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The BEST Shadowrun Hong Kong Adept Build

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

If you’re playing Shadowrun Hong Kong as an Adept, you’ll want to know how to optimize your Shadowrun Hong Kong adept build to get the most out of it.

There are a ton of builds you can make in Shadowrun Hong Kong because of its flexible Karma system. This Shadowrun Hong Kong Adept Build guide will teach you how to allocate all your karma for the best possible Adept build and what equipment you’ll want to acquire.

shadowrun hong kong adept build guide

Race Selection

Ork and Troll are the only options here. Both have low intelligence, but for this build, who cares? They have the highest Strength and Body maximums. Troll has higher maximums but honestly, you’re not going to reach them, it just takes too much karma. Plus we’re going to game the system with Cyberware. But you can go with either choice here.

You might notice that Dwarves have the best Willpower maximum (11), and that the final Shadowrun Hong Kong Adept spell, Martial Defense 2, is only available at Willpower 10, which is beyond the maximum for Orks and Trolls. You could get around that with Cyberware but, instead of doing that, we’re just going to not care because Martial Defense 2 isn’t that great.

Stat Allocation

There’s really only one way to go when trying to create perfect Shadowrun Hong Kong Adept build. Zero deviation from this. Unlike the Mage build, which has some leeway where you can pick up a subspecialty halfway, you’ve got to go all-in here.

Body: 9 (10)
Strength: 9 (12)
Close Combat: 9
Willpower: 9 (11)
Spellcasting: 4 (5)
Qi Casting: 9
Charisma: 4 (7)
Conjuring: 1
Spirit Control: 3 (4)

That build takes 246 Karma, which is every single point of Karma in the game. So, I hope you know how to collect all that optional Karma, because you’re gonna need it. If you need some leeway, take it out of Spellcasting.

Some things that might not be obvious:

  • You want 1 Conjuring to be able to use the Spirit Fetish, which gives +1 Charisma.
  • You want 7 total Charisma to pass the highest Charisma check at the end of the game. If you don’t care about that, you can skip the Conjuring point, but it’s just 1 point.
  • You want 4 Spellcasting so you can equip the two Hermetic totems for +2 Willpower. You also get the option to use a low-level Mage spell (you will not do this, but you could).
  • You want 3 Spirit Control for access to a totem, and you should take the Leopard Totem (+1 Move, +1 Armor)
  • You do not need any Melee or Unarmed Weapon skill whatsoever. Do not take any.


In terms of weapons, you want the Racing Fulmination. This Shadowrun Hong Kong Adept Sword adds +1 to AP every time you kill someone which, because Chi Onslaught is stupid, is at least once per turn.

I have seen my character stack up 7+ AP with this weapon. Other than that, you can equip the Blood Calls to Blood fist as an alternate weapon/self-heal, but you will never use it.

When it comes to your spells, these are the best spells for this build:

  • Mystic Armor
  • Bonded Spell: Killing Hands + Stride
  • Pain Resistance
  • Martial Defense 1
  • Lightning Strike

You may notice something about these spells, which is they’re almost all passive, and the ones that aren’t passive are skills you’re only going to cast once per battle anyway.

That means we don’t have to care about the cooldown penalty for essence loss, just the spell slot penalty. Also, since these are the only good Qi Casting spells, we only need 5 slots, so we can stand to lose one. So you can equip 1 essence worth of cyberware.

This is the Cyberware you’re going to want:
Arms: Muscle Augmentation (+1 Quickness/Strength) x2
Body: Suprathyroid (+1 Body/Quickness/Strength)

You’ll lose a spell slot but you weren’t going to use it anyway, so… eh.

This Shadowrun Hong Kong Adept build is a whirling wrecking ball of death. It gets a ton of movement range, takes very little damage (10 armor, pain resistance, constant light cover), stacks AP every time it gets a kill and kill almost every enemy in one hit.

It’s not the best build in the game, but it’s probably a close second.

Conclusion – Shadowrun Hong Kong Adept Build

This Shadowrun Hong Kong adept build is one of my absolute favorite builds in the game. I think the Rigger build is a little bit stronger, but the adept build is so, so fun.

You just run up to enemies and cleave them down, you an insane amount of AP, you’re practically unkillable. It may lack a little bit of the sheer overpowered offensive capability of a min-maxed Rigger, but in my opinion it might be even more fun.

That about covers it for the perfect Shadowrun Hong Kong Adept 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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