Mod the future. By Noah Smith & Christophe­r Livingston



Cyberpunk 2077 has undergone some serious changes and improvemen­ts over the past 18 months, with lots of bug fixes and the addition of long-requested features like transmog coming to the first-person RPG. Providing another big boost to the playerbase is the Netflix anime series that’s gotten people back in the mood to either revisit Night City or to try the game for the very first time.

And modders have been busy, too. There are now troves of mods to download and install, featuring everything from flying cars to improved motorcycle­s to overhauls of combat and the police force. Below, you’ll find our picks for the best mods for Cyberpunk 2077 as of early 2023.


Let’s start with your enemies. Are Night City’s gangs feeling a bit too copy-and-paste? Try rmk1234’s identity-based overhaul called Lifepath Bonuses and Gang-Corp Traits, a top-to-bottom NPC rebalance that gives the factions of Night City buffs and debuffs, including custom firewalls that affect how you’ll approach combat.

Everyone from the Tyger Claws to Militech gets their own unique faction bonuses with this mod – the Maelstrom gang, for example, is now completely immune to covert hacks, burning and bleeding, in addition to significan­t resistance to headshots and assault weapons. This mod is a standout in a series of fantastic gameplay and balance mods by rmk1234, and I found that pairing this with their other mods, especially Toxicity, Level Scaling and Balance, and AI Netrunners Enhanced, gave me the thoughtful, tactical combat I found missing from the base game. economy with Captain12’s mod, called Auto Scaling Weapons and Armor. It’ll cut way down on the time you spend in weapon store menus and let you save your eddies for the legendary gear that’s really worth your while. If you’re into the idea of having Cyberpunk 2077 play out a bit more like the tabletop game, I recommend also trying RMK’s Level Scaling with Higher Minimum Levels. Combined, these mods ensure that a good gun will always be good, and keeps your character from steamrolle­ring through early game content you may have missed.


The appeal of this next mod will probably rely on how you feel about videogame protagonis­ts in general. Some players love a hero that talks, while others (often the people raised on games like Half-Life, Doom, or The Legend of Zelda) prefer the completely silent protagonis­t.

Personally, I love the way V talks. Unfortunat­ely, the far-off world of 2077 rarely challenges perception­s of gender and identity beyond the game’s main quest, reinforced by a rigid gender binary that makes roleplayin­g a non-binary character an uphill immersion battle. Thankfully, V’s booming gendered monologues can now be completely silenced with dirtytheki­d’s quick and easy Silent Protagonis­t mods. No matter what version of V you’re playing, you can limit their dialogue to subtitles only, resulting in a more traditiona­l, old-school RPG experience.

Need a rest? Me too. My V has been awake for weeks on end, hustling and grinding Night City’s seediest underbelli­es in the hopes of affording a car that doesn’t handle like a wet soap bar. Well, modder CrazySD has intervened, nefariousl­y incentivis­ing semi-frequent sleep and grooming by tying them to your EXP gain and health regen rate. It’s a simple mod called Better Housing Buffs, but the little things go a long way, and it soon becomes second nature to drive home and catch some shut-eye after a big quest or dramatic story beat. Grabbing a shower refreshes your regenerati­on rate more, sleeping in your bed further increases your experience gain, and a coffee beefs up max stamina more than in the vanilla game.


There’s been a lot of work done by the modding community towards addressing the deficienci­es of Cyberpunk 2077’s police system, and out of them all, my favourite has been modder Scissors12­3454321’s police system rework contained within their Vehicle Combat overhaul. No longer does Night City’s omnipresen­t police force immediatel­y protect and serve you upon the slightest infraction. Crimes require witnesses, and witnesses have to make calls to the cops. Further, Night City’s gangs and corps aren’t embarrasse­d to call in their friends, too.

But a more realistic police response doesn’t mean it’s a free-forall in Night City. Stealthy players will be challenged to find ways to drop their targets without anyone being the wiser, and heavy-handed types will have to keep to a tight schedule to escape unharmed. That’s because the cops in the mod are psycho to the core – they’ll do anything to drop you at two stars or higher. Thankfully, the ability to shoot back from the safety of the driver’s seat levels the playing field. It’s a little janky, and don’t be shocked when something inevitably breaks, but pulling off a gig that went loud and wiping out cars full of cops, corpos and gangers from your driver’s side window mid-drift is an iconic trailer moment finally realised.

There’s another police-related mod to deal with another issue in 2077. CD Projekt has said it’s planning a big police overhaul in the future, to finally make the cops a bit more realistic when they show up to fight crime. Currently, it’s a bit unsatisfyi­ng: they just teleport to your location. That feels like cheating. The Enhanced Police mod by mandruis7 makes the arrival of cops more reasonable. With a one-star warrant level, cops will arrive on foot, but at higher levels they’ll show up on bikes and in police cars and actually pursue you.


We all know the future promised us flying cars, and there actually are some airborne vehicles in a few scenes in Cyberpunk 2077. But when you’re playing the game itself, the only cars you can drive remain firmly on the ground. That doesn’t seem fair, does it? Luckily, modder jackhumber­t had the same thought and you can finally take your ride to the skies with the Let There Be Flight mod. The mod includes several different control schemes, plus custom sounds and visual effects. At last, Night City really does feel like the future.

You’re not just hopping into a car and lurching into the air like you’re using a noclip cheat mode, either. The mod adds custom thruster models with a nice glow to the undercarri­age of the cars. There are custom sound effects, too, a lovely thrumming and humming noise when you lift off. Throw in the ability to pull off some barrel rolls, and I can’t think of a better way to get around Night City.

Speaking of vehicles, there are some sweet motorcycle­s in

Cyberpunk 2077 but they’ve never really felt all that great to drive. The

Bike Overhaul mod by Suprt132 addresses a lot of the issues with bikes, making them faster and better to operate. Now when you’re speeding around the city, V will lean with the bike when making turns.

Cyberpunk 2077 is a singleplay­er game, but that doesn’t mean you need to take on the world all by yourself. If you want to feel the possibilit­ies of the future, the Drone Companions mod by Scissors12­3454321 lets you craft and customise some robotic buddies. And they’re not just around to be your pals, they’ll fight alongside you. The mod adds a new operating system called Techdeck, which lets you build androids, drones and mechs. Each can be upgraded and customised, and they’ll help you take down any enemies you target.

Finally, there’s no question that your cyberarms are cool, but are they cool enough? The Arasaka Cyberarms mod by Aanderz gives you a whole bunch of replacemen­t skins for your arms, a library for you to choose from. Your arms can look like Iron Man, you can have glowing Mantis blades of several colours, and pick from lots of different decals. The world of Cyberpunk is all about style, so don’t settle for arms that look like you bought them off the shelf. Customise them!


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 ?? ?? Robotic buddies can not only ride with you, but fight for you.
Robotic buddies can not only ride with you, but fight for you.
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 ?? ?? FAR LEFT: Finally, some drones will be on your side.
LEFT: Better bikes, something we’ve wanted since day one.
FAR LEFT: Finally, some drones will be on your side. LEFT: Better bikes, something we’ve wanted since day one.
 ?? ?? ABOVE: Cops that actually chase you? I don’t believe it.
ABOVE: Cops that actually chase you? I don’t believe it.

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