Cyberpunk 2077: 10 Tips for Getting Started

Here are 10 Tips for Getting Started with Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 has been released for a few years now, but with the steady stream of updates put out by developer CD Projekt Red, multiple side-projects, and now the new Phantom Liberty DLC, the game is still getting new players all the time.

There aren’t many minute technical details to grasp in this title, but there are certainly a few tips and tricks that it’s best to know right out of the gate. So whether you are a new player getting ready for your very first dive into the heart of Night City or a veteran player looking for a quick refresher, we’ve got ten tips to help you get started on your path to the top in Cyberpunk 2077.

1. Decide Which Stats to Invest in Early

Cyberpunk 2077 Stat Overview Screen
Stat Overview Screen

As of the game’s more recent updates, it’s now possible for players to refund and respend their perk points whenever they’d like. This allows much more freedom when experimenting with different skills and means you don’t have to completely plan your build right from the start. Stat points, however, are a different story.

When creating your character, it’s important to decide relatively early which of the five major stats you want to dump your points into each time you level up because, unlike perk points, you can only respec your stats once. While there are alternative sources for perk points, such as skill progression, the player only gets a stat point when they level up, so a player can obtain a finite amount of stat points. At the max level, it is only possible to raise three stats to their maximum level, and only if minimal points are invested in the remaining two stats.

2. Visit Ripperdocs Regularly

An in-game screenshot looking at a players Cyberware Upgrade Screen
Choosing and Upgrading Cyberware

Cyberware is a huge part of character customization and progression in Cyberpunk 2077. To buy, upgrade, and swap out cybernetic implants, players will need to visit a specialized medical “professional” known as a Ripperdoc. The game introduces you to one such ripper, Viktor, during the opening acts, but there are numerous ripperdocs scattered throughout Night City, each with different available inventories.

Players will be quite limited, at first, with what kind and how much cyberware they can equip. These limits come from both your cyberware tolerance and available cash. The player’s cyberware tolerance will increase each time they level up and can be boosted further with perks from the Technical Ability stat. It’s a smart idea to visit a ripperdoc whenever one is nearby to keep your implants up to date with your level by installing new ones and upgrading existing cyberware. This also lets you browse a larger variety of cyberware by visiting different vendors.

3. Divide Up Your Loot

An in-game screen looking into the player's backpack
Dividing up Loot in the Players Backpack

Chances are, you’ll be picking up all sorts of random loot as you blast your way through Night City. Dropped weapons, food items, new clothes, and even random junk will all eventually fill up your inventory. Obviously, you won’t be needing all of it, so what do you do with the rest once you’ve picked out what you’ll keep? Well, the answer really depends on what you need at the moment. Of course, excess loot can be sold at a vendor or drop point for some quick cash, but it’s also possible to dismantle equipment for item parts that can be used in crafting and upgrades.

Generally speaking, it’s important to divide up your loot for use in both of these scenarios. If you need some eddies now, you can set aside more loot for selling, but we recommend breaking down any gear that is the same tier or higher than your own equipment. Junk items sell for very little but can be broken down for small amounts of parts, whereas it’s much more lucrative to sell jewelry items than to disassemble them. It’s also perfectly fine to dismantle any clothing items you find, as most don’t provide any sort of bonus and can still be equipped from your wardrobe once you’ve picked it up, regardless of what happened to the actual item. 

4. Scan Your Surroundings

Looking through a CCTV Security Camera
Scanning the Environment Through a Security Camera

The scanner is one of the most useful tools available to every merc. This function is essential for netrunners and intelligence-based characters to use their hacking abilities, but also serves numerous other purposes and should be utilized by characters of every kind.

Depending on what kind of bionic eyes you have equipped, your scanner will highlight objects like cameras or turrets or even tag enemies you can’t see. Additionally, the scanner can be used to mark visible or pinged enemies so they remain highlighted and can be seen through cover. The scanner also features a zoom function and highlights important environmental features such as explosive objects, doors, body dumps, loot, and ventilation shafts. Each of these items can also be tagged to remain visible to the player through walls. Players can even see what kinds of weapons, abilities, resistances, and weaknesses an enemy has by viewing their information through the scanner.

5. Watch Your Fire

A gunfight between a player and Night City Police in Cyberpunk 2077
Facing Off Against Night City Police Can Be Deadly

Gunfights are common in Night City, and they can get pretty crazy, especially when the player gets involved. Spraying bullets and lobbing explosives through the streets can be a ton of fun until you accidentally tag a bystander with a stray round. It’s no big deal if it’s the baddies who did it, but if you accidentally hurt a civilian, you’d better be ready for the fuzz to show.

In technical terms, in-game law enforcement will respond to player-perpetrated harm to non-combatant characters visible to other civilians or officers. If this happens, a set of blue stars will appear next to your minimap. These stars number between one and five, indicating the player’s heat level. The higher your heat, the more deadly the response sent after you, and the harder it will be to shake them. Fighting back against pursuing officers will increase your heat level, and most will generally be stronger than you, especially early on. It happens to everyone sooner or later, but if you tick off the cops, the best option is usually to run and hide until they give up.

6. Don’t Ignore the Crafting System

Inspecting the Crafting Screen for a G-58 Dian Gun
Viewing the Crafting Screen in the Inventory

Many players might incorrectly assume the crafting system is simply an additional feature meant for players specializing in the Technical Ability stat. While it’s true that technically adept characters will get more out of this system, it can and should be utilized by every merc who wants to be at the top of their game. 

