Cyberpunk 2077 is a marked departure from The Witcher trilogy in terms of its setting and premise, but the two games share a similar focus on quality storytelling across hours of engaging quests. In this Cyberpunk 2077 story and ending explained guide, we’ll be exploring the key plot points throughout its main story arc before making sense of the game’s five different ending scenarios.
Just a note before diving into our Cyberpunk 2077 story summary. We’ll be referring to V as “he” in this story summary as that is how my character was gendered but note that V’s gender may be different in your playthrough depending on what you pick.
Also, in case it wasn’t completely obvious, this Cyberpunk 2077 story and eventually the ending explanation will contain heavy spoilers about Cyberpunk 2077’s plot. You’ve been warned.
Cyberpunk 2077 Story Summary & Ending Explained
Following the character creation menu, Cyberpunk 2077 begins by offering the player one of three different lifepaths to choose for V.
These not only flesh out his backstory but also start the game in one of three different locations. Regardless of which is picked, though, V will ultimately end up resorting to working as a mercenary with Jackie Welles.
Here’s an overview of all three lifepaths before diving into our Cyberpunk 2077 story summary proper:
In this scenario, V starts as an employee of Arasaka working in the Arasaka Tower. He is tasked with taking out a rival corporate employee on the behalf of his boss Arthur Jenkins. From here, V travels to a bar to meet up with his old friend Jackie Welles to ask advice.
Unfortunately, though, Arasaka has discovered V’s intentions and send three of their security force to confront he and Jackie at the bar. The situation nearly breaks into a fight, but luckily Jackie manages to talk them down. Still, V is now out of a job and a home.
As a nomad, V is traveling to Night City in search of work, but he has car issues attempting to cross the border and is forced to seek help from a local mechanic. The car is easily fixed, but V runs into trouble with the local authorities and so his only option to cross the border is to help Jackie Welles smuggle an Arasaka-owned cryo-storage container.
Unfortunately, border security is alerted to their operation and essentially catches them red-handed. A car chase ensues as Arasaka agents chase them into the city; V is forced to fend off their pursuers with a handgun.
After losing the Arasaka agents, Jackie and V stop to make sure their cargo isn’t damaged. When they inspect the interior of the box it turns out to be a rare species of iguana of a species from the Lesser Antilles previously thought to be extinct.
As a street kid, the story begins with V working for Kirk Sawyer in an operation to steal a high-end Rayfield Aerondight owned by Kaoru Fujioka.
As V attempts to enter his car he bumps into Jackie Welles who holds him at gunpoint. It turns out Jackie Welles also intends to steal the car for his own purposes, but in the confusion, the two are pounced upon by the NCPD and busted. The local officer, Inspector Stints, recognizes both V and Jackie, but before they can talk their way out of the situation an Arasaka employee named Kaoru orders Stints to kill them both and dump their bodies at sea. Luckily for them, the officers don’t follow through and leave them beaten up on the streets instead.
Following either of these three life paths ends in V and Jackie working together as mercenaries. A short story montage catches us up on their activities over the past few months before the game begins properly.
Cyberpunk 2077 Story Summary & Ending Explained
The game’s first major storyline begins after V and Jackie are contracted by a “Fixer” named Dexter Deshawn to steal a rare and valuable piece of technology from the Arasaka Corporation. It’s called the relic chip of immortality, but Deshawn keeps everything ominously vague.
The pair hatch a plan to infiltrate Konpeki Plaza tower and steal the device from Yorinobu Arasaka, the rebellious son of Arasaka’s leader Saburo. As they have discovered thanks to intel gathered via a Brain Dance from a prostitute named Evelyn Parker, Yorinobu has stolen the relic chip and is keeping it in his apartment.
The mission goes well until suddenly it doesn’t. Not only do V and Jackie witness Yorinobu murdering his father but the pair are spotted and have to make a run for it with Arasaka’s security force in pursuit. During their escape, Jackie is mortally injured and the relic chip is damaged.
V is forced to insert the chip into his own mind, make a quick escape using Delamin taxi services (Jackie dies on the way), before meeting with Dexter to explain what has happened.
V is then betrayed by Dexter, who is incensed by V and Jackie’s efforts and worries Arasaka will come for him next. He is knocked unconscious and is left for dead in a landfill where he experiences some sort of flashback that appears to be somebody else’s memories of attacking Arasaka Corp many years ago.
