Depending on whether you’re in America or Europe, and whether you’re a console or PC gamer, you may have already been playing Payday 2 for two or three days, or it may be coming out for you today. Alternatively, you may not have bought it yet, to which I say; Why not?! Go and read Attack of the Fanboy’s review of Payday 2, now.
Anyway, hopefully this guide will either help you ease into the game if you’re new to it, or just hone your skills if you’ve played it a bit but don’t have any structure to your game.
Tip #1: Pick a class, stick to it
Now, I know all four skill trees look badass in their own right, and I know you’ll want to try everything out, but trust me; pick a class to spend your points on, and stick to it. You only unlock higher tiers from each skill tree by spending points in that specific skill tree. This means that if you want to get that OVE9000 saw (and believe me, you do) then you have to spend 30 skill points in the Enforcer tree. If you concentrate on this, you can get it by level 30, but if you waste 5 of your skill points early on in another class, then it’ll take significantly longer.
I’m not saying don’t respec your skill tree, especially if you get bored of your character and want something new. I’m just saying that heists become much easier when you have access to C4 (42 skill points needed in Technician), the OVE9000 (30 skill points in Enforcer), the aced Lockpicking Expert skill (42 points in Ghost) or Combat Doctor (24 points in Mastermind.)
Tip #2: Save your money
This may be difficult, especially as money can be hard to come by at the beginning, but that’s all the more reason to save it. Guns, attachments, masks, assets and even skills cost money. It’s really important to ask yourself whether that attachment is really worth $24,000 for a pistol that only cost you $2000. Equally, not matter how cool it looks, you don’t really need to customize your mask for now, and the $50,000 that it might cost you to do would be better spent on a skill or maybe a better weapon.
You will need over $1,000,000 to unlock some of the skills that I mentioned beforehand, and once you have them, heists are easier. Easier heists = more money. So spend your cash wisely at first, and eventually you’ll be able to fritter it away if you want.
Tip #3: Be a team player
If you’re not playing for the team, then you’re not of use to the team. Firstly, cash pickups are given to everyone in the squad. This means don’t rush to try and be the first to snag all the extra jewelry or empty all the registers, especially if someone else is already doing that. They will get the same amount of money that you do at the end.
Another important part of this tip is to communicate with your team. There’s no use running off by yourself to get another bag, if your three teammates are at the van waiting for you. Without anyone to cover your back, that bag may be the difference between a healthy payday and a mission failure.
Tip #4: Try to be stealthy
Okay, this one may seem a bit obvious, but some people don’t quite grasp it. Yes, stealthing an entire mission is very difficult, especially when you and your team are low levels but that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from trying. You should at least attempt to not let anyone call the cops, and not let any cameras detect you for as long as possible, to make your job easier.
Even if you get half way through the mission and then a stray civilian calls the cops, you still saved yourself 5 minutes of wasting ammunition and time on killing cops rather than stealing the goods. You don’t have to aim to finish the entire mission in stealth, but if you try to be stealthy, you may find jobs become quicker and easier, especially when you do complete a heist without a single policeman showing up.
Tip #5: Build your team for the heist
This tip varies depending on who you play with, but there’s an underlying message for everyone. If you play with a group of friends that you know well, then firstly, show them this guide so they too can benefit from it, but more importantly; get them to take the same advice. If everyone picks a different skill tree and sticks to it, then you’ll have a kickass, well rounded team in no time, and you’ll be pulling off missions on overkill difficulty quicker than you can say “Down on the ground!”.
Now, if you don’t have a close-knit group of friends, and play with other people online, then my advice can still ring true for you, albeit in a slightly different manner. If you see that the lobby you’ve joined has 2 Ghosts already and that’s where you’ve spent all your hard earned points, maybe you should find another group to play with. Another alternative is that if you’re playing a mission where you know that you’re going to have to fight police (such as Watchdogs), then don’t bother bringing a silencer and leaving yourself without any armor. Try to fit your team, and your character around the mission at hand.
Well, there you have it, my 5 tips for starting Payday 2. Hopefully you’ve found them helpful, if so; please leave a comment to show your appreciation down below. If you disagree with any of my tips or think you have better ones, I still encourage you to leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Update: Check out my ‘5 More Payday 2 Tips for the Middle Levels’ article, which aims to help between the levels of roughly 15 to 35, here.
Good luck, and happy heisting.