Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

2.1 Best Tank Build (Shotgun Build)

Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Best Tank Build for 2.1

This is a guide to the best Update 2.1 Tank Build for Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty. Read our guide for details about the build, what attributes to level up, which perks to choose, and what weapons and cyberwares to use.

Tank Build Overview

Basic Information

Tank Build
Main Attributes
Main Weapons / Arm Cyberware Bloody Maria / Alabai
Defender / Wild Dog
Thermal Gorilla Arms
Operating System Militech “Apogee” Sandevistan

Strengths and Weaknesses


This Tank build is made for those who like leaving a gory, explosive mess of corpses while shrugging off damage from various enemies.

Shotgun, light machine gun, and health regen perks from the Body attribute are the main components of this build. These perks let you dish out high damage constantly, even with low stamina, while still being bulky.

Meanwhile, mobility perks from Reflexes will help you move around swiftly, while several perks from the Technical Ability tree will lower health item cooldown and give you more stat boosts from your equipped cyberware.


Due to the bombastic playstyle of wielding shotguns and light machine guns, this build is not meant to be used for stealth and is more suitable for those who want to go all out.

You also need to be very aggressive all the time to keep your stamina low and maintain stat boosts.

Tank Best Attribute Build

Attribute Progression

Build Attributes
Lv. Body Reflex Tech Int Cool
1 6 4 6 3 3
10 15 4 6 3 3
50 20 20 20 3 8
60 20 20 20 3 18

The max level is only up until 50 in the base game. Purchase Phantom Liberty to reach level 60.

Almost all of the perks under the Body tree are obtained to power up the use of shotguns and light machine guns, get better health regen, and unlock Adrenaline Rush which gives you extra survivability upon using the Blood Pump cyberware.

After maxing Body, you can start leveling up the Technical Ability tree to get faster health item cooldown and stat boosts from your cyberware.

Mobility perks under Reflexes are also obtained so you can easily move around, but those that improve stamina regeneration are skipped so you can steadily maintain low stamina. This is key to maximize several shotgun and light machine gun perks.

The remainder of attribute points are placed under Cool to increase crit damage.

Tank Build Best Perks

This is the full list of perks that you can get if you achieve the maximum level 60 with the Phantom Liberty DLC. Optional perks are also listed in their own section in case you have not purchased the DLC.

Jump to Each Attribute for Their Perks!
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Body AttributeBody Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Technical Ability AttributeTechnical Ability Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Reflexes AttributeReflexes
Optional Perks

Body Attribute

The main attribute for this build is Body, as almost all of the perks under this tree are obtained.

To start off, get Die! Die! Die! and Spontaneous Obliteration and its connected perks. These will power up your shotguns and light machine guns and add the mechanic of dismembering enemies when you kill them, which not only looks cool but also has its own benefits like faster reload speed.

Next, get Adrenaline Rush for increased health and HP regen. Getting more perks under this tree will make you more tanky and harder to kill.

Once you reach max Body level, get Rip and Tear and Onslaught to cap off your shotgun and light machine gun perks. Rip and Tear allows you to mix up your shotgun and quick melee attacks to deal extra damage, while Onslaught will refill your machine gun's ammo everytime you kill an enemy.

If you have Phantom Liberty, you can use the additional perk points from the raised level cap to fully unlock the melee tree and improve Gorilla Arms usage.

Perk List

Main Perk Secondary Perk(s)
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Painkiller Perk Painkiller
(1 pt)
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Die! Die! Die! Perk Die! Die! Die!
(2 pt)
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Wrecking Ball Perk Wrecking Ball
(2 pt)
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Quake Perk Quake
(3 pt)
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Spontaneous Obliteration Perk Spontaneous Obliteration
(3 pt)
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Adrenaline Rush Perk Adrenaline Rush
(3 pt)

Final Perks

Final Perks
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Rip and Tear Perk Rip and Tear Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Onslaught Perk Onslaught Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Pain to Gain Perk Pain to Gain Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Finisher: Savage Sling Perk Finisher: Savage Sling

Cross-Branch Perk

Perk Requirement
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Ripple Effect Perk Ripple Effect
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Bloodlust Perk Bloodlust

Get this perk when you have specific secondary perks unlocked.

Technical Ability Attribute

After the 2.0 update, you can no longer spam health items to heal as these are now locked behind cooldowns per use, which warranted the need of some perks under the reworked Technical Ability tree to be included in this build.

The Glutton for War and Health Freak perks improve health item usage and will also lower its cooldown. These two will also benefit from buffs received from Adrenaline Rush perks, which is under the Body attribute.

For cyberwares, the Edgerunner and its connected perks will improve all of your equipped cyberwares. Edgerunner also has a chance to activate Fury, which will make you deal even more damage.

