Attributes are what the five core stats in Cyberpunk 2077 are referred to.
Each attribute governs its own set of perks, with some requiring multiple points to upgrade, and some being single-activated buffs that usually boost one of the main perks.
Perks provide you with a range of different bonuses, as well as new abilities. If you're returning to Cyberpunk 2077 after some time away, update 2.0 has changed the perk system once again, taking out a lot of unnecessary nodes, and streamlining your choices - but it can still be overwhelming at the start if you're not sure how you want to build your V.
There are also skills you can work towards in the Skill Progression system, which give you boosts to your stats and unlock additional bonuses, like increased carrying capacity, health item effectiveness, no sway when crouched, and even bonus perk points. These are just a select few of the dozens of bonuses available with skills!
To help you in your new or returning Night City adventures, we've detailed how to earn attribute points and perk points in Cyberpunk 2077, and how to reset and respec perks and attributes, alongside our recommendations for the best perks in Cyberpunk 2077, and where to put your first attribute points during the character creation screen - which, alongside the life path choice, is one of the first things you'll do in the game.
On this page:
The best perks for new players in Cyberpunk 2077 2.0
If you're starting a new playthrough after update 2.0, we've rounded down a handful of some of the best perks on the Rookie and Pro perk levels below for you to use during the beginning hours, and throughout Act 1 (but most are useful throughout the entirety of the game!).
Although our initial recommendation is to not use any perk points at all until you experience combat, so you can get a feel for what type of build you want to master, there are some perks that are useful no matter what build you're aiming for.
With this in mind, here's the best perks for new players in Cyberpunk 2077 2.0:
- Painkiller (Body - Rookie) - Unlocks slow Health Regen in combat.
- Killer Instinct (Cool - Rookie) - +25% damage with knives, axes, and silenced guns outside of combat. They also provide a preview of estimated damage.
- Glutton For War (Technical Ability - Rookie) - +5% instant recharge of Health Items and grenades after neutralizing an enemy.
- Focus (Cool - Pro) - +10% headshot and weakspot damage at Level 1, and unlocks Focus mode at Level 2, which automatically activates when you aim while at full stamina. Focus activated grants no Stamina cost for shooting, lasts 2.5 seconds, and takes -40 Stamina when it ends.
- All Things Cyber (Technical Ability - Pro) - +10% to all cyberware stat modifiers at Level 1, and at Level 2 it grants -20% Cyberware Capacity cost for cyberware in the Integumentary System and Skeleton.
- Health Freak (Technical Ability - Pro) - At Level 1 grants +8% recharge speed for Health Items and grenades, at Level 2 grants +1 Health Item Charge, and at Level 3 grants +150% recharge speed for Health Items outside of combat.
- Dash (Reflex Ability - Pro) - At Level 1 grants -20% Stamina cost for dodging and Dashing, and at Level 2 unlocks the ability to Dash.
The best perks for returning players in Cyberpunk 2077 2.0
We still recommend picking the best perks for new players as mentioned above, but if you're a returning player picking up an old save file, all of your perk points will be reset (and you can reset your ability points once for free). So there's a lot more choice than there is for a new player, which can be understandably overwhelming.
We recommend narrowing your perk and ability points to focused builds - like going down the Intelligence route to be a netrunner, or the Cool route if you're a pistol and sniper fan. However, it's also a lot of fun to mix-and-match from each attribute's perk sets to create unique builds like a netrunning katana-master, or an SMG expert who likes to throw deadly knives once in a while.
With this in mind, skipping the perks already mentioned above and sticking to Phenom and Legend perks, here's the best perks for returning players in Cyberpunk 2077 2.0:
- Adrenaline Rush (Body, Phenom) - At Level 1 grants +35% Max Health, at Level 2 grants +20% Health Regen bonus to all Health Regen effects from all sources, and at Level 3 unlocks Adrenaline Rush mode, which gives +30% Max Health if using a Blood Pump cyberware (up to 50% Max Health).
- License to Chrome (Technical, Phenom) - At Level 1 grants +10% to all cyberware stat modifiers, at Level 2 grants +40% armor, and at Level 3 unlocks a new cyberwear slot for the Skeleton.
- Ticking Time Bomb (Technical, Legend) - Charges a powerful EMP that hits nearby enemies after 3 sec, whenever you activate Operating System cyberwear (Beserk, Sandevistan) or Overclock mode. Applies Stun and deals damage proportionate to the quantity and Tier of cyberwear implants you have installed. Additionally, gives -50% incoming damage while charging the EMP.
- Overclock (Intelligence, Phenom) - At Level 1 grants +10% RAM recovery rate, at Level 2 grants +10% quickhack damage, and at Level 3 unlocks Overclock mode. If you have a cyberdeck installed, press L1/LB and R1/RB together on consoles to activate Overclock mode, which lets you use quickhacks even with insufficient RAM, but each RAM unit over your max costs 10 Health instead.
- Ninjitsu (Cool, Phenom) - At Level 1 grants +15% crouch movement speed, at Level 2 grants +15% Mitigation Chance when crouched, and at Level 3 unlocks the ability to sprint while crouching. This consumes stamina, but you stay silent.
