Best Katana Samurai build (Patch 1.63)

Best Katana Samurai build (Patch 1.63) - Cyberpunk 2077

By zanuffas
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In this post, I will cover the best katana samurai build. It concentrates on pure physical damage and fast speed. Samurais are a military nobility that was prevalent in ancient Japan. Their main icon was a weapon - Katana. Samurai followed the bushido code and had special rights compared to other people in the Japanese system. 

Cyberpunk makes this playstyle very compelling. You can wear Katana weapons and with roleplaying options, you can freely decide on your own code of honor.

Samurai Katana build

This build is for those that want to have a traditional samurai build. It means that you hone your katana skills to the maximum. At high-level enemies will not know what hit them as you take groups of them in a matter of seconds

You will be so powerful in the mid-game, that you can activate Sandevistan before a fight, slash through the group of enemies, and after the effect wears off, see their bodies fall to the ground, as you turn back...

As you can guess, to achieve this we will be concentrating on pure swordplay. Moreover, we will get perks that maximize the survivability and damage of the Samurai Build

Attributes

In this section, I will go through recommended attributes and how you should progress with them. Picking the correct ones will ensure that you have sufficient stats to kill enemies. Moreover, it will allow getting very important perks for the Samurai Katana build

Starting the game

When starting the game we want to increase Katana's build damage and defensive capabilities. Here are the starting attributes that I recommend:

  • Reflexes +3
  • Body +2
  • Cool +2

It is also recommended to use a ranged weapon early on. This can make the game much easier until you get a good Katana or cyberware.

Progression

Samurai katana build attributes Cyberpunk 2077

Here is how I recommend allocating attribute points as you progress through the game:

Level Reflex Body Tech Cool Int
10 12 6 3 7 3
30 18 11 3 16 3
50 20 20 3 20 8
  • Reflexes - You want to get at least 12 fairly early in the game, this will unlock a very good Sandevistan. Reflexes also will ensure that Katana build can mitigate damage, have a high critical chance, and damage
  • Cool - it will give you critical damage bonuses and importantly allow you to improve the Cold Blood perk tree.
  • Body - this one is used to maximize the Katana build survivability. There will be many cases where you will be in open combat and you need to be able to soak up a decent amount of damage. Moreover, it is used to equip Berserk if you plan to use this cyberware.

Putting the rest of the 6 attribute points to Intelligence or Technical Ability does not change much. Intelligence will allow equipping low rarity Critical Damage Cyberware, while Technical Ability will increase Armor.

I personally prefer Intelligence.

Perks

In this section let's go through how to allocate your perk points as you progress through the game. They are very important as they improve stats and gameplay options

Blade tree

This is the main tree for the Samurai Katana build

Samurai katana build blade tree Cyberpunk 2077

Level Skill Description
1 Sting Like a Bee x3 Increases attack speed by 10%. It will ensure that you have very fast attacks to take out enemies as fast as possible.
1 Roaring Waters x2 Gives a 20% increase to Strong attacks.
4 Slow and Steady x2 As the build is prone to enemy shots, having increased armor by 30% while moving is essential not to die instantly
4 Crimson Dance x2 Gives a 30% chance to apply Bleed. Although it does not deal massive damage it will provide other benefits later on
6 Flight of the Sparrow x2 Reduces the Stamina cost of all attacks with Katana by 50%. Especially early you don't want to drain your stamina bar and get fatigued.
8 Shifting Sands Another great ability that you can use to recover stamina when dodging is being used.
10 Blessed Blade Gives a flat 10% critical chance if wearing a katana
12 Bloodlust x2 This ability complements Crimson Dance and gives health regeneration when the enemy is Bleeding. Thanks to this perk, the build survivability increases greatly.
12 Float Like A Butterfly x2 Dodging will give 50% more damage for 5 seconds. Very high increase for something that you will constantly be doing to avoid bullets or enemy attacks.
15 Judge, Jury and Executioner x3 Huge damage boost on the first hit to the enemy
18 Deathbolt This is an ability that you need for encounters with many enemies. Each enemy that you kill will restore your health by 20% and increase the movement speed by 30% for 5 seconds.
15 Fiery Blast x3 Very strong perk. It gives a bonus of 3% damage for every 1% health the enemy is missing.
20 Dragon Strike The last ability in the blade perk tree. It provides a 40% critical damage boost

Athletics Tree

The athletics tree will ensure that the Samurai Katana build can survive long enough during the encounters.

