|Developer|| Overkill Software|
Lion Game Lion (DLCs)
Torn Banner Studios (DLCs)
Dennaton Games (DLCs)
Coffee Stain Studios (DLCs)
Flying Wild Hog (DLCs)
|Producer|| Bo Andersson Klint|
|Designer|| Ulf Andersson|
|Composer|| Simon Viklund|
|Game Engine||Diesel Engine 2.0|
|Platform|| Microsoft Windows|
|Release date|| 13 August 2013|
WW 13 August 2013
WW 8 June 2017
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
NA 13 August 2013
EU 16 August 2013PlayStation 4, Xbox One
EU 12 June 2015
NA 16 June 2015
(Big Score Edition)
EU 9 September 2016 (PS4)
NA 13 September 2016 (PS4)Linux (SteamOS)
WW 21 March 2016Nintendo Switch
|Genre||First-person shooter • Tactical shooter • Stealth|
|Rating|| ESRB: Mature 17+|
|Available stores|| Steam Store|
PAYDAY 2 is a co-operative first-person shooter action game developed by Overkill Software and the successor to PAYDAY: The Heist. It was released on August 13, 2013, for Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 via digital distribution and retail. A SteamOS and Linux version was released on March 21st, 2016.
An enhanced version (PAYDAY: Crimewave Edition) for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 was released on June 12th, 2015 for Europe and June 16th for North America. Subsequently, an even more expansive edition called PAYDAY 2: The Big Score Edition was released on September 8th, 2016 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners, which includes all of the Crimewave version's content and additional DLCs released up until the end of 2015. In April 2017, a Nintendo Switch version of PAYDAY 2 was announced and is in production. 
Lastly, all pre-2019 content updates for PAYDAY 2, save for the H3h3 Character Pack, will be made free with the release of PAYDAY 2 Ultimate Edition (later renamed PAYDAY 2 Legacy Edition) on June 8th, 2017. All DLCs save the aforementioned one were delisted and made unpurchasable after this date.
Following the full acquisition of the PAYDAY IP by Starbreeze in May 2016, the developers have announced an extension for their content support for the game, with it now ending in late October 2018 and the confirmation of PAYDAY 3, though PAYDAY 2 itself will be maintained at least for the foreseeable future.
Overkill announced on October 25, 2019 development of PAYDAY2 resumed, with free and paid DLC coming in the future, renaming the Ultimate edition and re-enabling individual DLC sales.
PAYDAY 2 was announced when very little information was shared, other than Overkill Software would work on the sequel and 505 Games would publish it. In March, Overkill began showing previews of the game to major gaming publications.
Overkill has attempted to address complaints from the previous game. The PC version is regularly updated, runs smoother and looks much better because of the larger studio and the bigger budget. Furthermore, the game has more downloadable content planned than the previous game. The console versions, however, have not received the same amount of positive feedback, due to the lack of updates and support. (See below)
As mentioned in a developer Q&A, PAYDAY 2 was supposed to feature special cross-overs into Overkill's 2017 co-op zombie survival, Overkill's The Walking Dead due to both games taking place in Washington D.C. However, with The Walking Dead being pulled from Steam and having been a financial flop, these planned cross-overs never happened.
PAYDAY 2 is a cooperative first-person shooter with RPG elements. Up to four players can cooperate in a heist.
The base game featured 12 heists, some of which take place over multiple days and locations. Overkill has released new heists through free or paid DLC, bring the total number of unique heist locations to over 30.
Similar to the original PAYDAY, heists have many dynamic events. For example, guards may have different patrol routes, safes and vaults may be in different locations, and the amount of cash and loot may be different. Some heists, such as Bank Heist, have different variants depending on the goal (i.e., cash, gold, deposit boxes).
In each heist, players are required to complete objectives, usually in an effort to steal cash, intel, or valuables.
During the heist, the police will assault with waves of enemies in an attempt to eliminate the players. The players must overcome them and complete the objectives before escaping. For some of the heists, a stealth option is available, allowing players to finish a heist without police intervening. But should the alarm be sounded, the police will begin their assault.
The Skills system featured in the original PAYDAY has been more fleshed out, and has been compared more to an RPG-like leveling system, with five classes that players can choose to specialize in:
- The Mastermind can persuade police and civilians to assist the crew, and use the Doctor bag or First Aid Kit to heal the crew.
- The Enforcer can use heavier equipment and carry bags more easily and is specialized in sustainability during firefights thanks to his Ammo bag.
- The Technician class, which specializes in explosives and marksmanship, returns from the PAYDAY: The Heist Wolf Pack DLC, taking on elements of both the original Technician as well as the Sharpshooter upgrade path.
