These are the people who give you contracts, which include bank heists, robberies, and other weird items that a contractor might want, all in order to get your Payday, too. As of December 2017, the game got a serious story arc, and as such, there's some major Late Arrival Spoilers for those who are new to the game. Spoilers are marked as such, but there's a few characters on here that are considered Walking Spoilers, so their pages will be full of spoiler tags, so be warned!
Contacts and Contractors
The crew's enigmatic boss, Bain is the man with a plan, who coordinates the crew's work through Crime.net. Everything about him is a mystery, with few having ever seen his face, let alone heard his name. Even the crew is in the dark about much of his past - all they know is that he's reliable, he's on their side, and he's in control.
- Adaptational Villainy: The Web Series paints him in a much darker light than how he's depicted in-game, showing his colder side more befitting of a traditional Evil Genius, rather than The Chessmaster and Affably Evil persona he has in the games. Something he takes seriously in both the Web series and the game is that he's perfectly cool with hiring Psychos For Hire to kill off people threatening to expose Crime.net, which is something the Hoxton's revenge heist also deals with, as Bain will personally pay the crew to get evidence from the FBI about Crime.net to protect it). The odd contrast to his in-game personality is definitely noticeable throughout however.
- Berserk Button: Killing innocent civilians is the fastest way to piss him off. The others are threatening the security of Crime.net (and by extension betraying his gang), and the final one is wasting either money or his time. The last can be seen if one of his operatives doesn't do their role at a critical moment, causing him to threaten them with a gratuitous show of force if they don't comply.Bain: This isn't a request. Get your ass into position for a roof pick-up, or I'll see whole squadrons of F-16's scrambled in your direction!
- The Cracker: Bain tends to personally handle any hacking that the gang needs done in a given heist. Hook him up to a laptop, and he'll get on with the hacking.
- Crazy-Prepared: Bain kicks off the trend of the heists being complicated, with several Plan B's and C's for even routine heists. Best demonstrated in the GO Bank; the idea is for you to stealth in, take hostages, take the keycards, and just open the vault and quickly snag the bags before the timelock expires. He will then answer the banks phones for you to keep the police from getting too suspicious. If you go loud, he will quickly piece together a plan that involves fultoning the cash out. If that somehow failsnote , he quickly tracks down a sewer for the gang to travel through. And this is a relatively small scale bank heist!
- Creator Cameo: Bain is voiced by the game's lead composer and Overkill's former sound designer, Simon Viklund.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He is perfectly fine with you slaughtering cops and GenSec security guards, but killing civilians is a step too far for him, and doing so makes him call the gang out and deduct part of your pay.
- Bain is very disdainful of the Murkywater mercenaries in Shadow Raid. He'll sometimes express digust when a bag of cocaine is retrieved, saying that he hopes it wasn't actually given to any real soldiers. He may also call Murkywater 'shameless' in a similarly hostile tone if you come across paintings looted from the Iraqi National Gallery. He also calls Murkywater "corn-fed crooks", and sometimes notes that stolen coke won't be funding any terrorist activities anymore, just good old American crime.
- He is also, very understandably, squeamish about someone like Vlad getting his hands on a set of nuclear warheads.Bain: Vlad, smashing malls is one thing. Stealing tiaras is one thing. But nukes?!?!
- The Evil Genius: Bain has never been seen in person, nobody from the crew until breaking him out in the Hell's Island heist, nor the contractors on this page, with the exception of the Dentist and Locke. He is easily the most shadowy figure of any of the contractors. He is the mastermind of Crime.net, and personally oversees your missions. While basic info is known about every other contractor, the only thing we know about Bain is that his favorite color is bluenote , and that he's got eyes on you everywhere you go. However, the menace of this is somewhat offset by the fact that, in-game, he's a Nice Guy... for a criminal.
- Faux Affably Evil: He may be friendly for a criminal mastermind, but he does make you do all the work, and takes the credit for himself. He may even care more about civilians than the crew themselves. He also didn't show interest in helping Jiro find his son Kento until the crew forced him to.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: He will sometimes invoke this trope word for word on the crew taking civilian lives.
- The Ghost: Unlike the other contractors, Bain was this trope for the lonest time, and prior to 2018, the most we see of him is the back of his head, or his hands. When we finally see him in-game in the Henry's Rock heist, his face is covered by a bag, and we meet him in person near the end of the Hell's Island Heist.
- Greed: Bain will usually encourage the crew to steal extra loot if they can because, hey, who doesn't like to get a little extra money for their payday? In the second day of the Hotline Miami heist, Bain will start pleading and shouting at you to hurry up and reach the Commissar before he flushes his valuable cocaine.
- He Knows Too Much: He keeps his identity a secret, leaving absolutely no traces and silencing anyone who could help the police hunt him down. If the Diamond Heist goes loud, he's forced to personally interrogate the CFO of Garnet Group in a helicopter he's riding in for the code to the company's vault. After getting the code, Bain tosses the man from the helicopter to his death (he lands on the lobby's fountain near the vault and dies on impact), citing that the man had seen his face and he doesn't like leaving loose ends hanging.
- "Hell, Yes!" Moment: Bain will often lose his composure from excitement when you see what's in the vault in Shadow Raid, once he's seen the inside of the Big Bank vault, or whenever a large amount of C4 detonates.
- Heroic RRoD: The Hell's Island heist has him singlehandedly taking out the Murkies and specials with his bare hands, despite his physical health being very deteriorated from all the torture he endured previously. He is also infected with a man-made virus that is sapping away at his strength. By the time you reach him, he collapses from his injuries, thus Locke has to carry him.
- Hypocritical Humor: When finishing the first day of the Hoxton Breakout heist via parking ticket, Bain will complain about how $7 for parking is robbery. Considering what he and the crew do for a living...
- Ink-Suit Actor: While still being voiced by Simon Viklund, in Hell's Island, when you finally get to see Bain in the flesh, he resembles Digger Mesch; his actor in the web series (albeit very beaten up).
- It's All My Fault: If the crew fails a heist, he'll begin apologizing and blaming himself. He outright states that the crew is the best and that he must have miscalculated or his plan was wrong.
