People standing outside the entrance of the Afterlife bar in Night City, in Cyberpunk 2077.
Screenshot by Dot Esports

Cyberpunk 2077 skill progression explained: How to level up fast

Skills to help you get kills and pay the bills.

Skills in Cyberware 2077 is a simple progression system that allows you to improve your effectiveness at virtually everything, simply by playing a certain playstyle. By performing specific actions that fall under each of the skills, you will increase the skill and unlock new skill bonuses that will improve all sorts of actions and abilities.

Recommended Videos

The five skill categories are Headhunter, Netrunner, Shinobi, Solo, and Engineer. Each skill has a maximum rank of 60, and a new bonus that is unlocked every five ranks, starting at rank five. With five skills and 12 bonuses to unlock for each one, there are a total of 60 bonuses to earn just from skill progression.

Want those bonuses? Of course you do. Here’s a guide for progressing all five skills as quickly as possible.

How to level up the Headhunter skill in Cyberpunk 2077

V aims down the barrel of her rifle in Cyberpunk 2077.
One tap. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Headhunter skill has everything to do with lethal combat efficiency. Taking down enemies with lethal precision is your ticket to improving this skill, and thankfully, there are a lot of enemies to shoot in the head in Night City.

One thing that has helped me improve Headhunter quickly is the mods that cause all damage to be non-lethal, which knocks out opponents rather than killing them. So if you don’t get the clean headshot on the first try, you can go up to them while they’re down and get a second crack, and you will earn Headhunter progress.

All Headhunter skill level progression rewards

  • Rank five: Decreases visibility to enemies by 10 percent.
  • Rank 10: +10 percent headshot damage and +10 percent damage against vulnerabilities.
  • Rank 15: Onne perk point.
  • Rank 20: No weapon sway when crouched.
  • Rank 25: Decreases visibility to enemies by 10 percent.
  • Rank 30: +15 percent headshot damage and +15 percent damage against vulnerabilities.
  • Rank 35: One perk point.
  • Rank 40: Optical Camo is active while grappling enemies.
  • Rank 45: Decreases recovery time after a throw by 30 percent.
  • Rank 50: 30 percent faster when crouch-walking and crouch-sprinting.
  • Rank 55: Damage bonus from being undetected outside of combat persists for three seconds after entering combat.
  • Rank 60: +15 percent Optical Camo charge when neutralizing an enemy in one of the following ways: During focus mode, during Deadeye Mode, or with a thrown weapon.

How to level up the Netrunner skill in Cyberpunk 2077

The Netrunner skill has all to do with using quickhacks. Whether it’s on devices and doors while you’re trying to sneak around, on cars to floor them or explode them, or on enemies themselves, and use of quickhacks will earn you Netrunner skill experience. Even as much as using Ping on a group of enemies before a fight will earn you Netrunner experience, as will shutting off cameras with a quickhack.

All Netrunner skill level progression rewards

  • Rank five: Increases RAM recovery rate by five percent.
  • Rank 10: Increases RAM by one.
  • Rank 15: One perk point.
  • Rank 20: +20 percent lock-on range with smart weapons.
  • Rank 25: Increases RAM recovery rate by five percent.
  • Rank 30: Increases RAM by one.
  • Rank 35: One perk point.
  • Rank 40: -20 percent RAM cost for quickhacks used on devices and vehicles.
  • Rank 45: +15 percent duration for control and convert Quickhacks and +5 percent damage with combat quickhacks.
  • Rank 50: +40 percent duration for overclock.
  • Rank 55: -10 percent health loss from using Quickhacks during overclock.
  • Rank 60: When active, Overclock now reveals enemies within 10 meters and lets you Quickhack non-Netrunner enemies through cover.

How to level up the Shinobi skill in Cyberpunk 2077

V with a katana equipped underneath Night City in Cyberpunk 2077.
You won’t even see me coming. Screenshot by Dot Esports

The Shinobi skill rewards you for playing quickly and channeling your inner ninja. Using dodges, dashes, and other movement abilities during combat will increase your Shinobi skill, as will the use of blades.

