If a Skill (like Stealth) is a tree in Cyberpunk 2077, then Perks are leaves on the tree. In this Cyberpunk 2077 guide, we’ll teach you about Perks and Perk Points.
Perks and Perk Points, explained
Perks are applied Skills (and they live within Skill trees). Perks do things like add damage while sneaking or increase the components you get from breaking down gear.
For example, Stealth is a Skill (V is skilled at being stealthy), but Hidden Dragon, which “allows you to perform non-lethal takedowns on unaware targets,” is a Perk in the Stealth Skill tree (it’s perk V gets for being so skilled at being stealthy).
You buy Perks with Perk Points, which you earn for each XP Level and each time you level up a Skill (and you level up your Skills when you use them — sneak around to a higher Stealth level). The higher your Attribute levels, the more Perks you can buy (with Perk Points).
Invest in the Cool Attribute, and that makes you broadly better in the Stealth Skill. 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.
You earn a Perk Point as you level up your character. In fact, every level comes with a Perk Point. You also earn a Perk Point every time you level up a Skill (and you level up Skills by using them during gameplay.