Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 Update: Combat Changes Explained
Combat Changes | Cyberpunk 2077

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.

Player Changes

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 Bar as seen while dodging/firing a weapon | Cyberpunk 2077
Stamina Bar as seen while dodging/firing a weapon

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 with maximum stamina. The accuracy is even higher than the crosshair indicates. | Cyberpunk 2077
Accuracy with maximum stamina. The accuracy is even higher than the crosshair indicates.
Accuracy with 0 stamina. The weapon's sway while aiming down sights makes the gun almost impossible to use. Recoil also appears to be exaggerated. | Cyberpunk 2077
Accuracy with 0 stamina. The weapon’s sway while aiming down sights makes the gun almost impossible to use. Recoil also appears to be exaggerated.

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).

Armor

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.

Armored vest as seen in the player’s inventory. | Cyberpunk 2077
Armored vest as seen in the player’s inventory.

Most of your armor will now come from your cyberware, specifically cyberware in the “Skeleton” and “Integumentary System” categories.

Bionic Joints cyberware. Armor value pointed out by an arrow. | Cyberpunk 2077
Bionic Joints cyberware. Armor value pointed out by an arrow.

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.

Total armor value indicator in the cyberware menu. | Cyberpunk 2077
Total armor value indicator in the cyberware menu. 

Healing Items

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. 

Healing item on cooldown. | Cyberpunk 2077
Healing item on cooldown

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.

MaxDoc in the player’s inventory. | Cyberpunk 2077
MaxDoc in the player’s inventory
Bounce Back in the player’s Inventory.  | 2077
Bounce Back in the player’s Inventory. 

Grenades

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. 

Grenade on cooldown. | Cyberpunk 2077
Grenade on cooldown

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.

Image of the smoke could made by the smoke grenade. The entire area of the smoke acts as cover. | Cyberpunk 2077
Image of the smoke could made by the smoke grenade. The entire area of the smoke acts as cover.

Enemy Changes

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.

Grenade Usage 

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. 

Enemy healing themselves. | Cyberpunk 2077
Enemy healing themselves

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.

Enemy Health

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.

Enemy with 2 “sub-bars” of HP. | Cyberpunk 2077
Enemy with 2 “sub-bars” of HP

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. 

Skull enemy with 3 health bars | Cyberpunk 2077
Skull enemy with 3 health bars
Two skull enemies | Cyberpunk 2077
Two skull enemies

Abilities 

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.

Melee enemy jumping towards the player. | Cyberpunk 2077
Melee enemy jumping towards the player

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 Intelligence

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.

Netrunners

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.

Line between enemy netrunner and the player, indicating you're being hacked | Cyberpunk 2077
Line between enemy netrunner and the player, indicating you’re being hacked

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.