For many, Cyberpunk 2077‘s 2.0 update is the excuse they’ve been looking for to either finally play the now largely fixed and improved game or simply enjoy the best version of that experience possible. However, anyone beginning a fresh Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 playthrough will need to start their journey by picking one of three Lifepaths for their characters. For new players, this choice is as mysterious and daunting as ever. However, even returning players are wondering if 2.0 did anything to change these Lifepaths in any way.
Well, for what it’s worth, I can tell you that 2.0 doesn’t seem to have directly changed any of the Lifepath options in any notable way. However, it has indirectly affected those options in some slightly smaller ways (mostly for good). Furthermore, the differences between the Lifepaths are as ambiguous as ever, which makes now a pretty great time to go over how each choice actually impacts the rest of the game.
Before we get into that, though, please note that while there is no way to completely avoid spoilers in this article, I am going to refrain from listing every little thing that is different about each Lifepath in great detail. Instead, the goal is to try to point you in the right direction based on your preferences.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0: What Are The Differences Between Each Lifepath?
For the most part, your choice of Lifepath in Cyberpunk 2077 won’t drastically impact the direction of the game or determine what content you are able to experience. 95% of the game will still play out largely the same regardless of which Lifepath you pick.
So what’s the point? Well, aside from enhancing your own role-playing satisfaction, each Lifepath offers a few notable exclusive features:
– A unique prologue
– A unique mission
– Unique dialog and mission options
For the moment, then, let’s push aside your possible personal preferences and focus on how the different Lifepath choices more practically alter the Cyberpunk 2077 experience.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0: Streetkid Lifepath Explained
“They say if you wanna understand the streets, you gotta live ’em. Gangs, fixers, dolls, small-time pushers – you were raised by them all. Down here the law of the jungle dictates the weak serve the strong – the only law in Night City you have yet to break.”
You start the game as a resident of Night City’s underworld. In order to clear an old debt, you decide to take a job from a local criminal named Kirk Sawyer. Sawyer asks you to steal one of the rarest and most valuable cars in the city. During that job, you meet another mercenary named Jackie Welles who happens to want the same car.
Before either of you can claim it, you are surrounded by the police. Thankfully, one of the cops happens to be familiar with the two of you and decides to let you both go. You can Jackie soon bond over your shared misfortunes and decide to start hanging out and working together. This begins the main part of the game.
Unique Mission – “Small Man, Big Mouth“
Kirk Sawyer will eventually reach out to you and ask that you help him with another job in order to repair your relationship. Try to be surprised, but the job goes wrong in several different ways. V must soon navigate the fallout of a series of bad decisions.
Unique Dialog Options and Interactions
Streetkids are blessed with the most unique dialog options of all the available Lifepaths. That’s largely because they have far more opportunities to run into characters in Night City that they have some familiarity with or knowledge of. That includes various gang members and other underworld/law enforcement members. This version of V knows a little about a lot of things happening in Night City and can often weigh in on various topics in ways that reflect that experience. These options often help you as the player learn more about Night City.
You’ll also be able to avoid certain outcomes or create new opportunities thanks to your knowledge of the shadier sides of Night City. There are actually multiple instances where you’ll be able to interact with a cop or criminal in some way that either causes a new dialog tree to sprout or allows you to access a slightly different solution to a problem. For instance, there’s a gang trying to rob a diner that you can stop just by talking to them whereas other players will need to resort to other options.
Without spoiling everything, it’s best to think of this Lifepath option as the choice that opens up more unique interactions with cops and lower-end criminals. Again, that’s a big part of the reason why you’ll encounter so many unique Streetkid interactions throughout the game.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0: Corpo Lifepath Explained
“Few leave the corporate world with their lives – fewer still with their souls intact. You’ve been there – you’ve bent the rules, exploited secrets, and weaponized information. There’s no such thing as a fair game, only winners and losers.”
V begins Cyberpunk 2077 as a high-ranking Arasaka Corporation employee with all of the advantages that career choice offers. However, their life is turned upside down when his boss, Arthur Jenkins, asks him to help sabotage another executive in order to assist Jenkins in his rise to power.
However, things soon go wrong, as they so often do. V’s role in this plot is discovered during the mission, and they are ousted from their cushy corpo job. Thankfully, their pal Jackie is there to save them. The main part of the story begins around this point.
Unique Mission – “War Pigs”
One of V’s former Arasaka co-workers contacts them and asks if they can help him with a little problem at work. It seems that V’s “betrayal” of the company also put them in some hot water, and they’d like to get out. However, you’ll soon discover that the offer comes with some considerable strings attached.
As a former Corpo, V does not have access to the underworld knowledge that Streetkids are blessed with. That means that they encounter fewer opportunities to comment on things like local gangs or memories they have of various little locations throughout Night City.
However, V’s extensive corporate background does offer them unrivaled knowledge about that particular aspect of Night City. Some of Cyberpunk 2077‘s biggest narrative moments see you interact with various corporations and Corpo members, and the Corpo Lifepath often shines in those moments. Not only will you have intimate knowledge of corporate dealings and terminology that will often catch others off-guard, but you’ll occasionally have the chance to enforce some of your old corporate authority in ways that prove to be surprisingly beneficial. Arguably the most notable example of said benefits is a Corpo dialog option that allows you to skip a fairly substantial part of an otherwise difficult mission.
