Reputation, or Street Cred as it is known in-game, quantifies V's standing with various characters and factions, as well as what sort of behavior your character is known for. Street cred is directly linked to the appearance of your character and the side-missions you partake on. So, changing the appearance of your character will also affect your street cred, as well as the side-missions available to you.
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There are two XP systems in Cyberpunk 2077 - Standard XP and Street Cred XP. Standard XP is the experience you gain by completing the main storyline missions in the game. Street Cred XP is gained by completing side-missions.
What is Street Cred?
Street Cred is a type of reputation experience that you can acquire in the game by completing different activities and side-missions. Increasing your Street Cred also unlocks a variety of new content.
Clothing can affect your Street Cred a lot, since appearance is linked with Street Cred. Every piece of clothing that you come across has a specific type of Street Cred associated with it.
Note that Street Cred does not effect your skills or combat. There is no added advantage in an active combat engagement itself.
Instead, Street Cred unlocks new dialogue options, new vendors throughout Night City, and other content.
There is also different gear or clothing items that can passively increase the Street Cred you gain by playing the game. One such clothing item is the Samurai Jacket, which increases your Street Cred leveling speed by 5%.
Street Cred Gameplay Impact
As you get better Street Cred, you will unlock additional fixers and vendors. This will allow you to accept and complete high-level side-quests , resulting in you having access to better loot and rewards.
However, there is a catch to Street Cred too. The more Street Cred you have, the more people that will know you. This means that rival gang and faction members can be more easily alerted to your presence, and might randomly attempt to take you out as you travel through the Night City. Think of increased Street Cred as also increasing the "Bounty" on your head with rivals.