It’s almost been a month now since Cyberpunk 2077’s release, and among the incredibly long list of complaints, a lot of people have been talking about how janky the melee combat system feels.
But, that doesn’t mean people can’t make it work for them or have fun with a melee build in general, whether that’s with fists or by speccing into the Blades Tree. Here are some of the best tips we’ve found that should help players make the most out of melee combat.
9 Figure Out How To Bait Out The Same Move Over And Over
In Cyberpunk, enemies have a rather small list of moves they’ll unleash depending on how close V is to them, and this is displayed clear-as-day during the Beat on the Brat Missions. In these missions (and in general) melee combatants usually unleash one of these moves:
- A combo string of three to four attacks that usually involves a kick or strong attack
- A gap-closer moves such as César Diego Ruiz’s Jumping Punch
- Some guard-breaking move followed by a big swing, such as Rhino’s shove into a haymaker
- Or, they simply just swing their melee weapon around once or twice
Thing is, these moves are pretty easy to trick the AI into performing over & over again. For example, if players stick insanely close to Rhino during her fight, focusing only on counters, they’ll notice that she falls back on the shove into haymaker move 95% of the time. Knowing how to manipulate the AI is an easy way to take an already strong melee build and make it even stronger.
Let’s be frank, the dodging in Cyberpunk is pretty awful, especially compared to any other game of the generation. There are a lot of reasons for why this system isn’t well-made, but none are more offensive than the way enemies magnetize to the player. Seriously, enemies seem to suction themselves towards V (usually in the middle of their animations), even if their feet are firmly planted! Thankfully, at least the counter-system is a bit more reliable. But, for those who aren’t confident in their reaction time, running away from a combo-string also works, as long as V is in full sprint.
8 Get Gorilla Arms ASAP
Trying to complete the Beat on the Brat sidequests without Gorilla Arms is like trying to headbutt a wall until it crumbles. It’s possible, but it’s not exactly the best approach. Without Gorilla Arms, enemies can damage V through their counter/block, punches don’t do any damage, and it’s much more difficult to stun enemies in general. Gorilla Arms (or Mantis Blades for blade builds) just make the melee system more enjoyable.
7 Get Rid Of Any Annoying Obstacles Ahead Of Time
This next tip is less about one-on-one melee combat and more about how players can enjoy themselves a bit more with their melee build. Basically, a lot of people playing melee-master V have been accidentally killing themselves by hitting explosive containers or getting shredded by a Security Turret from afar. The answer to this is quite simple, just take care of them beforehand!
Shooting all the containers might make it a bit difficult to go in all “stealthy” but turning off cameras and turrets is incredibly easy even with a basic Cyberdeck. V’s swing (especially with melee weapons) is quite wide, so getting rid of these “landmines” before the big showdown will make the game more enjoyable overall.
6 Get Some Crowd-Control Quickhacks
Speaking of hacking, Street Brawler/Blade build players should absolutely look into what Quickhacks work best for them. For example, the Reboot Optics, Short Circuit, & Weapon Glitch Quickhacks are incredibly useful for disabling enemies while V runs up to them. And, for those who don’t want to rely on “petty tricks”, there are a ton of useful Breach Protocol Daemons such as Mass Vulnerability (which reduces Physical Resistance by 30%). This Daemon makes it so that every punch, slash, or swing seems twice as explosive! It might seem weird to blend the intellectual skill of hacking in Cyberpunk with the caveman-esque skill of punching/hitting things really hard, but they actually combine quite nicely.
5 Charge Up Strong Attacks With Gorilla Arms
When players first unlock and install the Gorilla Arms, it seems like they just increase V’s melee damage. But, they actually include their own mechanic in the form of the Charged Strong Attacks. A new UI bar shows up when V is letting their fists fly, and this bar charges up as V lands more standard hits. The higher this bar gets, the more damage V will do the next time they unleash a strong attack. The damage increase from this isn’t negligible either, it’s pretty hefty at max charge. Yet, for some reason, players don’t seem to be using it all that much.
4 Make Enemies Fight With Melee Weapons
This next one is for people who want to try and build a collection of different melee weapons or for those who want that specific Epic/Legendary variant to drop. Basically, enemies in Cyberpunk 2077 tend to drop whatever weapon they were using when they were killed.
So, if V storms up on some gang members with a bat & forces them to pull out their cleaver, that’s probably going to be what drops when they’re killed. Manipulating the AI into doing this isn’t always the easiest thing, so this strategy is only recommended for the tankier builds.
3 Right Support Cyberware Such As Time-Slow, AOE Blast, ETC
As useful as the Gorilla Arms are, they aren’t the only Cyberware that helps V out in a pinch, there’s actually quite a few Cyberware that are specifically useful for a melee build. Just to name a few:
- Adrenaline Booster: Returns a percentage of V’s stamina whenever they defeat an enemy (based on its rarity)
- Microgenerator: Releases an electric shock whenever V’s HP gets below a certain percentage
- Shock-And-Awe: Has the same effect as Microgenerator, but the shock triggers on-hit rather than at a percentage of health
- Syn-Lungs: Increases overall stamina regen (based on its rarity)
- Kerenzikov: Attacking, aiming, or blocking while dodging/sliding triggers a time dilation effect.
- Bionic Lungs: Increases overall stamina by a percentage (based on its rarity)
- Dense Marrow: Increases melee damage & also increases stamina usage
- Microrotors: Increases melee attack speed
- Microvibration Generator: Increases melee damage
And that’s just to name a few of the ones specifically targeted towards melee combat, it doesn’t even come close to covering them all such as the Sandevistan Operating System or the Subdermal Armor.
2 Most Enemy Attacks Have Super Armor
This is something to be especially careful of, as it can ruin what felt like the winning combination against tough bosses like Rhino or Razor. To put it simply, most enemies in the game seem to have super armor on their attacks, meaning there’s virtually no chance to stun them out of their animation or interrupt it. If the enemy is winding up a swing, focus on dodging, running, or countering, rather than attacking.
1 Use Target Analysis For Melee Builds
The last little tip on here is really just a timesaver for those using the obscenly cool Mantis Blades or those unlucky enough to trigger finisher animations pretty often. The one for the Mantis Blades, in particular, is pretty long and can actually hurt V rather than help them if it triggers in the middle of a firefight. Because, unlike most other games, V actually isn’t invincible during this animation, so they can get pumped full of holes while it plays out. The Optics Mod called Target Analysis is perfect for this, as it makes all weapons non-lethal by default.
NEXT: Cyberpunk 2077: 10 Hidden Details You Missed About Jackie
- Cyberpunk 2077
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