Cyberpunk 2077 is back, and with it, a massive surge of new players that have just caused it to beat The Witcher 3’s all-time playercount on Steam. As such, I figured it was time to warp back to December 2020 when I first wrote this “things I wish I knew” list, to see what’s changed, what I can recycle, and what I need to add.
Many pieces of advice I give are still true. Some have been rendered false as of this past week (transmog exists now!). So let’s go through them, and hopefully this will help you as you start or restart your journey.
1. The Differences Between Launch And Now (new for 2022)
Here, I am going to reference a larger article I wrote detailing the major changes of every major patch the game has gone through since launch. It’s a huge, huge range of things, where in addition to thousands of bug fixes and performance increases, we have new guns, clothes, cars apartments, missions in addition to things like police and pedestrian and enemy AI changes. It’s…a lot, and ultimately, the reasons that now is the moment to return.
2. Your Life Path Does Not Matter (same as 2020)
File this under “broken CDPR promises,” but honestly, do not stress about which life path you choose because ultimately, it really does not matter at all. Outside of a very, very short intro mission and conversation options that do not fundamentally change anything in the course of the story, all the life paths, Nomad, Street Kid and Corpo, yield effectively the same V and do not influence any of the major storylines or endings in any way. I’m saying this here because I’ve heard of people starting over because they wanted to be one origin over another after the intro, but trust me, it’s simply not worth the trouble.
3. Consider Starting On A Higher Difficulty (same as 2020, and even with difficulty rebalancing, “normal” is still a bit easy, if you ask me)
Cyberpunk can be very fun, and yet it is not a very well-balanced game. I play most games on Normal to start with, but very early on I found that I was blowing through all enemies with little risk of death. But even Very Hard will not really pose a challenge if you switch to it later in the game when you are more powerful (2022 Update: Very Hard is harder now). In short, I would probably recommend playing on a difficulty one higher than you would normally from the start. Normal to Hard, Hard to Very Hard.
3. Get Jumping Cyberware As Soon As Possible (same as 2020)
This is a big one. While the game never really tells you to do this, I absolutely recommend getting yourself one of the two jumping-based leg cyberware upgrades that don’t cost that much, but fundamentally transform the way the entire game is played. I opted for the double jump for my action based melee build, but the charge jump will get you higher. It transforms every encounter, not just in open combat, but even for a stealth build, the jump alone will get you access to places you could never reach otherwise for infiltration. Absolutely the most important upgrade you can get.
4. It Is Very Hard To Spec Wrong (same as 2020, and now respec-ing costs have been dramatically reduced)
Honestly, I would not stress about going down the “wrong tree” in terms of combat in Cyberpunk. As I said, the difficulty of the game makes it such that you can be stupidly overpowered if you focus on any area of combat, and there are no wrong options. I would say the most powerful builds to focus on are blades, hacking and pistols for one-shot revolver builds. But other guns and blunt melee can work fine too. Pick something, commit to it, and you will probably have enough points by the end to try something else too. Also you can respec perk points at ripperdocs for a price that has been patched lower over time.
5. Throwing Knives Are Viable Now (new for 2022)
At launch, you could get the ability to throw knives, but it was the most hilariously bad system ever, as you’d have to run over and pick up the knife and if you lost it, you had to craft a new one, which was impossible/expensive for high level knives. Well, in one of the past patches, CDPR totally revamped the entire concept of throwing knives, making it a system where the knife will automatically return to your hand, and new knives will “recharge” faster. In short, it’s possible to make a stealthy, knife-throwing ninja build in a way that it wasn’t at launch now.
6. You Can Find The Best Car In The Game For Free (same as 2020, car prices have been reduced but few are worth buying when you can get this one for free)
Cars, especially the good ones, in Cyberpunk are very expensive, but the game has hidden a few free good cars in missions or on the map, including what I would consider the best car in the game, the Caliburn, essentially a Bugatti, and it’s just sitting there waiting to be taken. Here’s how to get that, which can essentially be done at any time. Otherwise a different colored version of it costs like $150K.
7. You Are Not Locked Into Your V’s Look Any More (new for 20220)
Since launch, Cyberpunk 2077 has now added the ability to change things like your hairstyle and makeup in the mirror in your apartment, and with the last patch, the ability to actually reshape your entire face again like with the character creator at Ripperdocs. Far as I can tell, the only thing you still cannot change after the fact are your tattoos. The game has also just introduced a true transmog system where you can make outfits for yourself at your apartment, and those will override the look of the gear that you’re wearing for their stats and mods. No more looking like a trash monster, which was not the case for the last two years.
8. This Is Why Judy Or Panam Is Rejecting You (same as 2020)
I do not consider this a spoiler, but I just don’t want you to get your hopes up about two different NPCs, as you will probably get rejected by one if you pursue a romantic relationship with them, and the game does not explain why. But it’s nothing you did wrong.
In short, Judy, the BD editor, is only romanceable by female Vs, while Panam, the Nomad, is only romanceable by male Vs. No matter what story decisions you make, this does not change, so just know that your “choice” is essentially predetermined. And if you prefer men, River is only romanceable by female Vs and Kerry is only romanceable by male Vs. Ain’t a lot of options, and you’ll have to settle for being friends outside of these specific paths.
9. Loot the Yorinobu Penthouse (new for 2022)
In trying to figure out new things to add to this, I found one that I have missed for two years. During the heist mission with Jackie, there is a secret rooftop area you can access in Yorinobu’s penthouse that will get you a sick katana and a datapad. Also in the penthouse itself is an iguana egg you can steal (this was added in patch 1.5) and later hatch in your apartment.
10. Accessing The Secret Ending Hinges On A Single Conversation With Johnny (same as 2020 and I still hate that they did this)
Now we do have to kind of get into spoiler territory here, but I’ll keep it light. In short, there is a secret ending of Cyberpunk 2077 that many consider the “best” one. I won’t say what it is, but it requires you to raise your relationship % with Johnny to 70% (it’s in the main menu in the middle). Strangely, this hinges on very, very specific dialogue choices you make during one mission, in addition to doing most other Johnny-related side missions. You’ll know the mission when you get to it (in the oil fields) and these are the conversation options you must pick to get the ending. Otherwise you will literally have to replay the entire game to “do it right.”
So, there’s the update. Enjoy!
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