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Video Game: PAYDAY 2

Following the success of PAYDAY: The Heist, Starbreeze (makers of the Riddick games) decided to buy the previous developer and fund a sequel. Dubbed PAYDAY 2, the game follows the same crew (albeit short an original member) of hardened criminals, who have moved on to bigger and better heists. The game was released worldwide on August 13th on Steam and August 16th on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in 2013. A playable beta was released on July 24th on the same year for players that pre ordered the Steam version of the game.

Like its predecessor, PAYDAY 2 involves hitting a target for huge cash bonuses, and carries a lot of similarities: guys in clown masks, tropes and ideas borrowed from heist movies, and core mechanics that mirror the Left 4 Dead series. Rather than having swappable classes, the game uses a more refined character class system; you spend skill points to level up different class trees that contain different abilities, allowing you to mix-and-match abilities. The game also contains weapon mods that allow players to tweak and customize weapons as they wish for optimal performance, as well as customizable masks that have different materials, patterns, and colors.

The voice actors from the first game returned, save for Chains, who simply changed actors, and Hoxton, who was replaced in-story by Dallas's brother. Eventually, the original Hoxton was brought back as a playable character, and Dallas's brother was renamed "Houston" to avoid confusion.

In addition to the game, Overkill Software created a promotional mini-series, simply called PAYDAY: The Web Series, which consists of six episodes (averaging at about 10 minutes each) based on the game. The series showcases the main characters in action while also showing minor characters that play a role in the overall story arc, or what kind of people they are. The series was produced and directed by Demian Lichtenstein, who also directed 3000 Miles to Graceland, and was co-produced by Overkill Software. The series can be found for free on Youtube as well as several other websites.

The game had five DLCs planned, until Overkill's publisher 505 Games gave several million dollars in funding to ensure content and support for the game for the next 20 months. The successful beta test from the community had the developers release the first DLC, Armored Transport Heist, for free towards anyone who pre-ordered the game. The game is also receiving continued updates every few weeks, which includes free content, bug fixes, and the occasional paid DLC. Currently, the game is set for a series of heists contracted by newcomer "The Dentist" (trailer); said contracts are to be released every two/three months throughout late-2014, and involve massive targets for big rewards. They cover:
  • The Big Bank, released June 17th (trailer).
  • Hotline Miami Crossover, released September 30th (trailer).
  • Hoxton Breakout, released October 27th (trailer).
  • THE Diamond (TBA).
  • Golden Grin Casino (TBA).

Furthermore, free bonuses are also being periodically released as build-up to the series' third anniversary: dubbed CrimeFest, the creators are releasing free additional content (a great deal of which would normally be charged for) as per the official Steam group passing several member milestones before the anniversary.note  On October 13th, five days before deadline, the Steam group finally bypassed the final 1.5m member mark; as reward for bypassing such high targets, the game is seeing several major upgrades, including a female protagonist hailing from Scotland, a return of Oop North Original Hoxton, as well as a crossover with the new, critically acclaimed Keanu Reeves thriller John Wick. Furthermore, on October 25, it was announced that Overkill would be partnering up with their friends at Lion Game Lion, an independent studio that branched off from their company, to produce a series of new heists from a new contact known as "The Butcher," to be released in the future.

Also, like its predecessor, the soundtrack is acclaimed enough that Steam have released downloadable albums of the game OST and the GO Bank Christmas singles. Almost all of the music can be heard via the in-game jukebox for free (provided you own the core game), and several can be heard for free on the PAYDAY Bandcamp page and composer Simon Viklund's site.

PAYDAY 2 provides examples of:

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  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Firstly, players can attain a maximum level of 100, and levelling slows to such a crawl that even DEATHWISH heists will provide only a fraction of later levels. Taken even further with the "Infamous" prestige levels, which require players to grind to Lv 100 for the pleasure of paying M in saved offshore cash to lose all normal cash and upgrades; in other words, players wipe the slate totally cleannote  for a spade logo in front of their name, increased XP rewards, special 'infamous' items, and a better chance of rare drops.
    • Taken even further with the Infamy system as, while each restart increases XP gained after a mission by 5% (e.g. Infamy Level 2 = +10% XP, Infamy Level 5 = +25% XP), it should be noted that players still need to raise m offshore, and there are currently up to five levels of Infamy; if the current chart is anything to go by, OVERKILL has plans for three more class levels and a final one, meaning players will max out at Infamy 14.
    • The grind has been somewhat alleviated in a recent major update that rebalanced XP rewards for everything; XP significantly loses speed around level 70, but early players now earn equipment easier and infamy players can find their feet much faster.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: The police would absolutely not send wave after wave of cops to take down four crooks, especially if they were being cut down like blades of grass - ESPECIALLY if they had civilian hostages. On the other hand, normal people can't take several hundred bullets and still keep going, so the breaks come on both sides. Banks also do not have several hundred thousand dollars in cash on hand, specifically because of the possibility of getting robbed.
    • Bain will often explain why the banks in question have as much as they do and it's always an unusual circumstance, except for Big Bank which simply hasn't been robbed in 200 years.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: So much so he'd dance on your grave; EVERYTHING costs an extortionate amount of cash. Whilst it's understandable a rare weapon might cost upwards of a few hundred thousand (plus because of balancing), upgrades are on par with weapon costs. Attaching purely cosmetic wooden-handle to your shotgun? Several thousand without discount upgrades. Removed it and decided you want it back on again? I hope you have another several thousand handy.
    • Done to absurd extremes on — if you want to play a specific level with specific settings without waiting,you're expected to have a few million to spare (though it thankfully comes from your offshore account instead of your actual spending cash). Patches nerfed the costs of buying contracts where most of them cost a few hundred thousand dollars and a few will reach a million bucks.
    • Somewhat averted with the Gage Mod Packages DLC. The weapon mods in it are given to players for free after collecting enough in-game packages during heists, and do not cost anything to attach them to your weapons.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Frequent, as some missions allow certain classes to thrive whilst others are reduced to support. The typical pairings are: Mastermind & Enforcer, who focus on theatrical, powerful approaches; and Technician & Ghost, who focus on indirect, defensive approaches).
    • Partially due to post-release patches, "Techforcer" is now a popular direct-combat option because it combines the technician's "Bulletproof" skill with the Enforcer's heaviest body armor, while Mastermind is more useful for stealth because stealth is more often than not a matter of managing civilians and guards (Mastermind's ability) rather than staying out of sight and moving quickly (Ghost's ability).
  • A.I. Breaker: Averted unlike the first game. SWAT units are more synchronized in their attacks and will flank players from every possible angle when given the chance. There's almost nothing that breaks the enemy AI - bar having a computer that can't handle all of the simulation work. It's very possible, on lower-end machines, for the cops to stand around staring, not shoot for several seconds after acquiring a target, and other stranger behaviours.
    • However, a programming quirk regarding setting the storage room on fire in the Nightclub heist causes the team AI that are near the room to suddenly stand still and not follow the player until the fire goes out. This is likely due to team AI sharing similar path finding with the enemy AI and enemies caught behind the fire are programmed to stand still to avoid walking into the fire mindlessly.
  • All or Nothing: The sequel ramps up the trope with having a lot of cash and valuables being optional. You can try to get more of them for a bigger payout, but if you are not careful, your team can get wiped out and you'll lose everything. There's also Pro jobs, which are the ultimate all-or-nothing; if you fail *any* day of the job, you are kicked back to the lobby and the job is terminated. Do not fuck up right at the end of a 3-day job.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: A rare player-initiated variant. The second day of the Hoxton Breakout heist has the Payday Gang invade and occupy the FBI'S headquarters long enough to steal some top secret information about Hoxton and the man who sold him out.
  • An Axe to Grind: The Survival Tomahawk, one of the new melee weapons added in the Gage Shotgun Pack DLC. It deals the highest uncharged attack damage, making it the best for spamming uncharged melee attacks.
    • The Hotline Miami pack also brought a fire axe, the single strongest melee weapon, period, with a monstrous 90 base damage. With the right skill, it can oneshot anything less than the heaviest non-special law enforcer, and make quick work of special enforcers as well.
  • And Your Reward Is Masks: Completing heists allows each player to draw one of three cards, and possible cosmetic prizes include different mask "ingredients"; designs, fabric/material, and color schemes.
  • Animesque/Moe: Parodied with the Kawaii mask, which turns your murderous criminal into a pink-haired moeblob.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: PAYDAY 2 has any bags of coke tossed into the water during day 2 of Watchdogs respawn at the truck where they first appeared in. All mission critical loot bags cannot be completely stolen by the cops, but they can be moved elsewhere.
    • Averted in the final parts of "Rats". Players need to wait for a second loot helicopter that hovers beside the bridge and, should they miss when throwing a bag, it falls off the bridge and is Lost Forever. note 
    • Advancing to the next tier of infamy resets all your skill points, but as compensation, the points needed to unlock the next tier in a class tree is cheaper. Experience points needed to level up is also reduced.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Dallas' dentist in The Dentist trailer knows exactly who he is and uses that information to strong arm him into doing a few jobs. He's smart enough to sweeten the deal by promising to break Hoxton out of jail, though, which erases Dallas's doubts.
  • Anti-Grinding: PAYDAY 2 discourages players who try to grind for EXP and cash by having heists you completed show up less frequently, forcing you to play other heists instead of playing the same one over and over. The game also had an level limit penalty by reducing EXP gained on heists that are above your level, but it was changed to have the EXP gained be scaled to your level.
    • The game also has some single day heists include an escape sequence if you finish them loud instead of quiet (some levels can be done quickly with the right skills if you rush it), forcing you to secure your loot and to not farm a level over and over. The chance of an escape generally seems to be linked to the number of civilian casualties and the total completion time. If you take more than a certain amount of time, then you probably won't get an escape sequence even if you do the job loud.
    • The booster system also discourages grinding the same levels by reducing your EXP gains while boosting gains for playing levels you haven't been playing. It was possible to have a 100% penalty, but that was only if you did nothing BUT play one specific job over and over. Patch 35 tweaked the boosting system by limiting it to 15% max while making penalties capping out to only 30% so that players aren't punished too heavily if they want to play specific heists multiple times.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The sequel mixes this up. This time around, civilians are less likely to run around if a fire fight is happening near them. However, shouts and other intimidation sources now vary in strength meaning that shouting people down may take more or less time; a high level mastermind upgrade can even terrify people by sounds other than shouts.
    • Sometimes occurs with friendly AI. Since starting a heist is only character specific (i.e. Player 1 can mask up and break in the back while Player 2 keeps watch without drawing a weapon) it's entirely possible to start a heist only to have an AI stand about outside unarmed; this can even extend to being downed in a firefight only to have an AI stroll up all incognito, revive you, and wander off again.
    • Friendly AI can sometimes (for no discernible reason) either: 1. Charge into a swarm of enemies without regard for survival; or 2. Hide in cover when you really need help, such as staying hidden in Rats when SWAT start scaling the building.
    • It often happens to the enemy AI as well - setting the gym on the top floor of the Mallcrasher mall on fire can occasionally lead to the cops trying to take cover inside the burning room. They don't survive very long. This is extremely useful on Death Wish, as the cops won't last very long even with their increased max health.
    • Shields, in particular, have a hole in their logic. Shield AI is programmed to always face the front of a player to block attacks. However, if you turn around and walk backwards towards the Shield, you can easily get behind them since the Shield won't know where to face.
    • Headless Titan Bulldozer AI is intentionally crippled. If you look away from them, they don't fire at you. While this leaves you more vulnerable to cloakers that may approach, it allows players to easily complete Safehouse Nightmare by oneself, simply looking down and waiting at the drill (as cloakers don't tend to actively hunt the player unless provoked). Oddly, it's easier for one player to complete the Safehouse Nightmare achievement on Death Wish difficulty than it is on Overkill, as the "easier" difficulty requires collecting floating masks that may instantly incapacitate you.
  • Armed Blag: Armoured Transport lets you pull these on GenSec convoys, albeit with more violence than the original trope. Each convoy has between one and four trucks, with each truck having several lockboxes you'll need to crack open to get the goods. You need at least two bags of loot (gold, jewels, or plain old cash) to complete the heist - each van has at least two, though the exact quantity per van depends on difficulty and van count, plus the risk of some being destroyed if you use C4 to blow the doors off.
  • Ascended Meme: When you first start the game, you'll start a "heist" (actually just a tutorial) where you enter your safehouse. Bain will tell you to go inside, and the first command he'll give is for you to answer the phone on the table. You can't actually answer it, just like in Counterfeit-fortunately, Bain talks to you anyway, and says "See? I'm one step ahead of you, as always! You didn't even have to answer the phone!"
    • GO Bank and The Benevolent Bank also include phone-answering objectives as part of their stealth sequence. Failing to answer the phone can cause the mission to go loud.
    • When Hoxton was confirmed to return, people started calling Dallas's brother (who had taken up the codename) "Houston" to differentiate. That's precisely the name he's given from the Hoxton Breakout onward.
  • Ascended Glitch: Patch 11 introduced a bug where street cops had triple the amount of power than they normally have, which meant a cop using a pistol could easily shred your armor and health, even if you had obtained armor and health upgrades. Many people liked the bug for the challenge it presented, so the developers decided to give street cops the Bronco .44 a few patches later, which is a freakishly powerful revolver.
  • Asshole Victim: It would probably be easier to list the people who DON'T deserve it, actually. The people guarding the voting machines and operating the related facilities in Election Day, the employees working for the jewelry stores robbed in Diamond Store, Jewelry Store and Ukrainian job, guards, and the innocent civilians are probably the only people who don't have it coming on some level. Every other job involves the crew running up against someone who is, at the very least, involved with something very shady indeed. YMMV on whether banks count as asshole victims, but the Crew certainly thinks they do.
