Cyberpunk 2077: Skill Progression [Explanation & Rewards]

Learn everything there is about Cyberpunk 2077's Skill Progression, the changes to it in 2.0, as well as the rewards of every tier.

Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 Skill Progression is divided into five different types of skills, whose XP is earned by engaging in various activities or specific actions in the world of Night City. By progressing each of these skills, you can earn various rewards such as passive bonuses as well as perk points at different levels.

Key Takeaways
  • Skill Progression in Cyberpunk 2077 is based on five different in-game stats, which grant useful passive bonuses at various ranks.
  • Players can also earn Skill XP Shards as rewards through various sources to boost their XP gains for a specific Skill path. 
    1. Headhunter: Progressed by defeating enemies, achieving headshots, and targeting weak points.
    2. Netrunner: Perform Quickhacks on enemies, gadgets, or various tech objects in Night City.
    3. Shinobi: Use Katanas, Mantis Blades, or Machete in combat and Dashing or Dodging.
    4. Solo: Use heavy artillery such as LMGs, Gorilla Arms, or Blunt weapons such as Baseball bats.
    5. Engineer: Utilize Smart Weapons, Craft items or weapons, or use throwables during combat.

What Are Skills In Cyberpunk 2077

cyberpunk 2077 skill progression
Skills in Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)

The five different types of skills are Headhunter, Shinobi, Netrunner, Solo, and Engineer. Each of these Skill categories in Cyberpunk 2077 requires a specific feat to achieve in-game and progress.

Upon reaching a certain level in each skill, you will be rewarded with stat bonuses and a chance to earn perk points. You can then invest them in your Ability categories to purchase any of the best perks the game offers for V and to enhance your play style.

All Skill Types & Rewards

cyberpunk xp shards
XP Shards (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)
Important: The max levels of each Skill are capped out at Rank 60 as of Patch 2.0 in Cyberpunk 2077 and the release of the Phantom Liberty DLC.

While you can naturally earn XP for these skills by simply playing through Cyberpunk 2077, you can specifically progress the desired one of your choice by specific actions or influences. It is also worth noting that you can acquire XP Shards from defeated enemies, which will reward you with bonus XP for a particular skill, as shown in the image above.

Below, I have discussed each of the Cyberpunk 2077 Skill Progression Rewards in brief detail, along with their respective ranks:

Skill TypeProgression Method
HeadhunterDefeat enemies, headshots, target weak points
NetrunnerPerform Quickhacks on enemies, gadgets, or tech objects
ShinobiUse Katanas, Mantis Blades, Machete, Dash, or Dodge
SoloUse heavy artillery, Gorilla Arms, Blunt weapons
EngineerUse Smart Weapons, Craft items or weapons, use throwables


cyberpunk headhunter
Take down enemies for Headhunter XP (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)

As the name implies, the Headhunter Skill tree can easily progress by defeating enemies using headshots. I personally found that it is the easiest to level up since it can also naturally level up when performing stealth takedowns on enemies and targeting weak points during combat scenarios.

Following are the rewards of the Headhunter skill path, along with the associated ranks:

Rank 5 Decreases visibility to enemies by 10%
Rank 10
  • +10% Headshot damage
  • +10% damage against Vulnerabilities
Rank 15 +1 Perk Point
Rank 20 No weapon swaying when crouched
Rank 25 Decreases visibility to enemies by 10%
Rank 30
  • +15% Headshot damage
  • +15% damage against Vulnerabilities
Rank 35 +1 Perk Point
Rank 40 Optical Camo is active while grappling enemies.
Rank 45 Decreases recovery time after a throw by 30%.
Rank 50 30% faster movement speed when crouch-walking or crouch-sprinting.
Rank 55 Damage Bonuses gained from being undetected outside of combat persist for 3 Seconds after entering Combat.
Rank 60 +15% Optical Camo charge when neutralizing an enemy in the following ways:

  • While undetected.
  • During Focus mode.
  • During Deadeye mode
  • With a thrown weapon.


cyberpunk 2077 netrunner
Perform Quickhacks for Netrunner (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)

The Netrunner is another Skill tree in Cyberpunk 2077, which has an easy-to-understand progression technique. You can level it up by simply performing Quickhacks on targets, as shown in the image above. You can also earn XP for it by hacking various terminal objects or successfully solving Breach Hacks in the world. If you’re running a Netrunner build, you will easily gain the best amount of experience points for it.

I have written the rewards of the Netrunner skill path, along with the associated ranks down below:

Rank 5 Increases RAM Recovery Rate by 5%.
Rank 10 Increases RAM by 1.
Rank 15 +1 Perk Point
Rank 20 +20% Lock-on range with Smart Weapons
Rank 25 Increases RAM Recovery Rate by 5%.
Rank 30 Increases RAM by 1.
Rank 35 +1 Perk Point
Rank 40 -20% RAM cost for Quickhacks used on Devices and Vehicles.
Rank 45
  • +15% Duration For Control and Convert Quickhacks.
  • +5% Damage With Combat Quickhacks.
Rank 50 +40% duration for Overclock.
Rank 55 -10% Health Loss from using Quickhacks during Overclock.
Rank 60 When active, Overlock now reveals enemies within 10 meters and allows you to Quickhack Non-Netrunner Enemies through cover.


cyberpunk 2077 shinobi
Use the Dash Ability or Blades weapons for Shinobi (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)

If you’re like me and use a Katana build along with the newly added Dash abilities, chances are you’ll easily gain skill progression for the Shinobi in Cyberpunk 2077. Dodging, Air Dashing, and general parkour during combat also seem to grant minor progress occasionally, according to my tests in-game. Using the Mantis Blades Cyberware in combat also grants XP progress for the Shinobi Skill.

