Payday 2 (stylized as PAYDAY 2) is a co-operative crime-themed first-person shooter developed by Overkill and released by 505 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC (via Steam) on August 13, 2013.
In this sequel to Payday: The Heist, players team up as one of four masked criminals as they descend on Washington, D.C. for an epic crime spree. Along with their handler (the mysterious Bain), the crew now take advantage of CRIMENET, an underground criminal network where they contract with local criminal contacts (such as deranged up-and-coming Vlad the Ukrainian, shady American politician "The Elephant", and Mexican drug trafficker Hector).
Using the CRIMENET interface, players can progress through various sizes of heists (from small-time convenience stores to major bank vaults), upgrade their criminal's special skills (through special Skill Trees), purchase various unlocked weapons (and weapon modifications), and customize their unlocked masks (with randomly-earned materials, patterns, and pattern colors). Along with an expanded metagame, the game now takes advantage of heists that are dynamic (with random geometry and events), multi-part (splitting the heist into separate levels), and open-ended (including branching paths that lead to completely different levels).
The PC version of the game later received numerous updates and downloadable content, both free and paid, that include additional weapons, masks, heists (including cross-promotions with Valve's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dennaton's Hotline Miami), and changes to gameplay mechanics. Since January 2015, some of the DLC will be developed by spin-off developer LionGameLion. Much of the changes and DLC will be rolled into an upcoming "Crimewave Edition" for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sometime in 2015.
With each successful heist accomplished you will receive two different types of payments. Your offshore account is money that is presented to you at the beginning of a heist, it is a set amount given if you accomplish all parts of a heist successfully. The offshore funds can be used in several different ways.
The main purpose of the offshore funds is used for purchasing contracts from the brokers if you are hosting a game. The offshore funds can also be used in a hand of gambling through the offshore payday icon on the main map or to achieve infamous level if you are at level 100 and have the correct amount of cash.
This is the money that comes from loot bags and loose cash and jewelry successfully stolen during a heist. The cash funds is tallied at the end of a heist and is determined by the total amount divided by the number of players playing at the end of the mission. These funds are used for upgrading your skills, purchasing extra slots for your inventory, weapons, masks, and modifiers for the weapons and guns.
In the first year of the game's release, the game only had four playable characters to choose from (smooth mobster Dallas, hardened mercenary Chains, happy-go-lucky Wolf, and the new Hoxton: Dallas's younger, more serious brother). As The Dentist and The Butcher heists were released, players could choose more characters (including the original Hoxton, if the player breaks him out of custody).
Some of the new characters must be unlocked as DLC (which includes additional weapons and Perk Decks associated with each character).
While characters are often associated with certain Skill Trees and Perk Decks, they are not limited to any and have no additional benefits with any. However, they do have their own uniquely-colored suits and have a unique default mask (though a special version of the masks can be unlocked for further customization and use by any character).
- Dallas - The Crew Chief (and Mastermind) of the gang.
- Chains - The Muscle (and Enforcer) of the gang.
- Wolf - The Armorer (and Technician) of the gang.
- Houston - The Rogue (and Ghost) of the gang. Was originally known as "Hoxton" prior to the Hoxton Breakout heist.
- John Wick - The Hitman of the gang. A cross-promotion with the 2014 thriller film of the same name. His default mask is a unique pair of sunglasses (with no special variant).
- Hoxton - The Crook (and Fugitive) of the gang. Unlocked when completing the Hoxton Breakout heist.
- Clover - The Burglar of the gang. Unlocked as DLC.
- Dragan - The Infiltrator of the gang. Unlocked as DLC.
- Jacket - The sociopath of the gang. Unlocked by owning Hotline Miami 2: Digital Special Edition on steam.
- Bonnie - The Gambler of the gang. Released for free in the Spring Break event.
- Sokol - The Grinder of the gang. Unlocked as DLC.
Payday 2 includes a wide variety of enemies ready to take down the Payday crew.
All enemies are stronger in the Death Wish difficulty, having more HP (almost double) and headshot resistance.
Normal enemies are the most common type of enemies encountered and usually carry no special traits. They can be intimidated with the Dominator skill and forced to fight on your side with the Joker skill.
