Attributes are what the five core stats in Cyberpunk 2077 are referred to.
Each attribute governs its own set of skills and each individual skill has its own set of perks, which will provide you with a variety of bonuses and new abilities.
Below you'll discover everything you need to know about the various attributes, skills and perks, along with how to earn both attribute and perk points in Cyberpunk 2077, and our recommendations for where to put your first attribute points during the character creation screen explained - which, alongside the life path choice, is one of the first things you'll do in the game.
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Attributes in Cyberpunk 2077 explained
The core attributes in Cyberpunk 2077 are the five main stats that your skills are divided amongst. They do three things: govern specific perk progression trees; allow for certain in-game capabilities; and increase certain stats. These attributes and the effects they represent are:
- Body - Governs Athletics, Annihilation, Street Brawler perk trees. Dictates whether you can rip open certain locked doors and other feats. Increases max health, stamina, unarmed damage, melee damage, reduces movement penalties and bullet spread
- Intelligence - Governs Breach Protocol and Quickhacking perk trees. Dictates whether you can hack certain terminals. Increases Cyberdeck RAM (a bit like 'mana') capacity by 4% , quickhack damage, and quickhack duration.
- Reflexes - Governs the Assault, Handguns and Blades perk trees. Increases movement speed, evasion, crit chance, and Mantis Blade damage.
- Cool - Governs the Stealth and Cold Blood perk trees. Allows for certain cool-headed dialogue choices. Increases crit damage, all resistances, stealth damage, monowire damage, reduces enemy detection speed.
- Technical Ability - Governs the Crafting and Engineering perk trees. Allows you to unlock certain doors, use tech weapons and turrets. Increases armor by 5%.
As well as providing new capabilities and passive stat boosts, like higher Body level granting higher max health, your attribute level also controls the maximum level you can achieve in each individual skill.
This means that if your Reflexes attribute is at level five, for example, then the maximum level you can achieve in the Blades skill is also level five. If you want to obtain Blades level six, then you need to increase the level of your Reflexes attribute, which is achieved by investing attribute points into it. Most individual perks also have a level requirement for the related attribute in order to be unlocked, too.
Levelling up an attribute will also provide you with a passive stat boost; investing in the Body attribute, for example, will increase your maximum health.
All of the attributes have a maximum level of 20.
Where to put your first attribute points in Cyberpunk 2077
When you start Cyberpunk 2077, you create your own version of V, from deciding a life path to setting their appearance.
Before you then begin the prologue, you are asked to distrubute 7 points amongst the five skill types - Body, Intelligence, Reflexes, Technical Ability and Cool.
You can only set three points into one type at this point in the game (progressing a skill from 3 points to 6 points max), meaning you have to distribute them around to a certain degree.
Based on our experience in the game, your choice here doesn't matter too much, as the prologue is linear and gentle enough that you won't be tested in any particular direction that your skill points will make a difference. By the time it ends, a small segment of Night City (which is under partial lockdown to begin with) is available, which is where some skill points might be helpful, but not integral. In short - you have plenty of time to scope out your character, even a few hours in, so go with what sounds attractive and just try to specialise a little if you know how you want to play in advance.
That said, there are some minor things in the opening hours available to you if you do have skill points levelled in them which could prove useful. These include:
- Reflexes and Cool (at 4 and 6 points respectively) tends to open up certain additional dialogue choices, at least in the early game.
- The ability to disarm a mine (an additional option during the free Brick quest during The Pickup) with 7 points Technical Points.
- You can hijack cars out in the open world with a Body stat somewhere between 4 and 6.
Note the above isn't exhaustive of every possible outcome or life path in the first few hours of the game - but does give you an idea of where allocating points early could be useful.
How to earn attribute and perk points in Cyberpunk 2077
If you want to level up a perk or an attribute in Cyberpunk 2077 after initially creating your own version of V, then you're going to need to earn some attribute or perk points.
Each time you level up V, you gain one Attribute point and one Perk point, so you can upgrade one core stat and one specific perk of choice.
You can also earn additional perk points by levelling up specific skills to a certain number. Every skill has its own rewards for levelling that skill up, so to take Blades as an example again: at level 3 Blades you get an extra perk point to spend wherever you like, at level 4 a different blade-related buff, level 5 another free perk point, and so on.
To discover exactly when you can earn these additional perk points, head to any of the skills and check the skill progression rewards bar in the bottom left-hand corner.
Skills in Cyberpunk 2077 explained
Skills represent your ability in the various gameplay elements - from crafting to combat - that exist within Cyberpunk.
Each attribute has a number of skills assigned to it, which you can find below:
- Street Brawler
- Cold Blood
- Breach Protocol
Skills are levelled by collecting enough skill proficiency experience, which is earned by performing an action associated with that skill. If you want to level up your Blades skill, for example, then you need to use knives, katanas, Mantis Blades, or other blade weaponry in combat to earn Blades proficiency experience.
It's important to remember that the maximum level you can reach in any skill is dependent on your current level for the attribute that skill is associated with. This means that, if you wish to have a certain level in a particular skill, you must ensure that you've invested enough attribute points into the specific attribute it's associated with.
Each skill contains its own perk tree, which you can invest in as well. You will also receive skill progression rewards as you level up each individual skill.
For more help with Cyberpunk 2077, we have pages on systems such as Cyberpunk 2077 life paths, Cyberpunk 2077 attributes, stealing cars, money making, XP levelling, Street Cred, best Cyberpunk 2077 armour and clothing, best Cyberpunk 2077 weapons, romance options. As for missions, we have a main story quest list, and how to complete early-game objectives such as freeing Brick, whether to pay back Viktor in Paid In Full, the The Information Braindance, how to wait for lockdown, Cyberpsycho Sightings, Tarot Card locations, and Johnny Silverhand items. We also have explainers for Cyberpunk 2077 endings, how long to beat Cyberpunk 2077, whether you can change appearance later in Cyberpunk 2077, Cyberpunk 2077 PC specs, photo mode and Cyberpunk 2077 Trophies and Achievements.
Perks and perk trees in Cyberpunk 2077 explained
Perks are a selection of bonuses or new abilities that are assigned to a particular skill in Cyberpunk 2077.
Each skill has a unique perk tree, which is accessible at any time, and allows you to view all the bonuses and abilities each perk can give you. To unlock these perks, however, you need to reach a specific level with the attribute that governs the skill associated with the perk.
For example, if you'd like to use the Divided Attention perk, which is part of the Athletics skill, you will need to reach Level 11 on the Body attribute.
The more points you invest in a particular attribute, the more perks will be available to you.
After unlocking a perk, its bonuses or abilities are earned by investing perk points. Depending on the perk, these bonuses can then be increased by investing further perk points to level up the perk.