Most builds in Cyberpunk aim for very familiar concepts: stealthy hackers, invincible punching machines, frighteningly accurate snipers, deadly fast katana wielding samurais, and many more. Those are all fun ways to play for sure, but if you want something that shows off smart choices in skill trees while still requiring a bit of marksmanship to get it right, this “grenade trickshot” build is something you must try out.
While happy accidents in intense shootouts in Night City had me pretty sure you could shoot a bullet into a grenade for an early explosion, a recent video from YouTube channel KhrazeGaming confirmed it was possible by showing off how this simple quirk of the game’s combat can become the basis for an entire character concept. This specific setup kicks off at around 5:32 on the video. KhrazeGaming also had a sick Edgerunners-inspired David Martinez build that we’ve talked about before.
Shooting grenades mid-air might be the central appeal to this build, but there’s a lot of flexibility around this, making it a perfect complimentary playstyle for other builds if you’ve got the eddies, perks, and skill points to spare. KhrazeGaming recommends grabbing the “Jackpot” perk in the Engineering tree, as well as other perks that buff grenade damage. But we can go beyond that. Overall, you’re going to be investing in Reflexes and Technical Ability (Engineering) to make the most of this build.
As was shown off in KhrazeGaming’s video, you’re gonna have to be able to slow down time to make the most of this concept. There are a few options when it comes to bullet time in Cyberpunk and they stem from cybernetics.
One of the most common is the Kerenzikov cyberware implant. This will slow down time whenever you aim down sights, block, or attack while sliding or dodging. It comes in Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, and Legendary variants, sold for 4,000, 6,000, 10,000, 16,000, and 28,000 respectively. Common and uncommon variants don’t have a stat requirement, but for Rare, Epic, and Legendary, you’ll need a Reflex score of 12, 15, and 18 respectively. Kerenzikov’s can be found from the following ripperdocs in these locations:
- Common (time is slowed by half for 1.5 seconds): All ripperdocs (who don’t sell higher level versions)
- Uncommon (time is slowed by 60 percent for 1.8 seconds): Japantown, Rocky Ridge, Rancho Coronado, Arroyo, West Wind Estate
- Rare (time is slowed by 70 percent for two seconds): Arroyo, Wellsprings, Downtown
- Epic (time is slowed by 80 percent for 2.5 seconds): Wellsprings
- Legendary (time is slowed by 90 percent for 3.5 seconds): Arroyo
You can also invest in a Synaptic Accelerator implant, which slows down time when you’re spotted. But given how you might not be going for stealth with a build of this kind, this may or may not be as desirable. A Reflex Tuner, which slows down time by half for two seconds when your health is a quarter of your max, might also be worth seeking out.
Some other great options include any of the Sandevistan Operating System implants. The advantage here is that these let you slow down time by holding down E instead of being tied to a movement set or a specific scenario like the others. These all have varying time dilation stats along with other bonuses like buffs to crit chances and damage, so you’ll want to investigate which is right for your build.
To maximize your Sandevistan bullet time, look out for the Dynalar Sandevistan Mk.1 or 3, or any of the Zetatech OS implants. You may also want to use an Overclocked Processor mod and/or a Heatsink mod to juice effect duration and reduce cooldown respectively.
These aren’t the only cybernetics to consider for a trickshot build. A Maneuvering System implant from the ripperdoc in Arroyo requires a score of 14 in Reflexes, but it will let you perform dodges in midair. Fortified Ankles can also boost your mobility, giving you more angles to throw grenades from and pull off sick shots.
The Rare variant of Fortified Ankles requires a score of 12 Street Cred (buying from Viktor Vektor waives the Street Cred req), and is available from all but two ripper docs (Downtown and Wellsprings don’t have them). This will let you hold the jump button to get a boost to your max jump height. In general this makes the game much easier to play, but it will also let you get a great vantage point for tossing grenades and landing skillful shots.
The Epic version of Fortified Ankles is where the fun begins. Only Fingers in Japantown have this variant of the implant (so, you know, don’t kill him as much as that might pain you). This will reduce your fall damage by 15 percent and will let you Halo 5-style hover and stabilize while aiming mid air.
Toss a grenade into a crowd of enemies, leap into the air, slow down time, and thread the needle with a well-placed shot and you’ll be the talk of the city in no time.
Or maybe Regina Jones will think you’re a cyberpsycho and’ll send W to kill you.