It turns out to be Johnny Silverhand, an iconic rock star who died years earlier attempting to destroy Arasaka, who actually now seems to exist within V’s mind. Johnny makes contact with V and threatens to kill him, but for some reason decides not to.
Cyberpunk 2077 Story Summary & Ending Explained
Waking up in a scrap heap, V has somehow managed to survive – likely thanks to the chip of immortality – only to be dragged away by Takemura, one of Arasaka’s heads of security who has been tasked with tracking down Saburo’s killer (who V is supposed to be).
After reporting to his boss, Takemura helps Johnny recover before they are forced to fend off Arasaka agents on motorcycles who apparently have come to assassinate the pair of them. Takemura then drives V to Viktor the Ripperdoc so he can recover.
Viktor explains that V’s mind is being fused together with Johnny’s and the two are inseparable unless V can somehow find a way to safely remove the chip from his mind.
Now recovered, V goes to meet Takemura at a local diner to take stock of the situation. Takemura wants V to track down Evelyn Parker who he knows was intimate with Yorinobu and may have additional useful information that will help him convict Yorinobu for his crimes. V also hopes that finding Evelyn will yield a way to remove the chip from his head.
V also decides he’ll look for Anders Hellman, the bioengineer who created the relic and may also know how to remove the chip. V is now also able to attend Jackie’s funeral if he chooses, providing some closure.
Johnny chimes in randomly during this sequence; he and V are able to communicate telepathically. Johnny explains his distrust of corpos like Takemura, while also explaining that he has changed his mind and doesn’t want V dead.
Instead, he wants to help him in his quest to remove the chip from his mind and recommends speaking with a fixer called Rogue with whom he had dealings many years ago.
Speaking with Rogue yields a lead for Hellman, who can apparently be found in the Badlands with the help of someone named Panam Palmer.
Meanwhile, Judy, the techie who helped V read Brain Dance files earlier in the prologue and plan the heist to steal the chip with Evelyn, explains that Evelyn can be found at a brothel called The Clouds.
During this section of the story, Johnny mentions a data center used by Arasaka called Mikoshi. He claims that “all roads lead there” in regards to how V will deal with the relic chip.
V then sneaks into The Clouds and learns she’s not been working there recently. The trail then leads him to a chip-doc named Fingers who eventually explains that Evelyn was taken by two thugs from a Brain Dance studio. They may have been using her for some sort of twisted purpose.
The thugs turn out to be Scavs, and so he and Judy set about rescuing her, which they do successfully. Evelyn is in bad shape but V and Judy take her home to rest.
Although she’s incapacitated, at least a Brain Dance recording provides some clues as to her involvement with the relic chip heist and why she hired V in the first place.
As it turns out, she was contacted by a netrunner and leader of The Voodoo Boys, a gang from the Pacifica area of Night City. V then goes about trying to set up a meeting with The Voodoo Boys through his fixer contacts.
Working With Panam to Capture Anders Hellman
Cyberpunk 2077 Story Summary
Now that V has gathered the $15,000 he needs in order to pay Rogue for her help, he visits her. Rogue explains that Hellman frequently convoys through an area of the Badlands where she believes he can be easily ambushed.
However, to pull off the operation, V will need to work with a Nomad named Panam Palmer who owes Rogue after messing up a previous job.
V’s instructions are to help Panam get a car and some lost merchandise back, hand it over to Rogue’s goons, and then Panam will help V kidnap Helmsman. Johnny isn’t happy, of course, but it’s the only way…
V calls Panam and sets up a meeting, which leads the pair out to her camp in the Badlands called Aldecaldo. They hatch a plan to get back Panam’s car and the lost merchandise before locating Hellman, which all goes smoothly. The goods are then given to Rogue’s men at the Sunset Motel before V and Panam figure out a plan to capture Hellman.
In the morning, Panam explains her plan, which is to take out Hellman’s AV as it flies over the area. They’ll need to first take out a local power station, then hit a Kang Tao (a Chinese weapons company) AV Hellman is traveling in with an EMP weapon to disable its power systems.
The plan mostly works, as V plants a bomb that takes out the power station and Panam ends up using a handheld missile launcher to take out the AV.
Unfortunately, Panam’s buddies Mitch and Scorpion are heard traveling toward the AV to help the survivors not knowing it’s a corporate AV. V and Panam battle their way toward the AV using a large caliber weapon mounted on Panam’s truck.
