Last updated on December 15th, 2020
In this Cyberpunk 2077 Build Guide I’ll be showing you my Street Samurai Build that is a melee Build that uses speed and Katanas to shred enemies into pieces all over the battlefield. If you enjoy melee combat and you’ve been looking for away to play a melee Build effectively then you’ll want to check this Build out.
Cyberpunk 2077 Builds: Street Samurai (Melee Katana) Character Guide Weapons Perks
The Street Samurai Build uses a combination of Katanas, Armor and a lot of speed in order to maneuver around enemies easily. Enemies in Cyberpunk 2077 have excellent aim against stationary targets, but they have difficulty hitting anyone who is moving even remotely a little bit. You will be moving so fast you will take damage much less often than you’d expect, as you hit and run all over the place.
Katanas deal exceptional damage per swing, often killing enemies in 2 or 3 swings or less, even dismembering them in many cases which just looks badass. You can even decapitate unsuspecting enemies as well in one swing, and what’s really great is that you make very little noise with this weapon, allowing you to pick off enemies one by one in some cases without even intending to.
Street Samurai Attributes
The Attributes needed for the Street Samurai Build are Reflexes, Body and Cool. Reflexes is needed for increased Movement Speed, as well as Evasion and increased Critical Chance. Additionally, it will open up higher level Blades Perks, which you will need.
Cool isn’t really required for this Build, but damn if it doesn’t make it a bit more fun. Cool is needed to gain the benefit of Cold Blood and to unlock better Cold Blood Perks which make it more effective. The added Critical Damage and Resistances is just an added bonus.
Your Attributes should look something like this:
- Reflexes: 20
- Body: 20
- Cool: Dump the rest here.
Unlike some other Builds, you won’t rush your main Stat (Reflexes) right out of the gate, and instead will spend points fairly evenly between Reflexes and Body, slightly favoring Reflexes. This is because there are some excellent passives needed in Athletics and Annihilation that will not only help keep you alive, but also improve your damage. Save Cool for last because you’ll need serious investment to see much difference here.
Street Samurai 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. Reflexes is our top priority, and since it contains Blades 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.
Sting Like a Bee – This Perk increases your Attack Speed with Blades so you’ll want to max it out. You need to kill enemies quickly and move on, or you’ll get gunned down, and increasing your Attack Speed can help with that.
Crimson Dance – This Perk allows you to set Bleeding on enemies, which really isn’t needed for damage, but does help with healing once you gain the Bloodlust Perk. The whole idea is that you heal over time and heal from attacking so that you don’t have to manually heal as much, if at all. You can take this one later on if you wish, but you’ll want it eventually.
Flight of the Sparrow – This Perk decreases the Stamina cost of your Blades attacks, which allows you to swing and sprint more before running out of Stamina. It’s a bit of a double edged sword, however, because you will level up Athletics more slowly if you take this Perk. This is because you gain XP in Athletics the fastest by exhausting your Stamina bar in melee. Consider waiting to get this one until later in the game for this reason.
Slow and Steady – This Perk increases your Armor while moving, which you should be doing constantly. You’ll need high Armor to withstand enemy fire while you fly around the battlefield like a ninja, so take this one.
Blessed Blade – This Perk increases your Crit Chance with Blades by a significant amount, so you definitely want to take it ASAP. You want to kill things fast, and this helps you accomplish that.
Bloodlust – This Perk will heal you whenever you set Bleeding on an enemy or damage a Bleeding enemy. You must have Crimson Dance to take advantage of it fully, so don’t take this one until you have at least one point there.
Judge, Jury and Executioner – This Perk increases your damage against full Health enemies. This should allow you to kill lots of enemies in one swing, speeding up the rate at which you can move to your next target. Max this one out ASAP.
Fiery Blast – This Perk increases your damage against enemies that are missing Health, going up the more Health they are missing. It’s a very good Perk against Boss enemies though you won’t need it much against the regular ones.
Deathbolt – This Perk not only heals you when you defeat an enemy, but increases your Movement Speed as well. What more could you ask for? Grab it when you can.
Dragon Strike – This Perk increases your Critical Damage with Blades by a good amount. You’ll do lots of Crits with this Build, so this is an easy Perk to justify.
Athletics Perks & Annihilation Perks
Regeneration – This Perk heals you over time while in combat. It doesn’t do a lot of healing, but you can increase it with future Perks making it much more useful.
Epimorphosis – This Perk allows you to heal to full every time you leave combat. This saves a lot of healing items, and means you’ll always engage your enemies at full Health, which is great. Max this one out.
Steel and Chrome – This Perk further increases Melee Damage, and you need all the Melee Damage you can get. Max this one out when you can. You won’t regret it.
Dead Center – This Annihilation Perk increases your damage to the torso of the enemy. Often when you’re flying about, attacking enemies you’ll just be aiming for center mass with your Katana, so this Perk can further boost damage.
Cardio Cure – This Perk further increases your Health regeneration in combat while moving. You’ll be constantly moving so this works well here, and you want to stack Health regeneration.
Dog of War – This Perk further increases your Health regeneration while in combat, stacking with other bonuses. The more you don’t have to stop and heal, the faster you can wipe out enemies.