Weak security guards (30 HP) who patrol a given area, causing difficulty to players who want to stealth the mission.
In addition to bypassing them, they can be taken down in one hit (when not alerted) and can be dominated easily. Either way, a player must answer a pager located on the dead/cuffed enemy in order for the alarm not to be raised. If the player answers more than four pagers, cancels interaction with the pager, or fails to respond to the pager after a short amount of time, the alarm is immediately raised.
If the guard detects suspicious behavior (such as loud gunfire, broken cameras, and loot bags), he will raise an alarm and call his operator using his earpiece. If the player fails to eliminate him while he's calling his operator (and there is no ECM Jammer in place), the alarm is immediately raised. Guards also draw their weapons and can fire at a nearby player (causing all other guards to be alarmed).
It is possible for the guard, when he's nearby a player and detects him, to place the player in handcuffs. Players who are cuffed can be uncuffed by another player or can lockpick their handcuffs after one minute.
In some occasions, players can find red-shirted GenSec security guards. They are slightly tougher (with 50 HP).
In the Shadow Raid heist, the guards are heavily-armored (with 130 HP) and carry sub-machine guns and assault rifles. Despite their increased durability, they can still be taken out in one hit when they are not alerted.
Only found in the beginning of some heists, these enemies are weak (40 HP) and use pistols or sub-machine guns.
In some occasions, players can use stealth to bypass a loud fight with them. While they do not utilize pagers, alerting one of them can quickly alert the entire gang/mob. Also, in some occasions, these enemies initially appear friendly towards the players (but quickly turn when things go sour).
They cannot be intimidated by the Dominator skill.
Weak police officers (30 HP) that arrive at the heist location shortly after an alarm is raised. They carry pistols, revolvers, sub-machine guns, or shotguns. They do not usually appear on Overkill and Death Wish difficulties.
Eliminating a lot of them before the first assault wave quickens the arrival of that wave.
Hostage Rescue Units
Special FBI agents that are sent in to rescue hostages in the area (usually between assault waves). Agents with no armor (known by their blue jackets or white shirts) have 50 HP and utilize pistols or assault rifles. Agents with light armor (known by their balaclavas) have 80 HP and utilize sub-machine guns.
The most common enemies found in the game are the many variants of SWAT squads:
- Commonly found in the Normal difficulty are lightly-armored SWAT squads (with a blue uniform, light helmets, 80 HP, and the use of either sub-machine guns or pump-action shotguns).
- Commonly found in the Hard difficulty are heavier SWAT squads (with heavier helmets that resist headshot bonuses, 100 HP, and the use of assault rifles).
- Commonly found in the Very Hard and Overkill difficulties are FBI SWAT squads (with a green uniform, light helmets, 130 HP, and the use of either assault rifles or pump-action shotguns).
- Only found in the Death Wish difficulty are Elite SWAT squads (with an urban camo uniform, heavy helmets, 200 HP (after DW bonus), and the use of custom assault rifles, sub-machine guns, and semi-automatic shotguns).
Heavy SWAT Teams
Heavily-armored Special Ops squads (with 200 HP) known for their heavy helmets (with high headshot damage resistance) and tan/brown body armor (protecting them from most small-arms fire). They will not appear on Normal and Hard difficulties.
Special enemies are unique enemies that carry special traits. Their ability to take down players quickly forces players to adjust their strategy.
All special enemies can be marked by players, alerting other players of their location. These markings disappear after a short time. Learning the Spotter skill causes your markings to add a 15% damage bonus against them.
They cannot be intimidated by the Dominator skill.
Standard (100 HP) SWAT officers (with a pistol) or FBI SWAT officers (with a submachine gun) who carry riot shields to protect them (and any units behind them).
While most weaponry cannot penetrate the riot shields (the only exclusions being sniper rifles and shotguns with AP slug ammo), they can be flanked from the sides (and from behind). Dropped riot shields can still block covering fire, to the benefit or detriment of the player.
Acing the Iron Man skill allows the player to melee Shields, knocking them back while exposing their front).
Special SWAT units with heavy armor (360 HP with helmet) and tasers (in addition to his rifle) that can paralyze players where they stand.