- The Ghost can disable security systems and sneak through levels easier and has bonuses to mobility and general discretion.
- The Fugitive can provide quick fighting skills, with a predisposition to individual survival rather than support.
- CRIME.NET - A dynamic network of local contacts offering contracts to the PAYDAY Gang.
- Dynamic Heist Progression & Scenarios - Most heists now offer multiple approaches with multiple variations of level geometry and events that can either compliment or complicate your approach. Some heists even have multiple days (a maximum of seven, although currently, the longest heist has only three, not counting escapes)
- Reputation, Skills, and Perk Deck System - After each heist is complete, the player is awarded their payday (including a card) and experience to level up their "Reputation." Every level 1 skill point is granted, with 2 bonus skill points each tenth level (10, 20, 30, etc). In addition to that, Perk Decks convert experience to perk points using a ratio based on your level, it starts at 100:1, and increases by 100 per perk point for every increment of 10 levels that you hit.
- Player Customization - Players are now able to purchase & customize masks, weapons, and modifications for those weapons.
- Skin System - Players are now able to purchase drills to open safes rewarding stat boosting weapon skins to the player.
In PAYDAY 2, Bain introduces the PAYDAY Gang to CRIME.NET, a dynamic network of local contacts offering contracts in Washington, DC. CRIME.NET splits Washington into five boroughs: Georgetown, West End, Foggy Bottom, Shaw, and Downtown. No contracts are specific to one area and they can randomly spawn anywhere across the map.
The following descriptions of each contact are derived directly from the Contractor Database:
- Bain - The shadowy figure behind CRIME.NET. No one, not even the crew, has ever met Bain and contact with the contacts and the crew is carefully managed to ensure minimum risk to all parties.
- The Dentist - Little is known about the Dentist. He represents a large clientele whom he refers to as his patients. He is a determined, meticulous planner who has taken a great interest in the PAYDAY gang. He is the only one who knows how to free old Hoxton.
- The Elephant - John Henry Simmons, called the Elephant by the press. A dirty Republican Congressman with mysterious connections that go all the way to the top.
- Gage - Gage is an Afghanistan War veteran, known for being in a wheelchair after a failed assassination attempt. He is the best weapons dealer within the border - and a good assassin at that. Anything you might need, he's your man.
- Hector - A detail-oriented former business administrator. Hector is the biggest drug trafficker on the Eastern Seaboard and is next in line for leadership of the Sinaloan Cartel in Mexico.
- Vlad - A Ukrainian who used to be a feared enforcer in the Russian Motherland. Vlad's been running his own extortion and crime racket in D.C. out of his local bakery for years.
- The Butcher - The Butcher's business is weapons - their procurement, sales, and distribution. She is looking forward to a long and fruitful business cooperation with Bain and the PAYDAY Gang.
- Vernon Locke - A Murkywater operative tasked with taking down CRIME.NET. However, being a mercenary with no loyalties that extra money couldn't bend, Locke sees this as an opportunity. An opportunity to get rich, and cause a little chaos.
CRIME.NET in-game serves as the matchmaking service. There are two methods of connecting to CRIME.NET: CRIME.NET and CRIME.NET OFFLINE; CRIME.NET requires internet access, while CRIME.NET OFFLINE does not.
CRIME.NET OFFLINE allows individual players to play with bots in heists. Joining a CRIME.NET OFFLINE game is impossible. CRIME.NET has all the same capabilities as CRIME.NET OFFLINE (except for pausing, even if playing alone), but it allows up to four players (one being the host) to collaborate on the same heist.
PAYDAY 2 includes several features to allow players to customize their experience including heist assets, masks, skill trees, and weapons.
Assets are tools that the player can purchase using in-game spending cash to assist in completing the heist. Most heists offer some form of assets and typically have unique ones as well.
For instance, an ammo bag may be purchased for use in a bank heist and will be available once the heist starts. In addition to that, the player can opt to purchase insider info, which is exclusive to any variant of the aforementioned bank heist.
In addition to choosing your preferred character, the player can unlock new masks, colors, materials, and patterns to customize their appearance. By default, players will utilize the iconic masks of each character.
At the end of each heist during the card drop, the player has a chance to earn one of the aforementioned components. There is also a chance that one of those drops may contain an infamous variant of said components.
It should be noted that once a mask (excluding Infamy-reward, event masks, achievement-tied and Poetry Jam masks) is customized, it will no longer be available for re-purchase until it is re-acquired via card drops. Any customization items applied to the mask will also be lost (although any items gained from aforementioned exclusions will also return rather than be deleted).
