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"It's PAYDAY, fellas!" note 

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Following the success of PAYDAY: The Heist, Starbreeze (makers of the Riddick games) decided to buy the previous developer and fund a sequel. A playable beta was released on July 24th, 2013 for players who pre-ordered the Steam version of the game. The game proper was released worldwide in 2013, on August 13th for Windows via Steam, August 16th for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, with SteamOS and Linux getting a port on March 21st, 2016. In June 2015, the "Crimewave Edition" was released for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, including all DLC content from the Steam version up to the Dragan character pack and the Bomb Heists, with a "Big Score" edition coming later on September 7th, 2016, including the rest of the DLC up to the end of 2015, a "Most Wanted" edition releasing in 2017, containing all of the DLC released up to July 2016, and a "Master Plan" edition released later in 2017 including content up to May of that year.

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The game follows the same crew of hardened criminals — Dallas, Chains, Wolf, and Hoxton — who have moved on to bigger and better heists in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area. This wasn't the case initially, due to a complicated situation involving the original voice actors being replaced. After fan outcry, the voice actors returned, save for Chains (who remained the same character in-story) and Hoxton (who was replaced in-story by Dallas's brother). Eventually, the original Hoxton was brought back to the fold through a prison break, and his replacement was renamed "Houston" to avoid confusion.

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. Supplementing class skills are perk decks that grant passive abilities (including four perks shared across every deck, like slightly higher headshot damage, and slightly faster movement while wearing armor, and five unique perks for each deck, like health bonuses for having hostages, regaining some health by killing enemies, moving faster, and having faster armor regen at lower health, etc.) that are applied to the player and sometimes the rest of the crew. 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.

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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 as of Ultimate Edition, includes free content and bug fixes.

Especially of note is that, as a thank you to the community, free bonuses were released for the series' third anniversary: dubbed CrimeFest, the content is available to everyone enlisted in the official Steam group, with each reward given for passing member milestones before the anniversary. As reward for getting over 1.5 million members five days early, several major upgrades were released (some still ongoing). 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 another series of new heists.

Like its predecessor, the soundtrack can be found on Steam as 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.

2017 was a big year for the game - in April, it was announced the game would be getting ported to the Nintendo Switch, with the port releasing in February 2018. It was also announced the following month that the PC version of the game would be rebundled into the "Ultimate Edition", removing the need to separately buy its overwhelming amounts of DLC; said edition retails for $45, far less than the normal cost of all the DLC combined, with the bonus that anyone who already owned the base game and any amount of DLC can simply upgrade to the Ultimate Edition for a much-reduced price, close to the equivalent of the typical 75%-off sale for whatever DLC they don't own. On top of that, Overkill later revealed that the PC version would be getting support for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, bringing the entire game to VR and allowing for cross-platform play with non-VR players.

And finally, between December 2017 and November 2018, the game would see it's final year of content updates spread across four events, which tell a new story arc revolving around Illuminati-esque secret society known as the Kataru. OVERKILL have stated that they still plan on continuing to support the game until some point in 2019, but it's unclear what this entails and when exactly support will end.


PAYDAY 2 provides examples of:

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    A-F 
  • Absurdly High Level Cap:
    • Firstly, players can attain a maximum level of 100, and levelling slows to such a crawl that even Death Wish heists will provide only a fraction of XP than that of the later levels. Taken even further with the "Infamous" prestige levels, which require players to grind to Level 100 for the pleasure of paying $200M 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. Infamy can be done up to twenty-five times. The grind has been somewhat alleviated in a 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.
    • Due to Infamy being raised to 25, this means that you can effectively go through 2600 levels if you reach the max infamy level.note 
  • 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 (which even the cops will note at times, often complaining that "this isn't working"), and they would definitely hesitate to take action if they had civilian hostages. On the other hand, normal people can't take several hundred bullets to the chest and still keep going, nor does body armor somehow return to full effectiveness after stopping a couple dozen rifle-caliber rounds simply by not getting hit again for a few seconds, so the breaks come on both sides. Banks also do not have several hundred thousand dollars in cash, gold and other trinkets on hand, specifically because of the possibility of getting robbed, though Bain will often explain why the banks in question have as much as they do and it's always an unusual circumstancesuch as , except for Big Bank, which simply hasn't been robbed in 200 years, and Brooklyn Bank, where the objective is to get at a medallion buried within the vault of the bank rather than its money.
    • You can complete Hoxton Breakout with 3 members of your crew in custody (and thus, in jail) with no penalty beyond the norm, despite the whole mission being to break one member of the crew out of custody. If they were to make it realistic, this would mean that not a single person can be downed and in custody during the entire firefight, which would be a daunting prospect indeed (considering the heist can only be done in Loud). More amusingly, one of the members in custody can be Hoxton himself due to the game still permitting you to play as Hoxton while rescuing Hoxtonnote ; rescuing Hoxton while playing as Hoxton is even an occasional safehouse side-job, appropriately named "Spacetime Paradox".
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adaptational Heroism: The gang - cop and civilian murderers extraordinaire - are recruited by Jimmy to impede Akans' plans for world domination (in this case, wiping out an evil agency's facility and destroying its research on super-soldiers, which is heavily implied to trigger the plot of the film). Bain even lampshades it in the intro and the outro, commenting that it feels really weird to do outright good for once, and get paid for it.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
  • A Day in the Limelight: Frequent, as some missions allow certain classes to thrive whilst others tend to be inefficient. The five different classes have drastically different roles, with Mastermind having medical support and hostage keeping skills, Enforcer having skills for heavy armor and extra ammunition, Technician focusing on deploying trip mines and sentry guns as well as quickly opening safes and doors, Ghost mainly providing concealment-friendly skills, and Fugitive having skills for survival and close combat.
    • Dodge builds, made using either the Rogue, Crook, Hitman, Anarchist, Stoic, Sicario, or Hacker perk deck, also happen to be popular in open combat, so long as the player keeps moving about. Dodge builds tend to use the skills Sneaky Bastard and Low Blow, which respectively increase the player's chance to dodge and chance to get a critical hit, so long as they have a low detection risk.
  • 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.
    • 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 a similar pathfinding script to the enemy AI, and enemies caught behind the fire are programmed to stand still rather than walking into the fire mindlessly and burning themselves to death, unlike the AI in a certain game this series was inspired by.
  • A.K.A.-47: Thrown around. You've got weapons that are accurately named like the Uzi and the Ak 5, you see nicknames for certain famous weapons like the Chicago Typewriter (one of the nicknames for the Thompson M1928) and Buzzsaw 42 (nickname for the MG 42), you have changed names that double as Bilingual Bonus like the UAR ("Universal Army Rifle", English for "Armee Universal Gewehr" or AUG) and KSP/KSP 58 ("Kulspruta", Swedish for "machine gun" as is part of the FN Minimi and MAG's Swedish military designations), mash-up names like the AMR-16 (the M16 assault rifle, which was originally based on the AR-15), Shout Outs like the Predator (SPAS-12, referring to its use in the Jurassic Park films), dev references such as the Lion's Roar (a Croatian VHS-2 rifle, the name referring to Lion Game Lion who produced the DLC that adds the rifle), and then there're some names like the JP36 (rumoured to be the SKU number for an airsoft G36), the Steakout 12G (not the Ithaca Model 37, but rather an AA-12 renamed to fit its DLC's barbecue theme), and the Kobus 90 (P90, the 'Kobus' moniker was simply made-up). Interestingly, the internal names for the weapons for the most part avert this, as even the weapons that are given fictional names in the menu are referred to by their proper names in the games files.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • Hector in Hoxton Revenge. He was among one of the more popular contractors in the game, and it turns out he was the traitor.
    • The Dentist in Hell's Island. He was revealed to be the kidnapper of Bain, althought there were hints that he was a villian as soon as The Diamond trailer, before Bain was kidnapped.
  • 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. Prior to the Hoxton's Housewarming Party update, there were also Pro Jobs, which were the ultimate all-or-nothing; if you failed any day of the job, you would be kicked back to the lobby and the job is terminated.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us:
    • A player-initiated version. 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.
