Cyberpunk 2077

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About this mod

The strongest build I could make. This build has over 7.4k armor while still dealing 2x17k damage on average each shot with assault weapons. I did a lot of in game testing to see what works best, because not everything is as good as it seems on paper. Full details are in the description.

Permissions and credits
The Core Build:
The first part of the build revolves around getting 7.2k+ armor. Why that specific amount you might ask? Because it is the sweet spot where enemies only deal 1dmg with each shot on very hard difficulty. Anything less and you will notice losing health quite a bit faster. Both Technical Ability and Body need to be at level 18 in order to reach this desired armor threshold. 

The second part revolves around the quickhack Short Circuit. The legendary version applies its damage for each critical hit with a weapon. The bonus damage it provides is significant. Further increasing Short Circuits damage is beneficial to increase the overall damage output. Especially the Critical Error perk provides a lot of damage. Level 16 Intelligence is essential and will give around 90% of the total damage output. 

Images Explanation:
In the images I added colors to the stats, perks and cyberware. Blue means it is has a defensive implication and red is geared towards offense. Some skills and attributes have stars which are considered very important for the build to work.

Video showcase:
Below a video which shows the potential of this build. I made some adjustments in this version, but the core stays the same. 
Cyberpunk 2077 min-maxed build showcase short circuit op


The Attributes:
Below I will explain the most important skill and attributes you need for the build. I will only go over the essential parts of the build. 

18 Crafting / Technical Ability:
Crafting could be considered the strongest skill tree in the game. It allows you to reach very high armor stats and it also provides the ability to upgrade the strongest weapons to its maximum potential. The highest tier is legendary. To be able to craft the required legendary Armadillo mods you need level 18 crafting and the Edgerunner Artisan perk. Armor won't increase after level 18 technical ability so it is not worth investing more points into it. 

18 Athletics / Body
The Body attribute has some strong cyberware which make you hard to kill. However the main reason for going 18 in Body is to get a total of 16% armor increase. More armor percentages mean less armor mods needed, which free up space for offensive clothing mods. I highly recommend the perk Divided Attention. It is very annoying to reload in walking pace and in combat it can be lethal. Maxing the Body attribute is not worth it. 
16 Quickhacking / Intelligence
Intelligence has some essential cyberware to increase critical chance and damage. Another essential part of the build is the perk Critical Error. The perk allows Short Circuit to critical hit on weapons. It is what makes this build possible. Bloodware 3 and the Netwatch Netdriver MK.5 will futher increase Short Circuits damage. Level 16 is perfect to get the essentials. Increasing Intelligence further will increase the overall damage, but it is not the best way to get more damage. The Cool attribute offers an even better damage increase.  
12 Assault / Reflexes
You don’t need high Reflexes to have strong slow time cyberware. Kerenzikov for example. It has an very low cooldown and used at the right time, enemies won’t hit you while you hit them. From all the weapon types Assault is the strongest. It has the best iconic weapons, fastest reload speed and kills enemies the fastest. Most perks in the Assault tree give small damage increases which will accumulate to one big damage increase. It is worth to get 12 Reflexes primarily to get the reload speed perks. After that there are better ways to increase damage.

7 Stealth / Cool
Cool can be seen as the worst attribute in the game. All the cyberware from this tree are bad and most perks are situational or have insignificant impact. Why put points into it then? Because taking the Assissan perk will improve the damage quite significantly. It is not as strong as Critical Error, but it will be at second place. Both perks will improve the damage from Short Circuit as well as the weapon damage itself. As a bonus Cold Blood level 6 gives some more health. 


Weapon Loadout:
There are a lot of weapons in Cyberpunk 2077. Some are better than others. Down below I have chosen the optimal weapon loadout where each weapon has a different purpose. 

Prototype: Shingen Mark V / best overall weapon 
The fastest weapon in the game to kill enemies and bosses. It shoots projectiles to multiple enemies at once. This iconic weapon is also a smart weapon so you don't have to aim with it. The weapons shoots in burst fire which means it is more conservative with ammo compared to full auto rifles. It also means you have to reload less often. To kill a group of three enemies a full auto weapon uses around half its magazine size. The Prototype: Shingen Mark V on the other hand only needs three bullets and one pull of the trigger. It is the most efficient weapon to use in most situations. The faster enemies die, the higher your chance on survival and the better the weapon performs. 

Buzzsaw / best stealth weapon
One of the few weapons that can shoot directly through walls. Best used in combination with legendary Ping quickhack. Has a very fast fire rate just like other assault weapons. It can kill a whole bunch of enemies through walls without them having time to react. A silencer is a necessity in stealth operations. Once spotted or if there are no good hiding places it is better to switch to the Prototype: Shingen Mark V.

Moron Labe / best ranged weapon
The Moron Labe can shoot the same distance as any sniper rifle in the game. However this assault weapon is much faster at killing enemies compared to a sniper rifle. It also has less recoil, a higher magazine size and a faster reloading speed. Although the weapon is fully automatic it is recommended to pull the trigger only once after each shot. This way you will have a lot of bullets before needing to reload. When enemies spot you it is recommended to switch to the Prototype: Shingen Mark V.


The Modifications:
Weapon modifications play a big role in the game. But which ones are the best? I will explain that down below.  

Weapon modifications 
Assault weapons have a relatively low base damage compared to for example a sniper rifle. That is why an assault rifle or an submachine gun benefits a lot from Crunch mods which increase the base damage value. In fact it is the best mod to take on this weapon type. Why put a Countermass mod on stealh and ranged weapons you ask? Because both weapons are used in scenarios where you need to have a steady aim with every shot. Smart weapons are the opposite and don't need aiming at all. 

