Cyberpunk 2077: How to Level Up Every Skill, All Skill Level Rewards

Cyberpunk 2077 has 12 different Skills for characters to utilize, but how do you level them up and what Skill Level Rewards do they provide?


Cyberpunk 2077 Skill Level

Cyberpunk 2077 is a massive game, which becomes clear quite quickly for anyone who plays it. Right from the start, you have to choose key Attributes, but how do you level up every Skill that comes from those Attributes?

With 12 different Skills spread across five unique Attributes, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. On top of that, increasing Skill Level for each of the individual Skills in Cyberpunk 2077 happens independent of the Perks each Skill provides.


For most players, you won’t need an in-depth grasp on every Skill in Cyberpunk 2077. You’ll find a few that fit your particular playstyle, and that’ll be where your focus goes. However, it’s very useful to have an idea of how to improve them all, even the ones you aren’t using most often so you can alter your playstyle if needed.

What are Skills in Cyberpunk 2077?

Cyberpunk 2077

As mentioned above, there are 12 Skills in Cyberpunk 2077 that go along with the five core Attributes. We have a separate guide that goes into a more broad overview of each Attribute, but here we’ll focus on each of the individual Skills and how to improve them.

There is a key correlation between your overall Attribute score and how you increase your Skill Level, and that is because the Attribute score essentially works as a Skill Level cap. If your Body is only 6, you can’t increase any of the Skills associated with Body higher than Skill Level 6.

However, that doesn’t mean you want to ignore Skills you aren’t using often. Even working to improve and snag some of the early levels for lesser-used Skills can earn you Perk Points, which are one of the rewards you get for certain Skill Levels.


The important thing to remember about Perk Points earned through Skill Level rewards is that they’re able to be invested in Perks for any Skill. That means improving your overall Athletics could earn you a Perk Point to spend on Crafting, or vice versa.

If you can max out a particular Skill Level, you’ll gain access to that Skill’s Trait, which is a unique kind of Perk you can spend as many Perk Points as you like improving. These are also detailed in a separate guide.

What are Skill Shards and how do they improve Skill Level?

While there are specific ways to increase each individual skill, there is an item you’ll come across as you play Cyberpunk 2077 that could improve any of them. Throughout the game, you’ll find many different kinds of Shards.

Some of these will provide unique background information for the world of Cyberpunk 2077 or could a key part of a quest. Others, known as Skill Shards, will give you an instantaneous boost to Skill XP.

These are found in many places throughout Cyberpunk 2077, and can even pop up at times as random loot. For this reason, you always want to check containers and enemies just in case you stumble upon a crucial Skill Shard.

The overall improvement can vary by Skill Shard, but you won’t have to go into your inventory to spend or activate these. As soon as they’re acquired, you’ll earn the corresponding XP for the specific Skill it applies to.

While this isn’t the most consistent way to improve any particular Skill, it’s one you need to be aware of. Skill Shards are rare, but keep your eye out for them just in case.

How to level up Handguns in Cyberpunk 2077 (Reflexes)

As the name implies, Handguns is a Skill which will specifically apply to your use of pistols and revolvers in Cyberpunk 2077. Other weapons aren’t affected by bonuses from the Handguns Skill Level or Handguns Perks.

With a straightforward purpose also comes a very clear cut way to improve the Skill itself. There’s only one way to earn Skill XP for Handguns, and that’s by damaging enemies with pistols and revolvers.

As noted in the heading above, Handguns as a Skill is underneath the Reflexes Attribute. This means you can’t improve your Handguns Skill any higher than your current Reflexes Attribute score.

Like many combat-specific Skills, this Skill XP will only come once the target is neutralized, and often that includes all targets in combat. If you’ve still got more enemies to work with and combat is initiated, the Skill XP won’t kick in until it’s over.

There isn’t a trick to increasing Handguns other than unloading on enemies as often as you can with pistols and revolvers. If you want to get the most Skill XP per round, using high-powered revolvers will give you the best efficiency.

However, revolvers often come with a much lower fire rate. While pistols will inevitably use more ammo, you’re also able to take out enemies with multiple quick shots rather than relying on a few powerful hits.

All Handguns Skill Level Rewards

The following table details the reward at each level as you increase the Skill Level for Handguns. Keep in mind that improvements are specific to weapons related to the Handguns Skill, so bonuses here would only apply to pistols and revolvers.

