The Best Iconic Smart Weapons in Cyberpunk 2077 2.1 favor an agile Net-Gunner Build
Prior to the Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 update and the launch of its Phantom Liberty expansion pack, Smart Weapons were the unloved stepchildren of the game's formidable arsenal of guns. Outside of certain niche setups and favored iconic weapons, there was little reason to use them at all over a Tech or Power weapon that performed much more like the staples of modern first-person shooters.
That's changed quite a lot thanks to the new updates, and with the right build, Smart Weapons can form the deadly cornerstone of one of the most synergistic combat approaches in the game: A fast and agile "Net-Gunner" that combines hacking and high-flying firepower. Here's our quick guide to every Iconic Smart Weapon in the game, as well as to a powerful Net-Gunner build and equipment setup to use them with.
How do Smart Weapons work in Cyberpunk 2077 2.0?
Though CD Projekt Red has comprehensively overhauled Smart weapons' interactions with Perks and other systems as of the Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 update. The basic mechanics of how they work haven't changed.
Smart Weapons are a class of firearm in the game, but unlike Power and Tech weapons, they don't use a regular aiming crosshair or sights. Instead, Smart weapons (almost all of them, at least) interact with the Smart Link Cyberware that can be installed in V's hands. They display a large targeting box in the center of the screen and lock onto targets within the box. Once a target is locked onto, Smart Weapons fire bursts of seeking projectiles. The projectiles travel in an arc, and can shoot over cover and track moving targets to an extent.
Smart Weapons effectively have two firing modes. When the targeting box is placed over an area, Smart Weapons wil lock onto multiple targets' bodies, allowing V to attack multiple targets at once. When aiming by holding down the button or trigger that would bring up the sights on a Power or Tech weapon, the Smart Weapon will lock onto a single enemy's head or weak spot.
While the basics haven't changed, a new line of Perks in the Intelligence tree makes them far more effective, and a much more viable alternative to the Power and Tech weapon lines.
What's the Best Cyberpunk 2077 Build to Use Smart Weapons With?
The changes to Cyberpunk 2077's Attribute and Perk lineup allowed certain Attribute allocations to favor certain categories of weapons. However, Smart weapons of any type gain a large number of bonuses from Perks in the Intelligence tree. Any player investing many points into Intelligence is likely to be going for hacking-based Perks, and will consequently unlock access to Smart weapon-oriented Perks, as well.
Thus a hacking-focused character that uses Smart weapons for when things get loud is the best build to maximize Smart weapon bonuses. These "Net-gunnner" builds combine hacks and lock-on gunplay to add a shade of The Terminator to Cyberpunk 2077's combat.
Check out a sample Net-gunner build below. For more suggested Perk and Attribute allocations, see our general build guide for Cyberpunk 2077 2.0.
Smart Weapon Net-Gunner Build (Level 60)
- Click here for a Build Planner link.
- Attributes: 17 Body, 20 Reflexes, 20 Technical Ability, 20 Intelligence, 4 Cool
- Favored Perks: Submachine Fun, Air Dash, Air Kerenzikov, Sharpshooter, Edgerunner, Cyborg, Overclock, Spillover, Smart Synergy, Targeting Prism, Precision Subroutines, Recirculation, Power Surge, Sublimation, Blood Daemon, Acquisition Specialist, No Escape
- Favored OS Cyberware: Either the Militech Paraline or Tetratronic Rippler Cyberdecks (see this guide for more about each Cyberdeck).
- Favored Cyberware: Bioconductor (or COX-2 cybersomatic optimizer), Axolotl, Memory Boost, RAM Recoup, Visual Cortex Support, Kerenzikov, Defenzikov, Neofiber, Cyberdeck, Heal-on-Kill, Blood Pump, Biomonitor, Reinforced Tendons (see our general Cyberware list for a full accounting of all the game's Cyberware items)
- Favored Weapons: Yinglong, Pizdets, Prototype: Shingen Mark V, Chesapeake, Heracles 3AX
This Net-Gunner build heavily favors agile gunplay supported by combat quickhacks to quickly take out large groups of enemies and focus down harder targets. This build can also credibly handle stealth work, using stealthier quickhacks to take on quieter gigs and the silenced Pizdets smart SMG to pick off enemies undetected.
