I'm just reading the Shadowrun 5.Ed Book and perhaps i missed something.

Is there a difference between Hackers and Riggers or is it just a descriptive label for how this character spent his Skillpoints until now?


1 Answer 1


To answer, I recommand the ShadowRun Wiki, and its entry about Rigger:

Riggers jump in to machines to control them with their mind. While jumped in they feel like they are the machine, using the vehicle or drone's sensors to replace their own. This allows the rigger to control the machine at Matrix speeds and with greater precision. The downside is if the machine takes damage the rigger will have to deal with dangerous levels of biofeedback. Like wise the rigger may have to engage in cybercombat with other hackers that are attempting to high jack their devices.

The Rigger uses their talents to interface with one or several drone in the physical world, extending their perceptions, firepower and mobility thanks to their drones. Their hardware is a part of them, and they tend to cherish it, roleplay-wise.

When you mean Hacker, I suppose you refer to Decker:

A Decker is a person which has acquired a datajack and learned to directly interface with a cyberdeck to access the 3D virtual-reality of the Matrix. They are skilled at computer programming and traveling the data streams of the telecommunications grid. They use programs to search for important files, control remote computer systems, and tap phone calls. They can also use attack programs to clash with other deckers or crash IC (intrusion countermeasures).

A decker carries a cyberdeck (thus the name) to jack in the Matrix, and retrieve data, interfere with computer controlled hardware... They are the hackers of ShadowRun.

Both are skilled in computer sciences in general, but their specialization differ as much as a drone pilot and a software engineer.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Adding to this answer: Remember there are no "classes" at all, and while certain builds will of course be better at different things, the only real division that shouldn't be crossed (maybe even "should never" be crossed...) is between cyber-users and magic-users. That, and the fact that AFAIK the same character can't be both a Technomancer and a Mage/Adept/MysticAdept. Decking and Rigging end up on the same character fairly often if the team only has one "techie", and sammies can always learn to Deck (and can usually learn to Rig, if they have Essence left for the rig itself). \$\endgroup\$ Jun 27, 2016 at 9:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sorry to say it, but in 4th edition and beyond "deckers" were named back to "hackers" and their interfaces went full AR rather than via datajack. More's the pity. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 27, 2016 at 13:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, sorry for that. I never played it directly, even if I'm familiar with the basic rules and settings. As I directly found the Decker entry, I assumed it was still valid. I suggest you edit the answer to add this information, as you are probably more knowledgeable about this than I am :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Nyakouai
    Jun 27, 2016 at 13:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Shadur Eh? I've only been learning the 5th so not aware of history but Decker is much-used; I believe hackers that aren't deckers also exist but they don't sound terribly relevant. \$\endgroup\$
    – Weaver
    May 17, 2017 at 3:08

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