Skill LevelHandguns Reward
1None
2Aiming speed +20%
3Perk Point
4Recoil -10%
5Spread -25%
6Perk Point
7Critical chance +5%
8Recoil -10%
9Perk Point
10Perk Point
11Critical damage +15%
12Perk Point
13Recoil -10%
14Recoil -15%
15Perk Point
16Spread -25%
17Spread -10%
18Perk Point
19Recoil -15%
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How to level up Assault in Cyberpunk 2077 (Reflexes)

Cyberpunk 2077

Another combat-specific option, Assault as a Skill correlates specifically to the use of rifles and submachine guns (SMGs). Rifles includes both assault rifles and sniper rifles.

As noted in the heading above, Assault as a Skill falls under the Reflexes Attribute. As such, you can’t improve your Assault Skill Level any higher than your current Reflexes Attribute score.

Similar to Handguns, the only way to improve Assault is by damaging enemies with the weapons related to the Skill itself. Again, the Skill XP is rewarded after the target is neutralized and after a full combat is over.

The exception to waiting for combat to be over for the Skill XP is if you’ve fully neutralized an enemy with a weapon without initiating a combat. This usually happens if they’re the only enemy you’re dealing with or if you take an enemy out with a silenced weapon without alerting others.

The overall Skill XP acquired will vary based on how much damage you do, so the best bang for your buck would be a high-powered sniper rifle. However, any weapon classified with Assault will work to improve the Skill Level.

All Assault Skill Level Rewards

The following table details the reward at each level as you increase the Skill Level for Assault. Keep in mind that improvements are specific to weapons related to the Assault Skill, so bonuses here would only apply to rifles and SMGs.

Skill LevelAssault Reward
1None
2Aiming speed +20%
3Perk Point
4Recoil -10%
5Spread -25%
6Perk Point
7Critical chance +5%
8Recoil -10%
9Perk Point
10Perk Point
11Critical damage +15%
12Perk Point
13Recoil -10%
14Recoil -15%
15Perk Point
16Spread -25%
17Spread -10%
18Perk Point
19Recoil -15%
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How to level up Blades in Cyberpunk 2077 (Reflexes)

Yet another combat-specific Skill, Blades is going to deal instead with melee combat rather than ranged combat. It specifically applies to the use of katanas, knives, one-handed blades (such as machetes), and Mantis Blades.

As noted in the heading above, Blades as a Skill falls under the Reflexes Attribute. That means you can’t improve your Blades Skill Level any higher than your current Reflexes Attribute score.

If you’re unsure whether or not a melee weapon falls under Blades, just look at the description of the weapon’s stats. Just below the overall damage it’ll show clearly whether it’s a Blade or Blunt Weapon.

Again, like most combat-specific Skills the amount of Skill XP you get from using any of the weapons that fall under Blades will vary based on the damage dealt. It will also be awarded once the enemy is neutralized or after a full combat is over.

While katanas can be a favorite among most players, you can still deal significant damage with knives and Mantis Blades. The main difference between which you choose to use is really just how many strikes you want to make and the distance at which you can make them.

Smaller weapons like Knives require you to be right on top of an enemy, but using something like a Katana allows you just a bit more distance. Of course, the trade-off for that distance tends to be the speed at which you can strike.

All Blades Skill Level Rewards

The following table details the reward at each level as you increase the Skill Level for Blades. Keep in mind that improvements are specific to weapons related to the Blades Skill, so bonuses here would only apply to katanas, knives, one-handed blades, and Mantis Blades.

Skill LevelBlades Reward
1None
2Attack speed +10%
3Perk Point
4Stamina costs -10%
5DPS +2%
6Critical damage +10%
7Critical chance +5%
8Perk Point
9Perk Point
10Perk Point
11Attack speed +10%
12Stamina costs -10%
13Attack speed +10%
14Perk Point
15Blocking stamina cost -25%
16Perk Point
17Perk Point
18Max stamina +5%
19DPS +3%
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How to level up Athletics in Cyberpunk 2077 (Body)

Cyberpunk 2077

One of the more versatile Skills in Cyberpunk 2077 is Athletics. Unfortunately, it’s also one that can take the longest to improve.

