The character creation system in Cyberpunk 2077 is an extremely detailed series of modules designed to give the player an extraordinary amount of freedom in determining exactly who their iteration of V is going to be.
The team at CD Projekt Red has been touting an unrivaled RPG experience, and their design philosophy has led to a staggeringly personalized experience that has the potential to be drastically different for each player who chips in.
The Character Creation system in Cyberpunk 2077 is broken down into four distinct sections: Lifepath, Body, Appearance, and Attributes.
Lifepath - Cyberpunk 2077 Character:
The first choice a new player will face is the decision of which path their character's life has followed. There are three distinct Lifepath choices: Nomad, Street Kid, and Corporate.
All three have an immediate effect on how the story is going to unfold, as well as certain lifepath specific in-game benefits, such as special dialogue options.
This section essentially fills out V’s backstory and serves as the building block that the rest of the system is formed upon. See the Lifepaths section for all the details.
Body - Cyberpunk 2077 Character:
The Body section pertains to the physical make-up of V and establishes the body-type that the player will begin the game with. This includes things such as height, weight, and gender.
Here, you will decide if V is going to be a head-bashing mass of muscle or someone that relies solely on cybernetic enhancements to get through dangerous situations.
This section does not include any of the aesthetic choices that play into V’s look and personality. However, according to the in-game menus, the body type you choose may have a direct effect on how other characters view and react to V.
Appearance - Cyberpunk 2077 Character:
“In Night City, Looks Are Everything.”
Separate from the Body section, Appearance pertains to the aesthetic choices the player makes. Here, the sheer number of areas that are available to customize is quite astonishing.
You will find the basic selections that form a character's appearance, with a particular focus on extreme facial customization.
You will also be able to choose the basic Cyberware you begin with. Some of the early Cyberware seem to be aesthetic choices only, though even more customization becomes available later in the game at places like the Ripper Doc. That is not to say the creation system is lacking, on the contrary, the choices from the outset are present to come up with nearly limitless permeations.
The selections available in the character creation system are on par with the most advanced RPGs out there today. Hairstyles, hair color, scars, Cyberware... basically all the general options one would expect from a game of this caliber.
Attributes & Skill Tree - Cyberpunk 2077 Character:
Like most RPG, character creation in Cyberpunk 2077 goes beyond appearance into the traits that make them more than an avatar for the player, and more akin to a living, breathing creation.
The Character Skill Tree in Cyberpunk 2077 is divided into 4 main layers, with the following hierarchy order: 1) Overall Level 2) Attributes 3) Skills 4) Perks.
Cyberpunk 2077 features a “fluid class system,” where players are able to put points across 5 different main areas, which are called Attributes. The attributes chosen for the player's character are point-based, and can each reach a maximum level of 20. Attributes regulate certain Skills, and each Skill unlocks Perks.
- The Overall Character Level increases general player stats and reward Attribute Points and Perk Points.
- The 5 Main Attributes are: Body, Reflexes, Technical Ability, Intelligence, Cool. Attributes are leveled-up with Attribute points.
- Skills are specific tabs connected to each Attribute. Skills are leveled-up by performing actions that use a certain Skill, and you can't level a skill beyond the respective Attribute level.
- Perks are special abilities or upgrades related to each Skill. Perks are leveled up with Perk points.
Cyberpunk 2077 Character Attributes & Skills List:
The following are the 5 Main Attributes at your disposal for your Cyberpunk 2077 character, along with the respective Skills that each attribute regulates:
Body determines your raw physical power. In addition to allowing you to force open doors, each level of Body (starting from level 3) will:
- Add 5 Health and 3 Stamina points
- Increase damage with fists and Gorilla Arms by 3
- Increase damage with melee weapons by 1.5%
- Decrease movement penalty while grabbing an enemy and wielding an HMG by 6%
- Increase movement while grappling an enemy and enemy grapple duration by 5 sec.
- Skills: Athletics, Annihilation, Street Brawler
Intelligence determines your net-running proficiency. Every level of Intelligence will:
- Increase cyberdeck RAM capacity by 4%
- Increase quick-hack damage by 0.5%
- Increase quick-hack duration by 1%.
- Skills: Quickhacking, Breach Protocol
Reflexes determine your reaction speed.
- They directly affect your Evasion, with each level increasing your chance to avoid enemy attacks by 1%
- Reflexes also increase Crit Chance by 1% and Mantis Blade damage by 3% per level as well as improving your overall attack speed and movement speed.
- This Attribute affects your overall proficiency with Rifles, Pistols and Revolvers.
- Your level in Reflexes also slightly affects how quickly you gain experience for related skills.
- Skills: Assault, Handguns, Blades
Technical Ability Attribute
Technical Ability determines how much of a tech specialist you are.
- It improves your proficiency in crafting items (especially weapons), as well as your proficiency with Tech weapons and effectiveness against drones, mechs and robots in combat.
- Each level increases your Armor by 5%.
- Your Technical Ability also unlocks unique dialogue options and opens new pathways for you around the world.
- Skills: Crafting, Engineering
Cool determines your resilience, composure and effectiveness in operating from stealth. Each level of Cool will:
- Increase Crit Damage by 2%
- Increase all Resistances by 1%
- Increase stealth damage by 10%
- Reduce the speed at which enemies detect you in stealth by 0.5%
- Increase monowire damage by 3.
- Skills: Stealth, Cold Blood
Investing points in each Attribute allows you to level-up specific Skills. On top of that, each Skill has unique Perks attached to it.
Cyberpunk 2077 Character Perks:
Where things get truly interesting is in the Perk section, which consists of a series of optional abilities and enhancements contained within each Skill section.
For example, the Reflexes Attributes area is broken down into three Skills tabs based on weapon style, including Handguns, Rifles, and Blades. Each Skill tab contains multiple perks that will affect many different areas of play. We will continue to update this section as more information becomes available.
Further Character Customization
Cyberpunk 2077 Clothing:
Once your character is created, V can be customized with several clothing and armor options, and it appears that many of these will feature passive upgrades to the character. V’s Samurai jacket can be seen to increase V’s Street Cred leveling speed by 5%, as well as providing resistance to several forms of damage.
Like CDPR’s previous game, The Witcher 3, gear will feature a tiered system that rates its quality. For example, the aforementioned jacket is listed as Uncommon. It's safe to assume there will be a similar system to that in The Witcher.
Ripper Docs and Enhanced Cyberware:
Cyberpunk 2077 is a game that takes place in an extremely violent world, one in which the characters around you have modified their bodies so as to be both unrecognizable and invincible. So, this being a cyberpunk game, it is only right that V should be able to partake in these same Cyberware enhancements.
These alterations will be carried out at one of the games Ripper Docs, which are merchants that specialize in exactly the kind of “enhancements” that V will need to take on the world of Cyberpunk 2077.
The extent of customization, once again, is amazing. The most recent gameplay trailers feature a brief look at the Cyberware customization screen, which shows V as having gone to a Ripper Doc by the name of Dr. Chrome. At this fine purveyor of the cyber, V can have nearly his entire body augmented if they so desire.
The list of possible areas of upgrade include the frontal cortex, the circulatory and immune systems, and the ocular area, just to name a few.
These upgrades serve as just another addition to this incredible design philosophy created by CD Projekt Red.