In SR4 and the canon up to then, there were several ways to become /almost/ immortal:
- One could become a Cyberzombie by getting a negative essence (and dying) during a bloodmagic ritual under surgery. As such a being, one does not die (again) as long as one is treated with their meds and magic. They become mad and an astral hazing being though, and it is extremly costly - They need DELTA Cyberware and a clinic fit for it after all. It doesn't help that they are corporate property with little of any emotions and humanity atop all that.
- One could become a Cyborg (Brain-in-a-Jar type), which does detatch one from society and most likely makes one mad after some time - and one needs to be properly upkept by people. Also one has 0.1 essence, the process is extremly costly and upkeep is in the tenthousands. And one is not a human by law anymore. Corp Property again.
So, instead of dying or becoming an item, there are actual ways to prolong your life:
- There is a genetic treatment class called Age Rejuvenation, which comes in three variations:
- Life Span Extension and Physical Vigor can be combined to make you a long lived badass Gramps, for even a 'decent' price (of like some hundredthousands)
- Léonization is exclusive to the other two, but it turns back the time for yourself to 21. It can be repeated over and over again but costs a small fortune.
All these but Cyborg were in the SR4 Augmentation book, the exception (cyborg) was in the Arsenal. The Cyborg was a novelty of SR4, the others have persisted since at least the SR3 era.
For SR5 of these the following have reappeared:
- Cyberzombie Chrome Flesh, mentioned only, p203 following
- maybe Cyborg Chrome Flesh, possibly mentioned by 1 word, p196
- Age Rejuvenation Chrome Flesh, p156
- including all 3 variants: Léonization, Life Span Extension and Physical Vigor
More implicit in earlier editions and explicit in 5th edition is a Spirit Pact that offers immunity to aging via a little backdoor:
Spirits have immunity to aging Core Rules, p397, and with a Formula Pact Street Grimoire, p.137 one ties the own existance to that of the spirit. Should it be destroyed... both beings cease existing. But until then, the pactee is safe from aging, as long as the spirit pact lasts.
Side Note: In all editions I could find, there is no 'natural age limit' for elves given, yet it is implied that they will die with "several hundred years" while dwarves are given with a guesstimate of "90 to over a hundred" as average expected lifespan. Note that no individual of these species has yet died of old age in SR5!
Less bound to a specific version of Shadowrun is the possibility of full body replacement, which brings the essence down to close to 1 by bying cyberlimbs for all the body parts (torso, 2 legs, 2 arms, skull). As this is eating quite some essence (SR4 & SR5: 6,25 for the whole set), Alphaware to reduce essence costs some is needed, making this quite costly, but as it is 6 surgeries, it can be stretched out somewhat. This bypassing of the above mentioned life prolonging/immortality tricks however has no rule effects on aging. On the other hand, a full body cybernetic replacement could be seen as life prolonging (depending on GM) as there is less body to age and some organs could be replaced or need to work less and thus don't run out that fast. This is however GM-decision-land.
On a totaly different notion: SR has a hand full of truely immortal elfs born in or before the first wave of UGE, so before 2011. Among them is Harlequin. They are rare, this trait is not somehow genetic... and they havn't been used as NPCs since 3rd Edition came around. Only exception is Harlequin, who still sometimes appears in shadowtalk. All NPCs though. And they are not made but have had this quirk from birth.
Elder Dragons (think the named brigade like Lofwyr, Hestaby, Lung, Ryu) are probably even more immortal. The confirmed 3 kills took either another Dragon (Nachtmeister), Extreme military force and falling into the SOX (Feuerschwinge) and whatever Dreck they pulled to geek Dunkelzahn and get the Dunkelzahn Rift open. But they are not Metahumans and not even remotely playable.