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How to level up fast in Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 is an endless black hole of side-quests and activities. Everything you do in this not-so-distant future will reward you will XP and Street Cred. Perhaps you’ve been playing the game since launch and wish you could take back those initial stat investments? Maybe you’re brand new and want a nudge in the right direction? In any case, here are some helpful hints to level up fast in Cyberpunk 2077.

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XP vs. Streed Cred

Cyberpunk 2077 review
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There are two significantly different schools of leveling in Cyberpunk 2077. Players will earn XP, which will go towards their overall character level, and Street Cred, which will unlock access to better gear in-game. While Cyberpunk follows the same general blueprint for leveling in an Open-world RPG, there are a few things players will want to keep in mind.

For starters, the bonuses you’ll unlock with high Street Cred far exceed the passive buffs you’ll get from being a higher level (at least during the early game). Street Cred will grant V access to better Cyberware, weapons, and upgrades.

Base XP will reward V with perk points that can be allocated into whichever skill tree you prefer. It depends on how you’re playing your game. However, there are a few arguments for investing in Body and Intelligence. For starters, the stronger you are, the better cars you can Hijack, and the more doors you can force open. The smarter you are, the more tech you can hack, and the more information you’ll gain access to. Getting both to level 6 will (literally) open up several doors for V. After that, feel free to allocate as you see fit.

How to earn XP quickly

Side-jobs and events will be your best friend when trying to grind both XP and Street Cred. Completing them will always reward V with a lump sum of XP and Eurodollars. Increasing V’s overall level will reward you with a few perk points to allocate as well as one attribute point. Here are a few minor tricks you can use to increase your overall XP gains while completing side-jobs.

Hack Everything

You will earn a small amount of XP every time you successfully hack something. If you’re crouched behind a wall waiting to lay waste to a group of Tiger Claws, you should absolutely expend any available RAM before engaging. Successfully distracting enemies, blinding enemies, and disabling cameras will give V huge boosts of XP. It will also make taking down that group of enemies much easier.

Play Stealthy

Stealth Takedowns will also grant bonus XP. Use stealth in tandem with Hacking to maximize the amount of XP gained from one specific side-job. Don’t get discouraged if stealth doesn’t seem doable. Sometimes a group of enemies in an alleyway will need to be mowed down in an open gunfight.

Run & Gun

While hacking and stealth takedowns will reward V with bonus XP, they are both time-consuming activities. The alternative to earning bonus XP from one side-job is to run and gun through the side-job to get to the next one. While this isn’t recommended for actual gigs and missions (anything with an objective/waypoint), the run and gun strategy will maximize the amount of NCPD contracts V can complete.

These NCPD contracts range from organized crime tips to active crimes in the area. They’re marked by a variety of different blue symbols on the map. Drive to the area, eliminate the enemies, and gather the evidence needed to complete the event. While you can still hack and remain stealthy while doing these, it’s honestly better to go in guns blazing and get to the next one quicker.

How to earn Street Cred quickly

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Everything mentioned above will earn you Street Cred on top of base XP. However, there are a few ways to maximize V’s Street Cred gains as well.

Grind NCPD contracts

Not only will these contracts boost V’s overall XP, but they’ll also shower him in Street Cred. As mentioned above, these contracts spawn all over Night City. It’s almost impossible not to spot one on every block. Kick the door in, shoot the scene up, and claim whatever reward awaits you.

The Samurai Jacket

The Samurai Jacket is a cosmetic item that will increase V’s Street Cred gains by 5%. It is found as a quest reward after completing “Chippin’ In,” a side gig offered by Rogue. You’ll start by meeting with her at The Afterlife. From there, complete the steps of the quest and claim your reward. This side-quest will become available towards the end of the game’s main story. You’ll recognize the Samurai Jacket right away as it is the main article of clothing depicted in nearly every piece of promo material for Cyberpunk 2077.

Higher tier gigs

As you’ve probably noticed, different missions have different difficulty tiers assigned to them. Leveling up your Street Cred will grant access to those more difficult missions. Completing those will grant you more Street Cred! The two go hand-in-hand. Once you’ve unlocked higher tiers, V will have access to all sorts of upgraded weapons and Cyberware with different degrees of rarity.

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Mike Colucci
Michael Colucci is a lifelong video game fan based out of the greater Boston area. He's the one insistent on searching every…
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