Skill trees are an RPG-esque feature which allows the player to balance between an adaptive and/or specialized playstyle. There are five skill trees in which the player may pursue: Mastermind, Enforcer, Technician, Ghost, and Fugitive; All of which have 3 subcategories. As players complete heists and gain experience, they will progressively gain levels; dubbed "Reputation." Each new level will unlock a single skill point (with multiples of ten giving three).
Players can unlock tiers by allocating enough skill points to gain access to more skills. Each of the skill trees offers new abilities (body bags or silent drilling) to assist the player in completing heists.
In each skill tree in PAYDAY 2, there are 3 separate sub-trees. For instance, the Mastermind tree has a Medic sub-tree, a Controller sub-tree, and a Sharpshooter sub-tree. Each sub-tree has four tiers: Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4. Skills do not cost any spending or Offshore Cash to apply, but prior to the revamped skill trees of the current build of the game, they did require spending cash as well as skill points. Tier 1 across any of the trees is 1 point for basic and 3 points for an ace. Tier 2 costs 2 points for basic, and 4 points for an ace. Tier 3 costs 3 points for basic, and 6 points for Aced. And finally, Tier 4 costs 4 points for basic and 8 points for Aced. Instead of respeccing an entire skill tree at once and gaining back all the skill points you spent a percentage of the cash you spent, you can now respect any individual skill and gain back the skill points you spent.
Players can earn weapon attachments and other prizes upon successfully completing heists. For longer heists, this takes place at the end of the final day. Weapon mods are either attachments (such as scopes and suppressors) or modified/replacement parts (such as new stocks, foregrips, etc). Each weapon only supports specific mods, though most mods are usable on more than one weapon.
Each weapon mod affects the appearance and stats of the weapon. Some include a tradeoff (for example, increasing accuracy but decreasing concealability), while others only make positive changes. Players should take care to look at the mod's effect on the stat's table, as some descriptions are not always updated.
After a weapon mod is found, it is placed into the player's inventory. The player may use spending cash to attach a mod to a weapon. The mod can be removed from the weapon and returned to the player's inventory at any time but will cost the same amount to attach it again. For this reason, it is more cost effective to have two of a weapon with different mods than to take the mods on and off (e.g. owning a Compact-5 with a silencer attached for stealth and another with no silencer for greater damage, rather than repeatedly paying to remove and attach the silencer as needed).
Mod effects stack but are constrained; for example, if adding two mods that increase the stability of a weapon to the maximum value possible, adding a third mod that would otherwise increase stability will have no effect. Careful balancing of mods can improve the weapon with no downside if the negative effect of each mod is canceled by a positive effect of another.
As of the update #39, the skill tier bonuses have been removed from the game, being replaced by the Perk Decks system which works in a similar way, but limits the player's access to beneficial bonuses. Most of the tier bonuses have been revised into Perks, but some have been removed entirely in Update #39.
Mods and Tools
A number of fan-made programs exist to allow further control over the PAYDAY 2 experience. This guide gives an overview of some of the available mods. The game's asset files can be explored with the PD2 Bundle Tool available here, documented here.
GEM, the Graphical Enhancement Mod, optimizes both the game's appearance and performance and is described here.
Shadow Map improves performance and reduces input lag and is covered here.
SweetFX is a mod that works with almost every DirectX game, its use for PAYDAY 2 is covered here.
OVERKILL has confirmed that players will not be banned for using mods as they do not affect gameplay.
PAYDAY 2 supports controllers, however, only Xbox 360 controllers and any controllers using the Xinput system will work. Upon booting PAYDAY 2, make sure you START WITH THE CONTROLLER, otherwise, it will not work. There are some keyboard options still available to the user such as the chat feature.
Controller support does, however, lack certain useful features. Notably, controller players will not be able to do any of the following:
- Drawing directly on the map during Preplanning,
- Naming weapons in the inventory,
- Naming skill builds on the switch build screen.
In order to perform any of these actions, a controller-using player must therefore, quit Payday 2, relaunch it using the mouse and keyboard, make the desired modifications to weapon and skill build names, then quit Payday 2 again and relaunch it a second time, using the controller to pass through the introductory videos to the main menu.
Downloadable Content (DLC)
Overkill planned to release more DLC and add-on content for PAYDAY 2 than for the original PAYDAY. This was planned to be between August 2013 and July 2014, however, support has been extended to 2017. A DLC Season pass was announced by David Goldfarb on Twitter but was never developed.
With the announcement of PAYDAY 2 Ultimate Edition, to be released on June 8, 2017, via Steam, all to-be-released content expansions for the game will be made free to all, save for one specific pack. All present DLCs will also be delisted and made unpurchasable after said date.