    • Meta-wise, everyone you can kill is this. Yes, even the civilians, who personify Too Dumb to Live.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Any heist your crew of murderous robbers successfully pulls off counts as this.
  • Badass Boast: The Bulldozer is particularly fond of these, and their distinctive voice yelling something is often the first warning of their arrival on the field. They have a large set of lines for several events such as starting an attack ("There's only four of them?!" or "You are up against the wall... AND I AM THE FUCKING WALL!"), having their visor shattered ("I'm still gonna kick your ass, VISOR OR NO VISOR!") and incapacitating one of the players. Cloakers also deliver them after incapacitating a player.
  • BFG: The light machine guns are this by having an extremely large ammo pool, magazine size, high rate of fire, high suppression, and being huge. The trade off is you move slower while you have the gun out and you can't use iron sights, forcing you to hip fire.
    • The Thanatos .50cal sniper rifle is a weapon meant to take out armored vehicles. It ignores armor, shields, and singular walls while making short work of everything, with the only thing requiring more than one hit being a Bulldozer. Unfortunately, the ammunition is so heavy and so massive that you only get five rounds to each magazine, with fifteen rounds total.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Big Bank trailer has a pair of vocalists singing in Italian, which also appears in-game as the map's Plan-B theme. Provided you can speak Italian and have a good ear for opera, you'll find the song (rather appropriately) talks about greed, power, and wealth; in essence, the male singer is filled with avarice, the female singer warns him of it, and he discards her advice only to die and lose it all.
  • Bladder of Steel: While usually expected of online games (i.e. a pause function is seldom available), this is invoked through the inclusion of escape sequences. Needed the toilet for most of that thirty minute heist? I hope you can hold it another ten, because leaving means forfeiting the entire mission's cash and XP.
    • Averted now in that you have a chance to change your gear set up before the escape mission, giving you a chance for a break.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted in the sequel; enemies unfortunate enough to be in the way of your bullets will introduce their insides to the walls behind them, leaving for a rather gruesome wallpaper.
  • Blown Across the Room: The Bronco Revolver, Deagle, and any shotgun is capable of sending a mook ragdolling through the air. Special mention to the Mosconi Shotgun which, by being a long range shotgun, can even blow an enemy across the room from across the room. The GL40 can also send several cops flying across the room at the same time with one well place grenade shot.
  • Bond One-Liner: Alongside all their other verbal sparring, Bulldozers will deliver one of these every time they down a player.
    Bulldozer: "Got you, shitbag!"
    Bulldozer: "What? You're dead already?"
  • Bonus Level: An odd example for the genre. During any Armored Transport Heist, there's a random chance that a military blueprint can spawn in one of the deposit boxes. If you find it, you get to play an extra level afterwards called the Train Heist, which cannot be played through at all. The Train Heist has the biggest payout in the entire game if you can steal all 40 bags of military ammo and steal the main objective item, which is a military turret. On Overkill, the payout in spending cash alone is over million!
  • Boring but Practical: Technician's drill upgrades. It's uninteresting and passive, but upgrading all of his drill perks earn you much faster, much quieter drills that can even self repair every other time they jam, cutting chunks off heist times.
    • The Mastermind's Cable Guy skill, which lets you tie civilians faster and acing the skill lets you carry more cable ties. Cable Guy may not be anything fancy, but tying up people quickly and having more ties to work with means better crowd control that can help your crew out whether the heist is in stealth or goes loud.
      • The Mastermind also has the Endurance skill, which effectively doubles the player's stamina, allowing him to sprint for a longer period of time before tiring out. Acing the skill adds another 50% to the player's stamina and also gives that 50% boost to the rest of the crew. Sprinting is the most basic action anyone can do, but it can also be the difference between someone reaching the escape zone in time or being shot down due to their limited stamina.
    • Transporter, in the Enforcer tree, is considered a mandatory skill for almost every build since it lets you move faster when carrying bags and acing the skill lets you throw bags farther. Fast Hands, in Ghost, is also highly recommended due to the skill increasing your pick up speed for bagged loot. Both help out greatly with the ubiquitous bag-moving that is required.
    • Similar to Endurance, Ghosts get Sprinter, which allows them to rebuild their stamina 25% faster and acing the skill grants a 25% boost to the player's sprinting speed. Being able to run sooner and run faster can be a lifesaver when one has to move from cover to cover.
      • Endurance and Sprinter are basically mandatory for any armour-heavy build, as they're essential for keeping up with the rest of the team and repositioning to respond to threats. Being a bullet sponge with a BFG is no good if you can't be where you're actually needed.
  • Bottomless Magazines: In two forms; the Enforcer's Bullet Storm skill grants temporary Bottomless Magazines for a few seconds after deploying an ammo bag, and the Technician's Mag Plus skill increases ammo capacity for all but the Bronco and the Mosconi. It's entirely possible, with extended magazine upgrades, for some pistols to hold more ammo than the default maximum pool - and for shotguns to hold upwards of 20 rounds!
    • Some weapons are modeled with certain magazines that cannot realistically hold the amount of ammunition the game supplies for them, even before Mag Plus.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Several of the Cloaker's lines, now that they're back.
    Cloaker: "I know, I know, I'm late!"
    Cloaker: "I've got your DLC right here!"
    Cloaker: "Now go to the forums and cry like the little bitch you are!"
    Cloaker: "I bet you let yourself get beat up just to hear what I have to say!"
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: The Gage weapons pack DLCs vary between releases with some content either being Difficult but Awesome or useful only in the right hands:
    • Subverted with the weapons themeselves, as each weapon pack has nifty weapons that have great (situational) advantages, but have some major drawbacks. Unless you're willing to spend a fortune on specific mods and perks, the guns don't overpower the vanilla guns: LMGs have massive ammo and high rate of fire, but have awful accuracy and lengthy reloads; and Sniper Rifles can one-shot multiple units and even ignore Shield SWAT armor, but the ammo capacity is low and the reload times are lengthy.
    • Played straight with frag grenades. While grenades are well balanced weapons,note  owners of the right DLC start maps with three of them, whilst those without the DLC only have access by playing with a DLC owner and then buying the grenade crate asset.
    • Also played straight with melee weapons, which come in several varieties provided you're buying the packs. While powerful alternatives require a wind up to maximize their power, non-DLC players are stuck with the default fists, joke money bundle, and weak knuckle dusters (if they join the steam group).
    • Played straight again with the mod pack as, while it requires level grinding to find enough hidden packs, the outcome lands players with free weapon mods, which can lead to some seriously powerful combos normally unavailable to others (save for some alternatives which require specific card unlocks and tons of cash). Players who don't own the mod pack DLC can still earn extra experience points from the packages they find, though the amount depends on how many the team finds and it's still a paltry amount of points.
    • Also played straight with some DLC assets: the sniper pack, for example, grants the unlockable bonuses like two-way zip lines and vantage points which, like grenades, can be a huge advantage but require at least one player to have paid for the DLC. The assets also have their own downsides: vantage points can put you far away from the rest of the team, which means if cops swarm your location or take enough potshots at you, you're screwed. Zip lines, while cool to use, won't allow you to use iron sight aiming while using the line and you're also open to attack by enemies.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The "Train Heist." Only unlocked if you can find the randomly-spawning intel in an "Armored Transport" Heist, the mission is notoriously hard, with frequent sniper spawns, minimal cover, a ton of loot, and random spawns of multiple vaults. Broke into a traincar, drilled the vault and found ammo bags? That's bonus loot, so you'd best start again on another car and hope for the sentry!
    • Especially so considering it doesn't have the stealth icon on the loadout screen, meaning if you want to do it with zero alerts, it's going to be a Luck-Based Mission. Even if enemy spawns work out great, guards don't randomly swap train sides and see you, and civs don't accidentally glimpse you when looking under the train, the pilot still kicks the vault drill out of a moving helicoper, meaning it will probably land on top of the train or the wrong side and be spotted by everyone.
  • Bullet Dodges You: The Dodge mechanic, which is more like Immune to Bullets in practice due to gameplay limitations; it's a chance for shots that actually hit you (complete with impact sound) to be completely negated and do no actual damage. Heavy armour reduces your Dodge rating, but certain skills increase it. The Ghost tree specializes in this, able to achieve a very high Dodge score when sprinting.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Commissar looks similar to his fellow Russian mobsters, but has way more health and wields the KSP, a light machine gun that is used by the Bulldozers on Death Wish difficulty. The Commissar isn't immune to being knocked down though.
  • Bullet Time: PAYDAY 2 has the action slow down for a moment whenever you get incapacitated in order to get some clean shots off your attackers before the action resumes. Bullet time also kicks in when you put on your mask near a guard and have a few slow seconds to dispatch him before he attacks you.
  • Camera Spoofing: The Camera Loop ability allows the player to render cameras harmless without breaking it this way for a number of seconds.
  • Chase Scene: Done off screen in PAYDAY 2 where in between days, your group may get ambushed by the cops as your driver fruitlessly tries to outmaneuver them and crashes. You take control of your character after the crash.
  • Cheat Code: Multiplayer version again. This time, cheating has become worse than it was in the first game since players have been spotted using every single skill at once, having infinite supplies, infinite health, converting special enemies to fight for the player (which is currently impossible to do; you cannot even intimidate special enemies with normal skills), spawning enemy units at will, and having enemies drop loot bags or explode like grenades when killed.
  • Cherry Tapping: You can beat enemies to death with a Pistol Whip, your fists, a baton, or even a wad of cash, though doing so will take many hits just to kill an enemy and is very risky as well.
  • Class and Level System: Mixed up from the first game, as you can't choose a specific class at mission start. A Level Up grants you one skill point (three for every 10th level), which can be placed into one of four classes; each class has certain bonuses and/or exclusive specials, but upgrades can be mixed and matched onto your one character. Each class has skills useful to the other classes as well - such as Enforcer's Oppressor making your gun more threatening; very useful for a crowd-controlling, cop-intimidating Mastermind.
    • The Mastermind (Dallas) has the most team bonuses, and focuses on situation control and manipulation. Also doubles as team medic, and abilities can expand to team buffs, exclusive mission purchases, personal discounts, and enemy/hostage manipulation. The Mastermind's Weapon of Choice is pistols, especially the Bronco .44.
    • The Enforcer (Chains) specializes on strong armor, high damage, and has exlusive use of the best armor and a circular saw that can cut locks. Is also the only class that can instantly open safety deposit boxes (with the saw). The Enforcer's Weapon of Choice is the shotgun or the saw. Or maybe just everything.
    • The Technician (Wolf) is objective based, and has the most gadgets: it comes with better drill abilities, can deploy sentries, multipurpose mines (works as tripwire mine or motion sensor), and C4 (can blast open some doors and secure locks). The Technician's Weapon of Choice - rifles, automatic or single-shot.
    • The Ghost (Houston) focuses on stealth, and comes with a jammer to block alarms and electronics, and can pick locks much faster. Also comes with dexterity upgrades, luck bonuses (such as higher unlock chances and a random self-revive ability) and can crack safes. The Ghost's Weapon of Choice is SMGs, especially suppressed ones.
    • The Fugitive (Hoxton/John Wick) is a new class that Old Hoxton brought with him from prison. Fast and on the fly, they have increased agility, a better chance at dodging bullets, and even critical hit chance. The fugitive's first aid kits are mini-doctor bags that are easy to deploy, easy to use, and compact for storage space (but they can't recharge your revives like the doctor bags). The fugitive's weapon of choice is Arms Akimbo, taking two pistols / submachine guns and running through a wave of enemies that die under the assault.
  • Cold Sniper: Certain missions allow you to purchase a Sniper asset for a reasonable sum of money. They generally aren't in the best position and will occasionally miss, but their supporting fire can help quite a bit. You also don't need to worry about the cops taking them out for some reason. The icing on the cake, though, is the voiceovers, as the sniper will count off his kills.
    Ilija: " down. It has begun."
  • Colon Cancer: Every mission briefing is usually displayed as [Contract name]:[Mission name]. For Bain with the bank heists conducted by him, you can get stuff like "Bain: Bank Heist: Gold".
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • Just like in the previous game, cops can shoot through civilians to hit you while you can't do the same thing. On the flip side, the lack of friendly fire shooting through allies (even if you're clipping into them) is fine. Civilians being immune to gunfire is also a god send since the Stockholm Syndrome skill has a civilian revive a player and they may do so when the cops are shooting at the player that is downed.
      • No longer true; a recent patch which made cops fight gangsters also made them able to hit and kill civilians.
    • Physics has no real concept (surprise!) and SWAT will routinely do things like stand in mid air on the outside of a window to shoot at you.
    • Players need to bypass secure doors by drilling, sawing, detonating, etc., whilst the AI can open secure doors immediately by turning the handle. There are a few exceptions to this (some keycard doors can be instantly opened from the opposite side should you bypass them) but these are, well, the exception.
    • Whilst the friendly AI can only shoot, move, and revive players, enemy AI are capable of carrying loot bags and interacting with hostages, among other things. The friendly AI can also make some movement types that players cannot, such as rappelling down from high ledges (trying to jump down would just make you take incapacitating levels of fall damage).
    • Also, enemies are unaffected by item weight when stealing loot bags, so they can move at a brisk pace while lugging around that bag of gold or fusion engine that slows you to a crawl. Though the converse side of this is that they don't move faster when carrying light items, like jewelry or cocaine.
    • Flashbangs aren't an actual a projectile that gets thrown by enemies. Instead, the game just periodically spawns one at your feet when you're not looking.
    • SWAT snipers can sometimes shoot at you way before they have readied themselves as their sniping spot. Snipers may also shoot you while facing a completely different direction.