- Mission Control: He gives the crew a heads up on approaching danger, important intel and advice during their various jobs, and in general just acts as the hacker to do certain tasks and the Voice with an Internet Connection. Anyone who wishes to hire the crew has to go through him. One of the few times where he's actually sidelined is with the "Hoxton Breakout" saga, as he had very little to do with the events (Hoxton overruled Bain, which they do not protest against, after escaping, the escape itself was done mostly by The Dentist, as well as contracts leading up to that point).
- Missing Mission Control: His location is compromised and he is captured at the end of Day 1 of the Reservoir Dogs Heist, courtesy of the Kataru. Locke becomes the gang's Mission Control in his absence.
- Mission Control Is Off Its Meds: He adds to the ridiculous Mind Screw nature of the Lab Rats mission by going full Cloudcuckoolander and acting completely unsure (or rattling off some oddly specific percentage of certainty) about the ingredients you need to get to create the meth you need. Amusingly since Lab Rats' addition, he also does this in both Rats and Cook Off replacing his earlier, more-certain dialogue.
- Mysterious Past: After a successful assault wave, Bain sometimes notes that the crew reminds him of himself back in the day. Locke even notes that he had the real painting of The View of Mount Vernon. And the whole "secret society crap" and the hunt for Baldwin's Lament? It is implied that Bain has been at it for years, and may have even been part of one of the bigger players in the conspiracy game, going by him being called a "Watcher" in some of the available documentation (according to Chains, at least).
- Not Quite Dead: In the secret ending, it is implied that Bain survives, and it appears he becomes the President of the United States.
- One-Man Army: Holy shit is he one. During Hell's Island, Bain personally fights his way to the exit after getting released. As the gang follows his trail, the crew discovers sprawled about dead bodies of Murkies, including Bulldozers and Cloakers. Under normal circumstances, Bain is probably as strong as the entire gang combined, made more impressive in his... erm... condition.
- Pet the Dog: Best seen during the First World Bank heist while looking for a password to get into the bank's vault area. If you pick the wrong terminal, Bain will sometimes modify an account holder's financial information in a way that benefits them, such as increasing the interest someone gets from their savings account or marking someone's student loans as being paid in full.
- Pragmatic Villainy: While Bain is willing to do anything to get the job done, he condemns certain actions as unprofessional and immoral - most notably, killing civilians. He also prefers options that don't expose the crew to unnecessary risk.
- He notes that he's been considering the Side Jobs for a while now but only recently decided to grant them as they're a distraction to the primary job at hand and are not really necessary, but deems the crew skilled enough to do them for the extra cash. Considering all side jobs so far have been based on achievements (some which are really hard such as Tabula Rasa) his concern is not without warrant.
- Retired Badass: There are heavy implications that Bain is this. Many of his connections seem to have come from genuinely getting into actual jobs like yours, he constantly alludes to the times he himself was heisting and compares particularly good work on your part to what he did "back in the day", and when Kataru comes to take him he does not go quietly at all, clearly answering with something of decent caliber while offering the team his last instructions.
- We get to see Bain fight in Hell's Island... rather, we see the aftermath of him tearing through crowds of Murkywater soldiers with his own hands (including Cloakers and Bulldozers), after being tortured for a long time and being infected with a man-made virus. Let's just say that you don't want to mess with him in his prime.
- Skewed Priorities:
- Bain will never hesitate to remind the crew when a civilian gets freed by the police, even if the crew themselves are cornered by cops and can't do anything about it, or when they're already fleeing the scene and no longer need hostages.
- He is also a hell of a lot more animated when telling you to hurry it up to get to the Commissar's coke, despite not even knowing that it was there until you got into the building. Notably, he's never this exasperated about any other type of secondary loot.
- Verbal Tic: He has a habit of referring to the crew as "guys", "fellas" or "gentlemen" off-handedly. Sometimes Bain will call the crew "clowns" in reference to their clown masks that they are infamously known for.
- Viewers Are Goldfish: He'll always keep telling the crew to "fetch the drill" and continue commenting on the senator's apartment in Framing Frame.
- Vocal Evolution: His voice was changed to be more expressive and lighter in tone compared to the originally deeper one he has in the early heists (like Ukranian Job) and the first game.
- Walking Spoiler: From 2017 onwards, his importance to the games's story is very tricky to discuss without going into this territory. Like with Locke's folder, this folder was spoiler-free before then, but now look at it!
- What the Hell, Player?: Bain will be very angry if you start killing civilians - both due to the extra work he has to put in to cover up the killings, and because he thinks it isn't right.
Vernon Locke was introduced in a 'teaser' update for PAYDAY 2, whose heists were released as part of the Point Break tie-in DLC.
He is the head of a cyber-taskforce division of Murkywater that managed to successfully infiltrate Crime.net, but instead of simply taking it offline (as he was hired to do), left a message for the crew within Crime.net that states he would like to work with the crew, offering to provide intel on Murkywater and protection from the other members of his taskforce.
Born in South Africa, educated at Lincoln Laboratory, trained under MI5, and now employed by Murkywater. Vernon Locke heads their special cyberwarfare division, which has been tasked with infiltrating and destroying Crime.net. Locke has managed this. However, being a mercenary with no loyalties that extra money couldn't bend, Locke sees this as an opportunity. An opportunity to get rich, and cause a little chaos. He has reached out to Bain and the Payday gang. The deal? Work with him, or he brings Crime.net down forever. Locke's jobs are direct hits on Murkywater's resources, favouring speed and violence over subtlety, with the Gang often moving from place to place rather than holding out at a single point. Also, fair warning, Locke has entered Walking Spoiler Territory. Hence the huge amount of spoiler tags everywhere...
- Amoral Afrikaner: He is a South African mercenary who aids criminals in various heists.
- Subverted in that he does have standards, such as not killing civilians, and part of why he betrayed Murkywater is because he was disturbed by what little he saw of the stuff he saw stashed in Henry's Rock.
- Art Evolution: Locke got one to match his VA's face, Ian Russell. This was done to reflect his appearance in Payday 2's ending cutscenes. Before the visual update, Ian already had a striking resemblance to Old!Locke (sans moustache)◊, so all the visual update did was just made his face more detailed.
