The Reflexes attribute is devoted to improving your combat effectiveness in close to mid-range combat, as well as your movement abilities. In this guide, I’ll go over every branch of the tree in great detail, sharing as much information as I can about every perk. I will also go over a few tips you can use with some perks in the tree.
Quick guide to the attributes before I go over them in detail:
- Used during dialogue. The Reflexes attribute is sometimes used during dialogue to make observations, ask clarifying questions, or to perform certain feats of speed, such as disarming an opponent (though this is rare). These dialogue options do allow you to learn more about the world and the characters inside of it but are generally not game-changing.
- Useful for any build. Primarily thanks to the Movement branch, this attribute is useful for almost any build, however, it is especially useful for players who have a very aggressive playstyle.
- Heavy investment is not required. Even with 4-9 points in this attribute, you can get access to a lot of useful perks, unlike attributes like Body or Technical Ability, where heavy investment is required to unlock any of the useful perks.
Assault Rifles and SMGs
At a Reflexes attribute of 4, you can’t actually get any abilities that upgrade your Assault Rifles or SMGs yet, but you do get access to 1 vehicle-related perk:
- Stuntjock: Allows you to exit your car vehicle in two new ways- By jumping out (double tap F) or by sliding out (hold F while your car is moving at a high speed).
These new ways of exiting the car only have a single niche use- to exit a burning vehicle that is about to explode.
This perk also helps with shooting while driving, as it decreases bullet spread while driving substantially.
Pick up the perk if you have a spare perk point and have nothing else to spend it on, otherwise, there are better perks out there.
At Reflexes 9, you finally unlock Assault Rifle and SMG perks:
- Ready, Rested, Loaded:
- Rank 1: -10% Stamina cost for firing rifles or SMGs.
- Rank 2: +30% reload speed while above 50% stamina for SMGs and Assault Rifles
- Spice Of Life: +15% weapon swap speed, -30% bullet spread after swapping weapons for about 2 seconds.
- Tunnel Vision: +20% range and accuracy.
- Mind Over Matter: -25% recoil while aiming.
A very strong start to the tree. While none of these effects are gameplay-changing, all of the above perks are great quality-of-life perks and you won’t regret picking any of them up.
At a Reflexes attribute of 15, you unlock the first game-changing Assault Rifle and SMG perks:
- Rank 1: +15% Aim Speed
- Rank 2: Slightly increased weapon handling (decreasing the stamina cost to fire a weapon)
- Rank 3: A successful hit with an Assault Rifle or SMG grants a stack of Sharpshooter.
For each Sharpshooter stack, you get a 7% increase in your stamina regen rate. Stacks up to 7 times. Stacks last for 2 seconds. Getting a new stack resets the duration.
- Gundancer: Aiming an Assault Rifle or an SMG doesn’t slow you down. You can fire an SMG or an Assault Rifle while vaulting.
- Practice Makes Perfect: You gain +7% crit chance and damage for each Sharpshooter stack.
- Shoot To Chill: -7% stamina cost to fire an Assault Rifle or SMG per Sharpshooter stack.
- Spray And Pray: -10% stamina cost for firing an SMG or assault rifle without aiming.
Reflexes 15 introduces Sharpshooter into the mix. These stacks are amazing, especially once you get to Reflexes 20, as they synergize well with the perks you get there. Pick up every perk here other than Spray and Pray and Gundancer. Spray and pray is an anti-synergy with Mind Over Matter, and Gundancer is so situational that you’ll be better off picking up almost any other perk in this tree.
Reflexes attribute of 20 has 2 perks, they each only work for one weapon type: Assault Rifles, or SMGs:
- Salt In The Wound: Shooting an enemy 7 times in a row applies the damage of the 7 shots again.
Submachine fun: Swapping between SMGs is faster and automatically reloads them. Swapping between SMGs also increases your fire rate with SMGs by 22%. Normal reloading ends the effect.
Both of these perks work wonderfully with their respective weapons, turning your Assault Rifle or SMG into a force to be reckoned with. It’s best if you pick one of the two perks and build around it, rather than use both at once, as you’ll quickly find out that trying to use both perks at once will hinder the usefulness of both.