    • In "Safe House Raid", your safe house, gets uh, raided by the police, who have no idea the "simple drug bust" they're performing is on the Payday gang. You have to defend the money while they're assaulting your gaffe.
  • Alternate Continuity: A few:
    • The world-ending nuclear war that occurs in Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number spares Jacket, in addition to Payday 2 lacking the Alternate History, such as Soviet-invasions and puppet states.
    • According to the Developers, Scarface happens in this Universe, so the Scarface seen here is either a descendant of Scarface or an imposter/ Dead Guy Junior.
    • John Wick diverges from his sequel - he is fully embraced his life of crime once more, and has not been expelled from the underground crime community at large. Judging by the Rumours and Stories video, the events of Payday 2 appear to have happened before the events of the films.
    • Jimmy, outside of the short film, does not demonstrate his body-swapping/clone abilities, and actual Jimmy isn't dead yet.
    • The Cabot crime family still stands and is still running successful diamond heists, implying that the events of Reservoir Dogs went off without a hitch.
    • The Murkywater destroys Mercy Hospital in time and prevents the outbreak from happening.
      • It also has been moved from Fairfield, PA in October 2009 to New York on June 26th 2012 as seen on the Breaking News event-site, seperating the two even further, as the events of Left 4 Dead would have happened by then already.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Sniper enemies armed with bolt action M4 rifles may seem like a case of Critical Research Failure or lazy recycling of game assets, but there is actually such a weapon.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: According to plot-important political ads that can be seen in the early heists, the game is set in around 2014. Masks of historical and current presidents including Donald Trump are available complete with flavor texts. However, the ending all but confirms that the missing president and the one that took his form definitely isn't a Real Life president.
  • Anachronic Order: The Reservoir Dogs Heists' first day is "Day 2" while the second day is "Day 1".
  • And Some Other Stuff: Incorporated into the gameplay. During Day 1 of "Rats", the crew needs to cook methamphetamine, with instructions provided by Bain. However, he frequently gets them wrong (though this was changed where he will correct himself a few moments afterward). The stated ingredients (muriatic acid, caustic soda and hydrogen chloride) in the ratio shown will get you a huge cocktail of watered down acid or lye, which could very well cause chemical burns if smoked, and in much more specific ratio's, it just makes salt water.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Completing heists allows each player to draw one of three cards, and possible cosmetic prizes include masks, as well as patterns, fabric/material, and color schemes to customize those masks.
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating: By completing tasks finishing heists under certain conditions or finding special items in heists, you unlock trophies that are displayed around your safe house.
  • Animesque: Parodied with the Kawaii mask and its Mega variant, which turn your murderous criminal into a murderous pink-haired moeblob.
    "Lovable, cute, adorable, cool and hip, charming, non-threatening, innocent, happy-go-lucky. These are words not commonly used in criminology. Because of you, they now are."
  • Anti-Frustration Feature:
    • Loot bags can only be 'removed' from the map in cases where doing so does not prevent players from winning the level. For example, in Watch Dogs, you can throw the bags into the water (netting you an achievement for the first one as well), but doing so will respawn them back at the truck where you started. Rather than taking a bag past an Invisible Wall or over an Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence, in this case cops will simply take the bag to a location which puts as many of them between you and said bag(s) but is still within the playable boundaries of the level to allow the player a chance to cut through them and retrieve it.
    • In the Transport heists, you need to secure a minimum amount of loot bags, with the exact amount depending on the difficulty. The game will always spawn enough trucks in with enough loot so that, even if you blow open all of the trucks with C4 (which destroys 3 of the boxes in the truck when you do it, potentially depriving you of some loot), you will still have enough potential loot left over to succeed.
    • Advancing to the next tier of infamy resets all your skill points, but as compensation, after the first Infamy level you can unlock bonuses which reduce the amount of points needed to advance to the next tier in two skill trees (Fugitive and another of your choice - and the latter part stacks, so by Infamy 5 you get permanent point-cost reductions for all five trees). Those bonuses also give a multiplier to experience points gained from heists so you can level up again faster. Perk decks are completely unaffected by going infamous, only unspent points are removed (so you can keep them by simply pouring them into a perk deck), and weapons are only locked behind their usual level requirement - you can immediately use it again once you reach its required level, no money needed to unlock a gun you already own or reattach whatever attachments you left it with.
    • Lower-level players are normally barred from hosting maps on Overkill or a higher difficulty until they have reached a certain level, so that they can take the time to learn the games' mechanics and (hopefully) have someone around to help them out. After you've accrued enough infamy levels, upon a reset you can instantly jump into higher difficulties to make the grinding to later levels easier. The trade off is this allows a player who just went infamous to get back dozens of levels, allowing him to jump start his next infamy level much faster.
    • Getting shocked by a Taser will have your current weapon instantly reloaded so that you can have a fighting chance to break free. Interestingly, The developers tried to remove this in the Day 3 update for the Hoxton's Housewarming Party event in 2016, only to end up having to put the mechanic back in the very next day after it broke other gameplay elements. Bolt-action rifles and other single-action weapons will also rechamber/recock themselves for you, even though visually both your arms are outstretched and probably waving about like limp noodles.
    • Many of the skills are designed to be this. Without any skills, you usually have to wait anywhere from one to seven minutes for a single drill to finish doing its job, even longer when you consider it will jam multiple times, sometimes not even three seconds after you fixed it previously. It's either that or trying to lockpick the object in question (which takes a long time, and sometimes isn't even an option without a very-high-level skill). Then there's moving the bags around, which can be downright hell if you're alone and have no skills to buff it. With the correct skills, drills finish noticeably faster, sometimes restart themselves after a jam or be restarted by you smacking them with your melee weapon, you can pick a wider variety of locks, including safes, in under a minute, bags can be quickly moved all around the map (either carried faster or thrown a few dozen feet at a time), and at times you can break open shortcuts that you would otherwise not get access to (especially with C4 and the Saw). However, by the time you've acquired these skills, you'll have moved on to higher difficulties, where waiting around outside of stealth is no longer an option.
    • The one saving grace from being kicked down by a Cloaker is that it doesn't count towards your down counter before getting into custody immediately. Depending on the skillset of whoever revives you, you could get around half your health back on Normal, Hard and Very Hard. This, however, does not apply on Overkill or above, where the most health you can get after being revived is about 25%.
    • All Infamy levels come with an experience bonus, although some come with a bigger one than others. This is to help with the level grinding back to 100 for those that went infamous, as it can be a chore otherwise. By Infamous level 20 or so, your Infamy EXP bonus alone is usually the same, if not higher, than the total amount of exp you would have gotten from the heist itself (even after all other bonuses have been applied). Overkill also gave a month of extra EXP to players during the Infamy 2.0 update, to jumpstart people's leveling.
    • The ability to intimidate police into surrendering, which acts like a normal hostage in heists where there are only a small handful of or even no civilians to take hostage, though it takes more effort to take police as hostages, and with other skills you can convert them to fight for you, and can be traded between waves to bring back incarcerated teammates.
    • If a player holding a mission critical item leaves the game (keycards, C4, meth ingredients, etc.), the items are transferred to another player so that the mission isn't unwinnable. The Meth ingredients, upon Rats' Launch, wasn't stackable per-player until a later patch fixed the issue.
    • If there's only one player not in custody, or the player is solo without AI teammates, Cloakers can't use their instant down attack, to prevent cheap game overs.
    • In Hoxton Revenge, the FBI boss will always be relatively close to where the panic room is. This reduces both the distance the boss needs to be moved (if you are attempting the heist in stealth, and the room requires a retinal scan) and the time needed to find the panic room (if you find the boss first).
    • Captain Winters will not appear in offline play due to being very hard to tackle in co-op, let alone one man player and bots without advanced tactics, even more so when playing alone.
    • Playing offline since summer 2017 allow you access to AI exclusive perks that can be managed via the Crew Management menu. It allows, among other things, AI bullet penetrating Shields, AI's getting the ability to revive you if you get downed, as well as passive bonuses, such as faster interaction while lock-picking and drill repair, which also stacks with existing boosts from related skills and perks.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: The Dentist in The Dentist trailer knows exactly who Dallas is, and he uses that information to strong arm him into doing jobs for him, and also promises to break Hoxton out of jail, just to sweeten the deal.
