Cyberpunk 2077 Character Skills Guide

Cyberpunk 2077 offers a very open system for creating your character build: there are no classes, so everything depends on how you distribute your Attribute Points and Perk Points. Meanwhile, you will be leveling your Skills by directly using them (that is, by performing actions that relate to a certain Skill). Your Skills will be filling the gaps in your character build and often lending themselves to your build planning organically, since you will most likely be leveling the aspects of your character you use the most. This guide will focus on the Five Character Skills in Cyberpunk 2077, how you level these Skills up, and what benefits you get by doing so.

The five Cyberpunk 2077 character skills are:

  • Headhunter (Cool)
  • Netrunner (Intelligence)
  • Shinobi (Reflexes)
  • Solo (Body)
  • Engineer (Technical Ability)
Cyberpunk 2077 Skills Guide Interface

(Check out our Cyberpunk 2077 Attributes Guide for information about each Attribute).

Skills in Update 2.0 got fully reworked from the previous Attribute-Skill-Perk system: there are now 5 Skills in the game you can level outside of the Attribute-Perk tree, though you will quickly notice that the synergies with the 5 different Attributes are still pretty clear.

There are no longer “Traits” (former exclusive Perks) to unlock by maxing out a Skill, but each of them will still come with a powerful ability for a relevant Attribute at Rank 60, often rewarding you for using the various Perk tree Abilities, like Focus and Deadeye for Headhunter from the Cool Tree and Fury for Engineer from the Tech Ability tree. Note that Shinobi and Solo reward Sandevistan and Berserk Cyberware use instead, and thus could be worth maxing out for a build that uses one of these outside of the other Reflexes and Body Attribute trees.

In this guide we will list all of the Skills and their Progression Rewards, but also How to Level each of the Skills: you might still be interested in ranking up some of the Skills you use less just for those extra Perk Points from ranks 15 and 35 awarded by each of them. Rank 15 is usually always worth pursuing, but you might pick and choose what you want to level further.

Note that the Skill XP does combine if you perform actions that count towards more than one — for example, a Smart Shotgun headshot will level Netrunner (Smart Weapon kill), Solo (Shotgun kill), and Headhunter (headshot). If both actions fall under the same Skill, it will level faster (for example, landing headshots with a Sniper Rifle).

As was the case with pre-2.0 version of the game, using the beach area in Coastview (Pacifica) near the old rollercoaster is excellent for grinding out XP, eddies, and Skills, if you are a little behind on one of them for a desired build. Pick an oval path alongside the coast and deal damage or score kills in ways specific to a Skill you are targeting — we will list those for you in this guide.

There is also a less noticeable bonus that comes from paying attention to your Skills: they serve as a good indicator of what actions you perform the most, and by mid-game could help you pick your Attributes if you are still deciding (remember that you always have an option to reset your Attributes once). Of course, you can significantly expedite Skill leveling by investing into Attributes and Perks, so expect the correlation to go both ways.

Cyberpunk 2077 Character Skills Guide Dialog Options

(Click here for the general guide to your Cyberpunk 2077 Character.)

Now, let’s look at each Skill, the bonuses it comes with, and how to level it!

Attribute Synergy: Cool

Headhunter focuses heavily on Stealth bonuses like Decreased Visibility for enemies, bonuses when crouched, and Optical Camo bonuses. However, it’s one of the easier Skills to level to 35, since it gains XP from headshots and then boosts their damage in turn.

You could easily find yourself ahead on the Headhunter Skill, since any attack on the head will give you XP — which means easy Perk Points and more damage from these Headshots on Ranks 10 and 30, so this one is pretty great to level up to 35.

Notice that you can also easily gain some Headhunter XP by merely picking up bodies and dumping them into containers after you clear out an area.

  • Land Headshots with Ranged, Melee, or Thrown Weapons
  • Kill enemies with Pistols, Revolvers, Precision Rifles, Sniper Rifles, or Thrown Weapons
  • Hide from enemies using Stealth or Optical Camo mode
  • Interact with containers to hide bodies

The rest of the bonuses are much more in tune with kills performed while sneaking around (making it harder for enemies to detect you and making you move faster while crouched), with the exception of the decreased recovery time after a throw at Rank 45 (-30% reduction), designed more directly for the Thrown Weapons.

At Rank 60: +15% Optical Camo charge from enemy kills while undetected, in Focus mode, Deadeye mode, or with a thrown weapon.

Unlike the Headhunter’s more flexible bonuses up until this point, its Max Rank bonus is a bit more specific — Optical Camo is an Integumentary System Cyberware that reduces your visibility to enemies by up to 90% on the highest Tier and increases your Armor by up to 30. The Armor boost here is pretty minor compared to what you can get from Skeleton Cyberware, so the biggest use from this is for Stealth-based builds.

  • Rank 5: Decreases Visibility to Enemies by 10%.
  • Rank 10: +10% headshot damage; +10% damage against Vulnerabilities
  • Rank 15: +1 Perk Point(s)
  • Rank 20: No Weapon Sway when crouched.
  • Rank 25: Decreases Visibility to Enemies by 10%.
  • Rank 30: +15% headshot damage; +15% damage against Vulnerabilities.
  • Rank 35: +1 Perk Point(s)
  • Rank 40: Optical Camo is active while grappling enemies.
  • Rank 45: Decreases Recovery time after a throw by 30%.
  • Rank 50: 30% faster when crouch-walking and crouch-sprinting.
  • Rank 55: Damage bonuses from being undetected outside of combat persist for 3 sec. after entering combat.
  • Rank 60: +15% Optical Camo charge when neutralizing an enemy in one of the following ways:
    • During Focus mode.
    • During Deadeye mode.
    • With a thrown weapon.