Remember, these are just the all-round best perks in Cyberpunk 2077, for more tailored builds, make sure to unlock perks that benefit your playstyle too - like increasing damage and crit rate for assault rifles if that's your go-to weapon of choice.
How to reset and respec perks and attributes in Cyberpunk 2077
Everyone gets a single attribute reset opportunity, but you can refund perks as often as you like.
To reset your V's attributes, go to the character pause menu and click the 'Reset Attributes' button to refund all of your spent attribute points. Remember, you can only do this once, so make sure you respec your attribute points wisely.
Perks used to cost Eurodollars to rest, but now it's free! You have to work in reverse order to reset them, however. So if you want to reset a main perk that has branches of perks coming off it - refund all of the branches to unlock the ability to refund the main perk.
To actually refund a perk and respec your character, press the Triangle button on PlayStation, or the 'Y' button on Xbox when highlighting a Perk. This gives you a perk point back to spend however you like, and you can refund and acquire perks as much as you like, as there is no limit.
You will also have your perks automatically refunded if you reset your attribute points.
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 routes; allow for certain in-game capabilities; and increase certain stats.
The Relic Power attribute is a unique Skill Tree exclusive to the paid Phantom Liberty DLC. If you plan on playing Phantom Liberty - don't worry, these take Relic Points, a different type of point resource you can only get in Dogtown, so you don't need to worry about saving attribute points to unlock its unique abilities.
The five main attributes and the effects they represent are:
- Body - Determines your raw physical power and fortitude. Progressing it improves your proficiency with shotguns, Light Machine Guns, and Blunt Weapons. You gain +2% Max Health per Attribute Point.
- Intelligence - Determines your netrunning abilities. Progressing it improves your proficiency with Smart Weapons and allows you to unleash your full potential as a netrunner. You gain +1 Max RAM per 4 Attribute Points.
- Reflexes - Determine your manoeuvrability and ability to evade enemy attacks. Progressing the Attribute improves your proficiency with Assault Rifles, Submachine Guns and Blades, and enables you to use advanced movements. You gain +0.5% Crit Chance per Attribute Point.
- Cool - Determines your assassination skills and stealth abilities. Progressing it improves your proficiency with Precision Rifles, Sniper Rifles, Handguns, and Throwable Weapons. You gain +1.25% Crit Damage per Attribute Point.
- Technical Ability - Determines your techie know-how. Progressing it improves your proficiency with Explosives and Tech Weapons and allows you to be compatible with high-end cyberware. You gain +2 Armor per Attribute Point.
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 tree.
This means that if your attribute is at Legend, then you can unlock any perk in that skill tree. You need to invest more attribute points to gain these skill tree levels.
Here's how many attribute points you need to invest to unlock each attribute skill tree level:
- Rookie - 4 attribute points
- Pro - 9 attribute points
- Phenom - 15 attribute points
- Legend - 20 attribute points
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 begin the prologue, you are then asked to distribute seven 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.
- You can hijack cars out in the open world with a Body stat of 4.
- You can open some locked doors for bonus routes or loot with a Technical stat between 7 and 9, or Body stat between 6 or 9.
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 Shinobi as an example: at level 15 you get an extra perk point to spend wherever you like, at level 20 a different dashing-related buff, and level 35 another free perk point becomes available, and so on until you reach the end level of 60.
To discover exactly when you can earn these additional perk points, head to the character pause menu and check the 'Skill Progression' option in the bottom right-hand corner.
Skills in Cyberpunk 2077 explained
Skills represent your ability in the various gameplay elements - from netrunning to stealth - that exist within Cyberpunk. In order to level up a skill, you need to perform actions related to it, or find special Shards.
Each attribute is linked to improving a single skill. For example, to increase your Shinobi skill, you can perform Reflex conversation and combat actions, like dashing. Whereas if you wanted to increase your netrunning skill, you can use quickhacks in combat, or to extract crafting materials and Eurodollars from various ports highlighted in red.
Skills have received a big change since Cyberpunk 2077's initial release, so now they're a very passive set of bonuses that you can improve by simply performing actions you would anyway.
Sometimes you'll come across special Skill Shards in loot or at shops, and when you do, be sure to get them! They can give your skills a big boost for simply picking them up.
Perks and perk trees in Cyberpunk 2077 explained
Perks are a selection of bonuses and new abilities that are housed in each skill tree.
Each of these five skill trees (Body, Reflexes, Technical Ability, Intelligence, and Cool) have their unique perks. To unlock these different perks you need to reach a specific level with the attribute that governs has the bonus you want.
For example, if you'd like to use the Slaughterhouse perk, which is part of the Reflexes skill tree, you need to reach invest the maximum of 20 Reflex Attribute Points to reach the Legend Level that this perk is on - and you need to unlock all the perks that come before it in the tree.
After unlocking a main perk, you can unlock its branching, smaller perks, but these aren't necessary for progressing to the main perks on the higher levels of a skill tree.
Good luck in Night City!