Marathoner – This Perk makes it so that Sprinting no longer drains Stamina. You will be non-stop Sprinting while in combat so this works beautifully for this Build. This will really help your Stamina management.
Speed Demon – This Annihilation Perk increases your damage the faster you are moving. You can get to moving very very fast with this Build, so that synergizes nicely.
Wolverine – This Perk speeds up the time needed for your Health regeneration to begin in combat, which makes your Health regeneration more effective in general. You should get a ton of Health regeneration with this Build.
Cold Blood Perks
Cold Blood – This Perk gives you a buff that lasts 10 seconds when you kill an enemy. It starts out as only a Movement Speed increase, but as you progress you’ll unlock other benefits as well. Take this one immediately in order to begin gaining experience in this Perk tree since at level 2 you gain a permanent Crit Chance boost.
Will to Survive – This Perk increases your Resistances with each kill. It’s not the greatest of the Perks here, but it will increase your survive ability, which is needed on harder difficulties.
Critical Condition – This Perk increases the duration of your Cold Blood buff. You want this to be as long as you can, so this is a must have Perk for this Build. Max it out as soon as you can.
Rapid Bloodflow – This Perk increases your Health regeneration in and out of combat for each stack of Cold Blood you have. The more healing you can get the better, so you’ll take this one.
Defensive Clotting – Another Perk that will help keep you alive, but this one increases your Armor with each stack of Cold Blood. The more defense you have, the better.
Blood Brawl – This Perk increases your Melee Damage when you have the Cold Blood buff active. It’s not a huge amount, but every little bit helps.
Predator – This Perk increases your Attack Speed for each stack of Cold Blood you have active. At 5 stacks this increases your Attack Speed by 100%!
Cold and Calculating – This Perk gives you a chance of gaining a Cold Blood stack when you Critically Hit. You do lot’s of Critical Hits with this Build so that synergizes nicely.
Coolagulant – This Perk makes you lose only one stack of Cold Blood at a time, further increasing the duration you maintain its buffs. This one can make your buffs last much much longer, so take it.
Street Samurai Equipment
In this section we’ll take a look at what equipment is needed to play the Street Samurai Build. We’ll begin with Weapons first since I think they are the most obvious in this case.
Obviously you’ll need a Katana of some kind for this Build, and which one you pick is not of super importance early on just as long as you have one. You can usually find one at Melee Weapon vendors around the map, so check there if you’re having trouble acquiring one. Note that bonuses on Weapons are randomized unless they are Iconic, but you’ll want to look for ones that have Crit Chance and Crit Damage if possible for maximum effect.
You’ll also want to pick up some Mods for this weapon since it will improve your performance with it, and in some cases damage. Also be sure to upgrade it in the Crafting menu if you have spare materials.
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 have decent survive ability regardless. 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.
There is some great Cyberware for this Build, and in this section I’ll show you what you might want to use. The first up is Berserk, which will allow you to enter a state where you have increased damage, Armor and Resistances. You also gain more Health and Stamina, and replenish Health when you defeat an enemy. This requires the Body Attribute.
Adrenaline Booster is another good Cyberware that will allow you to regain 20% of your Stamina when you defeat an enemy. It’s cheap, and you don’t ever want to have Stamina issues, and this is a good way to assist with that.
Biomonitor is also fantastic because it automatically heals you when your Health drops below a certain point, allowing you to keep on fighting without having to stop to heal. This also requires Body to use, but you will have enough to use it eventually, and you can upgrade as you go.
Microvibration Generator and Dense Marrow can both increase your Melee Damage so you’ll want these as well, and you should be able to slot both. Their requirements seem to be rather low, so you can get them right away.
I don’t use the Strong Attack much with this Build because I’m focused on moving quickly and not staying in one place in order to avoid gunfire. However, Strong Attacks can be performed rather quickly, and work well against harder single target enemies. If you like using it be sure to pick up the Roaring Waters Perk for increased damage when you do one.
I mentioned it before, but I’ll mention it again here, the best way to level up Athletics is by meleeing until your Stamina bar is exhausted. You can do this in or out of combat and you don’t even have to hit anyone at all. It’s extremely tedious to just sit there and attack air, but it works. Ideally you’d just level this up as you play, but you can also “farm” Athletics XP this way if you wish.
A good second weapon for this Build is a Sniper Rifle because it doesn’t need any Perks to be effective. It’s a great way to hit other enemy Snipers who are high up, or enemies that are too far away to get to. You shouldn’t need it often, but it doesn’t hurt to have one just in case.
Using the Mass Vulnerability Daemon before you run into combat can help with harder areas of the game. It reduces enemy Physical Resistances, allowing you to deal more damage. Make sure you take this Perk if you’re having trouble, as you can get it right away.
You can use the Mantis Blades if you want with this Build since you will need similar Attributes and Perks to make it work. You can acquire these from Ripperdocs around Night City for a handful of cash.
Lastly, I like to use the Ping Quickhack for this Build because it reveals all enemies in an area. Knowing where to go next after you down an enemy is very important, and it’s easy to lose track of exactly where enemies are when you are flying around so fast in first person. Use this one so that you don’t waste time looking around while you get shot.
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!