Samurai katana build athletics tree Cyberpunk 2077

Level Skill Description
1 Pack Mule This is a quality of life ability that gives 60 points more carrying weight. I think it helps very early in the game when you need money fast.
1 Regeneration Allows regenerating health during combat. It is very useful for this build as you wait behind the cover for the enemy to come to you
5 True Grit Increases stamina by 10% allowing to do more hits with the katana
7 Epimorphosis Increases the threshold to which HP regenerates during combat. Moreover, HP now regenerates to 100% outside of it.
7 Wolverine x2 Health regeneration will now activate 20% faster. This will make long encounters easier to survive
9 Steel and Chrome x2 Increases melee damage by 10%
11 Like a Butterfly Dodging will now not drain stamina. This will allow to better fight during long encounters
12 Invincible As powerful as it sounds this ability only provides 15% health. However, that is still a good boost for overall survivability
12 Tenacious V Health regeneration now continues even after being hit
16 Cardio Cure x2 Because you are moving this ability is essential. It will give 30% faster health regeneration.
18 Steel Shell Increases armor by 10%. Gives a higher chance to survive enemies
20 Indestructible Reduces all incoming damage by 10%.

Ninjutsu Tree

Samurai katana build ninjutsu tree Cyberpunk 2077

Level Skill Description
7 Assassin Increases damage against humans by 15%.
12 From the Shadows x2 Provides a 20% bonus critical chance for the first 7 seconds of the combat.
16 Hasty Retreat Gives a 50% boost after being detected for 5 seconds. Thanks to this ability you can run around very fast and take out a few enemies before your take damage
18 Cheat Death Reduces damage by 50% when health drops below 50% for 10 seconds. The ultimate survivability perk.

Cool Blood

Samurai katana build cold blood tree Cyberpunk 2077

Level Skill Description
1 Cold Blood x3 This is a very important buff for almost any stat in the game. Although at first, it provides only faster movement speed, as you progress it will provide other benefits. I suggest upgrading this ability every 5 levels and not but all 3 points at the start o the game
5 Will to Survive Increases Resistances by 3%. Good for an early Game. However, later on, can be swapped for Immunity
5 Blood Brawl Melee damage is increased by 5% while Cold Blood is active
9 Rapid Bloodflow x2 Increases health regeneration for each Cold Blood stack
9 Defensive Clotting x2 Increases armor for each Cold Blood stack. Ensures higher survivability for Katana Samurai build
12 Predator x2 Each stack of Cold Blood increases attack speed by 10%
14 Pain is an Illusion Reduces damage taken by 5% while Cold Blood is active
14 Cold and Calculating Gives a chance to receive a stack of Cold Blood during critical hit.
16 Coldest Blood x2 Increases Cold Blood stack by 2
16 Coolagulant The Cold Blood stacks now disperse one by one instead of all.
16 Critical Condition x2 Cold Blood will have its duration increased by 50%. Ensures that you can still maintain the buffs even after hiding from the enemy.
18 Immunity Makes you immune to Bleeding, Poison, Burn, and Shock. Makes Will to Survive obsolete
20 Bloodswell Negates a lethal hit by consuming all of the Cold Blood stacks. This can happen once every 15 seconds. It is essential for melee Katan builds, so that you would die less often.

Gameplay Tips

Here is a list of some tips that I recommend following for this build:

  • Obtain any Sandevistan operating system as early as possible. It will improve your gameplay options greatly.
  • Getting Satori will improve your fighting capabilities, especially on Very Hard difficulties. Due to this, do not waste too much time doing side quests and go for the last mission of Act 1. The game will be much more enjoyable after that
  • Using Grenades is a good option to knock back a group of enemies. This way you can avoid being shot by everyone that sees you
  • Hiding is okay for this build, as you do not have much HP or armor. So a few shots can take you out.

Modern Katana Build

This is an alternative build that I enjoyed trying out. This is for those that are more interested in crafting the perfect katana. How do you do that? You gather components, refine them, and improve your crafting ability.

Cyberpunk 2077 katana build image

After many hours of work, you are able to craft one of the best katanas in the game. Then you upgrade it further for an even more powerful version.

So rather than concentrating on the best perks, you will find yourself learning how to craft a master-tier weapon

Best crafted katanas cyberpunk 2077

So as you can see, this build will forgo some of the survival/offensive perks. But in the end, it will come out with a very powerful weapon.

Not only that you will also be quite effective at using grenades which will be helpful when dealing with a group of enemies before a fight

Attributes

In this section, I will go through recommended attributes and how you should progress with them. Picking the correct ones will ensure that you have sufficient stats to kill enemies. Moreover, it will allow getting very important perks for the Katana build

Starting the game

Here are the starting attributes that I recommend:

  • Reflexes +3 - maximize the damage with katanas
  • Body +2 - gives bonus health and stamina
  • Cool +2 - increases critical damage and unlocks good offensive perks

Progression

Here is how I recommend allocating attribute points as you progress through the game:

Level Reflex Body Tech Cool Int
10 11 6 3 8 3
30 18 10 5 12 3
50 20 14 20 14 3
  • Reflexes - You want to maximize this quite fast. It will ensure that you can mitigate damage, and have higher damage and critical chance.
  • Technical Ability - this will ensure that you can craft items and also use grenades effectively
  • Body - this one is used to increase the Katana build survivability. It would improve how much damage you can take. Although on Very Hard difficulty this may be just a small improvement.
  • Cold. I recommend putting a few points early in the game. After that, you can postpone it until you get to something like level 25

Perks

In this section, I will go through the recommended perks for each tree that the Katana build uses.

Blade tree

This is the main tree for the Samurai Katana build. Blades tree allows:

  • Apply Bleeding
  • Maximize weapon damage
  • Decrease stamina consumption.

All of these are necessary for maximum Katana effectiveness.

Modern katana build blades tree Cyberpunk 2077

Level Skill Description
1 Sting Like a Bee x3 Increases attack speed by 10%. It will ensure that you have very fast attacks to take out enemies as fast as possible.
1 Roaring Waters x3 Gives a 30% increase to Strong attacks.
4 Slow and Steady x2 As the build is prone to enemy shots, having increased armor by 30% while moving is essential not to die instantly
4 Crimson Dance x2 Gives a 30% chance to apply Bleed. Although it does not deal massive damage it will provide other benefits later on
6 Flight of the Sparrow x2 Reduces the Stamina cost of all attacks with Katana by 50%. Especially early you don't want to drain your stamina bar and get fatigued.
8 Shifting Sands Another great ability that you can use to recover stamina when dodging is being used.
10 Blessed Blade Gives a flat 10% critical chance if wearing a katana
12 Bloodlust x2 This ability complements Crimson Dance and gives health regeneration when the enemy is Bleeding. Thanks to this perk, the build survivability increases greatly.
12 Float Like A Butterfly x2 Dodging will give 50% more damage for 5 seconds. Very high increase for something that you will constantly be doing to avoid bullets or enemy attacks.
15 Judge, Jury, and Executioner x3 Huge damage boost on the first hit to the enemy
18 Deathbolt This is an ability that you need for encounters with many enemies. Each enemy that you kill will restore your health by 20% and increase the movement speed by 30% for 5 seconds.
15 Fiery Blast x3 Very strong perk. It gives a bonus of 3% damage for every 1% health the enemy is missing.
20 Dragon Strike The last ability in the blade perk tree. It provides a 40% critical damage boost

Athletics Tree

The athletics tree will ensure that the Katana build can survive long enough during the encounters.

Modern katana build athletics tree Cyberpunk 2077

Level Skill Description
1 Pack Mule This is a quality-of-life ability that gives 60 points more carrying weight. I think it helps very early in the game when you need money fast.
1 Regeneration Allows regenerating health during combat. It is very useful for this build as you wait behind the cover for the enemy to come to you
5 True Grit Increases stamina by 10% allowing to do more hits with the katana
7 Epimorphosis x2 Increases the threshold to which HP regenerates during combat. Moreover, HP now regenerates to 100% outside of it.
7 Wolverine x2 Health regeneration will now activate 20% faster. This will make long encounters easier to survive
9 Steel and Chrome x2 Increases melee damage by 10%
11 Like a Butterfly Dodging will now not drain stamina. This will allow to better fight during long encounters
12 Invincible As powerful as it sounds this ability only provides 15% health. However, that is still a good boost for overall survivability
12 Tenacious V Health regeneration now continues even after being hit

Ninjutsu Tree

This tree provides a few abilities that greatly improve Samurai build damage.

Modern katana build ninjutstu tree Cyberpunk 2077

Level Skill Description
7 Assassin Increases damage against human enemies.
12 From the Shadows x2 Provides a 20% bonus critical chance for the first 7 seconds of the combat.

Cool Blood

This is a very important tree for Samurai Katana build. It will unlock higher stacks of cold blood. Moreover, it will provide better offensive and defensive bonuses. THis tree is perfect for a cold-blooded melee killer.

Modern katana build cold blood tree Cyberpunk 2077

Level Skill Description
1 Cold Blood x3 This is a very important buff for almost any stat in the game. Although at first, it provides only faster movement speed, as you progress it will provide other benefits. I suggest upgrading this ability every 5 levels and not but all 3 points at the start o the game
5 Will to Survive Increases Resistances by 3%. Good for an early Game. However, later on, can be swapped for Immunity
5 Blood Brawl Melee damage is increased by 5% while Cold Blood is active
9 Rapid Bloodflow x2 Increases health regeneration for each Cold Blood stack
9 Defensive Clotting x2 Increases armor for each Cold Blood stack. Ensures higher survivability for Katana Samurai build
12 Predator x2 Each stack of Cold Blood increases attack speed by 10%
14 Pain is an Illusion Reduces damage taken by 5% while Cold Blood is active
14 Cold and Calculating Gives a 50% chance to get a stack of cold blood after a critical hit.

Crafting Tree

This tree is very important for the build. It will ensure that you can craft legendary katanas. Moreover, certain perks will allow you to upgrade the weapons with fewer materials

Modern katana build crafting tree Cyberpunk 2077

Level Skill Description
1 Mechanic Gain more components when disassembling items. Will allow you to accumulate components for Katana and other item crafting.
5 True Craftsman You can now craft Rare items
5 Scrapper Junk items are automatically disassembled. 
9 Sapper x2 Grenades deal 20% more damage. 
11 Field Technician x2 Crafted weapons deal 10% more damage. 
12 Grease Monkey Allows you to craft Epic items
12 Efficient Upgrades Provides a 10% chance to consume components for an upgrade
14 Let There Be Light! x2 Reduces the component cost of upgrading items by 20%
16 Tune-up Allows upgrading lower quality components into higher quality ones.
18 Edgerunner Artisan Allows crafting Legendary items. Now you can make the best Legendary katanas in the games
20 Cutting Edge Increases damage-related stats of all crafted weapons.

Engineering Tree

This tree is "nice to have" rather than necessary. It does not improve the gameplay drastically. However, seeing the explosion radius and immunity to own grenade effects definitely helps

Modern katana build engineering tree Cyberpunk 2077

Level Skill Description
1 Blast Shielding Reduces damage taken from explosions
5 Grenadier Can see the explosion radius of the grenades you throw. Great quality of life perk
7 Shrapnel All grenade types deal 20 damage in addition to their normal effects.
11 Bigger Booms x2 Grenades deal 10% more damage. 
16 Can't Touch This Grants immunity to all effects from your own grenades. 

Gameplay Tips

Here is a list of some tips that I recommend following for this build:

Equipment recommendations

Katanas

Priority Item Description
1 jinchu maru cyberpunk 2077Jinchu-Maru Has many positive effects: 100% Crit chance during Kerenzikov, Double damage for the last combo attack, etc.
2 byakko cyberpunk 2077Byakko Introduced after the 1.5 patch. Has unique ability to lunge into enemies from a medium distance when attacking. This makes fighting enemies with ranged weapons much easier for Samurai Katan builds.
3 satori cyberpunk 2077Satori What makes it unique is that it can deal massive amounts of Critical damage. Due to this, I suggest taking any perk or modification that improves Crit Chance.
4 katana cyberpunk 2077Katana
Base katana version. Try to obtain the legendary rarity as early as possible.

Weapon mods

Mod name Description
cold shoulder cyberpunk 2077Cold Shoulder Increases damage by 5%.
scourge cyberpunk 2077Scourge Increases Crit Damage by 10%.
white-knuckled cyberpunk 2077White-Knuckled Increases Crit Chance by 2.5%.

Armor Mods

Nothing much here, try to always have armor with the highest rating. If you get a chance try to obtain mods that increase your critical rate and damage.

Here are the mods that I recommend to use on the armor

Mod name Description
bully cyberpunk 2077Bully Gives +8% Crit Damage. Great for maximizing damage late in the game
armadillo cyberpunk 2077Armadillo I recommend this mod for maximum survivability It gives bonus armor. Try to get the Legendary or Epic variant
Fortuna cyberpunk 2077Fortuna Gives +4% Crit Chance. Definitely get it as you need as much as possible Crit Chance for Samurai build
zero drag cyberpunk 2077Zero Drag Increases movement speed. It can make the gameplay a bit more difficult as you may run through the enemies. But overall makes the experience even more enjoyable and the enemy kills much faster
thick skinned cyberpunk 2077Thick-Skinned Provides higher Mitigation Strength. This means that when Mitigation activates the effect is stronger.

Cyberware

Frontal Cortex

Slot Item Description
1 Heal-on-kill cyberpunk 2077Heal-On-Kill This item provides a certain percentage of health after each enemy that you kill. The effectiveness increases with the cyberware rarity

Ocular System

Slot Item Description
1 kiroshi optics mk3 image cyberpunk 2077Kiroshi Optics Mk.3 Enables to have additional upgrades for the ocular system. Try to get the highest rarity which is Epic. It provides 3 upgrade slots.

Mods

Mod name Description
weakspot detection cyberpunk 2077Weakspot Detection Increases Crit Chance by 2%.
explosive analysis cyberpunk 2077Explosive Analysis If you plan on using Grenades, this is a great quality-of-life improvement

Circulatory System

Slot Item Description
1 biomonitor image cyberpunk 2077Biomonitor Instantly restores a large portion of health when it drops below a certain threshold. Very valuable for this Katana build
2 bioconductor image cyberpunk 2077Bioconductor Reduces all cyberware cooldowns
3 second heart cyberpunk 2077Second Heart Gives a second life once you are close to dying. Can be extremely useful on Very Hard difficulty, when enemies can take out V with a few shots
3 microgenerator icon cyberpunk 2077Microgenerator Releases Electroshock when health drops below 15%.

You can replace Second Heart with Microgenerator once you have high survivability

Immune System

Slot Item Description
1 shock n awe cyberpunk 2077Shock-n-Awe Release electroshock when being hit. Has a certain activation chance.
2 pain editor image cyberpunk 2077Pain Editor Reduces all the damage that you receive by 10%.
2 inductor cyberpunk 2077Inductor
Use this option if you do not have the 16 Cool for the above choice. Absorbs shock damage for bonus armor

Nervous System

You can wear 2 pieces of cyberwar for the Nervous System. Try to get the highest Rarity of the mentioned item

Slot Item Description
1 kerenzikov image cyberpunk 2077Kerenzikov You can now slow time when dodging or sliding. Very effective for the Samurai build.
2 synaptic accelerator image cyberpunk 2077Synaptic Accelerator When you are detected slows time. Do not use with Sandevistan
2 nanorelays cyberpunk 2077Nanorelays Increases Sandevistan and Kerenzikov duration
2 reflex tuner imageReflex Tuner
Slows time when your Health drops to 25%