Put simply, the crafting system allows players to repurpose parts from dismantled junk and equipment to craft new items and improve existing ones. This allows players to craft new guns, grenades, healing items, ammo, and consumables. Additionally, parts can be used to upgrade iconic equipment, letting you keep your favorite toys as part of your arsenal through the entire game, if you so please, without becoming obsolete. But that’s not all, while visiting a ripperdoc, players can spend crafting components to upgrade their equipped cyberware. Generic weapon mods can also be combined with another of the same tier to produce a higher-tiered item.

7. Practice Your Skills

Viewing the Cyberpunk 2077 Skill Progression Screen
Skill Progression Screen

Stats, perks, cyberware, and gear all provide ways to improve and customize your character. Keeping all of these different aspects in tune with your build can be challenging but rewarding. It can be a lot to keep up with, though, which is why many players forget about another aspect of progression: Skills.

When we say skills, we aren’t referring to your button-mashing abilities but instead to each character’s five innate skills. Each of these skills is tied to one of the five stats and provides bonuses to actions associated with that stat and even additional perk points. These bonuses are unlocked every five skill levels, so continual progression is the best way to unlock them. Progression will likely come naturally for skills tied to your main stats, but others might require repetition and practice. Increase your skills by performing actions tied to their stat, such as hiding bodies for Headhunter, dodging for Shinobi, or hacking doors for Netrunner.

8. Mind Your Mods

Viewing the CS-1 Taipan in the Player Inventory Screen in Cyberpunk 2077
Some Mods Come with Drawbacks as Well as Bonuses

Most of the time, in an RPG, an empty mod slot is a wasted bonus. That isn’t necessarily the case in Cyberpunk 2077. While many mods will provide flat bonuses with no drawbacks, several exceptions to this rule make it important to read the fine print before attaching a mod.

Scopes have no statistical drawbacks, but muzzle attachments and generic mods often have drawbacks to balance their benefits. For example, a suppressor is great for dealing additional stealth damage and hiding the sound of your gun. Still, it becomes a hindrance in open combat as it decreases general damage. Even some cyberware includes drawbacks to take into consideration. The Dense Marrow cyberware, for example, increases melee damage but also increases the stamina cost of melee attacks. This tip isn’t to discourage players from utilizing these modifications but to encourage careful consideration of costs and benefits when decking out your character.

9. Explore Every Corner

Looking behind a character staring at a roadside billboard
Explore Thoroughly to Find Hidden Secrets

The world of Night City is impressively large and filled with things to do. There are missions to complete, races to win, cars to buy, and iconic weapons to collect. While darting between neon nightclubs and dismal scav haunts, it can be easy to overlook the trashy alleyway off to the side of the path, and that might mean you miss out on a hidden iconic weapon.

Cyberpunk 2077’s map is full of secrets. Some of these will be more tangible and include rare guns, blueprints, cars, or cyberware. Other secrets might be more subtle, including keys, story fragments, and even easter eggs referencing other great works of Sci-fi media. It’s worth it to take a moment to check around that corner or inside that vent to find these secrets, even when the game might seem to be rushing you. Several of these secrets CAN BE MISSED if you don’t find them during a certain mission, so take your time and be extremely thorough in your investigations if you want to see all there is to see.

10. Get a Little Lost

A red supercar driving through Night City with holographics in view
Driving a Supercar Through the Heart of Night City

Cyberpunk 2077 is a fast-paced shooter and an in-depth RPG. But what ties all of the game’s many aspects together is the incredible visuals, music, and worldbuilding that make Night City come alive. This game is absolutely gorgeous, features a killer soundtrack, and has come to present one of the most immersive worlds we’ve seen in recent years. To ignore all of that would be to miss out on some of the best aspects of the game. 

It might sound like the player is in a constant time crunch, but the “timer” on the relic in your head is purely story-based, so feel free to stop and smell the neon whenever the mood strikes you. Take the long road occasionally, drive around in your supercar or motorcycle, and listen to the radio instead of fast-traveling. Ride the metro and admire the city’s skylines. Try on a new outfit and check out the nightclubs. Take a walk through the cherry blossom market at night and snap some pictures of the incredible holographics with the photo mode. Let yourself get a little lost. Get immersed. It’s worth it, trust us.

Straight to the Top

A player driving a motorcycle through the city
Driving to the Rainbow Codenza Club

Cyberpunk 2077 is a gorgeous, immersive RPG with many customization mechanics and immense personality. While the game can be tackled in many different ways depending on how you play, every merc should know a few rules of the street if they want to make it big.

Now that you have the basics down, it’s time to make your own way. Night City is waiting for the next big name, which could be you. But only if you play your cards right and don’t end up as scrap in a landfill first.

Aaron Van Dyck's avatar

About Aaron Van Dyck

Aaron Van Dyck is a thriller novelist with a passion for survival games and exploration. He started writing at the age of 13 and has always been drawn to the sense of self-reliance and freedom found in open worlds. An avid urban explorer and RPG enthusiast, he enjoys dungeon crawling and has a particular love for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Far Cry 5, and Cataclysm: DDA. He's also a fan of shooters and action games with immersive stories and unique monsters to encounter.

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