Perk List

Main Perk Secondary Perk(s)
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Glutton for War Perk Glutton for War
(1 pt)
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - All Things Cyber Perk All Things Cyber
(2 pt)
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Health Freak Perk Health Freak
(2 pt)
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - License to Chrome Perk License to Chrome
(3 pt)
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Pyromania Perk Pyromania
(3 pt)
Main Perk Only

Final Perks

Final Perks
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Edgerunner Perk Edgerunner

Reflexes Attribute

Lastly, perks under the Reflexes attribute will help you gain some mobility via Dashing or Air Dashing.

One notable perk under Reflexes is Mad Dash. This perk is useful for closing in on an enemy quickly, and works best if you are using a shotgun.

Do note that stamina perks are skipped so you can maintain low stamina rather than extending it. Low stamina is needed to fully utilize several shotgun and light machine perks.

Perk List

Main Perk Secondary Perk(s)
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Slippery Perk Slippery
(1 pt)
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Dash Perk Dash
(2 pt)
Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty - Air Dash Perk Air Dash
(3 pt)

Optional Perks

If you still have not purchased the Phantom Liberty DLC and have no access to the 10 additional perk points that came with it, these perks are optional and can be removed.

Removable Perks (10 pts)

Tank Build Relic Skill Priority

Take Vulnerability Analytics and Machine Learning First

Priority Main Skill Branch Skill
1st Vulnerability Analytics Relic Icon Vulnerability Analytics Machine Learning Relic Icon Machine Learning
2nd Jailbreak Relic Icon Jailbreak Limiter Removal Relic Icon Limiter Removal

Vulnerability Analytics and Machine Learning are the main Relic skills for guns in the game, including shotguns and machine guns. These skills will highlight enemy weakspots that you can shoot to deal bonus damage.

Once you get these, you can next obtain Jailbreak and Limiter Removal to power up your equipped Gorilla Arms.

Relic Skill Tree Available in the DLC

Please take note that the Phantom Liberty expansion is needed to access the Relic Skill Tree.

Relic Skill Tree Guide and List

Tank Build Recommended Weapons

Base Game Only

Recommended Weapons
(Base Game only)
Bloody Maria Sovereign Defender
  • The Bloody Maria's reworked effects synergize well with dismemberment perks, as getting one will increase the gun's reload speed.
  • The Sovereign is a great shotgun for the Rip and Tear perk: shoot, reload, perform a quick melee attack, repeat!
  • The Defender is a light machine gun that is also improved by heavy weapon perks, and is useful if you need to quickly mow down a group of enemies.

Base Game + Phantom Liberty

Recommended Weapons
(with Phantom Liberty)
Alabai Sovereign Wild Dog
  • Alabai is a shotgun that has a chance to burn your target. Once burning, shooting the same target will guarantee critical hits, allowing you to deal more damage.
  • Sovereign's Rip and Tear combo is still a very effective way to dish out damage in Dogtown.
  • Shooting a target repeatedly with Wild Dog will increase its fire rate, on top the boost from Die! Die! Die!. Wild Dog is locked behind a certain choice during Firestarter, so if you don't get the weapon, you can stick with Defender.

Tank Build Best Cyberwares

Jump to a Cyberware section!
Operating System Face Hands Circulatory System
Legs Frontal Cortex Arms Skeleton
Nervous System Integumentary System

Operating System

Cyberware Effect (Tier 5)
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - Militech "Apogee" SandevistanMilitech "Apogee" Sandevistan Press L1 and R1 to activate and deactivate. It can be activated at any charged level.
When active:
Slows time by 85% (you are not slowed)
+10% headshot damage
+9% Crit Chance
+13% Crit Damage
Neutralizing an enemy when active gives:
+20% extended duration
+22% Stamina
Max Duration: 8 sec. Cooldown: 30 sec.

A Sandevistan is an important part of the gameplay loop for this build, as this will help you easily jump right into the faces of your targets and bury them in bullets.

Alternative: Militech Falcon Sandevistan

Cyberware Effect (Tier 5)
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - Militech "Falcon" SandevistanMilitech "Falcon" Sandevistan When active: Slows time by 70% (you are not slowed), +10% damage, +10% Crit Chance, +5% Crit Damage. Neutralizing an enemy when active gives: +10% extended duration, +5% Health.
Max Duration: 9 sec., Cooldown: 35 sec.

A good alternative to the Apogee, in case you missed it during the Riders On the Storm mission, as this can be bought in Ripperdocs all over Night City.

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Cyberware Effect (Tier 5)
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - Kiroshi "The Oracle" OpticsKiroshi "The Oracle" Optics Effect active when scanning: Highlights enemies within 17.5 m.including enemies behind cover. Highlights cameras and turrets within 35m. Highlights explosive devices and traps near your crosshair within 26m.

The Oracle variant of a Kiroshi Optics lets you track enemies, which is useful to keep track of who to kill next.