  • Concussion Frags: The Gage Weapons Pack #1 DLC adds frag grenades to the game, which damages enemies and stuns them at the same time. It can easily kill most weaker police forces such as streetcops and basic SWAT units; if it doesn't, it can still (sometimes) knock the helmets off them and tougher enforcers, leaving them open for quick headshots.
  • Conspicuous Gloves: The four playable characters always wear blue latex surgical gloves with their two-piece suits regardless of the mission. They're obviously to prevent leaving fingerprints, but it can be somewhat disconcerting when you notice you always wear them, even while covertly casing a robbery target. This coupled with the aversion of Informed Equipment can lead to players who, although geared for stealth, always seem to A) be wearing surgical gloves and B) carrying gear like first aid kits slung over their shoulder. It can start to seem like an Unusually Uninteresting Sight when four men resembling extremely fashion-conscious paramedics in varying degrees of military-grade body armor walk through a bank mumbling about guards and cameras.
  • Continuity Nod: The safehouse in PAYDAY 2 has a front as a dry cleaning store called Bohdi's Dry Cleaning, which is a subtle nod towards the front the crew used in the Counterfeit heist from the first game named Bohdi's Pool Repair.
    • If you have Alex drop off ammo bags for you in day 2 of Big Oil, he may sometimes drop them within inaccessible locations, like at the bottom of the cliff or on top of the trees. Bain may say "This is like Panic Room all over again!", referencing to the time Alex dropped the bag of C4 in an undesirable location in the first game.
    • The Bank GO heist has you air lifting the loot via a plane with a hook. Bain references the event to Green Bridge, another heist from the first game which also had a similar event.
    • In the Hotline Miami heist, when you find the meth lab, Bain will reminisce about all the other meth labs you've blown up, which is both a reference to the Rats heist as well as a mild Take That to players who always opted to blow up the lab in Rats rather than cook the meth.
  • Cool Mask: There are tons of masks as the base and letting players customize their masks with various patterns and colors.
  • Cool Shades: Unlocking your first tier of infamy gives you a pair of shades that you can wear during a heist instead of a mask and it is badass.
  • Corrupt Politician: The Elephant falls squarely into the trope; he wants a lot of shady and high risk criminal activity done under the radar in order to make him look good, benefit his agenda, or ruin the image of his political opponents while paying you handsomely for your work.
    • One of the Elephant's jobs has you double crossing a crooked Democrat by stealing paintings for the Democrat and exchanging them for money, then proceeding to infiltrate his apartment to steal his illegal cache of gold (he got them from an arms deal) while planting cocaine. You really get to see how corrupt the Democrat is during plan B (heist goes loud) where Bain digs up dirt on him and sees that the Democrat not only exchanged arms for gold, but was also involved with drugs and other illegal activities, sometimes even sampling the 'product' as part of the deal.
  • Counterattack: The Shockproof skill in the Technician tree gives you a small chance of staggering a Taser that is stunning you while the aced version of the skill lets you do massive damage in retaliation against him.
    • There's also the Counter Strike skill in the Fugitive skill tree that lets you counter attack a melee attack while charging your own melee, which rather humorously blows them across the room. The aced version even works with Cloakers!
  • Cowboy Cop: Essentially, the entire DCPD. Every single cop that responds to one of your heists will shoot first and never bother with questions, violating every single police procedure for hostage situations and armed robberies.
  • Creator Cameo: Simon Viklund, creator of the acclaimed soundtrack, returns as Bain.
  • Crossover: The GO Bank heist is based on a bank level from Counter-Strike Global Offensive.
    • The Hotline Miami heist is inspired by Hotline Miami, including four animal masks (plus four more for owners of Hotline Miami).
    • As of Update 41, John Wick is a playable character.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: The Commissar keeps giving you these threats in Day 1 of Hotline Miami.
  • Difficulty Spike: Some heists are unlocked after you reached a certain rep level. Around level 30, you unlock jobs given by the Elephant, which are very difficult for first timers due to the heists encouraging stealth and having SWAT swarm in from many spots if the stealth fails; other heists have levels that are more straightforward with cops coming in from predictable locations.
    • Heists released after the game launched tend to be harder than 'stock' ones despite having equal or lower official difficulty ratings, almost always due to absence of good cover. Additionally, all but two cannot be stealthed and one of those two can only be stealthed if you're lucky with random events.
    • Following the tradition of Overkill 145+ in the original Payday, the Death Wish difficulty was added in Update 24. Contracts at this difficulty will start to appear for you when you reach level 90. Not only do the police hit harder, but there are special GenSec Elite who spawn in mobs, specials begin appearing everywhere, all safes become drill-required Titan safes, and most cameras become unbreakable Titan cameras. That's saying nothing of the new "Skulldozer," an elite bulldozer wielding a machine gun.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Explosive weapons in a nutshell:
    • Grenades from Gage Weapon Pack #1 apply, as while players can easily clear chokepoints and knockback shields, a single misfire can kill numerous hostages, and, since damage causes them to detonate prematurely, can cause serious friendly damage if timed incorrectly.
    • The HE rounds/explosive rounds from the Gage Shotgun Pack DLC are difficult to use due to inflicting friendly fire damage, and having a significantly reduced shotgun ammo pool due to balancing. Mastery of the HE rounds in the right hands can allow the player to easily stun lock a cluster of SWAT units and can also stun the Bulldozer, buying the team enough time to run to safety or to pump the Bulldozer full of lead.
    • The GL-40 Grenade Launcher from the Gage Assault Pack applies too, as while players can one-shot most enemiesnote  over pretty long distances, it has a rather small blast radius and a tiny ammo total. If anything, it's like a long range OVE 9000 Saw; fantastic in the right hands, but is very situational and means depending on secondary weapons. If you land a direct hit to a Bulldozer's faceplates with the GL-40, it'll blow them right off (along with about a third of the bulldozer's health!), but it's a small target to hit with a slow-moving, ballistically-arcing projectile...
  • Double Unlock: To get new guns, armour, and melee weapons, you have to unlock them through leveling up and then purchase them with your money. The end-of-heist Payday gives you a choice of three random rewards: they can be weapon mods, masks, their decorations, money, or experience. Once unlocked, mods and masks have to be bought for an open inventory slot.
    • Unlocking skills requires you to spend enough points to climb the class tree; unlocking said skills requires spending money and assigning skill points.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Gage Assault Pack DLC contains a hammer that can be used as a melee weapon. The hammer has one of the highest knockback stats out of all the melee weapons and it can cause quite a bit of damage as well. The hammer's only downside is its lengthy wind up charge.
  • Dummied Out: An early version of the ECM feedback would have civilians and enemies vomiting, but the effect was replaced with having people hold their head in pain instead. The old vomiting animation is still within the game's code and was restored for the Big Bank heist: buying the Poisoned Cake asset will result in one guard hunched over throwing up for the entire mission.
  • Dynamic Entry: Cloakers, with their nasty habit of looking just like blue SWAT units, do so love to wait until the group is occupied with a huge ass shootout, then launch themselves at an unaware crew much like a rocket-propelled law-breaker-breaker missile... thing.
    • One of their favourite tricks is also to drop down from ceiling vents, often right behind an unsuspecting heister. If you don't hear the telltale sound of the vent hitting the floor in time, you may find yourself joining it and enjoying a nice view of a retractable baton.
  • Early Game Hell: New players will be having a rough time trying to acquire anything, do any serious damage, or survive long enough to not go down in their first few hours of the game. Players only start off with a weak assault rifle, pistol, and no body armor, though they quickly can unlock a new gun and better armor within the first few level ups. Buying weapons and new skills are extremely expensive, which is something the developers pushed for so that "every choice you make matters" (which runs into problems when, in the early game, you rarely get any choices to begin with, and the general lack of detailed information to make informed decisions doesn't help either). Once you start racking up money effortlessly, the expenses become trivial.
  • Earn Your Fun: Similar to the first game, PAYDAY 2 pulls no punches and will force new players to learn through trial and error. While there is a tutorial of sorts in the safe house, it only teaches the mechanics to heists such as lockpicking and opening safes; combat skills have to be learned on the fly. The game also has a Random Drop feature for weapon mods, so you may not be able to have a fully pimped out gun if your luck isn't in your favor.
  • Easter Egg: Music from the first game playing on the radio in the safe house.
    • The first game song "I Will Give You My All" can be heard in the biker house on Big Oil Day 1.
    • The GO Bank mission features a stereo playing music from the Merry Payday Christmas soundtrack.
  • Elite Mook: The special SWAT units from the previous game return and behave the same way. New to the game are tan FBI SWAT units that wear full body armor and can't be hurt unless you hit them in the back or headshot them. The Death Wish update also added GenSec armored SWAT units, which are more accurate than the tan FBI SWAT and react faster too.
  • Enemy Mine: The Mastermind class can convince officers to fight alongside the robbers and turn against their own allies. They also also convince civilians to revive them and even give them ammo.
  • Enemy Chatter: There's actually quite a lot, although it can be difficult to notice over the music, gunfire, and shouting from your teammates. However, you're going to be getting very familiar with the Cloaker's quotes as he taunts you whilst beating the shit out of you.
  • Escort Mission: Entirely optional, but if you want an achievement, then you'll have to escort a civilian nicknamed Bobblehead Bob to the vault in Big Bank and make sure you don't accidentally kill him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Bain will NOT be happy if you start killing innocent bystanders. Although it may seem like he's only angry because of the increased police response, longer custody time and cleaner costs, several of his lines make it clear that this trope is definitely coming into play. At least for Bain.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The Elephantnote  and The Dentist.
    • Only Known by Their Nickname: Bain, Houston, and Wolf. Possibly averted for Dallas and Chains - the second episode of the web series names Dallas as Mr. Nathan Steele, and the John Wick Crossover trailer identifies Chains as "Nicholas." Averted for Hoxton, who is identified by the Federal Prison system as "Jim Hoxworth."
  • Evil Cripple: Gage is the gang's weapon dealer, and is paralyzed from the waist down because of a war wound which has left him bitter and jaded. He's in a wheelchair, but that doesn't keep him from shooting out of it.
  • Evil Laugh: The Taser will sometimes gloat in an evil tone if he electrocutes you. Bulldozers may also laugh in an evil voice when they wreck you.
  • Expy: Like the first game, PAYDAY 2 is a Spiritual Successor to the Left 4 Dead series, and holds similar special enemies. Specifically: a suicide rush-er (Cloaker/Charger); a stunner (Taser/Smoker); a distant glass cannon (Sniper/Spitter); and a devastating giant (Bulldozer/Tank). The exception is the Shield, who is entirely unique.
  • Executive Suite Fight: The end portion of day 2 of the Hotline Miami heist has you storming what appears to be a rundown and crumbling apartment building, but the top floor is way more furnished with better wallpaper, carpet, expensive art, a security room, and a vault. The penthouse is always the room where the final showdown with the Commissar will be.
  • Eye Scream: In the Hoxton Breakout trailer, Wolf drills DIRECTLY INTO A BULLDOZER'S EYE!
  • Faceless Goons: Especially so compared to the first, as the main characters went through several stages of actor change and character appearances; only the masks remained the same.
    • Averted with Taser units, as killing them with a headshot makes their entire helmet fly off, revealing a stubbled, brunette man.
  • Fake Difficulty: There are a number of random variations on factors and events in every heist. Sometimes a room will be located in a really bad spot, or a vault door you need to defend has no cover near it whatsoever. Sometimes, the loot vehicle will just keep missing its mark over and over again, or the escape vehicle will arbitrarily decide to set its landing zone across the map from your perfectly viable and already secured area. Also, the fact that the police will send hundreds of SWAT units at a mere four bank robbers in endless waves, even if it gets dozens of civilians killed in the process, doesn't help matters (after all, when hostage takers clearly care far more about keeping hostages alive and out of harm's way than the police, something is terribly wrong).
    • GO Bank's stealth runs can qualify as Harder Than Hard if the security call goes badly as, on activating the vault's time lock, Hilary from GenSec asks for Barney to confirm the time-lock check-in. Thus, one of the following two can happen:
      • She's fine with Barney not speaking, and disables the lasers when the vault opens. Players will only deal with the police chief if they take too long (presumably as Barney didn't call back).
      • She demands Barney call her back, meaning she sends GenSec officers (with pagers) over; players have to carefully avoid the vault lasers when it finally opens to reach the deposit boxes; the local police chief calls due to the GenSec tip-off and sends cops to investigate; when the cops don't report back, players are finally given an ultimatum of four (or less) minutes before he sends every available cop over, forcing players to then drop everything and run or go loud.
  • Fake Longevity: To discourage charging through multi-day heists for the extra cash, being aggressive and loud often adds an additional mission where the vehicle crashes, forcing the players to guard their loot and/or evade the police. The whole trope is avoided if a player who has access to additional assets buys the Expert Driver asset, which guarantees that the crew can escape without a police chase.
    • Notable in Framing Frame: failing the stealth part on Day 1 means the hand-off on Day 2 is much more likelynote  to be ambushed by the police, forcing you to fight your way to the escape vehicle instead.
  • Five-Bad Band: Being a crew of criminals, this is no surprise.
    • The Big Bad: Dallas The Mastermindnote 
    • The Dragon: Houston The Ghostnote , and Hoxton The Fugitivenote 
    • The Evil Genius: Wolf The Techniciannote 
    • The Brute: Chains The Enforcernote 
    • The Dark Chick: Clovernote 
    • Sixth Ranger: John Wicknote 
  • Flipping the Bird: In the Xmas Heist trailer, the crew robs a bank while a nearby civilian records it all on his cell phone. As the crew escapes, the last one to exit approaches the civilian, aims his gun at him, then lowers it as he flips the guy off.
  • Forced Level Grinding: The PRO and harder heists require a great deal of preparation beforehand, and level grinding is the direct line to cash and skills. This also applies to online too as, while you can join games well above your skill, expect to be kicked from sessions if you're level doesn't show you've been grinding enough.