As noted in the heading above, Athletics as a Skill falls under the Body Attribute. That means you can’t improve your Athletics Skill Level any higher than your current Body Attribute score.

There are two different ways to improve your Athletics Skill Level in Cyberpunk 2077, and both have concrete Skill XP reward amounts. The first is by doing any action gated behind a Body Attribute requirement, and this will net you exactly 100 Skill XP.

The most common way this happens is by choosing the “Force Open” option when trying to open a door. While taking control of cars often appears to be gated behind a Body Attribute requirement, in my experience this action never granted the Skill XP.

The second way to improve your Athletics Skill Level is by performing any actions with a total stamina cost of 500 or more, and this will net you 20 Skill XP. This can include swinging melee weapons, dodging, running, and jumping.

In my experience, one of the most efficient ways to improve Athletics is to constantly dodge as you’re walking. This tends to deplete stamina much faster than running.

The other best way is jumping, and you’ll want to look for somewhere with a very low ceiling. You can sometimes find small covered walkways in sidewalks that are right at head-height.

If you jump constantly while in these, you can quickly deplete your stamina. The benefit is the time saved by not having to wait for your character to fall back to the ground to jump again.

All Athletics Skill Level Rewards

The following table details the reward at each level as you increase the Skill Level for Athletics. Each of these bonuses will apply to your character at all times, so any player or playstyle can benefit greatly from them.

Skill LevelAthletics Reward
1None
2Carry capacity +20
3Perk Point
4Max stamina +5%
5Stamina regen +10%
6Carry capacity +40
7Perk Point
8Perk Point
9Max health +5%
10Perk Point
11Perk Point
12Max health +5%
13Carry capacity +100
14Armor +3%
15Health regen out of combat +10%
16Perk Point
17Max health +5%
18Armor +3%
19Perk Point
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How to level up Annihilation in Cyberpunk 2077 (Body)

As one of the game’s combat-specific Skills, Annihilation deals specifically with use three different kinds of weapons. This includes shotguns, light machine guns (LMGs), and heavy machine guns (HMGs).

As noted in the heading above, Annihilation as a Skill is connected to the Body Attribute. This means you can’t improve your Annihilation Skill Level any higher than your current Body Attribute score.

The only way to improve Annihilation is by damaging enemies with shotguns, LMGs, and HMGs. The amount of Skill XP acquired will vary by overall damage done, and it won’t be awarded until the enemy is neutralized or the combat is over.

Shotguns tend to deliver the most damage with a single shot, but they tend to have lower accuracy and range. Ultimately, just go with the weapon you’re most comfortable with that falls under Annihilation and take out as many enemies as you can with it.

All Annihilation Skill Level Rewards

The following table details the reward at each level as you increase the Skill Level for Annihilation. Keep in mind that improvements are specific to weapons related to the Annihilation Skill, so bonuses here would only apply to shotguns, LMGs, and HMGs.

Skill LevelAnnihilation Reward
1None
2Aiming speed +20%
3Perk Point
4Recoil -10%
5Spread -25%
6Perk Point
7Critical chance +5%
8Recoil -10%
9Perk Point
10Perk Point
11Critical damage +15%
12Perk Point
13Recoil -10%
14Recoil -15%
15Perk Point
16Spread -25%
17Spread -10%
18Perk Point
19Recoil -15%
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How to level up Street Brawler in Cyberpunk 2077 (Body)

Cyberpunk 2077

While it’s a combat-specific Skill, Street Brawler has a wider grouping of weapons that fall under it than most others. Street Brawler includes your character’s bare fists, blunt weapons, Gorilla Arms, and Monowire.

As noted in the heading above, Street Brawler as a Skill falls under the Body Attribute. That means you can’t increase your Street Brawler Skill Level any higher than your current Body Attribute Score.

Primarily, you’re going to improve Street Brawler by damaging enemies with fists, blunt weapons, Gorilla Arms, and Monowire. The amount of Skill XP provided will vary based on how much damage was dealt to your enemies, and is awarded after they’re neutralized or combat has ended.

There is one other way to improve Street Brawler, but it will only be in effect if you’re using Berserk through your character’s Cyberware. If Berserk is active and you damage enemies with the Superhero Landing, you’ll also earn Skill XP for Street Brawler depending on the total damage dealt.