Several pieces of content present in PAYDAY 2 were created as results of Overkill's many collaborations with other studios, gaming companies or authors. Notable examples of such collaborations are the Hotline Miami heist and Jacket Character Pack (with Dennaton Games), The Bomb Heists and Golden Grin Casino (with Lion Game Lion), the 4 Humble Packs (with Humble Bundle), and the SpeedRunners masks (with DoubleDutch Games).
Aside from game developers, Overkill Software have also expressed their intention of working with certain gaming hardware companies such as Dell or movie corporations. Notable examples of such collaborations are the John Wick update (with Lionsgate Studios), the Point Break Heists (with Warner Brothers), and the Alienware Alpha masks. A standard copy of PAYDAY 2 is included for free among other things upon purchase of an Alienware Alpha device.
Pre-ordering gave players access to the PAYDAY Loot Bag, which contains the following:
- A unique red dot sight weapon modification available for use on all rifle weapons
- A unique Skull mask
- A unique mask pattern titled "I LOVE OVERKILL"
- A unique color pattern consisting of the colors red and black
- A bundle of in-game cash.
On the 24th of June 2013 Amazon sent emails to pre-order customers stating "We've been informed by 505 Games that the Lootbag DLC will no longer be offered as a pre-order incentive on the PC version of this game". The DLC information page on Amazon now only lists the 360 and PS3 versions.
The Career Criminal Edition will, in addition to the standard game, grant the following:
- The PAYDAY Loot Bag, which is described above.
- Two beta keys – one to keep and one to give to a friend. A beta key grants access to the PAYDAY 2 beta release, which was released on the 24th of July.
- PAYDAY 2: The Original Soundtrack – A digital copy of the PAYDAY 2 original soundtrack, available for download pre-release. The tracks are composed by Simon Viklund.
- Crime.net discount – Discounts on all in-game purchases (guns, masks, skills etc. not DLC)
- Bain's Guide to the Criminal Underworld – A digital issue of the must-have guide on heisting, written by Bain. The hunt for Baldwin continues.
- Printable heist blueprints.
A limited edition of PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition was released. When purchased, it contained the following:
- A special limited edition branded box
- A premium Dallas mask
- Themed Duffle bag
- Key ring
The Console Collector's Edition includes:
- Dallas' mask
- Tyvek wallet, which looks like a roll of $100 bills
- A pair of surgical gloves
- PAYDAY 2 Original Soundtrack
As a follow up to the PAYDAY Secret ARG, Overkill Software announced in June 2013 the final prize was that selected players could contribute to the beta testing of Payday 2. Initially, 20 people got the beta test invitation, earlier than others from the Payday: The Secret group, and players with beta-keys that pre-purchased the Career Criminal Edition. During this part of the beta testing of several games builds with different tweaks were released and tested.
PAYDAY 2 public beta keys were released 24th July to buyers of the Career Criminal Edition. This game build contained 7 playable missions over 11 levels.
The Payday 2 Beta was also released for PS3 and Xbox 360 on August 13th, 2013. The Beta is still available for purchase as a digital copy on PS-Store/Xbox Live Store and as a disc version.
In the demo, the player can only progress to level 10, therefore restricting their access to most armors, weapons, skills, and equipment. In the main menu, instead of the golden message promoting DLCs, there is a message promoting the full game. On Crime.NET, there are only 2 missions available: Bank Heist and Watchdogs, and the highest difficulty available is limited to Overkill.
Right after the release of the game, it received positive reviews. Aggregating review websites Gamerankings and Metacritic gave the PC version 78.52% and 79/100.  The Xbox 360 version was rated 75.00% and 75/100   and the PlayStation 3 version was rated 71.54% and 74/100.  
The game has sold more than a million copies as of 2014, with 80% of those sales being digital. PAYDAY 2 was a hit, pulling Overkill's parent company, Starbreeze Studios, out of financial loss.  
Criticisms of Console versions
Despite the huge success of the PC version, the low level of attention towards the console ports of the game has attracted a lot of negative feedback from the gaming community. Namely, players bemoan the outright lack of patches, fixes and content updates for the Xbox 360 version even after almost a year since the launch date. This is due to Microsoft not approving of the content update system of PAYDAY 2.
The console versions of the game (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3) remained largely the same until October 2014, where Overkill released an update for both versions bringing DLC and many gameplay changes. On the Steam forums PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition thread, Overkill has stated they will drop support for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, citing technical limitations.
