Assault rifles and snipers may steal the show at a distance, but when things get messy and your enemies close in, there’s nothing like a shotgun in your hands. Cyberpunk 2077‘s 2.0 update gives players even more options for dispatching enemies at point-blank range, with revised perk trees and more weapons than ever. CD Projekt Red knows how to do visceral, open-world combat right. If you haven’t already tried out shotguns in Cyberpunk, now’s the time. Here’s everything you need to know about putting together the best shotgun build in Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 before Phantom Liberty arrives.
Cyberpunk 2077 Shotgun Build Playstyle
Let the quickhacking netrunners and stealthy street samurai do things the fancy way. This shotgun build is about maximizing carnage at close range, plain and simple. It emphasizes brute force, tanking hits rather than dodging them, relying on its ability to dish out as much punishment as it takes. Whether you’re wielding an old-school double-barrel or an electrified Tech Shotgun, the strategy stays the same: get close and unleash. Concentrating on Body first and Reflexes second, the best shotgun build mixes regeneration and bursts of speed with pure DPS. You won’t win any points for subtlety, but you will leave your enemies splattered all over Night City, so that counts for something.
By far, the most important Attribute for the best Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 shotgun build is Body. This Attribute unlocks shotgun-specific perks, which already makes it the top priority for this build. It also grants a variety of regeneration perks that are necessary for keeping you in one piece when gunning it out at point-blank range. Increasing your Body also raises your Max Health to a total of +40 at Level 20. That’s a sizable buff, and when you combine it with regeneration perks and high-tier armor, this shotgun build can shrug off even the most intense enemy assaults. This is the recommended prioritization for Attributes:
- Technical Ability
There are interesting shotgun builds that utilize Cool and Intelligence, but this one doesn’t need them, given its focus on raw aggression. Reflexes adds the ability to dash, which has useful offensive and defensive applications. Since it doesn’t take that many Attribute Points to unlock, grabbing that potent perk is an easy choice. You can go a long time without investing in Technical Ability, but it works wonders here. Technical Ability lets you use a variety of cyberware implants, enhancing your offensive and defensive capabilities as you see fit. Flexible builds like this one demonstrate exactly why players are enjoying the game.
Technically, there’s only one essential path you need to take for this build, and everything else is optional. That said, some perk branches recommend themselves so strongly that they’re worth outlining here in detail. Thanks to the forgiving respec system in Cyberpunk 2077‘s 2.0 update, you can always swap in new perks later if you want to experiment. Concentrate on unlocking the Body tree first, grabbing shotgun-specific upgrades before expanding outward. Once that’s done, jump into Reflexes for some useful mobility perks that will make getting into the fray easier. If you prefer tanking over dodging, you can start on Technical Ability instead of Reflexes. The most important Body and Reflexes perks to grab are the following:
- Rip and Tear
- Spontaneous Obliteration
- Bullet Ballet
- Close-Quarters Carnage
- Rush of Blood
- Mad Dash
In addition to the dash perks offered by Reflexes, the best shotgun build in Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 features a variety of important buffs. These include the ability to regenerate during combat, increase shotgun damage as well as melee strikes using the weapon, and automatically dismember enemies who are at low health. Street samurai may favor their elegant blades, but shotgun builds are all about maximizing carnage, so it’s bound to get gruesome. Mad Dash will get you into combat quickly, and even if you’re tanking rather than dodging hits, Painkiller will give you the survivability to make it through.
Most shotgun builds don’t rely on cyberware nearly as much as other characters. A netrunner is only as good as their operating system, whereas this shotgun build can excel with only minimal augmentation. A lot has changed in Cyberpunk‘s 2.0 update, including cyberware. V’s body can now handle only a limited amount of augmentation, and putting in more cyberware requires an investment in Technical Ability and its related perks. Putting the Attribute points in can be worthwhile, however, especially if you’ve already maxed out Body. Near the end of the game, you’ll have more points than you know what to do with anyway, so it’s not worth fretting about too much.
It’s debatable what cyberware works best for shotgun builds, but arguably the answer is the Dynalar Sandevistan. Like all cyberware, this piece can be purchased and equipped at Ripperdocs throughout Night City. If you haven’t already popped into a clinic, now’s a good time. Sandevistans slow down time around your character, allowing you to pull off a variety of fancy maneuvers before enemies can react. The Dynalar Sandevistan offers the following benefits:
- Slows time by 50%
- +10% Crit Chance
- +10% Crit Damage
- Max Duration: 9 seconds
- Cooldown: 45 seconds
Nothing in Cyberpunk 2077 is quite as fearsome as a shotgun-wielding maniac dancing around enemies stuck in slow motion.
Shotgun Build Weapons
Even if you were familiar with Cyberpunk‘s extensive catalog of weapons before, you’d want to refamiliarize yourself because 2.0 brought a number of balance adjustments. The game has always offered impressive weapon variety, even amongst weapons of the same type. Wielding a Tech Shotgun can feel quite different from wielding a standard one. Even after you’ve committed to using the best shotgun build in 2.0, it might take you a while before you settle on a preferred weapon. Don’t hesitate to experiment.
The DB-4 IGLA and Carnage are both solid options while you figure out what works best for you. It’s really just a matter of taste since they both have their pros and cons. The former offers improved Attack Speed but inferior Damage and Armor Penetration. No matter which shotgun you pick, it will benefit from the variety of Body perks you’ve taken, significantly raising your DPS. Experiment with different combinations of shotguns, cyberware, and perks until you arrive at something that fits your playstyle best.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty will be available for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S on September 26.