Reflexes-based Perks like Submachine Fun, Air Dash, and others allow the player to move quickly through combat, while the natural lock speed of Smart weapons reduces the need for precision aim. Meanwhile, heavy investment in Body perks like Adrenaline rush and Intelligence Perks like Overclock and Spillover ensure quickhack damage keeps flowing throughout the fight, and that the Smart SMGs are operating at peak effectiveness. With light Perk reallocatin, this build can be equally viable for a more close-range focused shotguns-and-blunt weapons orientation, as well as use smart pistols (though without the unique pistol perks afforded by the Cool tree), but the synergies are greatest when using Smart SMGs with a backup Assault Rifle for when ammo gets tight.
Every Iconic Smart Weapon in Cyberpunk 2077 and Phantom Liberty
Like other iconic weapons in Cyberpunk 2077, most iconic Smart weapons are based on an existing non-iconic type. With the exception of the X-MOD line of iconics, Iconic weapons can't mount weapon mods, but they do have unique qualities that mods can't quite match.
Here's a list of all the iconic Smart weapons in the game. Click each weapon's name to jump straight into our ranked lists, with detailed descriptions and our impressions from testing. For iconic Power, Tech, and melee weapons, check out our general iconic weapon list.
- Iconic Smart Pistols
- Iconic Smart Shotguns
- Iconic Smart Assault Rifles
- Iconic Smart Sniper Rifles
- Iconic Smart SMGs
The Best Iconic Smart Weapons in Cyberpunk 2077
Here's our list of the best Iconic Smart Weapons in the game. They're ordered by category with the best ones at the top, but don't be too concerned about their actual ranking, as almost every weapon is viable with the Net-Gunner build we detailed above. It's really a matter of degrees and personal preference at the high end of play.
Iconic Smart Pistols
This iconic variant of the Chao Smart pistol is found in the Dogtown-based Treating Symptoms gig in Phantom Liberty. It trades a smaller magazine size for a two-round burst that fires explosive flechettes. The explosions increase the chance of causing a dismemberment. Dismembering enemies also further increases the gun's crit chance and adds a chance to apply Bleeding. This makes it the strongest Smart pistol in the game per-shot.
Acquired from the gig Heaviest of Hearts in Dogtown, this Phantom Liberty-exclusive iconic Smart pistol is a strong companion to a hacking-centric build, as its every shot has a chance to upload the Cripple Movement quickhack. It also has increased crit chance and damage, and a reduction to reload and aim time. It's also based on the Kappa Smart pistol, which is the best base Smart pistol model thanks to its inherent +1 lock-on target modifier and full-auto firing rate. The only thing keeping Crimestopper out of the top spot for iconic Smart pistols is the fact that the quickhack-upload chance drops hugely for boss and skull-marked enemies, which are the exact sort of enemies you'd want to use Cripple Movement on.
Genjiroh is acquired from the Arasaka mansion in North Oak (also visited during the Devil ending path), and is effectively a straight upgrade from the standard Yukimura Smart pistol, and even from the AI-powered Skippy. Genjiroh has a large targeting square, an expanded magazine size, and the ability to target up to four targets simultaneously, with a chance to cause shock damage.
Unlocking in Phantom Liberty after completing Dogtown's Spy in the Jungle gig, this Iconic Kappa is slightly enhanced from the basic Kappa, but unlike other Iconics, can be equipped with weapon mods. The ideal mods to add to it are Gambiteer or Panorama to improve its targeting, or rare mods like Headhopper. The Hackatomy mod can also be used, though this requires spending Phantom Liberty's one-time Chimera core item to get it.
Skippy's fall from grace is a tragic one. Once the premier Smart pistol in the game, Skippy now comes with a shelf-life in 2.0. You can keep the AI-equipped Yukimura past its quest line, but it will have suffered a lobotomy, and lost its unique targeting mode. In essence, this new version of Skippy is pretty much meant to stay in V's Stash wall, rather than in V's hand. It's still slightly better than an unmodified Yukimura, but at least you can modify a Yukimura to gain some unique advantages.
