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Cyberpunk 2077 best starting perks and best attributes for new and returning players

Attributes are what the five core stats in Cyberpunk 2077 are referred to.

Each attribute governs its own set of skills and each individual skill has its own set of perks.

Perks will provide you with a range of different bonuses, as well as new abilities. If you’re returning to Cyberpunk 2077 after some time away, update 1.5 has added new perks to replace some old ones, and there have also been some balance changes made to attributes and skills.

This page explains how to earn both attribute and perk points in Cyberpunk 2077, and what has changed with the attribute system in update 1.5, alongside our recommendations for where to put your first attribute points during the character creation screen explained – which, alongside the life path choice, is one of the first things you’ll do in the game.

Recent changes:

Skill and perk explainers:

Which Lifepath Should You Choose in Cyberpunk 2077?

For more help with Cyberpunk 2077, we have pages on Cyberpunk 2077 romance options, GOG rewards, life paths and using fast travel.

What’s changed with perks and skills in update 1.5 in Cyberpunk 2077?

On February 15th 2022, CD Projekt Red released the 1.5 update for Cyberpunk 2077 – containing a huge variety of changes – including the attributes and perk system, mostly through rebalancing and renaming perks and skill trees, or getting rid of perks that were hardly ever used before.

The majority of these changes have been done in order to balance Cyberpunk 2077 in a way that doesn’t make it so easy to become an all powerful god. Because of the game being rebalanced in such a way, players returning to an old save must reassign all of their perk points. New players may continue as usual.

We’ve listed below changes that aren’t made clear in-game:

  • Ninjutsu has replaced Stealth in the Cool perk tree in order to fit more with what the tree is supposed to represent.
  • Evasion has been replaced with two 2 new stats: Mitigation Chance, which increases the chance players have to reduce incoming damage, and Mitigation Strength, a stat that determines the percentage of damage reduced.
  • Attributes that affected Evasion instead affect Mitigation stats.
  • You are now able to reset perks in the Character Menu.
eurogamer_ninjutsu_tree

Alongside some perks being redesigned or removed, there were some perks that were added to make up for the ones that either didn’t fit the world of Cyberpunk 2077, or were pretty much useless.

We’ve listed below what new perks are available, and what they do:

  • Tenacious V (Body, Athletics) – V’s health continues to regenerate even when taking damage.
  • Looking Sharp (Cool, Ninjutsu) – Headshots with thrown knives apply Blinding to the target.
  • Juggler (Cool, Ninjutsu) – When you defeat an enemy or land a Crit Hit with a thrown knife, you will regain all knives currently on cooldown.
  • Draw the Line (Technical Ability, Engineering) – Preview bullet ricochet trajectory when aiming with Power Weapons if Ballistic Coprocessor cyberware is installed.
  • Easy Out (Cool, Cold Blood) – While Cold Blood is active, increases ranged weapon damage by 10% to enemies within an area of 5m.

The best perks for new and returning players in Cyberpunk 2077

Whether you’re first starting back in Cyberpunk 2077 after a long time away, or you’re starting a new playthrough for update 1.5, we’ve rounded down a handful of some of the best perks for you to use.

For returning players this is beneficial for you to examine and find out what sort of build you want to commit to. As for new players, these perks will help you get your best start in Night City.

Bear in mind that all perks in Cyberpunk 2077 have value depending on your build, but these perks are useful no matter what.

For returning players:

  • Tenacious V (Body, Athletics) – V’s health continues to regenerate even when taking damage.
  • Mongoose (Body, Annihilation) – Increases Mitigation Chance by 25% while reloading Shotguns and Light Machine Guns.
  • Human Fortress (Body, Street Brawler) – Reduces the Stamina cost of blocking attacks by 50% while using a Blunt Weapon.
  • Executioner (Reflexes, Assault) – Deal 25% more damage with Rifles and Submachine Guns to enemies whose Health is above 50%.
  • Wild West (Reflexes, Handgun) – Removes the damage penalty from Pistols and Revolvers when shooting from a distance.
  • Judge, Jury and Executioner (Reflexes, Blades) – Increase damage with Blades by 50% against enemies with max Health.
  • Edgerunner Artisan (Technical Ability, Crafting) – Allows you to craft Legendary items.
  • Ubercharge (Technical Ability, Engineering) – Fully charged Tech weapons deal 30% more damage.
  • Head Start (Intelligence, Breach Protocol) – Automatically uploads the first daemon in the list at the start of Breach Protocol.
  • Optimization (Intelligence, Quickhacking) – Reduces the cost of quickhacks by 1 RAM unit.
  • Looking Sharp (Cool, Ninjutsu) – Headshots with thrown knives apply Blinding to the target.
  • Cold Blood (Cool, Cold Blood) – After defeating an enemy, gain Cold Blood for 7 seconds and increase movement speed by 2%. Stacks up to 1 time(s). The duration of each additional stack is 1 second shorter.
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For players starting a new playthrough:

