Cyberpunk 2077 Story features main character V

Image source: CD Projekt Red

The whole thing broken down.

Cyberpunk 2077 is much-improved since it launched back in 2020, but even despite all its initial criticism the story has always been superb. If you’re a fan of the cyberpunk genre, you’ll have appreciated its authenticity and respect for the tropes that sci-fans have long appreciated. In keeping with that tradition, though, it is quite complex and there’s a lot of technical jargon to decipher. To that end, this article offers a comprehensive Cyberpunk 2077 story summary and a detailed explanation of all possible endings.

It should come as no surprise that we’ll be delving into spoilers here. If you want to experience the game’s plot twists and turns firsthand, you might want to stop reading here. For everyone else, let’s dive in.

Editor’s note: The story of Cyberpunk 2077 has now been updated with a new expansion, Phantom Liberty. We’ll be breaking down its story in a different article.

Cyberpunk 2077 Story & Plot Summary

Choosing a life path in Cyberpunk 2077 story

The protagonist of Cyberpunk 2077 is V, a character whose gender, appearance, and backstory are customizable by the player. Following the character creation, the game begins by offering three distinct life paths for V: Corpo, Nomad, and Street Kid. Each path provides a unique backstory and starting point for V, ultimately leading him to work as a mercenary alongside Jackie Welles. Here’s a snapshot of each life path:

The Corpo Life Path

As a Corpo, V begins his journey as an Arasaka employee, tasked with eliminating a rival corporate figure. When the corporation discovers V’s intentions, he finds himself jobless and homeless, forcing him into a life of mercenary work.

The Nomad Life Path

If V is a Nomad, he starts out as a wanderer looking for work in Night City. However, complications at the city’s border force him to team up with Jackie Welles for a smuggling mission, starting their partnership.

The Street Kid Life Path

As a Street Kid, V starts by working on a job to steal a high-end car. In a twist of fate, he ends up partnering with Jackie Welles, leading to their adventures as mercenaries in Night City.

No matter the chosen life path, a montage catches us up on V and Jackie’s activities over the past few months before the game truly begins.

Act 1: The Rise of a Mercenary

dexter is a key character in Cyberpunk 2077's story

The story picks up momentum when V and Jackie are hired by Dexter Deshawn, a “Fixer”, to steal an invaluable piece of technology from the Arasaka Corporation. Known as the “relic chip of immortality”, the artifact’s purpose is shrouded in mystery.

The duo plans to infiltrate the Konpeki Plaza tower to steal the device from Yorinobu Arasaka, the rebellious son of the corporation’s leader. However, the mission goes awry when V and Jackie witness Yorinobu murdering his father, leading to a thrilling escape from Arasaka’s security force.

During the escape, Jackie sustains fatal injuries, and the relic chip is damaged. V has no choice but to insert the chip into his own mind, leading to an unexpected encounter with Johnny Silverhand, a deceased rock star who now resides within V’s mind.

Act II: Cyberpunk 2077 Story Summary & Ending Explained

In Act II, V wakes up in a scrapyard, surviving against all odds. He is taken in by Takemura, an Arasaka security head, who believes V is responsible for Saburo’s murder. After a series of events, V learns that his mind is merging with Johnny’s, creating a ticking time bomb situation.

V meets Takemura to discuss the situation, leading to a quest to find Evelyn Parker, who may have valuable information about their predicament. Concurrently, V also seeks out Anders Hellman, the bioengineer who created the relic chip. Throughout this act, V communicates telepathically with Johnny, who offers his assistance in removing the chip. He recommends speaking with a fixer called Rogue with whom he had dealings many years ago.

Speaking to Rogue, V obtains a lead on Hellman’s whereabouts, who is said to be located in the Badlands, with the assistance of an individual named Panam Palmer.

Concurrently, Judy, the tech specialist who previously helped V analyze Brain Dance files and plan the chip heist with Evelyn, reveals that Evelyn can be traced to a brothel called The Clouds.

Within this phase of the narrative, Johnny brings up a crucial data center employed by Arasaka, known as Mikoshi, emphasizing that it’s a pivotal destination for V’s journey involving the relic chip.

Subsequently, V discreetly infiltrates The Clouds, only to discover that Evelyn has not been working there recently. This discovery leads them to a chip-doctor named Fingers, who eventually discloses that Evelyn was abducted by two thugs associated with a Brain Dance studio, potentially for sinister purposes.

These thugs are eventually revealed to be Scavs, prompting V and Judy to embark on a successful mission to rescue Evelyn, despite her dire condition. They return her to safety at home.


Best Outcome for Pisces in Cyberpunk 2077: Walkthrough & Ending Explained

Despite her incapacitation, a Brain Dance recording yields valuable insights into her connection with the relic chip heist and her reasons for hiring V in the first place.

