Cyberpunk 2077 is far from a perfect, but it remains an enthralling and deep role-playing game. Night City is a bustling metropolis filled with people and their problems, meaning one thing – side quest galore! Yes, there is no shortage of the strange, funny, and surprisingly fulfilling quests you’ll come across in the dangerous alleyways and foreboding mega-buildings that dominate the landscape. Here are five unmissable side quests in Cyberpunk 2077.
There are possible spoilers in this article; read at your discretion.
5. Riders On The Storm
Panam isn’t the most welcoming character you’ll meet, but she soon becomes the closest of companions and a memorable one at that. We’re introduced to her through the main narrative via Rogue, the legendary fixer of the Afterlife bar. Panam is an estranged Nomad who came to the city for the same reason everyone finds themselves there – opportunity and fame. It’s worth completing the entire questline, watching this relationship form into something more. The Riders on the storm side quest is particularly memorable in this regard. After helping save the leader of the Aldocados Nomad family, the three must find shelter from an oncoming sandstorm.
Depending on your dialogue choices in previous quests, V and Panam can share a tender moment as the storm rages outside the ramshackle cabin. As so often throughout the game, it’s the peaceful moments, where the action has subsided, and the writing and acting show through, that are Cyberpunk’s finest moments. This scene represents a lull in the second act, just before the third’s tough choices. Romance in RPGs is often ham-fisted with the cheesy dialogue dialled up to eleven. In sharp contrast, I found the relationship that V and Panam form well choreographed and believable.
4. Machine Gun Skippy
Living in a big city can get lonely and unsurprisingly violent. What you need is a weapon with a personality, and that’s precisely what Cyberpunk 2077 provides. In Vista Del Ray, within a fenced-up back-alley, you’ll come across a dead body. Loot the stiff, and you’re introduced to Skippy, a smart pistol with a dry, witty disposition. Skippy is one of the game’s best weapons and gives you an option on how you wish to use it. If a deathless playthrough is your goal, it’ll become a non-lethal pistol. However, if dropping bodies sounds better, Skippy will automatically head-shot enemies.
Choosing the deadlier option will soon cause Skippy to override your decision, making sure only to use the gun when especially useful. A second side quest will have Skippy inform you that his real owner is a Fixer. Depending on how you feel, you can return the weapon and feel the joy of being a Good Samaritan or keep it – finders keepers, after all.
3. Losing My Religion
In an age of bodily augmentation, there are always extremes. While meandering around the Watson Docks, you’ll meet a monk that stands out from his brethren – he has been augmented. He laments that Maelstrom gang members kidnapped him and his brother. The Maelstrom are gangsters who have become crazed through extreme augmentation and are known to abduct and defile innocent people though modification and drugs. This side quest is likely one of the first you’ll come across and gives you an idea of how dangerous life is in Night City.
Your objective is simple. Free the monk’s brother from suffering the same fate as his. Depending on how you choose to handle the mission (violently of non-lethal), you’ll receive a different response from the freed monk. There’s no effect on gameplay or story (that I noticed), but it may prick your moral compass a bit. You may be saving the monk, but will you simply perpetuate the cycle of violence that holds the city in its vice-like grip? Early choices like this one will have a baring on how you’ll approach larger situation later in the game.
Every good RPG has that one early mission or side quest that cements a fondness for the world and its characters. For Cyberpunk 2077, Epistrophy is that side quest. Early in the game, you’re introduced to Delamain, an AI that runs a taxi cab firm. Naturally, he has a problem that needs fixing. His personality has split at the seams, leading to several of his cars receiving a verity of human-like emotions. Your task is to hunt these cars down and convince them to return to their base AI. What starts as a simple fetch quest ends up being a profoundly philosophical quandary on life’s meaning and what it is to be free.
I’ll leave the majority for you to find out, but there are two standouts. One can be found in an expansive garbage tip on the city’s outskirts. It’s a desolate, rugged terrain with the cab somehow slap-bang in the middle of it. When you sit on the car, a disembodied voice begins talking to you about murder and death. This cab is psychopathic, possibly even a serial killer. The mission is over just as quickly as it began, but it left a memorable impression. It’s also a reminder that we desperately need a game based on the 1977 movie, The Car. Make it happen.
1. I Fought The Law & The Hunt
I’m an ardent believer that every open-world game should have at least one crime noir mission. Cyberpunk’s offering is a multilevel side quest called The Hunt and sees you befriend a Night City detective trying to solve a case of corruption and murder. It begins with a phone call from Elizebeth Perez and her husband, who plans to run for mayor after the prior one met with a bullet to the skull. The couple needs you to figure out who’s behind the hit and to do that you’ll have to meet with Detective River Ward.
Ward is your archetypal gumshoe; quite and reticent until you get to know each other. After bringing a close to your murder case, Ward asks for your help in a personal matter. His nephew has gone missing, but he believes he’s the victim of a serial killer who’s stalking Night City. Getting to the truth will take you on a personal journey with Ward and is one of the more fleshed out relationships V forms through the game. In a lonely cybernetic metropolis, it’s those genuine human moments that hit the hardest — don’t miss this one.
The good in Cyberpunk 2077 is sometimes outweighed by the bad. Despite this, there are so many enjoyable side stories to discover that flesh out the city and make it come to life. If you own a current-generation console or a decent PC, don’t let the discourse get in the way of an enjoyable game. Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t always fire on all cylinders, but it does enough to make it worth your time. These five unmissable side quests are a testament to that.