When they are close enough to a player (and have line-of-sight), they will charge their tasers (as noted by a high-pitched buzzing noise) before firing. The player who is hit will convulse (not allowing them to move or interact with any object) and randomly fire their weapons until the Taser is knocked away (or dead) or until ten seconds elapses (in which the player will immediately become incapacitated).
Learning the Shockproof skill allows the player to easily survive being tased by automatically knocking back the Taser after a few seconds. Acing the skill allows the player to turn the tables on the Taser by shocking them back (dealing major damage).
Weak sniping enemies (40 HP) who, far away on windows and rooftops, can take out a large chunk of health and armor with their long-ranged rifles.
Bain will usually announce their arrival, and sometimes they come by helicopter. After finding their perch, they will scan for players with a bright red laser.
Powerful stealth units (600 HP) who are quick and nimble, allowing them to bull-rush forward and incapacitate players with one well-placed kick. Fortunately, their lightly-armored helmets make their heads very weak targets.
They will normally appear from unexpected locations, such as manhole covers and ventilation ducts (sometimes in close proximity to a player) and will always emit a low-pitched humming noise. Often times, they either hide in various locations (such as behind doors and under vehicles) or fire against the player (with their sub-machine guns) while evading player fire.
When a Cloaker is ready to ambush a player, he will emit a higher-pitched shrill and rush towards the player (even following it around corners) before delivering a special kick (roundhouse, drop-kick, or somersault). If the player is close enough and behind an object, the Cloaker will instead perform a jump-kick over the object (rarely missing the player). Once the player is down, he will relentlessly beat the player with a baton while taunting (often breaking the fourth wall). If he is spotted by other players, he will throw down a smoke grenade and back away.
The Cloaker was originally removed from the game since the beta version, and was later added to the PC version when the Gage Weapons Pack #2 DLC was released.
The strongest enemy in the game (with a whopping 5,500 HP), Bulldozers wear huge bomb disposal suits and carry powerful weapons (causing massive damage if the player is in line-of-sight). Despite their massive strength, they have slow movement speed and lightly-armored visors (which must be weakened by constant shots to the headpiece).
There are three types of Bulldozers found in the game:
- Green Bulldozers that wield pump-action shotguns. Powerful damage per shot, but low rate-of-fire and shorter range efficiency.
- Black Bulldozers that wield semi-automatic shotguns. Less damage per shot, but high rate-of-fire and longer range efficiency.
- GenSec Elite Bulldozers (known as Skulldozers due to wearing a skull decal on their faceplates) that wield light machine guns. Only found in the Death Wish difficulty. Powerful damage and high rate-of-fire, despite a longer reload time.
An additional type of Bulldozer, the Headless Bulldozer, was found in the Safehouse Nightmare heist during the Halloween 2013 update. They are similar to Black Bulldozers, but they have no additional bonus to headshots (due to having no heads). For the Halloween 2014 update, it was replaced with the Headless Titandozer (who now carries the light machine gun and a whopping 11,000 HP, despite weakened enemy AI in which it will not attack players that do not look at it).
Replacing the Upgrades system of Payday: The Heist is the Skills system, in which players can upgrade each of five unique skill trees, granting them unique and beneficial bonuses (which can be further upgraded for even new bonuses). Unlike the Upgrades system, weapons and specific weapon upgrades are not tied to skill trees, players can not upgrade their skill tree in the middle of a heist, and players must map out their skill tree in a certain way with a limited amount of Skill Points (rather than unlock each upgrade level consecutively).
Each of the five Skill trees has 17 Skills, grouped into six tiers of three Skills each (and one Skill to unlock the tree). Depending on their tier, they require either 1 SP or 4 SP to unlock. Each Skill can be "Aced" to significantly buff the effect (or give another effect entirely) for either 3 SP or 8 SP (depending on tier). Players must spend earned cash to unlock (or Ace) a Skill, and can only access the next tier by putting a certain amount of SP into Skills below that tier. Unlocking tiers used to give passive bonuses for the player in earlier versions of the game, which are now instead put into Perk Decks.
