Cyberpunk 2077’s 2.0 update has brought with it a complete rework of the combat system. This guide will go into detail about every change to the combat system.
Quick notes before you read onward:
- This guide does not cover vehicular combat. Vehicular combat will be covered at a later date, after the release of the Phantom Liberty DLC.
- Combat has gotten much more difficult. It’s very important to note that all of these changes have made combat not just more complex and RPG-like, but have also made it far more difficult. Very Hard difficulty now actually feels difficult, rather than just slightly less easy than the other difficulties.
Many changes have been made to the way the player’s character works. This includes changes from how you heal and resist damage, to how you fire your weapons, this section covers all of these changes.
Weapons and Stamina
Before update 2.0, you could fire a weapon endlessly, with the only thing that could stop you being an empty magazine or death. After update 2.0, this has been changed: All weapons now require stamina to fire accurately. Every fired shot drains stamina proportional to the weapon’s “Weapon Handling” stat. The higher the Weapon Handling a gun has, the less stamina it takes to fire it.
Stamina is also used for dodging/dashing. Unlike before the update, stamina is not used for sprinting, sliding, or jumping.
Once your stamina is depleted, you will no longer be able to dodge/dash. However, you will still be able to fire your weapon, but with far lower accuracy. As your stamina depletes, your accuracy decreases proportionally.
Accuracy will begin to replenish the moment it stops being used, and restores itself rather quickly (it takes about 2-3 seconds to go from 0 stamina to full stamina without any perks or cyberware that would boost your stamina regeneration rate).
The armor system has gotten a complete redesign with this new update. First and foremost, only actually armored clothing adds a small bonus to your armor. For example, most armored vests I found in the early game gave me a bonus of about 5 armor.
Most of your armor will now come from your cyberware, specifically cyberware in the “Skeleton” and “Integumentary System” categories.
Skeleton cyberware usually adds more than plain armor, oftentimes coming with bonuses such as decreased melee attack stamina cost or increased carry capacity.
Integumentary System cyberware is all about survivability, granting lots of armor as well as bonuses to damage resistance, mitigation strength, and mitigation chance.
Healing items have gotten a complete overhaul. The two main healing items, MaxDoc and Bounce Back, still remain, their usage was changed.
At the start of the game, you’ll receive the Mk.1 version of both of these healing items. As you play the game and your character’s level increases, you will receive higher rarity versions of these items, which have higher bonuses, while having no downsides.
Acquiring either upgrade once upgrades your MaxDoc/Bounce Back permanently, rather than giving you a single use of the item.
Without perks, you will have 2 healing item uses, regardless of whether you have a MaxDoc or a Bounce Back equipped.
Using a healing item will put it on cooldown. You can still use your second charge while the item is cooling down, however, if you run out of charges, you’ll have to wait for the item to replenish.
Without any perks that would increase the speed, it takes approximately 30 seconds for a healing item to replenish.
Differences between MaxDoc and Bounce Back
MaxDoc and Bounce Back serve the same fundamental purpose of restoring HP, however, the way they do so is different.
MaxDoc restores some of your HP immediately after use, while Bounce Back only heals a small pinch of your HP right after use, but then gives you rapid health regeneration that ends up giving you more total HP than a MaxDoc does.
Grenades have also gotten a major overhaul. Same as healing items, you start with a few different grenade types when the game begins and you can craft/find/buy more as you progress through the game. Finding a higher-tier version of a grenade you already own will replace the old grenade.
Just like healing items, you also start off with two grenade charges, each one taking 30 seconds to replenish, regardless of the grenade type you have equipped.
Additionally, a new type of grenade has been introduced- The smoke grenade.
The smoke grenade creates a smoke screen when thrown, which acts as cover. Even though it can be shot through, enemies seem to rarely attempt to do so, making the smoke grenade an amazing defensive choice.
The enemies have also gotten a major overhaul in the recent update. This section will go over all of the major changes in detail.
Enemy Abilities and Item Usage
Enemies have gotten access to many new abilities in the 2.0 update. Some of them are related to the items they can use, others are tied to their actual abilities or their health values.
Enemies now employ a wider range of grenades than before and throw them far more liberally.
Enemies will now use fire grenades that apply massive damage over time effects onto the player, poisonous gas grenades that deny the player cover or movement through certain areas, flashbangs that blind the player for several seconds, or EMP grenades that disable the player’s cyberware temporarily (about 10 seconds or longer).
Healing Item Usage
Enemies can now heal themselves. When they do, you will see them take a huff from a MaxDoc and a medical cross icon will appear above their health bar, indicating the amount of time their healing will last.
Parts of their health bar will turn green, which will give you information about the power of the healing.
From my testing, it seems that enemies can only heal themselves once this way, though this may vary from enemy to enemy.
Enemies now spawn with different health values, indicated by several “sub-bars” of HP in their main health bar, as seen in the picture below.
Enemies can also spawn with a skull above their health bar. This indicates that they are a mini-boss. They have a massive health pool, more abilities, and are more aggressive than their regular counterparts. Dispatching them quickly is recommended, as they can very quickly close the distance and kill you.
Enemy abilities have also undergone a major redesign.
Melee enemies are now far more mobile, being able to jump high up into the air and slam the ground, dealing massive damage to the player. They also seem to have gotten a small speed boost compared to their pre-2.0 counterparts.
Enemies with Sandevistans are now even more dangerous. Previously, you could keep shooting at them and you would eventually kill them. This is no longer the case. The Sandevistan implant makes them completely unkillable by just shooting them. Curiously, activating your own Sandevistan will cause you and the enemy to be on level playing fields, as now you both perceive time the same way.
To kill them, you will have to utilize area of effect damage, such as explosive barrels, grenades, or quickhacks. However, the best way to take down a Sandevistan user is to throw an EMP grenade (thankfully, the player starts with EMP grenades at the start of the game) or use a Cyberware Malfunction quickhack. After their cyberware is deactivated, deal as much damage as you can to them, as your time window to deal damage is very limited.
Enemy AI has gotten an enormous upgrade. Enemies with guns will stick together, forming large firing squads that will obliterate your health.
If you run away, one person will aim towards your position and suppress you with fire while another runs closer to you, going from cover to cover.
Melee enemies will attempt to flank you and stay in cover as best they can until they get close enough to strike.
If there are several groups of enemies, they will work together to kill you, rather than work on their own. They can also merge into one larger group, covering many different angles of attack, making flanking far more difficult than before.
Enemy netrunners are now incredibly dangerous foes that are not to be underestimated. Their HP is the lowest of all enemy types, but they can use cameras and their allies as proxies to hack you.
If a netrunner is attempting to hack you, you will see a red line formed between you, them, and possibly a proxy. If a netrunner is hacking you through a proxy, dealing enough damage to the proxy will prevent the quickhack from being uploaded.
Netrunners also have a more varied arsenal of quickhacks available to them. They can now use Weapon Glitch to limit your weapon’s fire rate and accuracy, Cyberware Malfunction to disable your cyberware, Overheat to apply a powerful fire damage over time effect, Short Circuit to deal massive damage quickly, and more. They unlock more quickhacks as your level increases and you encounter more experienced netrunners.