So if you’re gonna shoot a grenade, you need something to shoot it with. It’s probably fair to say that most guns aside from maybe shotguns will do the trick. That said, V’s arm will only throw a grenade so far, so a sniper rifle might be overkill.
For my money, nothing beats a handgun. Not only do I think a handgun-specced V is the canonical way to play Cyberpunk 2077, they also have some of the coolest equip animations. Besides, if you only go for handguns, you’re going to make inventory management way easier. Just make sure you stock the hell up on ammo.
Not every handgun is built equally. There are two broad categories here, Pistols and Revolvers. From there, you have Smart, Power, and Tech varieties (there are no Smart Revolvers, however). Hitting a grenade with a Smart Pistol is going to be a challenge, so ideally you want either a Power or Tech gun. If you’re going with an Edgerunners-inspired Falco build, you can use his Techtronika RT-46 Burya Tech Revolver, but I’m going to encourage you to consider Power Pistols for one key feature: Ricochet.
Injecting a bit of Revolver Ocelot into your V will help expand the trickshot build beyond just hitting grenades. Any bullet fired from a Power weapon will have a chance for ricochet, but grabbing a Kongou, accessible during “The Heist” quest by grabbing it from Yorinobu’s bedroom, is one of the best moves as this gun will always fire ricocheted shots.
Also, the Ballistic Coprocessor cyberware will improve your ricochet chances with any Power weapon.
Ricochets can be unpredictable, so you’ll want to tame those by either grabbing the “Draw the Line” perk in the Engineering tree or the Trajectory Generator cyberware optics mod to show a visualization of ricochet trajectory on your HUD. The Play the Angles perk (also in Engineering) will boost ricochet damage by 15 percent for every perk level you’ve invested.
The “In Perspective” perk, under the Assault tree will also improve ricochets with assault rifles, sniper rifles, and submachine guns if those weapons are more your style.
Hitting enemies behind cover with a ricocheted shot is always a good time. But if you manage to land a ricocheted shot into a flung grenade…send me a clip of that so I can lose my friggin’ mind.
As mentioned earlier, Reflexes and Technical Ability are your best friends for a grenade trickshot build. I recommend a Reflex score no lower than 12 so you can make the most out of bullet time effects. Meanwhile, a Technical Ability score of at least 7 will be needed to start boosting your grenade damage, but ideally it should be higher than that.
You can scale your weapons perks as you feel necessary, but for grenade trickshots, you’ll want to consider Grenadier, Shrapnel, Bigger Booms, Can’t Touch This, and Jackpot. The last one of those requires a score of 20, but it will allow grenades to score critical damage.
My favorite aspect of the grenade trickshot build is that it doesn’t just rely on the math of your stats alone. Your hud will indicate where a grenade is, and slowing down time helps a ton, but actually hitting a grenade with a bullet takes some skill even after you’ve invested in perks and cyberware. It’s a great way to keep the challenge of an FPS in a game that you can otherwise dominate by numbers alone.
You’ll likely want to acquire a wide variety of grenades. That’s the other fun aspect of this build: Fragmentation, incendiary, EMP, poison, or even flashbang grenades can make for fun moving targets, kind of like having a unique selection of spells with different status effects in a fantasy RPG.
It probably goes without saying, but this is a build that will most benefit mouse and keyboard players. The precision of a mouse will make hitting a grenade or timing a ricocheted shot much more doable. Not only that, but dodging on keyboard is pulled off by double-tapping a movement key (remember, dodging in combat activates the Kereznikov implant), whereas you have to double-tap B or Circle on a gamepad.
If you’re set on playing on a gamepad, however, you could try a claw grip to keep a finger on your dodge functionality. Alternatively, you could get a controller with an assignable rear button. Hitting those grenades and pulling off trickshots while time is slowed really relies on being able to aim at a moment’s notice, so the time lost when traveling from the outer face button to your right thumbstick can reduce your effectiveness with this build.
In general, the trickshot grenade build isn’t something you’ll nail as soon as your stats meet the threshold. You’ll need to practice a bit, but it’s well worth the effort and is one seriously unique way to play this game. If you’ve ever been skeptical of the fusion of RPG mechanics and FPS gameplay, try this style out.
For practice, head out to the outskirts to not be bothered by anyone. For live targets, look out for NCPD alerts, or throwdown with any of the gang members you’ll find hanging around Night City before you jump into the main quests to show off your skills in front of an NPC you’re trying to impress. Before you know it, you’ll be piercing grenades mid air and bouncing bullets off walls. Preem.