Once you learn that The Ascent is more than your typical twin-stick shooter, you will realize just how important the RPG elements are. You have your guns, sure, but that’s only part of the equation. You also need to factor in your level, what skills you upgrade, what abilities you’re using, the gear you’re wearing, and your CyberDeck. Most of these are familiar to gamers who have played games with RPG elements, such as leveling up and distributing skill points, and even the gear system is relatively straightforward once you interact with it. CyberDecks, on the other hand, probably won’t mean anything by name alone.
CyberDecks are completely optional upgrades you can find in The Ascent. If you want, you could go through the entire game without really interfacing with the system, but doing so would be a serious handicap. As you explore the world of Veles, at least when you’re not fighting for your life, you will no doubt come across some special doors, chests, and machines that are hackable, assuming your CyberDeck is at a high enough level. Rather than missing out on all that extra loot, we’ll show you where to get all the CyberDeck upgrades in The Ascent.
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There are a total of 11 unique CyberDeck upgrades hidden in various locations in The Ascent. Unlike skill points, these upgrades are automatically applied, so you simply need to pick them up in order to reap the benefits. Your CyberDeck will get a new name for each level you upgrade it, which can help you at least keep track of how many upgrades you’re still missing. The max level you can reach is 10, meaning you only need to find nine more to hit that cap. Some will come via story progression, so there is a tiny bit of wiggle room in deciding which ones you want to seek out. As mentioned, these are needed to hack open doors and chests that are packed with valuables, as well as turrets that can fight for you.
We’ve listed out the upgrades in the general order you would be able to find them playing the game normally.
As soon as you hit the main hub, Cluster 13, navigate to the armor vendor and go up to the rooftops. There’s a chest sitting in the top right corner here with the first available CyberDeck upgrade, promoting you from the default TA Lifestyle to City Kicker level.
To level up from City Kicker to Peacemaker CD, you will need to make a stop in No Man’s Land. You will pass through this area naturally as you make your way to the Grinder. While here, you will hit a small room where you can pick up a crafting component. After leaving this room, go up the next set of stairs up to a platform. Crack open the chest here and pick up the CyberDeck upgrade inside.
This next upgrade can be picked up while you’re doing the third main mission of the story called “Trading Places.” As soon as you enter Coder’s Cove, look in the doorway behind Noghead’s room. There will be a golden glow to help you find it. This will promote you to the Icepick level.
Also part of the main story, this time the fifth mission, you will naturally be led to the AG Vault in DNexus. There’s a chest right in the middle of the floor here that you almost have to try and miss containing the CyberDeck upgrade that will take you to the Plug level.
Upgrading from Plug to Visitor can be achieved during the very next mission, number 6, called “Foreign Code.” You will have to enter the Cosmodrome area. As you fight your way through, pay attention to when you go through the C6 door and go to the northeast end of the room, killing all the enemies waiting for you. You’ll need to hack a chest to get this upgrade, but by now you will have a more than high enough CyberDeck to crack it.
Another upgrade that’s almost impossible to miss, this upgrade can be picked up during mission 7 called “Trace Protocol.” Once you reach Lanier’s Apartment, go into the computer room as instructed and just pick up this upgrade resting in the corner to become Manta D level.
You don’t have to wait long to become a CyberDeck Diva, since another upgrade is in mission 7. Later on, you will be sent to the ExMat Lab in RezDev, which is full of enemies. Fight your way to the far northeast end of the lab and go into the room to pick up another upgrade.
While exploring the Arcology: HighStreet area, find the street labeled as Y8 within the CorpZone. On this street is a locked chest you can easily hack open. It’s a level 1 Ice chest, to level up from Diva to The Arcade.
While you’re exploring Arcology: HighStreet, make your way to the appealing-sounding area known as The Glut. If you have the side mission called “Prison Break” then you’ll go there as part of that quest. After dispatching the enemies here, make your way to the northeast side and look for the building with a door glowing green you can enter. Grab the upgrade inside and become the Ghost of Veles.
You’ll be locked out of this area until you start the mission called “Syntax Error,” but once you can access Arcology: Pinnacle, keep pushing forward until you hit the far northeast end of the zone. There’s a railing here in the outdoor section with the upgrade ripe for the taking. If you’ve got all the previous ones, you’ll already be at max level.
Our final CyberDeck upgrade to collect, if you still need one, is in the Arcology: The Warrens zone, which you won’t be able to enter until late in the game. Once you can, and are able to fight your way through the tough enemies, get yourself to the room called Storage 168. You will need to have earned at least two CyberDeck upgrades to hack the door, and inside is a chest you can hack open, again requiring level 2 hacking, with this final upgrade.
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