I recently published an article called 5 Tips for Starting Payday 2, and having played the game for a number of hours I thought that I’d share with you some more tips. These are aimed at around the ‘middle’ levels, which I would say is a reputation ranking of around 15 to 35.
Tip #1: C’mon baby, buy the Locomotive
I cannot stress this sincerely enough; buy the Locomotive 12G Shotgun. It’s a secondary weapon, unlocked at reputation 13 and costs $162,000. This is by far the best weapon I’ve used, and I haven’t heard a bad word about it from anyone that’s used it. I’ve used it to kill high level swat enemies from the full width of streets, it can be fired relatively quickly in a pinch and is very helpful when you get downed.
I was skeptical at first, as I prefer having fully automatic weapons, but this gun is honestly amazing. Having the Sharp Shooter skill for Technician and the Shotgun Impact skill for Enforcer will make it even more effective. Go and get it, now. You won’t regret it.
Tip #2: Branch out your skill trees
Now, this may seem contradictory to Tip #1 from my first article, but just hear me out. You want to spend most of your points in one skill tree, but don’t be to afraid to experiment with other trees and respec.
I’ll share my personal experience with you as an example; I put all my skills into Technician, except a few that I used to buy the Ammo Bag and Transporter skill in the Enforcer tree. As soon as I reached level 36, I chose to respec the Enforcer tree, and spend those 2 skill points on getting C4. After reaching level 40, I’ve now reinvested those points back into the Enforcer skill tree.
It’s worthwhile branching into different skill trees at some stage, both to unlock equipment like the ammo and doctor bags or to get useful skills like Fast Hands, Transporter or Endurance. Acing Cable Guy and Cleaner also help with completing missions in stealth.
Tip #3: Play difficult missions
You shouldn’t overreach yourself; don’t try missions with 7+ stars if you’re only a low level, and don’t attempt pro missions with multiple days unless you have a tight group. However, I never play a mission on Normal difficulty unless its my first time trying it, or I’m after an achievement.
The simple fact is that even if a mission only has one star difficulty, you get a 200% increase in experience, and 250% more money. A simple example is Jewelry Store; you get 3 times as much experience, and $95,000 instead of $28,000, just for completing it on Hard. To put it into a larger perspective; I played a watchdogs mission today that took about 15-20 minutes, with a payout of $500,000 spending cash. This shouldn’t be taken lightly; harder missions, especially ones that take multiple days give you so much more money and experience.
Tip #4: Assets are your friend
This is especially important when playing the more difficult missions. You definitely shouldn’t bother buying an asset for every day or job, but sometimes an asset can save you so much time that the few thousand you have to pay for it becomes trivial.
For instance, if your team has two sentry guns and two ammo bags, then consider buying the Doctors Bag asset when available, especially on overkill difficulty. Other assets such as the Loot Drop Truck for the Nightclub mission, and the Armored Transport asset for day 1 of Watchdogs make life much easier for you as well.
Tip #5: Know your limits
This isn’t a generic tip about not being too gung-ho or holding back on a mission to attempt stealth. No, this is a specific tip about Level Limits. If you play difficult missions with people far exceeding your Reputation, you will get less experience.
The best option is to play with people who are roughly the same level as you, if not lower, and play missions that are between 4 and 6 stars to avoid getting docked points because of the Level Limit. Shorter missions tend to be more worthwhile as less experience is subtracted.
I should note here that I am playing on the Xbox 360 version, and have been told that apparently the Level Limit has been removed from the PC copy, but I can’t confirm this.
Good Luck Looting
That’s it for now, I will be releasing another 5 tips for the higher levels soon, which I will link at the bottom of this page when its finished. As I said before, if you like the tips please leave a comment, or if you have your own tips or disagree with mine please do the same.
Have fun, and good luck looting.