Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 vs Phantom Liberty: What changes to expect from each update

Cyberpunk 2077's Evelyn
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

I'm playing Cyberpunk 2077 for the first time with the 2.0 patch installed, and I can't believe some of the things that I'm learning weren't in the game at launch. 

Beat cops really didn't patrol the city streets? I couldn't install multiple slots of cyberware in each limb? NPC drivers couldn't even change lanes? The skill tree really used to look like that?

It's been tough to keep straight everything that's new in the game, and harder still to figure out exactly what's been added in the free 2.0 update now available to everyone, and what was woven into the game with the Phantom Liberty expansion, aside from the obvious new missions. While CD Projekt Red has released a simple infographic listing the features of the update and the expansion, it leaves out a lot of the minutia.

So I thought I'd help other players who are curious like me dig a bit deeper into how everything fits together.

Cyberpunk 2.0 vs Phantom Liberty: The quick breakdown

(Image credit: Redditor u/medikamentos, CD Projekt Red)

I'm clearly not the only one who found CD Projekt's official infographic lacking, because Reddit user medikamentos created an expanded version of their own that also incorporates the bits of free DLC CD Projekt has released since 2020. Check it out above.

You can read the full 2.0 patch notes over here, but here are the highlights of Cyberpunk 2.0's major changes: 

  • Vehicle combat added
  • Police system changes: Cops now patrol the city and will give chase, GTA-style. No blatant insta-spawning.
  • Combat changes: Improved AI, health & grenades are now cooldown-based, NPCs scale to your level
  • Cyberware changes: More cyberware slots, armor comes via cyberware, perks and attributes affect cyberware options and efficacy
  • Attribute / perk system changes: New perk trees, perk points now always refundable 
  • Loot system changes: Loot scales to your level, is Tier rather than level based, more meaningful upgrades
  • UI updates, other AI updates, new radio station, new arcade minigame, and many more small changes
  • Nvidia DLSS 3.5 and Ray Reconstruction

Now here's what's exclusive to Phantom Liberty:

  • A level cap increase to 60
  • A new Relic skill tree with 9 abilities
  • Missions that involve vehicle combat, cars with missile launchers
  • New district Dogtown
  • New storyline, side quests, and gigs
  • Piles of new weapons, vehicles, cyberware, etc.

More details on Cyberpunk 2.0's new features

We've been busy this week updating our Cyberpunk 2077 guides and writing in-depth about some of our favorite changes and additions in 2.0. 

Cyberpunk 2077 2.0's revamped police force is finally good enough: "The major change in the patch is the introduction of police chases. Pick a fight on foot or on the road and the NCPD will respond more or less like you'd expect from a GTA game: cops will arrive in cars (not via teleportation), get out, and start blasting… So yes, the new and improved NCPD is finally an adequate adversary for a good old-fashioned open world rampage, though they're still kinda janky."

Cyberpunk 2077 2.0's single best change is letting me become a chromed-up cyborg: "A lot of the best mods, like cool time-slowing Sandevistan implant David uses in Edgerunners, used to be gated by your attribute scores. Update 2.0 gets rid of prerequisites for mods and only asks that you have the capacity to equip them and the money to buy them. I think this change is subtly huge—perks now only enhance your chrome, not hamper it, and balancing it out with capacity and armor makes cyberware feel distinct from the perk tree."

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

How to respec in Cyberpunk 2077: "As far as we know, there's no other way to respec attributes beyond the free one handed to you up front when starting a new game or loading up an old save… Now respeccing your perks is totally free to do on the fly as you please."

Cyberpunk 2077 skills: all the overhauled skill trees in the 2.0 update: "Cyberpunk 2077's megacity sized 2.0 patch has dramatically changed the way V will grow as a merc, totally overhauling the way weapons and cyberware interact while also adding tons of supercharged new skills like air dashing and quickhack overclocking."

I've tested Nvidia's latest ray tracing magic in Cyberpunk 2077 and it's a no-brainer: at worst it's just better-looking, at best it's that and a whole lot more performance: "Like Frame Generation, Nvidia has unlinked Ray Reconstruction from DLSS, but if you're using ray tracing in any form, in any compatible game, based on my experience, flip that damned switch. For me, it's a no-brainer. The extra level of detail is tangible—if you know where to look—and it's effectively free in performance terms, sometimes better than free." 

More details on Phantom Liberty's new features

We'll have a load more guides for Phantom Liberty when the game is released on September 25, going over the new Relic skill tree and its new gigs, weapons, and cyberware. But for now, here's what we've been focusing on.

Phantom Liberty review: "CD Projekt is great at teeing up a story that seems like it'd be derivative or Spike TV-edgy, then absolutely curving you with unexpected depth and nuance, and that's no different here."

How long is Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty?: "On average, Phantom Liberty will take you around 18-20 hours to complete. This estimate is based on if you choose to do some side gigs and explore Dogtown a bit, completing the Increased Criminal Activity gang hideouts, snapping up Airdrops when they appear, and grabbing Restricted Data Terminals for Relic Points."

Cyberpunk 2077 Mantis Blades: "Maybe the biggest revelation of 2.0 Mantis Blades is the new deflection ability on the Reflexes tree… At the beginning of Phantom Liberty, Mantis Blades also benefit from the first Relic tree perk. With Jailbreak, using blade finishers or dismembering enemies charges the next Mantis Blades leap."

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Cyberpunk 2077 Gorilla Arms: "With the 2.0 update, Gorilla Arms have gone from feeling a little underwhelming to one of the most powerful weapons in the game, benefitting as they do from the Body, Reflexes, and Technical Ability skill trees… If you have Phantom Liberty, the new Jailbreak skill adds extra functionality. As you attack, your arms charge up, and when you next use a charged attack, they'll unleash a mega punch."

Cyberpunk 2077 Monowire: "It's not the flashiest arm weapon in the game, or even the best in terms of raw damage, but it is the cherry on top of Cyberpunk's revamped netrunner skill tree in Update 2.0… the Phantom Liberty expansion buffs all Monowires in a major way. With the Jailbreak ability unlocked at the beginning of the expansion, all Monowires gain the ability to inflict quickhacks with melee strikes—a hands-on malware attack, essentially."

You can prep for Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty and get a preem free gun on launch day—all you have to do is download Gwent: "One reward—a pistol by the name of Scorch—can be snagged for free. Simply download Gwent on GOG (or your linked platform) and you'll be able to claim the gun in-game by travelling to V's stash." 

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).