When they arrive, Mitch is being taken hostage and only narrowly survives, but he’s the only one; Scorpion and the rest of his crew are dead. Worst of all Hellman has escaped and so V and Panam must track him down. He’s later found at a gas station.
Hellman is captured and V interrogates him. Unfortunately, though, he can’t really help since the relic chip is an experimental version of the biochip that was designed to activate an engram (construct) inside a new host body (as opposed to simply communicating with pre-saved engrams). After Hellman jacks in to V’s mind, he notices that V’s own systems are deteriorating as they give way to Johnny’s personality. He recommends V prepares for the worst…
V won’t hear of it, and so Hellman at least gives him the original blueprints of the relic hoping it will help in some way later. V then hands Hellman over to Takemura.
Planning the Kidnapping of Hanako
Cyberpunk 2077 Story Summary
Takemura speaks to V about his plan to kidnap Hanako so that he can show her the evidence that Yorinobu killed Sarubo. As he explains, the only way to get close to her is during the Arasaka parade that is to be held in Saribo’s honor, which means they need intel on the parade’s security.
This leads them to the Fixer Wakako, who actually ends up giving them the intel they need free of charge.
The intel shows the parade is coming through Japan town, with the most impressive of the parade’s displays flying high across the city streets. Hanako is the guest of honor and will be watching from a float that will be sailing down the street with the parade.
However, as Wakako explains, the security will be very heavy, including snipers, security cameras, and a netrunner coordinating the entire operation.
V and Takemura use the shard to infect Arasaka’s security system before going over Takemura’s plan: First, to further breach Arasaka’s security by uploading a virus at Arasaka’s industrial park, then Takemura will guide V to the location of three snipers during the parade which he will need to take out, and lastly to capture Hanako from her float.
The two then agree to meet later before the Parade begins.
The Voodoo Boys & Meeting Alt
Cyberpunk 2077 Story Summary
First, though, V resumes his task to make contact with the Voodoo Boys. He’s been given a way in, which involves meeting a man named Placide and completing a gig for him in exchange for meeting with their leader, Julliette. V visits the Pacifica area and accidentally walks into a funeral before being directed to Placide.
Placide then V with busting into a rival gang’s stronghold called GIM (Grand Imperial Mall), uploading a virus to a van packed with advanced Netwatch technology (Netwatch is a policing force that supervises the Net), and then taking out The Animal’s netrunner.
V manages to pull all this off, but after speaking with the netrunner he falls unconscious. As it turns out, the Voodoo Boys were protecting a data fortress from Netwatch’s prying eyes, as well as rescuing Brigitte who was being held by them.
But as soon as V gave them access to the network they burned all the agents in the area. Since V was connected to the netrunner, he was also nearly killed. Placide actually hadn’t banked on V surviving and is surprised to then see V, who is obviously furious he was set up.
As the two argue, Brigitte then appears and declares her intention to help V by inspecting the chip in their data fortress, the crypt, which is underneath the hideout. Brigitte explains the crypt as part of the old interconnected digital network –the transcontinental maglev system– that used to connect all nations before the war.
Brigitte then explains that The Voodoo Boys need the engram to contact Alt Cunningham, the construct of whom still lives beyond the Blackwall.
They believe Alt is the only person that can help them get safe passage through the Blackwall, which they desire because they believe something from beyond the Blackwall will soon emerge to destroy everyone.
V lays into an ice bath and goes to meet Bridgette in the Voodoo boys’ data fortress. V then relives one of Johnny’s memories which involves Alt.
The pair have an argument following one of Johnny’s concerts before they are jumped by goons who knock out Johnny and abduct Alt. Johnny then wakes on a Ripperdoc’s chair –Milt Naumen– after having been brought there by a media man named Thompson.
Thompson explains that Alt was the target and the goons were hired by Arasaka. Jonny insists he was the actual target, but it seems he doesn’t’ appreciate that Alt is one of Night City’s best netrunners and a desirable target for Arasaka.
This is because they’re trying to design a chip called the Soulkiller which is capable of flatlining any enemy netrunner who even attempts to penetrate their ICE.
Johnny is then seen trying to track down Alt with Thompson at Afterlife Bar. He meets with Rogue to ask questions before an Arasaka agent interrupts their meeting and tries to arrest him. Johnny and Rogue fight their way out. Johnny then plans to break into Arasaka Tower to rescue Alt.
Playing as Johnny, players then fight their way through the tower and reach Alt. Unfortunately, she’s essentially dead; a doctor on-site explains that they have begun uploading her mind into a construct and there’s no going back.
