Cyberpunk 2077 is a delightful open-world RPG set in a futuristic and dystopian Night City, and at the center of that experience is… well, you. The story, setting, events, cutscenes, quests, characters – all of that is designed in a way to give the player a vast amount of freedom but still make the custom experience feel responsive and immersive.
Warning: This guide is based on the in-progress information available before the official release of the game. The guide will be updated as more information becomes available.
* – As of November 19th we had a confirmation of a completely new version of character interface. Information taken from the old builds of Cyberpunk 2077 that we could not confirm was cut from the game will be marked with an asterisk (*).
At your arsenal will be any and all combinations of character backgrounds, cyberware, and skills resembling any class archetype without locking you into one. Feel free to experiment, change your character mid-way, and roleplay their personality in any way that makes the experience fun.
And yet, the choices can be a bit overwhelming. With your build decisions having consequences even before you start altering the world around you, your first playthrough might feel a bit too chaotic and even confusing. That’s why we want to guide you through the major decisions you will need to make in regards to your character starting early on into the game, each significantly impacting your experience.
Below, we will discuss the importance of Life Paths, Attributes, Skills, Perks, and Cyberware in customizing your character build and direct you to the guides on our website that will guide you through each in detail. Feel free to look into them in any order that you like and focus only on the parts that interest you the most. Or, if you like, you can come back to our guides later to guide your character build planning as your replay the game (and there are totally reasons why you might want to!).
Not everything you pick for V on the Character Customization screen will be purely cosmetic. Sure, everything from your facial cyberware and tattoos, beard, piercings, makeup, teeth, and genitals and nipples can be customized, and that’s an important part of the Cyberpunk 2077 experience.
Yet, your V’s body and appearance may sometimes affect the behavior of other characters towards them.
We don’t know a lot about these reactions yet, but we know that your sex (that is, your genitals) will affect which romanceable characters will be interested in you.
In Cyberpunk 2077 your background is more than just a flavor element that hangs out in your character details. Who you were before the start of your story will affect where you begin your journey, what people you already know, what factions know you, and unique things you can point out in dialog interactions. In fact, even a certain way of finishing the main plot will be set before you, which you can either follow or alter completely depending on the alliances you make.
Sure, this is more of a starting place along with some unique insider knowledge, not necessarily a defined character archetype. Any major experience in the game is still open to you all the same. Yet, if you care about the plot, do you wonder what difference it makes to bump shoulders with gang members as a sharp Street Kid, an outsider Nomad, or a conflicted Corporate? What special options and pursuits are available to each?
Then you probably want to check out our Cyberpunk 2077 Character Life Path Guide!
Attributes will be the foundation of your build. The points you invest will allow you to pursue certain Skills, since Attributes will regulate the maximum level to which you can upgrade them. Some will regulate multiple skills that lend themselves to a certain playstyle. For example, if you invest into a Body Attribute, you can start carrying heavy weapons on you and charging right into the face of your enemies for satisfying impacts. Aggressive and action-packed approach can become your ultimate path through the game.
Other Attributes, such as the Intelligence Attribute, will modify a single but very crucial Skill. In case of Intelligence, you will gain access to higher levels of the Hacking Skill that characterizes all of the Netrunner builds. Depending on how much you enjoy swiftly bending your surroundings to your will and assaulting your enemies from within their own Cyberware, you might be investing a lot of time into this area of expertise. The final choices will be yours, but we can point you to some of the exciting options you have in the game.
Check out our Cyberpunk 2077 Character Attributes Guide to learn more!
While the Attributes will serve as a place to plan your build, your character’s Skills is where you will be investing time into it and seeing it come to fruition. In order to level your Skill you will have to use it in the field, but that’s where you will start seeing more compelling dialog options, exciting combat actions, and get access to higher-level areas. Skills govern what actions you can perform on the surrounding areas and what special information or observation you can bring up in your NPC interactions.
This will make a difference between the initial direct engagements of your Solo character and the ability to rip out massive guns from turrets to quickly dispatch a large group of enemies without a scratch. Or, with a Stealthy Netrunner build, this will be the difference between sneaking through a small facility with a security system you have disabled and wreaking havoc to an entire complex, assassinating enemies before they even notice you or destroying their Cyberware without a chance of even getting close to you. Still, Skills will take at least some planning and strategic leveling, and you probably would want to know what you are in for.
If that’s the case, check out our Cyberpunk 2077 Skills Guide!
Perks represent the final tweaking you will be doing to your character skills after making your choices with the Abilities and investing time to level your Skills. That’s where your build will truly shine, getting better and better at what it already does best. If it’s brute force, your Athletics Skill Perks will make you perform the most physically demanding maneuvers without breaking a sweat or wasting any time.
If it’s your Netrunning mastery, your Hacking Skill Perks will give you access to truly devastating Daemons for your Cyberdeck that you can deploy on your enemies in the field. You will be able to disable entire squads of people instantaneously, ruthlessly, and without anyone knowing what exactly happened (leaving them completely unprepared for your next assault, of course). With each Skill there are several perks with several levels of progression, so what you prioritize will affect your current abilities and the speed with which you will be able to get your character to the next level to continue improving them in return.
Because of that we suggest that you look over our Cyberpunk 2077 Perks Guide!
Yet, in the end we are talking about Cyberpunk! What is Cyberpunk 2077 without the proper customization system for your Cyberware Implants? Sure, some implants like Optical Scanners, Grips, and Processors are available to all builds from the start and it’s just the matter of leveling the most useful components, but don’t expect the variety to end there!
You can equip your Solo build with Gorilla Arms to punch your enemies directly in their face or Cyberlegs to reach any elevated area and literally jump out of the way of your enemies. Add the intimidating Mantis Blades to the mix and you can slice up any opponent before they can even take out their own weapon. Leveling Cyberdeck or the Control System for your Netrunner and Techie builds respectively (but who said you can’t be both?) will give you tools to do all of the dirty work for you, often without even being noticed.
Want to know what useful and quirky implants are available in the game? Check out our Cyberpunk 2077 Cyberware Guide!