Cyberware is a big deal in Cyberpunk 2077, both in terms of gameplay and setting. The game world revolves around futuristic tech in all its splendor and ugly details, with cybernetics being one of the most visible and iconic element of the archetypal cyberpunk setting. V has access to a wide array of Cyberwear throughout the course of the game, most of which can enhance their combat abilities, while some provide non-combat benefits, or may even be purely cosmetic.
Cyberware or Cybernetics are various implants and prosthetics surgically grafted into or onto a human body to enhance its base attributes and give it entirely new abilities. A cybernetic eye will let you see more, switch between what light-band is visible or scan enemies. Augmented limbs can provide you with raw physical strength way beyond anything an unaltered human could possess. Cyberware can also have various side effects, the most dangerous of which is Cyberpsychosis, which will feature prominently in Cyberpunk 2077.
The game's designers applied the same four style archetypes as they did to the environmental and character design - Entropism, Kitsch, Neo-Kitsch and Neo-Militarism - to cyberwear in-game. You'll find various cybernetic enhancements from each visual style, which also informs the kind of role they fill. When not fighting, it still pays to keep an eye out for what kind of cyberwear players you encounter have equipped - it will tell you a lot about their character.
In Cyberpunk 2077, Cyberware is used to improve player stats and give an advantage during combat - or a better chance of avoiding combat altogether. Some Cyberware can also serve a non-violent role, or simply be a fashion statement.
Cyberware in Cyberpunk 2077 is broken down into three categories in terms of functionality, which determine how they affect V's performance and how you can use them during gameplay.
- Active - These kinds of implants need to be activated by the player if they want to use it. Unless you use them, the game won't do it for you. These include scanners, Mantis Blades that act as weapons and Nanowire.
- Triggered - These activate on their own when a specific criteria - the "trigger" - is met. Some cyberware gives you a buff automatically whenever you dodge an attack, or when your health drops to a specific point.
- Passive - Passive cyberware doesn't need to be activate at all, since simply equipping them will impart a stat bonus or some kind of other benefit.
The various Cyberware upgrades in Cyberpunk 2077 are categorized by rarity. The less common a piece of Cyberware is, the more powerful and useful it is bound to be. The categories are common, uncommon, rare, epic, and legendary, with legendary Cyberware being the hardest to get - and also among the most prominently featured in marketing materials. Coincidence?
Cyberware works a little differently than regular items do. You'll need to visit a ripperdoc to apply the new Cyberware - this process is, essentially, surgery - to equip it. There are 14 ripperdocs working throughout Night City, with Victor being the first one you meet.
Different ripperdocs sell different Cyberware - check out this list of locations and stock for each! (coming soon)
While other games featuring armor items generally break things down by what sort of armor we're talking about - gloves, helmets, boots, etc - in Cyberpunk 2077 it is V's bodyparts, internal and external, that help with categorizing these enhancements.
You will have access to the following slots:
- 3 Brain slots
- 1 Eyes slot
- 3 Cardiovascular system slots
- 2 Immune system slots
- 2 Peripheral nervous system slots
- 3 Skin slots
- 1 Operating system slot
- Skeletal system
- 2 Arm slots (left, right)
- 2 Hand slots (left, right)
- 2 Leg slots (left, right)
Seen in gameplay demos, using Cyberware has a "humanity cost". V's Humanity stat will decrease as more and more Cyberware is equipped over the course of your playthrough. Cyberpsychosis is actually implemented as a game mechanic, and V will develop the sickness if their Humanity stat hits 0 or lower, and will cause you to periodically lose control over the character as they suffer from outbursts of violence.
List of Cyberware in Cyberpunk 2077
- Mantis Blade - Possibly the most iconic piece of cyberwear in the game thanks to the announcement trailer back in 2013, these blades are installed in the user's arms from where they can protrude. They are a brutal and effective melee weapon, however the planned ability of using them to climb walls has been cut from the game. Available in many variants.
- Gorilla Hands - Installed in the hands slot, these cybernetics give you a huge strength and melee buff, with various different types available.
- Nanowire - This cyberware houses a fiber optic lasso in your arm that you can use to slice opponents into pieces, or remotely access their cyberwear to turn it against them - thus covering both meanings of the word "hack". While the nanowire has some very overt offensive functions, it can also be used to hack networked devices, not just people.
