Cyberpunk 2077 hacking mechanics, Breach Protocol and quickhacks explained

Cyberpunk 2077 hacking
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Cyberpunk 2077 hacking is an enormous part of the game, and quickhacks and Breach Protocol can all be used to beat enemies and gain advantages. By compromising the software in enemies and their weapons, or by taking over machinery around them, V can co-opt the world and control it in unique ways, and use quickhacks and Breach Protocols for faster or more in-depth hacks respectively. Whatever you need, here's a beginners guide to help easily explain the basics of hacking in Cyberpunk 2077.

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Cyberpunk 2077 quickhacks explained

Cyberpunk 2077 quickhack

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Cyberpunk 2077 quickhacks are governed by intelligence, so if you plan to use this a lot make sure to level up that stat and take advantage of the perks that can lower the cost, and increase the effectiveness or damage of the options it unlocks.

You can access quickhacks by scanning people and objects, with a list of things you can achieve to the left of the screen. These include options like the ability to cause enemy cyberware to overheat, burning them, or to wipe their memories, canceling a combat state and returning them to a patrol mode. Some quickhacks - like contagion, which poisons targets - can propagate from person to person. Using them costs RAM, which charges over time.

These quickhacks can be bought from ripperdocs and shops, as well as earned as mission rewards. To equip them you slot them into your operating system  cyberware as mods. Different operating systems can fit different amounts of mods, affect cooldowns, the time hacks take or last, and contain more RAM to use more powerful options or activate several quickhacks at once. Definitely look into getting  the most powerful operating system you can afford installed at a ripper doc if you intend to quickhack a lot. 

The best way to use quickhacks is from stealth, using different ones to weaken and damage opponents, deactivate cameras or make turrets attack. Generally you're using them to soften up the bad guys, but at higher levels it's possible to kill everyone from a distance and no one ever know you were there. 

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Cyberpunk 2077 Breach Protocol instructions

Cyberpunk 2077 breach protocol

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

The Cyberpunk Breach Protocol version of hacking is a minigame you can use to extract cash and resources from terminals, or weaken enemies to further attacks. When you access it you'll see three sets of number on the right, with the options they unlock should you match the sequence. These will change depending on whether you're hacking a terminal for resources, or an enemy, turret or camera. If you're hacking for resources. The former will simply list a small, medium or large reward of cash and resources, while the latter will include options like reducing the cost of hacking enemies, lowering their resistance to damage or deactivating all cameras. 

To input a sequence you have to select the numbers from the grid on the left in the same order. To help you plan this out, if you hover over the numbers on the left it will highlight any that appear in the sequences, and hovering over the sequence numbers will highlight the matching numbers in the grid. 

You'll always start on the top row and selecting a number there will then let you select from the column below the number you selected, then the row of the next number and so on - always alternating between columns and rows.

Cyberpunk 2077 breach protocol

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

If you want to keep it simple you can simply pick the option you want and work though the matching sequence fairly easily but it is possible to collect all three sequences in one go. The trick is to stack the sequences. If you pick a number that appears in two sequences you'll get them both to light up but as soon as you select a number that only appears in one, the other will reset. In the image above selecting 1C will complete the first sequence and earn the reward, while continuing the third sequence. However, the second one will reset. The best way to try and get all three is to work through the three sequences is to end one sequence so that its final number starts another. This will let you chain them together without breaking any of the sequences and resetting or failing the combinations. 

Leon Hurley
Senior Guides Co-ordinator

I'm currently GamesRadar's Senior Guides Co-ordinator, which means I've had a hand in producing or writing all of the guide and tips content on the site. I also write reviews, previews and features, and do video. Previously I worked for Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website. I'm a big fan of open world games, horror, and narrative adventures.