Iconic Smart Assault Rifles
This unique Smart Assault Rifle is found during the Roads to Redemption gig in the depths of Dogtown's stadium. This one-of-a-kind Militech prototype is unique in that it comes with its own built-in Smart scope, allowing players to use the lock-on function without the Smart Link installed in V's hand slot. Of course, removing a Smart Link will make V unable to effectively use any other Smart weapon, so the feature's only relevant if it's your only Smart gun.
Then again, it very well could be. The Heracles launches a stream of grenade-like explosive rounds when fired from the hip. When aimed and locked on, it'll target enemy heads and weak spots like any Smart weapon. The Heracles also has a chance to apply poison when upgraded, and enemies killed by it have a chance to explode in a large chemical poison cloud, with their corpses dropping a pool of acid that deals more chemical damage.
In a way, it's like a refinement of the concept behind the Divided We Stand below.
Acquired from the Stadium Love side gig, this modified version of the game's only widely available Smart Assault Rifle (the D5 Sidewinder) divides its damage between up to five targets, while adding a chance for enemies neutralized by it to explode in a large blast that poisons all those near by. While the Heracles is pretty much a straight upgrade of Divided We Stand, this is literally your only choice of iconic Smart Assault Rifle if you don't have Phantom Liberty.
Iconic Smart Shotguns
The best iconic Smart shotgun also happens to be Cyberpunk 2077's only iconic Smart shotgun. But what a shotgun it is. Possibly one of the most powerful single weapons in the game, it launches its entire 4-round magazine in an auto-locking swarm of explosive rockets that will pretty much delete any non-boss enemy on normal difficulty. Its main drawbacks are its long reload time and the fact that you need to finish the game once by beating Adam Smasher to even unlock it. Looting the access token off his body allows you to enter a locked room on the Ebunike cargo ship and claim the weapon's crafting spec.
Iconic Smart Sniper Rifles
Winner of the title of "best iconic Smart sniper rifle" by default, Yasha is an iconic version of the Ashura. Though it lacks the X-MOD2 suffix, it's similar to those weapons in that it can mount two weapon mods despite being an iconic. The price of those mod slots is a significantly lower effective range. Unfortunately for the Yasha, many sniper-centric weapon mods offer it little benefit. Thus the best mods are to add a Stabilizer or to double up on the Equalizer, which increases damage dealt to skull-marked enemies. Finally, it's also an "exclusive" Twitch drop, making it difficult to acquire on consoles, though on PC a player can use mods to enable the command console and add the item to one's inventory directly.
Pizdets is exclusive to Phantom Liberty and can be acquired from the Spy in the Jungle gig, after looting the unique enemy Boris Ribakov. Though it has a significantly smaller magazine and a slightly longer lock-on time than the Warden it's based on, it has something no other smart weapon in the game has: An integrated silencer. That means you can take it on stealth missions and use it to take out enemies without triggering alarms. It also has something over the default Warden in that continuous fire increases its crit chance. This versatility makes it a great main Smart SMG, and possibly the best Smart weapon in the entire game.
The former king of Smart weapons before the advent of Pizdets, the Yinglong is an iconic Smart weapon that can be crafted after defeating the boss Denzel Cryer in the Organized Criminal Activity gig Living the Big Life. Yinglong is based on the G-58 Dian, and deals electrical damage with a chance to set off an EMP blast that damages and disables enemies in a fairly large radius. The Yinglong's high rate of fire makes it quite likely to set off these blasts despite the relatively low activation chance, making it an ideal crowd control weapon that also has a disabling effect against powerful bosses.
The Prototype Shingen is based on the Arasaka Shingen, and fires explosive rounds with a chance to apply Burn to a target. Though its burst-based firing pattern isn't ideal, it can lock onto three targets while aiming, making its modifier similar to the Genjiroh Smart pistol. The burn effect also has the side benefit of setting off the explosive quality of the Contagion quickhack, meaning that you can use it to trigger explosions without having to use Overheat or a grenade.
An "exclusive" locked to Amazon Prime Gaming subscriptions, Chesapeake is based on the Warden and is part of a line of Barghest-themed weapon variants. It improves movement speed after successful kills and dismemberments, up to a maximum of +20%. Players using Chesapeake (and other Amazon Prime Gaming iconics) will also gain a damage bonus based on movement speed, and a bonus to Armor Penetration.
Cyberpunk 2077 is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. Check out our other updated guides to the game at this link.