- Breakout Character: Originally just another contact for a couple of tie-in heists, Locke has been further and further integrated into what little plot Payday 2 has, mostly due to his popularity. He's even taken over Bain's role as the gang's Mission Control as of the Reservoir Dogs Heist.
- The Cracker: Managed to crack into Crime.net and would have taken the whole thing down, but he used his cracking skills as means to get some money out of the deal as well as for the crew.
- Defector from Decadence:
- Locke works with Murkywater and was ordered to bring down Crime.net, but he decided to betray his company by offering the PAYDAY crew to work with him so that everyone can make more money since he wasn't getting enough at his day job.
- During the storyline briefing of Henry's Rock, Locke also states that what little he saw stashed there was enough to make him uneasy working with Murkywater for much longer, prompting him to find another line of work.
- Enemy Mine: Despite the near destruction of Crime.net, he was able to set off two heists that potentially sends crippling blows to Murkywater. Subverted during Alaskan Deal, then played straight once more since Reservoir Dogs.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Like with Bain, he is perfectly fine with you slaughtering cops and Murkywater assault units, but killing civilians will make him... perturbed, not least because he has to work extra, and deducts pay as cleaner costs.
- Faux Affably Evil: Locke is friendly and polite as long as everything is going exactly according to plan, but he is prone to meeting any change or delay with instant hostility and gratuitous swearing. He betrays you in Alaskan Deal, driving off with a near cheerful tone to his voice. With the revelation that the betrayal was a ruse in the Reservoir Dogs Heist, he drops the act and becomes much more focused.
- Foreign Cuss Word: When he gets angry he'll start using Afrikaans profanity, calling police 'kerels' (a dated equivalent of the American 'pigs') and everyone 'poes'.
- Genius Ditz: In-game, he leans more towards the "Genius" territory, what with him taking over for Bain as Mission Control, as well as planning a few heists to help resolve the plot. But in the True Ending, he is a bit of a Butt-Monkey, Not getting a celebratory drink, constantly wearing his military fatigues on a sunny beach, he gets decked by the Butcher over what happened during Alaskan Deal, and tries to play Golf... poorly.
- Good All Along: Despite seemingly selling out the crew during the Alaskan Deal, Day 2 of Reservoir Dogs reveals that he was forced to do that to ensure the crew's safety. Bain is aware of this and uses what little time he has left before disappearing to clear up Vernon's name.
- Insufferable Genius: At first, Vernon Locke is very insufferable, especially after offering two heists involving sabotage towards Murkywater's leading assets. This is to the point of sounding even more irritable than Bain's constant barking. Birth of Sky has this the worst, especially if you're having a hard time finding the money pallets or are getting shot from every angle. He drops this in the Reservoir Dogs heist, as things have gotten much more serious.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Averted initially, but one of the last patches of 2018 saw a visual update to Locke to match his Voice Actor, that being Ian Russel. It essentially made his face more detailed... and that's about it.
- Jerkass: Perks from being an Enemy Mine for the Payday gang, hailing from the already despised mercenary group that the PAYDAY Gang had been fighting off until Murkywater's Home Base was discovered.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The Reservoir Dogs heist reveals that the "betrayal" in Alaska was a ruse, and he does genuinely respect the crew.
- Know When to Fold 'Em:
- Legs it in a bulletproof car in Alaskan Deal and, as Day 9 of the Locke and Load event shows, went off the grid right after to avoid the gang tracking him down again. Ultimately averted, however; turns out that he never actually intended to betray them.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: People who haven't played Locke's heists in story order won't know why the Reservoir Dogs Heist and beyond has Locke as the gang's Mission Control.
- Limited Wardrobe: He is only ever seen wearing military fatigues no matter what. Even on the beach during the True Ending.
- Malaproper: Locke in "Beneath The Mountain" says "And Open the Sesame" instead of "Open Sesame!" when you blast down the door to the mountain compound.
- Mission Control: In the Reservoir Dogs heist, he entirely replaces Bain as this for Day 2 (Day 1 gameplay-wise) of the heist. He even gets to narrate when assault waves begin and end, as well as when players get downed, in custody and hostage trades. This carries over to Brooklyn Bank, and every heist from then on with the exception of No Mercy.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: He successfully crippled Crime.net and could have easily destroyed it, but he decides to take this opportunity to have the PAYDAY crew work with him. Naturally, he could easily bring the entire Crime.net system down for good if his offer was refused.
- Interestingly, one of his quotes when he books it at the start of Alaskan Deal indicates that he was on the end of this as well, though it is never made clear where he got the deal or who made it. It is eventually revealed in the Reservoir Dogs heist that the weapon deal was arranged by him and Bain in order to get the crew out of DC as the Kataru were looking for them.
- Over-the-Shoulder Carry: Does this to an unconscious Bain near the end of Hell's Island.
- Poor Communication Kills: True, telling the gang about his supposed betrayal would ruin all the shock factor, but not telling The Butcher about it earned her ire as well, something which Locke notes as a matter that needs to be dealt with at the end of Brooklyn Bank. The Butcher smacks him across the face with a steel briefcase in the True Ending over it.
- Red Herring Mole: He is not the second traitor. The Dentist is fact that second traitor.
- Reformed Criminal: He starts a cyber-security company based in Silicon Valley in the True Ending, with a bit of professional golf on the side.
- Skewed Priorities:
- Like Bain, Locke will never hesitate to remind the crew when a civilian gets freed by the police, even if the crew themselves are cornered by the cops and can't do anything about it, or when they're already fleeing the area and no longer need hostages.
- Also the intro in a nutshell for Brooklyn Bank.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: During the briefing for the Reservoir Dogs Heist, Locke notes that he realizes that the gang has little reason to trust him after what happened in Alaska.
- Those Two Guys: Vlad and Locke share the comms for the the San Martín Bank Heist, who are both in a car nearby, with Locke even calling Vlad a Backseat Driver.
- Verbal Tic: Locke has a habit of adding "for sure" to the ends of his statements, and his VA is quite aware of the Memetic Mutation it spawned. The fanbase is all too happy to turn it into the memetic "Fo Sho".
