Simple Tips for Successful Heists: Payday 2


Well hello there

If you’re like me, then you like Payday 2. And if you’re also like me, you’ve played a lot of it. That being said, in all my many heists, I’ve noticed small trends and simple mistakes that a lot of people seem to make, both at novice and Overkill levels. But that’s okay! (Hell, I’ve made a few of these mistakes myself.) So I thought I’d put them into a guide to help players, both old and new, learn a little more about how to squeeze the most out of their criminal career.

And look, I’m even drawing pictures!

Stay Low, Stay Dark…

Stealth is a crucial element in Payday (most of the time). But things can go bad very quickly, if you make even a slight goof. That said, here are some simple tips-

  • KNOW YOUR CONCEALMENT. Stealthing gets difficult with a fully modified light machine gun and the armour of a medieval knight. All of your weapons and armour have a Concealment rating, and the better it is the less quickly you’ll be spotted by guards, civilians and cameras. The Concealment of your gear determines you Detection Rating (the blue/red ring). High-Concealment weapons and suits are a must for stealthing.
  • ONLY ONE GUN NEEDS TO BE SILENCED. While silencers make you quiet to the touch (or shot, for that matter) they do in fact lower your overall concealment (in most cases). That being said, it might be worth only silencing one of your weapons (your pistol, for instance), to improve your concealment. Keeping a weapon unsilenced also improves damage and accuracy, which can help when (or should I say ‘IF’) you stealth attempt fails.
  • CHOOSE YOUR PRIMARY WEAPONS WISELY. Some people seem to think that having a silenced pistol is all you need for stealth runs. However, your primary weapons still affect your detection level, even if you aren’t using them. For heists where stealth is important, you should take an easily concealed primary weapon, like an assault rifle. My recommendations would be the CAR-4 or the Commando 553 (from the Armoured Transport DLC).
  • YOU DON’T ALL NEED ECM’S. Unless you’re playing Shadow Raid where stealth is a must, things can go wrong. Once they do, ECM’s aren’t worth jack unless you have the best Ghost Skills, and base suits don’t do too much for armour and protection. It’s better to have some backup medic/ammo bags to keep you supplied, or a sentry gun to hold provide some backup fire during combat.
  • YOU CAN RUN IN FRONT OF GUARDS. …and cameras, too. If your concealment is low enough, you can bolt through an enemy’s line of sight for a second or two if you need to change positions. Most people see a guard walking towards their hiding spot, and simply wait and pray that they don’t get caught. You can quickly bolt into sight and change hiding spots if need be. It’s not very realistic, but just go with it. It’s a videogame, after all.
  • ENEMIES CAN SEE BAGS. A lot of people seem to not realise this. While a gym bag on the side of the road may not seem suspicious to you or me, the AI here thinks differently. If a guard or camera (cameras can see them too. This is something that even I always forget) sees a bag, they will sound the alarm. Stow your loot out of sight.
  • CAMERAS ARE BEST LEFT UNSHOT. Sure, shooting a camera will disable it. However, guards are quick to sound the alarm if they see a damaged camera on their patrol. Most cameras can be avoided, and should only really be destroyed, say, a guard is killed or a bag is dropped in the camera’s field of view, and it’s impossible to move it out of the way or deal with before the camera sounds the alarm.
  • [/list]
When Bullets are Necessary

Sometimes, heists don’t go your way. Sometimes they can’t. Sometimes you just want to tank up and murder a whole lot of people. Whatever the case, when the heat comes a knockin’, know how to give them a run for their money (of which you’re trying to steal).

  • ONE MAN PER DRILL Even at higher levels, I still see two heisters trying to fix drills at the same time. This doesn’t fix it faster, it just means that one person is wasting their time- time that could be spent moving bags or shooting police. If you see that someone can fix the drill faster than you (thanks to Technician Skills), let them do it. If the techie is too far away or busy fighting, then feel free to take a crack at fixing the drill.
  • AMMO IS EVERYWHERE. When you kill any sort of enemy, chances are they’ll drop ammo (the orange boxes on the ground, just so you know). These only give you a bullet or two, but grab enough of them and you can survive for longer periods without ammo bags. When an assault wave ends or you take out a group of cops, try and pick up what they leave behind.
  • DON’T CAMP THE VAULT. …or any other confined space, for that matter. Sure, there’s only one way in or out, but if you’re not actively killing police, they’ll just keep spawning and spawning until eventually there’s NO way you’re getting out of that vault. Then, a Bulldozer gets in and before you know it you’re all dead with no chance of escaping jail. You’ve gotta keep moving, and keep killing if you want to stay alive.
  • HELP EACH OTHER. Payday is a co-op shooter- you need to rely on each other to survive. If you get caught out alone, all it takes is one Taser, Shield or Cloaker to spell the end of your criminal career. Help your team help yourself. Even if it’s just one guy running a loot bag to the car, make sure he has some kind of covering fire.
  • CALL OUT SPECIAL ENEMIES. Even if you know they’re there, spotting them (the F key) means your team knows they’re there too. It may not seem like much, but letting your team know what enemies are around can help them plan their movements. Also, some DLC weapons can shoot through walls, so knowing where enemies are can help quite a bit.
  • LEARN THE SOUND CUES. Even before an ally calls out a Special, you can hear distinct sounds that warn you of their approach. Shields make a clanging noise when they’re nearby, Tasers make a high voltage whine, Bulldozers have unique, gruff voices and Cloakers emit a ringing noise when they’re around (which is much more apparent compared to the rest of the specials). It’s not something you can describe very well with words, but once you know what you’re listening for you won’t forget it.
  • REVIVE THE MASTERMINDS. One of the most powerful skills in Payday is Inspire- a Mastermind skill that can revive allies from a distance by shouting at them. If your team-mate has this skill and multiple heisters are downed, then prioritize him first. He can revive the other team-mates almost instantly.
  • TAKE HOSTAGES. Yeah, Bain says you need to take hostages. But do you know just how good they are for you? If you have at least one hostage, you’ll get around an extra 30 seconds between assault waves. Seriously! Also, groups of policemen will prioritise releasing hostages over killing you, which gives you a little more breathing room.
  • DOCTOR BAGS=LONGEVITY. A simple fact from the comment section- using a Doctor Bag resets the your ‘down-counter.’ If you get downed 3 times, your next fall will put you in custody (you’ll know when this is going to happen, as your screen will start to fade to black and white). However, using a Doctor Bag will reset this timer, allowing you to go down another three times before going out for good.
  • AIM FOR THE HEAD. You won’t regret it.
General Larceny

