Quickhacking is governed by the Intelligence attribute. The maximum level you can attain in Quickhacking is equal to your Intelligence attribute. You gain Skill XP in Quickhacking by deploying quickhacks against enemies.
|Lv. 2||+1 perk Point(s).|
|Lv. 3||Increases Quickhack Duration by 5%.|
|Lv. 4||+1 perk Point(s).|
|Lv. 5||Increases RAM by 1.|
|Lv. 6||Decreases Quickhack Cooldown by 5%.|
|Lv. 7||Increases Quickhack Duration by 5%.|
|Lv. 8||Decreases Quickhack Cooldown by 5%.|
|Lv. 9||+1 perk Point(s).|
|Lv. 10||Increases RAM by 1.|
|Lv. 11||+1 perk Point(s).|
|Lv. 12||Decreases Quickhack Cooldown by 5%.|
|Lv. 13||Increases Quickhack Duration by 5%.|
|Lv. 14||+1 perk Point(s).|
|Lv. 15||Increases RAM by 1.|
|Lv. 16||Decreases Quickhack Cooldown by 5%.|
|Lv. 17||Increases Quickhack Duration by 5%.|
|Lv. 18||Decreases Quickhack Cooldown by 5%.|
|Lv. 19||+1 perk Point(s).|
|Lv. 20||Unlocks the last Perk in the Skill tree.|
The netrunner abilities you’ll most commonly employ in Cyberpunk are split into two categories: Breach Protocol and Quickhacking. While Breach Protocol covers the installation of network-wide daemons (which are generally long-lasting debuffs), Quickhacking covers the deployment of various quickhacks, which target (initially at least) individuals and have far more pronounced effects… for better or worse.
Quickhacking is the closest thing Cyberpunk has to spell-casting, and to be fair, in a lot of ways it’s pretty close. Your “spells’’ are your quickhacks, and your RAM substitutes for Magic Points. To deploy a quickhack, you just need to scan a target and a list of available quickhacks will appear. Different quickhacks have different effects, calling their attention, aurally isolating them, blinding them, causing them to commit suicide and dealing fire or chemical damage, just to name… well, quite a few, actually. Different quichkacks have different RAM costs and durations, depending on the defenses of the enemy, what operating system you have installed, the quality of your quickhacks, and of course, what perks you’ve purchased in the Quickhacking tree.
Arguably the best daemon in Breach Protocol, Mass Vulnerability, requires no investment to obtain, while various facets of Quickhacking (total RAM, RAM recover, damage, duration, spread qualities, etc.) all respond uniquely well to investing attribute points into Intelligence and perk points into Quickhacking. Without investment, you can still buy a legendary netrunner operating system and make nominal use of quickhacks. Some enemies may be beyond your capabilities (due to high RAM costs) and you probably won’t obtain higher than rare-quality quickhacks via drops or shopping, and the damage your quickhacks inflict will be minor and fleeting, but the odd Reboot Optics can still have significant utility in a pinch.
Of course, once you start spending points in Intelligence and Quickhacking, the game changes significantly, as you’ll obtain far more RAM to expend, will do significantly more damage, and your quickhacks will have a long duration and improved spreading properties. The difference in capability between a mere dabbler and a heavily-invested netrunner is greater than perhaps any other build, but more impressive than the aforementioned raw stat differences is the potency gained from access to higher-quality quickhacks. The differences in damage and duration might not seem to be worth the RAM cost, at a glance, but legendary quickhacks tend to have more abilities - including passives - that can make them truly game-breaking. For example, Contagion allows all quickhacks capable of spreading the ability to jump multiple times (allowing Contagion to jump back and forth between enemies), Short Circuit applies the uncommon-tier effect of the quickhack on any enemy hit with any critical hit, and perhaps most broken of all is Ping, which allow you to scan and quickhack enemies through walls. The catch is, to get these quickhacks you’ll need to craft them or obtain them via Access Points. The latter is luck, so we suggest the former - buy all the crafting perks in Quickhacking and be sure to pillage every Access Point you come across and you should end up with more components than you know what to do with.
Assuming you can get your hands on (read: craft) legendary quickhacks and a legendary netrunner operating system, the actual perks you spend in Quickhacking aren’t all that important. General RAM/damage/duration/jumping boosts are all welcome, and there are very few duds.