  • 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 again. The game also had a 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's early single day heists note  include an escape sequence if you finish them loud instead of in stealth, 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 total completion time. If you take more than a certain amount of time to complete a heist, 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.
    • Players gain more experience for retrieving more loot bags from a job rather than just more money, meaning that to get the maximum rewards, players will need to play the job as skilfully as possible rather than finishing their objectives as quickly as possible and sprinting to the exit with one or no bags. Alternatively this means that players can do the Rats, Cook Off, Santa's Workshop, and White Xmas jobs for hours on end if they're well prepared, as it's possible to receive well over a thousand loot bags for these jobs, which in turn means it's possible to level up far more than intended.
    • Previously, doing missions in Stealth would often grant a stealth bonus, which boosts the next contract's EXP bonus by a certain percentage. This led to many people doing missions only in stealth because not only is it easier to complete objectives, but you get more experience for it in the long run. The experience system revamp instead made it so that, while you still get a multiplier for your next heist after completing one in stealth, you also get more experience now if you do a heist loud, to encourage players to continue with a heist if it goes south instead of grinding the same stealth missions over and over again and restarting every time the alarm sounds, just for the bonus EXP.
  • Armor Is Useless:
    • A major reason for the Armor vs Dodge debate is because, without specific skills to boost your armor's effectiveness, it's not quite as good as it needs to be, especially on Mayhem and above. This is not helped by the fact that higher detection risk, which heavy armor adds a lot to, makes the cops able to accurately hit you from longer ranges, whereas a Dodge build will legitimately be dodging bullets past certain distances because the low detection risk makes the cops incapable of aiming accurately from there.
    • Defied by the Anarchist perk deck, which turns even a two-piece suit into a human tank suit, though at the cost that your health underneath that is reduced by slightly more than half. The idea is that, so long as you keep killing enemies, the armor bar and health bar won't budge all that often.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack:
    • If the player aces the Surefire skill, then the armor of the tan Law Enforcers may as well not be there, since ranged weapons will be guaranteed to pierce it.
    • There are plenty of options for dealing with Shields that don't involve flanking them. Aside from their weaknesses to explosions and fire, a player can shoot them with a sniper rifle, a shotgun loaded with Dragon's Breath or AP Slug shells, or the 5/7 AP pistol to punch through the shields, but unless you hit them in the head through the shield, those aren't nearly as damaging as flanking the enemy.
  • 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, only if a cop manages to get them up and tell them to run for it. However, shouts and other intimidation sources now vary in strength meaning that shouting people down may take more or less time; a low 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. They also have Skewed Priorities when it comes to reviving players; they will generally only be able to pick between shooting an immediate threat or helping you up, without considering the possibility of changing tactics and often picking the least convenient option (e.g. coming to help you after a Cloaker's kicked you down, deciding to ignore said Cloaker who's preparing to kick them down too).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The SWAT van turrets do a number on the friendly AI. They have over 25K health, deal lots of damage, and only have to reload for a short time. The AI, unless you very tightly control them, will run out to shoot it ineffectively and immediately get stunlocked by its gun, repeatedly going down over and over until you can get them up and back into cover while it's reloading or take care of it yourself.
    • Cops will gladly walk through any fires you created with a molotov and they either die or take a lot of damage. Panicked civilians will also run through molotov created fires, getting themselves killed and netting you a penalty for a civilian kill.
    • Mallcrasher has a similar version, thanks to the fact that it's not officially possible to stealth, but can be done that way with luck and skill. The skylight near the back breaks so Bile can extract the gang, which any untied civilians will dutifully ignore. Part of this strategy also involves shooting out signs above the various stores, which, unlike almost any other breakable object hanging from a wall or ceiling (like the chandeliers), no one will notice.
    • The Heat Street remake, unlike it's predecessor, doesn't flood the first set of streets with waves of cops like in the original, and instead has pre-positioned cops and SWATs waiting for you to pass by. One of the easiest ways of beating the first portion of the heist on Mayhem or below, is to simply ''run as fast as possible'' to Matt's crashed van, ignoring the litany of cops shooting at you, as it's not worth the time dealing with them, and subsequently getting stuck in the first assault wave in the street with little cover. Armor builds make this difficult to do, but dodge/ anarchist builds should be fine.
  • Artistic License – Geography: The Counterfeit heist is supposedly set in Pensacola, Florida, right by the beach, with Pensacola PD responding, and tall, thin palm trees. There are numerous problems with this. Any house that close to the beach in Pensacola is on stilts and wouldn't have a basement due to the potential to flood during hurricanes, which is the same reason a thicker, shorter species of palm tree grows there. And the Pensacola Police Department has a very limited jurisdiction; the Payday gang would mostly fight Gulf Breeze Police or Escambia County Sheriffs. Also, there would be sand everywhere.
  • Artistic License – Law: The FBI Files feature lets you see, among other things, the crimes you've committed in-game. It's actually quite comprehensive for the most part, with even the smallest offenses listed alongside the most egregious ones. The sole issue is that it lists you with violating the Geneva Conventions by killing a medic. All medics in this game are visibly armed combatants, and would therefore be exempt from protection under the Geneva Conventions - killing one would "only" be first-degree murder.
    • As well, the Payday crew aren't bound by the Geneva Conventions, as the Conventions only apply to wars, and the Crew isn't involved in one. And even if they did apply, attempting to claim the Crew violated the Geneva Conventions would actually open the police/FBI up to accusations of having committed a war crimenote .
  • Armed Blag: Armoured Transport lets you pull these on GenSec convoys, albeit with more violence than the original trope. Each convoy has between 2-4 trucks, with each truck having several boxes you'll need to crack open to get at 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 of the rarer loot 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 the original game's 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.
    • During the Hotline Miami heist, players can cook meth in The Commissar's lab or destroy it as they wish, with Bain noting the crew has probably burned a lot of labs in their time.exp. 
    • Almir, the lead producer of the game, is known by the fan base to have a magnificent beard. The Xmas 2014 heist takes said beard to another level by making it an actual in-game difficulty "mask" to wear.
    • Players who break open deposit boxes and safes will sometimes find a grilled cheese toast sandwich inside. The sandwich became a meme within the community over how ridiculous it is to find such a thing inside a safe. The White Xmas heist has one of the random pieces of loot be a giant piece of toast, and carrying it is as heavy as an artifact from Shadow Raid. Securing said toast can net players over a million dollars on Overkill difficulty. As of Hoxton's Housewarming Party, finding the toast in the manager's hidden safe in Big Bank gets you your own piece of toast as a trophy for the new safehouse. The trophy's name and description even lampshade the ridiculousness, naming it "It's Not Even Fresh..." and stating that it must have been one hell of a good sandwich for a guy to lock it away in a safe after one bite.
    • In a weird case of ascending an already ascended meme, when they re-released Panic Room for this game, they adjusted the Giant Toothbrush meme from a stationary item to a lootable item that spawns in one of several pre-determined locations on the map, and securing it adds the Giant Toothbrush to your Safe House, gives you an achievement and earns you about $1.5 million in cash (even more than securing one of the many bags of cocaine that are on the map.)
    • The yacht that Dallas rides in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue is named Medic Bag.
  • 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 create a variant of the street cop armed with the Bronco .44 a few patches later, which is a freakishly powerful revolver.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Necrocloaker, who shows up in the Lab Rats and Prison Nightmare Halloween heists, though moreso in the latter than in the former.
  • Asshole Victim: It would probably be easier to list the people who DON'T deserve the Payday gangs wrath. 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. Lampshaded on Shadow Raid, where Bain will comment that while the crew deals in drugs, counterfeit and smuggling, at least they're doing it the American way and not funding terrorists (which the Murkywater guards are implied to be doing).
    • Framing Frame uses this as it's Excuse Plot, by framing The Elephants' Democratic Party rival for drug trafficking. As opposed to the weapons trafficking he actually is doing, which is instead revealed to the public if the mission goes loud. He can't even claim the moral high ground for not dealing with the Payday gang, as the first two days of the heist consist of him hiring the gang to steal art from a gallery for him, which the gang uses as an opportunity to bug his house.