Attribute Synergy: Intelligence

  • Neutralize enemies with Quickhacks
  • Use Breach Protocol on computers and wireless networks
  • Override turrets, hack into electronic devices and cameras
  • Use Overclock to perform quickhacks on insufficient RAM by sacrificing health
  • Kill enemies with Monowire or Smart Weapons (does not require Smart Link Hands)
  • Trigger quickhacks from weapons that are equipped with them

  • Rank 5: Increases RAM Recovery Rate by 5%
  • Rank 10: Increases RAM by 1
  • Rank 15: +1 Perk Point(s)
  • Rank 20: +20% Lock-On Range With Smart Weapons
  • Rank 25: Increases RAM Recovery Rate by 5%
  • Rank 30: Increases RAM by 1
  • Rank 35: +1 Perk Point(s)
  • Rank 40: -20% RAM Cost For Quickhacks Used on Devices and Vehicles
  • Rank 45: +15% Duration For Control and Convert Quickhacks. +5% Damage With Combat Quickhacks.
  • Rank 50: +40% Duration For Overclock
  • Rank 55: -10% Health Loss From Using Quickhacks During Overclock.
  • Rank 60: When Active, Overlock Now Reveals Enemies Within 10 meters and Allows You To Quickhack Non-Netrunner Enemies Through Cover

Attribute Synergy: Reflexes

  • Use Dash, Dodge, Run, or Jump
  • Kill enemies with Blade Weapons (including Mantis Blades), Assault Rifles, or SMGs
  • Kill enemies while using Sandevistan Operating System Cyberware

  • Rank 5: Increases Movement Speed by 5%
  • Rank 10: -5% Stamina Cost From Dodging and Dashing
  • Rank 15: +1 Perk Point(s)
  • Rank 20: Better accuracy after dodging or dashing
  • Rank 25: Increased Accuracy For a Short Time After Dodging and Dashing
  • Rank 30: Decreased stamina cost for dodging and dashing
  • Rank 35: +1 Perk Point(s)
  • Rank 40: Increased Mitigation Chance The Faster You Move
  • Rank 45: +25 Damage With Fast Attacks
  • Rank 50: Air Dashing and Sliding Automatically Reload 20% of Your Equipped Weapon
  • Rank 55: When Attacking From Midair or While Time Is Slowed, Low Stamina Does Not Affect Ranged Accuracy or Melee Attack Speed
  • Rank 60: When Sandevistan is Active: +40 Crit Chance and No Stamina Cost For Any Type of Movement

Attribute Synergy: Body

  • Kill enemies with Shotguns, LMGs, HMGs, Blunt Weapons, or Unarmed Melee strikes (or with Gorilla Arms)
  • Kill enemies while using Berserk Operating System Cyberware
  • Kill enemies while in Adrenaline Rush
  • Force open doors, rip out guns from turrets, break into occupied cars

  • Rank 5: Increases Carrying Capacity by 50
  • Rank 10: Increases Health by 10
  • Rank 15: +1 Perk Point(s)
  • Rank 20: Fists and Gorilla Arms Have: +20% Damage and +20% Attack Speed. Fists also have a Chance to Apply Bleeding.
  • Rank 25: Increases Carrying Capacity by 100
  • Rank 30: Increases Health by 15
  • Rank 35: +1 Perk Point(s)
  • Rank 40: +10% Crit Chance Against Enemies Within 5 meters
  • Rank 45: +25% Damage With Strong Attacks and Quick Melee Attacks
  • Rank 50: +25 Health After Performing a Finisher
  • Rank 55: When Adrenaline Rush is Active, Adrenaline Decays 50% Slower and Cannot Decay Below 10%
  • Rank 60: When Berserk Is Active: +30% Enemy Health Threshold to Perform Finishers, +50% Health From Performing Finishers, and +30% Berserker Duration

Attribute Synergy: Technical Ability

  • Kill enemies with explosives or Tech Weapons
  • Craft or Dismantle Items
  • Install Cyberware, activate Cyberware abilities
  • Take control over unoccupied vehicles, open doors, disarm mines, turn off cameras directly

  • Rank 5: Increases Armor by 15
  • Rank 10: Increases Cyberware Capacity by 5
  • Rank 15: +1 Perk Point(s)
  • Rank 20: +10 Grenade Damage and Explosion Radius
  • Rank 25: Increases Armor by 25
  • Rank 30: Increases Cyberware Capacity by 10
  • Rank 35: +1 Perk Point(s)
  • Rank 40: Increased Shock Chance From Charging a Tech Weapon or Electric Baton
  • Rank 45: +15% Item Health Effectiveness
  • Rank 50: +30% To All Cyberware Stat Modifiers
  • Rank 55: 10% Damage With Bolt Shots and +40% Burn Chance With Bolt Shots. Chain Lightning Now Sets Enemies on Fire.
  • Rank 60: When Fury is Active, You Occasionally Release an EMP Blast

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Mila Grish
Mila Grish

Dedicated contributor at EIP Gaming and a part-time collector of books she will never have time to actually read. Jumps on the newest releases just as quickly as on the uncovered dusty collections from the basement. For her, shiny graphics can never be an excuse to not have a polished player experience or an immersive story.

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