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Cyberware Effect (Tier 5)
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - MicrogeneratorMicrogenerator Reloading an empty weapon causes the next shot to release an electroshock that deals up to 240 Electrical damage to enemies near the point of impact. Electroshock damage increases with the number of bullets reloaded (max. 5 bullets).
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - Shock AbsorberShock Absorber -20% Recoil

Equipping a Shock Absorber will give you less recoil which is useful for light machine guns.

Meanwhile, Microgenerator pairs well with double-barrel shotguns. This cyberware will add a small electric shock on your next shot after reloading an empty weapon.

Do note that you need the Ambidextrous perk to unlock a second cyberware slot for Hands.

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Circulatory System

Cyberware Effect (Tier 5)
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - Blood PumpBlood Pump Activate to instantly restore 90% of max Health. Cooldown 30 sec.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - Second HeartSecond Heart Instantly restores 100% of max Health when your Health falls to 0. Cooldown 2 min.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - ThreatevacThreatevac Movement speed +25% when your Health drops to 25%. The more your health drops, the more movement speed increases (max. +35%).

Blood Pump is another key cyberware for this build, as this will activate Adrenaline Rush and all of its effects, apart from it being your main healing item.

Second Heart will let you live longer in battle, as you'll be revived back to full health when you die, although it has a two minute cooldown.

Threatevac is useful for escaping if you have low health with no way to heal. Use the movement speed boost to retreat and wait for your health to replenish.

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Cyberware Effect (Tier 5)
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - Reinforced TendonsReinforced Tendons Press Space Bar in midair to perform a double jump.

Reinforced Tendons enable double jumping, which you can use to move around.

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Frontal Cortex

Cyberware Effect (Tier 5)
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - Mechatronic CoreMechatronic Core +35% damage against drones, robots, mechs and turrets. +2 Max RAM.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - Self-ICESelf-ICE Automatically negates an enemy quickhack.
+2 Max RAM
Cooldown: 45 sec.

Mechatronic Core will let you deal more damage against robots, which you will encounter as you progress through the game.

Self-ICE is equipped to shrug off a quickhack attempt from an enemy netrunner. Try to find and eliminate the netrunner to avoid followup hacks.

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Cyberware Effect (Tier 5)
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - Thermal Gorilla ArmsThermal Gorilla Arms +6 to Body Attribute checks. Deal Physical damage. 20% Burn chance

In case you need a quick melee kill, you can switch over to your Gorilla Arms to wallop your enemies. The Thermal variant can deal damage over time if you can burn your target.

If you have Phantom Liberty, you can use the extra perk points to get melee perks under the Body attribute tree. This way, you'll have more attack options when using your Gorilla Arms, like charging with Wrecking Ball or using the Quake and Epicenter combo.

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Cyberware Effect (Tier 5)
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - Bionic JointsBionic Joints Armor - Simple but effective.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - Epimorphic SkeletonEpimorphic Skeleton +13% Max Health
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - Spring JointsSpring Joints +19% Mitigation Strength (Total Mitigation Strength cannot exceed 90%)
Mitigation grants achance to reduce incoming damage by current Mitigation Strength (default: 50%).

These Skeleton cyberware are slotted in to make you more tanky by getting more health, armor, and damage reduction.

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Nervous System

Cyberware Effect (Tier 5)
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - NeofiberNeofiber +10% Mitigation Chance, +9% Mitigation Strength
Mitigation grants a chance to reduce incoming damage by current Mitigation Strength (default: 50%).

Neofiber is chipped in to get additional defense stats.

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Integumentary System

Cyberware Effect (Tier 5)
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - CarapaceCarapace +32% Armor effectiveness when attacked from the side or rear.
+0.5 Armor per Attribute Point.
+1.3% Bonus Ricochet Damage
+1.3% Decreased enemy vision
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - Cellular AdapterCellular Adapter +1% explosion resistance
'+0.5% Tech weapon damage
+0.5% Health item recharge speed
+0.5% grenade recharge speed
+13 Carrying Capacity
+2.6 Health
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - PainducerPainducer Converts 30% of damage taken into damage-over-time.
+0.5% damage-over-time resistance per Attribute Point.
+1.3% Health Item Effect
+2.5% Reduced damage from Poisoned enemies

These cyberware will make you more tanky thanks to damage reduction and additional defense boosts.

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How to Play the Tank Build

Use Rip and Tear Combo

Once you get the Rip and Tear perk, you can alternate between using your shotgun and performing a quick melee attack when attempting to kill a target up close.

This perk will boost the damage of a shotgun shot after hitting a target with a quick melee attack or power up a melee attack after shooting them with a shotgun.

Use Light Machine Gun for Ranged Kills

Shotguns are only effective up close. If you need to quickly eliminate enemies that are positioned far away from you, switch to your light machine gun.

Play Aggressively

Most of the boosts from shotgun and light machine gun perks will become more effective the less stamina you have. When using this build, play very aggressively and keep on shooting and dashing to keep your stamina low.

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