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In the PAYDAY series, the Payday Gang, also known as the Payday Clowns, is the team of masked, player-controlled criminals.


In both games of the PAYDAY series, the player controls a four-man team of experienced criminals of various backgrounds to complete contracts or heists given by their handler Bain and other contacts in the second game via the underground network known as, also operated by Bain.

While the gang itself does not impose a uniform policy, several of its members are usually finely-dressed in dapper suits and ties (though there have been exceptions) and with the exception of one member, carry their own unique, often clown-themed, masks. They can also wear disguises or alternative gear when the situation calls for it.

Despite the mental instabilities of some members, the heisters all exercise a good level of professionalism during their jobs, and despite being criminals, the gang has their own standards, usually preferring not to cause collateral civilian damages (though player-controlled heisters can kill bystanders by choice or accident). As Commissioner Solomon Garrett has begrudgingly noted, their heists have often resulted in relative stability on the streets, as most victims of their contracts are usually shady corporations, high-profile crime lords, or individuals that are otherwise criminalistic in their own rights whose operations are deeply concealed or well outside of the police's jurisdictions and authorities.

As the storyline progresses, new heisters sought to join the crew and/or are inducted by one of the four original members. As of PAYDAY 2, the whole gang consists of 22 characters, each with their own backstory, masks, signature sets of perks, and weaponry.

Originally, the heisters did not have a specific name to use to identify the group, though they were dubbed the "Payday gang" by the player community and soon after, the name stuck and became an official part of the PAYDAY canon.


Original crew[]

In PAYDAY: The Heist, players assume the role of four clown-masked heisters who refer to themselves using aliases.


After the success of the old crew and subsequent arrest of Hoxton in 2012, various other criminals have also joined the crime group. The crew's headquarters is now situated in Washington D.C, and their criminal activities are controlled via

The entire crew now consists of 22 members with the return of Hoxton and introduction of the original members' acquaintances.


After the true conclusion of PAYDAY 2, the "original" Payday gang formally disbanded in order to pursue their own lives, though this was not to last as at least the original quartet was forced back into heisting by an unknown enemy, with their new base of operations being set in New York. It remains to be seen if any more of the lineup from PAYDAY 2 will return, or if new faces will show up to replace them.

Preferred Character[]

Character Pick.jpg
Choose Character.jpg

Released in CrimeFest 2015 was the ability for players to select up to four of their most favorite characters to play as during a mission. The player will automatically assume the role of the first character in a lobby if possible, but if that one's already chosen by someone else, then the selection will default to the second preferred heister, and so on.

Players can only choose the base-game heisters unless they are either in the PAYDAY 2 Community Group or own any character packs.

Before this feature was revamped, one could only have a single preferred character. If the selected heister has been taken, one would be randomly assigned to that player, allowing them to play as DLC-specific characters without ownership of their content packs.



  • The four original members of the gang are often depicted as criminals wearing black suits and ties in an uniform fashion in promotional artworks and various upgrade tree icons of the first game, though they'd still wear their signature outfits during missions where applicable.
  • Hoxton is the first ever member of the crew to officially refer to the whole group as the "Payday gang", during the Breakout heist, though only in his NPC/contractor form and not an active character. Other members have since received updates to acknowledge the new moniker.
    • In a randomly played quote during assaults in both games, Dallas may say "We'll make 'em remember the day they fought the PAYDAY gang!"
  • The character of Hoxton was originally intended to be replaced by the now-separate Houston in PAYDAY 2, as both of his actors were unable to reprise their roles during the web series and game's production (Richard Blom ended his contract with Overkill in 2013 and Pete Gold had a scheduling conflict). Due to the games' community wanting the character back, however, they re-added him in the 2014 CrimeFest, making him available to all of those who had completed the Hoxton Breakout heist, which was also added during the CrimeFest.
  • Wolf with his bindle.