At a Reflexes attribute of 4, you’ll unlock 4 movement perks. You have to take at least the Slippery perk to unlock the Blades branch of this tree:
- Slippery: The faster you are moving the harder you are to hit. This works by giving the enemies decreased accuracy, rather than by increasing your mitigation chance.
- Muscle Memory: Allows you to reload weapons while sprinting, vaulting, and sliding.
- Multitasker: Allows you to shoot while sprinting, vaulting, and sliding.
- Parkour!: Increases climbing and vaulting speed by 50%.
- Power Slide: Triples your slide distance. Your slides are 3x faster.
Most of these perks are incredibly useful, regardless of build, but 2 stand out the most: Multitasker and Muscle Memory. Even if you are not planning on moving around much at all during gunfights, and you feel like investing further into this branch is pointless, pick up these perks. They are lifesavers during any larger fight, especially while fighting inside buildings. Power slide is also useful for performing the movement speed trick (guide for that here), and is generally helpful for quickly traversing the map, or dodging certain attacks from specific bosses, like the Chimera from the Phantom Liberty DLC, or the rocket volleys of the final boss.
At a Reflexes attribute of 9, you unlock the following perks:
- Rank 1: -20% stamina cost for dodging and dashing.
- Rank 2: Unlocks the ability to dash. A dash is identical to a dodge but is faster, allows you to cover about 4x the distance, and makes you automatically vault over obstacles (though doing so will stop the dash).
- Mad Dash: Doubles the distance covered with a dash if you are aiming at an enemy when you dash.
- Can’t Touch This: Guarantees mitigation while dashing.
- Steady Grip: Allows you to shoot while dashing.
- Mean Streak: Recovers 40% of your stamina if you kill an enemy while dashing.
Dashes are without a doubt the most useful feature of this entire attribute tree. They allow you to dash away from enemies, they allow you to perform the previously mentioned movement speed trick, and when combined with the Can’t Touch This and Slippery perks, they allow you to become almost invincible while dashing.
Mad Dash makes dashes even stronger and pairs incredibly well with shotguns and melee weapons.
Don’t bother with Mean Streak or Steady Grip, the time you spend during a dash is far too long for it to matter. The only exception to this is if you find yourself using the Kerenzikov implant often, in which case, these two perks can be very useful in certain scenarios.
At a Reflexes attribute of 9, you unlock the following perks:
- Air Dash:
- Rank 1: -20% dash stamina cost.
- Rank 2: +20 dash speed.
- Rank 3: Allows you to dash in midair. All of the perks that improve your dash also improve your air dash.
- Aerodynamic: +30% Mitigation Strength while in midair.
- Aerial Combat: Slightly improves midair maneuverability.
- Air Kerenzikov: Requires the Gundancer perk from the Assault Rifles and SMGs tree. Greatly improves your control of your character if you activate the Kerenzikov implant in midair, and it extends its duration substantially.
Pick up every single perk here if you can. Every single one of these perks improves both your maneuverability and survivability greatly. Air dashes allow you to dodge enemy attacks without any issues, perform parkour stunts, move around the map extremely quickly, and, when combined with Aerial Combat and Aerodynamic, you can easily become almost immortal while in the air.
At a Reflexes attribute of 20, you unlock the final Movement perk:
- Tailwind: Air dashes do not cost any stamina. You regenerate 25% of your stamina whenever you perform a dash or double jump (Reinforced Tendons implant required).
The latter parts of this perk don’t even matter, as you’ll not need the bonuses anyway. Air dashes not costing stamina is so incredibly powerful that you could base an entire build off of it. With this perk, you can stay airborne for a very long time, and because you are essentially invincible while dashing in midair, you can very easily get through most combat encounters without even breaking a sweat.
The following perks are unlocked at a Reflexes attribute of 9. Keep in mind that this entire branch requires you to pick up the Slippery perk from the Movement branch:
- Lead and Steel:
- Rank 1: -15% stamina cost for attacking with blades.