  • Fragile Speedster: Cloakers move insanely fast and can instantly take you down with a single kick, but they can't take much punishment—relatively speaking. Expect to empty five or six shotgun rounds at point-blank before getting a kill, where a normal enemy takes two such shots at most. The major difference is that Cloakers have no armor for their heads, so headshots will quickly kill them, if you can manage it. Generally, if a Cloaker is rushing at you, your only hope is to get a headshot or land a hit with an extremely powerful weapon (like a sniper rifle) in the second or two before he reaches you and instantly downs you.

  • Game-Breaking Bug: The Cloaker in the pre beta version of PAYDAY 2 caused a player's game to crash if he kicked that player. Due to the bug, the Cloaker was removed for the remainder of the beta and was not included in the final game until Patch 23, which reintroduced the Cloaker along with some achievements involving them.
    • PAYDAY 2 on launch day had an extremely nasty bug that caused everyone's games to crash at the end of the heist or when an achievement was unlocked. Luckily, Overkill fixed the problem in less than an hour.
    • Patch 11 caused a terrible bug with body armor where all armor types had the same defensive value as a two-piece suit, meaning no defense. The bug alone made the Enforcer class nearly crippled because the exclusive full suit body armor now had no protection and the burden of slower movement speed. The bug also caused players to switch to the two-piece suit since they had no protection at either rate, they might as well go with extra movement speed. The same patch also caused blue SWAT and gangsters to have triple the amount of firepower.
    • For a while, picking up the top secret blueprints in an armored heist mission would trigger a bug that caused the game to crash when it attempted to load the secret military train mission. Not only did players have to restart the mission, but they'd lose any money and experience they had accumulated in the previous heist.
    • It's possible in Diamond Store for a bug to result in the 'Escape Available' objective never activating if too many bags are thrown into the van at once, forcing a restart or termination.
    • A milder example than most, but in stealth-only mission Shadow Raid, there are certain spots where guards can detect players through walls, resulting in the sixty second to failure countdown.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: It's possible to play the Old Hoxton breakout heist... as Old Hoxton.
  • Glass Cannon: You can become this if you carry powerful guns and wear a two-piece suit, which offers no additional defense (bar Dodge) compared to the various types of body armor. Gangster enemies can easily be killed with at least two shots to the torso, but their machine guns can quickly tear you apart.
    • This goes doubly so for gangsters after certain patches that left Mac-10 armed Gangsters capable of tearing through the players heaviest armor faster than a Bulldozer at close range, but still just as unarmored.
      • Regular uniformed police officers now count. Though totally unarmored, some of the regular uniformed cops now come equipped with the Bronco .44 and can drop a fully armored player's regenerating health down in one shot, and on Overkill, can rapid fire. Though technically a low level unit, they now occasionally warrant showing up on higher difficulty waves due to their devastating firepower.
    • Snipers are also deadly to the point where being shot by one causes all damage that exceeds your remaining armor to bleed over to your health, making you a One-Hit-Point Wonder if you are wearing light armor or none at all. Snipers also have poor defense and can easily be killed with a single shot with most decently powerful guns.
    • Cloakers can take their targets down in one hit and are reasonably resistant to body hits, but take much more damage from headshots than other specials; most guns require two or three headshots to drop them at most. They are also very reliant on cover and ambushing to take down targets effectively; catch them out in the open (which can happen easily on certain maps) and they don't stand a chance.
    • The Hostage Rescue Team are the guys in balaclavas that come in between assault waves. They have minimal health but the highest DPS of any law enforcer short of a Skulldozer; getting surprised by one at close range can result in near-instant incapacitation.
  • Good Old Fisti Cuffs: You can choose to go with your fists instead of using a Pistol Whip when it comes to close quarter combat. While your fists obviously lack power compared to the knives, you can throw punches a bit faster than a knife swing and you can build up a charge for a harder hitting punch faster than charging up a knife attack. Your fists also have the most knockback effect against enemies, more than what a knife can do.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: In GO Bank, the pilot may refer to Bain as "sensei."
  • Guide Dang It: The Train Heist from the Armored Transport DLC requires players steal a military turret, and bag its ammunition should they want a larger prize. Do note, however, that the game fails to emphasize how incredibly volatile the ammo is, as by shooting or simply throwing said bags a little too far causes a strong explosion that can ruin an entire game: as bags are typically moved from pile to pile, and ammo bag explosions can cause chain reactions, one player's error can accidentally cause a huge detonation, either killing the entire team or costing a significant amount of pay.
    • Doors are given little explanation beyond "pick the locks until you level enough." Granted, it's not to difficult to figure out after thoroughly examining the upgrades pages, but it's unsurprising that most players don't realize you can shoot locks out with enough force.note 
    • While it doesn't tell you directly, the safe house has a section that lets you practice your skills on opening doors. Every door whose lock can be shot out are marked with a gun icon. Of course, it's not an obvious tell at first and players who don't bother exploring the safe house fully may not even know about the ability to shoot out locks.
    • Actual upgrade figures, in several cases. Since upgrades are often measured in non-specific figures (e.g. 50% armor regeneration is pretty unhelpful unless you know fast it is normally. Thankfully countered by the OVERKILL endorsed fan-made calculator, which gives more definite figures.
    • Day 1 of Firestarter has you either stealing the weapons for cash or destroying them so the contract's rival gang can't use them. Stealing the weapons for money is easy and obvious, but there's nothing in the level that clearly tells you how you can destroy the guns. note 
    • Day 2 of Big Oil is all about sneaking into a scientist's mansion and stealing the working fusion engine prototype from his lab. However, he has a dozen prototypes and Bain will only accept one. Players are supposed to use clues from around his lab (a computer, clipboard, and a few whiteboards) to determine the correct engine. The first two hints are simple, as they refer to the color of the engine's fuel tanknote , and how many nozzles feed into the machinenote . The hint that qualifies as a guide dang it moment is the pressure gauge of the engine; you have to find the computer that tells if the pressure per square inch (P.S.I.) is less than or more than a certain figure, and convert it to BAR measurement. Unlike other mission critical set pieces, the computer that contains the P.S.I. info can be destroyed by gunfire and grenades, which makes the guesswork much harder. Even if it isn't blown up, the monitor may be UNREADABLE if the texture quality isn't set above a certain threshold. Good luck trying to complete the mission if none of the team can read the monitor, and there happen to be two or more machines that have both the same coloured gas tank and the same number of nozzles.
    • More generally, figuring out what some skills actually do. Their interactions with the game aren't always clear and some bonuses don't actually do anything - Hard Boiled, for instance, boosts shotgun accuracy, which actually makes shotguns worse by limiting their spread without increasing their damage against targets they do hit.
  • Gun Accessories: Firearms can be customized using various grips, barrel mods, sight mods, and so on; this even extends to purely cosmetic mods. Most, however, have at least some mechanical function.
  • Guns Akimbo: The Hitman perk deck allows you to dual wield pistols (even the high caliber Deagle!), though you'll suffer a massive loss to stability.
  • Handy Cuffs: Once again, security guards can cuff you if you approach them too closely.
  • Hard Mode Perks: The sequel makes the trope almost a necessity if you want to get a lot of money in one session. Later missions require this, as level-up requirements increase significantly around level 40.
  • Hand Cannon: The Judge looks like a slightly oversized revolver. It fires .410 shotgun shells; at close range, it's more damaging than the Mosconi. It's also too light to compensate for its own recoil and carries less ammunition than any other secondary weapon.
  • Harder Than Hard: Pro heists. Simply put, a higher payout comes with even steeper difficulty; not only is the game even harder, but failing kicks the players from the map, meaning multi-day heists require a full replay and even single day heists become hard to find again.
    • Death Wish difficulty. Similar to Overkill 145+ in the previous game, damage taken skyrockets, every enemy type receives a health boost, assault waves last longer, and you will have extremely low health when you are revived. Bulldozers with a light machine gun and a new durable and harder hitting SWAT team appear on Death Wish, along with Titan cameras that can't be broken. In addition, Titan safes and additional difficulty factors (such as skylights on Bank Heist variants) have a much higher chance of occurring.
    • The Big Bank heist. Advertised as making the original game's bank heist "look like a candy store," players must either go to extreme lengths to avoid an alarm (i.e. navigate a huge, very busy bank and jump through several hoops to simply reach the vault's inside) or hold off massive, swarming waves of cops and move an enormous drill through two huge areas a mere half minute after the alarm, before fleeing through one of four very dangerous (yet theatrical) means.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: While the Ghost seems somewhat redundant on louder heists, they still have their merits. Fulfilling all speed upgrades, for example, mean you can run/sneak/walk 50% faster, stamina and armor regenerate 50% faster, and you have a 45% dodge chance when running, making the Ghost also cover the Fragile Speedster category.
    • Combined with a couple of Enforcer abilities, the Ghost skills can also make for an amazingly good bag-mover (especially for bags you can sprint with, like meth), able to move several bags to a safer location much faster than otherwise possible. This can save a crew a lot of time and effort, either with moving or potentially retrieving bags.
    • If the Ghost obtains the right upgrades, he can become useful even on loud heists. One example is upgrading the ECM. It can be used as a substitute keycard so you don't have to waste 150+ seconds drilling one door. It can even save your entire crew from an untimely end by emitting at a frequency that paralyzes any hostiles near it with painful headaches, including every Special but cloakers, even Bulldozers. His ability to pick locks at a fast rate and crack safes by hand in forty seconds is also invaluable, especially on missions where the objective is in a safe (Ukrainian Job, Jewelry Store, Night Club) or where many deposit boxes need to be opened quickly and there's no saw on hand (GO Bank, Bank Heist, Big Bank, others.)
  • Hell Is That Noise: Cloakers emit a dull hiss/electronic tone (encoded signal?) that observant players can hear. The electronic 'scream' they make when charging definitely qualifies.
  • Hero Antagonist: The police are just doing their jobs and trying to protect the civilians from the robbers. To a lesser extent, security guards also qualify, although arguably not on the Shadow Raid heist, since they're knowingly working for an extremely shady corporation like Murkywater.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Cloakers avert this: most of them will hide around corners or even under cars, waiting to ambush any player foolish enough to run through the area blindly. Their uniforms are also similar to a normal SWAT unit, which makes them blend in with regular SWAT teams. Cloakers will also use smoke grenades aggressively in order to hide in the smoke. Cloakers will also deploy smoke grenades to blend in with after he downs a player so that everyone else has a harder time finding him.
    • Potentially played straight by Ghost players, depending on how heavy you gear up. For instance, it won't matter if you're only wearing a two-piece suit when you have a fifty-calibre sniper rifle slung over your shoulder.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Due to the wonky Diesel engine, nearly all enemies lack hitboxes on their legs, which makes shooting the legs do nothing but waste your ammo. Factor in lag and the use of (optional, for performance reasons on weaker PC's) low-quality animations, and this issue can get very frustrating. The standard feature of a hit-marker, however, helps to alleviate the matter somewhat.
    • The Bulldozer's weak point is his faceplate, but the faceplate itself is really small and thus it's harder to land constant shots on it.
  • Holiday Mode: From October 31st to November 4th (for 2013 anyway), PC players got treated to an extra heist called "The Safehouse Nightmare", which takes place in the crew's safehouse. The mission description has massive repeats of "All work and no play makes Wolf a dull boy." The level has near zero lighting, save for some candles and scary music from the radio is playing. You use the thermal drill on the vault and suddenly, swarms of headless Bulldozers with triple health start coming after you (no other enemy ever spawns) and the inside of the vault is on fire. You have to secure whatever cash is safe and then your last objective is to "Wake Up." During the entire heist, many random events can happen, such as smoke filling the whole basement, fires starting in random spots, getting electrocuted if you jump, getting downed if you walk through the metal detector, etc. There's also random masks floating upstairs; one of them is real and you can keep it to wear later on while the others are fake, including one that changes into a Witch and instantly downs you.
    • Don't think the special Bulldozers only appear in the Halloween heist; they can appear anywhere alongside normal Bulldozers during the event.
    • For the month of December (2013), the main menu got a Christmas tree in the background and instead of burning money, there's falling snow.
    • For Halloween 2014, the Safe House Nightmare returned - and got even harder. Instead of having semi-automatic shotguns, the Bulldozer now carry light machine guns and are immune from damage to the back, are support by Cloaker and there are now two random effects at once.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Averted, as silenced weapons act more like their real life counterparts; silenced guns are less noisy than an unsilenced gun, but people will still hear it if you fire too close to them. Then later played straight when Overkill updated all silencers to be completely silent, and balanced around damage reduction and concealment instead of noise value. The change was due to the noise from silenced guns being heard by people from a great vertical distance, regardless on what was obstructing between the shooter and the NPC that heard the shot.
    • You can now also silence thermal lances which are about as loud as jackhammers.
    • Played Straight with a Technician drill upgrade; by using a modified drill tip (effectively an industrial silencer) allows you to stealth drill, despite the fact a drill cutting a wall-mounted safe is easily as loud as a gunshot.
  • Hostage Situation: Extended in the sequel, as assault waves are delayed if you have a lot of hostages tied up.
    • A Mastermind with the Stockholm Syndrome skill can even convince loose hostages to revive him if he is downed.
