Magento 2 Upgrade using cloudway's staging

After reading a lot of forums everyone suggest its best to upgrade Magento 2 on a staging environment and then push the new files to the live site. I haven’t found any posting for a walkthrough on upgrading through staging sites. I can’t find what tables I should be excluding when I push the files back to the live site. Is there a standard list someone can point me to? I assume I want to exclude customer and sales tables. I just don’t want to over look one in the process.