Unlike other melee options in Cyberpunk 2077, the monowire doesn’t have a bunch of perks to give it strength and usefulness in the early game; Instead, there are only a handful of perks that impact it, and cyberware synergy is also practically non-existent.
Still, with the right planning, cyberware and attribute investment, you can absolutely play a monowire-focused build in Cyberpunk!
Let’s start with the attributes & skills.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 Monowire Build: Attributes & Skills
The 3 core attributes you’ll focus on here are Intelligence, Body & Tech.
Starting out, you’ll want everything at 4 and then put the rest into Intelligence; Your goal is to get Intelligence to 15 first, as early game you’ll barely be using the monowire (if at all). Once you’ve done that, get Body to 9, and then Tech to 9 as well. Once those are both 9, pump body to 15, Int to 20, and Tech to 15. Finally, max Body & Tech (Body first).
For skills, things are going to be really hard early on if you’re playing on Hard: As I noted the early game won’t use the monowire much, so you’re basically going to be playing a hacker build instead.
Under the Intelligence tree, grab everything on the left & middle minus “Warning: Explosion Hazard”, “Blood Daemon”, and “Shadowrunner”. Early on focus on the queue and the main parts of the trees; Overclock isn’t going to be super useful until the later game when you’re rocking a Tier 5 cyberdeck. Also, don’t forget Car Hacking.
In Body, grab everything down the middle, focusing on the center part of the tree
For Tech, again grab everything in the middle (minus “Ambidextrous” and “Built Different”). You’ll also want to grab everything on the left related to health items & health item regen. Skip the grenade-exclusive stuff. Be sure to get the second level of Health Freak ASAP!
For relic perks (this absolutely requires Phantom Liberty), grab Jailbreak & Data Tunneling first, and Emergency Cloaking second.
Otherwise, feel free to grab some of the base stuff in Reflexes & Cool as you have perks available.
Alright, now we come into the critical portion: Cyberware.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 Monowire Build: Cyberware & Equipment
The 2 biggest pieces of this build is your cyberdeck and your monowire.
For the cyberdeck, you’re going to want to use the Tetatronic Rippler: This works really well with this monowire build, and also gives you some general ‘runner abilities as well. You want to get this to Tier 5 ASAP: If you’re focused you can get it there by level 30, but that will require some grinding (I personally did a lot of NCPD and carjacking gigs) to get the parts necessary.
For the monowire, ordinarily I’d say use whatever you like, but in this case I’d suggest the Thermal variant: It’s synergy with higher-tiers of Contagion is fantastic, and you’ll definitely be making use of Contagion when encountering large groups of enemies.
Additionally, with Phantom Liberty you’ll be loading up the Cripple Movement quickhack in your monowire; Because of this you’ll want to ensure you get this to tier 5 ASAP as well.
The next most critical cyberware is going to be the Blood Pump & Biomonitor under the Circulatory system; This lets you focus on dealing damage, and gets you the most bang for your buck out of your healing (which you’ll be doing a lot of). Heal-On-Kill is also good here.
In the Frontal Cortex, Mechatronic Core and Ex-Disk are must-haves.
For the face, grab whatever Kiroshis you like.
Under Skeleton, you MUST have Dense Marrow and Feen-X. After that, use whatever you can to boost armor.
In Hands, a Smart Link is a good idea. I carry a smart weapon as a backup for vehicle stuff, and the bonuses for netrunners in general is never a bad thing.
For the Nervous System, Synaptic Accelerator and Reflex Tuner are extremely useful to help slow the pace of combat down. NeoFiber is also good later on to help mitigate damage.
In Integumentary systems, Optical Camo and Subdermal armor are good, but in the late game you may want to pop in the iconic Chitin instead of Subdermal Armor. Also, grab Painducer to help increase survivability.
For legs, double jump is king. Grab Reinforced Tendons.
Here’s an important note: Avoid going overboard with Edgerunner. You will need your health, so do NOT max out your cyberware if it means maxing out Edgerunner itself.
Let’s talk about playstyle, finally.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 Monowire Build: Playstyle
This build is going to be really challenging at higher difficulties in the early game; Honestly, I wouldn’t even suggest USING the monowire until around level 20 (by this time you should have your Monowire & Cyberdeck up to Tier 3).. So start with the Phantom Liberty start to give you a leg up, but don’t actually start Phantom Liberty until you’re in your 20s.
Just stick with hacking and taking things slow. Once you are able to deliver quickhacks via your monowire, you’ll be able to start using it effectively, but don’t neglect quickhacking.
In fact, quickhacking is also how you’ll slow things down and find your next target.
Quickhacks to keep up are Contagion (once you’ve got Tier 4), Synapse Burnout, Reboot Optics, Cyberware Malfunction, Short Circuit, Weapon Glitch, Memory Wipe; Suicide can also be useful to take foes out of the fight easily since you’ll be doing lots of melee finishers to drop it’s cost.
At the start of combat, drop Cyberware Malfunction on everybody, and at Tier 4 of Contagion, drop that on a couple folks as well if there’s more than a handful of foes. For harder enemies, drop as many Cyberware Malfunctions as possible at the start.
Watch your health: You’ll burn through charges of your blood pump fast in intense firefights, so don’t hesitate to back out and trigger your optical camo to reset things and take a breather.
Also, when possible make sure to mark everybody to get them highlighted; Things will be moving fast without Sandevistan, so keeping track of enemies without getting overwhelmed is a problem.
For bosses & cyberpsychos, this build is just.. A dream. I basically would stun-lock foes consistently and took nearly every cyberpsycho without ever taking a hit thanks to uploading Cripple Movement via the monowire; For foes with guns I’d also toss in Weapon Glitch on top of my Cyberware Malfunction.
Don’t neglect your finisher; you’re invincible while it executes, giving you a bit of a breather.
Once you’ve got your cyberdeck to tier 5 (I was able to do this at about level 30), you’ll be using Overclock as a general boost, rather than a way to drop additional hacks when you run out of RAM.. In fact, you want to avoid exceeding your actual RAM just to save that health for when it matters. Overclock is used to do a quick small extra heal and upload Reboot Optics + Weapon Glitch to nearby foes. Your Feen-X will help ensure you can keep dropping Cyberware Malfunction/Weapon Glitch/Reboot Optics on foes as-needed.
One of the biggest benefits of the monowire is also its biggest negative: It’s great for tackling groups as it can hit multiple foes at the same time, but in situations where there are civilians around.. You’re going to end up with the cops looking for you – guaranteed – more than once just because you’re not able to prevent yourself from killing them.