- Walking Spoiler: His role in the Alaskan Deal heist and beyond. Before Alaskan Deal, his entry here was actually spoiler-free. Now look at it! And his role in the succeeding heists make this trope come into full effect.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Locke was born and raised in South Africa, but his accent sounds less Afrikaans, and more of New Zealand Maori. Slightly justified by his backstory, where he is confirmed to have done his training in the US, worked for MI5, and now works in the US again, meaning his accent has probably gotten mixed a bit.
- Wildcard: It is pretty hard to guess which side is he on when he throws insults to both sides in the battle between the crew and Murkywater. His allegiance has also been brought into question more times than any other contractor, for sure. By the end of the storyline, he's very much in the ' trustworthy ally' camp.
- What the Hell, Player?: Locke will start to get mad or, at worst, pissed at you if you start killing civilians for the hell of it, and he reminds you that the extra work he has to put in to cover it up will be deducted from their pay, and also because he shares Bain's morality and he finds it wrong.
You can't exactly buy fully-automatic, high-capacity weapons from just any gun store or gunsmith, and you don't find them lying around on the street. Gage is a bitter and crippled war veteran who provides some of the tools and weapons the gang needs to get the job done, using his contacts and connections within the military. He also occasionally takes 'care' of problems for Bain, using his injury to make victims underestimate him.
- Arms Dealer: So much that most weapon-centric DLC packages are explicitly weapons the crew have acquired from Gage. He's also getting into moving modifications for weapons, through both the Mod Courier (wherein he's giving the team freebies for helping him move his product) and Spec Ops packs.
- Ascended Extra: Gage first appears as a minor character, the "Gage Weapon Packs" line of DLCs show that he is the crew's main weapon supplier, providing them with combat knives, machine guns, grenades, sniper rifles, and even older weapons from World War II and beyond.
- Establishing Character Moment: In episode 4 of the web series, the first thing we see him do is ask for a smoke from Charlie, the Lobbyist, then gaining sympathy through aggressive attitude, and then shooting him dead, all while he's in a wheel chair.
- Evil Cripple: His wartime injuries have confined him to a wheelchair. This does not stop him from being able to shoot from it though. He somehow regains the use of his legs in the True Ending, presumably thanks to stolen technology from Henry's Rock.
- No-Sell: A non-violent example. In episode 6 of the web series, Greta attempts to seduce him, telling him to fix her weapon and she'll fix his. Gage had none of that.
- Occidental Otaku: Somewhat implied. Bain implies Gage is deadset on the gang getting the Shogun armor in the Shadow Raid heist, takes a vacation to Japan and comes back from the country with a bunch of modern and antique Japanese weapons to sell to the gang. It's also implied he's the one that introduced Jiro to the gang."There's no fixing that... just like there's no fixing that black heart."
- The Bus Came Back: According to the Butcher, Gage went on an "extended vacation" starting in 2015. As such, she took over as the group's weapon supplier for three DLC packs. Fans assumed that Gage's actor moved on after being wrapped up with their work on CW shows. However it was revealed she wasn't lying, and that the extended vacation was to Japan, and he came with Japanese-themed weapons in the Gage Ninja Pack DLC.
- Reformed Criminal: In the True Ending, he eventually partners with Chains and enters the film industry, helping to revitalize practical effects and stuntwork in films.
Recently returned from a long stay in prison, Vladislav "Vlad" Kozak seeks to reclaim many of his old holdings - and wants revenge on the man who framed him. To do this, he's taking back his gangland stranglehold on DC, starting with his protection racket. Vlad also runs a bakery in town, which serves as a front to his more illegal means of business.
With the exception of the two-day Goat Simulator heist, Vlad's contracts are all single-day heists (not counting escape sequences). Early jobs offer some opportunities for stealth and subterfuge, but later ones focus entirely on loud and violent approaches. He has also been the contractor for the yearly Christmas-themed heists* .
- Ace Custom: One of the Legendary weapon skins for the AK Rifle belongs to him, named Vlad's Rodina. It has followed him since the early days of his gang, and it has a stored history of its own. It might also be possessed by a bloodthirsty spirit, considering said history has two rather glaringly unnatural incidents.
- Arms Dealer: The "Aftershock" heist shows Vlad has begun to smuggle weapons via safes from the west coast to the east coast as part of a deal with a criminal organization on the west side of the country.
- Ascended Extra: Vlad started out as one of another contractor players could use for jobs, but he slowly gained popularity among the community and he eventually gained more jobs involving him, had his character traits expanded to be crazier, and started to take on the role of Bain as Mission Control in his later heists. Vlad even appeared in a few trailers.
- Ax-Crazy: Compared to the other contractors, Vlad is the most ruthless. Hector, the Elephant, and the Butcher are motivated by business (though his last few heists are purely financially motivated), and they all prefer their stealthable jobs to be handled quietly. Many of Vlad's jobs are the result of personal feuds, and he outright enjoys it when the crew "gets messy."
- Back for the Finale: After going silent for almost two years, Vlad resurfaces in the True Ending.
- Badass in Distress: Vlad is the titular Ukranian Prisoner in the Ukranian Prisoner heist. The gang have to break him out of a warehouse after being tortured to near death. Vlad is notably the only VIP that doesn't need to be escorted unlike the ones in Green Bridge or Heat Street. He'll beeline to where he needs to go and will not be caught by security. However Vlad will die from his wounds at certain points in the heist in both loud and stealth if the crew takes too long. When they do manage to escape, Locke will comment Vlad will have bounced back after getting some vodka in his hands.
- Bad Boss:
"Tell the elves to work harder, or the only gift they'll get in their stocking is my fist in their ass!"
- In the web series, where he insists one of his girls 'take care' of a 'special client' despite having promised her she wouldn't have to do that sort of thing.
- Played for Laughs in Santa's Workshop, where he makes thinly veiled threats to the "elves" packing drugs, talking about how he would roast their balls alive and beat the teeth out of them among the long list of the things he would do if they don't work faster.
- The Bus Came Back: He initially disappears from the plot after the Stealing Xmas heist, and only returns in the True Ending. He eventually reappears proper as the contractor of the San Martin Bank heist, playing pivotal roles in both the 'Silk Road' and 'City of Gold' series of heists, even having a physical presence in the Ukranian Prisoner heist.
