Payday: The Heist

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  • The Wolf Pack DLC will increase your level cap, give you some additional (fun) weapons and perks, and add two dynamic heists to the game.
  • In Payday 1, Money = XP. You pick from three (four with DLC) progression "trees" to level up in, by holding tab and selecting the tree. You will eventually max all of them. They unlock weapons, passive weapon and player upgrades, and a large number of options for player loadouts in heists.
  • There is no character skill customization in payday 1 aside from what happens at the loadout screen.
  • If you've played payday 2, be aware: Payday 1 is much, much harder. Teamwork and detailed heist knowledge is often required. Overkill difficulty is genuinely very challenging. 145+ is many times worse.
  • Breaking cameras in some heists disables specific enemy spawns. It does not effect overall enemy behavior or aggression.


  • Enemy HP and damage is a much bigger deal in payday 1 than its sequel. Always aim for headshots.
  • Enemy aggression and use of smoke bombs makes "holding out" in a particular spot very difficult. Learn the map well, and get used to falling back when enemies begin to overwhelm (or a smoke grenade lands at your feet).
  • Snipers fire tracer rounds that reveal their location. They are extremely dangerous - take them out as quickly as possible.
  • Cloakers are silent enemies that will spawn in groups and attempt to instantly incapacitate players by rushing them in melee range. Watch out - Cloakers do not have a cooldown on their melee attack.
  • Bulldozers will kill a player from full health at close range in two shots. The preferred tactic is to melt their face as quickly as possible.


  • Do not use the Locomotive. It sucks. The "optimum" loadout is the Bronco, M308(or AK) and the GL40. These are mostly dictated by high damage per shot and good ammo recovery.
  • Crew Bonuses effect everyone except the person who equips it. Two people need the bonus equipped for everyone to have it. Crew Bonuses do not stack.
  • Bonuses do stack with loadout upgrades, though. Because ammo is at a premium in Payday 1, it's very popular to combine Big Game Hunters with Extra start-out ammo. These skills actually increase your maximum ammo capacity, and also indirectly improve the efficiency of using ammo bags.
  • Thick Skin (the player upgrade) and Protector (the crew bonus) do nothing under almost any circumstances - their effect is so small that enemy damage overwhelms them.


  • I ain't afraid no more, Crack-bang and Lay on Hands each require that you gain a level in a tree while a particular thing is going on. If the tree is maxed, you will have to wipe your progress to get the challenge/achievement.
  • Lay on Hands is the only hard one of these three to get. It requires gaining a level while the progression bar for picking up your crew member is being filled. The preferred tactic is to work in a team while completing the "Overdrill" to get it, since collecting the gold at the end will give the team several levels. Have one friend go back and collect gold, while another dies in some convenient position. Continue picking them up partway (not completely!) while this happens.
  • Noob herder requries that you beat a heist on OVERKILL with three other players who are all using the Noob Lube perk (in other words, the otherplayers need to be level 5 or lower). To complete this challenge, everyone needs to have to have played the heist from the start. It can be very hard to find a team to do this - try the steam forums. The easiest heist to complete for this challenge/achievement is Diamond Heist, since so much of it can be stealthed, and since it's easy to run from the police.

Heist info

First World Bank

  • Play this heist first. It's a good intro to the game's mechanics.
  • Killing the manager will trigger an additional bulldozer spawn.
  • If Bain talks about the police inserting special units, be ready for a pair of tasers to rope in from a skylight in the office area.
  • If Bain mentions the police are inserting cloakers, be ready for five cloakers to appear simultaneously from vents and windows.
  • This heist has a hidden, extra vault filled with a huge amount of gold. This "Overvault" was part of an ARG at the end of Payday's support period, and is a popular target for player groups looking to gain levels quickly. Look up the details of what opening it entails on the main payday wiki.

Heat Street

  • Beware! The first part of this heist is often considered the hardest part of the whole game!
  • The SWAT vans are enemy spawn points - until you get close to them, they will continuously flood you. Press forward!
  • During the final objective of the heist, a set of scripted enemies will pop out of a SWAT van behind you. These enemies must die to ensure that the helicopter pilot thinks the area is safe.

Panic Room

  • When you are asked to "clear the roof", watch out for enemies that are stationary on neighboring buildings. They must also die to push the objective forward.

Green Bridge

  • If the pilot misses, you can set up the balloon again and just leave - the pilot always succeeds on their second attempt, and the police can't stop them.
  • If the last car slides backwards, the target is not in it.

Diamond Heist

  • There is no way to tell whether the codes will work until you enter them. They will not work if you set off the alarm. The codes almost never work, and never work on the top difficulty.
  • There are two civilians you may be asked to look for. Each of them has two positions that they can spawn at. Learning these locations will save you a lot of time.
  • The layout of the building can be very, very confusing at first. Once you learn it, this can be turned to your advantage: it's easy to lead the assault wave away from your position and "kite" it around the map.


  • Murky Water enemies hit especially hard and have heavy armor, but take massive headshot damage.
  • You can fix the drill through the side of the van.


  • There is no way to completely sneak through this mission.
  • If you see a big pallet of money in the basement...tread lightly!
  • Only Bulldozers can shut off water/power.


  • Be sure to board up the room with the computers, and any fences on the roof that are near powerboxes.
  • Snipers are the biggest threat on this map by far. At least one player needs to focus on taking them out as soon as they arrive.
  • Enemies do not have to manually shut off powerboxes on this heist, it's a scripted, automatic event. You cannot actually guard the powerboxes.

No Mercy

  • This heist takes place in a very, very small space, so expect especially intense firefights.
  • The game only cares about loud gunfire from the host. The host needs to bring a silenced weapon to fire during the stealth section. Other players can bring what they wish.
  • Some NPCs in each area will attempt to hit an alarm switch much, much more frequently than others. Identifying and tying them down is recommended.
  • Enemies do not have to manually shut off powerboxes on this heist, it's a scripted, automatic event. You cannot actually guard the powerboxes.