Cyberpunk 2077 2.0 Update And Phantom Liberty Expansion Details Explained
covered it a few times already—"Phantom Liberty" is the name of the first and likely only major expansion for Cyberpunk 2077. According to CD Projekt Red (the game's developer), it is the company's largest expansion to date—impressive, if you played The Witcher 3's Blood and Wine expansion that added another thirty-or-so hours of gameplay to the already-sprawling adventure.
So Phantom Liberty is coming with a giant pile of new content, but it's also coming along with massive revisions and reworks to the base game itself. We'll go over a few of the changes in short detail in a moment, but the short version is that many of the complaints that the community had about the game's systems and mechanics have been addressed by completely overhauling the systems in question.
The thing is, you don't actually have to buy Phantom Liberty to get the benefit of the reworks. Most of the changes to the game's core systems are actually coming to all owners of the game in the free 2.0 update for the title. That includes all of the UI and UX improvements, all of the item and crafting changes, the combat AI and overhauled police systems, the vehicle combat system, the cyberware and damage rebalance, and the totally-revamped skill trees.
Here, check out this infographic from the developer. It lays out what's coming in update 2.0, and what'll require the Phantom Liberty expansion. Don't get it wrong, your author is excited about exploring Dogtown, meeting the new characters, checking out the new Relic skill tree and the 100+ new items, and so on—all content that requires the purchase of the new paid expansion.
However, this newswriter is already a huge, massive fan of Cyberpunk 2077, and it's the overhauls and revamps that have him really excited. Instead of the classic perk trees that are full of boring "+5% to damage with [x] weapon type", the new perk trees promise to add new moves and game-changing abilities to your arsenal. The rebalanced cyberware includes a limit system to force you to make hard choices about what kind of augmentations you want, and the crafting changes promise to make investing in the crafting skills much more productive than before.
Of course, the update is likely going to break everyone's mods. While it will probably eclipse the functionality of some of them or obviate the need for others outright, there are almost assuredly going to be some mods that will still be required—like the Cyber Engine Tweaks mod that allows players to disable the vignette effect and enable SMT on all AMD CPUs, giving a serious speed-up to 8+ core processors.
For GeForce gamers, there's another reason to be excited about Cyberpunk 2077's upcoming updates: DLSS 3.5 with Ray Reconstruction. While the game's path-traced "RT Overdrive" mode already has incredibly stunning visuals, it can be a little disappointing at times due to the noise introduced by the relatively low ray count, especially when using upscaling—practically a requirement unless you have a GeForce RTX 4090.
Ray Reconstruction replaces the denoisers used by the path-traced mode with an AI-powered system that is additionally integrated with DLSS upscaling. The results are cleaner and more accurate lighting, sharper reflections, and even possibly improved performance in places using multiple denoisers at once. Folks who have played the game in path-traced mode should look forward to this update, because it has the potential to change the look of the game drastically.
Meanwhile, Cyberpunk 2077 is apparently going to be one of the first showcase titles for AMD's FSR 3.0 and its Fluid Motion Frames technology. If it works well, it could enable folks with non-NVIDIA GPUs to enjoy the game's path-traced mode without using brutally-low resolutions and high upscaling factors, which would be awesome—the more people that get to appreciate path-tracing, the quicker we'll see it in more games.
So when's all this arriving? The 2.0 update for the game will be here on or shortly after September 11th, followed closely by Phantom Liberty on the 28th of this month. It's not clear yet when DLSS 3.5 Ray Reconstruction and FSR 3.0 support will be added to the game; it could be as soon as the 2.0 update, or it could be in a later patch after the release of Phantom Liberty. What we do know is that Cyberpunk 2077 fans are eating good this month.