Cyberpunk 2077 Beginner's Guide: Things To Know Before Playing

To say that Cyberpunk 2077 is a different RPG title from what we're used to is fitting. It plays less like a traditional video game and more like a tabletop role-playing game. The action-adventure RPG title is best experienced by exploring and letting things unfold. This is in contrast to most games where you're essentially forced to complete one quest after another just to progress.

With that said, even if you did try to breeze through the entire game, Cyberpunk 2077's main storyline is roughly around 30 hours long, and that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There are numerous multi-layered sidequests whose stories rival that of the main storyline. There are also quests born out of your earlier choices. This includes the lifepath you chose and the decisions you made all throughout (although the effects aren't as great as the developers might have promised). Then there's the other one-off missions, the occasional random gigs, and errands.

Combined altogether, these factors can make Cyberpunk 2077 feel like an unwelcoming and confusing title. This is exactly what brings us here today.

Below, you'll find a number of tips, tricks, and advice based on our own personal experience of playing Cyberpunk 2077.

Don’t Worry About Your Lifepath

Save for small variances in the story, your choices outside of your lifepath have much more impact than your lifepath of choice.

At the beginning of the game, Cyberpunk 2077 lets you pick between three different lifepaths: Corpo, Street Kid, and Nomad.

CD Projekt RED billed this as a life-changing decision that would have huge ramifications on the main storyline. However, unless a DLC comes in completely overhauls the entire campaign, it was much ado about nothing.

Not that the lifepath system is bad by any means. It does affect the game somewhat. The first few hours, especially, are different depending on your life path. But, as you get deeper into the game, you'll find that your chosen lifepath doesn't really affect the game much.

Outside of a very few situations where your lifepath will affect the outcome of a quest (and even then, it wasn't the only solution nor the best answer), don't fret over this.

Play as you would any other RPG title and chose the lifepath that you feel that you resonate with the most.

Don’t Focus On Your Body

Contrary to popular opinion, your Body attribute is not as important.

We've read so many tips and advice on how you should focus on focusing on feeding your body stat because it adds health points, stamina points, and basically lets you move around more. However, that could not be farther from the truth.

The thing is, the game provides you with enough of a boost to your health and stamina via the Athletics skill tree that any more is just unnecessary.

A good example of this are Invincible (10/20/30% max health boost) and Pack Mule (increase carrying capacity by 60). Not to mention, you're never going to run out of healing items in the game, whether from picking them up or crafting them yourself. You'll also be able to boost your health, armor, and carrying capacity by using the right kind of cyberware.

In comparison, other stats in Cyberpunk 2077 get better and potentially game-changing perks once you upgrade them to 7, 9, and 11 points.

In addition to the perks that you can get, having higher stats outside of body will give you far more choices in both minor and major plot scenes, especially if you've put in a lot into your cool or intelligence stat.

While the game does give you alternate choices if in case your stat isn't high end, your choices and progression are severely limited and affected.

Upgrade Your Operating System ASAP

The Raven Microcyber Mk.4 is a powerful Operating System that can be acquired early on in the game.

The perks and attributes in Cyberpunk 2077 aren't as important as the cyberware you have. In particular, your operating system, especially early on in the game.

Although admittedly the most boring part of the cyberware system of Cyberpunk 2077, saving up to improve the capacity of your main Operating System will let you play around with more RAM and quick hacks.

Even if you're not playing as a hacker, being able to manipulate the environment more extensively is going to come in handy far more often than you'd think

Speaking of hacking, Cyberpunk 2077 starts you off with a lot of money but you owe a lot of it to a certain someone. However, what most people don't know is that you can choose to pay the debt back later on in the game with zero penalties. This means that you can upgrade your Cyberdeck OS right from the opening chapter.

Don’t Forget To Hack Access Points

The better you do at this mini game, the more cash you'll get from each Access Point hacked.

European Currency Units, or more affectionately referred to as eddies, are the main form of currency used in Cyberpunk 2077 and they're not exactly the easiest to come by.

The best way to rack up the eddies in Cyberpunk 2077 is by completing side gigs and story missions. However, another way is to focus on hacking the Access Points that are located throughout the various gang hideouts in Night City.