    • Made into an actual skill now, name and all, where high-level Masterminds and players using the Crew Chief perk deck can gain significant benefits from having hostages - and grant benefits to their team as well.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Zig-zagged all over the place. On one hand, expect plenty of flanking maneuvers, moving from cover to cover, deploying snipers at vantage points, and only attacking in waves or groups. On the other hand, SWAT's general strategy is "let's try to kill them by burying them in the bodies of our dead. After the last three waves were completely annihilated, I'm sure the next wave will do the trick." We Have Reserves really doesn't cut it.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Averted, as not only can you only carry one primary and one secondary weapon, but your total ammo is almost jarringly limited for most weapons (such as a mere 80 bullets for an SMG that uses a 40-round magazine). Even then, your loadout has a meter to mark how conspicuous you look, as different types of guns and body armor affect how quickly people notice you; smaller guns are easier to hide, while wearing better body armor or carrying bigger weapons make you more bulky and make you stand out like a sore thumb.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Both subverted (as the cops are the good guys) and averted. All but the least experienced cops, which won't even spawn on difficulties above Hard, can reliably hit players from dozens of yards away.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: One of the enemies may occasionally quip that the players "sure ain't clowning around."
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Some abilities are near Game Breaker status save for usage limits:
    • Mastermind's "Pistol Messiah". Once per mission (or thrice if upgraded), getting a pistol kill when downed grants an instant self-revive that's even refilled if you escape custody.
    • The Mastermind's "Inspire" skill lets you revive downed players 50% faster and also lets you shout at other players to make them move faster for 10 seconds. Acing the skill lets you instantly revive downed players from a distance by simply shouting at them and, provided you're close enough, works through walls and floors/ceilings.
    • Technician's "Bulletproof". The basic skill alone gives you 50% more defense in your armor and acing the skill gives you and your friends 25% faster armor regeneration. On top of all that, the tier 7 bonus gives you 10% more armor defense and and speeds up everyone's armor regeneration by 10%. Simply put, you will be very difficult to take down.
    • Enforcer's OVE9000 saw. Capable of cutting straight through locks, it can completely bypass the 3 minutes it takes to drill a lock or the time it takes to pick a deposit box, and even doubles as a melee weapon. Even the downsides are negligible; the saw can't break into safesnote  and the blades break quickly, though upgrades can increase the ammo refills you can carry and strengthen the blades.
    • Ghost's "Lockpicking Expert" lets you pick locks 25% faster; acing the skill increases the bonus to 50% and lets you silently pick the lock on normal black safes in under a minute - about 25 to 15 percent of the time a basic drill would take!
    • The Thanatos sniper rifle. It can kill anything but Dozers in a single hit anywhere in the body, pierces through thick armor, and can kill Dozers themselves in two hits. Most players equip this when facing a Death Wish mission gone loud.
    • The baseball bat, for melee weapons. It's tied for highest damage for a melee weapon, but also has significant knockdown power and the longest range of any melee weapon. It's also free to all community members.
  • Infinity–1 Sword: The C4. Granted, it uses up a tripmine per application and can't really be used offensively, but it can be used to blow open safes, doors, and many other obstacles. The "Ukrainian Job" heist even comes with an achievement for abusing C4 — the heist can even be beat in under a minute by charging to the safe, blowing it, and charging to the escape vehicle.
    • The Tomahawk. The highest-damaging melee weapon so far, but even it cannot be foolproof against special units.
  • Insecurity Camera: Averted compared to the first, as cameras sound the alarm if you stay in its view for too long or destroy too many of them. On the flip side, certain heists have security centers that let you use the cameras to see what's going on in other areas.
    • Camera sensitivity depends on the heist and difficulty. In certain jobs, such as Day 1 of Big Oil, shooting a camera will instantly raise the alarm if the security room is still manned.
  • Informed Equipment: This happens with some weapons, as weapons need pretty high visibility to make you more noticeable. Body armor is averted, as even the level above the basic suit has a visible armor vest, drawing attention towards you.
  • Interface Screw: Smoke grenades block your vision in the affected area as it has done in the first game. New to the sequel are flashbangs which create a flash and a loud noise to blind you and make you deaf for several seconds. You can lessen the effects of a flashbang by looking away at the right moment and the Enforcer has a skill to weaken flashbang effects as well.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: Invoked for PAYDAY 2 where you have a limit on how many guns and masks you can store. If you want a second copy of a gun that uses different mods or want to make two masks using the same pattern, you better make sure you got room and sell your stuff if you don't.
    • The available storage space has since been quadrupled so now most people can keep all their favorites in their inventories.
  • I Resemble That Remark: When the Cloaker was fixed and returned to the game, Overkill took a friendly jab at its colorful fanbase by giving the Cloaker several lines that insult the player, including one where he tells them to cry on the forums like a little bitch. It went over poorly with some of the fanbase.
  • Ironic Nickname: The crew's getaway driver, Twitch, is solid as a rock (his model has no animations).
  • I Shall Taunt You: The Special SWAT units will taunt you with various lines before attacking you and even have lines that play out if they down you. The Cloaker in particular has a taunt that is Leaning on the Fourth Wall by telling you to "go cry on the fourm like bitch you are" after he downs you. The Commissar also taunts you in the Hotline Miami heist, though his threats and taunts sound more childlike than threatening.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Possible, but in a different way to PAYDAY: The Heist. Since it's impossible to master all classes like PAYDAY 1, the closest a player can come to this is to be a mix of all; players cannot even master one class entirely, as acing all abilities requires 145 points against a cap of 120.
  • Joke Weapon: A bundle of cash can be used as a melee weapon. As one would expect, killing an enemy with a wad of cash takes forever, but it comes with a fast wind-up, quick swing, and a funny-yet-satisfying "whap!" noise. The Hoxton Breakout update also adds a toothbrush sharpened into a form of a shiv that barely injures foes, but can be spammed with lightning speed if you don't charge it up.
  • Justified Tutorial: While completely optional, there is a mission at the safe house where upon visiting it for the first time, you're given a message by Bain about arriving at the safe house and he explains how certain things work (grabbing loot bags, taking loose money, putting on your mask, picking locks, CrimeNet, and so on). The trip to the safe house is due to you moving to Washington D.C. and needing a place to lie low after doing a heist. Luckily, you don't have to endure the tutorial when coming back to the safe house.
  • Knife Nut: If you own the DLC for them, you can become a knife nut. With proper use, it's possible to kill many enemies with a knife and save yourself ammo in the long run. Unfortunately, law enforcement can also use a knife against you and they hurt a lot.
  • Lawman Baton: The Telescopic Baton, another melee weapon added by the Gage Shotgun DLC. Of note is how it's used: it has very low damage but very high knockdown, making it perfect for intimidating law enforcers into submission without seriously harming them, much like how it's used in real life.
    • The basic street cops will also use a regular straight baton against you as their regular melee attack.
    • The Cloaker also employs a nightstick to beat the stuffing out of you once he's kicked you to the floor.
  • Legacy Character: The Hoxton alias that originally belonged to the Mean Brit from the first game. After his arrest, the name went to Dallas' younger brother. The name went back to "old" Hoxton once he's freed from prison and "new" Hoxton is renamed "Houston". However, Houston keeps Hoxton's old mask and Hoxton gets a new one.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: If you pre-ordered the Criminal Career Edition, you'll start the game with a bundle of cash and then you get a bit more when Bain shows you around your safe house for the first time. He calls the extra cash as a gift towards you for your generous donation to OVERKILL (the developers of the game).
    • The long-awaited Cloakers rest some weight on the wall, as well. Occasionally, after downing one of your crew, he'll say "I know, I know... I'm late."note 
  • Level Grinding: Discouraged through slower leveling from around level 40, which then becomes even slower from level 60 onwards. It possible to acquire a total of 120 upgrade points, but the later XP requirements mean even a flawless multi-day heist on the highest difficulty will never get you more than 3/4 of a level. Thankfully, upgrades now come with a respec option that refunds all your points and around 50-60% of your upgrade expenses.note 
    • Also discouraged further with the boost and penalty systems that rewards players more experience points for playing heists they haven't played in a while and reducing experience points gained for playing the same heists too many times in a short burst.
  • Limited Animation: Both the player characters and the cops and SWAT units share the same animations for moving and melee attacks. Even civilians reviving the player via Stockholm Syndrome skill use the same syringe revive animation that the team AI uses. Word of God says that keeping animations limited helps save on time and development costs since the game doesn't exactly need unique animations for an NPC that will probably get killed as soon as he appears.
  • Linear Soldiers Quadratic Ninjas: Big guns and heavy armor are remarkably effective at lower difficulty levels and are often the easiest way to do a heist, but as a player approaches higher levels and Overkill and Deathwish difficulties stealth becomes easier on most heists because assault waves scale to difficulty while stealth elements rarely do. Even for straight gunfighting, all but the heaviest armor and largest guns tend to phase out in favor of highly-mobile dodge-based builds as the difficulty increases.
  • Lost Forever: The four baby masks were only added to your stash by completion of secret achievements during the Safehouse Nightmare "job" in the PC version. If you sold any of the baby masks, you would never get that mask again because it is only added by the achievement being completed for the first time on your steam account and have a drop rate of 0. Notably, this was the first instance of "unique masks" to ever appear in Payday 2 - even the Loot Bag DLC Skull masks will drop in Paydays - but a patch during the second Safehouse Nightmare fixed that and made the masks returnable.
    • The Humble Bundle team offered two Starcraft-themed masks in one of their packs, but like all of their bundles it was for a limited time only.
    • During Halloween 2014, a second bundle with two other masks was also available for one week.
    • Averted everywhere else; even if you sell your masks and its mods, you can still get them back if the loot drops are kind enough.
    • Averted even moreso with the Infamy-Exclusive items and more recent DLC-masks, which are only added to your inventory when you spend an Infamy point on the corresponding skill or unlocked the respective achievement BUT return straight to your inventory if sold instead of disappearing. The downside is that you can only use them on one thing at a time (or, for masks, only have one of them made at a time).
  • Luck-Based Mission: Most missions can be approached with stealth, but factors like the AI Director and general luck greatly influence your success. If the stealth fails, you can still beat the level, just with more difficulty.
    • The Rats heist is this in trumps, though most of the random elements are limited to Day 2. Day 1 is rather predictable, except occasionally Bain will tell you the wrong ingredient. note  For Day 2, you have to trade the meth you cooked in Day 1 (and kept through the Escape sequence afterwards, if there was one) with some gangsters and the deal can go sour if you failed to bring the minimum of 3 bags, and WILL go sour if you didn't bring any. However, if you do have meth, there are still several uncontrollable variables, such as if the gangsters decide to screw you over or if the cops just happen to turn up. Day 3 has no variance other than the C4 in the bus, which cannot be disarmed if you failed to take the intel from Day 2.
    • The Harvest and Trustee bank (Pro job version). There's always a chance the vault is empty, meaning you have to break into the safety deposit boxes. Granted, it's easily done with a saw, but lacking one means you have to start picking into each and every one until the team can scrape enough together.
    • The Armored Transport heist has a small chance of spawning military blueprints, which you will need if you wish to play the Train Heist. Another smaller element in these jobs is that, on higher difficulty levels, the game can decide to spawn a massively-armored and highly dangerous Bulldozer enemy in the back of one of the armored trucks, just to keep you on your toes when opening them up. The type of loot you need to secure is also random ranging from easy to move (jewelry) to a pain in the ass to haul (gold).
    • Mallcrashers on Death Wish has an interesting variation. There are two police officers standing out front drinking coffee. Because Death Wish increases sight ranges, it's possible for these two officers to detect you and raise the alarm almost as soon as you load into the map unless you back up immediately. You probably weren't going to stealth it anyway, though, right?
    • GO Bank is so random it's cruel, especially as achievements require a zero alarm run and/or zero civilian casualties. Even if everything is perfect, stealth runs mean you must take a call to confirm the vault unlock, and the said caller can randomly ask to speak with "Barney" to confirm, or can be a police chief demanding to speak with an officer; if Bain can't convince them otherwise, either of the callers will send enemies to check out the bank and then raise the alarm when they don't report back things are fine. In other words, unless you're willing to leave a chunk of loot, you'll being forfeiting stealth acheivements and XP and, since the driver flees at first alarm, you have to do the tedious "Plan B" method.
      • If that isn't bad enough, do note that several random factors can sabotage the mission. Not only do passing civilians frequently spawn into the map, but even cops can sometimes walk past and sound the alarm; even one of the portable toilets out back can randomly open, resulting in a bank guard wandering in from the back without warning. Throw in things like, for example, how a blackmailer can call and demand you throw a cash bag over a fence or he calls the cops, and you've got some unleaded Fake Difficulty. Finally, the vault is almost always secured by motion-sensing lasers, so it only takes one person on the team not knowing about them to rush in and ruin the stealth in the mission's final moments. Plus, the lasers move in a semi-random pattern, taking massive amounts of either luck or pattern-observation to get through the door safely. Repeatedly, since there is no way to disable them even once inside.
      • Not even Plan B is safe from the RNG gods. While you can buy the Ace Pilot asset to have a better chance that the pilot will use the roof as the extraction point for the loot, there will be times where the pilot will refuse to use the roof and opt to either use the street (which is filled with cops) or the parking lot (shootout for snipers) to pick up the loot. When the time comes for the pilot to pick up the loot, he can miss several times in a row if you're unlucky enough and each miss forces you to wait several more minutes until the pilot circles around to try again. If you're REALLY unlucky, the pilot can get shot down and crash, causing the loot bags that you secured to be scattered all over the place and force you to move them yourselves through the sewers while under a time limit. Even if the snag is successful, there's a chance the pilot just flew away with an empty cage because the cops took all the bags out before the pilot got there.
    • Being a purely stealth-based heist, Shadow Raid can be a lot easier or tougher depending of randomized elements in the map. Chief among them, there is a chopper that has a high chance to spawn minutes into the mission, carrying a varying amount of guards which will start patrolling. Plus, those guards may simply stay still, guarding key access points that you need to pass in order to access the loot. On the other hand, it's possible that the chopper won't bring any guards, but leave a crate containing a valuable but extremely heavy artifact.
