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The BEST Shadowrun Hong Kong Rigger Build

This Shadowrun Hong Kong Rigger Build Guide will teach players how to build the best Shadowrun Hong Kong Rigger possible.

If you’re playing Shadowrun Hong Kong as a Rigger, you’ll want to know how to optimize your build for the best, most OP shadowrunning action you can get. There are a ton of builds you can make in Shadowrun Hong Kong because of its flexible Karma system.

This Shadowrun Hong Kong Rigger Build guide will teach you how to allocate all your karma for the best possible Rigger build and what equipment you’ll want to acquire.

best shadowrun hong kong rigger build guide

Race Selection

The race selection is mostly up to you. Just don’t pick Troll.

Every race has the same base intelligence (9), which is the primary stat for Riggers, except for Orks (who have 8) and Trolls (who have 6). That’s why we don’t pick Troll.

You can get away with picking an Ork because we’re not going to be putting more than 8 points into intelligence.

All things considered, Human is probably technically the best, since it gets an extra point of Karma. But that’s insignificant.

Stat Allocation

It should be said from the get-go that the Shadowrun Hong Kong Rigger build is the absolutely most broken possible thing you can do in Shadowrun Hong Kong. You get 10 AP per round, your Drones wreck face, you wreck face. Your character is worth the rest of the party combined.

Basically, you take the Drone lines (3 lines), and then whatever personal weapon you want to use for yourself (usually either Cyberware or Rifles). Cyberware or Rifles costs the same amount of Karma, but Rifles are more effective, so… since this is a best Shadowrun Hong Kong Rigger build guide, we’re going to go with that, since it’s better.

Still, it’s not that much better, so you could take the points out of Rifles and put them in level 7 Cyberware Affinity and grab a Monofilament Whip if you want.

Your stat allocation should look like this:

Body 6
Cyberware Affinity 6
Quickness 7 (11)
Ranged Combat 7 (9)
Rifles 3
Intelligence 8 (9)
Drone Control 9
Drone Combat 9
Charisma 4
Conjuring 1
Spirit Control 3

That will cost you 245 Karma, which is all of the Karma in the game, including in the post-game. So you’ll want to think in priorities as your go through the game. Hitting Drone Control 9 and Drone Combat 9 is key, as is Rifles 3, but you can slouch on Ranged Combat/Quickness a bit and leave those around level 5/6 until you get the Karma to finish them off.

Some things that might not be immediately obvious:

  • You never need more than 3 Rifle skill, because Rifle skill only increases crit chance and Full-Auto, the only attack you ever use with rifles, can’t crit. So just put in 3 points and stop.
  • You want 4 Charisma for the Etiquettes and so you can hit 7 Charisma through equipment bonuses, which is the maximum Charisma required to pass dialog checks
  • 1 single point of Conjuring gives you an extra point of Charisma via the Shamanic Fetish
  • 3 points in Spirit Control gives you access to a totem. You should pick the Cobra totem for this Shadowrun Hong Kong Rigger build (+1 damage, +5 accuracy).
  • You can’t max out Ranged Combat because there’s just not enough Karma in the game to be able to do so, and it’s not a high priority.

Equipment & Cyberware

Equipment-wise, you absolutely want 2x Guardian Mk 2 Autos for your drones, and for your weapon slot you’ll always want to be carrying the best assault rifle that you can find. For most of the game, that’s just the smartlink version of whatever AR is available, the best of which being the Ares Alpha (Smartlink), which has 16 damage.

At the end of the game, you’ll find the Steyr AUG-CSL, which outperforms the Ares Alpha due to having Armor Piercing. In the post-game, you’ll find the Ares HVAR, which outperforms the Steyr due to adding 2 shots to Full-Auto.

You’ll definitely want to get fully decked out in Cyberware. For this Shadowrun Hong Kong Rigger build, what I’d recommend is the following setup:

Arms: 2x Saeder-Krupp Skillwires (0.25 Essence, +1 Quickness, +1 Ranged Combat)
Body: Wired Reflexes (1.5 Essence, +1 Movement, +1 AP for 2 Rounds)
Eyes: Vision Magnification Eyes (Alpha) (0.5 Essence, +6% Accuracy)
Legs: 2x Universal Omnitech Cyberleg (Alpha) (1.0 Essence, +8 HP, +1 Quickness, +1 Dodge)
Skin: Tailored Pheromones (Bioware) (0 Essence, +1 Charisma)
Head: Datajack (0.5 Essence, Datajack)
Brain: Cerebral Booster (Bioware) (0.5 Essence, +1 Intelligence)

Altogether, that’s 5.5 Essence for +4 Quickness, +2 Ranged Combat, +2 Dodge, +16 Health, +1 Movement, +1 AP, +1 Intelligence, +1 Charisma.

Conclusion – Shadowrun Hong Kong Rigger Build

This Rigger build in Shadowrun Hong Kong is insane. I’ve played through this game probably 10 times and I guarantee you this is the most OP build you can utilize in the game. The Adept build comes close, but it’s still a pretty distant second.

What makes this build so good is just the sheer amount of attacks it gets per round. Each of the drones gets multiple attacks, your character gets multiple attacks, and your cyberware boosts your AP up even further.

Because assault rifle full auto is such a strong attack and not only does your main PC get it, but both of the drones as well, it’s almost like having 3 ranged damage characters in your party for the price of one. I highly recommend this Shadowrun Hong Kong Rigger build.

That about covers it for the best Shadowrun Hong Kong Rigger build. Be sure to check out the Games Section for more articles like this and click here for more game guides for Shadowrun Hong Kong.


  • Ryan Night

    Ryan Night is an ex-game industry producer with over a decade of experience writing guides for RPGs. Previously an early contributor at, Ryan has been serving the RPG community with video game guides since 2001. As the owner of Bright Rock Media, Ryan has written over 600 guides for RPGs of all kinds, from Final Fantasy Tactics to Tales of Arise.

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