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Cyberpunk 2077 guide: Skills, Attributes, Perks, and Points

Here’s how they work

Cyberpunk 2077’s Attributes menu Image: CD Projekt Red via Polygon

Cyberpunk 2077 is complex and complicated. After a week and dozens of combined hours with the game, we’ve finally wrapped our minds around some of the most confusing and interrelated systems.

In this Cyberpunk 2077 guide, we’ll teach you about Attributes and Attribute Points, Skills, Perks and Perk Points.

Attributes, Skills, and Perks

Attributes, Skills, and Perks are related concepts in Cyberpunk 2077. Here’s how they work.

  • Attributes are the broadest way to define your character — how strong, how smart, how suave they are. You increase them with Attribute Points, which you earn every three levels.
  • Skills depend on but are distinct from Attributes. You improve Skills by using them. Be sneaky to improve your Stealth.
  • Perks are applied skills. They’re bonuses you can buy with Perk Points, which you earn for each XP Level and each time you level up a Skill (by using it). They do things like add damage while sneaking or increase the components you get from breaking down gear. Your Attribute levels determine which Perks you can buy.

Cyberpunk 2077 Attributes and Attribute Points

Cyberpunk 2077’s Attributes menu
Body, Reflexes, Technical Ability, Cool, and Intelligence — Cyberpunk 2077’s Attributes
Image: CD Projekt Red via Polygon

Attributes are the broadest category of Character menu upgrades, which you purchase with Attribute Points.

You earn Attribute Points every as you level up your character — every third level, to be precise. You level up as you play the game. Shocking, we know, but true: Complete missions and other activities around Night City, and you’ll get experience points (XP). You can see your level and your XP at the upper level of the Character > Stats menu.

At the beginning of Cyberpunk 2077, you’ve got five Attribute categories to choose from. Think of these are the broadest core characteristics of your V. Do you want them to be strong? Put points into Body. Would you rather they were silent and sneaky? Then pump points into Cool.

Cyberpunk 2077 Attributes

Attribute Related stats
Attribute Related stats
Body Health, Stamina
Reflexes Damage per second (DPS), Crit Chance
Cool Crit damage, Resistances, Detection Time
Technical Ability Armor
Intelligence Cyberdeck RAM

Every Attribute contains Skills related to it. Perks live inside of Skills. The higher your Attribute level, the more Perks become available for purchase. The more points you pump into each category, the better your V becomes.

Think of it this way: The way you spend your Attribute Points determines the core characteristics of your V:

  • Pump a bunch of Attribute Points into Cool (a stealth-related Attribute), and you’ll have more Perks to choose from in the Stealth tree.
  • Pump a bunch of Attribute Points into Reflexes (a handgun-related Attribute), and you’ll have more Perks to choose from in the Handguns tree.

Cyberpunk 2077 Skills

Skills are groups of bonuses and abilities related to their parent Attributes. In the screenshot above, you can see that the (parent) Cool Attribute has two associated (child) Skills: Stealth and Cold Blood.

To level up a Skill, perform actions related to it. The more you sneak around, the better you’ll be at stealth. The more you use a handgun, the more proficient you’ll become with them. You’ll earn Perk Points signifying your increasing proficiency.

Cyberpunk 2077 Skills

Attribute Skill tree
Attribute Skill tree
Body Athletics, Annihilation, Street Brawler
Reflexes Handguns, Blades, Assault
Cool Crafting, Engineering
Technical Ability Stealth, Cold Blood
Intelligence Breach Protocol, Quickhacking

Cyberpunk 2077 Perks and Perk Points

Cyberpunk 2077 Stealth Perk tree showing Hidden Dragon, which “allows you to perform non-lethal takedowns on unaware targets”
You can see both Skills (Stealth and Cold Blood) at the top of the Cool Attribute’s menu. Hidden Dragon is a Perk in the Stealth Skill tree.
Image: CD Projekt Red via Polygon

Let’s zoom out for a second, and take it from the broadest to the most specific categories: Attributes > Skills > Perks.

Attributes are V’s broadest characteristics. Invest in Cool, and you’ll be broadly better at Stealth, a Skill that lives within the Cool Attribute. Invest in the Perks underneath the Stealth Skill (tree), and they’ll make you specifically better at being stealthy by applying situational and context-dependent bonuses.