Players earn 1 SP each time they level up (with a bonus 2 SP for every 10 levels), giving them a total of 120 SP when fully leveled. Although they cannot refund their Skills individually, they can refund an entire skill tree (including most of the cash that was used to unlock those Skills). Players lose all of their SP every time they become Infamous.
In earlier versions, players had only one "Skill Set" for their Skill configuration (requiring players to rebuy their skill trees for certain situations). Now, players can unlock new "Skill Sets" which can be swapped for no cash penalty (other than the initial set-up), but only from the heist setup menu, so if you choose a setup for day 1, you have to keep it for the rest of the heist.
The Mastermind tree is beneficial for players who want to control tense situations, giving them abilities to assist the rest of the crew (mostly medical assistance) while allowing them to easily control the crowd (and even control enemies).
The deployable unlocked by the Mastermind tree is the Doctor Bag, which can be placed to allow players to fully heal and reset the number of bleedouts before being immediately incapacitated. Each Doctor Bag has two "uses" before being removed from the game. Optional Skills in the tree allow players to deploy two bags in one level, and to double the amount of "uses" per bag.
Other important parts of the Mastermind tree revolve around the ability to shout down enemies to use as hostages, and even convert those enemies to fight on the side of the players.
The Enforcer tree is beneficial for players who prefer aggression, increasing their survivability while allowing them to carry heavier gear (including a portable saw and heavy armor).
The deployable unlocked by the Enforcer tree is the Ammo Bag, which can be placed to allow players to fully restock their weapons. Each Ammo Bag has a limited amount of uses (depending on the amount of ammo restocked) before being removed from the game. Optional Skills in the tree allow players to deploy two bags in one level, to double the amount of ammo per bag, and to fire their weapon without using any ammo for a limited amount of time after deploying the bag.
The other important part of the Enforcer tree is the Circular saw, which is an important item to save time on a lot of heists, allowing the Enforcer to cut through doors and into lockboxes much quicker than they could otherwise.
The Technician tree is beneficial for players who work with a variety of devices (including drills, multi-functional explosives, and automated sentry guns).
The main deployable unlocked by the Technician is the Trip Mine, which can be placed (up to two per level) to explode when an enemy passes through its laser sensor. Optional Skills in the tree grant additional Trip Mines for the level, reduces the arming time, change it to a non-exploding motion sensor (which also spots special enemies), increase the blast radius, and allow players to use them as "shaped charges" (allowing them to breach through certain safes and doors).
The second deployable unlocked by the Technician (late in the tree) is the Sentry Gun, which can be deployed to automatically fire upon enemies for a short amount of time (until it runs out of ammo or until it is destroyed by enemies). Optional Skills in the tree increase the amount of health and ammunition, give it a shield for protection, increase the amount of damage it can deal, allow players to replenish its ammunition with their own, and allow the player to deploy two Sentry Guns per level.
The Technician can eventually get a skill to allow the use of both of their deployables in one level, which is incredibly handy. The Technician also focuses heavily on being able to speed up and eventually silence the drills that the players use in the majority of levels.
The Ghost tree is beneficial for players who prefer stealth, giving them abilities to prevent detection while increasing their agility.
The deployable unlocked by the Ghost tree is the ECM Jammer, which can be placed to temporarily disable electronic devices (such as surveillance cameras). Optional Skills in the tree grant an additional ECM Jammer for the level, increase the time that it is active, disrupt enemy pagers, hack open doors that require keycards, and allow players to interact with it (causing a "feedback loop", which have a chance to stun nearby enemies for a limited time and can be reset every four minutes).
The Ghost can also put nearby security cameras into a loop for an amount of time, allowing the players to sneak past. They can also pick locks much faster than the rest of the crew, eventually culminating in being able to crack safes by hand.
The Fugitive tree, added in the Hoxton Breakout update, is beneficial for players who want to survive with low armor, increasing their agility while giving them abilities that benefit from minimum armor.
The main deployable unlocked by the Fugitive tree is the First Aid Kit, which can be placed (up to four per level) to allow players to quickly and fully heal. Unlike the Doctor Bag, the smaller first aid kits are quicker to interact with and the player can carry more of them, at the cost of its one-time use and inability to reset the number of "bleedouts". Optional Skills in the tree allow players to deploy up to 14 kits in one level, and to deploy the bag twice as fast.