- Rank 2: Allows you to block bullets, just like you’d block melee attacks. Costs stamina.
- Bullet Deflect: While your stamina is above 33%, blocked bullets are deflected wherever you are aiming (the bullets have a lot of aim assist, so you don’t have to be pointing directly at the attacker). Parrying a bullet, like you would a melee attack, greatly increases the damage of the deflected projectile.
- Bullet Time: Requires Bullet Deflect. While time is slowed (by perks or cyberware), Bullet Deflect (and Lead and Steel by extension) does not cost any stamina. Deflected projectiles automatically critically hit.
- Seeing Double: Counterattacks with blades deal more damage and have a greatly increased chance to stun the enemy.
- Flash And Thunderclap: Requires the Mad Dash perk from the Movement branch. Performing a strong attack while pointing at an enemy outside of melee range will cause you to perform a leap attack. Leap attacks can also be performed in midair, dealing up to 50% extra damage, depending on the distance of the leap.
All of these perks are amazing and worth picking up if you ever find yourself using blades. Flash And Thunderclap pairs especially well with the Movement branch of this tree, as you can perform an air dash and then a leap attack, allowing you to attack very distant enemies in the blink of an eye. Extremely fun and powerful.
At a Reflexes attribute of 15, you unlock the following perks:
- Finisher: Bladerunner:
- Rank 1: -15% stamina cost for attacking with blades.
- Rank 2: +20% attack speed with blades.
- Rank 3: Allows you to perform a finisher with blades. When an enemy is open to a finisher, and you have a blade equipped, you’ll be prompted to perform a finisher. While performing a finisher, you are invincible and you can still use the Blood Pump implant. Performing a finisher also restores 25% of your HP.
- Flash Of Steel: +25% movement speed and attack speed with blades for 6 seconds after you perform a finisher. Does not stack.
- Opportunist: Enemies affected by the Stagger, Blinding, Bleeding, and Stun are far more likely to open up to a finisher.
- Going The Distance: +100% finisher range.
At first, being able to perform a finisher may not sound that powerful, as it locks you into place, opening you up to enemy fire. However, due to the hidden aspects of finishers (making you invincible for the duration and allowing you to use a Blood Pump), they single-handedly make playing with blades as your primary source of damage viable even on Very Hard difficulty. If you find yourself using blades often, invest into all of these perks, and don’t forget to buy the Blood Pump implant.
Opportunist is also best used while using Flashbang Grenades as your throwable, especially if you’ve upgraded them through the Grenades and Healing Items branch of the Technical Ability perk tree.
At a Reflexes attribute of 20, you unlock the final Blades perk:
- Slaughterhouse: All attacks, counterattacks, and deflected projectiles are guaranteed to apply bleeding. Bleeding enemies have a higher chance of opening up to a finisher, and makes them take damage over time. Bleeding enemies are also more likely to be dismembered. You regain 25% stamina after you dismember an enemy.
While useful and worth picking up if you use Blades very often, it’s a letdown compared to the otherwise amazing group of perks that is the Blades branch. I’ve found that the dismemberments don’t trigger often enough to make the stamina regeneration noticeable, and finishers are common enough with Opportunist (especially while using Flashbang Grenades) that the extra Bleed chance doesn’t really do much.
- The Movement branch pairs incredibly well with the ‘Shotguns and LMGs’ and ‘Blunt Weapons’ branches of the Body attribute perk tree, as well as with the Blades branch of this tree. This is thanks to its ability to get you close to enemies incredibly quickly, counteracting the biggest downfall of melee weapons/shotguns.
- You can actually use the Lead and Steel perk from the Blades branch as a way to become invincible for a short time during combat, even if you aren’t planning on ever using blades. If you want to use this strategy, I recommend you use the Mantis Blades implant to keep all of your weapon slots available to you.
- The Iconic Errata katana is a weapon that is classified as a Blade that applies Burn to enemies, making it pair extremely well with the Opportunist perk. Guide to acquiring the Errata here.