Skip to content

Should I watch Cyberpunk: Edgerunners before or after playing Cyberpunk 2077?

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is an action-packed anime series set in the futuristic and dystopian Night City, providing backstory to the Cyberpunk 2077 video game. With stunning visuals, engaging characters, and lots of cyberpunk action, Edgerunners is gaining praise as a standalone series that also complements and enhances the Cyberpunk 2077 experience. This guide will provide expert insight into the ideal viewing order and what to expect from both.

Watching Edgerunners First

For those new to the Cyberpunk universe, watching the Edgerunners anime first is a great introduction. The series provides context on Night City, cyberware implants, mega-corporations, and more without requiring knowledge of the game. It also takes place chronologically before the events of Cyberpunk 2077, so nothing is spoiled.

Edgerunners tells a self-contained story following street kid David Martinez, who strives to become an "Edgerunner" mercenary. Through his experiences over 10 action-packed episodes, viewers get a feel for the setting and themes of Cyberpunk. The creative team at Studio Trigger brings Night City to vibrant life with their signature visual style.

Many who watched Edgerunners first say it got them excited to then try the Cyberpunk 2077 game. The anime sets the stage nicely and builds investment in the world and characters.

Playing Cyberpunk 2077 First

For those who have already spent hours exploring Night City as V in Cyberpunk 2077, watching the Edgerunners anime after playing allows you to spot the connections and references. Recurring factions like the Arasaka Corporation and characters like Adam Smasher have expanded roles. Seeing familiar sights like Night City’s districts also adds depth.

Edgerunners enhances the experience of Cyberpunk 2077 rather than spoiling it. Small clues like David’s jacket appearing in the game hint that the anime takes place first. The emotional, bittersweet ending of Edgerunners adds more context to the bleak, dangerous nature of Night City.

Many fans say Edgerunners gave them a new appreciation for Cyberpunk 2077 and the deeper themes of transhumanism after completing the game. The complimentary storytelling across mediums makes both better.

Key Insights on Order and Connections

While enjoyable separately, insights on ideal viewing order help maximize the experience:

  • Edgerunners as a prequel – The anime provides backstory and worldbuilding that enriches Cyberpunk 2077.
  • Minor references connect the stories – Like Adam Smasher and David‘s jacket, but no major overlapping characters or spoilers.
  • Edgerunners stands alone – The anime tells a self-contained story even for those who haven‘t played the game.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay builds on themes – Playing the game further explores concepts like transhumanism.
  • Ideal order is Edgerunners then Cyberpunk 2077 – This allows the anime to introduce the world first while the game expands on those ideas.

Either way you experience Night City, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners and Cyberpunk 2077 combine masterful storytelling across mediums for one incredible cyberpunk universe.