A Datashard, commonly known as a “Shard” in Night City, is a readable item containing various forms of information such as texts, images, maps, schematics, audio, and videos. Most of these Shards contain information about the lore of Cyberpunk 2077’s universe. But some Data Shards are encrypted and require skill and finesse to unlock them. This guide will outline the method to access and crack the Data Shards. Let’s jump in.
Although a few Data Shards can be obtained by completing quests, most Shards are scattered all over Night City and can be obtained by collecting them. As most of these contain textual information, players can choose to read it instantly or save it to read later. Each Shard found in-game will be cataloged into the player’s journal after being picked up.
Accessing the Data Shards
To access the Data Shards you’ve collected, head on to the menu and browse the Journal options. While hovering over the Journal Icon, two additional options will pop up; Messages and Shards. You need to select the Shards option, and the game will take you to a sub-menu option where players can read the Shards they’ve collected.
This menu will list all the Data Shards you’ve collected, and players can read them in this sub-menu. Players can access different shards, divided into Articles, Technology, World, and Notes.
Encrypted Data Shards will show under the Notes section. Select the Data Shard you want to decrypt, and it will ask you if you want to crack. Select the Crack option, which will open another window with base codes. This next part requires hacking.
Breaching the Encrypted Data Shards
Playing as a Netrunner, the breaching method will be familiar to most players. For those who are uninitiated, it is tricky but doable. Players must select the right sequence in the Code Matrix to breach it successfully.
The Code Matrix can be seen on the left. It’s a table of codes requiring the player to select the first code in the first row, the second code from the column of the first row, the third code from the row of the second code, and so on.
The picture above shows the two sequences needed to unlock the Data shard on the right. There’s also a time limit known as the Breach Time in which the players have to put in the correct sequence of codes to unlock the Data shard.
To solve the first sequence, select 55 from the first row, head down the first column, select 1C, hover to the right on the same row, and select E9. For the second sequence, select the BD in the first row, head down the column three spaces and select BD, move to the right of this row and select FF. Finally, move this column upwards by one space and select 55.
There’s a time limit of 45 seconds, so it is recommended to mentally map out a route first and then start the breaching sequence. Voila! You have mastered the art of hacking in Cyberpunk 2077.
That’s all from this guide. Remember to mentally map a map for the right sequence and then start breaching the Data Shard. Good luck hacking your way around Night City.