Cyberpunk 2077 Monowire: Best skills, Cyberware, and how to use it

Cyberpunk 2077 mantis blades
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

The Cyberpunk 2077 Monowire is an acquired taste. 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. 

While it's not really sensible to make a build around the Monowire without a beefy cyberdeck of quickhacks to back it up, 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. Here's how to get started with the Monowire, how to get a better one, and the skills and cyberware that work the best with it.

How does the Monowire work?

Cyberpunk 2077 mantis blades

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

The Monowire has a similar moveset to both the Mantis Blades and Gorilla Arms: light attack on left-click, a heavy attack by holding left-click, and a block on right-click. The big difference with the Monowire is its range and cleaving—V swings the Monowire in a whip-like arc several meters in front of them, allowing it to reach enemies at medium range, and even hit multiple enemies at once. 

Monowires reach their full potential with the Relic skill tree exclusive to Phantom Liberty. Jailbreak, the first Relic skill, adds a Control quickhack slot to all Monowires. Charged Monowire attacks automatically upload that quickhack to the target, and a subsequent upgrade will spread that hack to nearby enemies.

How to get a legendary Monowire

cyberpunk 2077

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

As of Update 2.0, cyberware availability is no longer gated by attribute points or which ripperdoc you visit. With that in mind, there are two ways to get a tier 5 legendary Monowire: upgrade a lower-tier Monowire, or buy one after you've leveled up enough. You can upgrade all of your cyberware with crafting components found on bodies or in chests, and lower-tier crafting materials can be converted into higher-tier materials if needed.

If you'd rather buy one, it might take a while. It's not yet clear at what level ripperdocs start to sell better stuff, but we noticed that a level 10 character can only buy tier 2 gear while a level 50 character has access to tier 5. 

Cyberpunk 2077 Best Monowire skills

Cyberpunk 2077 mantis blades

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

As was the case at launch in Cyberpunk, there aren't that many perks that directly affect the Monowire. Instead, the Monowire has been retooled to feed directly into the netrunner playstyle. For that reason, it's best to start dumping points into Intelligence as soon as possible. With the right skills, you can get into a deadly rhythm of opening fights with a quickhack and following up with Monowire attacks that recharge your RAM to enable more quickhacks. Prioritize these skills first:

  • Siphon: Branched off the middle column. Recovers 0.5 RAM with every Monowire attack, or 1 RAM if the target is affected by a quickhack. That RAM recovery adds up fast when whip attacks are hitting multiple enemies at once.
  • Finisher Live Wire: Further up the tree at 15 Intelligence. Unlocks an instant-kill finisher for low-health enemies, but can be activated even earlier on enemies with quickhacks queued on them. Restores 15% HP and 5 RAM, a huge boon for followup hacks.
  • Data Tunneling (Phantom Liberty): After unlocking Jailbreak on the Relic tree, the Monowire's follow-up upgrade will spread the attached quickhack effect to additional targets if you whip them at the same time.

Once you have enough Intelligence to take advantage of the Monowire's best moves, a great secondary attribute to focus on is Cool. The left and right columns only concern guns and knives, but the middle column is perfect for a stealthy netrunner who lets their hacks do the killing for them. Prioritize unlocking Feline Footwork and eventually Ninjutsu, which allow you to move faster while crouched and become harder to hit in the process.

Cyberpunk 2077 Monowire: The best cyberware to use

Cyberpunk 2077 mantis blades

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Start with the Mononwire in your arm slot, of course. You can choose between a few variants if you'd like to deal elemental damage: there's the standard Physical, Toxic, Electrifying, and Thermal. All do about the same damage, but most enemies have an elemental weakness you can learn by scanning them with TAB. Once you've chosen a wire, consider these complimentary picks:

  • Militech Paraline Mk.3 (Operating System): A stacked cyberdeck that increases Monowire damage scaled by how much RAM you're currently missing. Can boost Monowire damage up to 30% if you use a bunch of RAM before engaging. 
  • Bioconductor (Frontal Cortex): Allows quickhacks to deal crit damage, with crit chance scaled by tier (my Tier 3 chance is 25%).
  • RAM Recoup (Skeleton): Restores a small percentage of RAM when you receive any damage. Pairs nicely with the Monowire's Siphon ability.
  • Dense Marrow (Skeleton): A great pick for all melee builds. Provides a big chunk of armor and ~20% more melee damage, but increases melee stamina cost.
  • Lynx Paws (Legs): Quiets movement and increases crouch movement speed.
  • Kiroshi "Clairvoyant" Optics (Eyes): Highlights enemies through walls automatically, making hacking easier from stealth.

Not technically cyberware, but it's worth calling out one quickhack in particular that further buffs the Monowire. Cripple Movement is a Control quickhack that, at its Tier 4 version, buffs melee damage by 15% and makes enemies more susceptible to melee finishers. Since it's a Control quickhack, that means you can even attach this one to your Monowire with Jailbreak to guarantee the damage boost in every fight.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.