The second deployable unlocked late in the tree is the Body Bag Case, which can be placed to allow players to replenish their count of body bags. Each case has three body bags and players can not exceed their maximum amount of carried bags (by default, one bag). An optional skill in the tree allows players to carry two cases in one level.
The Fugitive also heavily relies on a stat known as 'Dodge' which is boosted in the upper echelons of the Fugitive tree. This allows them to wear very little armor while not getting hit by bullets, making The Fugitive handy when the players need to get across the map quickly.
There are five contract brokers that players can earn (or purchase) jobs from. Some heists also have an alternate "Pro Job", which earn players more experience points and cash (but must be earned or purchased again when failed). Bank Heist, Bank Heist: Gold, Big Oil, and Ukrainian Job can only be completed as Pro Jobs.
Some heists are sold as downloadable content, in which players can only receive those jobs if they own the corresponding DLC packs. Players without the DLC can still join games of other players who do and can still earn job-specific achievements, however if those achievements would unlock cosmetic items, the items remain locked until that player has purchased the DLC.
Bain is the person who set up the crime.net system the payday gang uses to get contracts. His jobs encompass a wide range of themes and skills.
- Art Gallery
- The first day of Framing Frame as a separate heist. Can be done in Stealth.
- Bank Heist (Pro)
- Bank Heist: Cash
- Bank Heist: Deposit
- Bank Heist: Gold (Pro)
- A series of missions revolving around breaking into a bank in down town DC. Based on the mission selected, the contents of the vault vary. All of these can be done in Stealth.
- Cook Off
- The first day of Rats as a separate heist.
- Diamond Store
- A heist of a Diamond store where the cases are alarmed and the front of the shop is easy to see into. Can be done in Stealth.
- GO Bank
- Breaking into a bank in DC and using a plane to get the loot out. This heist is physically based around a map from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Can be done in Stealth.
- Jewellery Store
- Generally regarded as the easiest heist in the game, the players have to break into a jewellery store. Can be done in stealth.
- Shadow Raid
- Break into the storage depot for a mercenary organisation and steal loot they've taken from their jobs. This heist can only be done in stealth, if the alarm is raised the players have 60 seconds to leave.
- Transport: Crossroads (DLC)
- Transport: Downtown (DLC)
- Transport: Harbor (DLC)
- Transport: Park (DLC)
- Transport: Underpass (DLC)
- A series of missions based around stopping an armored truck convoy and drilling into them to get the loot inside.
- Transport: Train Heist (DLC)
- Originally a mission randomly played after the other Transport missions. It has now been separated off into it's own mission. The payday gang has to break into a train to steal a prototype turret (The Engineer's turret from Team Fortress 2) and many bags of explosive ammunition. Can be done in stealth.
- Car Shop
- A heist of a high end car store. The heist is notable for being the introduction of drivable vehicles. This heist can only be done in stealth, if the alarm is raised the players have a short amount of time to get to the exit based on the difficulty they are playing on.
- The Alesso Heist
- A heist based around breaking into a safe concealed in an arena where a concert played by famous musician Alesso is taking place. Can be done in stealth.
Vlad is a former Ukrainian mob boss, looking to reclimb the ladder back to the top. All of his heists are loud heists, with stealth being an option in a few of them.
- Four Stores
- Vlad needs the payday gang to knock over some stores his rival owns.
- Vlad needs the payday gang to go show the owner of a mall what happens when he doesn't pay protection money. This is regarded as the most different heist in the game.
- Vlad's nightclub isn't that popular, so he asks the payday gang to go steal from his competitor. Can be done in stealth.
- Ukrainian Job (Pro)
- The person who ratted Vlad out and got him sent to prison is getting married, and his wife to-be is going to be wearing a very expensive tiara. The payday gang are sent to steal it. Can be done in stealth.
- White Xmas
- Vlad's pilot crashed a plane full of high-quality Colombian cocaine on Christmas. The payday gang are sent to retrieve the pilot and as much of the cocaine as they can get out.