  • Asteroids Monster: The Hydra mutator turns every single enemy into this. They will all keep splitting into weaker enemies until they can't go down the food chain any more.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Major kingpin-type enemies appear as assassination targets in several of the missions (examples include the Commissar, the Rat/ Hector, the Biker Leader, Chavez, and Ernesto Sosa). They have very high boss-level health, with the Biker Leader and Ernesto Sosa being especially tough, and on higher difficulties can take as much damage as a Bulldozer. However, unlike the Bulldozer they lack Contractual Boss Immunity and can be taken out very quickly with a number of different exploits.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Miniguns and rocket launchers. The mini gun has an insane rate of fire and can quickly clear out a crowded space, but it has an even worse movement speed penalty than a light machine gun. The rocket launchers are the most powerful weapons in the game (with a damage rating of 10,000) and can do a One-Hit Kill on nearly anyone, but they can only hold 4 rockets total and friendly fire damage from the rockets will instantly down players caught in the blast. While the Miniguns can get ammo off of the ground, Rocket launchers can only regain ammo through ammo bags.
    • The Light Machine Guns are this too. While they can output insane amount of damage (and that oh-so-satisfying dakka sound), they will chew through ammo like a beaver through a pile of twigs. Compounded by the fact that some have a low ammo pickup rate (5%, as opposed to the 15-20% of most other guns) means that you will be dependent on ammo bags.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Any heist your crew of murderous robbers successfully pulls off counts as this, and especially if you shoot civilians, and still have money to spare.
  • 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 a quip after incapacitating a player.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: 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 melee weapon swing and you can build up a charge for a harder hitting punch faster than charging up a melee weapon attack. Your fists also have a decent amount of knockback against enemies. The Gage Ninja Pack DLC added empty palm kata, which allows you to do some karate style moves.
  • 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 else in its path, with the only thing requiring more than one hit being a Bulldozernote  or a SWAT turret. Unfortunately, the ammunition is so heavy and so massive that you only get five rounds to each magazine, with fifteen rounds total. You'd better hope someone in your crew brought an ammo bag along to the heist...
    • Introduced in the very aptly named Overkill Pack is the Minigun, which boasts a massive amount of ammunition and rate of fire for even stiffer penalties than the light machine guns; your movement is slower, you can only hip fire, and your accuracy is fairly bad, with no real way of mitigating these downsides.
  • 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.
  • Bittersweet Ending: After the White House heist, Bain succumbs to the virus and dies after the crew secured their freedom. The ending video shows the crew removing their masks and tossing them into Bain's grave under the rain.
  • 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 in general for small emergencies, as each individual Day is fairly short (if done properly) and there are breaks in between that pauses the progress at the end of each Day. However, if you need to leave, you will have to forfeit your progress, as you do not receive your reward until the completion of the final day (even if it's an escape mission). Taken Up to Eleven with Achievements and Stealth bonuses, as some will span across multiple days and require you to have started the heist from the beginning. Even disconnecting in the middle and rejoining the same lobby will disqualify you from netting the achievement. Lobby leaders also get hit pretty hard, as Payday does not allow you to pass the hosting duties to someone else, so if the lobby leader leaves, everyone is booted back to the main menu.
    • Partially averted for multi-day heists; you receive XP for each day completed, regardless of completion of the entire heist. This feature was removed for a year or so, but returned in 2016.
    • Also, if you join after the first day but complete the remaining part of the heist, you get rewards for all days completed.
  • Blatant Lies: Bain says there shouldn't be many civilians in the Car Shop Heist. He's very wrong; there are around a dozen in the map.note 
    • He also mentions that you can customize your safehouse when you enter it for the first time, which you will since it serves as the game's tutorial. This feature wasn't added until October 2016, three years after the game was released, and even then it's an entirely different safehouse than the one you started with, of which Hoxton had to find, not Bain.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted; 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. Jiro can cut off Cloaker heads with a katana, and Bodhi can leave a nice gaping hole in the skulls of Tasers if he headshots them with a sniper rifle. The Taxman in the Undercover heist gets heavily bruised and very bloody on his face the more you beat him up.
  • Blown Across the Room: The Bronco Revolver, Deagle, Grenade Launchers, Rocket Launchers, and any shotgun is capable of sending a mook ragdolling through the air.
    • This is often a viable tactic for hiding bodies in stealth, specifically with the silenced Loco or Judge.
  • Bond One-Liner: Most units deliver at least one when fighting against you, though the Cloakers and Bulldozers get special mention for having the most of the lot.
  • Bonus Level: The "Escapes" can be considered this on earlier heists, as they happen close to randomly if the heist is done loud.
    • The Armoured Transport: Train Heist was this until Update #57 changed it to be standalone.
  • Boring, but Practical: Sometimes even the simplest things can pull you and the crew through a rough spot:
    • Technician's drill upgrades. It's uninteresting and passive, but upgrading all of his drill perks earns you much faster, silent drills that can even self repair every other time they jam (and rarely be whacked back into commission), cutting chunks off heist times.
    • The Mastermind's Forced Friendship skill, which lets you tie civilians faster and carry more cable ties, and acing it gives your entire team slight damage absorption for each hostage you have tied. It 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 ghost skill "Duck and Cover"; which increases stamina regeneration and can be used earlier, both by 25%, allowing the player to sprint for a longer period of time before tiring out. Acing the skill gives you dodge bonuses for crouching and using zip-lines. The adjacent skill - "Parkour", lets you sprint 10% faster, and lets you climb ladders 20% faster, and acing the skill lets you reload and run in any direction. Sprinting is the most basic action anyone can do, but the player not taking these skills can also be the difference between someone reaching the escape zone in time, or being shot down.
    • "Transporter", in the Enforcer tree, is considered a mandatory skill for almost every build since it lets you throw bags farther and, when aced, move slightly faster with them when wearing heavier armor. This helps out greatly with the ubiquitous bag-moving that is required.
    • Another Enforcer skill, "Fully Loaded", has the amount of ammunition you can handle increased by 25%. Acing the skill grants you a 75% increase in the ammo that you receive from ammo boxes. It also grants you a 5% chance of getting a throwable when picking up ammo, with the chance increasing as you pick up more ammo. This, combined with the skills at the bottom of this tree, which improve ammo bags in a variety of ways. This can mean never running out of ammo for any weapons, such as the Awesome, but Impractical Light Machine Guns, and the Thanantos .50 Sniper Rifle.
    • The Locomotive 12G shotgun. Given a massive buff from the Joke Weapon incarnation from the previous game, this shotgun packs a punch, has a decent ammo pickup rate, and has all-round decent stats. But the main attraction is its knockback; this is used all the time to hide bodies in stealth, by simply blasting them across a low wall, into water, or generally anywhere else where they won't be found by pesky guards.
    • The two piece suit. Sure, wearing a fancy suit makes you a Glass Cannon, but it's pretty much the only "armor" that gives the most concealment for stealth. The suit also has the most speed and stamina, which lets you zip around the map at hyper speed (and even more so if you are using speed enhancing perks and/or get "inspired" from another player) for a long time before tiring out. It also provides the best dodge value, making it useful when going loud as well.
    • From a practical standpoint, the latex gloves the whole crew (save for Jacket and Sydney, one wears bandages instead, and the other wears fingerless gloves) wears. Not only do the gloves conceal fingerprints, they also act like a second skin so that the crew isn't hindered when holding onto something.
    • In any Stealth heist where there is a camera room, watching the cams. It doesn't get more boring, as you're standing in one place doing nothing but staring at the screen while people are actually outwitting the guards. But since cameras automatically mark any visible guards, by doing this, you just made the heist a hell of a lot easier.
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • The Enforcer's Bullet Storm skill grants temporary Bottomless Magazines for 5 seconds after deploying or using an ammo bag, and acing this skill makes it go up to 15 seconds!
    • The Fugitive skill "Swan Song", which allows players to continue moving slowly and firing at enemies for three seconds. Acing the skill nets you six seconds of Implacable Man status instead.
