We never want to feel as if we’ve wasted time. Time is a precious commodity, as difficult to quantify as it is to replenish. That’s one of the reasons I feel so conflicted making this recommendation: If you’re returning to Cyberpunk 2077 following the release of Patch 1.5 and the next-gen update, consider deleting your save data before heading back out into the neon-tinged streets of Night City.
Like a great many of you, I haven’t touched Cyberpunk 2077 since December 2020. I’m a console player who was immediately turned off at launch by the poor performance, the graphical glitches, and the suite of missing optimizations that left Night City feeling as if it were unoccupied – a set for some science-fiction over-budgeted feature film that a casting director couldn’t afford to staff with extras.
Perhaps you decided to walk away from a 20-hour save until Cyberpunk 2077 was better optimized for PS5 and Xbox Series X like I did, or maybe you took Sony and Microsoft up on its expanded refund policy until developer CD Projekt RED got the action-RPG in a more predictably playable state. Time is far too valuable to be spent on something you aren’t enjoying, after all. Whatever the reason for your leaving, if you plan on returning now there’s real value in starting from scratch.
Waking up in V’s apartment in Megabuilding H10 after a 14-month rest, it’s a shock to the system. Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t do a great job of getting you up to speed after any degree of downtime. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was very much the same, as is Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, Red Dead Redemption 2, and so the list goes on. Most open world games are like this; despite being designed to be played over hundreds of hours, they do a similarly poor job of onboarding players that had the audacity to shift their attention to something else.
A new beginning
Cyberpunk 2077 next-gen update
Five reasons I’m redownloading Cyberpunk 2077 for patch 1.5.
I’m receiving text messages from Cyberpunk 2077 characters I can’t remember, each of them talking like no time has passed at all – I appreciate the new threads, Viktor, but I can’t remember how to change my outfit. I try to get my bearings in V’s journal but it isn’t much help; I left Night City with over 30 active Jobs and Gigs on the books, because I was apparently role-playing as an overachiever. The skill tree was always a little messy, and it’s even more so without muscle memory to guide me through it – Perk points need to be reassigned, owing to an overhaul of the combat system, but I have no idea what I was gearing towards. I know there’s a button to holster my handgun, but my inability to find it is causing a scene.
The answer is to start over. To leave our old versions of V locked away in digital tombs, a testament to new beginnings. Admittedly, I’m not normally the biggest advocate for starting these sorts of games over from scratch – particularly if you’ve already invested a substantial amount of time into an experience. Open world games can take an age to get into, for starters, and even longer to find their rhythm. But Cyberpunk 2077 eases the pain somewhat, kicking off with a unique prologue depending on the Life Path you chose during character creation. I ran through Street Kid last time, so maybe I’ll roll that introductory passage as a Nomad of Corporate merc instead. New beginnings and all that.
Patch 1.5 garnered attention for the sweeping changes it is enacting – rebalancing the AI, combat, driving model, in-game economy, and more – but there’s been thousands upon thousands of little fixes since launch. CDPR has released 12 patches for Cyberpunk 2077 in the last 12 months, implementing major overhauls to broken systems, streamlining the controls, introducing requested features, squashing bugs, and optimizing all sorts of elements within the world. How successful has CDPR been in fixing Cyberpunk 2077? It’s too early for me to say, I’m messing around with the character creation screen again.
But this is the way to do it. If you’re going to return to Cyberpunk 2077, do it with a fresh outlook on Night City. Give Cyberpunk 2077 the opportunity to capture your attention on its own terms, now that we’re far from broken promises and flashy marketing campaigns that helped define a torturous release window. By going into Cyberpunk 2077 with a new save, you’re giving it a chance to re-teach its controls, mechanics, and systems, and at a pace that was intended – preferable to spending your first few hours back in the game rooting through menus confused. If I’m going back to Night City I’m doing it right, with a version of V who is ready and prepared to grasp at the world and its opportunities with both hands.
PSA: You will need to manually download the Cyberpunk 2077 PS5 update and shift over your save data, should you still want to.