Back in the current time, Johnny then explains to V that Alt isn’t actually dead; she made contact with him months after the incident and explained she was stuck in Arasaka’s subnet. Johnny then returned to the tower and tried to blow it up, but he obviously failed.
So, the Voodoo Boys were right all along that Alt is still alive and now exists beyond the Blackwall where nobody can touch her. Bridgette, now armed with the piece of Johnny’s construct required to break through the Blackwall, takes V to make contact with Alt.
Here, Alt explains that she is really just an AI now and not the Alt that Johnny used to know. More importantly, she isn’t able to remove the relic chip from V’s mind without the advanced technology that lies underneath Arasaka Tower in the Mikoshi data fortress.
After leaving the Voodoo Boys (either peacefully or by killing them all), V suffers a meltdown as his condition grows increasingly worse. Johnny explains that he’ll have himself wiped rather than try to takeover if it comes down to one of them not surviving the process. He gives V the dog tags of a fellow soldier who took a bullet for him way back in the day.
Capturing Hanako With Takemura
Cyberpunk 2077 Story Summary
Now ready to work with Takemura and find Hanako, V returns to meet with him and execute the plan they agreed on.
The plan works out almost perfectly; the pair manage to achieve everything they set out to, but at the last minute something goes wrong: V is forced to fight and kill Hanako’s security detail, Sandayu Oda.
Worse still, Hanako won’t listen to Takemura and so he’s forced to shoot her with some sort of sedation weapon. V is forced to make a quick escape and then reconvene with Takemura at an abandoned apartment building.
At the apartment building, Takemura makes his case to Hanako, pleading for her to reveal the truth about who killed her father and help V with the relic chip. But Hanako is unmoved. Arasaka forces then sweep into the building and V is forced to fight his way out.
V then wakes up a motel with Johnny watching over him. Then, there’s a knock at the door, which turns out to be a proxy messenger from Hanako. She explains that she believes V and wants to meet.
Cyberpunk 2077 Story Summary & Ending Explained
V visits Hanako, who explains that she wants her brother to be punished for his actions (killing their father), but also that she’s able to get them into Arasaka Tower and to the Jack-in point that will allow them to travel to the data fortress Mikoshi – this so Alt can use its power to separate V and Johnny.
Johnny has his own plan, though, which involves him and Rogue busting into the tower under their own steam. V has a decision to make: trust Johnny and Rogue to bust into Arasaka Tower for the third time or put their faith in Hanako, an Arasaka executive.
Assuming you choose Johnny and Rogue, Johnny will be given full control of V’s body. He then visits Afterlife and convinces Rogue to join his mission. Rogue’s plan is an explosive one — she plans to go in all guns blazing, shooting Arasaka Tower with missiles before jumping into the tower (using grav boots to slow their descent), and fighting their way down to the Mikoshi jackpoint.
They then gear up before Johnny speaks with Alt, who reveals she can read Johnny’s thoughts since he is a construct. She confirms that she will be able to separate V and Johnny, destroying Mikoshi in the process.
The plan more or less works out as intended. They literally smash into Arasaka Tower after its defenses shoot them down, but then manage to fight their way down to Mikoshi.
Unfortunately, Rogue dies in the process as Smasher –the Arasaka security leader who killed Johnny all those years ago– kills her just as they enter the room in which Mikoshi is kept.
Alt is then uploaded to Mikoshi where V and Johnny then meet her.
Hanako manages to sneak V into Arasaka Tower and then explains that she actually consulted a construct version of her father, Saburo, before making the decision to meet with V initially.
V is introduced to the construct version of Saburo, who conveys that this is actually a plan of his own device from the beginning. Hanako then takes V to an Arasaka board meeting in an attempt to convince them of what has happened.
However, the board won’t listen to either V or Hanako, and so Hanako switches on Saburo’s construct. Initially, the board thinks it is a trick, but then they suddenly realize that it is actually Saburo and agree to treat every word Hanko speaks from then on as his own.
Unfortunately, things go wrong. A lockdown is suddenly issued on the building as intruders are detected, and the board meeting is then attacked by a security force. It turns out to be Yorinobu’s men; he sent them there to wipe everyone out. V then goes to track down Yorinobu while Hanako gains control of the building.
V fights his way toward Yoriobu, which involves taking out his security man Adam Smasher. He then confronts Yorinobu who makes a short speech before Hanako appears, holds him in his arms, and then directs V to leave with Hellman.
