Payday 2: The Beginner’s Guide

Payday 2

The “Spec Ops”, as I call them, are some of the deadliest enemies in the game. They are incredibly tough to take down, and you are in a deep pickle if they outflank you. If you cannot flank them aim for the head.

Swats and Heavy Swats appear on Standard and Hard difficulties. Swats are only slightly tougher than your regulars from the previous paragraph. Heavy Swats, on the other hand, are far more challenging. You can quickly tell them apart by their white helmets. Unlike regular Swats they will have much more health and much more dangerous weapons. Aiming for the head will save you a lot of bullets. They tend to be accurate, even at long ranges, so try not to expose yourself too much. On Hard difficulty settings Heavy Swats will carry Shields.

The final type of regular enemies you will meet feels like military special forces, so we might call them that. Spec Ops are heavily armored, carry very, very deadly guns and tend to have even more health than other regulars. One of their most annoying features is an impenetrable chest plate. Any shots fired at the chest will recoil, causing absolutely no damage (even the bulldozer is not that heavily plated). You have to aim at their other limbs, groin and head. Firing at them from the side or behind at their torso will work, it’s only their front that is armored. An M308 is capable of killing these enemies with single head shots. Other guns will need more bullets to achieve the same. You can tell these cops apart by their camouflage, which is light brown instead of dark blue. On Very Hard and Overkill settings Spec Ops will be the ones carrying shields, making it even harder to take them out.

There are a few different Special Enemies, though not all of them have been released yet. The Bulldozer is the most familiar one. He wears a big and heavy bomb suit, and has a double layered face shield. His only real weakness is the face, but getting to it will take an awful lot of bullets, still less than trying to shoot him in the chest. The bulldozer can down a player in just two shots. The first shot will usually take out any armor, while the second one will deplete any and all health. The bulldozer does have to be close to achieve that though, so keep your distance, or if there is nowhere to run tell your teammates to fire together to quickly kill it.

The Tazer is a far more common foe. He wears dark blue armor, much like the Swat, and has a rifle and tazer. The tazer is capable of paralyzing one crew member at a time, but you can still fire when tazed. This means you could take out the tazer, while being tazed, thus freeing yourself. If you are tazed for too long you will be downed but a fellow crew member can revive you.Tazers spawn in pairs, so it’s usually a bad idea to go hunting for them alone. Another thing to remember is that they need to be mildly close to taze you. On the positive side, they are on the level of Heavy Swat, which means killing them is not that difficult.

The Shield comes in two forms. The Heavy Swat and Spec Ops forms. Their equipment is similar but the Spec Ops Shield will have a bit more health. Shields are impenetrable from the front, and in turn they will fire their SMG at you. Up close they can be easily outflanked. At longer distances it might be difficult to hit a Shield’s exposed limb. They tend to be deployed in groups so if you see one Shield expect a few more close by.

The Cloaker has come back, and he is DEADLY. Cloakers normally appears at Threat 2 and 3 Missions. You can tell there is Cloaker somewhere nearby through the strange electric signal they produce. It is difficult to describe other than “Electronic High-Pitched Static”. When a Cloaker sees you and he prepares to charge you will hear a building up of the Static (as if he was charging his attack). He will then quickly run toward his target and knock him out. Cloakers are not the toughest, but they are very dexterous and quick. You could have a hard time hitting them, especially when they start rolling around. What makes them even more annoying is that they can enter the map through special insertion points, such as vents. While you and your team might be holed up in a room a Cloaker could jump down right between all of you, giving you precious second to react.

It should be noted than unlike in Payday 1 in Payday 2 once a Cloaker knocks down somebody they will start looking for a new target. Take out the Cloaker first before you help a friend or you could be the next downed criminal.

While stronger cops will have better guns the one weapon that you should never underestimate is the shotgun. An ordinary police man with a shotgun might just be able to take out your entire armor with a single shot, much like the bulldozer. To do so they have to be very close, so try to fire at them from a safe distance, instead of trying to take them down up close.

Payday 2: On Stealth

Stealth heists are more difficult than your regular heists, if you want to keep them stealthy. There are a number of mechanics you have to be made aware of to perform well in these heists.


Detection is, in other words, how quickly will cameras, security guards and civilians detect you, but this also applies to damage done by you.

Before you put on your mask only security guards or cameras will be able to detect you. The heavier and bulkier your gear the sooner you will be detected, if within line of sight. Armour is easy to gauge on the visibility spectrum. The heavier the suit of armor the higher your visibility. Weapons can me modified to reduce their visibility, but some upgrades will increase it. Some weapons by default have a high visibility and you will need mods to reduce it. Once your mask is on how quickly civilians react to you or spot you also changes. This might be troublesome when trying to control an entire street, since a civilian might spot you while you are not aware of it, and you will not have enough time to catch up to him or her.

Any damage you cause, such as blown up safes, damaged windows or destroyed cameras will alert security guards. Sometimes the range of spotting such damage is ridiculous, and you could find yourself being detected by a guard on the other end of the map (this might be an unintentional bug). Most doors or windows can be lockpicked or drilled open. Opening a door with a lockpick will not cause any suspicion. Using C4 will (mainly due to the noise).

Your Drill is also something that can be spotted, so you have to make sure that if somebody enters an area where your drill is visible you have to take care of said person as soon as possible.


Aside from visual detection there is also noise. Noise comes from gunshots, explosions and drills. Surprisingly enough breaking glass will usually not trigger any suspicion. Gunshots, even silenced ones, might be heard by bystanders. You should try to fire single accurate shots, and not whole series of them. Since almost any weapon can have a silencer you can sneak attack pretty much anybody, taking into account that stray bullets smashing into random objects might still scare civilians.

Even when you have silenced weapons a trigger happy guard is capable of alerting the entire area with a single shot. Explosions from C4 are also a big beacon for panic. Drills can lure civilians or guards but a drill hidden away from customers, or with the technician’s silence upgrade can remain undetected for the entire heist. One such example is the Nightclub heist where the drill in the manager’s office will never attract any of the dancers below.

In general, keep noise to a minimum. Running or walking will not alert guards or civilians, but pretty much anything else might.


About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
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Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

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