Last updated on December 15th, 2020
In this Cyberpunk 2077 Build Guide I’ll be showing you my Neural Netrunner Build that uses Quickhacks and Cyberware to turn the tide of battle, and often make challenging scenarios into much easier ones. If you’ve been wondering how to hack enemies and make a “mage” type character for all intents a purposes, then this is the Build for you.
Cyberpunk 2077 Builds: Neural Netrunner (Quickhacks Specialist) Character Guide Weapons Perks
The Neural Netrunner Build is a ranged Build that uses Quickhacks, Daemons and your Cyberdeck to weaken enemies or outright kill them. Quickhacks and Daemons are not explained very well at all during the tutorial of the Cyberpunk 2077, so here I will also provide and explanation of these mechanics so that you understand how these work.
What’s really great about the Neural Netrunner Build is that if setup properly it usually has something for every situation, often making the game markedly easier. Additionally, you can swap and change Quickhacks outside of combat, so if you know what you’ll be facing you can tailor these specifically to that situation.
How Quickhacks and Daemons Work
Daemons allow you to hack the network of the area you are in, often debuffing entire groups of enemies or causing site wide outages. The one you begin the game with is called Icepick, which reduces your Quickhack cost by 1, but you will gain others as well.
In order to gain the benefit of this Daemon you will need to initiate Breach Protocol, and complete the puzzle that appears on the screen. The way this is done is by matching the numbers in straight lines, and if you do it correctly you can even gain the benefit of more than one Daemon at once. You’ll get the hang of it rather quickly, and using Breach Protocol should be the first thing you do before every combat. Note that as you increase the Buffer Size on your Cyberdeck you’ll be able to do this more easily and enter more Daemons when you use Breach Protocol.
Quickhacks and RAM
Quickhacks in Cyberpunk 2077 act as a kind of ability that can be loaded onto your Cyberdeck, which is a piece of equipment. All Cyberdecks are different, and some allow you to slot more Quickhacks into them, some give you special bonuses, and some have more RAM. Legendary Cyberdecks for example might have all three of these things.
Quickhacks can be Crafted, purchased or looted and they have different rarities just like other equipment in the game. The higher the rarity the better version of the Quickhack, usually improving or adding effects to it. For instance, the Uncommon version of Overheat deals damage over time, but the rare version of Overheat also makes it so the target cannot function during this time either.
When in combat RAM is the resource consumed to use Quickhacks, and the amount needed to cast each Quickhack is listed on it. However, this amount can be affected by Perks and Daemons, as well as the difficulty of the enemy you are facing. Lower difficulty enemies use less RAM, and higher difficulty enemies use more.
By taking Perks that replenish RAM, you are able to cast these Quickhacks repeatedly in combat, allowing you to take control of the battlefield or even kill enemies without firing a single shot. This type of playstyle would be considered similar to a mage in typical fantasy RPGs.
Neural Netrunner Attributes
The only Attribute you really need to be a Netrunner is Intelligence, since the vast majority of Perks that affect Quickhacks lie inside this Attribute. Additionally, it passively increases your RAM, as well as your Quickhacks damage and duration. Essentially, if you want to be a Netrunner you’ll pump this to max about as quickly as you can.
With that said, you will have more Attribute Points, and you likely won’t be able to play only using Quickhacks. This is especially true on higher difficulties. So you should focus on one other Perk Tree that revolves around a weapon, ideally a ranged one, since you can use Quickhacks from range. Then pump Reflexes, which likely contains that Perk Tree, in order to unlock better and better Perks there. Extra Points should go into Body for survive ability.
Your Attribute spread should look something like this eventually:
- Intelligence: 20
- Reflexes: 20
- Body: Dump the rest here.
The priority here is Intelligence because you won’t be able to use Quickhacks with any regularity without significant Perk investment. Reducing the cost and increasing the speed you gain RAM are extremely important. Reflexes will then be increased as you look to take Perks to increase your Weapon’s effectiveness. Once that’s done you’ll increase Body for more survive ability.
Neural Netrunner 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 because it contains Quickhacking, so we’ll begin there. Breach Protocol is also under Intelligence, but it requires much less investment, so it’s not as important.
Biosynergy – This Perk allows you to regain RAM during combat over time, which allows you to use many more Quickhacks. It’s hard to play a Netrunner without a way to replenish RAM so you’ll definitely want to max this one out.
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.
Forget-Me-Not – This Perk returns one RAM to you if you kill a target that is affected by a Quickhack. This should ideally be every target you kill, so this is an easy choice.
Signal Support – This Perk increases the Duration of your Quickhacks, allowing them to damage or debuff your targets longer. This will help you to kill enemies, and also make good use of Forget-Me-Not.
Subliminal Message – This Perk drastically increases the damage of Quickhacks used on unsuspecting targets. This should allow you to kill your first target rather easily, so we take it.