I’ve also jotted down the rewards of the Shinobi skill path, along with the associated ranks:

Rank 5 Increases Movement speed by 5%.
Rank 10 -5% Stamina cost from Dodging and Dashing.
Rank 15 +1 Perk Point
Rank 20 Improved Accuracy after dodging or dashing for a short time.
Rank 25 Increases Movement speed by 5%.
Rank 30 10% Stamina cost from dodging and Dashing.
Rank 35 +1 Perk Point
Rank 40 Increased Mitigation Chance the faster you move.
Rank 45 +25% damage with Fast attacks.
Rank 50 Air dashing and sliding reload 20% of your equipped weapon’s ammo.
Rank 55 When attacking from midair or when time is slowed, low stamina does not affect Ranged Accuracy or Melee Attack Speed.
Rank 60 When the Sandevistan Cyberware is active:

  • +40% Crit chance
  • There is no Stamina cost for any type of movement.


cyberpunk 2077 solo
Weapons like the Shotgun or Gorilla Arms grant Solo Skill XP (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)

The Solo Skill progression heavily correlates with using heavy or close-range powerful weapons such as the Shotgun and Light Machine Guns. But the most simplistic method to gain experience for Solo would be to use Blunt Weapons in Cyberpunk 2077, such as the Baseball Bat or the Gorilla Arms Cyberware, to defeat enemies.

I have also written the rewards of the Solo skill path, along with the associated ranks for convenience:

Rank 5 Increases Carrying Capacity by 50.
Rank 10 Increases Health by 10.
Rank 15 +1 Perk Point
Rank 20 Fists and Gorilla Arms have:

  • +20% Damage
  • +20% Attack Speed
  • Fists also have a chance to apply Bleeding effects.
Rank 25 Increases Carrying Capacity by 100.
Rank 30 Increases Health by 15.
Rank 35 +1 Perk Point
Rank 40 +10% Crit Chance against enemies within 5 meters.
Rank 45 +25% Damage with Strong Attacks and Quick Melee Attacks.
Rank 50 +25% Health after performing a Finisher.
Rank 55 When Adrenaline Rush is active, Adrenaline decays 50% slower and cannot decay below 10%.
Rank 60 When Berserk is active:

  • +30% Enemy Health Threshold to perform Finishers.
  • +50% Health from performing Finishers.
  • +30% Berserk Duration.


Cyberpunk 2077 smart wepaons
Smart Weapons (Image Credit Copyright: eXputer)

Lastly, using Smart Weapons or Throwables in combat can progress the Engineer’s Skill path. But if you ask me, I’ve found the best way to gain experience is by crafting various items and weapons from your Inventory menu, which seems to be the most efficient strategy. You can also gain minor progress sometimes by using Elemental Effects or causing any type of explosive effects during combat.

Rank 5 Increases Armor by 15.
Rank 10 Increases Cyberware Capacity by 5.
Rank 15 +1 Perk Point
Rank 20 +10% Grenade Damage and Explosion radius.
Rank 25 Increases Armor by 25.
Rank 30 Increases Cyberware Capacity by 10.
Rank 35 +1 Perk Point
Rank 40 Increased Shock Chance from charging a Tech weapon or electric Baton.
Rank 45 +15% Healing Item effectiveness.
Rank 50 +30% to all Cyberware Stat modifiers.
Rank 55
  • +10% damage with Bolt Shots
  • +40% Burn Chance with Bolt Shots.
  • Chain Lightning Effect now also sets enemies on fire.
Rank 60 When Fury is active, you occasionally release an EMP Blast.

My Thoughts On Skill Progression With The Latest Update

Cyberpunk 2077’s Skill Progression in the 2.0 update injects a dynamic layer of engagement and versatility into the game’s progression system. Its compatibility with various in-game actions mirrors the diverse ways players can approach the game.

My playtime in Cyberpunk 2077 (Steam ID: LI0Nt4MER)

Whether you’re a precision-focused headshot artist, a tech-savvy Netrunner, an agile Shinobi, a powerhouse Solo, or a crafty Engineer, the system accommodates your preferred approach. For me, the Shinobi and Headhunter skill paths have been particularly enticing, adding depth and excitement to the game, and I appreciate the effort to cater to different styles of play, making the Cyberpunk 2077 experience even more enjoyable.

Aside from that, if you’re a returning player experiencing Update 2.0’s massive changes, you might be enticed to purchase the recent story expansion, so be sure to read eXputer’s Review of Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty DLC.

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Usama Mehmood is a Games Specialist, and writer on eXputer who's either hunting for the richest loot in Destiny 2 or endlessly playing his favorite games such as Yakuza or Final Fantasy. Usama has been gaming for 15+ years during which he has accumulated 4000+ hours on Destiny 1 & 2. His constant adoration for video games has allowed him to pursue eXputer as a platform to showcase his striving talents in writing helpful articles. Get familiar with Usama's extensive gaming library on his Steam, PSN, and Xbox profiles.

Experience: 2+ Years || Mainly Covers Reviews And Guides || Education: Bachelors in Physiotherapy.

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