System Update 2021

Update. Expand. Refresh your mainframe with System Update 2021!

System Update 2021 cover image

System Update 2021 is a set of over 80 classic Netrunner cards, reprinted with updated Null Signal Games rules and templating and brand-new original illustrations. It is designed as the perfect follow-up purchase for anyone who wants to dive deeper into the game after experiencing System Gateway.

Fast Facts

  • Release date: March 28, 2021
  • Size: Full playsets of 82 classic cards (including 10 identity cards: 6 Runner identities and 4 Corp identities)
  • Total cards: 226 playable cards, plus player aids
  • Set symbol: “21” within rotating arrows
  • NetrunnerDB set abbreviation: su21

Get System Update 2021

Ready to update? You can get System Update 2021 from either of our print-on-demand partners. Alternatively, you’ll be able to download the set as a PDF so you can print and play at home.

Not sure which storefront to pick? Check out our handy Purchase Guide for a rundown of the options.

Note: Due to card back differences between our products, as well as due to different color matching between our different printing partners, these cards should be used in opaque sleeves.

Buying from DriveThruCards is the print-on-demand option that generates the most revenue for Null Signal Games, which allows us to continue our operations. Shipping outside of the United States can be expensive. For more details, see our Purchase Guide.

The MakePlayingCards Standard quality is slightly thinner than classic FFG cards. Shipping is generally more affordable than DriveThruCards for customers outside the United States. For more details, see our Purchase Guide.

The MakePlayingCards Premium quality is slightly thicker than classic FFG cards. Shipping is generally more affordable than DriveThruCards for customers outside the United States. For more details, see our Purchase Guide.

Our authorized resellers are longstanding community members who bulk-order stock from MakePlayingCards in order to provide cheaper products for players in their region. Their stock is identical to MakePlayingCards’ Standard quality.

Additionally, local groups often organize bulk buys from MakePlayingCards to bring the cost of the product down. We encourage you to ask players in your area if a bulk buy is being organized. If your local group is too small to benefit from bulk discounts, there are national-level bulk buys being organized (most often following the release of a new set), such as a North American one by community member Myldside.

Pay what you’d like and print on your own printer! This file contains full-color art of card faces, with no bleed or card backs. Cut them out with scissors and put them in sleeves!

After downloading the files, if you’d like to say thanks, you can donate to Null Signal Games either via PayPal or our Patreon.


Upon release, System Update 2021 immediately becomes legal in the Standard and Eternal formats, as well as Null Signal’s new Startup format, with a two-week grace period before becoming legal at Competitive-level events. System Update 2021’s release also triggers a rotation for the Standard format: Honor and Profit, the SanSan Cycle, System Core 2019, and Salvaged Memories will no longer be legal in Standard.

To see what remains in Standard, check out our Supported Formats page.

System Update 2021 Frequently Asked Questions

No. This is not an introductory set. If you are new to Netrunner, you should begin with System Gateway, our introductory product.

If you already have System Gateway or already know how to play Netrunner, System Update 2021 will expand your cardpool with reprints of classic cards.

No. System Update 2021 contains Null Signal reprints of classic Netrunner cards, using our own templating, frames, glyphs, rules text, and all-new illustrations.

Null Signal Games continues to maintain and update the rules of the game, with an eye toward clarity and consistency. The rules changes for System Update 2021 introduced new terms for familiar parts of the game.

You can learn more on our Major Changes page, by reading the Rules team’s explanatory article, or by checking out the System Update 2021 Release Notes when they are released.

System Update 2021 contains two Runner identities for each primary faction and one Corp identity for each faction, for a total of ten identities.

Of course! As long as System Update 2021 is legal in Standard and Startup, any printing of a card contained in the set is legal to use in those formats.

The card’s most recent release in a Null Signal Games set is treated as authoritative. Even if you use an older printing of a card in System Update 2021, it was treated as though it had the modern text.

In most cases, if a card’s wording has changed, the change is non-functional; there is likely little-to-no change in actual functionality compared to what’s printed on the older card.

Hedge Fund and Sure Gamble have been reprinted in System Gateway.

Rules text in a game like Netrunner works as its own language of sorts; occasionally, we have to deviate from conventional grammar rules in order to satisfy the rules of the game.

SanSan City Grid

Starting with System Gateway and System Update 2021, we are deprecating the word “has” for modifiers and will use the word “gets” instead. In cases where a modifier is negative, “has -N” can be ambiguous and hard to parse: is it subtracting N from the value or setting the value to -N? Using “gets” avoids this.

Punitive Counterstrike

Yes. Traces will now be printed in plain, non-bold text moving forward. We have also changed the format of traces by removing the dash.

We recognize this is a change. The instruction “Trace[X]” has historically been printed in bold text, including on recent Null Signal Games cards like Winchester. However, “trace” is the only card text that is presented in bold that is not a cost or a subtype, and we decided this exception was not pulling its weight. We want to minimize switching formatting in the middle of the text box. Additionally, we did not want to set the precedent that keywords are bolded.

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