Cyberpunk 2077: 16 Tips for Melee Combat
The melee combat system in Cyberpunk 2077 has undergone continuous updates and modifications, resulting in significant improvements and a more enjoya...
The melee combat system in Cyberpunk 2077 has undergone continuous updates and modifications, resulting in significant improvements and a more enjoyable experience for players like you.
Focusing on perks that boost mobility, durability, and damage can significantly enhance the effectiveness of melee builds in the game.
It is acknowledged that Cyberpunk 2077's melee combat system had its flaws when the game was initially released. However, thanks to ongoing modifications and updates, there have been notable improvements in the melee mechanics, reflecting the dedication of CD Projekt Red to enhance their ambitious project as a whole.
Although there may still be some issues to address in the melee system, one can still enjoy playing with a melee build, whether it involves using fists or specializing in the Blades Tree. Here are some of the top melee fighting tips we have gathered that can assist you in maximizing your effectiveness in melee combat.
Updated on October 10, 2023 by Jack Pierik: The Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 update and Phantom Liberty DLC introduce various reworks to perk trees and AI, as well as new weapons and other content for you to explore and enjoy. While these changes may not completely overhaul the game, you will receive a refund of all perk points for your existing characters and have the option to reset your attributes. It wouldn't hurt to check out some tips to help you get back into the swing of things. As Johnny Silverhand would say, "Wake the fuck up, Samurai! We have a city to burn."
16 Flashbangs: Practical And Effective
While opting for a melee approach has its advantages, there are significant challenges to consider, such as quickly closing the gap between yourself and your target and dealing with large groups of enemies. This is where the X-22 Flashbang Grenade becomes useful.
While you can acquire X-22 Flashbang Grenades by purchasing them from shops or looting them from enemies, the recommended approach is to unlock the Crafting Specs for them at Iron & Lead in Watson. By ensuring a sufficient supply of flashbangs, you can initiate encounters by throwing them and continue to use more if needed. The flashbangs will blind enemies for several seconds, enabling you to close the distance and inflict significant damage.
15 Prioritize Perks That Increase Mobility, Durability, And Damage
Considering the inherent drawbacks of melee builds, such as limited cover usage and vulnerability to ranged attacks while engaging targets, there are three hypothetical questions you should ask yourself:
- How do I decrease the time it takes to get within striking range of my target?
- How do I increase my survivability?
- How do I increase my damage and reduce the amount of time I'm vulnerable to enemy damage?
Taking all of this into consideration, a viable approach could involve selecting perks such as Comeback Kid and Pain To Gain from the Body perk tree, Feline Footwork from the Cool perk tree, and Dash from the Reflexes perk tree. It is important to analyze your build thoughtfully and conduct experiments until you discover a setup that suits your playstyle and preferences.
14 Manipulate Katana Mechanics To Your Advantage
If you have a strong preference for katanas in your melee builds, there is an iconic weapon that you should acquire: the Errata Katana. This weapon is sometimes referred to as the Thermal Katana due to its ability to set targets on fire and deliver guaranteed critical damage against burning enemies.
In addition to the notable advantage of guaranteed critical hits, another benefit of the Errata Katana is its ability to help you close the gap between yourself and the target you're engaging. When performing a heavy attack, the katana enables you to leap forward, effectively bridging the distance between you and your target.
13 Practice With The Training Robot
In Cyberpunk 2077, when beginning the game, V will encounter two early chances to practice combat by engaging with a training dummy. The first opportunity takes place during the game's tutorial, while the second one is located near V's apartment in the gym area. The gym area is conveniently situated opposite the Second Amendment Weapons shop.
Approach the bench where Fred is sitting and engage in a conversation with him. Fred will present V with an opportunity to demonstrate their skills by facing off against the training robot.
- Instead of trying to beat the robot straight away, practice V's dodges and counterattacks.
- This will mean V will likely lose to the robot but take the opportunity to practice the dodge mechanic and counterattack timing.
