First of all you're definitely going to need Cyber Engine Tweaks and redscript. The more ambitious mods require these in order to run. Think SKSE for Skyrim, if you're familiar with that. Besides those two you will also want Native Settings UI, which will add a menu option titled 'Mods'. This is where you can configure the options for whichever mods utilise it. Think MCM for Skyrim, if you're familiar with that:
Now, onto the list of mods... As always be sure to read the full descriptions and installation instructions (if any). The following list is tuned out for Very Hard mode, which let's face it is not exactly hard at all.
Level Scaling and Balance
Two separate modules:
Level Scaling with Higher Minimum Levels - This specific module increases the fixed levels of the enemies per district, also, if you go back to an easy area it will level up the enemies and gear them out to your level for an even match and viable XP farm.
NPC Damage Reduction - Adds a configurable damage reduction curve. The higher the level of the enemy the less damage you will do.
My damage reduction settings:
Simple XP Multiplier
Configurable multipliers for all XP types, including level, street cred, crafting, stealth, all weapon XP types, engineering, etc. ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for reducing street cred gains, as well as breach protocol and athletics which level far, far too quickly.
My XP multiplier settings:
AI Netrunners Enhanced
Vastly improves enemy Netrunners by adding a bunch of hacks (most are restored cut content) that they can use on the player. Also fixes some bugs that stop Netrunners from hacking you most of the time.
Better Netrunning - Hacking Reworked
An absolute beauty of a mod. Makes Netrunner gameplay more difficult by preventing Quickhacks until the network is breached. If you want to Quickhack your way through an encounter you have to first choke someone out on that local network and run Breach Protocol on them, or get to an access point and do it that way.
Sensible Stamina & Athletics
Completely overhauls Stamina and Athletics. Provides Athletics XP and endurance bonuses for stamina-related 'workouts'. Simply put, burn and recover Stamina without becoming fully exhausted (ExciteBike style) to gain Athletics XP and short-term endurance buffs. Chaining sprints, jumps, slides, dodges, strikes/blocks, etc. is most effective.
Challenging Breach Minigame
Make the Breach minigame more challenging by having the timer start immediately while greatly shortening the timer length. Configurable. I set mine to 0.2X, meaning I have to invest perk points and Cyberware upgrades into Breach Protocol if I ever want to stand a chance at hacking anything.
Convo Skill Check Scaling
Scales up conversation skill checks so that you'll see options requiring higher attribute levels in general and as you level up.
Restores the cut metro network to the game. Works best when fast travel is disabled.
Enables police car and motorcycle spawns. Also reworks the spawns of the cops making them further away depending on the threat level that you've accrued.
Smarter Target Analysis
Makes the Target Analysis eye mod apply only to Smart weapons.
Configurable zoomable scopes! BE SURE TO REINSTALL NATIVE SETTINGS UI AFTER THIS! If not this will bork the other mods which depend on it. It runs tip-top other than that. Another absolutely essential mod.
Non-lethal Blunt Weapons
Makes any/all of two-handed clubs, hammers, and quick-melee attacks non-lethal. Configurable.
Cyber Vehicle Overhaul
Overhauls every single vehicle's top speed, speedometer readout, power, handling and brakes.
Cyber Drift - Crowds and Traffic
Two separate modules:
Crowds and Traffic - Enhanced crowds and traffic with fewer duplicated NPCs, more parked vehicles, faster traffic speed and lights, enhanced pedestrian & traffic behaviors, better AI response times.
Cyber Drift - Enhanced performance for cars and bikes, better drift control with counter steering and motorcycle wheelies. Compatible with Cyber Vehicle Overhaul.
Real Time 24H
By far my favourite immersion mod. This will sync the time in Night City with your system clock. Not only does this mean an day's/evening's session will go by in real time, but it also (psychologically, at least) slows down the game's very pushy narrative. It almost feels natural for me to get tied up doing something less important and much more fun (like right now, writing this post) when some other person is urgently pushing me for something.
Weather Probability Rebalance
Tweaks weather probabilities and min/max durations.
Limited Fast Travel (Disable All)
Works best when installed with Metro System. I always despise fast travel in RPG games.
Lifepath Bonuses and Gang/Corp Traits
Modifies every part of the damage system and some other elements to give gangs and corps. more flavour and uniqueness. Also gain benefits and penalties against gangs/corps. based on your lifepath. Be sure to install the Kiroshi Opticals compatible version.
Kiroshi Opticals - Crowd Scanner
Generates a unique backstory for each crowd NPC scanned. Procedurally generates the background based on the NPC's appearance/gender.
Extra Vehicle Controls
Small mod that adds controls for headlights on/off, headlights brightness and vehicle windows opened/closed.
Repeats the FirstEquip animation each time you equip your weapon or press a hotkey. Also allows the triggering of additional weapon inspection animations: IdleBreak and SafeAction.
Immersive First Person
Improved body presence and free look.
Allows you to trade with most of the street vendors you will encounter.
No Intro Videos
Disables the otherwise unskippable game intro/logo videos.
Disable Loading Cinematics
Defaults every loading cinematic to the silent animated title screen backdrop. No more annoying radio/TV broadcasts.
Hide Read Shards
Removes world-placed shards which have already been read.
Allows players to try on garments on their character while shopping, and also allows other modders to add in-game stores specifically for their modded items.
Prevents auto disassembling for valuable junk items by setting the upper price threshold for Scrapper perk logic.
E3 2018 HUD - Spicy HUDs
The E3 2018 HUD
2018 - 2019 --- Beta UI-HUD Colors
Makes the colours of the UI/HUD reflect the ones from the 2018 & 2019 demos.
Changes the hack screen tint. I find that the blue version works beautifully with the fuchsia 2018 colours linked to above. It's all a bit Terminator. Speaking of which, I have a James Cameron 1984 ReShade preset that I'm still working on, which replaces the green Matrix tint which is plastered all over the visuals with a much more neutral cool blue one instead - so this all ties up wonderfully.
Custom Quickslots for Consumables and Cyberware Abilities
Adds custom quickslots/hotkeys to the bottom of the screen for eating, drinking, boosting, and dedicated buttons for Optical Camo and Blood Pump.
Move & resize some of the main HUD widgets.
Purify The UI
Disables the 2D repeated/blurred UI effect.
flib's UI Improvements
A collection of quality-of-life UI improvements. Sort your quests, messages and shards. Vehicle preview images on ride quests. Never lose your iconics.
Improved Minimap Zoom
Dynamic zoom for vehicle minimap, configurable zoom for on-foot minimap, minimap peek hotkey.
Clear Skill Checks
Shows you what attribute level you need for conversation skill checks.
Nyan Loading Animation
It doesn't get much more dystopian Cyberpunk than having a 'stolen' NFT as the top-right loading animation. With precisely that in mind I actually class this as being very lore-friendly. It's not essential, but I like it enough for it to make this list.