Cyberpunk 2077‘s Phantom Liberty expansion is filled with new weapons, new stories, new characters, new areas, and…well, a bunch of other new things across the board. However, Phantom Liberty‘s most significant addition to the base Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 experience may just be Relic Perks.
Relic Perks add an entirely new branch to Cyberpunk 2077‘s character-building tree. Aside from the raised level cap you’ll enjoy in the Phantom Liberty expansion, they also offer the most substantial way to raise your character’s general power level. Yet, for as important as Relics can be, I’ve found that the Phantom Liberty expansion kind of brushes them off or perhaps just does a poor job of explaining what they are and what they can do for you.
That being the case, here’s a better look at what Relic Perks do, how to acquire them, and which ones you really want.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty – What Are Relic Perks?
Relic Perks are new abilities introduced in the Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty expansion. While Relic Perks are relatively limited compared to other Perks and Skills in Cyberpunk 2077, every Relic Perk will grant you access to an incredibly powerful new ability. This is the highest of high-tech Cyberware available in Cyberpunk 2077’s world, and each Relic upgrade clearly reflects the power and rarity of that technology.
Despite their incredible power, though, Relic Perks are a bit more “specialized” than some of the other Perks you’ll find in the game. Each branch of the Relic tree tends to cater to a slightly different basic playstyle (melee, guns, and stealth, specifically). Actually, some Relic upgrades require you to have a specific weapon or piece of Cyberware to be used in the first place. While you can take as many Relic Perks as you like, properly using them all will require you to mix and match your playstyles a bit.
However, please note that Relic Perks are exclusive to the Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty expansion and cannot be acquired in the 2.0 update. That’s because the mechanics that drive these upgrades (as well as how they are introduced to the narrative) are both exclusive to the new characters and storylines featured in the Phantom Liberty expansion.
Speaking of which…
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty – How to Upgrade and Acquire Relic Perks
Unlike other Perks and Skills in Cyberpunk 2077, which are upgraded by earning XP, Relic Perks can only be acquired by earning Relic Points in the Dogtown area of the Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty expansion. There are two ways to acquire those Relic Points:
- Completing certain objectives in Phantom Liberty’s main story.
- Finding and hacking Relic Terminals spread throughout Dogtown. These bright yellow terminals are usually hidden from plain sight, though they are easy to identify once you spot one.
If you don’t go out of your way to find those Relic Points, you will not be able to work your way through the Relic Skill Tree. You could max out every other aspect of your character and still never acquire any additional Relic Perks if you don’t find those Relic Points.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty – How Many Relic Points Can You Earn?
There are 15 total Relic Points in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty. If you acquire all of them, you will be able to unlock every upgrade in the Relic Perk tree. However, please note that some upgrades are limited to the use of specific weapons and items. If you don’t have those weapons and items equipped, you won’t be able to actually use those Perks.
Keep in mind that you can also refund and reassign your Relic Perk points via the Relic menu whenever you’d like. Given that you acquire enough Relic Points at the start of the expansion to unlock one of the three main Relic branches, that means that you’ll be able to try each of those main skills as soon as possible to see which one is best for you.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty – Every Relic Perk Explained
The Relic Perk Tree is divided into three major branches: Emergency Cloaking, Vulnerability Analytics, and Jailbreak. Each of those Relic Perks costs three Relic Points, and acquiring one of them will eventually allow you to unlock a subsequent series of related upgrades for one (1) Relic Point.
Here is what every upgrade in the Relic Perk tree does:
Vulnerability Analytics (3 Relic Points)
During combat, you can now detect Vulnerabilities in enemy Armor and Cyberware. Hitting Vulnerabilities gives:
100% Crit Chance
+25 Armor Penetration
Weakspot Damage Bonuses
Dealing enough damage to a Vulnerability will cause it to explode, generating an EMP blast that damages enemies within 3 meters
Vulnerability Analytics – Machine Learning (1 Relic Point)
Destroying an enemy’s Vulnerability grants:
+10% frequency of new Vulnerabilities appearing
+5% Crit Damage against Vulnerabilities
Duration: 25 seconds
This effect can stack 5 times and reaching max stacks doubles these effects.
Emergency Cloaking (3 Relic Points)
Improves Optical Camo Cyberware.
Activating Optical Camo during combat will cause enemies to lose track of you, giving you a chance to exit combat.
Note: To use this ability, you must have Optical Camo equipped to your Combat Gadget quick slot.