    • Some weapons are modelled with certain magazines that cannot realistically hold the amount of ammunition the game supplies for them.
    • All armed AI have infinite ammunition, friendly or enemy.
  • Brand X: It seems most of DC uses Pear Computers desktops. The concession stands in the Alesso Heist sells treats like Herp Derps, Crusts! (in a suspiciously Pringles-like can), and WTFs.
    • If you look out the window of the escape route office in the First World Bank heist, you can see "Store," "Office Supplies," and "Over & Keel Hardware & Ironmongery."
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Several of the Cloaker's lines:
    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!"
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: A couple pieces of DLC consist of adding older firearms to the game. The Gage Historical Pack adds several World War I and World War II weapons to the game, namely a Mauser C96, a Mosin-Nagant, an MG42, and a Sterling submachine gun. The Wild West pack and then especially the Chivalry pack go even further, the former adding stuff like a Single Action Army and lever-action Winchester, and the latter adding various medieval crossbows and swords. The later free World War II pack also naturally adds a few weapons used during WWII, starting you with push daggers and working your way up to a Luger, an MP40 and an M1 Garand.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: The weapon pack DLCs varied between their releases with some content either being Difficult, but Awesome or useful only in the right hands:
    • Subverted with the weapons themselves, 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 pierce through shields (with massively reduced efficiency, but still usually enough to one-shot them with a headshot), but the ammo capacity is low, the refire rate is slow (no semi-auto sniper rifles until much later packs), and the reload times are lengthy.
    • Played straight, then later averted with frag grenades. While the grenades themselves are well balanced weapons,note  it used to be that owners of the right DLC started maps with three of them, whilst those without the DLC only had access by playing with a DLC owner and then buying the grenade crate asset. Update 100 introduced a free frag grenade, allowing anyone to start a heist with frag grenades.
    • Also played straight, then later averted, 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, similarly weak weapon butt, joke money bundle, a couple unremarkable knives, weak knuckle dusters (if the player joins the Steam group), and the fast-stabbing but otherwise unspectacular psycho knife (ditto). When Sociopath and Infiltrator was Buffed in December 2017, Melee weapons, even the free ones, became viable choices for players. Melee before that was mostly used as a Utility slot, with most players taking the Buzzer (Paid) or the ECB'snote  (Free), which stuns most units, basically anything that isn't a Bulldozer or Captain Winters!
    • Played completely straight with the Gage Mod Courier 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.
    • The Hoxton's Housewarming Party added Continental Coins to buy upgrades for the new safehouse, which allowed for directly purchasing weapon modifications. The only restrictions are Weapon Stat Boosts, and mods added in DLC that are locked behind achievements, since those are given in infinite numbers once you've pinged the achievement in question.
  • Brick Joke: In the Hoxton Breakout heist, Bain complains (after using the parking ticket to open the exit) that $7 for parking is robbery. In the Alesso Heist, a similar parking ticket machine shows up in the garage and you can blow up with C4, earning you an achievement for getting your $7 back.
  • 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.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Commissar looks similar to his fellow Russian mobsters and can't be marked, but has way more health and wields the KSP, a light machine gun that is used by the Bulldozers on the Death Wish difficulty. The Commissar isn't immune to being knocked down though.
  • Bullet Time: PAYDAY 2 has the action slow down whenever you get downed 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. However, it doesn't slow down for everyone else in an online heist, so don't be surprised if everyone in the county is calling the police for what seems like no reason at all.
  • Camera Spoofing: The Camera Loop ability allows the player to render a camera useless without breaking it this way for 25 seconds.
  • Car Fu: It's entirely possible to ram a cop with a vehicle that you're driving and kill them instantly. Even if the vehicle is a slow-moving forklift, the cops get killed if you ram into them. Pretty handy when there are Bulldozers in the way.
  • Casting Gag: Dragomir Mršić, the model/voice actor of Dragan, actually did plan a bank robbery in 1990. In terms of money stolen, it would have been the fifth-greatest heist in history.
  • Chase Scene: Done off screen in PAYDAY 2 where in-between days of a heist, 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.
    • Played straight in the Heat Street Remake in which you chase down Matt for information on foot.
  • Chainsaw Good: You can equip a Chainsaw as a melee weapon, but it's anything but good
  • 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. This gets a little more effective with the Sociopath or Infiltrator perk decks, where every attack after the first deals 10 times its normal damage.
  • 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 five 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.
    • The Mastermind (Dallas) has the most team bonuses, and focuses on situation control and manipulation. Also doubles as team medic, getting bonuses to the doctor bag and first aid kits, and abilities can expand to team buffs, greater accuracy with semi-auto weapons, and enemy/hostage manipulation. The Mastermind's Weapon of Choice is anything that can be fired in single-shot mode.
    • The Enforcer (Chains) specializes in strong armor and high damage, and has exclusive 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 weapons of choice are shotguns and the aforementioned saw.
    • 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), with an ability allowing them to carry two different types of gadgets at a time, though with fewer instances of their secondary gadget. The Technician's weapons of choice, beyond his various gadgets, would be anything that fires in full-auto.
    • 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 weapons of choice are anything that can be suppressed.
    • The Fugitive (Hoxton) 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. It also comes with serious survival skils and boosts to melee attacks. The fugitive's weapons of choice are pistols, either alone or paired up, or melee weapons.
  • 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: First kill. It has begun.
  • Colon Cancer: Every mission briefing is usually displayed as [Contractor]: [Mission name]. For Bain with the bank heists conducted by him, you can get stuff like "Bain: Bank Heist: Gold".
  • Combat Resuscitation: Characters who run out of health need to be revived before a time limit runs out, after which they are "taken into custody" by the police and not released until a random amount of time has elapsed. Revival usually requires very close proximity and time, but the skill "Inspire", when Aced, allows you to revive others instantly just by shouting at them from a distance, which is as useful as it sounds.
  • 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 when using non-explosive weapons is fine, though annoying when AI teammates absolutely insist on standing right in front of you whenever you're firing your weapon, as your bullets don't actually pass through teammates. Civilians being immune to the cops' gunfire is a godsend. Cops also seem to not understand the concept of protecting civilians, and as soon as they get to one and untie them, the cop will start shooting at you again while standing right next to the rescued civilian, meaning attempts to fight back will very likely will get that civilian killed.
    • Whilst the friendly AI can only shoot, move, revive players, and carry loot bags if you toss one to them, 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 (and AI teammates) to a crawl.
    • Flashbangs, for the longest time, weren't actual projectiles that got thrown by enemies. Instead, the game just periodically spawns one at your feet when you're not looking. This was later changed to actually be a projectile, by giving them a 4 second delay before detonation, complete with loud beeping and flashing beforehand, and giving you the ability to melee or shoot at them to disable them before they detonate - the very same thing the cops can do to your grenades if you try to throw one head-on at an enemy.
  • Concealing Canvas: There's a safe hidden behind a painting in the manager's office of Big Bank. There may be a keycard inside, but there's usually just a partially-eaten cheese toast sandwich.
  • Concussion Frags: Played as straight as possible with the grenades available to the players - the first Gage Weapon Pack DLC added "Frag Grenades" which only damage or kill things within a specific radius, and only stun them within a slightly larger radius but are otherwise completely harmless beyond that. The Hoxton's Housewarming Party a few years later then added "Concussion Grenades" which are a player-usable version of the infamously-annoying flashbangs.
  • Conspicuous Gloves: Dallas, Chains, Hoxton, Houston, Wolf, Wick, Clover, Dragan, Bonnie, Sokol, Jiro, Bodhi, Jimmy, Rust, Scarface, Sangrez, Duke, Ethan, Hila, and Joy all wear latex surgical gloves with their attire, regardless of the mission. They're obviously to prevent leaving fingerprints, but they're always left on, even when a heist goes loud and bullets start flying. Averted with Jacket and Sydney as the former wears bandages over his hands, and the latter wears fingerless gloves.
  • Continuity Nod: The original safehouse in PAYDAY 2 has a front as a dry cleaning store called Bodhi's Dry Cleaning, which is a subtle nod towards the front the crew used in the Counterfeit heist from the first game named Bodhi's Pool Repair. Boxes labeled with the names of previous heists also appear scattered around.