12 Accept Fred's Tournament Offer
Once you feel confident and familiar with the mechanics of melee combat, it's time to take on the challenge of defeating the training robot. After successfully defeating the robot, approach Fred, who is sitting on the bench, and engage in a conversation with him.
Fred will provide V with the chance to showcase their skills in ranked melee fights throughout Night City. Participating in these fights is highly recommended as they not only offer valuable rewards but also serve as an excellent means to improve proficiency in the game's melee combat mechanics.
11 Stick, Move, And Be Unpredictable
The hand-to-hand combat in Cyberpunk 2077 is unexpectedly well-executed for a first-person action RPG. This also applies to the game's artificial intelligence. Consequently, it is not advisable to simply stand directly in front of an opponent and continuously attack without strategy or caution.
Repeating the same moves repeatedly will make V's actions predictable, allowing the AI to effortlessly counter and dodge every attack. It is more effective to approach melee combat with a mindset similar to that of boxing, utilizing all of V's available tools and abilities.
- Use the space around V and keep moving. Sometimes, it's better to stick and move with powerful opponents.
- Use counterattacks and dodge when appropriate, but don't overuse the mechanics.
- Use a variety of combos after a successful dodge.
- Keep a close eye on V's stamina, and don't let it drop below half.
10 Figure Out How To Bait Out The Same Move Over And Over
In the Cyberpunk melee system, enemies have a limited set of moves that they will use based on V's proximity to them, and this becomes evident during the Beat on the Brat missions. For instance, melee combatants in Cyberpunk 2077 typically employ one of the following moves:
- A combo attack of three to four maneuvers usually involves a kick or strong attack.
- A gap-closer move such as César Diego Ruiz’s Jumping Punch.
- Some guard-breaking moves followed by a big swing, such as Rhino's shove into a haymaker.
- One or two swift swings with a melee weapon.
The interesting aspect is that it is relatively simple to manipulate the AI into repeatedly performing these moves. For instance, if one stays extremely close to Rhino during the fight and focuses primarily on countering, they will observe that she relies on the shove-into-haymaker move around 95 percent of the time. Understanding how to influence the AI's behavior provides an effortless method to enhance an already powerful melee build even further.
9 Countering Is Safer Than Dodging
Enemies often exhibit a behavior where they appear to be pulled towards V, even when their feet are firmly planted, typically during the middle of their animations. Fortunately, this issue has gradually been addressed and improved over time.
Fortunately, the counter-system is relatively dependable. However, for those who lack confidence in their reaction time, another viable option is to run away from a combo string, particularly when V is sprinting at full speed.
8 Get Gorilla Arms ASAP
Attempting to complete the Beat on The Brat sidequests without Gorilla Arms is comparable to trying to break down a wall by repeatedly headbutting it. It is technically possible, but it is not the most effective or efficient approach.
Here is a list of disadvantages to consider when attempting the Beat on The Brat sidequests without Gorilla Arms, emphasizing the difficulties that may arise:
- Enemies can damage V through their counter/block.
- Punches don’t do any damage.
- It’s much more difficult to stun enemies in general.
- Gorilla Arms (or Mantis Blades for blade builds) simply make the melee system more enjoyable.
7 Charge Up Strong Attacks With Gorilla Arms
When you initially unlock and equip the Gorilla Arms, it may appear that they primarily enhance V's melee damage. However, they also introduce a unique mechanic known as Charged Strong Attacks.
When V starts engaging in hand-to-hand combat, a new UI bar appears, which gradually fills up as V lands standard hits. As the UI bar increases, the damage dealt by V's next strong attack also increases. The damage boost from this mechanic is quite significant and becomes quite substantial when the bar reaches its maximum charge.
6 Support Cyberware Such As Slow Time, AOE Blast, ETC
While Gorilla Arms are undoubtedly valuable, they are not the only Cyberware that can assist V in challenging situations. Several other Cyberware options are specifically beneficial for a melee-focused build. Here are a few examples:
- Adrenaline Booster: Returns a percentage of V's stamina whenever they defeat an enemy. (Based on its rarity).