- Casual Danger Dialog: During the Meltdown job, he brushes off Bain's reaction over Vlad wanting the crew to steal nuclear warheads for him as if it was a common everyday thing. Vlad will even joke about the crew receiving a radiation poisoning from having to carry the warheads.
- Cruel Mercy: Why does he ask the crew to steal the tiara of his rival's bride-to-be instead of just ordering her gunned down? Because leaving his hated enemy with a nagging, disappointed wife for the rest of his life is a far worse punishment than leaving him with a dead one.
- Evil Is Petty: Most of his missions are motivated by him feeling personally wronged by somebody else, and unlike Hector's feud with the Mendozas, the majority of Vlad's victims don't have any sizable backup.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Vlad is a mob boss running his own illegal businesses, but compared to everyone else the crew had done jobs for (and Vlad having a somewhat silly personality), one might not take Vlad too seriously, and even the FBI didn't consider him a threat for a while (his biggest heist at the game's release was smashing a mall on his turf so that a Mr. Stone pays him protection money). But later on, Vlad asks the crew to steal nuclear warheads for a potential buyer and he acts like it's no big deal. Vlad eventually gains a lot of influence in the criminal underworld and he manages to make connections to a large organization on the West Coast by moving their product of customized skins for guns on the East Coast, and by the Goat Simulator heist is moving in on Hector's old turf as a cocaine distributor.
- Prior to that, this applies to his gang, which mainly just smuggled alcohol and cigarettes. The moment Vlad secured Rodina, his custom AK Rifle, he started expanding, with violence. He caused most of the deaths resulting from his rise to power, and quickly became the mob boss that he is today.
- The Gadfly: Depending on the mission. He hires the crew for the Ukrainian Job just to ruin the wedding of the rat who framed him. He also enjoys trolling Bain and the crew when given mission control privileges, especially in Goat Simulator. It gets darker during Meltdown, where he makes several jokes about the very real possibility of radiation poisoning from having to carry the nuclear warheads around.
- Hidden Depths: There's hints throughout the Breaking News event that he might have a role in the Kataru organization. Rachel Riggs is led by the Dentist to his bakery (which is boarded up closed) during her investigations, and soon after the Payday gang receive a package of cupcakes at the safehouse that contain The Diamond, last known to have been pawned off by people in the Dentist's contact...
- During the "Offshore Payday" ending cutscene, Vlad gets a phone call that he answers entirely and uncharaistically calmly in Russian, raising the gang's suspicions and leading some to reach for their firearms. Vlad ends the call and tells them them that they have made certain people very unhappy... only to burst into laugher as he admit he's fucking with them, while saying he's thinking of cut ties with said people.
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf: One of his lines upon successful completion of a job is a horrible, drunken rendition of the Russian folk song "Kalinka."
- Karma Houdini: Judging by the True Ending, he never faces any comeuppance for his crimes.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: Bain may comment after opening up one of the trucks in "Aftershock" that safes are just another thing in a long line of weird cargo Vlad has had a hand in distributing, specifically bringing up the warheads from "Meltdown".
- Mission Control: He slowly started to take up a similar role to Bain starting with the Meltdown heist and progressing from there. The Santa's Workshop and Goat Simulator heists has Vlad providing the crew with assets like a flame-based trap for doorways and having a relative of his extract the goats via skyhook and plane. Vlad will also remind the crew on what they need to do.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: In Meltdown, it turns out the mystery loot he's wanting from the warehouse is a set of nuclear warheads. Even Bain is absolutely horrified.
- Reformed Criminal: He claims to be retiring as a criminal in the True Ending, though whether he's telling the truth or not is anyone's guess.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His primary motivation, at least for most of his early heists. His rivals got him sent to prison on charges that he actually wasn't guilty of and carved up his empire in the process. Now that he's out, he wants his business back - and to watch them suffer.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: He disappears from the game entirely after the plot gets more serious, starting with Heat Street. He doesn't appear again (save for being mentioned by his last name in Hell's Island) until the True Ending... or at least until the release of the San Martin Bank heist.
- Trailers Always Spoil: If you are open enough to take a look in the game's newsfeed (after the game has been patched), you can already tell that you are helping Vlad in selling nukes to foreign countries.
- Villain with Good Publicity: The bakery that he uses as a front is extremely popular with the general public. It has gotten to the point that the FBI somehow believes that Vlad is an innocent man and an upstanding member of the community, and that Bain is using him as a patsy. Breakin' Feds also reveals that even Commissioner Garrett thinks he's being used by Bain for some nefarious purpose.
- Vodka Drunkenski: While he usually stays sober for the initial briefing, Vlad tends to, ah, "let loose" once a job has been completed. Vodka seems to run in the family, judging by how his brother-in-law is drunk in almost every single one of his appearances.Vlad: Now, I don't like Vodka... but it likes me just fine.
- Weirdness Magnet: Quite a few of Vlad's jobs and requests are... well, a bit on the stranger side. The loot he's had the crew pick up for him includes a decorative tiara, safes, a stuffed pig, live goats (ones that are being used to smuggle cocaine, of course, but still goats), and, of course, the Nuclear Warheads! He's also provided the crew with the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Christmas heists. The 2014 heist, according to the FBI Files, had his brother-in-law's plane hit an "unidentified flying object" heavily implied to be Santa's sleigh, the 2015 heist revolves around gangsters in elf costumes disguising narcotics as Christmas presents, and 2016 features the clowns turning a mall upside down to find packages of cocaine, mistakenly distributed to various stores in Christmas presents, hidden by his drunken brother-in-law disguised as Santa, culminating in stealing the mall's Christmas tree.* Lampshaded by Bain in Aftershock:Bain:: Tiaras, nuclear warheads, and safes. Just another job for Vlad.
- You Didn't Ask: Some of Vlad's jobs have elements in them that Bain nor the crew find out about until the last minute, such as the security cameras and staff in one of the stores during the Four Stores heist. Meltdown takes it to a whole new level when Bain and the crew discover that the hot item Vlad wanted to steal was nuclear warheads. Even when he is confronted about not telling the crew about it, Vlad just shrugs it off like it wasn't a big deal.