Cyberpunk 2077 Ending Explained
As we have explained in our dedicated guide on how to see each of Cyberpunk 2077’s five endings, the game’s story will conclude differently depending on the choices the player has made throughout the game.
The most influential decision is that made during the Op55n1 quest, which is when the player decides whether to trust Johnny or Hanako with breaking into Arasaka Tower.
If you complete Cyberpunk 2077’s final mission as Johnny, you will meet with Alt in Mikoshi. Here she explains that after further analysis, V’s body is dying and there’s nothing that can be done to save him.
For those who completed the final mission as V and trust Hanako, the final scenes of the game take place on an Arasaka space station where V has been operated on. V says goodbye to Johnny, who is himself upset that he’s dying and that V has decided to “sell-out” to the corpos.
Here’s a breakdown of all five possible ending scenes:
Where Is My Mind?
After waking up on an operating table on an Arasaka space station, V has lost much of his memory. He then walks to his room and watches a news broadcast reporting that Saburo Arasaka is now alive again after the construct was uploaded to Yorinobu’s body.
Later, Anders Hellman explains to V that the procedure has left his body dying from radiation sickness. He now faces a choice: live out the rest of his days on earth and die or upload his mind to Mikoshi and become a construct.
This is more or less the default ending.
All Along the Watchtower
This ending will trigger if players have completed all of the side quests with Panam and chosen to call Panam rather than give Johnny an answer as to whether they want to go with his plan or Hanako’s (during Op55n1).
The final scenes see Alt remove Johnny from V’s mind, but the issue of him dying in six months remains the same. V must then choose to either live out his last six months on earth and die or to stay with Alt in Mikoshi and allow Johnny to take over his body. The former sees him sneak out of Night City with Panam as the two vow to continue trying to find a way to keep him alive.
All of Cyberpunk 2077’s endings are a little glum, but choosing this one feels like the “good” version. Sure, V will probably die, but at least he’ll do so in the company of his friend (or lover, depending on your choices and gender).
New Dawn Fades
This ending plays out almost the same as “All Along the Watchtower” (or “Path of Glory”) but with one interesting twist. If V chooses to allow Johnny to take over his body, he will remain in Mokishi with Alt while Johnny lives out the rest of his life in V’s body.
The final scenes involve Johnny packing up to leave Night City, but not before he goes to visit V’s grave and pay his respects. Along the way, he also goes to a music store and purchases a guitar that he ends up giving to a local boy who drove him into town.
This is a rather depressing ending, but if the player enjoyed Johnny’s personality and wanted him to survive then it’s certainly the best option.
Path of Glory
This ending is a rather interesting one. It will trigger if you chose to trust Johnny and busted into Arasaka Tower with Rogue. After meeting with Alt in Mikoshi and her explaining that V’s body will certainly die, V then chooses to live out the rest of his days on earth.
The final scene begins in V’s swish new apartment. He gets dressed and then takes a flying car to the Afterlife Bar, which he now owns. There, he meets with a corpo who gives him a new gig that seems to involve busting into a space station. V is then shown putting on a space suit and jumping into space with a handgun at the ready.
The clue to this ending is in the title; V is going to die, but he’s going to become the most legendary mercenary that ever lived if he completes gigs such as the one he’s given by the corpo. For those who liked the idea of V becoming the most famous mercenary ever, this should prove a satisfying conclusion.
Cyberpunk 2077 can actually end during Op55n1 if players choose a certain dialog option. Namely, when Johnny asks whether V intends to go with either his plan or Hanako’s, choosing “Could also just put all this to rest.”
V will then put a gun to his head and end things before they get too complicated.
The final ending possibility is triggered by not responding to Johnny’s question of which plan V wants to go with during Op55n1. Johnny will then take this as you not wanting to get anybody hurt and simply takeover your body himself.
Players will then fight their way through Arasaka Tower. If they die at any point, that’s it — the credits will roll and that is how the game ends. If they are successful, they will then trigger either the “Path of Glory” or “New Dawn Fades” endings depending on their final choices.
Hopefully, this Cyberpunk 2077 story summary and ending explained guide helped you make sense of the plot. For more useful tips and information on the game, be sure to check out Twinfinite’s guide wiki.
Alternatively, see below for some related content that may prove helpful, or reach out in the comment section if you have a question for something we haven’t answered elsewhere already.