  • Regeneration (Body, Athletics) – Health slowly regenerates during combat.
  • Hail of Bullets (Body, Annihilation) – Shotguns and Light Machine Guns deal 3% more damage.
  • Efficient Blows (Body, Street Brawler) – Reduces the stamina cost of all attacks with Blunt Weapons by 25%.
  • Bulletjock (Reflexes, Assault) – Increases damage with Rifles and Submachine Guns by 3%.
  • Desperado (Reflexes, Handguns) Increases damage with Pistols and Revolvers by 3%.
  • Sting Like A Bee (Reflexes, Blades) – Increases attack speed with Blades by 10%.
  • Scrapper (Technical Ability, Crafting) – Junk items are automatically disassembled.
  • Grenadier (Technical Ability, Engineering) – The explosion radius of grenades is visible.
  • Big Sleep (Intelligence, Breach Protocol) – Unlocks the Big Sleep daemon, which disables all cameras in the network for 3 minutes.
  • Biosynergy (Intelligence, Quickhacking) – Allows RAM to recover during combat. Recover 4 RAM unit(s) every 60 sec.
  • Dagger Dealer (Cool, Ninjutsu) – Enables knife throwing. A thrown knife returns to the hand after 6 secs or after pickup. Each increase in knife rarity decreases return time by 0.5 seconds.
  • Cold Blood (Cool, Cold Blood) – After defeating an enemy, gain Cold Blood for 7 seconds and increase movement speed by 2%. Stacks up to 1 time(s). The duration of each additional stack is 1 second shorter.

Attributes in Cyberpunk 2077 explained

The core attributes in Cyberpunk 2077 are the five main stats that your skills are divided amongst. They do three things: govern specific perk progression trees; allow for certain in-game capabilities; and increase certain stats. These attributes and the effects they represent are:

  • Body – Governs the Athletics, Annihilation, Street Brawler perk trees. Dictates whether you can rip open certain locked doors. Starting from level 3, each level of Body increases max health, stamina, unarmed damage, melee damage, reduces movement penalties and bullet spread
  • Intelligence – Governs Breach Protocol and the Quickhacking perk trees. Dictates whether you can hack certain terminals. Increases Cyberdeck RAM (a bit like ‘mana’) capacity by 4% , quickhack damage by 10%, and quickhack duration by 1%.
  • Reflexes – Governs the Assault, Handguns and Blades perk trees. Increases movement speed, crit chance by 0.25%, damage from Mantis Blades and Monowire by 3% and increases Mitigation Chance by 0.75%.
  • Cool – Governs the Ninjutsu and Cold Blood perk trees. Allows for certain cool-headed dialogue choices. Increases crit damage by 2%, all resistances by 1%, stealth damage by 10%, reduces enemy detection speed and increase energy grapple duration by 1 sec.
  • Technical Ability – Governs the Crafting and Engineering perk trees. Allows you to unlock certain doors, use tech weapons and turrets. Increases armor by 1%.
Cyberpunk_Skills_6

As well as providing new capabilities and passive stat boosts, like higher Body level granting higher max health, your attribute level also controls the maximum level you can achieve in each individual skill.

This means that if your Reflexes attribute is at level five, for example, then the maximum level you can achieve in the Blades skill is also level five. If you want to obtain Blades level six, then you need to increase the level of your Reflexes attribute, which is achieved by investing attribute points into it. Most individual perks also have a level requirement for the related attribute in order to be unlocked, too.

Levelling up an attribute will also provide you with a passive stat boost; investing in the Body attribute, for example, will increase your maximum health.

Upgrading an attribute with attribute points will provide you with a passive stat boost; investing in the Body attribute, for example, will increase your maximum health and stamina.

All of the attributes have a maximum level of 20.

Cyberpunk_Skills_2

Where to put your first attribute points in Cyberpunk 2077

When you start Cyberpunk 2077, you create your own version of V, from deciding a life path to setting their appearance.

Before you then begin the prologue, you are asked to distribute 7 points amongst the five skill types – Body, Intelligence, Reflexes, Technical Ability and Cool.