The leader of the up-and-coming Sinaloan Cartel, Hector Morales is looking to deal with his rivals, the Mendoza Family, so he can secure distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine. He doesn't care how they are dealt with. He just wants them out of the picture. One of the most intimidating things about him is that he has no previous criminal record - he's never once been caught.
Hector's heists focus mostly on action and stealing highly valuable items like money, drugs, and weapons, but there are some opportunities for stealth.
- Badass in Charge: The web series shows us that Hector is pretty mean in a fist fight, as well as being a dangerously pragmatic leader.
- Even Bain is afraid of Hector in-game, because he knows that Hector has strong connections and could have the crew killed if they ever betrayed him.
- Berserk Button: Do not mess with his girls. A bunch of sleazebags found this out the hard way during the Web Series.
- Combat Pragmatist: Firestarter sees you stealing weapons from the Mendozas to ensure they are no match for his cartel - then burning their blood money, so they cannot even afford to pay their soldiers or their families down south. He doesn't stop there, as Rats sees you intercepting the remaining Mendoza leaders before they can escape the country.
- Evil Power Vacuum: For both sides of the law. After he's killed, the feds take progressively more extreme and direct measures to try and take down he Payday gang. For the other side of the law, it causes a vacuum in the product trade that various cartels are scrambling to fill, including Vlad. This directly leads to the events of the Goat Simulator heist.
- The Don: Of the Sinaloan Cartel.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: He was revealed to be the one who got Hoxton imprisoned. Naturally ends up dead as a result.
- Grievous Bottley Harm: Knocks a guy out cold this way after beating up his friends in the web series.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: The Goat Simulator briefing mentions right away that Hector is already dead. Played with, in that it does NOT mention why he is dead.
- My Greatest Failure: He considers showing mercy to Carlito Mendoza to be this.
- Mysterious Past: One of the things that make him so intimidating is that he has no previous record of crime, which makes him extremely unpredictable. All that is known is that he spared the life of Carlito Mendoza when they were both young, and he has regretted it ever since.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In the web series, he has an unmistakable and utterly inexplicable South African accent, despite being a South American gangster.
- Put on a Bus: Hector has had no new heists since the game's release, and then... well, they Dropped a Bridge on Him.
A Republican councilman, Stephen J. Simmons, AKA "The Elephant," aspires to be a senator - and uses Crime.net as a means to that end. He is not above paying to have his rivals discredited or 'problems' taken out of the picture in a more permanent fashion. Whether it's vote manipulation, frame-ups, or aid for his political allies, he has the connections to make it happen.
The Breakin' Feds heist reveals that he has been arrested by the PAYDAY Task Force, as part of Solomon Garrett's deal with the Kataru. It is also implied he is looking for Baldwin's Lament, like Bain. He is later released after 37 days in custody, presumably due to a lack of hard evidence linking him to the gang, combined with his political connections.
His heists strongly encourage stealth and caution, and while highly difficult, they are extremely rewarding. The Biker DLC introduces a heist from him that can only be done loud, which contrasts from his usual stealthy approach, though he notes that there was no other option given the circumstances, and is largely unconnected to his political goals.
- The Chessmaster:
- He always has a long game at play, and Bain outright cautions the gang to watch their backs on his missions, in case he decides they've outlived their usefulness.
- Subverted in Big Oil, where the Overkill MC gang were hired to acquire intel about the prototype fusion oil engine, but ultimately decided to betray Simmons to cash in the job for themselves. Thankfully for him, he had the Payday gang on speed-dial.
- Corrupt Politician: Very much so - he's got his hand in vote rigging, cover-ups, and more.
- Framing Frame has you posing as a hired crew to the Elephant's Democratic rival to steal paintings and exchange them for cash, and then break into the Democrat's penthouse to steal his illegal cache of gold while planting cocaine to frame him, using cameras hidden in the paintings to sneak past the guards. Should stealth fail, Bain instead has you set up a connection to the Democrat's personal computer so that he can air evidence of his corruption on public TV.
- Big Oil has you finding the location of a prototype fusion engine, which has the potential to be a renewable source of energy that would ensure clean energy for everyone, making oil and gas power obsolete. The Elephant wants you to steal the engine so that his oil company allies can stay in business, and eventually profit from the engine when the time comes.
- Election Day has the crew tagging trucks delivering electronic ballot machines and, assuming they've succeeded, breaking into the warehouse and hacking them to rig the mayoral election in favor of his political ally, Bob McKendrick. If players are caught infiltrating the warehouse, however, the crew instead sways the votes towards McKendrick's rival, incriminating her of the crime she was to be victim of.
- Ironically, part of the news ticker from the True Ending suggests that he has switched political affiliation to the Democrats and is now spearheading a push against corruption after being outed as supposedly corrupt by the Kataru using forged evidence. Whether this is a legitimate change of heart or just another ploy is up for debate.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In the Hardcore Henry trailer, Simmons had to warn Dallas about Akan's wrath. He attempted to defuse Dallas' doubts, and even held him back when Akan casually telepathically kills a waitress. Cut dialogue from the game implied that Simmons would have betrayed him by having the gang rob the EMP bomb and data regarding Akan's super soldier project, feeling that working with him is a ''really bad idea''.
- Foil: To Vlad. Vlad is a volatile, crazy man who enjoys it when a heist goes loud, while the Elephant is calm and collected, and keeps his heists quiet to avoid drawing bad attention to himself. Vlad poses as a baker and is surprisingly good at hiding beneath the FBI's nose, whereas the Elephant keeps himself as discrete as he can, but manages to get himself detained by airport security thanks to falsified evidence. Both are implied to be Kataru members, but Vlad keeps himself on good terms with the gang albeit retiring from his criminal lifestyle while the Elephant vows to clean up the Payday Gang's rampage after the White House heist. Both ask for the gang to procure dangerous technology, but while the Elephant asks that the clowns take a prototype for a new kind of fusion engine that will eliminate oil-based power for the foreseeable future, Vlad asks them to snatch some cargo from Murkywater, never once mentioning that what the loot was nuclear warheads so he could sell them to somebody overseas for cash.
- Hidden Depths: The fact he seems entirely in the loop with the Kataru matters and referring to a lost ancient artifact from this same conspiracy and connected to actual supernatural events as a "family heirloom" stolen from him reveals his power manages to extend even beyond politics, and that he's something beyond just a corrupt congressman.