- Blood Pump - Installed in the cardiovascular system slot, this upgrade improves your health regeneration rate when active.
- Micro-rotors - Passive cyberware installed in the nervous system that improves movement speed and precision.
- Kerenzikov - This activates a slow-motion effect when you dodge an incoming enemy attack.
- Synlungs - Artificial lungs that are installed in the cardiovascular system slot, boosting endurance regeneration rate.
- Reflex Tuner - Like the Kerenzikov, this too activates a slow-motion effect, but this time whenever your health drops below a critical threshold.
- Subdermal Grip - Passively increasing melee damage, the real benefit of the Subdermal Grip implant is the ability to use "locked" weapons, albeit with a 50% damage debuff.
- Kiroshi Optical Scanner - As the name implies, this is a cybernetic eye that provides additional information by scanning opponents, objects and your surrounding area. There are multiple tiers, which offer greater advantages.
The best Cyberware upgrades in Cyberpunk 2077
With so many different implants and augments to choose from, you're probably wondering which are the best ones to track down. We've collected five of the best general-use Cyberware in the game. If you have a specific character build in mind, you may not use all of these, but they are pretty good options for just about any situation V will encounter while carving a path through Night City.
Curiously, only two of these five fall into the legendary category - while exceedingly powerful, legendary Cyberware tends to be highly specialized as opposed to being versatile.
This common Cyberware is easy to find and won't break the bank, but is an essential piece of equipment to turn the tide of combat early on in the game - and can be a lifesaver later on, too. The Kerenzikov allows you to aim and fire your weapons while dodging which makes combat significantly more dynamic.
Additionally, the Kerenzikov has a bullet-time mechanic that slows time by 50%. This triggers whenever you block, aim or fire when sliding or dodging, giving you the edge you need to land those shots. The effect lasts 1.5 seconds and has a 5 second cooldown.
You can - and should - equip this right when you meet with Victor, since he stocks the upgrade for just 5000 Eurodollars. The Kerenzikov does have an elusive Legendary version, which slows time down by 90% for 3.5 seconds - a major upgrade - but has a price tag to match. You need to journey to the farthest edge of Santo Domingo to find the sole ripperdoc who sells it, and it costs 35,000 Eurodollars.
Keep in mind that both variants of the Kerenzikov have a stat requirement of Reflexes 18.
This Cyberware unlocks the seminal, but also completely illogical, video game ability of double-lumping. Having stronger tendons won't let you magically launch yourself off thin air a second time, but hey, games gotta game.
Reinforced Tendons costs 45,000 Eurodollars, and is sold by ripperdocs in the districts of Watson, Westbrook, City Center and Santo Domingo. They are categorized as rare.
Smart Link is another Cyberware in the rare category that is an immensely useful piece of tech. An entire subset of weaponry is made more effective if you purchase this upgrade, unlocking the full potential of Smart Weapons since V cannot interface with their targeting systems without it.
If you want to grab the Smart Link early on, it will cost you 9000 Eurodollars, however if you're patient and don't plan to use Smart Weapons early on, you can get it for free during the mission The Gig.
Bioplastic Blood Vessels
This Cyberware is special because it has variants in every rarity level. Occupying the Circulatory System slot, Bioplastic Blood Vessels boosts you out-of-combat health regeneration. The common variant costs merely 2000 Eurodollars and lets you regenerate 1 point of health every second outside combat.
Subsequent variants increase the regeneration to 2, 4, 10 and finally 50% of total health when not in combat. These uncommon, rare, iconic and legendary variants cost 3000, 6000, 10000 and 14000 Eurodollars, respectively.
Other than the purchase price, the stat requirement for equipping Bioplastic Blood Vessels is 8 points in Body.
While having sharp Mantis Blades sprouting from your forearms is cool, fancy, and featured in the first teaser for the game, they aren't the best tech you can fit in your limbs. That distinction goes to Gorilla Arms, Arasaka's cutting edge strength enhancer that lets you pound every gangster into paste, rip turrets off their mounts and tear open locked doors.
Gorilla arms come in three flavors - rare, iconic and legendary - and are our top Cyberware in the game. Completing the main story will award you with a free set of legendary Gorilla Arms, but getting them earlier is recommended. You can buy them for 100,000 Eurodollars - a hefty price, but ultimately worth it - from the northeast ripperdoc in City Center.