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Payday 3: 5 Best Tips for Beginners



If you’re itching to scratch away at yet another batch of vaults in Payday 3then take it from us — you’re going to need a few tips before slapping on that mask. Don’t know where to begin? Don’t fret. If you’re new to the co-op shooter series and have yet to throw yourself into one of its heists, then be sure to read on for a few quick pointers. Here’s everything you need to know before starting out in Starbreeze Studios’ latest online game.

5. Cooperation Is Vital

It might sound ridiculous, but given the sheer volume of enemies that each heist brings to the table, and not to mention the amount of obstacles each one places between your squad and the vault, it’s actually easier to sideline the tactical approach, and instead just embrace the chaos of it all. Truth is, only one in ten heists are won over through stealthy maneuvers, whereas the remaining nine are through cooperation and brawn. And when we say cooperation, we’re talking about the act of banding together as a four-piece, and whittling down foes as a collective, and not, for example, as four individual ninjas on four vastly different missions.

This brings us to another point: don’t be a hero. Fact is, each heist will take all four of you to complete, so if you can help it, don’t stray away from the pack and press on without the rest of the squad to accompany you. As you’ll also need all four players at the extraction point in order to complete the heist, it may be that three other players are already gearing up to depart, and that you are battling for your life somewhere on the opposite end of the map. To prevent this from happening, aim to stay within an earshot of your team; they’re going to need you when the going gets tough.

4. Don’t Be Greedy

Again, as you’ll need to position all four players within the extraction zone to escape, you’ll want to consider taking only what you can afford to carry. In other words, if you’re struggling to fend off hundreds of soldiers and aren’t in possession of any more health packs, then you’ll want disband as soon as possible. And while this does mean taking home less cash, it does at least mean you’ll have something to show for your efforts, and not, for example, a mission failure screen and an empty pocket.

Of course, there’s a strong chance that you’ll wind up with a great team—a unit that’s not only able to slaughter enemy factions, but also move back and forth between the vault and the extraction point with greater efficiency. If, however, your entire team is on the verge of either dying, or put into custody, then cut your losses and make way for the escape. And remember — heists can get ludicrously tough towards the end, so be sure to take the route that feels the most comfortable. In other words, don’t be greedy.

3. Stockpile Your Bags

There are a few heists in Payday 3 that require you to move the loot from the vault to a certain area ready for extraction. Truth be told, there are also a few that position both the vault and the extraction point fairly close to one another, too. In this case, you’ll want to make several runs between both locations and essentially stockpile the loot, preferably before the driver or pilot arrives to collect you. This will eliminate the risk of having to travel back and forth during the toughest period in the match.

Again, you’ll want to play close attention to your team’s performance as the heist draws on, as it might not be a viable option to harvest more loot before the driver arrives. If the journey is relatively short, and there are fewer enemies to sift through, however, then sure, bag as much loot as you can afford to carry. Once you’ve collected all of the bags and deposited them near the exit zone, all you’ll need to do is hurl them into the cargo hold. Simple.

2. Prioritize Weapons Over Cosmetics

It’s all well and good being able to spend your cash on new masks and gloves, but the fact is, cosmetics won’t exactly get you very far when it comes to actually playing the game. Instead, you should aim to spend your first few paychecks on better weapons and other valuable pieces of equipment to boost your chances of winning. It might sound obvious, but it’s true; a better loadout will lessen the burden of carrying a team lost in vanity.

Of course, new weapons can be rather expensive, so don’t expect to be able to empty the vendors after just a couple of quick victories. In fact, you’ll need to replay a lot of the same heists in order to unlock even the smallest upgrades — so it’s better to be prepared for the grind ahead.

1. Avoid the Specialist Troops

As it turns out, there are quite a few nasty troops in Payday 3, and more often than not, they’ll have the power to whittle down your health in just a couple of hits. For example, there’s a ninja-type enemy who can fly kick you into oblivion from the shadows and put you in custody in a few seconds flat. Annoying, yes, but somehow they always seem to find a way to impede your progress at the worst possible moments.

This brings us back to the whole cooperation is vital part; if you can’t stick together, then you’ll find that some players will wind up being killed out of the blue and too far for other players to rescue. Do yourself a favor here and band together towards the end, as this is when the worst enemies emerge, and thus search for the players who’ve abandoned the pack. Don’t be that person, basically.


So, what’s your take? Do you have any useful tips for Payday 3 newcomers? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.

Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.