Mind you, raiding a hideout is not for the faint of heart and it's definitely not easy, but it will net you a lot of cash. More importantly, if you hack the Access Point, you'll get even more money.

Unfortunately, it's very easy to miss the Access Point, so we recommend getting the Extended Network Interface as soon as you can. This will highlight the Access Point in the hideout so you can play through a minigame to get money (the better you do, the more money you make).

Another side benefit of doing this is that it'll level-up your abilities. However, if you want to have more money per raid, you'll want to get the Advanced Datamine (it increases the number of eddies you get from Access Points by 50%).

Ask Away

Don't be afraid to explore the more "uninteresting" conversation options in the game.

It's typical for any RPG these days to come with multiple dialogue choices for when you're talking to non-playable characters in the game. Cyberpunk 2077 is no different in this regard.

However, because most of us are conditioned to focus mostly on meaningful conversation options (the ones marked in yellow), we tend to forget about all of the other dialogue options (marked in blue).

This is a huge mistake in Cyberpunk 2077 because, as per our experience, sometimes, the side questions yield more useful information than the so called more important ones.

Optional Objectives Are Only Optional In Name

One of the earlier optional objectives in the game, this will give you a "favor" that you'll really want to cash in later on.

In addition to side missions, Cyberpunk 2077 has what's known as optional objectives that you can choose to either complete or skip entirely when playing through main missions. Although they're not compulsory, they can have a huge impact on how the main mission goes.

The impact isn't always evident at first, so you'd think that there's little incentive to try hard. However on, the optional objectives you complete do stack up and you'll find yourself with extra jobs, gigs, and more, with possibly a different ending than what you would have originally had if you didn't complete the optional objectives.

Don’t Forget About Your Friends

Just like in real life, don't forget to drop by and give your friends a call every once in a while in Cyberpunk 2077.

Look, just because you have phone call anxiety in real life doesn't mean you should dread it in Cyberpunk 2077, nor should you forget about calling V's friends.

Right off the bat, you'll notice V being pretty much the center of everybody's attention. You'll be getting calls from left and right, often due to story-related missions. However, you should try to make time to call your friends to talk about personal stuff.

In addition to making you look like a decent person, these extra calls can lead to additional content, like quests and useful info, that you might have missed out on had you not called.

Take Your Time

Cyberpunk 2077 is a game best experienced slowly not hastily played through.

CD Projekt RED spent nearly a decade building the world of Cyberpunk 2077 and the result is nothing short of amazing.

Night City feels alive, and we're not just talking about being populated just for the sake of it. You'll actually see people going about their business, and more often than not, a leisurely walk from one place to another will yield an undiscovered side mission or two.

Outside of main or side missions, you'll also find yourself having to save someone from having their lunch money taken away from them in an alley, or even find a hidden cameo or two.

More than its visuals, Cyberpunk 2077's world is its biggest draw - try not to rush through it.

Expect Glitches and Unstable Performance

This has less to do with the actual gameplay and story but rather the experience.

It seems that nearly a decade in development wasn't enough for Cyberpunk 2077. The developers couldn't release it with minimal glitches, nor stable performance. This is even after the numerous delays.

So, expect to have the occasional issue to plague your time in Night City for now.

Luckily, there are ways to help improve performance. At least, in terms of how smooth the game plays.

On the PC, we recommend installing the latest graphics card drivers. You'll also want to turn off Film Grain, Chromatic Aberration, Depth of Field, and Lens Flare.

It's also been found that turning down graphical settings such as Cascaded Shadow Resolution, Volumetric Fog Resolution, Volumetric Cloud Resolution, and Max Dynamic Decals a step below what the game automatically sets for you - so you'll want to bring them down to Medium or High if they're set to Ultra) - has been shown to give the most significant boost in frame rates with minimal image quality impact.

As for the console versions of Cyberpunk 2077 (outside of the base PlayStation 4 and Xbox One), we recommend playing the game in "Performance" mode for the best experience.

Lastly, this should already go without saying, but you should save your game often.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.
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