There’s a reason rifles are the go-to weapon in most FPS games. Their balance of range, lethality, accuracy, and rate of fire make them some of the strongest and most adaptable weapons around. Night City is a dangerous place, and if you want to survive Cyberpunk 2077‘s 2.0 update in one piece, specializing in rifles is a good way to go. Thanks to the update, there’s more build variety in the game than ever, so you’ll have no shortage of options. That said, finding the right combination of Attributes, Perks, cyberware, and weapons can be a challenge. Here’s the best rifle build in Cyberpunk 2077‘s 2.0 update.
Cyberpunk 2077 Rifle Build Playstyle
Unlike other more specialized builds, the primary strength of this build is its adaptability. Cyberpunk 2077’s 2.0 update offers no challenge that the best rifle build can’t overcome. Never underestimate the ability to transition seamlessly from close to mid and long-range confrontations. Concentrate your fire on one enemy at a time, and utilize the terrain as necessary. The Reflexes Perk tree offers plentiful advantages beyond simply buffing your rifle DPS, so that’s where you’ll want to concentrate your points. This build’s Attribute Point allocation is as flexible as its weapon of choice, so feel free to experiment. You never know what Perks will suit your playstyle best.
The most important Attribute for the best rifle build is Reflexes. Its Perks offer a variety of buffs that directly support rifles, so you’ll want to max it out as soon as possible. Every point you point into Reflexes grants +0.5% Crit Chance. At Level 20 that’s a +10% Crit Chance buff. Combined with rifles’ already solid damage and rate of fire, that’s a noticeable advantage. There’s significant diversity possible in the best rifle build, just remember that you can’t respec Attributes freely the way that you can Perks. This is the recommended prioritization of Attributes:
- Technical Ability
It’s not hard to fit Intelligence and Cool into the best rifle build, but this arrangement goes in a different direction. Rather than hacking and sneaking, this build keeps it simple. Body provides some solid regeneration abilities, which are helpful whether or not the fight is going your way. Technical Ability fits comfortably into every build in the game, especially after the cyberware rework that came with Cyberpunk‘s 2.0 update. Here it’s used to double down on offense, keeping the focus on aggression and movement in battle. Keep constant pressure on your enemies with a healthy balance of Attributes, and you’ll find Cyberpunk at its most satisfying.
This build is all about Reflexes Perks, but even then there are a number of viable directions you can go. Conveniently, that Perk tree contains rifle as well as movement buffs, making it the perfect fit for the best rifle build. It’s worth investing heavily in Reflexes until you reach the top of the tree since that’s where some of the most worthwhile Reflexes Perks lie. After grabbing everything you need from Reflexes, start working your way through the Body and Technical Ability trees for higher defense and unique mechanics. If you’d prefer a more balanced approach, you can instead alternate between Reflexes, Body, and Technical Ability Perks. The most important Reflexes Perks to grab are the following:
- Salt in the Wound
- Ready, Rested, Reloaded
- Practice Makes Perfect
- Tunnel Vision
- Spice of Life
- Shoot to Chill
- Mind Over Matter
- Steady Grip
These Perks offer a variety of important benefits for the best rifle build. Decreased stamina drain and recoil, superior DPS, and a variety of other buffs greatly improve the overall utility of your rifle. Even without expanding to other Perk trees, this build sports considerable versatility in combat. That means you’ll be fine if you decide to max out your Reflexes Perks rather than diversifying your loadout early. Unlike the best shotgun build, you can play at any range you’d like, so you don’t necessarily need perks designed to close the distance. With Cyberpunk 2077‘s 2.0 update, there’s never been a better time to pick up a rifle in Night City.
Best Rifle Build Cyberware
As you do with the rest of the best rifle build, you have multiple options when it comes to cyberware. Offense, defense, and utility are all solid options, so most of it comes down to playstyle and personal preference. Keep in mind that with the 2.0 update, Cyberpunk 2077 has massively reworked how cyberware functions. V now has a limit on how much cyberware they can install, and you’ll need to invent in the Technical Ability tree if you want to raise that limit. Though cyberware is largely optional, it can significantly impact your strategy, so it’s best not to wait until the end of the game to experiment with it.
Sandevistan cyberware might be a meme, but it’s also incredibly potent cyberware. The ability to slow time at will, dancing just out of your opponent’s reach while you unload with automatic fire, shouldn’t be underestimated. There are several potent Sandevistans to choose from. Arguably, the ideal Sandevistan for the best rifle build is the Militech Falcon Tier 4. This cyberware offers the following benefits:
- Slow time by 70%
- +5% Damage
- +5% Crit Chance
- +5% Crit Damage
- +10% extended duration after neutralizing an enemy
- +5% Health after neutralizing an enemy
- Max Duration: 8 seconds
- Cooldown: 40 seconds
The strategy here is simple: get your targets in your sights, slow time, and unleash the fury of your rifle before they can react.
Rifle Build Weapons
The 2.0 update and Phantom Liberty DLC bring a host of positive changes to Cyberpunk 2077, including balance changes to a number of weapons. Combined with the new weapons being added, this is the best time there’s ever been to try out a rifle build. Rifles offer some of the greatest tactical variety of any weapon class in the game, so spend some time visiting shops around Night City to find some shiny new additions to your arsenal. Gigs and other jobs also frequently lead to new unlocks, so if you’re not sure what to wield, try helping some NPCs.
Not everyone cares for Smart weapons, but if you’re open to them, consider the D5 Sidewinder. There’s a lot to like about this unusual Smart Assault Rifle. Though its base Damage could be better, it has excellent Attack Speed, Reload Speed, and Effective Range. Punchy headshots, decent Armor Penetration, and a 1.2-second Lock-on time all make the D5 Sidewinder a fun and capable weapon, regardless of what kind of fight you find yourself in.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty will be available for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S on September 26.