Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 Update: Perk Trees Explained
Cyberpunk Perk Trees | Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk’s 2.0 update has brought with it a complete overhaul of the perk system. This guide will go over how the new system works and what the new perk trees include.

Quick notes before I go over the changes:

  • One attribute point respec per character. Before update 2.0, you couldn’t respec your attribute points after spending them. After 2.0, you get one respec that you can activate in the Character menu per character.
  • Perks can be refunded for free. By pressing the middle mouse button while hovering over a perk, you can refund it to get the perk point back. There is no cost to doing this. You can use this to experiment with new builds and occasionally switch up the way you play the game.

General Information

Before I explain the individual perk trees, it’s important to explain some general information that applies to all of the trees.

First of all, to progress in a perk tree, the related attribute needs to be high enough. For example, if you want to get the tier 1 perks under Reflexes, you need to have a Reflexes attribute score of 4. This goes for all attributes. 

To unlock the second tier of perks, you need a score of 9, then a score of 15 for tier three, and a score of 20 for tier four.

The tier four perks of any weapon perk tree are always split into two. For example, the shotguns and LMGs tree under Body splits into a separate shotguns perk and a separate LMGs perk.

Just like before, you get one Attribute Point and one Perk Point per level. The maximum level is 50, however, the Phantom Liberty DLC will raise it to 60.

To acquire a perk, you need to own the perks in the tree that come before it. Whenever you select a perk, all of the pre-requisite perks will be highlighted, telling you which ones you need to get.

Path towards getting the Air Dash perk highlighted by the game. | Cyberpunk 2077
Path towards getting the Air Dash perk highlighted by the game

Body

The body attributes trees. From left to right, the trees are: Shotguns and LMGs, Survivability, and Blunt Weapons.

Shotguns and LMGs

The shotguns and LMGs perk tree is devoted to decreasing the stamina cost of firing these weapons, as well as increasing your fire rate and damage with these weapons. 

Notably, halfway through the perk tree, there is a perk called “Spontaneous Obliteration”, which gives you a small chance to instantly kill an enemy after hitting them with a shotgun blast or an LMG bullet. 

The final perks of this tree are the most interesting. One allows the user to deal double damage with quick melee attacks after hitting an enemy with a shotgun blast and vice versa. The final LMGs perk takes your magazine and reloads 20% of it after you kill any enemy. This will still consume ammo from your reserves.

Survivability

This perk tree focuses on allowing you to survive even the most difficult of combat encounters. It does this not by allowing you to dodge from cover to cover, but instead by simply allowing you to tank absurd amounts of damage and giving you ways of regenerating health. 

The most important perk in this tree is called Adrenaline Rush. This perk allows you to gain extra HP over your usual maximum by overhealing, while also giving you some extra bonuses. This extra HP will slowly decay over time.

Adrenaline bar on the top left | Cyberpunk 2077
Adrenaline bar on the top left

Blunt Weapons

This perk tree is one of the most interesting in the entire game, giving you a massive range of special attacks you can do with blunt melee weapons, such as barreling into enemies, slamming the ground to stun nearby foes, or allowing you to pick up and throw living, low-HP enemies at their friends. 

It’s not only practical, but it’s one of the most fun perk trees in the game.

Reflexes

The Reflexes attribute trees. From left to right, the trees are: Assault Rifles and SMGs, Movement and Dodging, and Blades. | Cyberpunk 2077
The Reflexes attribute trees. From left to right, the trees are: Assault Rifles and SMGs, Movement and Dodging, and Blades.

Assault Rifles and LMGs

Most of the earlier parts of this perk tree are devoted to increasing accuracy and reducing recoil with SMGs and Assault Rifles. There are also several perks that increase your critical chance/damage with these weapons and decrease their stamina cost. 

The last 2 perks are the most important. 

The assault rifle one allows you to deal insane damage to high-HP targets. If you hit a target 7 times in a row with an assault rifle, the damage of the previous 6 shots is added up and dealt again.

