We can be thankful that it is CD Projekt Red who are behind Cyberpunk 2077. Don’t expect melee to be a throwaway feature in the world saturated with futuristic technology. Where gunpower feels too indirect of an approach, our hands can deliver strongest impacts — with or without holding anything in them. Melee can be a part of your character build, combined with a gun rotation (check out our Ranged Weapons Guide!), but it can also be your preferred way of confronting enemies. And, in Cyberpunk 2077, it can be the only one you need.
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.
Melee combat in Cyberpunk 2077 will be a bit of a timed dance. You will need to learn not only how to swing your weapon around but also how to parry, block, and even stagger your opponent. Your individual weapon Skills will be essential towards what you can do with your weapon and what you can do without one, so we will break this guide into weapon types by skill. That means we will be talking about Blades, Two-Handed, and Athletics categories, as well as the Modifications for your weapons — Attachments and Software Mods.
Since we don’t know that much about melee weapons in Cyberpunk 2077 yet, the categorization and associated weapons are not final. We will have an Unknown section that will be updated as more information becomes available.
With that being said, let’s dive into it!
Blades is a Skill modified by the Reflexes attribute. This means that you will have easier access to Handguns and Rifles, which will make a good combination with the quick swings of Blade weapons.
We know of a machete-type weapon and daggers, one of those seen carried by Jackie. We will probably have a broad array of quick and simple weapons to use when we run out of bullets. But the variety doesn’t end there.
In the game you will be able to yield a katana, a powerful weapon to complement your Reflexes and make you into a proper cyberninja. We know that katanas can have a modification of reflecting bullets — see the Modifications section below for that. The one example of a katana we have seen so far is the Thermal Katana manufactured by Arasaka. Its heated blade can easily rip through cloth and flesh and damage powerful cyberarmor. We have even seen it knock back our opponents with sparks flying. It serves as one of the examples of why a player would be interested in wielding melee weapons in the Cyberpunk world.
Now, let’s touch on an exciting specimen that might end up under this category with the released game: the Arasaka Mantis Blades. We talk about this impressive implant in our Cyberware Guide, but we will still briefly talk about this merciless flesh slicer.
Sectioned under the Body Attribute, Two-Handed weapon Skill will come with its satisfying power of one-hit destruction.
Unfortunately, we don’t know about many Two-Handed weapons in the game aside from one quite vivid example: Sasquatch’s Industrial Sledgehammer. A proper weapon for a gang leader, this massive hammer easily sends V, our protagonist, flying to the ground when thrown. We know that the Industrial Sledgehammer can deal 149 DPS of Physical Damage.
Another category slotted under the Body Attribute, Athletics could be the Skill that affects our unarmed fighting – our fists.
To be more exact, our Gorilla Arms. Yet another piece of Cyberware discussed in this guide after the Mantis Blades, Gorilla Arms deliver massive punches, but also give us additional functionality. We know that these Arms can be used to force open doors with the Athletics of Level 4 and they could potentially be required for one of the iconic Solo moves of ripping out a turret’s gun to then carrying it around the battlefield.
There are even more features that come with the Athletics Skill that will assist our melee fighting (and make it that much more compelling). We know that we can use a Chokehold on an enemy to perform a lethal or non-lethal takedown, but also to carry them around as a meatshield under open fire. Perk unlocks under this category might increase our speed of movement when we do so.
Aside from the fact that they will be a feature in the game, we do not know that much about melee weapon modifications yet.
Weapon Attachments will be physical additions to your weapon and will give advantage to your statistics and a few enhanced functionalities. Software Mods will reprogram your weapon, altering its statistics. They could give your weapon a damage boost or increase its accuracy and speed. Some introduce or change basic functionality, such as giving you non-lethal damage for a more pacifistic approach to combat, or biochemical damage that is particularly effective against enforced cyberarmor.
However, if you remember our discussion of the katana weapon under Blades in this guide, we know that Magnetic Field mod for the katana allows the character to deflect bullets.
So, what is that mysterious melee weapon worthy of mention that we had to find a way to include?
The Nanowire, of course! A piece of Cyberware that might come packaged with your Cyberdeck, this weapon is one of the primary tools of the Hacking Skill. Used to breach into an opponent’s local connection to the network, it can also play a part in uploading daemons into the enemy’s system to compromise their ability to fight you. At the same time, Nanowire is a powerful melee weapon that has a bit of range to it when it comes to whipping around at your opponents, and it’s not certain whether its melee damage (as opposed to its hacking capabilities) will be modified by any “regular” weapon skills listed above.
Finally, we wanted to mention a Fragmentation Grenade. This utility or melee ranged weapon was seen in one of the game’s demos with its own unique functionality. It’s uncertain whether there will be more utility weapons like it and what Skill will govern their advancement.