Here's what's free in Cyberpunk 2077's 2.0 update (car chases, yay), and what requires the $30 Phantom Liberty expansion

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty screenshot
(Image credit: CD Projekt)

The Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty expansion is coming on September 26, but before that happens, CD Projekt will release the major Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 update. That's potentially an even bigger deal, because it makes major changes to the game's systems, including an overhaul to the skill trees and the addition of new perks, proper car combat, a new police system, revamped cyberware, combat AI improvements, and more.

In a way, it's a bit like an expansion for a Paradox grand strategy game: There's a free-for-everyone patch that makes fixes and gameplay tweaks, and DLC that adds various sorts of new content and systems. Everyone benefits, but some people—those who pay for the expansion—get more.

That's where the potential confusion with the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 expansion begins. "Do I need to pay to get all the better gameplay?" you may be wondering. "Will my Cyberpunk experience really be improved if I don't have Idris Elba in it? What exactly do I get if I pay, versus if I do not?"

To answer those questions, CD Projekt has released a simple, direct infographic that breaks how the patch and the expansion differ. It doesn't get into granular detail, but it does hit the major points: Everyone will get new radio stations courtesy of the 2.0 update, for instance, but only those with the Phantom Liberty expansion will have their level cap increased to 60.

(Image credit: CD Projekt)

Update 2.0 - Free

  • Redesigned skill trees and perks
  • Revamped cyberware and new capacity system
  • Vehicle combat and car chases
  • Combat AI improvements
  • New police system
  • UI and UX improvements
  • Loot, items, and crafting changes
  • New radio stations (including Community Radio Station Growl FM)

Phantom Liberty – Paid

  • Dogtown—a dangerous new district
  • Brand-new storyline and characters
  • New quests, gigis, boss fights, and more
  • Vehicle missions and airdrops—endless dynamic events
  • All-new Relic skill tree and abilities
  • 100+ new items—weapons, cyberware, cars, and fashion
  • Vehicle missile launchers
  • Level cap increased to 60

Both the update and the expansion carry the "and much more!" finisher, so there's also that.

What we do not currently have is a release date for the 2.0 update. Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is set to arrive on September 26, and CD Projekt has previously said (and recently confirmed) that the update will go live ahead of it, but a solid date has not yet been announced. We'll let you know when it happens.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.