Justice for melee weapons: a Cyberpunk 2077 modder has rectified the game's biggest oversight for stealth play

I was doing great at the start of a Cyberpunk 2077 mission in the badlands last night, sneaking into a ramshackle warehouse fortress from a rear staircase to take out the guard in the security room with a silent neck snap. It all went to hell a few minutes later when I accidentally threw a grenade at a goon instead of tagging him with my Kiroshi optics, but, look, these things happen. I'd rather focus on the first few minutes of exciting tension as I snuck around, quietly eliminating patrolling enemies after distracting them with hacked floodlights and vending machines. I've had fun every time I take the stealth approach in Cyberpunk, but the options for stealth kills are bafflingly limited. Why am I walking around with a monowire—basically a high-tech garrote—if I can't use it to choke someone out?

Despite quite a few perks dedicated to stealthy play, the only way to perform a stealth takedown in Cyberpunk is to creep up behind an enemy and grab them unarmed. That presents the option to snap their neck or choke them unconscious… and nothing else. Just the same animation every time.

It sure seems like we should be able to take advantage of our cyberware to thonk enemies with a gorilla fist, choke them with the monowire or stab 'em in the brain with a mantis blade. Or, y'know, get up close and personal with a knife or katana in hand without breaking stealth. But CD Projekt never got around to adding stealth melee finishers with either cyberware or weapons.

The Stealth Finishers mod, just updated for Cyberpunk 2.0, rectifies both limitations, adding stealth takedowns with melee weapons and cyberware. The mod lets you perform a stealth kill with a melee weapon as soon as you sneak up behind an enemy, but also preserves the option to grapple them if you prefer. 

Modder Kvalyr notes a couple of limitations with the current release of Stealth Finishers, though I wouldn't consider them dealbreakers. One is that the melee kills, even if you're crouched, create more noise than choking out an enemy, which means they could potentially alert other enemies. That may be changed in a future version of the mod, but it also seems like a somewhat okay trade-off to me—you get to see a cooler animation, but there's a bit of risk to it.

Even if you sneak up behind an enemy, you may see a front-facing animation play as soon as you trigger the kill, because the game doesn't actually have scripted animations for melee finishers from behind with every weapon. Finally, not all blunt / non-lethal weapons have been tested, but Kvalyr points out that if you're going the non-lethal route, you may as well just use the default choke, anyway.

The mod requires no configuration, but will need you to install Cyber Engine Tweaks and RED4ext and redscript beforehand. As we highlighted earlier this week, those first two are core modding tools that a large number of Cyberpunk mods build upon and have only been compatible with 2.0 for the last few days. Expect to see many more mods updated for compatibility with the latest patch in the coming weeks. 


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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).