As for which blunt weapon to use, generally it just depends what you have access to. The strongest baseball bat or pipe in your possession tends to be a good bet, and fortunately all of the weapons under Street Brawler deal non-lethal damage so they’ll only knock out enemies.

All Street Brawler Skill Level Rewards

The following table details the reward at each level as you increase the Skill Level for Street Brawler. Keep in mind that improvements are specific to weapons related to the Street Brawler Skill, so bonuses here would only apply to fists, blunt weapons, Gorilla Arms, and Monowire.

Skill LevelStreet Brawler Reward
1None
2Blocking stamina cost -10%
3Perk Point
4Attack speed +5%
5Stamina costs -10%
6Perk Point
7Critical damage +10%
8DPS +2%
9Perk Point
10Perk Point
11Critical chance +5%
12Perk Point
13Blocking stamina cost -10%
14Attack speed +10%
15Perk Point
16Max stamina +5%
17Max health +5%
18Perk Point
19Max stamina +5%
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How to level up Breach Protocol in Cyberpunk 2077 (Intelligence)

If you’re interested in using Breach Protocol to datamine or quickhack systems, you’ll find improving the Breach Protocol Skill can make a big difference in the ease and effectiveness of those actions. You’ll often be up against a challenging Code Matrix Puzzle, but our guide can help you nail these every time.

As noted in the heading above, the Breach Protocol Skill falls under the Intelligence Attribute. This means you can’t improve your Breach Protocol Skill Level any higher than your current Intelligence Attribute score.

There are two different ways to earn Skill XP for Breach Protocol. The first is performing any actions gated behind a particular Intelligence score, which nets you 100 Skill XP. This often includes jacking in or hacking computers and other technology.

The other way is by quickhacking devices, such as cameras or machines, during or outside of combat. This will earn you 75 Skill XP for every successful quickhack.

If you’re looking to improve Breach Protocol, make a habit of looking for devices and using simple quickhacks like Distract Enemies as frequently as you can. These can easily boost your Skill XP multiple times in a single combat.

All Breach Protocol Skill Level Rewards

The following table details the reward at each level as you increase the Skill Level for Breach Protocol. While some will apply specifically to the Code Matrix minigame and benefits of data mining, others improve your character’s max RAM and benefit all quickhacking.

Skill LevelBreach Protocol Reward
1None
2Perk Point
3Minigame time +5%
4Data mining materials +10%
5Minigame time +5%
6Perk Point
7Minigame time +5%
8Max RAM +1
9Data mining materials +10%
10Perk Point
11Minigame time +5%
12Data mining materials +10%
13Max RAM +1
14Perk Point
15Minigame time +5%
16Perk Point
17Data mining materials +10%
18Perk Point
19Minigame buffer +1
20Perk Point

How to level up Quickhacking in Cyberpunk 2077 (Intelligence)

Cyberpunk 2077

While not too different from Breach Protocol, your Quickhacking Skill will usually focus more on quickhacking enemies. However, many of the bonuses acquired from each Skill and their Perks will crossover and benefit the other.

As noted in the heading above, Quickhacking as a Skill falls under the Intelligence Attribute. That means you can’t improve your Quickhacking Skill Level any higher than your current Intelligence Attribute score.

There is only one way to earn Skill XP for Quickhacking, and that’s by using quickhacks against enemies. You’ll earn the same Skill XP regardless of the power of the quickhack, RAM required, and damage.

For that reason, if you’re looking to earn Skill XP it can be much more efficient to use quickhacks that require less RAM and can be used in succession. Even the most powerful quickhacks will always earn you 75 Skill XP.

If you’re specifically grinding to improve your Quickhacking Skill Level, using powerful high-cost quickhacks like System Reset aren’t actually the best choice. As the damage dealt isn’t affected, you’ll also earn the same amount for using them on weaker enemies, so clearing old Reported Crimes with lots of quickhacking of enemies is a great way to earn Skill XP.

All Quickhacking Skill Level Rewards

The following table details the reward at each level as you increase the Skill Level for Quickhacking. Most of these will affect the duration or cooldown time of your quickhacks or improve your character’s max RAM.

