‘Cyberpunk 2077’ guide: the best Perks and how to unlock them

Plus, a couple to avoid too

Cyberpunk 2077 has some fairly robust RPG systems, and while they can seem a little overwhelming at first, getting a handle on them can give V a serious edge. Perks are one of the best parts of these systems, and exist to allow you to tailor V to your own style of play, and with so many options, there are several different builds on offer.

However, regardless of your play style, there are some Perks you’ll definitely want to pick up, and others you should avoid at all costs. These can give V increased abilities, or make the ones they already have much more effective.

V gets two different sorts of levelling up points in Cyberpunk 2077; Attribute points and Perk points. Attribute points can go towards Body, Reflexes, Technical Ability, Cool, or Intelligence, and these will give you more open world options, such as extra dialogue trees or the ability to open otherwise locked doors.

The best advice for these is to skill them up equally, so all five are on or near the same level. For Perks, it’s a bit more complicated. Each of these Attributes has two or three Perk trees attached to it, and you can spend your Perk points in any of these to unlock special bonuses for V.

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077. Credit: CD Projekt Red

Best Perks in Cyberpunk 2077

These Perk trees won’t be fully accessible at the start of the game. Firstly, you need to begin in the middle and branch out, but you also will need to level each Perk tree up before you can use it all. While this all seems more complicated than it needs to be, it is mostly quite intuitive.

For example, if you want to unlock the best Rifle Perks, you’ll need to use a rifle frequently in the game to open up the tree. The more you run, the more Athletics Perks you’ll be allowed to unlock. The more you fight, the more Street Brawler upgrades you’ll get access too.

Again, it’s worth stressing that levelling up each Perk tree won’t actually give you the Perks, it will just make them available for purchase via Perk points. In practise, it’s easier than it sounds, but now that we’ve wrapped our head around how exactly Perks work, here’s our recommendations.

We’ve gone for generalist recs here, so these will help with any build, but if you’re planning a specific build, check out the Perk Tree most applicable to your V for great Perks.

Cyberpunk 2077 best Perks at a glance

  • Ghost
  • Cardio Cure
  • Mech Looter
  • Frozen Precision

Plus two to avoid

  • Dagger Dealer
  • Scrapper

Ghost – Stealth

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077. Credit: CD Projekt Red

Forget Ghost Of Tsushima, how’d you like to be a Ghost of Night City? This increases your detection time, meaning enemies will take longer to spot you. You’ll know when one suspects you, as an eye logo above their head will appear, and slowly fill red. Once it fills up, V’s cover has been blown.

For some people, stealth and sneaking is only going to be a minor part of the game, with them instead opting to blast through every encounter. However, for the most part, especially on the higher difficulties, stealth is required, at least some of the time.

This Perk, plus some stealth centric Cyberware, can make V almost impossible to detect. This lets you scope an area out, picking up stealth kills and clearing out battlegrounds one by one instead of taking on fifteen enemies at once.

Cardio Cure – Athletics

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077. Credit: CD Projekt Red

It’s pretty common when a sports star has a minor injury that they’re just told to “run it off”. With the Cardio Cure Perk, that tactic will work for V too. It ties health regeneration to movement, meaning if V’s ever in trouble, they just have to run.

They don’t even need to run away, just run across to the other side of the room. The more you move, the more you heal, so even if V’s getting hit by bullet spray, chances are they will recover faster than they get damaged.

The only downside to this Perk is that it’s incredibly chaotic. Any sort of tactical positioning goes out of the window here, as you end up left running aimlessly until you’re satisfied with your health. It can also attract more enemies if you run into a secondary area. For best results, tie this to the Perks which let you shoot while sprinting and reload while sprinting, then you can still deal damage instead of just running around in a circle.

Mech Looter – Engineering

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077. Credit: CD Projekt Red

Even without doing any exploring or side quests, the main story alone throws up lots of mechs and drones for you to hack. Unfortunately, the rewards from these are pretty pitiful, both in terms of how useful they’ll be to V, and how much eddies they’re worth. With the Mech Looter Perk, this hacking becomes much more interesting.

With this Perk, you will be able to get Weapon Mods or Weapon Attachments when you loot mechs or drones. You won’t get one every time, but with so many of these enemies throughout Night City, you’ll not be short of them with the Mech Looter Perk. Not only are these Attachments and Mods often far more useful than the usual rewards for hacking, even if you can’t use them, they’re so much more valuable when you sell them.

Frozen Precision – Cold Blood

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077. Credit: CD Projekt Red

Each weapon type has its own Perk tree, but since you’ll constantly be upgrading your loadout throughout the game as you find better gear, investing too heavily in one type can be risky, as it might end up going to waste. That’s why Frozen Precision, which applies to all firearms, is probably the best gun Perk for a generalist build. It makes all headshots more effective. Doesn’t matter what weapon you use, if you have Frozen Precision, that weapon will do increased damage for every headshot.

In the Annihilation Perks, you can unlock Dead Center, which does exactly the same, but for torso shots instead of headshots. Together, they’re a deadly combination, but since you often find enemies peeking from behind cover, Frozen Precision’s focus on headshots makes it the better option.

Worst Perks in Cyberpunk 2077

While these four represent the best of the bunch, there are a lot of other great Perks out there too, and quite a few which are especially useful for specific builds. It’s hard to recommend any Perks which unlock Bleed, for example, as these will only be useful to Vs who use blades, and play on higher difficulty levels. Bleed Perks aren’t bad though, they’re just specialist.

That said, some Perks are bad – like the following two, for example. Very bad. And the worst part is, on the surface, they sound very useful, but they are definitely best avoided.

Dagger Dealer – Stealth

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077. Credit: CD Projekt Red

This Perk allows you to throw knives, which in theory, sounds useful and should look very cool. Unfortunately, the way the game applies this Perk is ridiculous, rendering it not just pointless, but actively harmful to the player.

The way Dagger Dealer works is that it throws the knife V is holding, meaning if you have a rare, high damage, expensive knife equipped, V will launch it across the room. Once it has been thrown, it cannot be picked up, meaning any knife equipped while you have Dagger Dealer is only ever good for one hit.

If you must use it, you can buy a selection of cheap knives from weapon shops, but even then, since knives can only be thrown once, you’ll have to buy them again and again. This Perk could be interesting if it came with its own knives and it had to be recharged, but as is, you should avoid it entirely.

Scrapper – Crafting

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077. Credit: CD Projekt Red

The Scrapper Perk, much like Dagger Dealer, seems like it would be very useful, as it automatically disassembles all Junk. This means every time you pick up a useless item, it automatically becomes a handy resource you can use for crafting or manufacturing upgrades. However, since it cannot be tweaked in any way, shape, or form, it ends up being more trouble than it’s worth.

Around 80 per cent of the time, Scrapper is a good Perk. It clears out your inventory, saves you lots of time, and makes sure you always have enough materials for crafting. The problem is, the other 20 per cent of the time. Occasionally, you’ll find some Junk that, while technically useless, is actually very valuable.

These Junk items have not been put in the game to be broken down into resources, they’ve been put there to be sold. Unfortunately, Scrapper will not distinguish between these two Junk types, and so it will destroy some of your most valuable possessions in the blink of an eye. It’s like tearing up the Mona Lisa and saying “look on the bright side, now you have more scraps of paper to doodle on!”

‘Cyberpunk 2077’ is now available on PC, Google Stadia PS4 and Xbox One.

Ed’s Note: The game has temporarily been removed from the PlayStation Store while Sony and CD Projekt RED resolve refund issues.

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