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Netrunner: How To Play, Even Though It's Not In Cyberpunk 2077

Netrunner card art

Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be a massive game with tons of content for RPG fans to explore. The game seems incredibly deep and players have a ton of characters to interact with, customization to make, and locations to explore. Unfortunately for some card game fans, there wasn't quite room to fit in an in-game version of Richard Garfield's Netrunner.

After Gwent played such a big role in The Witcher fandom, many future Cyberpunk 2077 fans got heir hopes up that Netrunner would be this game's parallel. The developer recently confirmed that, although they are fans of Netrunner, the team decided not to include it as a part of their game. Although fans can't play it as a part of Cyberpunk 2077 when it releases in April, that doesn't mean they can't experience the iconic cult card game. There are still a handful of ways to play Netrunner and this guide explains what the game is all about and how interested parties should get started.

RELATED: Cyberpunk 2077 Will Not Feature Netrunner

What is Netrunner?

Netrunner is a card game set in the Cyberpunk universe originally designed by Richard Garfield, creator of Magic: The Gathering. Although the game never caught on in quite the same way that Magic has, it was definitely critically acclaimed and has had many reprints, new sets, and game variants over the years. Thanks to some recent reprints and new editions, now is actually a perfect time to get into Netrunner.

Android: Netrunner is a two-player Living Card Game™ set in a dystopian, cyberpunk future where monolithic megacorps own and control the vast majority of human interests. While corporation players try to score points by advancing their agendas, they have to guard their intellectual properties from the elite and subversive hackers known as netrunners.

Traditionally, Netrunner is a two player card game where one player takes on the role of a corporation and one player takes on the role of a hacker. Each role plays very differently, which makes Netrunner very different from most other TCGs or LCGs. Playing as a corp has entirely different goals, strategies, and even mechanics from playing as the runner. Ideally players build a deck for each of the two roles and then play against each other multiple timers, from each role.

Like other card games, there are limited variants, like draft, that charge players to build a deck on the spot from a smaller pool of cards. These are a blast, but probably not the best way to get started.

Best Ways To Start Playing

New players should start out by buying the Android Netrunner: Revised Core Set. This is a bit of an investment, but really includes all of the things players need to get started. The box comes jam-packed with the full rules, enough cards to build multiple corp and runner decks, and all of the tokens and game markers players need. The game is really meant for two, so it's not a bad idea to find a friend or family member who wants to pitch in for this purchase.

'The Revised Core Set is your ticket to the not-too-distant future of Android: Netrunner The Card Game. This is an age of sprawling megacities. Artificially intelligent bioroids and genetically modified clones work alongside cyborgs, g-modded humans, and naturals. Hoppers pass overhead in their skylanes, and in New Angeles, a Space Elevator most commonly known as the "Beanstalk' dwarfs neighboring arcologies and skyscrapers as it reaches beyond the Earth's atmosphere and gravity to serve as a low-cost launch for near-space travel."

The revised core set includes 240 cards and the updated rules clean up some of the messier stuff that potentially held the game back from being as successful as Magic at launch.

Do I Need To Buy Booster Packs?

Absolutely not. Unlike Magic, Netrunner is not a true collectible card game with boosters featuring chase cards and rares. The game does include expansions and players can purchase these sets of cards to add new elements to their existing deck, but there isn't the same kind of card chase that exists in MtG or even the Pokemon TCG.

Netrunner is definitely a complex game to dive into, but just take the time to read the rulebook and, preferably, play a few matches with an experience player as you're getting started. If there are no experiences players around, some basic YouTube tutorials will do the trick.

Be sure to check back in the near future for more Cyberpunk 2077 and Netrunner strategy guides, news, and updates.

Netrunner is currently available now and can be found in most gaming or hobby stores. Cyberpunk 2077 will be released on April 16, 2020, for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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