From what we've seen so far, the Cyberpunk 2077 map is stuffed with things for us to do. Stretching across the fictional Californian metropolis of Night City, the game is set to offer a dense urban sprawl with plenty of verticality. There have been concerns that the Cyberpunk 2077 map is comparatively small when sat alongside The Witcher 3's, but developer CD Projekt Red is keen to point out that this is deceptive. Unlike its fantasy stabletmate, Cyberpunk will make use of verticality in a way the Witcher never could.
Enormous, multi-level skyscrapers dominate the Night City horizon, and some are basically self-contained cities in and of themselves. As such, don't panic about the game being bite-sized; it's a whole lot bigger than you think.The map is also split into six districts with their own distinct atmosphere. To give you a heads up on everything you'll find when the game launches later this year, we've broken down Night City in a handy guide below.
Cyberpunk 2077 map - what is Night City?
Night City is a dump. Don't be fooled by that veneer of glamour slapped over the top; if anything, it's the definition of putting makeup on a pig. As described in the E3 2018 trailer, it's been voted in-universe as "the worst place to live in America" thanks to a "sky-high rate of violence and more people living below the poverty line than anywhere else".
A fictional Californian settlement atop real-world Morro Bay, Night City has been the setting of Cyberpunk since its earliest days as a tabletop RPG. Established in 1994 as a haven from the crimewaves rocking North America, its utopian status didn't last long; ironically, it was soon taken over by the mob and cutthroat businesses. This led to the dystopia you'll find in the game.
Which is more of a mess now than ever, by the way. Divided into wildly different districts, the line between the haves and the have-nots is stark. The centre is an economic paradise of slick megacorporations, but this is surrounded by an untamed 'Combat Zone' filled with the desperate and the destitute. A gated slice of suburbia can be found beyond them, but only rich elitists are able to afford a home there.
To make matters worse, the city has been through the ringer in the last few decades. As well as its gang takeover and crime-ridden underbelly, it was abandoned as a lost cause by the US government in the mid 21st Century. Night City has also been struck by nuclear war in the not-so-distant past.
As described in our Cyberpunk 2077 dictionary and timeline, it's just gotten back on its feet by 2077. Expect to find a metropolis starting a new chapter when you boot up the game.
The Cyberpunk 2077 map is divided into several districts, which we'll break down below with a guide to each:
Described as the meeting point of money and crime, this is the perfect introduction to the Cyberpunk universe. It's a glitzy yet dangerous urban jungle that blends neon extravagance and the gritty criminal underbelly. Colorful ads and eye-catching lights festoon the bustling streets, but look closer and you'll find a more grim reality. This is one rainstorm away from being Blade Runner's Chicago.
It's also the area we've seen the most of so far. Our hero V's apartment can be found in Watson, and it seems to be where our story begins.
In terms of its inspiration, Watson has a lot of Asian influences. It used to be home to big corporations, too. They've now moved on, allowing the public to swarm in and make the area their own.
If you want glass-clad skyscrapers and a clean-cut vision of the future, the City Centre is your best bet. It's the domain of megacorporations, big business, and the ultra-rich, so it's not exactly lacking in style. However, security is sure to be heavy around here.
This is also one of the newest parts of the city. Back in the Cyberpunk Red TRPG (set in the 2030s), it was only just being rebuilt after a nuclear attack levelled the whole area. With that in mind, it's likely to be the most 'modern' part of the map.
Rumor has it that there's an abandoned, forgotten nuke sat beneath what used to be the Arasaka HQ building as well. Legend says that it was intended as an area-denial tactic to stop attackers from claiming the company's secrets, but never got used. As such, it's just waiting for some bright spark to find it… A side-quest, you say? Very possibly.
Originally designed as a tourist spot within Night City, it fell into disrepair when the economy collapsed and funders pulled out - most of the development was never finished. It's now a slum in spite of all the cheerful billboards promising a brighter future. As the 2019 Deep Dive video explains, it's a place where "expectations and reality collided, resulting in a heap of disappointment". That means burned-out cars, vacant skyscrapers, and garbage lining the roads.
Pacifica is fairly isolationist as a result of its bum luck. Its community isn't all that welcoming to strangers, and this area is the prize in a tug of war between two rival gangs - the Voodoo Boys and the Animals. The Voodoos are a technologically savvy group of peacekeepers, while the Animals are a bunch of steroid-popping cyber-juicers who've taken over the derelict, eerie Grand Imperial Mall.
The district does have its advantages, though. For starters, its back-alley stalls are the ideal place to hunt down blackmarket cyberware and other rare, illicit goods.
This central district is home to a large Latin American society, and it's an up-and-coming suburban area with plenty of money to spare. It's a lively, vibrant place as a result. However, Heywood has an underlying gang problem that can make it a dangerous place to be.
That's Night City in a nutshell: even the nicer areas have bite.
A wealthy area where the rich reside, Westbrook's style is newer, louder, and more adventurous than a lot of Night City. All that money leads to some interesting fashions. As described to Official PlayStation Magazine by CD Projekt Red's senior concept artist Marthe Jonkers, Westbrook citizens "have their own sort of visual language, visual style, and that’s neokitsch. Neokitsch is really defined by being very colourful, but also using expensive materials, because they're really rich. Usually, that means very natural materials, animal prints and things like that". Expect the district itself to follow suit.
Santo Domingo is the reason Night City runs at all - it powers the entire area. This is an industrial district that's littered with power plants and factories, so don't expect welcoming neon and glass high-rises. It's far grittier than that.
Pollution is a big problem here too. Indeed, Marthe Jonkers says that it's "toxic and people have umbrellas there because it’s dripping down. It’s a very unwelcoming place".
Orbital Air Space Centre
We know very little about Night City's Orbital Air Space Centre, but it seems to be out at sea and away from the everyday bustle. It may serve as an airport of sorts, but not just for in-atmosphere flights; as the name would suggest, it probably connects to Earth's space stations.
There are a handful of these floating around in the Cyberpunk universe. The most notable would be Crystal Palace - a retreat for the rich featured in the TRPGs - and the Highrider colonies, an independent human nation amongst the stars.
You'll quickly become familiar with these; they're entire societies stuffed inside a skyscraper, a self-sustaining micro-community that can operate apart from the rest of Night City. Our hero, V, has an apartment within one of these in the Watson district. Expect to see a few in the course of your adventure.
That's all we know about the Cyberpunk 2077 map so far, but stay tuned - we'll keep this page updated as and when we know more. In the meantime, get familiar with the Cyberpunk 2077 cast and characters.