    • 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 the time Alex dropped the bag of C4 in an undesirable location in the first game.
    • The GO Bank 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.
    • When you find the meth lab in the Hotline Miami heist, 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 small Take That! to players who always opted to blow up the lab in Rats rather than cook the meth, in order to try and speedrun it.
    • The Art Gallery heist will have Bain mention how they robbed the gallery for the Elephant the previous year note 
    • There's a unique blue-shirted female FBI agent encountered in Operations during Hoxton Breakout Day 2. She's the same agent who was in charge of investigating the Payday gang and was last seen interrogating Dallas in the web series. Her corrupt partner is nearby. Both are almost inevitably killed.
    • The plan for getting the vault car open in "The Bomb: Forest" is the same as the safe in Counterfeit: fill it with water, then blast it open with C4.
    • The evidence boards in Hoxton Revenge are loaded with photos and sticky notes of the jobs that came before it, including Election Day, Hoxton Breakout, and Big Bank.
    • The First World Bank heist is explicitly the second time the gang hits it - Bain talks a lot about the first one (which, naturally, was in the first Payday). Heat Street is also a rehash of the same route Matt takes.
    • "Meltdown" takes place in the same Murkywater warehouse the players infiltrate for "Shadow Raid". Vlad will even mention the gang's work on that when picking the heist from Crime.net.
  • Cool Car: The Car Shop Heist has you stealing these, and you get to drive them to boot. Meltdown added the Longfellow, a muscle car from The '60s supposedly originally owned by Muammar Gaddafi, which returns for the Goat Simulator heist. An odd case with the John Wick weapon pack - you get a Mustang-styled/shaped helmet for you to wear.
  • Cool Mask: There are tons of masks as the base and letting players customize their masks with various patterns and colors. The Infamy and Alpha masks, in particular, are noted to be awesome in their descriptions.
  • 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. Two more pairs of shades were released alongside John Wick during CrimeFest, based on the iconic sunglasses from Terminator and Reservoir Dogs and three more were added alongside the Reservoir Dogs Heist.
  • 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. This is why most of his Heists have a stealth option.
    • The premise of Framing Frame 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 if the heist goes loud, as Bain will dig up dirt on him and find out 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.
    • Invoked for the Plan B of Day 2 of Election Day. If the heist goes loud while you're hacking the machines to swing the votes in favour of Bob Mckendrick, you instead have to hack the machines to make it look like they were being hacked to put Mckendrick's rival in the winning seat. The idea is that now the cops know the machines were hacked, they would obviously be after whichever candidate it was being hacked for. This way Mckendrick's rival would be implicated as the Corrupt Politician.
  • Counterattack:
    • The Shockproof skill in the Ghost tree gives you a small chance of staggering a Taser that is stunning you while the aced version of the skill lets you escape without another player's help.
    • 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 against Cloakers!
  • Cowboy Cop:
    • Essentially, the entire police force in Washington DC. 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. This goes double for the special units: Bulldozers and Cloakers in particular, who are violent and bloodthirsty.
    • A small subversion in the Hoxton Breakout trailer. At one point, a DCPD officer takes down Wolf, and begins to read him his rights.
    • If players have a lot of hostages and/or don't fire any shots (even the first uniformed officers on the scene), the initial assault will take longer to occur, and the cops won't shoot as they're assessing the situation.
    • Averted with all non-Murkywater security guards. Unless you attacked them first, they will always slowly walk up to you and try to cuff you. If you run though or fire back, they open fire. The cuffing can be a hazard since they can do this action while you're interacting with something, such as a pager.
  • Creator Cameo: Simon Viklund, creator of the games' soundtrack, returns to voice Bain.
    • Almir voices Vlad's brother-in-law in White Xmas and Stealing Xmas.
  • Crossover: Quite a few:
    • The GO Bank heist is a replica of a bank level from Counter-Strike Global Offensive. The terrorists that play on that map are called "the professionals", who also wear suits and sunglasses, much like the Payday crew does.
    • The Hotline Miami heist is inspired by Hotline Miami,with a 2 day heists that has Hotline Miami-inspired layouts and designs, along with the games first boss battle. Jacket, the protagonist of the first game, was also added as a playable character for players who owned the special edition of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. There are also four animal masks (plus four more for owners of Hotline Miami) based on the game.
    • As of Update 41, John Wick is a playable character. We're thinkin' He's Back.
    • The Alesso Heist takes places during one of the Swedish DJ's own concerts, who himself composed a song just for this heist that can be heard throughout the duration of it.
    • The Point Break reboot crossed over in the vein of John Wick - in that Reboot!Bodhi is now a playable character.
    • In 2016, the game got a heist based off of Goat Simulator of all things. Indeed, the loot that you're recovering in this heist is goats!note  And they're in some potentially strange spots as well.
    • To hype up Hardcore Henry, Jimmy from the film was added as a playable character note , as well as adding two heists; one loud heist set in a snowy Russian compound, and a stealth heist set in a hidden Murkywater trainyard, as well as a trailer for the game made by the film's director.
    • On December 2016, we can now add Scarface (1983) to the list, as the game adds Tony Montana as a playable character, and a new heist taking place at Tony's mansion. This crossover only exists to promote a remake of a film that hasn't even begun filming yet!
    • Ethan and Hila from h3h3productions joined the crew in November 2017.
    • Reservoir Dogs got a crossover... for what appears to be no apparent reason. It follows the events of the film, in that you start off at the end of a jewellery heist gone wrong, and end the heist at the start of the jewellery heist, similar to its videogame adaptation and the Reservoir Dogs film.
  • Cross Promotion: While Dell's line of Alienware computers were often promoted with Steam games, with Payday 2 being no exception (even including masks in here and its predecessor), there was a promotion for the Alienware Alpha, their then newest Windows Boxexplanation . On top of featuring unique LED settings (the lights on the case matching up with assault phases), it would provide anyone playing on those machines two masks exclusive to those owners. There was also vouchers for the Alpha Mauler, provided for free but in limited quantities. While the mask can still be obtained by purchasing and playing on the alpha, the mauler is no longer available.
    • The crossovers listed above also count as this.
  • Curse: The Diamond, according to the narration given by Clover, is supposedly cursed due to every owner meeting their end in some brutal way (suicide, beheading, etc) and the trailer shows Dallas possibly being shot in the back of the head by an unknown assailant. It's possible that The Diamond brings misfortune to those who claim it for their greedy ends. In actual gameplay, nothing comes of it.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: The Commissar keeps giving you these sorts of threats in Day 1 of Hotline Miami.
  • Critical Hit: The penultimate skill in the Ghost's "Silent Killer" tree, Low Blow, gives a chance of critical hits (which deal equivalent damage to a headshot) depending on how low the character's Detection Rating is, giving some encouragement to travel lighter even on loud heists. At a max, it provides a 30% chance.
  • Critical Hit Class: The Ghost is the only skill set that can unlock the ability to crit.
  • Death by Irony: With the Golden Grin Casino DLC adding a taser melee weapon, it is possible to give one to a taser enemy by constantly jabbing him with your own taser. The Hardcore Henry Pack added a free variant: The Electrical Brass Knuckles, which do the same thing, but are slower. There's even an achievement for killing a Taser with these weapons.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: The Sociopath perk deck can turn the Money Bundle into this. It looks hilarious, and is lethal even on Bulldozers! ...after about 30 hits later that is.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Since some masks have the definite article in their names, the achievements that unlock them can read like "Unlocks the "The Gas Mask" mask."
  • Developers' Foresight: If a Shield is holding their shield over their head you can jump on them. It's possible to survive dangerous falls this way.
  • Dramatic Ammo Depletion: In the "Deathwish" trailer, an elite Bulldozer has gunned down 3 of the 4 heisters and was caught in the middle of reloading by Chains. Chains nods and slowly takes aim at the Bulldozer, only to hear that his gun is empty too, before the two race to reload their weapons first.
  • The Dreaded:
    • To players; Bulldozers and Cloakers. Bulldozers because they are a Mighty Glacier with the firepower to back it up, and Cloakers because they can down you with a single kick.