      • The assets available for purchase on this mission are incredibly useful, but completely unreliable. A loot-bag drop off point in the form of a zip line behind the warehouse, where plenty of loot is but not close to any other drop off locations? Good! A 50% chance for that zip line to spawn on the roof, away from all loot and lead back to the start of the level, completely eliminating the purpose of it? Bad. Another alternate drop off point, allowing you to throw loot over the main fence to instantly be collected in the courtyard, the location with arguably half the loot in the job? Good! A 25% chance for that to be there, where otherwise the drop off point is in the form of one of three dumpsters, all of which are right next to the starting drop off point anyway? Very bad. Naturally, there's no way to tell where these are going to spawn until after you've already started the heist and spent the money.
    • It's rare but possible for five guards to spawn in Ukrainian Job. If you don't know this and try to stealth the mission by getting all the guards down, as is standard procedure, then you'll run out of pagers and the alarm will go off.

  • The Man Is Keeping Us Down: Chains says the trope name to an extend in the web series, claiming the banks and corporations are designed to keep people in debt for life and that they (the PAYDAY gang) are out to steal what's rightfully theirs. In the second episode, Dallas tells the civilians in the bank during the robbery that First World Bank has been robbing them all blind. How much of this they actually believe is debateable, however, as they have zero altruistic motives.
  • Machete Mayhem: The Utility Machete, a weapon added by the Gage Shotgun DLC, deals the most damage out of any melee weapon when charged.
  • Made of Iron: The combination of the top-tier skills Iron Man and Bulletproof (Enforcer and Technician trees respectively) can give a player the ability to take dozens of hits before their armour breaks.
    • The cops are continually frustrated by the Payday Gang's absurd resistance to gunfire.
    Cop: "Center mass! Center mass, for fuck's sake!"
    Cop: "Double tap! Triple tap! JUST KEEP TAPPING!"
    • The AI players also count, should you choose to have them enabled, as they can have anywhere from 2000 to 2500 HP - half that of a fucking Bulldozer!
  • Marathon Level: The Train Heist. Not only is it pretty lengthy in itself (players must open several train cars, resorting to drilling when abilities and keycards run out, and then use thermal lances to open a few vaults), but unlocking it requires grinding the Armored Transport mission, which can take upwards of ten minutes each time.
    • Cooking a full seven bags of meth on Rats can take upwards of half an hour for one day of the three-day heist. If the RNG Gods are unkind this can result in a five-day marathon due to the potential for both Day 1 and Day 2 to have escapes.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: None of the police units are female, not even the beat cops or security guards. Averted in the Hoxton Breakout update, which adds (non-tactical) female FBI agents and a female prison guard.
  • Mighty Glacier: Enforcers (or anyone else using Enforcer skills in general) tend to fall into the trope if they don't invest in extra speed from the Ghost tree. A fully pimped out Enforcer wearing the ICTV armor will be slow as molasses, but can take gunfire like nothing while dealing out a ton of hurt to enemies. Bulldozers also move (somewhat) slow while having lots of health and firepower - though they can still climb up the wall of a house!
  • Missing Secret: After unlocking your last item around level 50, you may occasionally see the game tell you that you unlocked a new item on your next level up, only to see you earned nothing. Some people looked through the game's coding and saw there was something to be unlocked every few levels all the way up to level 100, but there's nothing there.
    • Originally, the players were supposed to unlock only one item at a time, spreading the original weapons over all 100 level, as seen in very early beta footage. At one point, Overkill merged several unlocks together, meaning players unlocked all content at around level 40. note 
    • Semi-averted later in that at those levels you unlock weapons that also need the corresponding DLC pack to be unlocked, except that there are still new weapon DLC packs that have yet to be released, hence unlocking nothing.
  • More Dakka: Gage Weapon Pack 02 DLC introduces LMGs to the game, including the return of the Brenner from Payday: The Heist. To balance to ammo capacity and rate of fire, they have 20% movement speed reduction while held, and you can't aim down their sights like you can with most weapons - you can still aim a little better, but a laser sight is practically mandatory.
  • Money for Nothing: Since money works as experience and actual cash to spend, this occurs every PAYDAY. After level caps reduce money for XPnote  an ~80% cut then goes "to an offshore laundering account" — meaning a multi-million heist result could leave you with as little as a few hundred thousand to actually spend. Once you obtained most of your skills and preferred guns, however, money becomes useless unless you're interested in using the respec system.
    • Which costs of your offshore account money and ALL of your spending money. Have fun grinding for a pair of sunglasses! (And permanent bonuses to allow lower requirements for rank seven skills)
    • Mask materials, patterns, and colors follow this the same way. While the masks themselves can be sold from the inventory, materials, patterns, and colors cannot. Even worse is the fact that patterns MUST be selected with Colors in order to be finalized and discarded.
  • Nerf: Enemy AI used to come in huge swarms and were extremely aggressive until the community complained about it, causing the developers to scale down the aggression to more reasonable levels. Mask mods were obtained too frequently over other payday bonuses, so the drop rate for mask mods were scaled down and a money bonus card was added to keep things interesting. The Cable Guy skill used to allow the user to have 10 cable ties but it was reduced down to 5 ties after the developers saw players were easily tying up every hostage in the level to do stealth with little trouble.
    • The Mastermind's Dominator skill used to allow the player to intimidate multiple cops at once, making some stealth portions of a heist extremely easy. Now the team can only scare one cop at a time.
    • All the shotguns in patch 11 got nerfed to the point where they can no longer hit an enemy at a long distance for full/high damage. The Mosconi shotgun used to be the only weapon with a maxed out damage rating until it was hit with the nerf.
      • This is quite annoying with the automatic shotgun, which is about as strong as one of the higher end assault rifles.
    • Death Wish (Patch 24) brought along some painful nerfs to stealthers in the form of limiting body bags (2 per player) and disabling the Joker ability (which, among other things, frees up the single "Dominated Guard" slot the team has) while in stealth. While the latter could be expected given the odd situations it causes (such as a jokered guard calling in a busted camera, breaking your stealth attempt), the former was completely out of left field. These changes, understandably, did not go over well with the fanbase.
  • Necessary Drawback: Class balancing enforces this. On a scale of Fragile Speedster to Mighty Glacier, the order is: Ghost — Mastermind — Technician — Enforcer.
    • Light machine guns: high ammo capacity, high rate of fire, and is great to use to clear out crowds in small areas. Has lengthy reload times and can't have iron sights used so that the weapon isn't completely overpowered.
    • Sniper rifles: high power (including the Thanatos), can pierce multiple enemies, and can hit enemies from behind certain walls. Has a low ammo pool, lengthy reload times, and has a very slow rate of fire.
    • Dual pistols: double the firepower and double the ammo capacity. Requires just as much ammo to collect to stay full, accuracy is bad, and stability is horrendous, which makes it difficult to keep a steady aim when rapid firing. Dual wielding pistols is a primary weapon instead of a secondary.
  • New Game+: The Infamy system. Once you hit level 100, you can choose to reset your character level back to 0 while also losing all your spending cash and from your offshore account. All of your guns and armor are relocked due to level restriction and you'll also lose all of your class skills. Becoming infamous earns you a card to show off to other players displaying your infamy and you'll earn infamy points to spend in a special infamy tree. You can earn up to 5 levels of infamy, which also means having to reset 5 times. OVERKILL intends to increase the number of Infamy levels as time passes, up to a maximum of 14 - with the final card being the Ace of Spades.
  • Ninja: Repeatedly referenced. There's the Shinobi Ghost Skill, and then the Shadow Raid heist. All the achievements read together sound like a Badass Creed.
  • No Fair Cheating: Effectively what makes Death Wish difficulty so hard; not only is the AI advantage maxed out, but even cutting corners isn't allowed. Try to charge to the "Ukranian Job" safes and and detonate them for the tiara? The safes can only be drilled. Want to blow up the "Rats" meth lab and skip the tedious, difficult part? The whole map sets on fire to incap everyone and the escape van trigger doesn't fire, forcing a restart.
  • Noob Cave: Jewelry Store and Four Store (Normal difficulty) are very straightforward with minimal randomization elements and simple objectives.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: If a Point of No Return occurs during a day (or escape), all human players have to be in the escape zone OR in custody for the day to successfully complete. If even ONE player is 5 inches away when the timer expires, the entire day is failed. While this behavior has been in Payday 2 since launch, it was exceedingly rare that this situation would come up, as the only non-escape heists that have this are GO Bank (free DLC), Shadow Raid (free DLC) and the technically-an-escape Train Heist (Paid DLC, Bonus contract). Of these, Shadow Raid is the most likely heist where this can happen, due to it being possible to trigger the point of no return before the mission objectives had been completed.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: The developers saw players were constantly playing levels like Nightclub, Four Stores, and Ukrainian Job because they were extremely easy to complete in a matter of minutes (or even seconds!), which led to people farming the levels for experience points, cash, and random loot with little effort. The developers then patched the game to include escape sequences in the mostly farmed levels if the players finish them loud instead of quiet in order to discourage them from farming the same level over and over. Additional patches also changed the layout of the Nightclub heist so the safe with the money is in a random location in order to discourage farming.
    • The Death Wish update enhanced this further by introducing EXP reduction if you play the same level over and over while giving you an EXP boost if you play different heists each time. The same update also introduced an anti-level grinding feature for the Death Wish version of Rats on day 1; trying to blow up the lab so you can skip cooking the meth? The lab still explodes, but the explosion and fire covers the entire level. Even if you try get around this, the escape van is programmed to never show up unless you cooked 3 bags of meth.
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: The tracer detector in episode 1 of the web series is an Olympus LS-100 field recorder.
  • Oh, Crap: Dallas's reaction to the Dentist knowing his true identity has him dart his eyes back and forth before trying to get up from the chair to escape, only to be restrained by the Dentist and the nurse.
    • In-game, the gang sometimes give one of these when calling out Special Units - usually when spotting a Bulldozer. Wolf is also terrified of Cloakers.
    • Bulldozers sometimes respond with this rather than a Badass Boast when their armoured visor is shattered.
      • Thanks the this allowing attacks on their vulnerable head, they are often Killed Mid-Sentence - not that this stops their corpse delivering the rest of their line from the floor. Particularly funny if they're still ranting about how they're going to kill you.
    • Quite a bit of Enemy Chatter consists of this, especially when they realize who they're fighting. They also have responses for certain player actions, such as deploying medical and ammunition bags, and especially killing enemies with the OVE-900 Saw.
    SWAT Officer: "We aren't prepared for this, that's the Payday Gang!"
    FBI Officer: "He just killed somebody, WITH A SAW!"
  • One-Hit Kill: Cloakers return from the previous game, retaining their ability to instantly down you regardless of your health or the type of armor you have on. There's even an appropriately named achievement (HOLY SHI-) for getting caught by surprise from a Cloaker.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Again, civilians are fragile as ever as they were in the previous game. Even the weakest gun in the game can kill innocents with a single shot. Accidentally hit one when you meant to shout for them to get down? Yeah, that'll penalize you too. Patch 27 made the civilians a little more resilient to melee strikes, meaning one slap will force them to get down on the ground without killing them. Hitting them a second time will still kill them and shooting them still kills them instantly.
  • Only in It for the Money: Election Day is implied to be this - Bain openly insults McKendrick, the candidate the crew is helping, and makes a point to mention to the crew that it's 'just politics' if he has to falsely implicate Mayor Nancy during Plan B. But The Elephant is offering a lot of money to get McKendrick elected, and even offers to make sure Hoxton gets transferred to a lower-security prison if they succeed...
  • Pacifist Run: Entirely possible with many heists having stealth as an alternate method instead of running in guns blazing, but it takes a lot of coordination and the right tools and skills at times.
  • Palette Swap: The Bulldozer that uses the automatic shotgun wears a black suit of armor compared to the green colored pump-action counterpart.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Played straight or averted depending on what the player has equipped. If the player uses highly concealable weapons and wears a two piece suit or light armor, guards and cameras won't bat an eye unless the player gets way too close to a guard or a restricted area. Players wearing heavy armor and bringing big guns will be noticed a lot quicker due to sticking out like a sore thumb.
    • Played straight with the bouncer in the Nightclub job before the detection mechanic was altered in a patch. You were able to walk up to him decked out in a full suit of body armor, carry highly visible weapons, and he would still think you're a classy gentleman, letting you inside. A patch changed the bouncer's detection towards the players so only lightly armed players will get by him without incident. note  Also played straight with civilians until you have your weapon drawn.
  • Perpetual Beta: On release, the game was riddled with bugs that required a few hasty patches. This is an ongoing problem, however, as while the game keeps getting content, and has improved over several updates, they still come with a Game-Breaking Bug or two every now and then.
    • Also applies to playstyles, as updates have been known to nerf entire loadouts. Of course, due to the frequent updates mentioned above, a single update can even leave you nerfed by overpowering another, making you obsolete by comparison.
  • Pistol Whip: You can still whack enemies with the butt of your gun in the second game, but cops will also pistol whip you if you get too close to them, causing you to be forced into crouch mode. Certain Ghost skills make it less likely for you to be knocked down and reduce the damage you take from enemy melee attacks, and certain Enforcer and Ghost skills increase the damage you deal with such attacks.
  • Point Of No Continues: Pro heists have a higher payout, but are sometimes harder than the standard difficulty, can play out slightly different, and can't be restarted after failure. Failing any day of the mission boots you back to the lobby (meaning restarting repeatedly to force certain director conditions requires a full restart), and failing a mission that spans multiple days requires a full start over if you fail.
  • Poor Communication Kills: In Rats Day 1, Bain sometimes says the wrong ingredient (easily caught if two players heard something different).
    • Bain will repeatedly encourage heisters on Ukrainian Job to check the display cases and remind them that the tiara doesn't have to be in the safes in the back. It's always in the back, and it's always in a safe.
  • The Power of Friendship: The Mastermind's Inspire skill has the user yell various versions of the encouraging "GO GO GO!" at another player to give them a temporary speed boost. Acing the skills also lets the player revive a downed friend by yelling at them with some words of encouragement.