Skill LevelQuickhacking Reward
1None
2Perk Point
3Quickhack duration +5%
4Perk Point
5Max RAM +1
6Quickhack cooldowns -5%
7Quickhack duration +5%
8Quickhack cooldowns -5%
9Perk Point
10Max RAM +1
11Perk Point
12Quickhack cooldowns -5%
13Quickhack duration +5%
14Perk Point
15Max RAM +1
16Quickhack cooldowns -5%
17Quickhack duration +5%
18Quickhack cooldowns -5%
19Perk Point
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How to level up Stealth in Cyberpunk 2077 (Cool)

As Stealth is one of the more versatile Skills in Cyberpunk 2077, it also has a few different ways to go about improving it. Players who play many different ways, and with many different weapons, may still enjoy using Stealth throughout the game.

As noted in the heading above, Stealth as a Skill falls under the Cool Attribute. This means you can’t improve your Stealth Skill Level any higher than your current Cool Attribute Score.

There are actually four different ways to earn Skill XP and improve your Stealth Skill Level. The first is by damaging enemies with sneak attacks, and in that case the overall Skill XP will vary based on the damage dealt.

If you’re using Stealth, you’ll often be performing takedowns on enemies. Regardless of whether you neutralize an enemy with a lethal or non-lethal takedown, you’ll always earn 100 Skill XP for the takedown.

If you perform a takedown and simultaneously dump a body in a hiding place, you’ll earn 200 Skill XP. This is an option only available when the enemy is near a hiding place as you approach for a takedown.

Finally, concealing any neutralized enemy in a hiding place nets you 100 Skill XP. That final way is actually the most efficient way to improve your Stealth without even sneaking.

If you finish up a combat and have killed multiple enemies, you can still conceal them in a hiding place after combat and earn the Skill XP. So if you’re looking to improve your Stealth Skill Level easily, just start dumping bodies after every combat and watch the Skill XP roll in.

All Stealth Skill Level Rewards

The following table details the reward at each level as you increase the Skill Level for Stealth. While some of these apply to your ability to remain undetected, all of the bonuses below apply at all times and some can be useful for all players.

Skill LevelStealth Reward
1None
2Evasion +3%
3Perk Point
4Visibility -10%
5Perk Point
6Health regen out of combat +10%
7Perk Point
8Movement speed +3%
9DPS +3%
10Perk Point
11DPS +2%
12Evasion +3%
13Perk Point
14Movement speed +2%
15Visibility -10%
16Evasion +4%
17Perk Point
18Perk Point
19Visibility -10%
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How to level up Cold Blood in Cyberpunk 2077 (Cool)

Cyberpunk 2077

Among all of the Skills in Cyberpunk 2077, Cold Blood is one that’s easy to overlook but ultimately worthwhile for just about every single player. It all comes down to the core Perk named Cold Blood.

As noted in the heading above, the Cold Blood Skill falls under the Cool Attribute. As such, you can only improve your Cold Blood Skill Level as high as your current Cool Attribute score.

There are two ways to earn Skill XP for Cold Blood, and one of them actually bears no relation to the Skill itself. When you’re using melee weapons of any kind, if you use a strong attack on an enemy that is close enough to death it’ll perform a finishing move.

These are easily identifiable, as you’ll get a unique animation to go with them. Any time you perform a finishing move on an enemy, it’ll earn you 100 Skill XP for Cold Blood.

The other way to improve it is by defeating enemies while Cold Blood is active. If you view the core Perk called Cold Blood, you’ll see that it gives you a boost in the seconds immediately after defeating an enemy.

The benefits, length, and effectiveness of Cold Blood can all be improve by the different Perks that are available. If you defeat any enemies while Cold Blood is active, you’ll earn Skill XP based on how much damage was dealt.

Even if you only grab a few of the Perks, it can be more than worthwhile to look into improving Cold Blood. Many of the Skill Level Rewards outlined below will improve your character at all times, and not just when Cold Blood is active.

All Cold Blood Skill Level Rewards

The following table details the reward at each level as you increase the Skill Level for Cold Blood. As one of the more uniquely versatile Skills in Cyberpunk 2077, most players can majorly benefit from improving it as many of these rewards could aid any playstyle.