Stealth and Combat are the two major portions for heists- but the fun doesn’t stop there. You can also do your best to maximise your enjoyment for both yourself and others throughout the rest of the game.

  • COMMUNICATE. It never hurts to ask ‘What’s the plan, guys?’ Make sure everyone’s on the same page, they’ve got their roles, and they know what they’re doing.
  • OBSERVE. What are your team-mates doing? What’s the objective at hand? If Wolf’s running towards the broken drill, do you really need to as well? Take notes on where your team mates are to get an idea of who’s doing what, and what’s left that needs to be done. A good team can work together even without typing a single chat phrase.
  • SPEAK UP. If you’re doing a heist for the first time, especially if you’re new to the game, it’s always a good idea to ask for tips. Saying “is there anything I should watch out for?” might just save you from electrocuting yourself on day 3 of Firestarter.
  • PLAY AT YOUR LEVEL. There’s nothing wrong with playing on normal or hard difficulty, especially if you’re new to the game. Far too often have I seen whiney level 3’s kick and scream because they’ve died playing a Death Wish heist. Once you get some Skills, some new weapons and Attachments to boot, then you can start moving up the difficulty tier. Just be warned: Death Wish will never not be a challenge.
  • DON’T DISCRIMINATE. EDUCATE. Payday likes to throw twists and turns at your face. That being said, people can slip up, and a lot of the time they don’t know how they’ve slipped up. Instead of kicking them straight away, tell them what they’ve done wrong, and how to do it right. This means that next time they won’t make the mistake again, and they can pass that knowledge on to other less informed players. Straight kicking players for messing up isn’t going to fix what they’ve done, and leaving them in the dark just means they’ll repeat their mistakes.
  • BE VERSATILE. Building a hardcore Enforcer-Ghost is nice, but if all you can carry into heists are ECM’s and Ammo Bags, things will get difficult when you start losing health. It’s a good idea to be able to carry medic bags, ammo bags OR ECM’s, depending on the heist at hand and what your team-mates can carry. If you can’t bring in medic bags, then you should be prepared to buy the Doctor Bag Asset.
  • DON’T JUDGE A CRIM BY THEIR MASK. Seriously, it’s just stupid. I’ve seen hosts kick players because “they looked like a f***ot,’ and ‘they were using the vanilla masks, so they MUST be bad.’ Some people make ‘ironically’ bad masks, and some people just prefer the vanilla clown masks (I know I would, if I didn’t have this ultra rad Venomorph mask), and maybe some people just get unlucky drops. Mask quality does not equal skill.
  • HACK RESPECTFULLY. I was gonna make this dot point “DON’T HACK,” but I know that’s not going to stop people from doing it. If you’re going to hack, do it with friends or in a private game. If you want to spawn 1000 gold bags or stealth all the heists on Death Wish illegitimately, then don’t ruin someone else’s game. At least 10 of my 92 levels came from some cheapskate spawning fifty gold bags in the van at the last second, and one of my buddies had to reset their entire gamebecause a hack boosted them from level 19 to 42. If you don’t want to earn your success, try to keep away from those of us who do.

    But seriously, if you need hacks just so you can play on Overkill or Death Wish difficulties, then maybe you shouldn’t be playing those difficulties in the first place. Practice until you can.

  • OVERKILL LISTENS. Payday is a very community-oriented game. Overkill frequently scans the forums, listens to ideas and criticisms. From the patch complaints to humorous posts about Silenced Grenades, Overkill does listen to what you have to say. Why else do you think we’re getting Old Hoxton back?
  • JOIN THE PAYDAY 2 STEAM GROUP. By joining the Steam Group, Overkill gives you free gear- like masks, the Interceptor Pistol and the Golden AK! Also, once they hit their milestones they’re giving away even more free stuff, and I REALLY want Old Hoxton back.
Closing Statement, Your Honor.

Well, that about sums up this handy little guide. If I’ve forgotten anything, if there’s another tip you want to add, or if I’ve made a grevious spelling mistake, then feel free to leave a comment.

If you want, you can follow me on Tumblr[], where I like to draw things and blatantly promote myself across the internet.

Don’t forget to also join the Payday Steam Group. Do it for Old Hoxton!

(Edit: HE LIVES )

I hope this little guide helps you out. HAPPY HEISTING!

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