How hacking works in Cyberpunk 2077

cyberpunk 2077 hacking breach protocol
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Need the details on how Cyberpunk 2077 hacking works? Whether you're attempting a stealthy run, or you just enjoy interfering with enemy cyberware, understanding how to use your hacking abilities will come in handy. You can hack to gather more intel, take down gangs without relying on your weapons, and even siphon off some Eurodollars in the process.   

There's also a hacking minigame that challenges you to input a sequence of letters and numbers to override a network. You'll need to meet the requirements for these types of hacks before you can jack in, but the rewards are well worth your investment in Intelligence points. I'm here to give you a quick overview of how Cyberpunk 2077 Breach Protocol works, so you can ace your hack every time.   

Cyberpunk 2077 hacking tips

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(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

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Cyberpunk 2077 hacking: How to do it

Never stop scanning

Hold Tab to activate your scanner mode. Anything from doors to people can be scanned, and frequently scanning your surroundings gives you more information as you explore an area. While it's good to be aware of what's around you, it's also worth noting that you can manipulate your environment to help you out when you're in a precarious position. 

Making the most of your cyberdeck

Once you have your cyberdeck installed, you'll be able to equip quickhacks which let you distract enemies, mess with their cyberware, take control of surveillance cameras, and more. 

When you scan certain objects, e.g. a television you can then scroll through your available quickhacks (Q&E/scroll wheel on your mouse) and select one by pressing F. There are also lethal and non-lethal options if you're hacking a specific target, too. Each one costs RAM, and they all have different properties and durations. 

Cyberpunk 2077 Breach Protocol: How to hack

Unlike the other quickhacks, Breach Protocol requires you to complete a minigame by entering a sequence of letters and numbers in a specific order. It can have multiple uses and offer different rewards, depending on the situation. However, the method is always the same—you need to enter the sequence correctly before the timer runs out.

The code matrix has rows of characters grouped together in twos. The buffer box on the right is where the characters you've selected will be displayed, so you can keep track of where you are in the sequence. Below it is the list of sequences you can recreate.

When you first start, the top row will be highlighted. This means it's currently the active zone, so you can only pick the options in this row. Each time you enter a pair of characters, the active zone will alternate between the column you just selected, or the row. So, if your first input is in the top row, third column, you'll only be able to select the characters in the third column when inputting the next part of the sequence. 

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

The longer the sequence is, the more challenging this becomes. You'll often see that some characters are duplicates, so focus on where they are placed in the code matrix. Before inputting the characters, plan your route across the code matrix to make sure you'll be able to key in the full sequence. It's easy to lock yourself out by picking the wrong row or column, and the sequences can change on some computers and laptops, even if you reload your save.

Some devices even have multiple sequences, offering more advanced actions, or better rewards. Sometimes you'll see that these sequences start with the same characters, so it's possible to unlock multiple rewards. One example is when you hack the Cyberpunk 2077 Militech Datashard in The Pickup quest.

Emma Matthews

As PC Gamer's guides writer, Emma is usually juggling several games at once. She loves competitive first-person shooters like CS:GO and Call of Duty, but she always has time for a few rounds of Hearthstone. She's happiest when she's rescuing pugs in Spelunky 2.