    • The Payday gang themselves seem to have this reputation with the police, judging by the level of response they earn from the law enforcement.
  • 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.
    • Death Sentence. Enemies have the same health as on Death Wish, but hit thrice as hard. Also, Minigun Dozers, Bulldozers with miniguns and a '''massive health pool!''', spawn on Death Wish and above, with Medic Dozers[[note]]A unit with the Bulldozers durability, crossed with the Medics healing powers spawning on Death Sentence. A modifier was also added for all difficulties called "One Down", where players can only be incapacitated and revived a single time before they go into police custody, as the name suggests. One Down was replaced, with Death Sentence taking its place.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Explosive throwables and HE ammo in a nutshell. They're hard to aim, and in the case of HE ammo, you have to be quite conservative, as the Ammo is the hardest to find of all shotgun ammo.
  • Dissonant Serenity: The BBQ Pack DLC trailer features the aftermath of Wolf and Hoxtons flamethrowers to the quite joyous sound of The Flames of Love.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Since explosive weapons and throwables are viable options to use in the game, you can take down a regular blue-shirted police guy with a grenade, a grenade launcher or a Rocket Launcher, just because they were standing in your way of the objective.
  • Double Unlock:
    • To get new guns, you have to unlock them through levelling up and then purchase them with your offshore cash. The end-of-heist Payday gives you random rewards: they can be weapon mods, masks, their decorations, money, experience and Safes containing weapon skins. Once unlocked, mods and masks have to be bought for an open inventory slot. Melee weapons and armor, however, are free after reaching the appropriate level to equip them, and do not take up any inventory slots. This is averted for going Infamous, however, as guns you've already purchased remain in your inventory, and once you reach the requisite rank to unlock them again, you don't have to spend a cent to get them back.
    • The only time money and skills cross over is when you buy an extra skill set to apply to your unlocked skill points in a different manner and quickly switch between them (e.g. one skillset for more general applications or geared towards open combat, and another set entirely towards stealth, and another one for Dodge).
  • Drop the Hammer: There's a few hammers available as melee weapons. The "Carpenter's Delight" hammer, unlocked by owning Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (now used as a proper melee weapon, unlike in Hotline where they're throwables), a sledgehammer-like breaching tool, and a reskin of said breaching tool from a promotion with Alienware.
  • Dummied Out: Bain has some voice chatter after completing Safe House Raid, something he alludes to at the end of the heist, but which doesn't play in-game. He also has lines for finding the Toothbrush loot on Panic Room too, among other things.
  • Dynamic Entry: Cloakers oh 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 both a retractable baton and the Cloakers Crotch.
  • Early Game Hell: New players will be having a rough time trying to acquire anything, do any serious damage, deal that damage from any sort of range, or survive long enough to not go down in their first few hours of the game. Players only start off with a weak and inaccurate 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, and even once you have to give up nearly everything to go Infamous and do it all over again, you've got better guns that can be used from the start and/or the skill to make what you start with perform at peak efficiency.
  • 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 are tutorials of sorts in the old safe house, and later on, tutorial levels, some of it has 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 luck isn't on your side.
  • Easter Egg: Music from the first game playing on the radio in the old 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 and White Xmas missions both feature 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, use dedicated armor-piercing weapons (sniper rifles, shotguns loaded with slug rounds, etc) 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, and only appear on the Harder Than Hard Death Wish difficulty. The Hoxtons Housewarming Party patch added the ZEALs, black-armored government stormtroopers who are to the GenSec elites what the GenSec elites are to the regular SWAT, and only show up on the Death Sentence difficulty.
  • Embedded Precursor: Starting from Crimefest 2015, the game gradually added all the levels from the first game, all of which have been updated and/or redesigned to accommodate the mechanics of Payday 2.
    • The Crimefest 2015 event brought back the First World Bank and Slaughterhouse. The former now has a stealth option, bringing it in line with the rest of the Bank Heists note 
    • The Wolf Pack DLC brought in Counterfeit and Undercover, just like the first game's version of the Wolf Pack (owners of the original game's DLC got the second game's version for free, as a nice loyalty bonus). These two heists are partially stealthable.note 
    • Hoxton's Housewarming Party saw the return of Panic Room.
    • The Search for Kento remade the Heat Street and Green Bridge levels.
    • The Locke and Load event saw the return of Diamond Heist, which is now fully stealthable.note 
    • Day 6 of the Breaking News event added in No Mercy, and retcons out most of its allusions to Left 4 Dead (the Bill cameo remains intact, however, and the infected patient still makes sounds similar to one of the Special Infected) and the mission is treated as a flashback Chains is having in light of the news that Bain was infected with the same virus they extracted from Mercy Hospital.
  • Enemy Chatter: There are actually quite a lots of them, 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: There are several heists where you have to escort someone or something as well (Vlad's brother-in-law in White Xmas, the truck and Hoxton in Hoxton Breakout etc.), but in these cases the thing you're escorting is, mercifully, invincible.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Bain, and later Locke will NOT be happy if you start killing civilians for the hell of it. And though it may seem like they're only angry because of the increased police response, longer custody time and cleaner costs, several of their lines make it clear that this trope is definitely coming into play.
    • In the Meltdown Heist, Bain will chastise Vlad for making the gang steal nuclear warheads without telling them. The only reason the heist actually continues is because Vlad's planned escape by train is simply the best way for them to get out with the amount of heat the gang has on them, so Bain reluctantly tells you to continue on with the heist while being very gentle with the... packages.
      Bain: Vlad, smashing Malls is one thing, stealing Tiara's is one thing, but NUKES?!?
    • Additionally, when robbing the Harvest & Trustee bank, a lot of the non-loot items you find in the deposit boxes are war medals and birth certificates. For all that the gang steals, they refuse to casually commit identity theft and disrespecting veterans.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Elephantnote  and The Dentist.
    • Only Known by Their Nickname: Slowly averted over time. Currently played straight with Dallas (whose use of 'Nathan Steele' is all but stated to be an alias, as he was talking to the FBI), Wolf, Jacket, Houston, and Bodhi. Averted with the full names of six heisters (John Wick, Kelli "Sydney" King, Tom "Rust" Bishop, "Bonnie" McGee, James "Hoxton" Hoxworth, "Dragan" Zubović, August "Duke" Lindenhurst, Ethan and Hila Klein) and the first names of six (Chains, Clover, Sokol, Jiro, Jimmy,and Sangres), and inverted with one (Tony Montana is never referred to by his codename of "Scarface" by the other heisters).
  • 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 is confined to a wheelchair, but that doesn't keep him from shooting out of it. He also helped recruit Sangrez into the gang too.
  • 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.
    • Clover sometimes laughs or giggles when killing specials.
    • Vlad has a pretty good one too, often after describing what he'll do to his enemies.
  • 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-rushing instant downer (Cloaker/Charger, Hunter & Witch); a stunner (Taser/Smoker & Jockey); a distant glass cannon (Sniper/Spitter); and a devastating giant (Bulldozer/Tank). The Shield is a sort-of counterpart to the 'uncommon' infected Riot Police from the last campaign of Left 4 Dead 2, who are only vulnerable from the back. In a meta sense, the game itself is also a counterpart to Left 4 Dead 2 as the developers have gradually ported over all the heists from its predecessor - ironically enough, leaving the Left 4 Dead crossover heist for last.
  • 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.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Commissar and his mooks compared to the PAYDAY gang. The mooks wear suits just like the crew and they use a variety of weapons (revolver, shotgun, assault rifle, etc). Said mooks on day 1 can also barricade windows in the motel for cover and rig doorways with trip mines just like the players. The Commissar himself not only wears a suit, he also wears a bulletproof vest and uses a light machine gun, gear that is commonly used by players. The only difference between the Russian gangsters and the PAYDAY crew is the Russians are willing to get into some business that the PAYDAY gang refuse to get near, such as torturing hostages, unless absolutely necessary.
    • The Commissar is also an evil counterpart (well, more evil) to Bain; they both use a camera feed and watch over their minions via a computer hub.
  • Eye Scream: In the Hoxton Breakout trailer, Wolf drills directly into a Bulldozer's eye for funsies.
