How To Read Shards In Cyberpunk 2077?

Find out what the Maelstroms are up to during their off time.

Shards menu
Shards option in the menu [Screenshot by eXputer]
As you explore the Night City, you will come across a bunch of Shards at every corner. These can be acquired during main missions or side missions. Shards are also found at random places while exploring the open world of Cyberpunk 2077. In my experience, players can also come across some Shards while looting enemies after taking them down.

It’s understandable that you won’t be able to read all these Shards right when you collect them. For your own convenience, you can easily read them later own, especially if you’re in the middle of a tense gig. Nevertheless, here is the simple method I have jotted down on How you can read Shards in the game.

Reading shards Cyberpunk 2077
Shards opened through prompts [Screenshot by eXputer]
Whenever you collect a Shard in Night City, a prompt will appear on the left side of your screen. You can press the relevant button immediately to open and read the Datashard right away. 

  • PC users can pressZ‘ on their keyboard to open Shards through the prompt.
  • PlayStation and Xbox users can press the Left button on their D-pad to open the Shard prompt.

Although, you won’t be able to read shards through the prompt every single time. During some instances, you might miss the prompt, and in other cases, you may feel like playing through the sequence and reading the Datashard later. Fortunately, the game saves all the shards you acquire in V’s Journal.

Datashards collection cyberpunk 2077
Shards Collection [Image Credit: eXputer]
Therefore, you can follow a simple method to read the Shards at a later point in the game when V is safe. Here are the simple steps that I use to access all the Shards I collect during playthroughs in Cyberpunk 2077.

  • Open the Inventory Menu in Cyberpunk 2077:
    • You can do this by pressing ‘I’ on the keyboard.
    • Touchpad on the PS controller.
    • View button on the Xbox controller.
  • Once the inventory menu opens up, slide all the way to the right and select “Journal.
  • From the drop-down menu, select the “Shards” option.
  • You will now end up inside the Shards menu, which holds every data piece you have collected so far in the game.

You can spend as much time as you want here while reading all the Shards you’ve collected. A “New” icon will mark unopened Shards. Simply click on any of the Datashards to open them up and read them. 

Key Takeaways
  • Shards are collectibles found in Cyberpunk 2077 that shine some light upon the universe of Night City.
  • There are hundreds of Shards in the game, which can be found by looting bodies or exploring the world.
  • Shards can be read instantly when collected, or players can even access the “Shards” menu, which holds all the bits of information they have collected in their playthrough so far.
  • The Shards menu can be accessed by opening the inventory tab and heading to the “Journal” section.
  • Shards are divided into multiple categories, some of which include; Articles, Leaflets, Notes, World, and Technology.

What Are Datashards?

Shards categories
What are Shards? [Image Credit: eXputer]
By now, you’d be well aware of the function of data shards in Cyberpunk 2077. These are mere collectibles, and they do not affect the completion of the main storyline in any way. You can easily play the whole game without even reading a single Shard. However, if you want to know more about the world of Night City, then nothing will provide you with some interesting lore than the Shards themselves.

Shards are not restricted to text form; they also provide images, audio, and videos from time to time. The ones found during quests will provide you with some secret information regarding the location, characters, and whatnot. You may also stumble upon some Encrypted Shards, which can only be read after the player cracks its security.

Since there are so many Shards that players can obtain in Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt RED decided to divide them into certain categories. These include:

  • Articles.
  • Literature.
  • Other.
  • Notes.
  • Leaflets.
  • People of Night City.
  • Religion and Philosophy.
  • World.
  • Technology.
  • Cyberpsycho.
  • Encrypted.
  • Poetry.


So there’s that! My simple write-up on how players can read Shards in Cyberpunk 2077. Despite all of its shortcomings after launch, no one can deny that Night City provided one of the best world lore and atmospheres players have seen in video games. All the deep dark tales of Night City spike the curiosity, which is perfectly catered by all the Datashards scattered across the map.

So if you’re one of the players who like to immerse themselves into the universe of a game, then Datashards will be your new best friend while playing Cyberpunk 2077.

While you progress the storyline, the Cyberdecks and Cyberware you equip will have a great say on V’s abilities. You can also check out how you can make infinite money using a glitch in Cyberpunk 2077. Players who have already wrapped up their playthrough can also check out some of the Best Cyberpunk 2077 Mods.

Thank you for reading through my quick and simple guide about Datashards. For more informative takes on Cyberpunk 2077, feel free to stick around at eXputer!

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Sameer is a Senior Writer & Editor for all sorts of guides on eXputer. He has dove deep into many gaming genres and ended up investing 8,000+ hours on COD titles, Pokemon games, Witcher 3, Minecraft, and Bloodborne. Sameer has a degree in Writing and Editing from the University of Michigan. Additionally, he has several years of writing experience and has worked for Mashable previously. Get familiar with Sameer's gaming library on his PSN and Steam profiles.

Experience: 5+ Years || Previously Worked for Mashable || Education: ACCA

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