Smart weapons get a bit of a bad rap in Cyberpunk 2077; they tend to have very limited capabilities, few unique variations, and require stat investments (Intelligence) that most weapon-focused builds don’t rely on.
However, with the right planning and strategy, you can make a viable stealth smart weapon build that also utilizes the smart sniper rifle to great effectiveness.
Bonus points: This build is accessible and really fun for folks with mobility issues who have trouble aiming when the action is pumping!
Let’s break down the build.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0: Stealth Smart Sniper Build Attributes and Perks
This build is a bit of a slow-burn, but it begins to be powerful around level 25 and continues to grow well into the 40s and 50s, which gives you a lot of time to enjoy crafting it.
Your core attributes are Intelligence, Cool and Technical Ability – in that order – but you’ll also want to make sure you have 4 in body and reflexes. If you’re starting with Phantom Liberty, get Int to 15, cool to 9, and the rest in Tech when you start.
Your overall progression is going to be getting Int to 15 first, Cool to 9, and Tech to 9. After that pump cool to 15, Into to 20, leading into Cool to 20, and then pump Tech until it’s maxed.
After that, it’s up to you. I chose to go the Body route just for the extra beef for when stealth fails, but you can also go Reflexes for the mobility if that’s your thing.
Perks are going to be where the challenge lies; this build likes a lot of perks.
Under Int, grab everything on the right minus Targeting Prism; that just ends up creating more problems for us and isn’t as useful.
Down the middle, grab all the main ones minus Spillover. For it’s branches, Speculation (to let us grab Recirculation), Sublimation and Power Surge are all good.
On the left, always grab Eye in the Sky and Forcekill Cypher.. Hack Queue is going to be useful too (being able to stack 2 quickhacks is enough), as well as Counter-A-Hack. Otherwise, the rest is gravy, but the vehicle hacking perk is always useful, too.
Under Cool, grab Killer Instinct on the right after you get Pizdets (more on that in the gear section). Down the middle, grab everything but Vanishing Act, but don’t prioritize it; your bread & butter is all along the left. You’ll want everything there minus “Pull!”; Run and Gun can be skipped as well if you so choose.
For Tech, just focus on the middle; skip Ambidextrous and Built Different.
Also, just FYI: Be wary of going too overboard on Edgerunner, as you’ll be pretty squishy if you overdo it on cyberware.
In Reflexes, Slippery, Muscle Memory and Multitasker are good.
For Body, grab everything available on the bottom middle.
Now, here’s something absolutely critical: DO NOT take Vulnerability Analytics in the Relic tree. With smart weapons it’s a little buggy, and while it may seem useful on paper, you’ll be doing enough damage with headshots that it’s a bit of a moot point. Grab whatever else you want here; you’ll have plenty of points.
Now, let’s talk about Cyberware next.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0: Stealth Smart Sniper Build Cyberware
When it comes to Cyberware, there’s only a few items that are “must haves”, really. A smart link is great for the hands, of course, since you kinda need it for smart weapons.
A good cyberdeck is also important: The Tetatronic Rippler is my recommendation here, as it provides you with a solid boost to weapon damage when you toss even a basic ping on folks.. More on that later.
I also recommend the standard Biomonitor / Blood Pump / Heal-On-Kill combo. This lets you focus on combat, making the build even more accessible.
For eyes, Clairvoyant Kiroshi optics are a must unless you want to use The Oracle variant; you want the ability to see enemies with just scanning so you don’t have to rely on ping constantly.
The Optical Camo is another important piece of gear.
Finally, you’ll want the Deep Field Visual Interface: This gives your long-range crits some extra oomph that you’ll want against things like Cyberpsychos and heavier foes.
Beyond that, grab everything that boosts RAM (including the Feen-X that was added in 2.1), and if you choose to take the Phantom Liberty ending that grants you So Mi’s Quantum Tuner cyberware, take that, too (We’ll want it for Overclock, since it gives some nice boosts to smart weapons).
As a secondary note, do NOT get Ambidextrous and the Microgenerator; this ends up causing too many issues with stealth, and the extra damage just isn’t worth it in 90% of cases.
Let’s break down the equipment next.
Cyberpunk 2077 2.0: Stealth Smart Sniper Build Gear & Playstyle
In case it wasn’t obvious, you’re going to want to use smart weapons here.
As soon as you can, grab the blueprint for the Ashura Smart Sniper Rifle. There isn’t a unique variant (aside from a twitch drop version that a few folks may have). Grab the mod that boosts damage to harder foes.
Beyond that, the G-58 Dian is a good backup for when things hit the fan.
Finally, there is one unique smart weapon you’ll definitely want: The Pizdets.
You’ll need to complete “The Damned” in Phantom Liberty before the side gig (from Hands) opens up to let you get this one, but it’s a must-have: It is the only suppressed smart weapon in the game!
Until you get that and your cyberdeck to tier 3 (for tier 3 Sonic Shock, but tier 4 SS is better), you’ll be less than stealthy and will probably be relying more on quickhacks than weapons initially.
I mentioned Sonic Shock; just to affirm it’s place as the best quickhack in Cyberpunk 2077, it’s one you without a doubt will be using all the time with a Smart Sniper build.. Here’s why.
When you encounter a cluster of enemies, drop Sonic Shock on all of them, and then.. Start dropping bodies with the Ashura.
As long as you’re not TOO close to any enemies, it doesn’t matter if smart sniper rifles can be suppressed: Sonic Shock takes care of the problem for you, and you’ll be able to retain stealth no problem.
You shouldn’t be using your smart sniper rifle up-close anyway; That’s what you’ve got quickhacks and Pizdets for.
It took me a long time to come up with this strategy; I’ve been working on a stealth sniper build for a while now, and while the standard choice is to go with the unique rifle you get from Panam’s questline (since it’s the only suppressed sniper rifle), I always liked the idea of smart sniper rifles even though they come off as a “cheat” (although I find them fairly well balanced).
Sonic Shock just handles things beautifully, and it adds an extra dimension of fun to plan out just how you’re going to handle your foes: From range with the Ashura, up-close with Pizdets, saving your ammo with quickhacks, or loud & proud with the G-58?
You’ve got a lot of versatility here, and thanks to the bonuses from Overclock with smart weapons the slower lock-on time is bypassed in really hairy engagements, making this build just as viable as a Sandevistan-using Power/Tech weapons build!
Alright chooms, get out there and get your target locks on!