- I Have Many Names: Promotional material refers to him as "John Henry Simmons", but the notes in Hoxton Revenge refer to him as "Stephen Simmons". It's not clear if this is an oversight or another one of his deceptions.
- Karma Houdini: After being framed as corrupt by the Kataru, he comes out of the True Ending smelling like roses despite all of his actual crimes, using the incident to springboard his career and become a figurehead for anti-corruption efforts.
- Meaningful Name: His alias is a reference to his political party.
- The Mole: Informs the PAYDAY gang of police assets before they're deployed, and set up a bug in Garrett's office.
- Put on a Bus: Nothing after his initial batch of heists, save for day 1 of one of his jobs becoming a standalone job for Bain...
- The Bus Came Back: ...until June 2016, where he is the contractor for the DLC Biker Heist and then proceeded to have an important role in the wider plot, albeit while mostly remaining in the background.
- Villain with Good Publicity: He seems to be fairly respected in the public eye, with no one knowing about his secret connections to the criminal underworld.
- The Worf Effect: Subverted. The Elephant is seemingly immune to any and all legal intervention. When the Kataru starts conspiring with Solomon Garrett, the first thing they do together is make plenty of moves towards arresting him. However, thanks to the events of the Breakin' Feds heist, Solomon couldn't keep his end of the deal with he Kataru by providing The Elephant's coffer. This ends up fracturing the allinace and causing the charges against The Elephant to be dropped due to lack of substantial evidence.
- Xanatos Gambit: His ploy in the True Ending, essentially. Either he reveals #46's corruption, and is poised to take over as the new president, or he fails and #46, AKA Bain, keeps the Oval Office. Either way, Crime.net wins.
- You Owe Me: After the Biker Heist, the Elephant notes that his ties with the Overkill MC gang are all but severed, so the next time he needs something done, the gang will be expected to provide. In the end, the gang ends up inadvertantly paying him back by getting him acquitted after splitting the Kataru/Garret alliance. He returns directly helps the gang with information to help take down the Kataru.
Not much is known about Doctor Helmann, a.k.a. The Dentist, but he knows the crew very well - after all, he's been monitoring them ever since they robbed the First World Bank. The Dentist uses his occupation to present the image of an honest, working citizen, but behind that mask breathes a cunning and dangerous criminal mastermind. After his "introducing" himself to Dallas, he gave the crew an offer - work for him, and Hoxton will be freed. He seems to be working with the people that kidnapped Bain, as the box you stole from Golden Grin appears in the Henry's Rock heist, along what seems to be him next to a tied up Bain.
The Dentist has a network of connections that rivals The Elephant's, and uses them to great effect during his Heists, which typically require careful planning and precise execution.
He is also older than he looks. A lot older.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Delivers one to Dallas in regards to James Hoxworth, which stops him dead in his tracks when he was about to leave.The Dentist: How did it feel, leaving him behind?
- Big Bad: He is later revealed to be the main villain of the storyline and the one who orchestrated Bain's kidnapping.
- Body Surf: It is strongly implied that he has used a reincarnation device called "Ark of the Watcher" beneath the White House to repeatedly reincarnate as different individuals, making him functionally immortal.
- Crazy-Prepared: The Dentist prioritizes planning for his heists, using his contacts to drop bags of ammo, medkits and grenades, organizing hidden surveillance, and placing dead drops of vital equipment, such as keycards, among other things. If you take a contract from him, expect to spend some time organizing a plan.
- Diabolical Mastermind: He claims to need the Payday crew for several high profile jobs, and is both smart enough to give them an incentive to work with him, and ruthless enough to force them to do so.
- Establishing Character Moment: He banters with Dallas in his reveal trailer, offering him jobs that are large in scope, but Dallas isn't interested. The last few lines he says however, not only makes Dallas take him dead seriously, but it shows off how calculating and forward-thinking the Dentist truly is:Dallas: It was very entertaining, listening to your little schemes.Dentist: Oh I have another one...Dallas: Oh, I'm sure you do.Dentist: How did it feel? Leaving him behind?Dallas stops dead in his tracks and starts facing the DentistDentist: Olga, could you show Mr. Steele the Department of Corrections transfer plan for a Mr. Jim Hoxworth?
- Evil All Along: While the Dentist was never really that good to begin with, he is eventually revealed to be working with the Kataru as their leader.
- Expy: The Dentist is based on Gustavo Fring from Breaking Bad, who had also ran a legitimate business as a front for his illegal activities. It also helps that the Dentist is played by the same actor, Giancarlo Esposito.
- Final Boss: The last enemy the player faces should they go for the true ending, though he's not that tough. See Zero-Effort Boss below.
- Foreshadowing: Bain's lamentation tape mentions he "should have paid more attention in Vegas", obviously referring to the Golden Grin Casino, and hinting at The Dentist's involvement with the Kataru long before either was actually revealed.
- The Illuminati: The treasure he was looking for in The Golden Grin Casino job heavily implies connections to this. Henry's Rock reveals he is actually working with Murkywater, and the boxes have another, more grandiose purpose.
- Karma Houdini: He kidnaps Bain and has him tortured and injected with a man-made virus, which eventually kills him. While the PAYDAY crew manage succeed in winning their freedom by stealing presidential pardons, the Dentist is still at large. This is averted in the True Ending, where he is killed by the gang.
- Knight of Cerebus: Whenever he's present, or sometimes only just involved, some dark stuff is usually going on. Even if his initial heists weren't too suspicious his trailer with Dallas portrayed him as the most intimidating figure the crew had dealt with yet, and now that the heisters are fully involved in occult matters he's a constant presence.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: The Dentist knows exactly who Dallas is and he uses that information against him by offering him several jobs that he needs done.
- The Plan: He appears to have a greater purpose in mind for the Payday crew, beyond actually breaking Hoxton out. His plans seem to involve the theft of priceless artefacts for a third party- the Golden Grin implying a connection to a mysterious secret society group.
- Really 700 Years Old: Recent info from heists imply that The Dentist has been around for potentially thousands of years, including being around in World War II and the burning of the White House.