The SMG perk allows you to practically never have to reload your SMGs again. Swapping to an SMG from another weapon automatically reloads that SMG. Doing this will also increase the fire rate of SMGs by 22%. This means you infinitely swap between 2 SMGs and keep firing with a high enough fire rate to rip apart any enemy in your way.

Movement and Dodging

The movement tree is a tree that focuses on making you move faster through Dashing (which is a faster, far-reaching dodge) and through increasing your mitigation chance and strength. 

This perk tree synergizes well with any melee build and shotguns, allowing you to quickly reach your enemies while taking less damage than you normally would.

Blades

Similarly to the Blunt Weapons tree, this set of perks focuses on improving your abilities with bladed melee weapons. Unlike the Blunt Weapons tree, this perk tree focuses a lot more on survivability. 

First of all, right at the very start of the tree, you unlock the ability to parry and deflect enemy bullets. While this consumes a lot of stamina, it can be mitigated with cyberware and with some of the later perks in the tree. 

The final perk is far simpler than most, as it improves the abilities you gained earlier in the tree.

Technical Ability

The Technical Ablity attribute trees. From left to right, the trees are: Grenades and Healing Items, Cyberware, and Tech Weapons. | Cyberpunk 2077
The Technical Ability attribute trees. From left to right, the trees are: Grenades and Healing Items, Cyberware, and Tech Weapons.

Grenades and Healing Items

This perk tree increases the effectiveness of Grenades and allows you to more quickly, sometimes even instantly, recover them.

Generally, this perk tree is very simple and useful throughout most of the game, but it stands out the least among the other perk trees.

Cyberware

This perk tree is a must-have for all builds that can spare the attribute points. Without a doubt. 

It increases the bonuses given to you by cyberware, decreases cyberware cooldowns, increases your armor, unlocks new cyberware slots, unlocks new cyberware, and, most importantly, dramatically increases the amount of cyberware you can have.

The final perk in the tree, Edgerunner, is also incredibly powerful. It allows you to equip far more cyberware than what’s usually possible at the cost of some HP. The HP loss is worth it, as the more you exceed your usual capacity, the higher your chance will be that you will enter a fury state. 

When you enter a fury state, your damage, critical chance, and critical damage are greatly increased. 

Overall, this perk tree is one of, if not the best in the game and makes investing in Technical Ability worth it even if you are not planning on using any of the other perks in these trees.

Tech Weapons

Even though it’s the smallest tree in the game, the Tech Weapons tree is still fairly powerful and worth investing in.

It focuses around 1 perk: the ability to fire Bolt shots. Bolt shots can be performed by firing a tech weapon just before it fully charges. Bolt shots deal more damage and their penalty for shooting through cover is decreased. 

You will be notified by your weapon when to fire the bolt shot by a beeping sound and by a “RLS” or “RELEASE” message written somewhere within the sight of your weapon (most easily visible while aiming down sights).

“RELEASE” written in the weapon’s sight, telling you when a bolt shot can be fired. | Cyberpunk 2077
“RELEASE” written in the weapon’s sight, telling you when a bolt shot can be fired.

You’ll know if your shot was successful if you see a large amount of sparks wherever your bullet lands.

As you invest more into this tree, bolt shots become progressively better, such as by making bolt shots easier to fire by making the window longer or by making bolt shots ignore armor.

Intelligence

The Intelligence attribute trees. From left to right, the trees are: Qiuckhacks, Covert Quickhacking and Overclocking, and Smart Weapons. | Cyberpunk 2077
The Intelligence attribute trees. From left to right, the trees are: Qiuckhacks, Covert Quickhacking and Overclocking, and Smart Weapons.

Quickhacks

This perk tree is rather straightforward. It focuses on reducing the RAM cost of uploading quickhacks to opponents in many different ways.

There are some more unique perks, most notably a finisher with the Monowire, which allows you to finish off low-health enemies quickly, and the “Hack Queue” perk, which allows you to queue multiple quickhacks on the same opponent, which is very useful against bosses or other tough enemies that could otherwise tank many quickhacks.