Skill LevelCold Blood Reward
1None
2Critical chance +10%
3Armor +3%
4Perk Point
5Perk Point
6Max health +10%
7Max stamina +10%
8All resistances +5%
9Perk Point
10Perk Point
11Perk Point
12All resistances +5%
13Perk Point
14Critical damage +5%
15Critical chance +10%
16Movement speed +3%
17Perk Point
18Armor +7%
19Critical damage +5%
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How to level up Engineering in Cyberpunk 2077 (Technical Ability)

While mostly combat-specific, Engineering is fairly versatile and most players can find some use for it. Generally, Engineering is going to deal with the use of grenades and all Tech weapons.

As noted in the heading above, the Engineering Skill falls under the Technical Ability Attribute. This means you can’t improve your Engineering Skill Level any higher than your current Technical Ability Attribute score.

There are three different ways to earn Skill XP for Engineering. The first is by performing any action gated behind a specific Technical Ability score, such as opening doors or manipulating machines, and this always earns you 100 Skill XP.

The second way is by damaging enemies with grenades of any kind, and the amount of Skill XP earned will vary based on the damage dealt. Like most combat-specific ways to earn Skill XP, it isn’t rewarded until the enemy is neutralized and combat is over.

Finally, you can earn Skill XP for Engineering by damaging enemies with wall-piercing shots. These are specific to tech weapons, which can shoot through walls if you’re firing a fully-charged shot.

All Engineering Skill Level Rewards

The following table details the reward at each level as you increase the Skill Level for Engineering. While some of these bonuses are specific to the use of Tech Weapons, others that affect armor and resistances can be useful to all players.

Skill LevelEngineering Reward
1None
2Perk Point
3Armor +3%
4Tech weapon charge time -5%
5Tech weapon DPS +5%
6Perk Point
7Armor +3%
8Perk Point
9Tech weapon Critical chance +5%
10Perk Point
11Armor +3%
12All resistances +5%
13Tech weapon Critical chance +5%
14Perk Point
15Tech weapon Critical damage +15%
16Armor +4%
17Perk Point
18Perk Point
19Tech weapon charge time -10%
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How to level up Crafting in Cyberpunk 2077 (Technical Ability)

Cyberpunk 2077

Lastly, we have the Crafting Skill. It can be one of the most useful for any player, as Crafting can help you create and upgrade all the best weapons and armor in Cyberpunk 2077.

As noted in the heading above, the Crafting Skill falls under the Technical Ability Attribute. As such, you can’t improve your Crafting Skill Level any higher than your current Technical Ability Attribute Score.

There are two ways to earn Skill XP for Crafting. The first is, unsurprisingly, by crafting and upgrading items in Cyberpunk 2077. The amount of Skill XP earned varies based on the item.

You can also earn Skill XP by disassembling items, but it’s only 5 Skill XP per item disassembled. The best way to maximize this is through the Scrapper Perk, which automatically disassembles any junk you pick up.

While incredibly useful, Crafting can be one of the most overwhelming parts of Cyberpunk 2077 to grasp and take advantage of. If you need help with Crafting, locating Crafting Specs, or anything about the process, we have a comprehensive guide that will tell you everything you need to know.

All Crafting Skill Level Rewards

The following table details the reward at each level as you increase the Skill Level for Crafting. All of these bonuses will directly correlate to the skill and efficiency with which your character is able to craft and upgrade items.

Skill LevelCrafting Reward
1None
2Perk Point
3Crafting costs -5%
4Crafting costs -5%
5Perk Point
6Uncommon crafting specs unlocked
7Chance to get some materials back after crafting +5%
8Perk Point
9Rare crafting specs unlocked
10Perk Point
11Crafting costs -5%
12Chance to get some materials back after crafting +5%
13Epic crafting specs unlocked
14Perk Point
15Chance to get some materials back after upgrading +5%
16Upgrade costs -15%
17Perk Point
18Iconic crafting specs unlocked
19Upgrade costs -15%
20Trait

Patches Chance

Hey yo, I'm Patches Chance. Everything started with my red Game Boy Pocket and a copy of Pokémon Red. A few decades, two BioShock tattoos, and one Pokémon tattoo later, I ended up here. I've also been an editor with RealSport and Daily DDT covering professional wrestling, and I've written for App Trigger and Dork Side Of The Force. You can find me basically everywhere @patcheschance.

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