  • Pre-Order Bonus: The Steam version of PAYDAY 2 had a ton of bonuses for players that pre ordered the game, such as unique mask patterns, extra in-game money, a weapon mod, and more. The criminal edition gave even more goodies like beta passes and the game's soundtrack.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Shooting enemies in the head will paint the wall behind them, but that's about it. Even done humorously with armored mooks, as any helmets or hats will fly off vertically and there's still no wound.
  • Private Military Contractors: GenSec displays a lot of this: for one thing, they've been revealed in the additional materials to be the providers of a lot of the SWAT equipment, like the Bulldozer armor, possibly even supplying the manpower. For another thing, the group that's responding in Deathwish mode is strongly implied to be Gensec, under contract to the FBI and DCPD.
  • Punch Packing Pistol: The Judge gun is in the shape of a revolver, but fires shotgun shells, (like the real life Taurus Judge). The gun's damage output is absurdly high and it has great concealment, which makes The Judge a perfect weapon to use for stealth as a backup plan if stealth fails. The Judge can also be fitted with a suppressor for stealth runs, a laser sight to aid in hip firing, and scopes for better iron sight aiming. Not only that, but because The Judge is shaped like a revolver, all the shells are reloaded at the same time rather than the one shell a time that most shotguns go by, AND benefits from the Enforcer's shotgun reload buff. The only downsides to the gun is extremely poor accuracy, can only hold 20 shells base note  total, and it costs over to purchase.
  • Put on a Bus: Hoxton got pinched. He wasn't happy to hear that his old crew had replaced him, but the Dentist and the Elephant helped the payday crew to break him out. He's still rather bitter about it, though, constantly berating his former replacement.
  • Quirky Bard: Sentry Guns. A single unmodified sentry doesn't do much good, but when upgraded sufficiently, they can really help in missions on the go such as Day 1 of Firestarter. Sadly it takes a LOT of points to do so, which people would prefer to invest in C4 instead. They got a new lease on life with the advent of a new Technician skill that allows for carrying C4 and sentries, though.
  • Random Drops: A card game (the eponymous Payday) occurs after a successful heist. Want a weapon mod? A new mask? Mask materials? You have to get lucky and hope the game gives you something you need! Fortunately there is a formula: the Payday won't drop any mod, mask, or mask customization if you already have two of that item in storage (not equipped).
  • Random Event: Not as prevalent as the first game, but random events do exist, such as specific doors appearing/not appearing and loot locations. There's also a random chance that one or two players in the beginning of an escape sequence will automatically start the level incapacitated due to the van crashing.
    • Taken to ridiculous levels with GO Bank, where stealth runs live and die on random events. These events can include an armored car with additional guards outside, additional guards with pagers spawning to check on the building, police officers that will do the same but cause an alert if they die, to someone demanding a bag of money or he'll call the police. On the plus side, another random event is that the vault starts out open.
  • Rare Random Drop: Rare items are dubbed as "infamous" items. Several masks rarely drop, including Dillinger's Death Mask, which has a one in a million chance of dropping. Other masks include extra copies of the default masks (which allows you to use them on any character) and textureless versions of the default masks so you can customize them any way you want. Many mask materials, patterns, and colors are also rare drops. Spending infamy points will also boost your rare item drop chance.
  • Real Dreams Are Weirder: The "Safehouse Nightmare" 'job' is, uh, a bit surreal. Aside from the bizarre random effects, the headless bulldozers who don't shoot you if you're not looking at them, and the inexplicable candles around the place... There's, among other things, the random stuff in the safes (including a message below a security camera that says 'I see you'), the baby masks that float in midair, the meat hanging from the clothing racks at the front of the building... Oh, and outside on the street, there's a huge cartoon robot dinosaur thing with glowing red eyes, along with some guy a few feet away tied to a chair with a pumpkin head, and the ground around them is covered in fire. Any of that make any sense to you? If your answer is 'no', you're in good company.
  • Renaissance Man: Encouraged. Since it's impossible to ace every ability of even one class, the overlap of abilities (e.g. Mastermind can carry more zipties, which is useful to a Ghost) means players are better off mixing and matching some skills. There are also plenty of high-level synergies, such as the Techforcer combo for massive amounts of armour.
    • There is a Steam achievement called "I'm a Healer-Tank-Damage-Dealer" earned after spending 10 skill points in each skill tree.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The Judge, a revolver that fires shotgun shells, somehow deals more damage than full sized shotguns despite using smaller shells.
  • Running Gag: Many of the optional safes and deposit boxes would have nothing but a partially eaten cheese toast sandwich. The toast came back in a massive pile in one of the large safes during the Halloween event and the toast was quietly removed from the game. Big Bank brought the toast back for the safe in the manager's office and one of the news feeds in the level shows sales of Cheese Toast Inc. had a rise in stocks.
  • Russian Reversal: The Commisar pulls a vulgar one on you once you start trashing his motel.
    The Commissar: You think I'm a fucking ass hole? Well, in Soviet Russia, ass hole fucks YOU!

  • Safecracking: The Ghost can unlock an upgrade to do this, though any interruptions force a full restart and there are more creative means of opening locks.
  • Scavenger Hunt: Patch 26 introduces several specific items that spawn in random locations that you can pick up. You'll get a small experience bonus for collecting them, but if you own the Gage Courier Pack DLC, collecting all items in a particular group gets you weapon mods.
  • Screaming Woman: Female civilians use the exact same screams as they did in PAYDAY: The Heist and a few more, despite the male civilians having a brand new set of panic sounds.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Wolf, infamous for whooping and shouting, shrieks "IT'S A MOTHERFUCKIN' BULLDOZER!" when spotting one. Similarly loud for just about every other special enforcer, too.
  • Scripted Event: The meth cooks in day 1 of Rats are scripted to die as soon as you reach the second floor no matter how you approach the level.
  • Self-Deprecation: After Steam gave games the ability to be tagged with custom genres, Overkill took the piss at themselves by tagging the game as a "Bag Throwing Simulator", which is a nod to the community that always complained how the game makes you do nothing but throw bags around.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Harder difficulty enemies do a lot of damage compared to damage done in the first game, you can suffer knockback from enemy gunfire, enemies are more durable this time around, and you have less chances to stay alive if you go down multiple times. Cops can also steal your loot bag if you are not watching it.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Chains' comments veer into this when commenting on your equipment;
    Chains: "How can it be a drill if it ain't drillin'?!"
  • Shock and Awe: During the third day of Firestarter, attempting to use the thermal drill on the vault door gets you electrocuted the same way a Taser unit would shock you. Cutting the power to the door is required to bypass the shock.
    • In addition, the game puts so many chain-link fences in your way that cutting through them tends to be an unconscious action for most players. However, if the game feels particularly capricious, the chain-link fence in the first day of the Big Oil mission can be electrified, shocking you and (due to the ensuing involuntary muscle spasms) discharging your weapon repeatedly. If it was un-suppressed, you just warned the enemy you were coming, and they will proceed to burn several important pieces of intelligence.
    • The Taser special unit, as the name suggests, shocks players with an electrical discharge. The shocked player is prevented from moving, has their view twitch and shake, and randomly fires their weapon (even working the action between shots on bolt and pump-action weapons, presumably for balance reasons) as they spasm uncontrollably. If the Taser is not killed, or at least staggered by sufficient damage, the unlucky player will be incapacitated after a few seconds of sustained shocking - not to mention the effects of any incoming fire from other law enforcers.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: Some doors have locks can be shot out with any weapon in order to bypass picking the lock. However, metal or high security doors cannot have locks shot out, and the lock needs to be drilled, cut through with a saw, or detonated with C4.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: In the Big Bank Heist trailer, a random bystander assists the crew by reviving Dallas when he's shot by the cops. Dallas rewards him by tossing him a wad of cash. However, when the bystander attempts to catch the money, he falls off the roof of the bank. Later material shows he managed to survive, though badly injured.
    • He apparently lived and runs the official Payday merchandise store now. He even gets to sell his bobble heads!
  • Short Range Shotgun: Averted once again as every shotgun, even the double barreled Mosconi, can reliably paste enemy cops from several yards away with only one or two shots. Possibly justified in-game by the fact the shells are blue, signifying the shotgun rounds are slugs rather than pellets.
    • Unfortunately, several post-release patches gave the shotgun an arbitrary cutoff past which they won't do any damage, thus playing this trope straight.
    • Averted again with the Gage Shotgun DLC, which not only allows the player to load several different types of shells, from buckshot to slugs to explosive shells, but also makes the the shotgun decently long-ranged again with standard loads. Anything beyond ten to fifteen feet will take reduced damage from buckshot, but will still hit. Effectively, the range was corrected, but the lethality range was kept the same.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Shovel Strike: The K.L.A.S. Shovel, an entrenchment tool added by the Gage Shotgun Pack DLC.
  • Shown Their Work: Gold is extremely heavy and can't be tossed very far due to its weight, which is exactly how real life gold acts. It stands out because when carrying other forms of loot such as jewelry or drugs, the crew can throw them a decent distance, sometimes jump and run. When carrying gold, you can't run and you walk slower. Likewise, you also get to carry engine parts at one point and you move even slower with them on your back than gold does while jumping is restricted to just an inch high.
    • The landscape of Washington D.C. isn't perfect, but it looks close enough to its real life counterpart. The Harvest and Trustee bank also looks very similar to what a typical small branch bank looks like in real life.
    • The developers know exactly how to attack with K.L.A.S. shovel, but they also know how players would want to attack with it and used that instead. The description points this out.
    • In adding John Wick, they mention that he has a background in boxing. In the films, John uses the Center-Axis Relock style of close-quarters shooting... which utilizes a boxing stance.
  • Signature Move: Every class has a few special powers and (eventually) a few "super power"-grade abilities on upgrade tier 5/6; unlike their standard skills, these give a significant edge in very hard heists.
  • Smug Snake: Nearly all the special SWAT units will taunt the player in some way and act like they will dominate the players; you can almost taste their smug overconfidence. Examples: the Bulldozer may say things like "There's no Payday for you!", the Taser may give off an Evil Laugh as he shocks you, and the Cloaker will break the fourth wall and taunt the player directly by telling them to cry on the forums like the little bitch they are.
  • Sniper Pistol: With the right mods, the desert eagle can be outfitted as one.
  • Speed Run: Possible with the right tools like faster drills or C4 charges. One heist has an achivement unlocked if you beat it in 30 seconds or less.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": It's Bain, not Bane. And Cloakers are not spelled as Cloackers.
    • Although calling them cloacas is a bit of a stealth(ha!) insult.
  • Status Buff: Buffs can cover yourself or the team once they are unlocked, such as having more stamina for running, faster armor regeneration, or having unlimited bullets for a few seconds after deploying an ammo bag.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: An ability for the Mastermind allows you to turn civilians and hostiles to your side.
  • Stealth Pun: Throwing money away from a bridge or a shipyard gives you a thought what would an "off-shore" account would be. Do you know there is also an achievement for this?
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Expanded upon compared to the first game. Several heists are totally possible to complete without the alarm being raised, allowing you to complete your objectives without the threat of cops. The Ghost class is all about stealthing heists as well. However, some heists cannot be stealthed at all.
    • Taken a step further with the appropriately named Shadow Raid heist. You can't have the alarm raised at all, otherwise you'll have just one minute to secure the rest of the loot and hightail it out of the warehouse before you're left behind.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Used the wrong ingredient to cook meth? The lab explodes. The truck took too much damage while you were moving the coke out? Explodes. Throwing cache of guns into a fire to destroy them? Big explosion. Failed to defuse the C4 on a bus? You know what happens.
    • Previews of the game during its alpha stage showcased cars exploding when shot at enough times. Sadly, the feature was removed.
    • The Train Heist has explosive shells you can steal for money, but if the shells are tossed too far, the shock of the impact makes the shells explode.
      • This example is abused repeatedly by hackers, who figured out how to spawn said bags at a high velocity on a ballistic arc. Meaning the bags of artillery shells are actually being used as artillery.
    • The Gage Shotgun Pack DLC added 12-Gauge HE rounds as an option for all shotguns, which exchanges a little over half you ammunition capacity for higher-damage shells which deal area damage and stun all enemies in the blast radius.
  • Take That: PAYDAY 2 has an achievement that pokes fun at Call of Duty: Ghosts and the infamous fish A.I. meme.
    • The addition of Titan safes; they can only be opened with a drill and cannot be blown up with C4. Underneath the "TITAN" logo is a small message reading "Suck It", which is a jab at players who farmed heists for loot drops and other things by using C4 to quickly complete objectives.
    • The trailer for the Xmas Heist content, done in the style of a live newsfeed, shows a message at the bottom saying "Video game company releases free content, internet outraged," which is a jab at the less than kind fans that believed the (then) upcoming Christmas heist level was going to either be paid DLC or just plain suck because it was a copy and paste of a map from Valve's Counter-Strike Global Offensive (Valve worked on the map with Overkill as a collaborative project, similar to the No Mercy crossover heist).
    • The Cloaker has several lines he says that break the fourth wall by insulting the people who kept complaining about the lack of safe house customization and assuming that the Cloaker itself would be DLC. The developers also knew people would complain about the Cloaker being "overpowered", so the Cloaker has a line telling those people to bitch on the forums. note 
    • In Bain's Guidenote , there are a few jabs at the frequent fan complaints. For example, the ammo bag section has the word "clip" crossed out and replaced with "magazine", which is circled in red and noted "Never forget!" — mocking about the vast amounts of nagging Overkill suffered for accidentally confusing the terms.
    • In the description Graham mask, which talks about rabbits, it slips in a not so subtle jab.
    When fleeing, they hop in a zig-zag pattern, much like many Counter-Strike players do.
