
Scrapper – Junk is automatically disassembled
This honestly should have been a core mechanic. There are tons of items you pick up whose only purpose, literally, is to be turned into component parts. Picking up scrapper does it automatically and saves you a trip to the menu. It’s just a quality of life improvement and they shouldn’t have made us pick it up as a perk in the first place.
Tune-up – Allows you to upgrade low-quality items into high-quality items
Tune-up almost didn’t make the list because it requires a bit of devotion to crafting to get. However, it’s important because it means that every item you get is worth-while. Instead of ditching items when you find better ones, you can just pump parts into them and make them better. My starting katana ended up as a legendary weapon that could one-shot most enemies, rendering most weapon shops in the game obsolete.
Engineering deals with tech weapons, fighting drones, and explosives. It’s kind of a grab bag of a category. There’s one perk that is really important, though.
Mech Looter – Grants a chance to find a weapon mod or attachment when looting mechs
The main quest line will put you in the path of a ton of mechs and drones and their drops are only OK. Dumping points into Mech Looter will give every defeated mech a chance to drop something really useful since mods and attachments are hard to come by. I got some incredible gun parts from random drone takedowns, and heck even if you can’t use the parts you can sell them to fluff out your pockets with eddies.
Breach Protocol is Cyberpunk 2077’s hacking mini-game. You don’t really have to interact with it at all, but you start with a few daemons to upload, and its RAM cost is free, so you might as well fiddle with it a bit even if you are doing a low INT build. Unfortunately, the best perks here to require a somewhat high INT but they are worth it.
Head Start – Uploads the first daemon for free
Simply put, this turns every Breach Protocol into an auto-success at least on some level.
Compression – Reduces the length of sequences needed to upload daemons to a minimum of 2
And this perk decreases the length of sequences you need to input, effectively making the hacking puzzle easier. Both perks together will make basically every Breach Protocol a breeze.
Quickhacking is essentially Cyberpunk’s version of “spells.” Target an enemy, spend some MP… er. RAM… and watch their weapons jam, their eyes go blind, and their heads explode. Once again this is sort of a weapon-specific tree (the weapon being hacking) so there aren’t very many hacks that are good for generalists, but there is one that is super important.
I Spy – Reveals a netrunner when they try to hack you
In encounters with an enemy netrunner, you’ll watch a progress bar start ticking up and when it fills, you’ll be the victim of a hack and there’s really nothing you can do about it. Some powerful netrunners can kill you in one shot if they get off a good hack. The only recourse is to find them and either hack them first or kill them. Luckily, I Spy will reveal a netrunner as soon as they try to hack you so you can employ some quick cybersecurity measures… like a gun.
You can get through this game without ever sneaking around once, but there are still some perks you want to pick up from the stealth tree that will enhance any playthrough.
Restorative Shadows – Gain health regen while in stealth
New forms of health regen are always welcome. With the other perks we mentioned, now you will gain health back when fighting, not fighting, running, and sneaking. At this point, you’ll regenerate health no matter what you do, and that’s basically the point.
Cheat Death – When your health drops below 50% reduce all damage by 50% for 10 seconds
For the most part, we didn’t put any damage reduction or armor increasing perks on this list because you may not want to go into battle. However, Cheat Death is a massive damage reduction that kicks in when things get crazy. Pick it up no matter what your build and you will shield yourself from a game over and a reload.
Ghost – Detection time increased
As I said, you can get through the entire game without sneaking even once. However, if you really want to ensure that, pick up Ghost. It increases detection time, and with the way that Cyberpunk’s buggy system works, that basically means you can dash right by enemies without them noticing you. Couple this with a few pieces of cyberware that further increase detection time and you can run right through groups of enemies without a single flinch. It’s a speedrunner’s best friend.
Cold Blood is a tree that introduces a new mechanic, basically a temporary buff that occurs whenever you kill someone. Once again, you don’t really have to invest in this tree at all, if you don’t want to, but there’s one perk we think everyone should pick up.
Frozen Precision – Increases headshot damage
Hey, look at that, another blanket positional damage increase across the board. Frozen Precision now gives you bonuses to headshot damage. This along with Dead Center will now increase the damage of any bullet you place anywhere unless you like wing an arm or something. There is another perk that increases limb damage but it requires you to use pistols. Frozen Precision applies to all weapons.
Those are our picks for the best perks that Cyberpunk 2077 has to offer. What are your favorite perks? Let us know in the comments.