Clothing modifications 
To get a minimum of 7.2k armor sixteen Armadillo mods are required. But why put three Fortuna mods and only one Deadeye mod on the clothing when the weapon itself will also add 40% crit chance? The reason is that the weapon damage is not nearly as important compared to Short Circuits damage. Therefor you want as much as possible crit chance to get as consistent possible high damage output. On average going max crit chance will give the best results in damage. 


The Cyberware:
Here is a ranking with the cyberware used in this build with a quick explanation:

S: Essential
- Netwatch Netdriver MK.5A cyberdeck is required to equip legendary Short Circuit. It has a bonus 30% quickhack damage. 
- Limbic System EnhancementAdding 25% crit chance is huge for any build. 15 Intelligence is a small price to pay for this. 
- Subdermal Armor             Adds 200 armor without any requirements. Armor is important to any build.  
- Smart Link   Smart assault weapons deal the most damage on average. This is required to equip them. 
- Reinforced Tendons  Best item to increase maneuverability. No requirements. Every build needs it.  

A: Amazing
- Kerenzikov   Strongest slow time cyberware in the game. Can be used multiple times during combat. 
- Bioconductor      Allows cyberware like Kerenzikov to be used even more often. Also more cheat death active. 
- Relfex TunerBest cheat death cyberware. Adds time to heal and reposition when very low on health.
- Fireproof Coating      Become immune to Overheat quickhack. Situational, but it will save your life. 

B: Strong
- Visual Cortex Support     Adds 45% crit damage. Second best Frontal Cortex cyberware. Crit chance is harder to get still.
- Kiroshi Optics MK.3  Free damage increases and some utility. Any build will equip this. 
- Synaptic Signal Optimizer      More health means easier staying alive and healing will become stronger. 
- Second Heart     Helps against getting one-shotted, but with high cooldown. Cheating death is always strong.  
- Biomonitor  Its cheat death cyberware so it is strong. Enough said. 

C: Decent
- Heal-On-Kill Doesn't heal much, but it is instant so it will keep you alive a little longer. 
- Optical Camo     Situational, because enemies still hear where you are. It is instant so it is still decent. 

D: Weak
- Detoxifier     Can't think of any moment this has been useful, but it is better then nothing. 
- Gorilla ArmsThe only practical Arms cyberware, which is still not great. Very situational and not needed.  
- Bionic Lungs       More stamina is not very useful. It is a flat stat increase so still better then melee cyberware. 
- Cataresist    Only here to fill up the slot. Won't accidently kill civilians unlike Shock-N-Awe.  


Not everyting is as good as it seems when used in practice. Down below I will go over the overrated weapons, cyberware and perks. 

- All tech weaponsShaking while aiming, charge time, no silencer. Recommend to use wall penetrating weapons instead. 
- Divided We Stand      Good weapon but weaker/slower compared too the Yinlong and 
the Prototype: Shingen Mark V.
- Ashura   Small range for a sniper rifle and one of the slowest weapons in the game. It is a very bad weapon. 
- Satori     Strongest melee weapon. However melee combat is suboptimal, because it is slow and risky. 
- Overwatch    Best sniper rifle, but still bad compared to assault rifles. See 
Moron Labe for an explanation.  
- Fenrir     Damage over time is bad since you can just one-shot enemies. Doesn't have wall penetration.

- All RAM cyberware    The RAM increases are unnecessary after three points into Biosynergy perk and a good cyberdeck.
- Sandevistan A cyberdeck with Short Circuit is a lot stronger. This is not always active and deals way less damage.  
- Projectile Launch SystemVery slow to use and hard to aim with. 
- Blood pump Body has some great cyberware, such a waste of a slot. Basically a MaxDoc with a big cooldown. 
- Bioplatic Blood Vessels   Outside combat healing is bad, because you won't be at risk of dying. Just use a MaxDoc. 
- Shock-N-Awe      You need to be in melee range for this to work properly which is bad. Can also kill civilians accidently. 
- Synaptic Accelerator Only works once each combat encounter. Slow time when in danger or whenever you want is better. 
- All melee cyberware         Avoid melee as much as possible. It is much less forgiving/optimal compared to a ranged playstyle.   
- Fortified Ankles  Use the 
Reinforced Tendons instead. They are easier and faster to use.

- All Cold Blood perks          All the bonusses from Cold Blood are weak even with max stacks. All other trees provide more.
- Assault lvl12+ perks   Mostly useless perks after lvl12 and only a couple that increase damage a bit.   
- Behind cover perks     Situational and something you can't rely on. The perks without conditions are better.
- Body health regen perks   The healing doesn't start increasing fast enough to make a difference.
- Craft reducing cost perks These perks won't help in combat. It is also easy to get rich in this game anyway. 
- All Breach Protocol perks Breach Protocol only works in certain occasions. Just like the RAM cyberware it is unnecessary. 


Below I will explain some questions you might have.  

How can I test the build myself?
In the optional download I added a save file to test the build against enemies. In this area there are a lot of enemies near each other. 

Why are the Arms cyberware not equipped?
The Arms cyberware look ugly and are unnecessary especially in this build. Only the Gorilla Arms do have a practical use. 

How would you rank the different weapon types?
Assault weapons are definitly the strongest. Handguns are decent. Sniper rifles, shotguns and melee weapons are bad. 

Where to put the save file?
The save file location is "C:\Users\{username}\Saved Games\CD Projekt Red\Cyberpunk 2077".