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 NISEI 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 NISEI’s handy Purchase Guide for a rundown of the options.

Buying from DriveThruCards is the best option for NISEI in terms of revenue. 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.

You can download these cards as a PDF, then print them and cut them out at home. If you want to support future development, please consider donating!

NISEI print-and-play files do not contain card backs. They are designed to be sleeved in opaque sleeves with some other card for backing.


Upon release, System Update 2021 immediately becomes legal in the Standard and Eternal formats, as well as NISEI’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 NISEI reprints of classic Netrunner cards, using our own templating, frames, glyphs, rules text, and all-new illustrations.

NISEI 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 NISEI 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 NISEI 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.

Related Information