As much as picking the right dialogues choices or investing in your hacking skills can lead to more pacifist routes, the best Cyberpunk 2077 weapons will always have your back for when situations inevitably go south.
There's plenty of them scattered throughout Night City. Pretty much all enemies will drop them as loot upon death, but finding powerful weaponry requires some extra legwork, especially if you're going for legendary and iconic weapons.
This list includes weapons for each category that you can obtain both early and late in Cyberpunk 2077.
Bear in mind that stats and rarities can differ depending on your current level when you pick some of these weapons, as well as the quantity of mod slots. But, it's possible to reroll these by saving the game before picking it up and loading it until you're happy with the result.
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Cyberpunk 2077 crafting and upgrading weapons explained
Before we get into the categories, as well as stats and rarities differing when you pick up these weapons which you can reroll by saving before hand (as mentioned above), remember picking up one of these weapons doesn't mean that you'll be stuck with their stats forever.
Always make sure to check for any slots, which can then be customised at will with any cool mods you've found, as well as scopes and muzzles. But if you really want to (quite literally) take them to the next level, you can actually upgrade them in the Crafting menu.
For this, we recommend investing points into Technical Ability and unlock abilities in the Crafting skill tree.
Always keep an eye on the requirements - for example, you will only be able to craft Legendary blueprints once you're at level 18, unlocking the Edgerunner Artisan ability. If you happen to be low on crafting resources, check your local vendor for them - these are usually fairly cheap.
With that done, here are our best weapon recommendations by category...
Cyberpunk 2077 best precision rifle recommendations
Precision rifles might seem like the odd choice in the bunch, but they carry a lot of firepower - just don't try to use them like an automatic weapon, as they showcase the most of their capabilities when you charge each shot.
Details: This is a powerful weapon that can be further increased with a Scope Slot. Always make sure to charge your fire to release a more powerful shot than usual.
How to get: You can obtain the M-179E Achilles Precision Rifle in different ways. For us, it was part of the loot from an enemy, so there's a chance that this will appear for you as you play.
But, you can also find the blueprint in the Afterlife's roof (climbing over a fence and onto a higher roof with a chest in its farther end) and in a weapon shop in City Center.
From the Halsey and MLK fast travel point, just head across the street until you're facing an elevator - choose the fourth floor and head inside the Rifles and Pistols shop. The price will vary depending on your level.
Details: This is an interesting one. It actually fires two projectiles per shot, as well as dealing Chemical damage that can lead to Poison. We recommend picking up Widowmaker even if you're not into Precision Rifles - this one might change your mind.
How to get: The Widowmaker Precision Rifle can be found during the Ghost Town mission with Panam. Keep in mind that you might miss the chance to grab this weapon if you don't agree to help with her revenge.
If you have accepted it, then storm Nash's base and, once the battle is over, you can loot the weapon from his body.
Cyberpunk 2077 best sniper rifle recommendations
The action in Cyberpunk 2077 can be chaotic at times, but that doesn't mean you can't bring a sniper rifle with you.
As per usual, headshots will be your bread and butter here, but in case you miss the target, in most cases elemental damage should be enough to finish the job.
Details: This weapon has Smart Link functionality, as well as high Thermal damage and a chance to cause Burn to enemies.
How to get: The Ashura Sniper Rifle can be obtained during The Pickup, a mission fairly early on into the game, which makes this a great weapon to have. Inside the Maelstrom facility, just before you're about to take the Flathead check for the safe on the floor, right next to a codex entry. Inside you'll find Ashura.
Details: This is one of the best weapons you can obtain in the game, and one we always stick to. It's great for headshots thanks to its Headshot damage multiplier, comes with an increased reload speed and custom silencer right off the bat, and does absurd damage.
Even if you're unsure about your sniping skills, the visor is really helpful (and yes, it looks very similar to the one Widowmaker from Overwatch uses, hence the name.)
How to get: The Overwatch Sniper Rifle can be obtained during Riders on the Storm, one of Panam's missions. Right by the end as she's sitting on her motorcycle, she will say "one last thing: your compensation" and you'll have the task to grab the weapon.
Cyberpunk 2077 best pistol recommendations
Pistols might not be the primary choice for many, but the ones in Cyberpunk 2077 carry lots of hidden potential, granting you a swift and powerful weapon that can withstand several enemy groups without a flinch.
Details: We can't recommend this weapon enough. It not only carries Thermal damage, but can also be charged to release multiple shots one after the other, similar to the Precision Rifles. It also includes a Headshot damage multiplier and a chance to cause Burn on enemies.
How to get: This powerful pistol can be found during the Automatic Love main job. Just before meeting up with Judy (you will see a red server room) turn back towards the skull graffiti on the wall - Lizzie is waiting to be picked up on the table's corner.
Details: It's a really powerful gun specialised in Shock damage, but it's in its Smart Link functionality where it really shines - the constant chatter might be a benefit or a curse, depending on how big of a Rihanna fan you are.
How to get: You'll see a Side Job south from the College St. fast travel point and slightly northwest from the weapon job. There's a rather short alleyway in the area, and your only task is to get near a body next to a suitcase.
Grab Skippy and follow the rather peculiar steps to set it up. You can choose between two firing modes for its Smart Link functionality, meaning that the weapon will automatically aim at the head or at body extremities, categorised as Stone Cold Killer and Puppy-Loving Pacifist, respectively. The weapon's level scales with the player and it carries two mod slots.