Covert Quickhacking and Overclocking

The middle tree under Intelligence is a mishmash of many different perks that all kind of revolve around quickhacking. This means decreasing the RAM cost of quick hacks, increasing their duration, making you less likely to be traced after uploading a quickhack while in stealth, making quickhacks deal more damage while they are unaware of you, etc. 

The most unique, and most powerful, perk here is the “Overclock” perk, which is a must-have for any netrunner build. It allows you to use your HP instead of RAM while quickhacking. 1 point of RAM is equal to 10HP. While not as useful for combat netrunners, it’s ideal for stealth netrunners, who don’t use any of their HP anyways.

Smart Weapons

The Smart Weapons tree is not only about making smart weapons more effective, it is also about making them synergize with netrunner builds. 

Many perks in this tree count on you using them alongside the perks in the other two perk trees, meaning that you basically have to be a netrunner if you want to use Smart Weapons.

Notably, the “Smart Synergy” perk allows you to instantly lock onto a target while Overclock is active and makes you deal 25% more damage with smart weapons against enemies targeted by a quickhack. This is very powerful for more combat-focused netrunners, however, you will have to invest a lot into the middle tree to make use of this perk.

Cool

The Intelligence attribute trees. From left to right, the trees are: Revolvers, Precision Rifles, Sniper rifles and Pistols; Stealth; Throwing Weapons. | Cyberpunk 2077
The Intelligence attribute trees. From left to right, the trees are: Revolvers, Precision Rifles, Sniper rifles and Pistols; Stealth; Throwing Weapons.

Revolvers, Precision Rifles, Sniper rifles and Pistols

This is the most diverse perk tree in the game, giving you bonuses with 4 different weapon types. It basically turns all of these weapon types into powerful precision weapons.

First of all, you unlock Focus mode which activates when you aim down sight with full stamina. Firing weapons while Focus mode is active does not cost any stamina, which is absurdly powerful, especially with automatic pistols or precision rifles like the Widow Maker tech precision rifle. 

After that, you unlock Deadeye mode, which is active while above 85% of your stamina (which is all of the time because shooting costs you nothing while aiming down sights). Deadeye mode increases your headshot and weakspot damage by 20%, which is very powerful on its own, but it gets even crazier with the next two perks.

The first of the two final perks affects revolvers, precision rifles, and sniper rifles. While Deadeye is active (which it always should), all of your headshots turn into critical hits, making them deal massive damage. On top of that, the further away from a target you are, the more damage you will deal. In my experience, I could reasonably kill most regular enemies with a single headshot with my tech sniper rifle (a simple non-unique Nekomata), or 2-hit kill any miniboss enemy.

The second of the two final perks is far simpler. It makes firing pistols without aiming cost 0 stamina. This is a lot less useful when you consider that you get a lot of bonuses from Focus while aiming down sights, and you already don’t consume stamina while aiming. All in all, not all that useful, especially when compared to the other perk.

Stealth

Simply put, this perk tree makes sneaking around far easier. It increases your movement speed while crouched, and allows you to sprint while crouched (though that kind of sprinting will consume stamina).

Curiously, this perk tree has many perks that increase your mitigation chance in different ways while crouched or behind cover, making it actually somewhat beneficial for sniper builds (though far less so than the Movement and Dodging tree from the Reflexes attribute).

Throwable Weapons

Despite the way it sounds, this perk tree is not just a joke. Before the 2.0 update, throwing a knife was basically pointless, as it did nothing that shooting a silenced pistol couldn’t. With this perk tree, that all changes.

This perk tree massively increases the damage of thrown weapons (knives), makes you recover them faster, and unlocks finishing moves with them, one of which actually is the only finishing move you can do from far away.

This tree also allows headshots/critical hits with thrown weapons to apply massive debuffs and damage over time effects to enemies. This is absurdly powerful, as it practically removes every enemy you hit with a headshot from combat for about 5 seconds, even if it doesn’t outright kill them.

Combined with the Movement and Dodging perk tree, this perk tree can make for a unique, fast-paced playstyle that many other builds cannot replicate.