Last updated on December 19th, 2020
In this Cyberpunk 2077 Build Guide I’ll be showing you my Big Brain Build which is a Build that has a heavy emphasis on the use of the Short Circuit Quickhack to shock the hell out of enemies. This might be one of the most broken Builds in the game, and if you like to Quickhack but don’t want your damage to suffer with guns or melee weapons then this is the Build for you.
Cyberpunk 2077 Builds: Big Brain (Netrunner Hybrid) Character Guide Weapons Perks
The way the Big Brain Build works is that it takes advantage of the Legendary version of Short Circuit, which shocks enemies when you Critically Hit them with a Weapon. This means that every single Critical Hit will not only deal its own damage, but additional damage based on your Short Circuit Damage and your Critical Hit multiplier as well. EVERY SINGLE ONE.
If you can get your Critical Hit Chance to 100%, which is not overly difficult to do then you can get this extra damage on every single shot you fire. If you’re playing a Stealth Build maybe you want to use a silenced pistol, well now you don’t even have to aim for the head to kill enemies, just kneecap them and down they go with very little aiming involved. But what’s even better is you can use this with Smart Weapons and you don’t even have to aim, just point and fire once and everything dies! Shotguns, however, only count as one shot, even though there are multiple pellets.
In order to get this Legendary Quickhack you need to max out Intelligence in order to unlock the Bartmoss’ Legacy Perk which allows you to craft this, but that’s ok, because each point into Intelligence passively increases the damage of Short Circuit anyway, so it’s win /win. Just crank Intelligence from the very beginning of the game, and once you hit 20 it’s instant win time. You can also use other Quickhacks along the way if you want, though it won’t be needed once you have this.
Big Brain Attributes
The Attributes needed for this Build are Intelligence and nothing else really, but anything that helps Critical Chance is good, and the best way to do that is by maxing out Cool in order to get the final bonus from Cold Blood. This will take you a long time though, since you’d need 20 points into Intelligence and then 20 more into Cool, but it will yield the most total damage. If you’d rather not wait that long, then you should go with Reflexes in order to pump the damage of the gun type you are using and to gain some Critical Chance as well.
Your Attribute Points should look something like this:
- Intelligence: 20
- Cool or Reflexes: 20
You’ll need to max out Intelligence before this build really takes off, so you’ll rush that as quick as you can. Then you can begin pumping Cool or Reflexes as you see fit. Cool has a better pay off in the long run, but you’ll see more immediate impact with Reflexes.
Big Brain Perks
In this section we’ll take a look at what Perks you should acquire in order to get the best performance from this Build. Intelligence is our top priority, and since it contains Quickhacking and Breach Protocol Perks, we’ll begin there. It’s important to note that in many cases higher level Perks are better than lower level ones, so if you haven’t maxed a lower level Perk out when you unlock a higher level Perk, you might want to come back to it later on.
Quickhacking & Breach Protocol Perks
Bloodware – This extremely simple Perk just increases the damage of your Quickhacks. You want them to kill enemies ideally, so you’ll max this one out as well to help make this happen.
Mass Vulnerability – This Breach Protocol Perk allows you to debuff all enemies in the area, by reducing their Physical Damage Resistance for several minutes. You really only want this for Mass Vulnerability: Quickhacks later on.
Hacker Overlord – This Perk provides you all Epic schematics for every Quickhack in the game instantly. You’ll need the Rare versions to make them, but these are not hard to acquire.
Critical Error – This Perk allows your Quickhacks to deal Critical Damage, which will be a huge boost to Short Circuit damage. Make sure to focus on Crit Chance and Crit Damage in order to make the best use of this Perk.
Mass Vulnerability: Quickhacks – This Perk will make it so that all enemies in the area also take more damage from your Quickhacks when affected by the Mass Vulnerability Daemon. More Short Circuit damage to every enemy!
Bartmoss’ Legacy – This Perk provides you the Legendary schematics for all Quickhacks in the game. You need the Epic versions to craft these, but you’ll have them from Hacker Overlord. Note that you do not need any Crafting Perks in order to make these!
What Perks you take in Stealth, Cold Blood, Assault or Handguns are up to you, but you’ll want to focus on things that increase your Critical Chance in order to Short Circuit with every shot fired. Additionally, anything that boosts Critical Damage or Damage in general are also good choices.
Big Brain Equipment
In this section we’ll take a look at what equipment is needed to play the Big Brain Build. We’ll begin with Weapons first since they will determine how you play this Build.