    Wolf is the only recurring original member of the gang to retain both his voice and actor.
    • Due to his departure from Starbreeze, various scheduling conflicts and personal projects, Ulf Andersson will not be reprising his role as Wolf in any future PAYDAY-related media, nor will he be providing voice over updates for the character. It is unclear at this point if either a new actor will be hired for the role, will Wolf be using generic lines from now on, or will he be written off entirely from the series' canon. As of current, Wolf has not been given any new lines (and Overkill reused some of them for calling out the medic) and a new voice actor has not been found.
      • Likely as a nod to Andersson's departure and subsequent inability to reprise his role, his character Wolf was seen holding a bindle on the Road to Crimefest website between the end of the event and the 6th day of CrimeFest 2015 (the announcement of the Wolf Cards). After that, his sprite was removed from the website.
    • That being said, Wolf is also one of the confirmed returnees in PAYDAY 3, though it's unclear at this point if he will be recast or if Ulf Andersson will be reprising his role in the new project.
  • As the PAYDAY series was inspired largely by the 1995 crime film Heat, the four original heisters each resembled a member of the gang from the movie in terms of characteristics and temperament.
    • Dallas resembled Neil McCauley in the sense that both are portrayed as intelligent, calculating but also suave, if not noble masterminds of the team.
    • Chains is akin to Michael Cheritto in that both men are ex-military, are somewhat ill-tempered and easy to get angry.
    • Hoxton and Chris Shiherlis are both known for their calm and collected mannerism while under duress.
    • Wolf is like the gang's Trejo for always being optimistic and cheerful.
      • Additionally, Wolf could also mirror Waingro, sharing the criminal's unhinged mentality and propensity for violence.
  • Half of the new faces in PAYDAY 2 were inducted into the old crew by the original members, with the other half being introduced via the gang's contacts:
    • John Wick was Chain's old friend and former comrade in the military. He joined the crew to pay off an unknown favor. He's also old friends with Hoxton.
    • Houston is Dallas's younger brother, who were inducted to fill in Hoxton's place before the Englishman's breakout in late 2014.
    • Clover and Bonnie were former acquaintances of Hoxton.
    • It is possible that Jacket was introduced to the team by Wolf, as they both appeared in the teaser trailer for the Hotline Miami DLC.
    • According to her description and FBI File, Sydney seemingly inducted herself, appearing during a bank robbery being executed by the gang.
    • While Rust is invited into the crew by Bain and The Elephant, the former for his information on advanced technology a client of his wants, the latter for their shared (former) allegiance with the OVERKILL MC, Rust is officially inducted into the crew by Dallas as well as given his clown mask by him, and it is suggested by a necklace made of a shotgun shell with Dallas' name etched into it that they were acquaintances in the past, or possibly that Rust had intended to kill Dallas prior to being invited to join the gang.
    • It is implied that Duke had connections with Aldstone, Hoxton's butler.
    • Sokol, Jiro, Bodhi, Jimmy, Ethan, and Hila were unambiguously inducted by Bain.
    • Sangres was introduced to the gang by Gage.
    • Joy was inducted into the gang by Vernon Locke in the absence of Bain, with some string pulling from The Elephant as well.
  • The term "clowns", is commonly used by law enforcers to name the Payday Gang due to the heisters' fondness of stylized clown masks which they all canonically wear during missions.
  • Hoxton is the only member of the Gang to have been canonically arrested in a traditional sense since the beginning of the series, with the police custody mechanic notwithstanding. Although several others have also reportedly done time before being released to join the crew, their incarceration likely happened before PAYDAY: The Heist took place.
  • The Payday crew started off as ridiculously well-equipped thieves, but added heists have propelled them into international terrorists at best. If nothing else, the sheer number of police they've killed has easily qualified them all for the death penalty hundreds of times over.
    • Additionally, they have stolen nukes, working cold fusion engines, and committed countless acts of grand larceny and theft.
    • Unlike many other criminals, the gang seems to have honor as they try to spare civilians despite their threats to kill them when shouting at them. This also ties into their professionalism, although it could have also been a case of pragmatic villainy in play, as actively killing off civilians incurs a significant dent in cleaner costs to their wealth.
    • There is a small, ongoing joke in the community about the PAYDAY gang essentially being James Bond villains, due to their high-profile heists, advanced equipment, distinctive look, and the body count left in their wake.
    • Considering the heists they have done, and that the in-game trailers after the Death Wish update have shown them facing off against GenSec Elites, each member of the PAYDAY gang would probably have at least a billion USD, excluding the most recent ones. However, spending this money in the USA or any of her allies in high amounts would be nearly impossible without garnering attention due to the PAYDAY gang's high-profile nature and the fact that the FBI seems to know their faces. Ironically enough, this makes their vast earnings nearly useless in their main area of operations, though these issues could perhaps be at least partially circumvented if the gang's members did mostly use their money in the black market, or otherwise circumvented the system.
    • In spite of all this, a handful of presidential pardon letters were stolen in The White House heist and allowed the crew to be forgiven of the countless crimes they committed even though it doesn't work like that in reality. However, if the secret is solved, it is strongly implied that fate was rewritten due to extraordinary circumstances, with Bain apparently reincarnated into the 46th US president to change the impossible.
  • Most members of the Payday Gang have a safe with thematic skins that corresponds to them, with those of newer DLC heisters being typically released shortly after their respective character packs are made available. As of current, the crewmembers without a corresponding safe are Houston, Clover, Dragan, Jacket, Bonnie, Sokol, Jiro, Ethan, Hila, and Joy.
Gameplay • Heists • Skills & Perk Decks • Weapons & Equipment • DLC