As it transpires, Evelyn had been contacted by a netrunner and leader of The Voodoo Boys, a gang based in the Pacifica area of Night City. Subsequently, V endeavors to arrange a meeting with The Voodoo Boys through their fixer contacts.

Working with Panam to Capture Anders Hellman

Cyberpunk 2077 story and ending detail Panam

With the $15,000 finally collected, V pays a visit to Rogue. She proceeds to elucidate that Hellman’s regular routes through a vulnerable section of the Badlands make him susceptible to an ambush.

V collaborates with Panam, a Nomad, to capture Hellman. After successfully completing a series of missions, they manage to capture Hellman. However, Hellman cannot help with the chip situation, leaving V with the original blueprints of the relic and a grim prognosis.

V firmly rejects the notion, and in a gesture of goodwill, Hellman offers V the original blueprints of the relic, hoping it might prove useful in the future. V then hands Hellman over to Takemura.

Planning the Kidnapping of Hanako

Takemura shares his plan with V, which involves kidnapping Hanako to confront her with evidence of Yorinobu’s involvement in Sarubo’s death. He explains that the opportune moment to approach her is during the Arasaka parade dedicated to Sarubo’s memory, which necessitates obtaining crucial information about the parade’s security.

This quest leads them to the Fixer Wakako, who unexpectedly provides them with the necessary intel without any cost.

The obtained information indicates that the parade will traverse Japan Town, featuring grand displays soaring above the city streets. Hanako, as the guest of honor, will observe from a float moving through the parade. However, Wakako warns that security will be formidable, including snipers, surveillance cameras, and a netrunner orchestrating the operation.

With the shard that Wakako provided, V and Takemura infiltrate Arasaka’s security system. They then go over Takemura’s comprehensive plan: they will first breach Arasaka’s security by uploading a virus at Arasaka’s industrial park, after which Takemura will guide V to the positions of three snipers during the parade, whom V must neutralize. Finally, their objective is to apprehend Hanako from her float.

They agree to rendezvous later, just before the parade commences. Before this, though, V follows up with the Vodoo Boys.

The Voodoo Boys & Meeting Alt

Before proceeding with the plan to contact the Voodoo Boys, V has been given an entry point. This involves meeting a man named Placide and fulfilling a task for him in exchange for an audience with their leader, Julliette. V makes his way to the Pacifica area, where he inadvertently stumbles upon a funeral before being directed to Placide.

Placide assigns V the mission of infiltrating a rival gang’s stronghold known as GIM (Grand Imperial Mall). V’s tasks include infecting a van loaded with advanced Netwatch technology (Netwatch being a Net-policing force), and eliminating The Animals’ netrunner. V manages to execute these assignments, but after a conversation with the netrunner, he collapses. Unbeknownst to him, the Voodoo Boys had been safeguarding a data fortress from Netwatch’s surveillance while also rescuing Brigitte, who was held captive.

Upon granting them access to the network, V unintentionally triggers the demise of all agents in the vicinity. Since V was linked to the netrunner, he narrowly escapes death. Placide had not anticipated V’s survival and is astonished to see him alive, which infuriates V.

Amid their argument, Brigitte appears and expresses her intent to assist V by examining the chip in their data fortress, known as the crypt, situated beneath their hideout. Brigitte explains that the crypt is part of the old interconnected digital network, the transcontinental maglev system, that used to link all nations before the war.

Brigitte goes on to clarify that the Voodoo Boys require the engram to contact Alt Cunningham, a construct that still exists beyond the Blackwall. They believe that Alt is the only person capable of helping them secure safe passage through the Blackwall, as they suspect something from beyond the Blackwall will soon emerge to annihilate everyone.

V immerses themselves in an ice bath and proceeds to meet Brigitte in the Voodoo Boys’ data fortress. In this immersive experience, V relives one of Johnny’s memories involving Alt.

The two engage in a heated argument after one of Johnny’s concerts, but their encounter is interrupted by assailants who knock out Johnny and abduct Alt. Johnny later awakens in the care of Ripperdoc Milt Naumen, brought there by a media figure named Thompson.

Thompson discloses that Alt was the prime target, and the abductors were hired by Arasaka. Johnny, however, believes that he was the true target, seemingly unaware of Alt’s value as one of Night City’s premier netrunners, a prime target for Arasaka due to their project to develop the Soulkiller chip, capable of neutralizing enemy netrunners attempting to breach their ICE.

Johnny then collaborates with Thompson to track down Alt at the Afterlife Bar. He meets with Rogue to gather information before an Arasaka agent disrupts their meeting and tries to arrest him. Johnny and Rogue engage in a fierce altercation to escape. Johnny subsequently devises a plan to infiltrate Arasaka Tower to rescue Alt.