Depending on how you look at it, this Lifepath choice offers a combination of “fall from grace” and “redemption” angles. You used to be a bit of a scumbag, and…ok, sometimes you still are. However, Corpos not only get to tap into an aspect of the game’s lore that other Lifepaths know absolutely nothing about but often get to perform interactions that result in much more beneficial rewards and outcomes (which fits their greedy and authoritative lifestyles).
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0: Nomad Lifepath Explained
“Roaming the Badlands, looting scrapyards, raiding fuel depots – life on the road wasn’t easy. But growing up in a nomad clan has its perks. Honesty, integrity, and a love of freedom – qualities that few in Night City possess, and no amount of money can buy.”
V begins life in the Badlands where they soon find themselves in trouble with the local law enforcement. Undeterred, V decided to take on a job with Jackie that requires the pair to attempt a dangerous border crossing.
As is the theme with all of our prologues, things do indeed go very, very wrong. This time around, though, things go wrong in a way that sees Jackie and V running for their lives from some armed and dangerous pursuers. With few options left on the table, V decided to try to hide out in Night City until they can find a way back into the Badlands.
Unique Mission – “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’“
Once in the Badlands, you’ll receive a GPS update from your old car. Try to recover it, and you’ll discover that a mysterious woman has claimed it as their own. You’ll then need to decide what to do with them. Though this is the least substantial of the optional missions, it could potentially end up with you receiving a free (or cheap) new ride.
As a Nomad, you know almost nothing about Night City’s underworld, corporations, or general way of life. Compared to the other two Lifepath options, you’ll rarely encounter unique Nomad dialog options while in Night City. The you do encounter largely exist to clarify misconceptions about the Badlands or ask additional questions about Night City life.
However, the dynamic changes greatly once you finally make your way to the Badlands. At that point in the game, Nomads will enjoy a more unique and generally more substantial experience than the other Lifepath options get to experience. That’s not to say that there aren’t noteworthy interactions available to Nomads before this point, but rather that Nomads get to experience what is otherwise one of the most jarring parts of the game in a completely different way.
Even more so than Corpos, Nomads are the ultimate outsiders for most of the game. That not only makes them a fascinating “player surrogate” option for new players but it ensures that they are able to eventually access some fairly substantial dialog in specific situations. This is also a fantastic Lifepath choice for those who intend to eventually romance Panam.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0: What Is the Best Lifepath Choice?
This will probably be a little controversial, but I’ve found that Corpo is the best overall Lifepath choice in Cyberpunk 2077.
Corpos may not have access to as many unique interactions as Streetkids (even if the quantity difference really isn’t that great), but I’d argue that they have access to the most substantial unique dialog options in the game.
Not only can Corpos trigger more dialog options that lead to an alternate path forward or additional rewards, but some of the most important missions in the game are filled with fascinating Corpo interaction opportunities. That’s especially true during Act 3 when Corpos really get the chance to flex their background in some fun ways. Granted, their unique prologue is not really notable outside of enjoying some corporate luxuries, but you’ll see the benefits of their unique knowledge as early as the first major campaign mission. I also wish their unique mission was more exciting, but that’s true of most of the unique missions.
That said, I can’t really argue against the popular idea that Streetkid seems like the most “natural” way to play Cyberpunk 2077.
After all, every prologue ends with you turning to some variation of the Streetkid life. Furthermore, Streetkids seem to have access to the most unique interaction opportunities in the greatest variety of scenarios (even if some missions are catered more towards other Lifepath options). That said, their prologue is a bit on the weaker side and is weirdly the only one where the player doesn’t seem to have an established relationship with Jackie. At least their unique mission is the most entertaining of the Lifepath sidequests.
Then there’s Nomad which…look, it’s long been the black sheep of the Lifepath options.
The fact of the matter is that Nomads have access to significantly fewer unique interaction opportunities than Streetkids and Corpos, which makes them the most obvious “role-playing” choice. However, I will say that Cyberpunk 2077’s 2.0 update actually unintentionally improves the Nomad Lifepath. How? Well, Nomads have the only action-heavy unique prologue, and the action in 2.0 is generally more exciting due to the improvements made to the game’s AI. Furthermore, the Nomad Lifepath does connect the Badlands portion of the game to the rest of the experience a bit more cleanly, and their unique mission does potentially come with a considerable reward.
Interestingly enough, I’ve also found that there is a very loose morality system attached to each Lifepath.
For instance, Corpo dialog options are often more aggressive in ways that may best suit players who are looking for slightly more “evil” interactions (even if that concept doesn’t really exist in this game). On the other end of things, Nomads are afforded more opportunities to offer a helping hand or at least a few words of reason from the mouths of an outsider looking to make sense of everything. Finally, Streetkids fall somewhere in the middle. They’re occasionally aggressive and certainly not above getting their hands dirty, but the circumstances of their background mean that they can also be sympathetic toward a vareity of situations and causes.