Cyberpunk 2077’s Phantom Liberty DLC introduced a new perk tree that the player can invest into as they play the game. Its mechanics differ from the other perk trees. In this guide, I will go over everything you need to know about this perk tree.
Quick summary of the Relic perk tree:
- Unlocks after starting the DLC. To unlock the Relic perk tree, you must start the DLC and complete a few of the starting objectives. If you don’t know how to start the DLC, refer to the guide here.
- Requires special Relic points. You cannot spend regular perk points to unlock perks in the Relic tree, instead, you have to spend Relic points. You get 3 of these when you unlock the Relic tree, 3 more about halfway through the Phantom Liberty DLC, and then there are about 6 more you can find throughout the DLC.
- Upgrades cyberware. Instead of focusing on upgrading your character’s innate abilities, the Relic perk tree focuses on upgrading specific pieces of cyberware.
How the Relic Perk Tree Works
The Relic perk tree works differently from all of the other perk trees in the game.
First of all, it doesn’t unlock until after you complete the first few objectives of the DLC. If you don’t know how to start the DLC, refer to the guide here.
When you first unlock the tree, you will receive 3 Relic points. Relic points are the points that you’ll be using to purchase perks in this tree.
As you play through the DLC, you will find abandoned Militech terminals. Interacting with them will give you a single Relic point.
It costs 3 Relic points to purchase the first perk in any one of the perk tree branches, then it costs 1 perk point to purchase any one of the later upgrades.
The most universally useful Relic perk. This perk upgrades your eye cyberware and allows you to see weakspots.
Weakspots are indicated by a rectangle that appears somewhere on the enemy. You will also hear a beeping noise when they appear.
Hitting a weakspot will decrease its HP, ignore the enemy’s armor, and guarantee a critical hit.
If you manage to completely destroy a weakspot, you’ll also cause an EMP blast that damages nearby enemies and stuns them temporarily.
Should the enemy survive a weak spot being destroyed, they will either fall to the ground or at least get temporarily stunned.
Arm cyberware upgrade perks are interesting, in that it only takes the first upgrade of the branch to upgrade the Mantis Blades, Gorilla Arms, Nanowire, and the Projectile Launch System. Here are the changes to each implant:
- Mantis Blades: You can charge up a leap attack by dismembering an enemy or by performing a finisher (unlocked by the Finisher: Bladerunner perk in the Reflexes tree).
You’ll know you charged up a leap attack if you see blue glitches around your arms while you have the Mantis Blades drawn, similar to the Relic Malfunction effect you see during some story scenes.
The leap attack deals a lot more damage than a regular attack, and it can cleave through multiple enemies. It also allows you to dash up to 30 meters towards an enemy as a part of your attack, even if you are in the air.
- Gorilla Arms: Hitting an enemy with the Gorilla Arms will charge them up, once charged, you can perform a strong attack that deals immense damage and knocks enemies down. You know that you have the arms fully charged up if you see the same blue glitch effect as with the Mantis Blades.
This makes the Gorilla Arms more similar to how they worked before the 2.0 patch, but even more powerful. Generally, this perk is best suited for builds that heavily rely on Body for survivability, as without any perks in the Body tree, you will struggle to find a use for this perk.
A notable exception is the Beat on the Brat side mission. If you are struggling and can’t seem to win all of the fights, picking up a pair of Gorilla Arms and this perk will allow you to easily beat all of the bosses. You can then simply unequip the arms.
- Nanowire: You can upload a control quickhack (Cripple Movement, Cyberware Malfunction, Reboot Optics, Weapon Glitch) by releasing a strong attack with the monowire without costing you any RAM.
The upgrade perk is also notable. If you strike an enemy who is already affected by a quickhack from the nanowire, while also hitting another enemy with the same attack, the quickhack will spread to that new enemy.
This is the only arm cyberware you should ever consider if you are doing a netrunner build, as it allows you to spread debuff quickhacks even while out of RAM.
This is especially useful if you are doing a combat netrunner, or if you get discovered as a stealth netrunner, as it’s by far the most powerful crowd control/combat management perk in the game.
- Projectile Launch System: By charging up the implant, similar to charging up a strong melee attack, and releasing after you see a blue glitch effect around your arm, you’ll release a volley of 5 missiles instead of one.
The upgrade to this perk is simple, but very important if you are planning on using the Projectile Launch System. It gives you an additional charge, one of only 2 ways of getting an extra charge.
While it doesn’t deal the most damage, and it leaves you exposed and slowed while charging and firing, it has one huge advantage that no other piece of kit in the game has: Due to it firing 5 different explosives, it gives you 5 stacks of Pyromania (if you have the perk), with 5 stacks being the maximum you can have, thus also giving you the maximum bonus from Pyromania and perks related to it.
If you can pull it off, this perk will allow you to quickly stack up Pyromania, which is usually the most difficult part of any explosive-heavy build.
Optical Camo Cyberware
The first perk in this branch. It allows you to activate Optical Camo during combat to immediately lose your enemies.
This turns the regular cloaking, which is already incredibly powerful, into a panic button that allows you to save any failed stealth attempt.
Without a doubt one of the best stealth perks in the entire game. If you have optical camo equipped, you should get this perk as soon as possible.
Despite being an “upgrade” perk to the Emergency Cloaking, it doesn’t have anything to do with the optical camo cyberware, instead being linked to the Dash perk from the movement branch of the Reflexes ability tree.
If you become detected, time slows down, if you dash away into cover where the enemy cannot see you, they will immediately lose you.
Again, if you ever find yourself sneaking around, this is one of the best perks in the game, allowing you to salvage almost any failed attempt.
This perk doesn’t even have a cooldown, meaning that you can just keep doing this over and over again, making it a must-have for any stealth build.