Players assume the role of Johnny as they navigate the tower, eventually reaching Alt. Regrettably, she is effectively “dead”; a doctor on-site reveals that her mind is being uploaded into a construct with no possibility of reversal.

In the present Cyberpunk 2077 timeline, Johnny discloses to V that Alt is not truly deceased. Months after the incident, she contacted him to explain that she was trapped within Arasaka’s subnet. Johnny attempted to detonate the tower in a rescue mission but ultimately failed.

Consequently, the Voodoo Boys’ assertion that Alt is still alive, residing beyond the Blackwall, where she is untouchable, proves accurate. Armed with a fragment of Johnny’s construct, Brigitte leads V to make contact with Alt.

During this encounter, Alt clarifies that she has become an AI and is no longer the Alt Johnny once knew. Crucially, she explains that she cannot remove the relic chip from V’s mind without access to the advanced technology hidden beneath Arasaka Tower in the Mikoshi data fortress.

Following their departure from the Voodoo Boys, whether through peaceful negotiations or a violent showdown, V’s condition worsens, leading to a breakdown. Johnny informs V that if it comes down to one of them not surviving the process, he will opt to have himself erased. He gives V the dog tags of a fellow soldier who sacrificed their life for him many years ago.

Capturing Hanako With Takemura

Now back with Takemura, it’s time to embark on their mission to locate Hanako.

The plan unfolds almost flawlessly, with V and Takemura successfully achieving their objectives. However, in the final moments, an unforeseen complication arises: V is compelled to engage and eliminate Hanako’s security detail, Sandayu Oda.

To make matters worse, Hanako remains unresponsive to Takemura’s pleas, leading him to resort to sedating her with a specialized weapon. This prompts V to swiftly exit the scene, arranging to meet Takemura at an abandoned apartment complex.

Within the apartment building, Takemura makes a heartfelt appeal to Hanako, urging her to disclose the truth about her father’s death and provide assistance regarding the relic chip. Nevertheless, Hanako remains steadfast. Arasaka forces subsequently storm the building, forcing V into a battle for escape.

V then regains consciousness in a motel room, under Johnny’s watchful eye. Soon, a knock at the door heralds the arrival of a proxy messenger sent by Hanako. The messenger conveys Hanako’s belief in V and her desire to arrange a meeting.

ACT 3: Cyberpunk 2077 Story Summary & Ending Explained

V pays a visit to Hanako, who expresses her desire for her brother to face consequences for killing their father. Additionally, she reveals her ability to facilitate their entry into Arasaka Tower, leading them to the Jack-in point, which will grant access to the data fortress Mikoshi. This is crucial as Alt can use its power to separate V and Johnny.

However, Johnny has his own plan, involving him and Rogue launching an independent assault on the tower. This places a significant decision on V’s shoulders: entrust Johnny and Rogue with infiltrating Arasaka Tower for the third time, or put their faith in Hanako, an Arasaka executive.

Johnny’s Plan: In the event that Johnny and Rogue are chosen, Johnny assumes control of V’s body. He then persuades Rogue to join his mission at Afterlife. Rogue’s strategy is a high-impact one, aiming to storm the tower with missiles, followed by a gravity-assisted descent using grav boots, and then a ground battle to reach the Mikoshi jackpoint.

They prepare themselves before Johnny converses with Alt, who reveals her ability to read Johnny’s thoughts as he’s a construct. She assures them that she can separate V and Johnny, even if it entails destroying Mikoshi in the process.

Their plan unfolds largely according to their intentions. They crash into Arasaka Tower after its defenses shoot them down, then continue to fight their way down to Mikoshi. Tragically, Rogue dies in the process, as Smasher, the Arasaka security leader responsible for Johnny’s past demise, takes her life as they enter the room housing Mikoshi.

Alt is subsequently uploaded to Mikoshi, where V and Johnny reunite with her.

Hanako’s Plan: Hanako clandestinely gets V inside Arasaka Tower, revealing that she had consulted a construct version of her father, Saburo, prior to their initial meeting. V is introduced to Saburo’s construct, who clarifies that this plan was Saburo’s original creation from the outset. Hanako then takes V to an Arasaka board meeting in an effort to convince them of the situation.

However, the board remains resistant to both V and Hanako’s pleas. In response, Hanako activates Saburo’s construct. Initially, the board suspects deception, but they eventually recognize it as Saburo and agree to consider everything Hanako says as his own.

Regrettably, their plan takes a turn for the worse. The building is abruptly placed on lockdown after detecting intruders, and a security force targets the board meeting. These attackers are revealed to be Yorinobu’s men, sent by him to eliminate everyone present. V embarks on a mission to locate Yorinobu, while Hanako assumes control of the building.