Overkill have since released new updates and DLCs for the PS3 version and eventually the Xbox 360 version. DLC's include Gage weapon packs 1 & 2, Armored Transport, and a free mask for the 360 players to reward their patience.
Unfortunately, the Crimewave Edition for the Xbox One has been broken since release. 505 Games has stated: “We’re aware there’s a number of users on XBO who are having connectivity issues on Crime.net. We’re testing the patch now and hope to have it released in the coming days! We identified three issues on connectivity on the XBO platform (which only impacts a small number of players)—to which the patch should correct any freezes and server drops in crime.net. We’re currently working with MSFT on testing the patch!"
After the start of CrimeFest 2015, on October 15, 2015, Overkill implemented a micro-transaction Safes and Drills system in the form of the Black Market Update that has been widely criticized by the fan base, resulting in an overwhelming influx of negative reviews dropping its Steam and Metacritic ratings substantially.
This was due in part to the content update contradicting the statements made in 2013 by then-game director David Goldfarb and Overkill/Starbreeze executive Almir Listo that the game will never include microtransactions in any shape or form. The other part of the problem was that this heavily money-dependent system was introduced as part of a "free" community event reward. Goldfarb himself has openly expressed his contempt for this movement on his Twitter, and stated that it was one of several disagreements with the studio which led to his departure in 2014.
The Drill items required to unlock the Safes initially had to be purchased from an in-game interface for a considerable fee of $2.50 per unit, but due to the overwhelmingly negative community backlash, has since been implemented as a post-game random drop, which alleviates the money issue.
An apology was issued by Overkill studios and "Team Boosts" as well as "Stat Boosts" were implemented as rewards from cards and monthly side jobs, which further angered the PAYDAY 2 community.
Following the full acquisition of the PAYDAY IP by Starbreeze in May 2016, they have announced their plans to remove the microtransactions system entirely in the near future, allowing all to-be-released safes and their contents to be available to all players as random post-mission drops. The safes, drills, and skins currently in circulation will remain as is.
Following their acquisition of the PAYDAY IP by Starbreeze in May 2016, the studio has confirmed the development of PAYDAY 3. Not much has been revealed as of current, other than it using the Valhalla engine. In 2017, Starbreeze realized that Valhalla was a terrible engine, and was allegedly integrated into Unreal Engine 4.
- ↑ http://www.madeforgaming.com/payday-2-crimewave-edition-brings-the-ultimate-heist-experience-june-21/
- ↑ https://youtu.be/6X06fvObnG0?t=26m44s
- ↑ http://www.dsogaming.com/news/starbreeze-acquires-full-rights-for-payday-microtransactions-to-be-removed-in-the-future/
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6skYgBkMfV4
- ↑ https://www.polygon.com/2017/2/16/14640172/payday-3-overkill-starbreeze
- ↑ https://steamcommunity.com/games/218620/announcements/detail/1665695876816570722
- ↑ http://www.overkillsoftware.com/games/overkills-the-walking-dead/
- ↑ http://www.starbreeze.com/timeline/
- ↑ https://twitter.com/locust9/status/337629192944504832
- ↑ http://www.reddit.com/r/paydaytheheist/comments/1g74x7/i_am_almir_listo_producer_of_payday_2_ama/cahdwxi?context=3
- ↑ http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000725933
- ↑ http://www.gamerankings.com/pc/682607-payday-2/index.html
- ↑ http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/payday-2
- ↑ http://www.gamerankings.com/xbox360/707322-payday-2/index.html
- ↑ http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/payday-2
- ↑ http://www.gamerankings.com/ps3/682608-payday-2/index.html
- ↑ http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-3/payday-2
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/payday-2-review/1900-6413620/
- ↑ http://www.ign.com/games/payday-2/pc-142404
- ↑ http://www.pcgamer.com/payday-2-sells-1-58-million-copies-80-percent-of-sales-were-digital/
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/articles/payday-2-sales-pull-starbreeze-out-of-15-year-loss-in-six-months/1100-6418040/
- ↑ http://kotaku.com/payday-2-has-been-broken-on-xbox-one-for-three-weeks-1715384186
- ↑ http://www.gamespot.com/articles/payday-2-wont-have-microtransactions/1100-6410303/
- ↑ https://twitter.com/locust9/status/654757112547950593
- ↑ https://twitter.com/locust9/status/654767736506023937
- ↑ https://twitter.com/locust9/status/654765017993080832
- ↑ https://twitter.com/locust9/status/654776873809895425
- ↑ http://www.dsogaming.com/news/starbreeze-acquires-full-rights-for-payday-microtransactions-to-be-removed-in-the-future/
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6skYgBkMfV4
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