Shoot or pay Royce in Cyberpunk 2077? There's a heated moment in The Pickup mission that forces you to make a tricky decision early in the game. While it's clearly a matter of life or death for one character, there are actually multiple lives at stake here. To add even more pressure to the situation, there's a timer ticking away as you ponder your options, but don't sweat it if you can't decide straight away.
Naturally there are major spoilers ahead as this is part of the main quest, so if you'd rather avoid them, turn back now. If you're still with me, prepare yourself for an intricate knot of choices as you attempt to retrieve the Flathead robot. I'm here to help you decide whether you should shoot or pay Royce in Cyberpunk 2077, and to tell you how each choice pans out, including an optional branch of this quest.
Cyberpunk 2077 Royce: Shoot or pay for the Flathead?
Quest: The Pickup
It all starts with a fixer called Dexter Deshawn. After he fills you in on a large job regarding a valuable biochip, he informs you that there's some friction with a group called the Maelstrom that needs clearing up. Dexter has parted with a lot of eddies for a stolen prototype combat robot, called the Flathead. Unfortunately, the gang leader he paid (Brick) was killed a few days after the transaction and a new gang leader, Simon 'Royce' Randall has since stepped up.
Dexter also mentions that Meredith Stout from Militech is also interested in the Flathead, and he shares her contact details with you. Speaking to Meredith and striking a deal before heading off to meet the Maelstrom gang adds an extra choice to how you deal with Royce later down the line, so let's' go over that first.
Meet with Meredith Stout (optional)
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Get the Militech credchip
Finish 'The Ride' quest by talking to Jackie to start 'The Pickup'. You'll notice you have the option to call Meredith Stout. Use your phone (T) and call her. Offer to meet up and cut a deal. She'll agree and tell you where to meet her. Open your quest log and select the 'Meet with the Militech Agent' objective under The Pickup quest to track it. Now make your way to the meeting spot.
After briefly meeting Meredith Stout and taking a quick lie detector test, agree to take the credchip from Meredith. It's also here that you'll meet Anthony Gilchrist, who Stout has captured as she's concerned may be a mole. She leaves in the car with him, but this may not be the last time you see him, depending on your future choices.
Hack the credchip and wipe the virus
You can then hack the credchip once Meredith has left, but this is another decision that'll change what happens when you meet Royce (listed below). Successfully breaching the chip wipes a virus that Militech has left on it to track the Maelstromers. To wipe it, open your Journal and select the Shards tab, then scroll right down to the bottom and choose the Militech Datashard. Press F to crack the security on the chip. Enter the sequence to neutralize the malware. Now it's time to meet Jackie at the All Foods gate.
Meet the Maelstromers
Head inside and sit on the sofa to speak to Dum Dum. When talking to Dum Dum it doesn't make much of a difference whether you use the inhaler he offers you or not. He'll just react slightly differently. After mentioning that you've already paid Brick, Royce appears. You have a few dialogue options to choose, and all of these lead you to the same big decision.
Here are the first set of choices:
- [Show Militech shard] Eddie's right here.
- Prepared to offer us a discount…?
- 10,000 Eurodollars – Got the scratch ready.
Regardless of your decision you'll still be prompted to:
- [Draw Weapon]
- [Take down Royce] – Requires 6 Body points
Should you shoot or pay Royce in Cyberpunk 2077?
It's time to make a big decision. Here are the choices you have and how they pan out:
- [Pay with Militech chip] Militech's on your trail/Money's on this. (OPTIONAL)
- [Shoot Royce] I've had enough.
- 10,000 Eurodollars [Pay with own money] As we agreed.
Pay with the Militech chip
If you hacked the credchip after Meredith Stout gave it to you, you'll offer Royce the chip and tip him off that Militech's onto him. He checks the credchip and it shows up clean. Royce tells you to take the bot and leave. He warns you that if it's a trick he'll introduce you to their meat grinder. Militech turns up and the guards will act hostile towards you while you're inside All Foods. Follow Dum Dum and take the Militech guards and mechs out to escape the building.
When you get outside, Anthony Gilchrist will be waiting by a Militech truck. He explains that if you'd worked with Stout, he'd be dead by now. So, he's saving your life in return. However, it sounds as though you won't be seeing Stout again. Glichrist mentions that he still doesn't know who the mole is at Militech and he also wants to speak to Royce. When you speak to Dexter he's impressed with how you handled the situation.
If you didn't hack the credchip, Royce takes it and realises there's malware on it. The Maelstromers promptly become hostile and you'll have to head towards the exit. Before exiting the building you'll engage with Royce in a boss fight.
Make sure you take out the Maelstromers first so you can focus on Royce. Shoot the orange box on the back of Royce's mech to deal damage. Then use grenades to slow him down and focus-fire on his head to whittle down his health. After beating Royce, retrieve the Chaos Tech Pistol, his Spiked Maelstrom short-sleeve jacket, and some Eurodollars. Head outside to speak to Meredith Stout. You can confront her for tricking you. Catch up with Dexter and V tells him that the chip had a virus. It sounds as though he almost expected it.
If you shoot Royce you really will kill him. You'll then have to take out the remaining Maelstromers in the room. So remember to loot the bodies afterwards for items. You can also pick up the Chaos Tech Pistol from Royce's body. Then it's a case of escaping from All Foods, whether you choose to sneak out, or storm out all guns blazing.
You'll meet Meredith Stout outside, who offers you more work. From what we know about the other options, assume that Anthony Gilchrist has been killed for now. Dexter calls shortly afterwards and you let him know that you have the Flathead. You also mention that you're keeping the money from Stout for yourself. Everyone seems happy with the outcome. Well, apart from the Maelstromers.
You can pay with your own money, but this is the worst option. It's unlikely you'll have 10,000 Eurodollars on you at this point, unless you've been completing lots of side quests, and the robot has already been paid for, so there's no sense in paying twice with your own cash.
If you let the timer run out Royce will shoot you and you'll flatline. This just means you'll need to reload your save from your last checkpoint.