Emergency Cloaking – Sensory Protocol (1 Relic Point)
When crouched, becoming detected by an enemy will temporarily slow time. Dodge or Dashout of the enemy’s line of sight to immediately exit combat.
Cooldown: 120 seconds
Jailbreak (3 Relic Points)
Dismembering an enemy or performing a Finisher with Mantis Blades will charge the next Leap Attack.
A charged Leap Attack with Mantis Blades has +30 meters longer reach and deals massive damage with a wide slash that hits the target and other nearby enemies.
Killing an enemy with this attack also dismembers them.
Attacking with Gorilla Arms now charges them up. When fully charged, a Strong Attack deals massive damage and creates a shockwave, staggering nearby enemies.
Neutralizing an enemy this way will send their body flying.
Projectile Launch System
You can now overcharge the Projectile Launch System. This launches a burst of 5 projectiles that cover a larger area.
The Monowire now has a dedicated slot for Control quick hacks.
To use the installed quickhacks, charge the Monowire. When Fully charged, release the attack to deal damage and upload the quickhack without paying its RAM cost.
Jailbreak – Spatial Mapping (1 Relic Point)
All Leap Attacks with Mantis Blades now cripple enemies and increase dismemberment chance against those same enemies for 10 seconds.
Jailbreak – Limiter Removal (1 Relic Point)
The shockwave from a charred Gorilla Arms attack now knocks down all enemies within range.
Jailbreak – Launch Capacity Override (1 Relic Point)
+1 charge for the Projectile Launch System.
Jailbreak – Data Tunneling (1 Relic Point)
When an enemy is affected by a Monowire-uploaded quickhack, normal Monowire attacks which hit that enemy and other enemies simultaneously will spread the quickhack to them.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty – What Is the Best Relic Perk?
Keep in mind that each of the Relic Perks in Phantom Liberty caters to different styles of play. So, if you pick up a stealth-based Relic Perk and don’t plan on using stealth abilities, you’re going to have a bad time.
That being said, Vulnerability Analytics is probably the best Relic Perk in Cyberpunk 2077: Phanom Liberty.
Why? Well, it turns out that being able to target a guaranteed critical hit zone that grants additional damage bonuses is incredibly useful. While you kind of need to upgrade this ability to “Machine Learning” to combat this Relic Perk’s greatest weaknesses (its relatively low frequency of appearance during prolonged fights), the bonuses you get from those abilities make some of the surprisingly tough fights in Phantom Liberty significantly easier to deal with. It’s just an exceptional combat-based Relic Perk that you absolutely need to try.
Of course, if you’re a melee fan, then you obviously need to unlock Jailbreak instead (even if Vulnerability Analytics can still be useful to you). What you’re really probably wondering is, “Which Jailbreak ability is best?”
So far as that goes, I think that honor would have to go to either Mantis Blades or Gorilla Arms. Personally, I think that leaping around with Mantis Blades is not just one of the most effective forms of combat in Cyberpunk 2077 2.0/Phantom Liberty but one of the most enjoyable forms of combat as well. That being said, this new update made Gorilla Arms much more consistent than they were in the past, and that shockwave ability can be utterly devastating.
I find that the Gorilla Arms Relic Perk is the most consistent in terms of how often you’ll trigger it in the average fight. However, Mantis Blades are much faster and have the potential to be more powerful in the long run. Your personal play preferences and builds will ultimately determine which one you go with.
Monowire is interesting but it’s a bit awkward to use. I love the idea of applying quickhacks via your melee attacks, but to be honest, I find that either focusing on quickhacks or melee attacks tends to be more powerful than trying to combine both in this way. You can absolutely make a Monowire build work, but quickhacks by themselves are arguably overpowered and melee attacks can also be game-breaking. Combining those two ultimately means sacrificing a bit from both.
Projectile Launch System is almost certainly the weakest of the Jailbreak options. Those abilities are certainly powerful, but they’re not particularly exciting, and I think you’d have a hard time justifying investing those valuable Relic Points into them over some of the other options available to you. I’ve yet to play with or even see a build that really feels like it’s getting the most out of those abilities. Pick them up if you have the extra Relic Points, but don’t go out of your way for them.
However, I still think that Emergency Cloaking is the weakest overall Relic Perk. While the ability to exit combat so quickly is obviously nice for stealth builds, I’ve just found that there are more situations in Phantom Liberty where you’ll want combat bonuses rather than the ability to exit combat (largely due to the difficulty of some of the unavoidable fights in the expansion). Now, the good news is that Emergency Cloaking can fairly easily be used in conjunction with various other playstyles. Even still, it’s hard to justify picking this over your other initial options.