What Weapon you use is not terribly important for this Build because the goal is the same. Fire a few shots, hit the target and shock it, killing it instantly. About the only thing you don’t want for this Build is a Sniper, because it has some downtime between shots, though you could use one if you really wanted to.
If you want to use a Pistol I have a couple of recommendations. First, use one that first more than one round at once, so that you improve your chances of hitting the target. Remember you don’t need to headshot with this Build, anywhere is fine. Second, put a silencer on your Pistol if you can, since it only nerfs the damage of your gun, not the Short Circuit damage, which will be where most of your damage comes from. And third, consider using a Smart Pistol so that you don’t have to aim much.
If you plan to use an Assault Rifle or Submachine Gun then you might want to consider using a Smart version for the same reason, you can just fire and it will track. This is optional, however, as you can manually aim if you prefer that sort of gunplay.
If you plan to use a Shotgun literally any Shotgun will work since you should be able to kill anything in one hit. For this reason, consider using one that can hold a lot of Shells or one that has faster Reload so that you don’t have as much time between shots. Additionally, you can use a Smart Shotgun with this setup and absolutely wreck enemies.
Regardless of which weapon type you chose, make sure that you absolutely modify your Weapon with the Penetrator Mod that increases Crit Chance. You can craft these with the right schematic, and you can get up to an additional 16% Crit Chance just by doing that.
Armor-wise, you want to look for bonuses to Crit Chance or Crit Damage ideally. Having more Armor is of course better, but you will hardly be hit. If you’re playing on Very Hard though, you might want to prioritize more Armor. Since these bonuses are randomized as well, you’ll just have to keep an eye out.
Additionally, you can mod some Armors for added effects, so it’s not a bad idea to craft or find these as well. Use the Wiki for their locations.
Cyberware is very important to this Build, and I’ll explain here just what you want. First up is your Cyberdeck, and you’ll want the Netwatch Netdrive Mk.5 for this Build. Not only does it allow you to upload a Quickhack to 3 targets at once, but it increases your damage with Quickhacks by 30%. Get this one as soon as you can.
Next, if you’re using a Smart Weapon you’ll want the Smart Link Cyberware, and you’ll want Legendary if you can afford it. This will allow you to use the Smart Targeting of the Smart Weapon, and will increase your Critical Chance and Critical Damage as well.
You’ll want both the Limbic System Enhancement and Visual Cortex Support which increase Critical Hit Chance, and Critical Hit Damage. They are some of the best Cyberware in the game, and at Legendary you’ll gain an extra 25% Critical Hit Chance, and 45% Critical Hit Damage.
The last thing I recommend getting are the Threat Detector Mod and Weakspot Detection. Threat Detector will allow you to see enemies through walls that are aware of you, and Weakspot Detection will further increase your Critical Hit Chance.
The only Quickhack you need for this Build is Short Circuit and you can purchase a Rare version from the Netrunner in Pacifica. Once you have this you can upgrade it to Epic once you have the Hacker Overlord Perk, and once it’s Epic you can upgrade it again to Legendary once you have the Bartmoss’s Legacy perk.
Until you gain the Legendary version of Short Circuit you’ll have to play more like a traditional Netrunner, using Quickhacks etc in order to help you take down enemies. This is a good time to learn what other Quickhacks do, and also learn how strong Short Circuit is, since you can one shot many enemies with it.
You will not usually need more than one bullet per enemy, even on the hardest difficulties of the game, so finding Weapons with larger clips and faster reload times helps this build a lot. It doesn’t really matter how much damage the bullet itself hits for, so look for weapons with other bonuses that can benefit this Build. LMGs for instance can hold 100 rounds at once, which has potential of nearly a million damage per clip.
Theoretically you could play a melee Build with the same idea, since the shock would also apply to melee Critical Hits. It might be easier to play this type of Build as a Street Brawler though, since the extra Health and Stamina would likely help keep you alive, but you can use whatever type of melee weapon you want. Just keep your Critical Hit Chance high for best results.
Lastly, once you’ve played this Build it will likely be hard to go back to just about any other type of Build. You can use any weapon in the game with this setup and still deal substantial damage, so I don’t advise doing so unless you want to absolutely own everything. Trust me, it’s that good!
Stay tuned for more of Cyberpunk 2077 Build Guides, and be sure to drop by the Cyberpunk 2077 wiki for all your Night City needs. Or you can drop by our Twitch Channel and say hi as we stream the game over the next couple of weeks! And make sure to check out our Early Impressions and Character Creation!