You can only set three points into one type at this point in the game (progressing a skill from 3 points to 6 points max), meaning you have to distribute them around to a certain degree.

cyberpunk_2077_core_attribute_points_first_1

Based on our experience in the game, your choice here doesn’t matter too much, as the prologue is linear and gentle enough that you won’t be tested in any particular direction that your skill points will make a difference. By the time it ends, a small segment of Night City (which is under partial lockdown to begin with) is available, which is where some skill points might be helpful, but not integral. In short – you have plenty of time to scope out your character, even a few hours in, so go with what sounds attractive and just try to specialise a little if you know how you want to play in advance.

That said, there are some minor things in the opening hours available to you if you do have skill points levelled in them which could prove useful. These include:

  • Reflexes and Cool (at 4 and 6 points respectively) tends to open up certain additional dialogue choices, at least in the early game.
  • The ability to disarm a mine (an additional option during the free Brick quest during The Pickup) with 7 points Technical Points.
  • You can hijack cars out in the open world with a Body stat somewhere between 4 and 6.
cyberpunk_2077_core_attribute_points_first_2
cyberpunk_2077_core_attribute_points_first_3
Both of these conversations took place during Act 1 mission The Information.

Note the above isn’t exhaustive of every possible outcome or life path in the first few hours of the game – but does give you an idea of where allocating points early could be useful.

Cyberpunk 2077’s character creator and core attributes in action (played by Eurogamer’s Aoife Wilson)

How to earn attribute and perk points in Cyberpunk 2077

If you want to level up a perk or an attribute in Cyberpunk 2077 after initially creating your own version of V, then you’re going to need to earn some attribute or perk points.

Each time you level up V, you gain one Attribute point and one Perk point, so you can upgrade one core stat and one specific perk of choice.

Cyberpunk_Skills_3
Heads up: at the time of writing this in-game explainer isn’t correct.

You can also earn additional perk points by levelling up specific skills to a certain number. Every skill has its own rewards for levelling that skill up, so to take Blades as an example again: at level 3 Blades you get an extra perk point to spend wherever you like, at level 4 a different blade-related buff, level 5 another free perk point, and so on.

To discover exactly when you can earn these additional perk points, head to any of the skills and check the skill progression rewards bar in the bottom left-hand corner.

Cyberpunk_Life_Path_3

Skills in Cyberpunk 2077 explained

Skills represent your ability in the various gameplay elements – from crafting to combat – that exist within Cyberpunk. In order to level up a skill, you need to perform actions related to it.

Each attribute has a number of skills assigned to it, which you can find below:

Body

  • Annihilation
  • Athletics
  • Street Brawler

Cool

  • Cold Blood
  • Ninjutsu

Intelligence

  • Breach Protocol
  • Quickhacking

Reflexes

  • Assault
  • Blades
  • Handguns

Technical Ability

  • Crafting
  • Engineering
Cyberpunk_Skills_5

Skills are levelled by collecting enough skill proficiency experience, which is earned by performing an action associated with that skill. If you want to level up your Blades skill, for example, then you need to use knives, katanas, Mantis Blades, or other blade weaponry in combat to earn Blades proficiency experience.

It’s important to remember that the maximum level you can reach in any skill is dependent on your current level for the attribute that skill is associated with. This means that, if you wish to have a certain level in a particular skill, you must ensure that you’ve invested enough attribute points into the specific attribute it’s associated with.

Each skill contains its own perk tree, which you can invest in as well. You will also receive skill progression rewards as you level up each individual skill.

Cyberpunk_Skills_1


The 1.5 update patch notes are here! New additions include how to change your appearance in Cyberpunk 2077 and Cyberpunk 2077 apartment locations. Elsewhere, we have explains on Cyberpunk 2077 life paths, money making, XP levelling, best Cyberpunk 2077 armour and clothing, best Cyberpunk 2077 weapons, romance options, Cyberpunk 2077 endings and how long to beat Cyberpunk 2077.



Perks and perk trees in Cyberpunk 2077 explained

Perks are a selection of bonuses or new abilities that are assigned to a particular skill in Cyberpunk 2077.

Each skill has a unique perk tree, which is accessible at any time, and allows you to view all the bonuses and abilities each perk can give you. To unlock these different perks you need to reach a specific level with the attribute that governs the skill associated with the perk.

Cyberpunk_Skills_4

For example, if you’d like to use the Divided Attention perk, which is part of the Athletics skill, you will need to reach Level 11 on the Body attribute.

The more points you invest in a particular attribute, the more perks will be available to you.

After unlocking a perk, its bonuses or abilities are earned by investing perk points. Depending on the perk, these bonuses can then be increased by investing further perk points to level up the perk.

Good luck in Night City!

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