An in game screenshot of the outside of the Dogtown district in Cyberpunk 2077.
Screenshot by Dot Esports

How to start Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty DLC

Dive into Dogtown.

There’s nothing worse than being excited to start playing a new, long-awaited game expansion, only to get confused as to how to actually get started. That is exactly how my time with the Phantom Liberty DLC for Cyberpunk 2077 began. 

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Expansions and DLCs can be a little tricky in this regard, as some will have options on the menu screen for you to begin playing, whilst others are more integrated into the main game itself. That being said, it didn’t make me feel any less ridiculous for not figuring it out straight away. The good news is that scrolling through menus to try and find how to start the DLC can be avoided, and that is what we are going to help you with in this guide. 

Cyberpunk 2077 has two options when it comes to beginning the Phantom Liberty DLC: Going into your current campaign or starting a new game entirely. Let’s go through both of these options in detail so that you know exactly how to get started with Phantom Liberty

Starting Phantom Liberty in an existing game

Thankfully, if you have started the game already, you can jump into the Phantom Liberty DLC relatively easily with an existing character save. However, you do need to have made a fair amount of progress within the game to be able to begin the DLC story. 

You need to have made your way through about two-thirds of the main campaign and have unlocked the Pacifica district before you can start the DLC. This can amount to quite a lot of playtime, especially if you have been taking on various gigs and side missions as you do so. If you play only the main storyline quests, it will take a little less time. That being said, you are still looking at hours of gameplay before you can get into the events of Phantom Liberty

An in game screenshot of a mysterious call from the game Cyberpunk 2077.
The mysterious caller should contact you after downloading the DLC. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

When you jump back into your game—assuming that you have made it to the Pacifica missions and haven’t completed the game yet— then you will suddenly receive an incoming call from a “mysterious caller”. This caller will identify themselves by the pseudonym “Songbird”, a major character in the DLC whose real name is Song So-mi.

So-mi will give you an offer that you can’t refuse: a chance to survive the engram of Johnny Silverhand’s consciousness. You should know what we are talking about if you have played the game, seeing as it is embedded in your brain and is slowly killing you. So-mi will tell you to meet at the borders of Dogtown, which is the new district that is only available via Phantom Liberty. The quest “Dog Eat Dog” will then begin, which is what you want to follow to begin the DLC story. 

An in game screenshot of the mission menu from the game Cyberpunk 2077.
The “Dog Eat Dog” mission is your introduction to Phantom Liberty. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

Once you hang up on So-mi, V will contemplate whether this is a cruel and elaborate prank or a lifeline. There’s only one way to find out, so you had better make your way to Dogtown. There is a marker on the map that will show you the way and also a fast travel station nearby to the Dogtown border.

If you are close to one at your current location, you can use one of these stations to get there quickly. When you get to the borders, the DLC will begin as you follow So-mi’s instructions and begin making your way into the giant, closed-off district of Dogtown. 

An in game screenshot of the map with the marker following the Dog Eat Dog mission from Cyberpunk 2077
Follow the marker to get to the Dogtown border. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

The bottom line for this option of starting the Phantom Liberty DLC is that you need to have completed a large portion of the main campaign. If you have done this, simply load your game and wait for that phone call from So-mi. 

Starting Phantom Liberty from a new game

If you are beginning a whole new game—whether it is because you are new to Cyberpunk 2077 or you just want to start afresh for the DLC content—then the process is much easier as you can pretty much jump straight in. 

Boot up the game and then click on the new game option in the main menu. As soon as you do, you will be given the choice to either start your game right from the very beginning or skip through most of the campaign to get to the point where you can begin the Phantom Liberty expansion. 

An in game screenshot of the new game menu from the game Cyberpunk 2077.
You will be given the choice for a regular start or to skip to Phantom Liberty. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

Starting the game from the beginning will mean that you will still have to get through about two-thirds of the campaign before you will be able to access Phantom Liberty. If you are new to the game and are happy to do that, then this might be the best choice for you, especially if you are invested in the story and want to experience it fully before you begin playing through the DLC content. Just be aware that you will have to spend some time in the world of Cyberpunk 2077 before you can reach the Phantom Liberty storyline. 

However, if you are new to the game and excited to play Phantom Liberty—or if you have another save but want to skip forward to the DLC—then the option to skip is going to be the better decision for you. You will still have to create a new character to do so, but that is going to take much less time than it will to reach the story missions in Pacifica in the main game. 

When you choose to begin the DLC by skipping straight to it from a new game save, the game will open with some narration by everyone’s favorite anarchist/rock god Johnny Silverhand, who will go through some of the key points of the narrative up to the point that you have skipped to. He does so in classic Silverhand style: with plenty of attitude but keeping it brief enough to not get too complicated. This is particularly helpful for new players who are more interested in Phantom Liberty than the other parts of the game. It’s also useful for those who already know all the details of the campaign and are creating new save files to get to the Phantom Liberty story as quickly as possible. 

An in game screenshot of the loading screen when you skip to the Phantom Liberty DLC in Cyberpunk 2077.
Johnny has some narrative cues to fill you in on if you choose to skip. Screenshot by Dot Esports.

When you opt for skipping to the DLC events, you will begin the game by reading a book on the outskirts of Dogtown (you will spawn about 400 meters from where you need to go). So-mi will then call you under the guise of “Songbird” as a mystery caller, as she does when starting up the game from a previously played campaign. The DLC content will then begin in the same way, with the “Dog Eat Dog” mission starting up and you traveling to the borders of Dogtown as per So-mi’s instructions. 

I was quite lucky in regard to starting up the Phantom Liberty DLC, as I hadn’t completed the game yet, but I had progressed past the point of the Pacifica missions in the main campaign. Because of this, I was able to jump right back in from when I last played Cyberpunk 2077 about a month ago, and got the phone call from So-mi as soon as I got out of the building I was in and out onto the street.

Unfortunately, as I haven’t completed the main Cyberpunk 2077 campaign yet, I’m not actually sure whether these methods of starting up the Phantom Liberty DLC will change when loading a completed game save. That being said, if you are trying to get into the expansion as quickly as possible, then I would suggest simply creating a new save and a new character so that you can jump straight into it. 

If you are like me and happened to be at a good place to begin the DLC during a previous play-through, then restarting that save and waiting for Songbird’s phone call should also be a relatively quick way to get started with Phantom Liberty. Whichever way you choose to start the DLC, our guide will hopefully speed up the process for you. 


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Author
Antonia Haynes
Antonia Haynes is a freelance general gaming writer for Dot Esports who resides in a small seaside town in England where she has lived her whole life. Beginning her video game writing career back in 2014, and having an avid love of gaming since childhood, she became a staff writer in 2018 before becoming freelance in 2023 with her role at Dot Esports. Her ideal day would consist of junk food, fluffy pyjamas and video games because quite frankly going outside is overrated.