- Microgenerator: Releases an electric shock whenever V's HP gets below a certain percentage.
- Shock-And-Awe: Has the same effect as the Microgenerator, but the shock triggers on-hit rather than at a percentage of health.
- Syn-Lungs: Increases overall stamina regen. (Based on its rarity).
- Kerenzikov: Attacking, aiming, or blocking while dodging/sliding triggers a time dilation effect.
- Bionic Lungs: Increases overall stamina by a percentage. (Based on its rarity).
- Dense Marrow: Increases melee damage and stamina usage.
- Microrotors: Increases melee attack speed.
- Microvibration Generator: Increases melee damage.
And that's only a fraction of the Cyberware designed specifically for melee combat. It barely scratches the surface of the numerous options available.
5 Get Rid Of Any Annoying Obstacles Ahead Of Time
This next tip is not solely focused on one-on-one melee combat but rather on enhancing the overall enjoyment of playing a melee build in Cyberpunk. Many V roleplayers specializing in melee combat have unintentionally met their demise by accidentally triggering explosive containers or falling victim to distant Security Turrets. However, there is a straightforward solution to this issue: eliminate the security measures beforehand.
While shooting all the containers may make a stealthy approach more challenging, disabling cameras and turrets is remarkably simple, even with a basic Cyberdeck. Furthermore, V's swings, especially with melee weapons, have a wide reach, so removing these potential hazards before the main confrontation will enhance the overall enjoyment of the game.
4 Get Some Crowd-Control Quickhacks
When it comes to hacking, players who specialize in a Street Brawler/Blade build should explore Quickhacks that complement their playstyle. For instance, certain Quickhacks are particularly effective for disabling enemies, allowing V to approach them more easily.
- Reboot Optics
- Short Circuit
- Weapon Glitch Quickhacks
For those who prefer not to rely solely on "petty tricks," there are several beneficial Breach Protocol Daemons available. One noteworthy example is the Mass Vulnerability Daemon, which decreases an enemy's Physical Resistance by 30 percent. This Daemon significantly amplifies the impact of every punch, slash, or swing, making them feel twice as powerful. While it may seem unconventional to merge the intellectual skill of hacking with the brute force of melee combat, they complement each other surprisingly well.
3 Make Enemies Fight With Melee Weapons
Here's a tip for those who wish to collect various melee weapons or aim to obtain a specific Epic/Legendary variant. In Cyberpunk 2077, enemies typically drop the weapon they were using upon their death. For example, if V confronts a gang member wielding a bat and forces them to switch to a cleaver, it's likely that the cleaver will be dropped when the gang member is defeated. Manipulating the AI to follow this behavior is not always straightforward, so this strategy is primarily recommended for tank builds or characters with high durability.
2 Most Enemy Attacks Have Super Armor
This is something to be particularly cautious about, as it can disrupt what appears to be a successful strategy against formidable bosses like Rhino or Razor.
In Cyberpunk, most enemies appear to have super armor during their attacks, which essentially makes it nearly impossible to stun or interrupt them during their animations. Therefore, when an enemy is preparing to swing, it is advisable to prioritize dodging, running, or countering instead of launching attacks.
1 Use Target Analysis For Melee Builds
The final tip on this list is a useful time-saving technique for those who wield the incredibly cool Mantis Blades or those who frequently find themselves triggering finisher animations. The finisher animation for the Mantis Blades, in particular, is quite lengthy and can put V at a disadvantage rather than assisting them if it occurs in the midst of a firefight.
The reason for this is that, unlike in most other games, V is not invulnerable during this animation, which means they can sustain significant damage while it unfolds. To address this issue, the Optics Mod known as Target Analysis is highly recommended. It effectively renders all weapons non-lethal by default, providing a solution to the problem.