V battles his way toward Yorinobu, which entails defeating his security enforcer, Adam Smasher. Subsequently, V confronts Yorinobu, who delivers a brief speech before Hanako arrives. She holds Yorinobu in her arms and instructs V to depart with Hellman.

Cyberpunk 2077 All Endings Explained

To determine which ending you achieve in Cyberpunk 2077, your main decision hinges on your choices during the “Nocturne Op55N1” quest, where you stand on the balcony with Misty. The choices at your disposal depend on your progress in side jobs and your actions in this scene. Below, we outline the prerequisites for each of the game’s four endings, along with a secret ending discussed further down.

Ending 1 – “Where Is My Mind?”

To secure this ending, begin by saving Takemura during the Search and Destroy mission. In the balcony conversation, opt for ‘Think trusting Arasaka’s risky but worth it’ followed by ‘Take Omega Blockers.’ You must then complete the following missions: Last Caress, Totalimmortal, and Where Is My Mind? This ending has V assisting Takemura in avenging Saburo Arasaka’s death. It leads to a pivotal choice on a space station, where you decide whether to store V’s mind in cyberspace indefinitely or die as a regular mortal back on Earth. Completing this ending rewards you with ‘The Devil’ trophy and achievement.

Ending 2 – “All Along the Watchtower”

To achieve this ending, ensure you’ve completed all of Panam Palmer’s side quests, namely: Riders on the Storm, With a Little Help from My Friends, and Queen of the Highway. During the balcony decision in ‘Nocturne Op55N1,’ choose to ‘Call Panam.’ Then, select ‘Take Omega Blockers.’ Follow this with the completion of the following missions: We Gotta Live Together, Forward to Death, and Belly of the Beast. When faced with a decision in ‘Belly of the Beast,’ opt to ‘Enter the Well’ by selecting the ‘Wanna live out whatever life I got left’ dialog option. This ending sees Johnny Silverhand stuck in cyberspace while V departs Night City with Panam and the other Nomads. Completing this ending rewards you with ‘The Star’ trophy and achievement.

Ending 3 – “New Dawn Fades”

To unlock the third ending, you should have completed Panam’s side quests or Rogue’s side quests, which include Tapeworm (required for ‘Chippin’ In’) and Blistering Love. During the balcony decision in ‘Nocturne Op55N1,’ suggest ‘Think you and Rogue should go’ and then select ‘Take Omega Blockers.’ You must then complete the following missions: For Whom the Bell Tolls and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door. In ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,’ choose to cross the bridge with Alt instead of entering the Well. In this ending, your mind remains in cyberspace, and Johnny Silverhand takes control of V’s body permanently, resulting in one of the game’s unfavorable outcomes. Note: You can also trigger this ending by crossing the bridge with Alt if you’ve sought Panam’s help and finished her side quests. Completing this ending rewards you with ‘The Temperance’ trophy and achievement.

Ending 4 – “Path of Glory

For this ending, make sure you’ve completed Rogue’s questline, consisting of the missions: Tapeworm, Chippin’ In, and Blistering Love. During the balcony scene in ‘Nocturne Op55N1,’ continue to request Rogue’s assistance, choose the Omega Blockers, and complete the main missions: For Whom the Bell Tolls and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door. When you reach the decision with Alt, opt to enter the Well. This action traps Johnny Silverhand in cyberspace indefinitely, and V becomes a legend of Night City. Completing this ending rewards you with ‘The Sun’ trophy and achievement.

Ending 5 – “Path of Least Resistance”

The Path of Least Resistance ending is the fastest way to conclude Cyberpunk 2077. To attain this ending, choose any of the above three options, and then immediately reconsider. Focus on your hand holding the pills or your gun, and you’ll find a new option, “Could also just put all this to rest.” Choosing this option results in V taking their own life, causing the end credits to roll immediately. However, this choice means missing out on late-game quests that conclude V’s story. We recommend avoiding this ending, as it’s the least desirable outcome.

How to Get Cyberpunk 2077‘s Secret Ending

The game has a secret ending that can be triggered during the “Nocturne Op55N1” balcony scene. To unlock it, refrain from choosing any of the four options leading to the other four endings. This silence is interpreted by Johnny as a sign that you don’t want to put your friends in danger. Consequently, you’ll embark on a solo mission to storm Arasaka Tower. Be cautioned that if you perish during this secret ending, you won’t respawn, and the credits will roll. Depending on your performance and choices (entering the Well or crossing the bridge), you’ll achieve either the Rogue’s Path ending or the Path of Least Resistance Ending.

That wraps up everything you need to know about Cyberpunk 2077‘s story and plot, and its various endings endings.