Mnemonic – This Perk reduces the cost to use a second Quickhack against a target if its still affected by the first. This can come in handy against hard to kill enemies where you need to double stack Quickhacks in order to get the job done.
Critical Error – This Perk allows your Quickhacks to deal Critical Damage, which will be a huge boost to DPS. Make sure to focus on Crit Chance and Crit Damage in order to make the best use of this Perk.
Anamnesis – This Perk prevents your RAM from ever going below 2, meaning that you’ll be able to use Quickhacks more often since you won’t have to replenish as much before using them again. Max this one out.
Optimization – This Perk reduces the cost of all Quickhacks by 1 RAM, allowing you to use them more easily and often. Take it as soon as you can.
Master Ram Liberator – This Perk increases the speed at which you recover RAM by a lot, so you’ll want to take it when you get to 20 Intelligence.
Breach Protocol Perks
Mass Vulnerability – This Perk allows you to debuff all enemies in the area, by reducing their Physical Damage Resistance for several minutes. This is a good opening Daemon to use, as it will increase all future Physical Damage.
Mass Vulnerability: Resistances – This Perk enhances Mass Vulnerability to affect all damage types, not just Physical so it’s worth picking up. Sometimes you’ll get a weapon with a different damage type that you like, and this allows you to use it more effectively.
Turret Tamer – This Daemon allows you to convert all Turrets in the area to friendly for several minutes. This can make some extremely challenging areas an absolute breeze.
Total Recall – This further boosts the Icepick Daemon by reducing the cost of Quickhacks by an additional 1 RAM. This is a no brainer! Literally, it’s a…
Totaler Recall – This Perk does the same thing as Total Recall, reducing your RAM cost by an additional 1 for Quickhacks. If you want to spam these then you’ll want both of these.
Cloud Cache – This Perk reduces the cost of your next Quickhack by 1 RAM multiplied by the number of Daemons you successfully uploaded. The better you get the more savings you earn!
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. You’ll be using these a lot, so definitely take this one.
Head Start – This Perk automatically uploads 1 Daemon when you initiate Breach Protocol, making it easier for you to activate many at the same time. You’ll definitely want this one.
Buffer Optimization – This Perk increases the Duration of of all Daemon effects by 100%, which is a huge increase. Since this only costs one Perk Point, it’s easily worth taking even if you don’t need it all the time.
These aren’t all the Perks you’ll take, but it will be a good amount. Any other Perk Points you have should go into your Weapon Perk Tree to help improve your damage with your preferred gun type.
Neural Netrunner Equipment
In this section we’ll take a look at what equipment is needed to play the Neural Netrunner Build. We’ll begin with Weapons first though it is less important for this Build than just about any other Build you can play.
The Weapon you choose is not super important because you’ll be focusing primarily on Quickhacks, but you will need something to deal damage. I don’t recommend melee weapons because you’ll be squishy, and you can use Quickhacks at range. Play around with the different Weapons and see what feels good to you. Don’t be afraid to change it up, since you don’t need to stick to one weapon type.
Armor-wise, you want to look for bonuses to Crit Chance or Crit Damage once you’ve gained the Critical Error Perk. Having more Armor is of course better, and if you’re playing on Very Hard, you might want to prioritize more Armor. Since these bonuses are randomized as well, you’ll just have to keep an eye out.
The most important part of your Cyberware for this Build is of course your Cyberdeck which will allow you to slot more Quickhacks, as well as use more of them before needing to replenish RAM. Look to upgrade this to the best you can find or afford every chance you get, because it will make all the difference to this Build.
Additionally, one really good Cyberware for this Build is the Limbic System Enhancement which increases your Critical Hit Chance and requires Intelligence, which you can take advantage of. You can get better and better version all the way up to 15 Intelligence. You can buy this from a Ripperdoc in Cherry Blossom Market.
Always lead with Breach Protocol when beginning combat in order to debuff your enemies and increase your damage against them. This will not break stealth, so you can just do it really quickly and then get into position. Then pick your target and use your Quickhacks to debuff or kill it, and begin combat.
It’s a good idea to have at least one low cost Quickhack loaded onto your Cyberdeck so that you can still use one even when you have very little RAM. Making an enemy’s weapon jam for instance can allow you to just run up to them and unload point blank. There are several good options here.
Some Quickhacks work better against human enemies, and others work better against robots. It’s good to have at least one Quickhack of each type so that you can deal the most damage possible. Look through them and make sure you set this up when you have enough slots on your Cyberdeck.
Lastly, take your time when using Breach Protocol and try to activate as many Daemons as you can at once. The timer doesn’t begin until your first click, so think ahead before you do, and then move quickly. Getting this down can really increase the performance of this Build.
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!