- Based in the same warehouse as Shadow Raid, this is a loud only heist where the payday gang have to use forklifts to steal nukes.
The Elephant is a Republican senator candidate who recruits the payday gang to help him get into power. All of his heists are stealth-able and offer very high rewards.
- Big Oil (Pro)
- A scientist has come up with an alternate clean energy source that could put a lot of The Elephants benefactors out of business. The payday gang are sent in to steal it. Can be done in stealth.
- Election Day
- Election Day (Pro)
- The mayoral elections are happening and The Elephant wants to make sure that his candidate is the one that is elected. The payday gang have to break into a shipping yard to track the voting machines, then go hack them in favor of The Elephants candidate. Can be done in stealth.
- Framing Frame
- Framing Frame (Pro)
- Framing Frame is a heist based around ruining The Elephant's opponent's reputation. First the payday gang steals paintings from an art gallery (Later seperated off into a seperate heist contracted by Bain), then gets cameras placed inside them covertly, then sells them to The Senator's people and uses the cameras to break into his penthouse apartment and plant cocaine in his vault. Can be done in stealth.
Hector is a Colombian drug lord who wants the Payday gang to take out his rivals.
- Firestarter (Pro)
- Firestarter is a mission where Hector wants the payday gang to cripple the resources of a rival cartel, the Mendozas. This involves stealing guns from an airport (With the option to destroy them), stealing a server from the FBI, and then finally breaking into the bank from Bank Heist and burning the Mendoza cash reserves. This is the only Hector mission that can be partially done in Stealth.
- Rats (Pro)
- In Rats, Hector wants the payday gang to take out a rival cartel. This requires the gang to cook meth to sell to gangsters, who have a file that describes where and how the cartel are being taken out of the country by the FBI.
- Watchdogs (Pro)
- Watchdogs is a mission where the payday gang have to escort Hector's cocaine to the dropoff, however they are ambushed by the police on the first day and have to get the cocaine onto a boat in the second part of the heist.
The Dentist is a big-time mobster who hides in plain sight as a Dentist. Played by Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad fame.
- The Big Bank (DLC)
- The Benevolent Bank has never been broken into, but the Dentist believes the payday gang can do it. This heist is notable for being the introduction of the 'Preplanning' feature, wheras before assets in the levels were randomly placed. Can be done in stealth.
- Hotline Miami (DLC)
- Hotline Miami (Pro, DLC)
- A tie-in heist with the Hotline Miami franchise. The Dentist asks for a favour before he helps break Hoxton out of jail.
- Hoxton Breakout
- Hoxton Breakout (Pro)
- The payday gang has to break Hoxton out while he's headed to a retrial. This heist culminates in breaking into the FBI to find out who betrayed Hoxton in the first place.
- The Diamond (DLC)
- A heist based around stealing a famous Diamond while it's on display in a museum. Can be done in stealth.
- Hoxton Revenge
- Hoxton finally knows who betrayed him, and they're located in an FBI safehouse. The gang has to break in and kill the rat. Can be done in stealth.
- Golden Grin Casino (DLC)
- The gang leaves DC for the first time and heads to Las Vegas to break into a large Casino. Can be done in stealth.
The Butcher is a weapons saleswoman from Croatia. She replaces the payday gang's previous weapons contact, Gage.
- The Bomb: Dockyard (DLC)
- The payday gang has to sneak into a dockyard and steal a bomb in three parts. Can be done in stealth.
- The Bomb: Forest (DLC)
- An alternate approach to the dockyard heist, instead the payday gang blows up a bridge as a train transporting the bomb is travelling over it, then steals the bomb from there.
- OS: Windows XP SP3
- Processor: 2 GHz Intel Dual Core Processor
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8800/ATI Radeon HD 2600 (256MB minimum)
- DirectX®: 9.0c
- Hard Drive: 10 GB HD space
- Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible
- OS: Windows XP SP3/Vista/Windows 7
- Processor: 2.3 GHz Intel Quad Core Processor
- Memory: 3 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX460/ATI Radeon HD 5850 (512MB minimum)
- DirectX®: 9.0c
- Hard Drive: 10 GB HD space
- Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible