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Cyberpunk 2077 weapons: Which guns and melee weapons are the best in Night City

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

There are a lot of contenders for this list of the Cyberpunk 2077 best weapons, simply because there are myriad guns and melee weapons in the game. From sniper rifles and pistols to baseball bats and knives, Cyberpunk 2077 gives you a lot of freedom to destroy enemies whichever way you like. You can even use hacks and skip weapons entirely, if you choose. But what are the best weapons in Cyberpunk 2077, how do the three gun categories work, and what's the deal with iconic weapons? We've got all the answers here in this guide to the Cyberpunk 2077 weapons. 

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Cyberpunk 2077 Power, Tech, and Smart guns explained

Cyberpunk 2077 weapons

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Every gun in Cyberpunk 2077 comes under one of three categories: Power, Tech, and Smart. Understanding the difference between the three is crucial to finding the best  Cyberpunk 2077 weapons for you, so make sure you pay attention.

Power guns are the closest thing to a "normal" gun in Cyberpunk 2077. They shoot where you aim them and deal serious damage to enemies… as do most guns, to be fair. The special trait with power guns is that the bullets can ricochet off surfaces, and with the right mods you can see where they'll hit. The majority of guns in Cyberpunk 2077 are power weapons, so chances are you'll have quite a few of them.

Tech guns can be used in the same way as power guns, but rather than bullets ricocheting off surfaces, tech guns can be charged for more powerful shots that can penetrate through walls and hit enemies behind cover. This is useful if a standard headshot won't cut it, but make sure you don't miss - a charged shot discharges when it's full so you have to time it a bit.

Smart guns will be familiar to anyone who played the original Titanfall, because the concept is the same as the Smart Pistol from that game. It essentially means you don't have to aim; the bullets are pretty much small homing missiles that will auto-lock onto enemies within the massive crosshair. That means you can hit enemies behind cover or around corners and quickly make short work tricky situations.

Cyberpunk 2077 iconic weapons explained

Cyberpunk 2077 weapons

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Iconic weapons are essentially Cyberpunk 2077's way of saying it's unique. You can get iconic weapons of any rarity, but they will have a unique name, often have an extra feature or mechanic, and there is only one of them in the game. Most of the best weapons listed below are iconic weapons, thanks to these traits. Iconic weapons are discernible thanks to the striped background when looking at them in your inventory.

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Mods, attachments, and non-lethal weapons in Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 weapons

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

While standard weapons won't offer any customisation, as you get rarer, higher quality guns, you'll be able to apply attachments and mods. Various scopes and muzzles can be attached to most guns of a rare tier or higher, along with all sorts of mods that can buff things like damage and crit chance. Some guns will come with mods and attachments pre-attached, but you can remove them if you have an alternative you'd rather use. Mods, however, cannot be removed; replacing them will destroy the original.

You can also make guns non-lethal. One way is by using a specific weapon mod called Pax, which is useful for enemies like Cyberpsychos because Regina requests you leave them alive. This is also useful if you technically want to do a pacifist run, although you're still basically killing them because they ain't getting up again while you're in the vicinity. If you don't want to use a weapon mod, you can also equip a cyberware mod to your Ocular System called Target Analysis, which turns all weapons non-lethal, makes headshots deal the same damage as other areas of the body, and smart weapons will primarily target limbs.

Cyberpunk 2077 best weapons

With all that in mind, I've got a list of some of the best Cyberpunk 2077 guns and melee weapons I've found during my time in Night City. Some of these are iconic – essentially unique weapons – while others are more generic, but still very powerful. Keep an eye out for all of these as you play through the game.

Lizzie - Tech Pistol

Cyberpunk 2077 weapons

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

One of the first and most powerful weapons you can get your hands on is a lil' pink pistol called Lizzie. You can find it inside Lizzie's Bar; during the mission Automatic Love, when your objective is to leave Lizzie's Bar after speaking to Judy, Johnny will appear by the double doors, leant against a shelving unit. To your right, when looking at Johnny, will be the Lizzie pistol sat on the corner of a white table. This beaut fires an extra round per shot, which means that when you charge up a shot since it's a tech pistol, it fires a big burst. Just watch out for the recoil.

Overwatch - Power Sniper Rifle

Cyberpunk 2077 weapons

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

The Overwatch sniper is a mission reward. Continue down Panam's storyline until you get to the Riders on the Storm mission. At the end, Panam will present you with Overwatch, which is an insanely powerful sniper with a built-in, custom silencer and increased reload speed. It's brilliant for stealth operations – as long as nobody sees the head of your enemy explode – and is a great method of getting collateral kills thanks to the headshot damage multiplier ensuring you can kill any extra enemies you hit behind the original target.

Mantis Blades - Melee

Cyberpunk 2077 weapons

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

This isn't a weapon you can pick up off the floor. Instead, when you've got enough eddies and street cool (about 25k cash/20 street cred), head to a ripperdoc and you'll find multiple melee weapons in the arms category. The Mantis Blades are arguably the best though, because you can slice through your enemies with rapid attacks, and if you hold down the attack button you'll leap forward and deal massive damage. Chaining together combos can also dismember limbs, which is badass.

M251S Ajax - Assault Rifle

Cyberpunk 2077 weapons

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

The only generic weapon on this list for now, you'll be able to find a number of M251S Ajax assault rifles by killing enemies, although it's not as common as the Copperhead or Masamune assault rifles. The Ajax is by far the best assault rifle because of how balanced it is; not too much recoil, deals a hefty amount of damage, and it's automatic so no worrying about firing bursts. Stick a scope on one of these bad boys and you'll be headshotting like never before.

Skippy - Smart Pistol

Cyberpunk 2077 weapons

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Skippy is an absolute delight, thanks to his hilarious dialogue and knack for hitting constant headshots. To get Skippy, you need to head near the border of The Glen and Vista Del Rey, in Heywood. Slightly north of the Shooting Range fast travel point, north-west of the river should be a point of interest down an alleyway, marked by a yellow question mark. Approach it and you'll find Skippy on some poor person's corpse. Skippy will start nattering to you – I won't spoil the dialogue – and ask if you want to activate "Stone Cold Killer" or "Puppy Pacifist" mode, the former will exclusively target headshots, while the latter will go for non-lethal limbs.

In Stone Cold Killer mode, Skippy will get headshots every single time. This is perfect when you're dealing with crowds of enemies, or stronger bosses like Cyberpsychos. The caveat is that after you get 50 kills, Skippy will permanently change to Puppy Pacifist mode. I haven't played enough yet to know if he reverts back at any point, but Skippy is best used when you're in dire need of something heroic.

Malorian Arms 3516 - Power Pistol

Cyberpunk 2077 weapons

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

The Malorian Arms 3516 might not have the catchiest name, but there's an easier way to refer to it; Johnny's pistol. It's the same one you use in the combat flashbacks when you're playing as big man Keanu, but unfortunately it doesn't quite retain the same damage stats you see in the missions. Nevertheless, it's still a brilliant pistol that will destroy heads with ease and despite not having a unique aspect or trait, is still one of the best pistols in the game. You'll acquire it fairly late on in the story, so keep an eye out for it.

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Ford James

One of the resident guide writers around these parts, give me a game and I will write every "how to" I possibly can or die trying. When I'm not knee-deep in a game to write guides on, you'll find me hurtling round the track in F1 2020, flinging balls on my phone in Pokemon Go, pretending to know what I'm doing in Football Manager 2020, clicking on heads in Valorant, or mowing down hordes of enemies in Outriders.