Integumentary System

Slot Item Description
1 subdermal armor image cyberpunk 2077Subdermal Armor
Provides flat armor increase. Try to obtain the highest rarity for the highest value.
2 optical camo image cyberpunk 2077Optical Camo This is a bad boy. You will become invisible for a few seconds which you can use to take out enemies. Really neat cyberware for a stealth build
3 heat converter image cyberpunk 2077Heat Converter Increases damage if you are burning

Operating System

I recommend Sandevistan. You lose the ability to use quickhacks, however, you can now slow time and this greatly helps in melee. During the fights, you can get to enemies using the shortest path, while avoiding the bullets

Do not forget to include mods, as they increase the chance until enemies detect you or you can gain hp when killing them.

Priority Item Description
1 Militech Falcon Sandevistan Mk.5 cyberpunk 2077Militech "Falcon" Sandevistan Mk.5 Provides 20 Crit Chance and 35% Crit Damage while Sandevistan is active. The effect lasts 18 seconds. Enough for most of the encounters.
2 QianT Sandevistan Mk.4 cyberpunk 2077QianT Sandevistan Mk.4  Gives a 15% critical chance and a 15% damage dealt increase while Sandevistan is active.
3 dynalar sandevistan mk 4 cyberpunk 2077Dynalar Sandevistan Mk.4  Increases damage and Crit Chance by 15%. Has a 30-second cooldown.
4 dynalar sandevistan mk 3 cyberpunk 2077Dynalar Sandevistan Mk.3  I recommend getting the Epic version early as possible as it will greatly improve your gameplay.

Operating system mods

Mod name Description
Sandevistan heatsink cyberpunk 2077Heatsink Reduces Sandevistan cooldown
Sandevistan prototype chip cyberpunk 2077Prototype Chip While Sandevistan is active, increases Crit Chance by 5%.
Sandevistan neurotransmitters cyberpunk 2077Neurotransmitters While Sandevistan is active, increases Crit Damage by 15%.
Sandevistan overclocked processor cyberpunk 2077Overclocked Processor Increases duration

Of course, there is another option if you do not prefer Time slowing. It is the Berserk operating system. It provides bonus armor, resistance, and health. Also boosts melee damage and has longer durations.

Of course, with this in mind, you will be more prone to enemy shots, but some people prefer it

Priority Item Description
1 Zetatech Berserk MK.5 cyberpunk 2077Zetatech Berserk Mk.5 A great operating system that provides a 20% boost to melee damage, 10% armor, and resistances. Most importantly it has a fairly short cooldown of 30 seconds
2 Militech Berserk Mk.5 cyberpunk 2077Militech Berserk Mk.5 The bonuses are a bit lower but have a whooping 60 seconds duration.
3 Moore Tech Berserk Mk.3 cyberpunk 2077Moore Tech Berserk Mk.3 Although this is an epic version it provides very good bonuses. Try to get it as early as possible.
4 Moore Tech Berserk Mk.2 cyberpunk 2077Moore Tech Berserk Mk.2  The rare version is the best that you can get in early to mid-game.

Skeleton

Slot Item Description
1 dense marrow image cyberpunk 2077Dense Marrow Increases damage of melee attacks. However, they also drain more stamina
2 microvibrator generator image cyberpunk 2077Microvibration Generator Increases melee damage with katanas

Legs

Slot Item Description
1 reinforced tendons image cyberpunk 2077Reinforced Tendons Allows a double jump. This makes traversing the map much easier. Also, you can use this to surround enemies

Closing words

Katana builds are always a big risk in Cyberpunk 2077, especially on Very Hard. However, once you reach a certain point most of the enemies can be taken out with single hits. So be patient, learn how to play it, and be rewarded

This should cover all that you need to know for Samurai build - perks, attributes, and equipment. Feel free to leave a comment!

Discussion

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Post author zanuffas avatar zanuffas
Gamestegy Founder. I have been writing game guides and builds for 4 years. I like to push myself to create something wonderful for the readers!