All Shinobi skill level progression rewards

  • Rank five: Increases movement speed by five percent.
  • Rank 10: Minus five percent stamina cost from dodging and dashing.
  • Rank 15: One perk point.
  • Rank 20: Improved accuracy after dodging or dashing for a short time.
  • Rank 25: Movement speed increased by five percent.
  • Rank 30: -10 percent stamina cost for dodging and dashing.
  • Rank 35: One 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 percent of your equipped weapon’s ammo.
  • Rank 55: Low stamina does not affect ranged accuracy or melee attack speed.
  • when attacking from midair or while time Is slowed.
  • Rank 60: When Sandevistan is active, +40 critical hit chance and no stamina cost for any movement.

How to level up the Solo skill in Cyberpunk 2077

The Solo skill rewards players who operate as a one-man tank. Using shotguns, melee weapons, and gorilla arms will increase your Solo skill.

All Solo skill level progression rewards

  • Rank five: Increases carrying capacity by 50.
  • Rank 10: Increases health by 10.
  • Rank 15: One perk point.
  • Rank 20: Fists and Gorilla Arms have +20 percent damage and +20 percent attack speed. Fists may apply bleeding.
  • Rank 25: Carrying capacity increases by 100.
  • Rank 30: Health increases by 15.
  • Rank 35: One perk point.
  • Rank 40: +10 percent critical hit chance against enemies within five meters.
  • Rank 45: Strong attacks and quick melee attacks deal 25 percent more damage.
  • Rank 50: +25 percent health after a finisher.
  • Rank 55: When Adrenaline Rush is active, Adrenaline decays 50 percent more slowly and cannot decay below 10 percent.
  • Rank 60: Berserk triggers +30 percent enemy health threshold to perform Finishers, +50 percent health from performing finishers, and +30 percent Berserk duration.

How to level up the Engineer skill in Cyberpunk 2077

The crafting menu with tier five item components and other recipes in Cyberpunk 2077.
Crafting is your key to becoming a top-tier Engineer. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Crafting, smart weapons, and grenades are your keys to leveling up the Engineer skill, but the most effective method is crafting by a mile. Far into the game, you will start picking up all kinds of weapons and items you don’t need, which you can break down into crafting materials. Upgrading those materials to a higher quality gives you Engineer skill experience and opens the door for you to upgrade your ideal weapons and pieces of Cyberware.

All Engineer skill level progression rewards

  • Rank five: Increases armor by 15.
  • Rank 10: Increases Cyberware capacity by five.
  • Rank 15: One perk point.
  • Rank 20: +10 grenade percent damage and explosion radius.
  • Rank 25: Increases armor by 25.
  • Rank 30: Increases Cyberware capacity by 10.
  • Rank 35: One perk point.
  • Rank 40: Increased shock chance from charging a tech weapon or electric baton.
  • Rank 45: Health item effectiveness +15 percent.
  • Rank 50: +30 percent for all Cyberware stat modifiers.
  • Rank 55: +10 percent damage from Bolt Shots and +40 percent burn chance with Bolt Shots. Chain Lightning will set enemies on fire.
  • Rank 60: When Fury is active, you may cause an EMP blast.

Dot Esports is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Cyberpunk 2077 player discovers Easter egg devs thought us ‘chooms’ would never find
A medic trying to revive a character in Cyberpunk 2077.
Read Article Cyberpunk 2077 Pisces best choice and outcome: Should you accept Maiko’s offer?
Maiko standing over two Tyger Claw bosses in Hiromi Sato's office (Cyberpunk 2077).
Read Article Cyberpunk 2077: How to play Stefan’s BD and complete the Sweet Dreams quest
Johnny staring at V with a judgemental expression (Cyberpunk 2077)
Related Content
Read Article Cyberpunk 2077 player discovers Easter egg devs thought us ‘chooms’ would never find
A medic trying to revive a character in Cyberpunk 2077.
Read Article Cyberpunk 2077 Pisces best choice and outcome: Should you accept Maiko’s offer?
Maiko standing over two Tyger Claw bosses in Hiromi Sato's office (Cyberpunk 2077).
Read Article Cyberpunk 2077: How to play Stefan’s BD and complete the Sweet Dreams quest
Johnny staring at V with a judgemental expression (Cyberpunk 2077)
Author
Scott Robertson
VALORANT lead staff writer, also covering CS:GO, FPS games, other titles, and the wider esports industry. Watching and writing esports since 2014. Previously wrote for Dexerto, Upcomer, Splyce, and somehow MySpace. Jack of all games, master of none.