  • Take Up My Sword: Hoxton was arrested after the first game, and his successor took the mask and the codename. However, fan outcry eventually lead to the creation of the Hoxton Breakout heist and his replacement being given a new codename, Houston.
  • The Teaser: The Shadow Raid update came with a new intro video, titled "The Dentist", which teased future update heists: "The Big Bank" on June 17th, to be followed with "Hoxton Breakout", "The Diamond", and "Golden Grin Casino".
  • Those Two Guys: On Jewelry Store and Mallcrashers, you may notice a pair of off-duty police officers buying food. Many a stealth run has been foiled by these two.
  • Timed Mission: Escape sequences involve your replacement driver or chopper pilot only sticking around for a limited time and will ditch anyone who is not in the safe zone once the time limit is up. The GO Bank heist, should stealth fail, has an escape sequence similar to those used in the first game where you had to go through an escape route and reach the safe zone before the time limit expires.
  • Time for Plan B: Bain, as always, has back up plans in case plan A fails. In levels with stealth, if you go loud, your objective(s) may either change or adapt to the situation. The trope is more apparent in day 1 of Watchdogs where Bain summons Bile to airlift you out of dodge if your escape driver is killed by the police.
    • And should Plan B fail in day 1, or the players mess up Plan A by tagging the wrong truck during Election Day, Bain comes up with a Plan C, which is to distract the cops by doing a bank heist while "accidentally" destroying the ballot machines. Though the only way to get to Plan C is to do day 1 horribly and Bain will chastise you for it. note 
    • Averted with the Shadow Raid heist. You are required to stealth it. If you're detected, you have 60 seconds to complete (get the minimum amount of loot and get to the van) or you lose, which can be Unwinnable by Mistake and/or Unwinnable by Insanity if you got spotted early, or simply Screw This, Time To Get Out Of Here if the alarm was raised as everyone's already heading back to the van.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Rare masks and mask materials with absurd drop rates (one mask has a one in a million chance of showing up). Since you cannot remove materials or colors applied to a mask, you better make damn sure that the colors and patterns you want on a certain mask are the ones you want to stay. Most players will never use their rare materials.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The entire police force gotten a significant upgrade since the last game. Not only the cops and SWAT units are more durable, they are also smarter by flanking you, pulling back and taking cover when needed, and bashing you with the butt of their guns if you try to take them on very closely. Cops are also smart enough to steal your loot bags if you leave them unattended. The Gage Weapons Pack #2 update also gave cops the ability to use knives against you.
    • Cloakers have been vastly upgraded from the original game. Their original straight kick has been upgraded to a Bruce Lee-like flying kick with an incredible range of at least 15 feet, and instead of charging players like other police units they now camp behind furniture or around corners in order to ambush players with their instant-down attack. They are also scripted to camp along your escape route at the end of a heist, and the game also tends to spawn them right on top of you via air vents or sewer holes the moment you pass near. They also have a lot more health, having about 6 times as much health as the standard SWAT mooks, though they don't wear helmets and are thus take significantly increased damage from headshots.
    • Some patches introduced to the game made cops and special SWAT units even more badass than they were originally. Street cops can now use the Bronco .44 (a freaking hand cannon), Tasers will bum rush you in unison with Shields, and Bulldozers may sometimes use the Izhma 12G shotgun, which is a semi-automatic shotgun.
    • The crew in shows shades of the trope; while they still rob the usual stuff like banks and stores for cash and jewels, they also raid an FBI branch office to steal intel and they also and steal engine parts that could lead the way to renewable energy. Of course, the crew still get paid quite handsomely for their efforts. The Big Bank also gives you the chance to rob a bank that hasn't been successfully robbed for over 200 years.
    • Some of the weapons from the previous game also get quite a hefty boost in the sequel; the Locomotive shotgun was considered a Joke Weapon in the first game due to its short range and not so great power, but the same gun in the sequel now has a lot of power and decent range.
    • The entire SWAT force got a badass upgrade in the Death Wish update. The new SWAT teams can hit harder, move faster, and have better accuracy than their tan FBI connterparts. The Bulldozer also got a major upgrade by not only having his faceplate painted with a skull on it, but also carries a light machine gun, the same heavy and fast firing weapons that players can use.
  • Train Job: As noted above, under Bonus Level. Sometimes you'll find special plans in an Armoured Transport heist that let you play the extremely profitable Train Heist.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Every heist, though moreso for stealth missions. Since spawns can make-or-break missions, and even render some stealth games unwinnable without alert in certain circumstances, expect to restart an entire day on a single factor. There's a reason why HoxHudnote  adds a "restart day" option to pause screen — to save you having to kill yourself for a restart when anything goes wrong.
    • Also the reason that PRO Jobs were added. Players will get a higher cash prize, but cannot restart as failure kicks to the lobby. With no restarts available, the Trial-And-Error aspect becomes even more of a chore, requiring players to keep re-buying a map to guarantee another attempt.
  • True Companions: The crew. All the money and all the gold in the world doesn't convince Dallas to work with the Dentist. But as soon as the Dentist mentions how the crew had to leave Hoxton behind on a heist and that he has Hoxton's transfer schedule on hand, Dallas doesn't even blink an eye before accepting the deal. Also, one of Dallas's potential lines when succeeding at a heist is "Tightest crew ever!" Likewise, in the Hoxton Breakout trailer, Houston actually dives in front of Chains in order to shield him from gunfire (which ends up flooring Houston) - granted, he has a bulletproof vest and so can take the hits, but still, that's a level of loyalty that money can't buy.
  • Undesirable Prize: Completing a heist allows you to earn a bonus item through a Random Drop system, ranging from weapon mods, masks, mask mods, extra cash, and extra experience points. Many players groan in disappointment when they get the cash card after already having several million dollars in spending cash, or get yet another completely useless mask pattern or color.
    • The Train Job mentioned above can be viewed as one by some players; the main reason some choose Armored Transport jobs is because they are quick, clean sources of money and experience. The train job being accepted, meaning "(accidentally) picked up the item drop that triggers it", jeopardizes the gained money and XP by making you do a much more difficult bonus mission which takes time and, if failed, can lose you your previous profit. Throw in that the bonus heist's difficulty matches the unlock stage, and it gets worse: finally completing Armored Transport on OVERKILL or DEATHWISH means you're doing the Train Heist on the same level or getting nothing in the way of rewards.
  • Up to Eleven: The Shadow Raid heist in general. Not only is stealth so high stakes that getting detected will trigger a mission failure if you don't complete your objectives fast enough, but the kinds of loot you can find are nearly everything the game has to offer; money, gold, weapons, paintings, drugs, computer servers, and even pieces of ancient samurai armor or ancient statues. There's also an achievement for stealing one of each loot type as well.
    • And now Big Bank is even more escalated than that! Words really cant do it justice, but lets just say that it easily makes the FBI offices heist look downright simple, in both awesomeness and in scale no matter how you do it.
    • The Hotline Miami heist takes even further. On the first day, you kill all of the Commissar's henchmen in a motel, set their cars on fire, and blow up their gas station just to get the Commisar's attention. The second day has you confronting the Commissar himself within his penthouse and when you get there, you need to use a thermal drill to pop open the vault he sealed himself into while defending yourself from swarms of cops, snipers, and the Commissar's gunship! If that wasn't enough, the Commissar himself has nearly the same amount of health as a Bulldozer and he also wields a light machine gun to boot. The entire heist is done just to get the crew one step closer into breaking out Hoxton.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: Day 2 on the Big Oil heist has several objects that act as clues to help you figure out which engine is the correct one to steal. Playing the game on a low graphics setting can make the clues too blurry to read.
    • Similarly in Hotline Miami, one stage in Day 1 requires you to refer to a map on the wall to figure out what type of cargo you need to investigate. If your graphics settings are too low, you won't be able to read the map.
    • As mentioned above in the Time for Plan B examples, Shadow Raid is a mission that requires stealth, and stealth is an inherently fragile state. One wrong move, and you can screw up the entire thing. In particular, lag can prove to be more of a hinderance on this heist than any other, and as this is the only mission where stealth is a must, some players might go into this one expecting to be able to shoot their way through.
      • Averted in the Watchdogs heist, Day 2. Any of the bags that you throw into the water will respawn at the truck where they were at the start. Of course, with waves of FBI likely between you and that truck at this point, it might be as close to unwinnable as possible. Just not completely unwinnable.
  • Variable Mix: There are a few different tracks that can play during a heist, with varying levels of intensity - this often leads to a Musical Spoiler, as the music will start to build up about ten or fifteen seconds before a police assault wave actually starts.
    • Shadow Raid deserves special mention: Since the heist is stealth-only (having the alarm go off triggers a point-of-no-return timer), the music track ("And now we wait") changes in response to the progression of the heist instead of the status of an assault wave. There are at least three different mixes: the starting mix (which is timid), a slightly more intense mix that starts up when the vault is opened in stealth, and the "alert" mix/buildup.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can kill innocent civilians for no reason as they try to run away from you or even tie them up and then kill them. The hostage with a bomb tied to him in the Hotline Miami heist can be blown up with gunfire before or after saving him and killing him has no effect on the game at all.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Having an itchy trigger finger around civilians not only instantly saps your spending cash as a penalty, but it ramps it up by spawning enemy snipers and/or more special SWAT units if you kill one too many innocents and having a steep cash penalty per civilian killed. You also have a higher chance of being forced to do an escape sequence after the heist if you rack up too many innocent casualties. Thankfully, this is balanced out by making the Civilian AI much easier to handle: they stay on the ground longer after being yelled at, and can be Bound and Gagged with cable ties for a Non-Lethal K.O..
  • Villain Protagonist: 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.
  • Violation of Common Sense: In some heists that have civilians in them, some players that plan to do the level in stealth will go the extra mile by killing civilians so that they don't alert the police, even if it means losing cash as a penalty.
    • Taken Up to Eleven by some 'stealth' heisters who realize the fastest way to secure the dance floor in Nightclub or the front lobby in Bank Heist involves grenades.
    • Day 1 of Hotline Miami has you trashing the Russian Commissar's hotel assets. Those assets include a (presumably Russian-owned) full meth lab. You'd think you want to blow the lab, right? Hope you don't mind giving up a guaranteed shot at $2.6 million on the second-easiest difficulty.
  • We Have Reserves: The police's general strategy for handling the Payday Gang seems to be along the lines of "steadily build up a huge wall of police carcasses until they can't run away." This trope REALLY doesn't even come close to cutting it.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Bain's messages throughout Day 3 of Framing Frame, while in stealth mode.
    • Also his dialogue in Ukrainian Job when stealthed.
    • Bain's instruction while stealthing the Bank Heists. "Guys, the thermal drill, go get it!"
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: The Ghost "Lucky Charm" boosts, which increased rare item drops. Considering it's and 53 points (at it's cheapest without Infamy bonuses) for the maximum +200% boost, it's an enormous waste when you realize your odds of getting an infamous item with a 0.66% drop rate (after the +10% boost from reaching tier 6) is only increased to 1.86%.
    • The first infamy point doubles your base Infamous drop rate to 1.2%. It still doesn't make Lucky Charms worth it at a final drop rate of 3.72%.
    • Lucky Charm was replaced with the slightly more useful Camera Loop skill in Update 25. It still plays it straight due being slow to use, limited in range and only allowing to be used on a camera at a time - while still being a Tier 6 skill.
    • There's also the Mastermind's "Stockholm Syndrome" skill, which allows civilians to revive downed players and give them ammo. Of course, civilians almost never last very long or stay for very long in a firefight, and the ammo given by them is equivalent to an enemy's ammo drop. That's it. Needless to say, people never invest in this.
    • Other less infamous examples include Black Marketeer, Dead Presidents, and Improved Crafting, which cut costs/increase loose loot value, when money eventually becomes a non-issue, Oppressor, which increases threat levels on weapons (when it may be more practical to shoot to kill or intimidate instead), Shotgun CQB Aced, as Shotguns aren't really used much with iron sights, and Nine Lives, which relies on the player getting downed a lot when it's more practical to purchase skills that let you avoid being downed completely.
      • There's little wonder why most of the above "skills" were replaced in the skill tree revamp.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Bain will yell at you for killing civilians and will warn you that getting out of custody will be harder while the cops will become more aggressive in response.
  • White Mask of Doom: It's entirely possible to make a mask that is pure white simply by using the base 'white plastic' material with no pattern and no colour; several masks start out this way. Though none are quite as featureless as the trope's page image, Alienware, Mr. Mannequin, and Mrs. Mannequin all come quite close.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: Day 2 of the Hotline Miami heist can have a hostage strapped to a chair with a bomb attached to his body. While you don't have to go out of your way to save him, doing so will net you a few bags of money that would have been blown to bits if the bomb went off.
  • Witch Hunt: Depressingly common for high ranking infamy players online. Due to the rampant cheating from people who used said cheats to boost their levels to the max, legitimate players that reached infamy level 5 are often kicked out of many games because people assume that infamy level 5 is a cheater's calling card. Doubly so for infamy level 5 players who have their Steam profiles set to private since many people assume private profiles means that person has something to hide. The Gage Historical pack update also caused a lot of false positives to occur by branding legitimate players as cheaters for having an invalid weapon (despite the fact that they purchased the DLC), causing many paranoid players to start kicking out people the minute the cheater tag appears.
  • Zerg Rush: Cops don't rush in as much as they used to in the first game, preferring to strategically flank you instead. On Death Wish, the cops play the trope straight at all times and they got the health and firepower to back it up.
    • Played straight on Firestarter Day 1 if you get the far right hangar. Cops will never stop swarming over the fence until the assault wave is over or you've moved all the bags away from the hangar.

PAYDAY: The HeistFirst-Person ShooterPerfect Dark

alternative title(s): PAYDAY 2
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