Malorian Arms 3516
Details: The Malorian Arms 3516 is, hands down, one of the best weapons in Cyberpunk 2077. It's fast, reliable, and as stylish as its former owner.
It comes with Ricochet functionality, thermal damage, and Headshot damage multiplier, as well as four mod slots in case you wanted to make it even more powerful. Last but not least, V's melee attack will change whilst you're holding the pistol, doing an arch of fire with the left arm instead.
How to get: This weapon can be obtained during the end of Chippin' In (one of Johnny's missions) and don't worry about missing it. Just get to the Ebunike with Rogue and defeat Grayson. You will then be able to grab the Malorian Arms 3516 from the ground.
Cyberpunk 2077 best submachine gun recommendations
Similar to pistols, you shouldn't be underestimating submachine guns. Their quick fire and bullet spread can get you through anything, especially with high critical and elemental damage.
Details: Not only it has a neat looking design, but it's a powerful weapon to have, especially early on in the game. It has a Ricochet functionality as well as Thermal damage, as well as increased bullet impact and reduced spread. Just keep the high recoil in mind.
How to get: This weapon requires you to complete a side job, which will be marked in the map from Act 1. In the northern side of Watson near the docks you'll find a monk speaking to himself.
Talk to him to begin the quest, and then storm the Maelstrom HQ. Once it's over, talk to his brother and, just over the table besides him, you'll find Fenrir.
Prototype: Shingen Mark V
Details: This is a jack of all trades. It has Smart Link functionality, Thermal damage, both high Critical Chance and damage, and Headshot damage multiplier.
How to get: This weapon can be found inside a container with the number 667 in Arasaka Industrial Park. We recommend you picking this up after the main mission that involves said location.
From the fast travel point, head towards that main entrance (which is right in front of said checkpoint) and walk all the way straight. Bear in mind that there were enemies waiting for us, but depending on your level it shouldn't be hard to get through them.
As you're getting close to the farther end, look to the right side to find an opened container. Deactivate the explosive mine either by hacking or by doing so manually, and grab the Prototype: Shingen Mark V inside.
Cyberpunk 2077 best assault rifle recommendations
Assault Rifles might seem fairly standard at first, but once you see them in action with the Ricochet or Smart Link functionalities, they're guaranteed to become a top choice during gunfights.
Details: This Assault Rifle carries a Ricochet functionality, as well as slots for Scope and Muzzle.
How to get: The M251S Ajax assault rifle can be found during the Automatic Love main job in Act 2. At one point you will face Woodman, although keep in mind that this encounter can go in different ways.
If you end up having to fight him, don't worry, since the reward will be a rather powerful weapon to have in your inventory.
Divided We Stand
Details: Divided We Stand carries the Smark Link functionality, which is always a great tool to have, but it also includes Chemical damage, and both Critical and Poison chance. There's also a Mod Slot in there for added bonus mayhem.
How to get: The Divided We Stand assault rifle can be found during the Stadium Love side job, for which you should have already completed Playing for Time.
This mission has a series of steps - you'll be taking part of four shooting ranges with a goal of 44 targets to take down.
But before each one you'll drink a shot. In our experience this didn't affect our shooting that much, only the vision, but it should be straightforward enough. Once it's over, return to the NPC and you'll obtain the assault rifle as a reward.
Cyberpunk 2077 best shotgun recommendations
There's an interesting variety when it comes to shotguns in Cyberpunk 2077. Some of them are more lightweight and can be shot several times in a short time, but others, counting with either Ricochet or Smart Link capabilities, can really turn situations on your favor with brute force.
Details: The M2038 Tactician comes packed with Ricochet functionality, four mod slots, and high Thermal damage that can lead to Burn.
How to get: You can find this weapon inside a chest in an enemy hideout. Taking the Longshore South fast travel checkpoint as reference, head south towards the big three "houses" on the map, and face north. You will immediately get a notice for crime activity.
Either take down or sneak past through and climb the yellow stairs on the right side around the centre of the hideout. Climb, head all the way to the other side, and you'll see the chest right before the end of the roof, hidden behind a big box with an antenna on top.
Ba Xing Chong
Details: The Ba Xing Chong fires explosive rounds and is joined by Smart Link functionality. Except a high Critical damage chance as well as Bleed. Most importantly, it has a higher DPS than your regular shotgun. Just keep in mind that you'll need to have Technical Ability at level 18 in order to unlock the Edgerunner Artisan ability, which allows V to craft Legendary items.
Requirements: This is one of the most powerful shotguns in Cyberpunk 2077, but it has a big catch. It's only a blueprint, and you can only grab it after you've beaten the main story (the final boss will grant you an access card).
Alternate option: You can obtain a less fancy version of this shotgun at the weapon shop in City Centre (from the Halsey and MLK fast travel point, just head across the street until you're facing an elevator - choose the fourth floor and head inside the Rifles and Pistols shop.
The price will vary depending on your level), but this is still a worthy weapon to pursue in the post-game.
How to get: The location is inside a secret room during the end of the Chippin' In job. Just on the opposite side of the ship from where you confront Grayson, you'll see a locked room.
But don't fret, just scan the door lock on the left and choose the remote deactivation option. Once inside you will find a couple weapons on the farther end, as well as a chest on the floor with the blueprint.