- Scary Black Man: Fits the trope perfectly, but not in a way most would expect from the trope. Rather than using brute force or violence, The Dentist calmly holds Dallas hostage through blackmail and has the tools in his office to kill him should Dallas try anything funny during their meeting. If you listen to The Dentist talk about himself through his Crime.net profile, he says that if the crew were to ever screw him over, he has connections so high that he has the ability to make someone from the crew disappear and that not even someone else from another part of the crew would be able to identify them.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: If he is truly related to matters like the Burning of the White House and the Diamond, then these are what gives him away; he can be seen as only a silhouette with shining glasses, watching from the background.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: The Dentist makes it very clear that he has very powerful connections that can assist the crew greatly (or lead to their quick deaths if they betray him) and he also uses said connections to keep up his front as an "honest" professional dentist.
- The Spook: The FBI Files reveal that even the police know almost nothing about him — in fact, they have only just gotten a visual description. Given his affiliation, that's not surprising...
- Torture Technician: The figure in a suit shown torturing Bain in the livefeed monitor in Henry's Rock looks a lot like him, especially his glasses.
- Walking Spoiler: Try mentioning any appearance of him post-Golden Grin Casino, as there are a lot of secrets that reveal who he truly is.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: With the Golden Grin Casino being the last heist from him, he simply vanished without a word. Presumably, with the crew already fulfilling their end of the bargain, The Dentist may simply not need their business anymore. He does continue to speak in the Pre-Planning screens for post-Golden Grin heists, however, but this is probably more of an oversight more than anything else.
- The Bus Came Back: Henry's Rock reveals that he is with Murkywater and that he currently has Bain, and Hell's Island has him command the Murkies to stop the gang from breaking him out.
- Zero-Effort Boss: To unlock the true ending, you must kill him after solving the puzzle in the White House heist, and he is rather pathetically easy to take down considering he apparently didn't expect the gang to just shoot him the moment they saw him.
- Load-Bearing Boss: The cave then begins to collapse once he is killed, and the player must place the Mayan gold bars in the specified slots surrounding the Ark of the Watcher to unlock the ending.
Denisa Horvat is a woman running a butcher shop in Croatia, better known as The Butcher. Similar to Vlad, the Butcher runs a legal business while doing more dirty work behind the scenes - in this case, the international arms trade. Not much else is known about her other than that she has a connection to Bain and is filling in for Gage while he's on an "extended vacation." She is also responsible for Dragan joining the crew, with him serving as her ambassador to Crime.net.
She came with two heists initially, The Bomb: Dockyard (which could be played stealth or loud) and The Bomb: Forest (which could only be played loud), along with being the supplier of three weapon packs: the BBQ Pack, AK/CAR Mod Pack and Western Pack. After a long hiatus, she got a third heist in December 2016: Scarface Mansion, another stealth-or-loud heist. One of her cargo ships ends up in Alaska during the Alaskan Deal heist, and she is not exactly happy about what ends up going down there.
- Arms Dealer: Of both the "Gangland Gun Runner" and "International Arms Merchant" subtype. Her first heists involve contracting the crew to steal her a large bomb, presumably for later sale. She also took over for supplying new weapons to the crew while Gage was on his "extended vacation", giving them a large set of attachments for existing weapons (AK/CAR Mod Pack), flame-based weaponry (BBQ Pack), and old pieces from The Wild West (Western Pack).
- Balkan Bastard: A Croatian Arms Dealer.
- Bilingual Dialogue: Her conversations switch between Croatian and English multiple times. Unusual in that everyone in the room speaks both of them.
- The Butcher: It is also her nickname.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Spends most of the trailer being pushed around and intimidated by Dragan's partner. Then she stabs him in the chest.
- Put on a Bus: There have been no new heists since the Scarface Mansion heist, or weapons from her ever since Gage made his return.
- The Bus Came Back: She made a cameo during the Hoxton Housewarming Party event, and returned as the contractor for the aforementioned heist. She also shows up during the True Ending's Offshore Payday cutscene.
- The Sosa cartel attacked one of her ships that was in the cartel's territory by killing all the crew on board, stealing the weapons being smuggled, and then sinking the ship before sending her a photo of the deed warning her to stay out of Miami. Not one to be pushed around, she hires the PAYDAY gang to storm the Scarface Mansion to kill the leader behind the cartel.
- As Locke and Load Day 6's comic shows, she is not happy that Locke double-crossed her and her men, ranting to Dallas that she will find him and make him pay. Thankfully, Locke manages to calm her before she takes action— though she still smacks him in the face with a steel briefcase in an act of retribution in the True Ending.
- Samus Is a Girl: Meta example. Her gender was never revealed when it was first announced that Lion Game Lion was working on a new contractor on the Crimefest page.
- Signature Style: Her method of gunrunning involves hiding weapons in frozen animal carcasses.
Jiu Feng's heists involve hitting his former employers, the Golden Dagger.
Currently, Gemma is featured in the "Texas Heat" campaign, the first heist of which has you hitting Esteban, ranch-dwelling underling to an unknown rival muscling in on Gemma's gunrunning trade.
- Arms Dealer: Of the "Gangland Gun Runner" subtype. Gemma's first heist involves getting information from an underling called Esteban to work out who is trying to take her out of business. She also gave a few of the weapons to the crew too in the McShay Weapon Pack, notably a grenade subtype that can make units throw up, a secondary sniper rifle, 2-shot grenade launcher, and an SMG.
- The Friendly Texan: She has mannerisms rather similar to that of the Engineer from Team Fortress 2, in that she'll get angry at the drop of a hat, but will otherwise be jovial and oftentimes laugh at peoples' misfortune.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of The Butcher. Both are gunrunners in their respective countries (Texas USA for Gemma, Croatia for The Butcher), and both have been on the receiving end of rival gangs attempting to get rid of them (For The Butcher, it was Scarface Mansion and the Sosa Cartel, for Gemma, it was Esteban and his gang stealing and trying to push Gemma out of business). Gemma was also introduced following Mira Furlan passing due to complications with West Nile virus in 2021. They do however contrast in that The Butcher is the total opposite in terms of personality (The Butcher is The Stoic and is very reserved and calm, while Gemma is loud and seems to revel in action, and even gladly laughs at Estebans' death).