  • Faceless Goons: Especially so, compared to the first game, as the main characters went through several stages of actor changes and character appearances; only the masks remained the same. It's possible to avert this depending on the mask you wear, however, as several are actually hats that don't actually cover the player character's face, one of which is a tiara you stole, which the Flavor Text Lampshades:
    Okay, it doesn't hide your face and it is certainly not going to stop any bullets whizzing your way... but, damn. You're going to look like the belle of the ball wearing Mrs Volkov's wedding tiara.
    • All of the law enforcers above the regular street cops completely hide their faces, though this is averted with the Taser and Bulldozer, where enough damage to the head will eventually reveal their faces.
  • 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.
    • 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. 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.
    • The Death Wish difficulty can be seen as this, as the only way it makes cops harder to fight is to significantly increase their health and damage and increase the spawn rates of specials. Same goes for Death Sentence, which triples the damage rate of everyone on the map, and adds in more special units only found on that difficulty. Adding on the Modifier "One Down" can make this difficulty even more hellish.
  • Fake Balance:
    • Armor VS Dodge. Early in the game's life, heavy armor gave good protection while reducing the player's speed a little bit while light armor and the suit gave more speed and dodge. After several rebalances were implemented in the game, most heavy armors no longer had dodge values, were given a bigger speed penalty, and did not get buffed to compensate for the damage boost that enemies were given after their rebalance (Suits and light ballistic vests were the only armors that retain dodge values). Several perk decks also give bonuses to dodge, which made it possible for players to avoid the majority of attacks from enemies (including the SWAT turret). Dodge became the go to stat to build up on since it was easier to increase it with zero penalty whereas armor only offers limited protection in exchange for slower movement and no dodge. In a nutshell, dodge based builds have more benefits that outweighs any weaknesses they may have whereas armor builds can be a liability on higher difficulties because they have too many weaknesses.
    • Likewise, a similar phenomenon occurs for Armor VS Health in terms of recovery. A few perk decks in favor of armor either decreases the delay of armor regeneration or gives more armor for the user. The perk decks that favor health gives the player several ways to recover from it, such as picking up dropped ammo, killing enemies, and damaging enemies. While the downsides for perks that have health regeneration impose restrictions like limiting how much health per few seconds one can recover or requiring the user to wear light armor, a careful and skilled player can easily regain any health lost with several options on how to do it and can even go without the need of Doctor Bags and First Aid Kits whereas armor has nothing to aid it other than the player simply taking cover and playing carefully or using the Anarchist perk deck and killing enough enemies to keep their armour topped up.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Invoked Trope by some players. Try to get in public lobbies and count the number of players whose choice of masks are Santa Claus masks made of circuit boards, candy pink Santa Claus mask with a mustard yellow radiation sign over it, Frankenstein Monsters made of couch leather, and other similarly ridiculous masks.
  • Fast-Roping: The cops will insert elite units this way. True to life, they are very vulnerable while doing this, and can be shot off before hitting the ground.
  • Fictional Counterpart: FBI in PAYDAY universe stands for Federal Bureau of Intervention, and it also doubles as one to the DEA because of their active strike toward drug running.
  • 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 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.
  • Forklift Fu: Meltdown and The Alesso Heist feature forklifts. While intended to be used respectively for moving very heavy loot and for use as a platform to plant C4, they're also very handy for killing enemies; giving any enemy, even bulldozers, the slightest bump with one will kill them instantly.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • Cloakers move insanely fast and can instantly take you down with a single kick, but they can't take much punishment. Similarly to the Left 4 Dead 2 Charger, they're easy enough to kill if you catch them off guard, but they thrive against divided or bad teams.
    • Dodge builds are this for the player, as you only really have a tiny amount of armor and your basic health. To up your dodge stat to usable levels, you generally have to sneak around or be running at top speed. If you stop and stand for any reason (usually because you got tased) you're very likely to go down fast.
  • Friendly Fireproof: In the same manner as the first game; Only explosives are capable of harming teammates, otherwise, any bullets or non-explosive projectiles will do no damage.

    G-L 
  • 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 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. What made this even worse was that the same patch also caused blue SWAT and gangsters to have triple the amount of firepower, meaning even on Normal difficulty people could get shredded in an instant by regular cops. Incidentally, the latter bug with that patch was actually mildly popular, enough so that after Update 12 fixed 11's issues, Update 13 set it so occasionally a regular cop could use the much more powerful Bronco .44 revolver.
    • 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.
    • The friendly AI still doesn't seem to be quite properly tested for Armored Transport heists. In any other heist, even if they're on the other side of the map from you, if you go down they will do their best to get over to you and help you up. Here, there are a plethora of situations in which they simply won't bother. Getting downed in one of the trucks is somewhat reasonable, since they can't go into the trucks. Getting downed in the middle of the street and being left to bleed out because they're too busy sitting in place in the nearby cafe isn't. There are also the occasional spots where, if you try to stash a loot bag along a wall, random otherwise-intangible scenery will prevent you from picking it back up.
    • 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 some stealth-only missions, there are certain spots where guards can detect players through walls, triggering the countdown to failure.
    • Hotline Miami has an issue where one of the objectives requires placing fuel cans on four cars and igniting them. However, if you place more than 4 fuel containers and ignite a fifth before the objective updates, it causes the mission logic to glitch and the next objective never triggers.
    • On Day 1 of Hoxton Breakout, the Parking Ticket can be accidentally removed from the game entirely and force a restart if a client picks it up. There is coding in the game where required objects like the ticket are passed on to a different player if the person holding them disconnects or is put into custody. If the player holding the ticket gets put into custody and disconnects at the same time, the two parts of the code conflict, and the ticket gets removed from their inventory without adding it to another player's, forcing a restart of the day.
    • The Hoxton's Housewarming Party event (aka Crimefest 2016) was this for users of the Linux version of the game. Of the 10 days the event ran for, 5 of those days broke the game in some way or another. Day 1 broke the game upon launching it, Day 2 broke matchmaking and the safehouse, the very point of that day's update. The Day 3 update failed to land for Linux users, while Day 4 broke concussion grenades for a few hours until a mid-day patched fixed all the above bugs. To add insult to injury, Day 10 broke the game entirely (making it impossible to launch) until the next day's bugfixes update.
    • Like with the Housewarming Party, Linux users suffered yet another 10 days of game-breaking bugs for the Search for Kento event (Spring Break 2017). This time, Overkill had gotten savvy to the constant complaints of massive downloads every day during an event, as well as the game breaking constantly, and so opted to patch the game every other instead of daily. Day 2 was supposed to add in Heat Street to the Linux port like it did for the Windows version, but it couldn't be found. The update also broke matchmaking for a few hours until a mod was released to fix the issue. Fortunately, Day 3 fixed the above issues. Day 4 added in the game mode "Crime Spree", which was completely broken for Controller users, regardless of platform, and, of course, matchmaking broke again for Linux. Once again Day 5 fixed the Day 4 issues, bar Controller support for the new game mode. Day 6 broke matchmaking again for Linux users, while Day 8 didn't add updates to the base game, rather, they launched a beta to test out AI improvements. If you think the Linux version got the beta on launch, then you must be new herenote . Day 10 added the classic heist Green Bridge to the game, but also failed to fix matchmaking for the fourth time.
    • When Update 158 was released in September 2017, the Kingpin Injector that comes with the Kingpin Perk Deck got a buff, in that It had no cooldown. For 18 hours, people could abuse the Injector to basically be invincible, so long as they kept the injector in their throwable slot, and spammed the throwables key every 8 seconds.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality:
    • If you opt to play First World Bank in stealth, you'll get some assistance from a woman on the inside, where she'll have the guards near the vault area entrance leave, she'll open the vault doors for you, and will also open the exit door for you, which leads into an office building. Because the character is critically important to advance in stealth, she cannot be killed.
    • Vlad's brother-in-law in the "White Xmas" and "Stealing Xmas" heists is completely unkillable no matter how much you attack him. The game allows you to take advantage of this both times, where in the former, smacking him with your melee weapon wakes him up after he passes out just as well as shouting at him, and the latter actually requires you to smack him to wake him up again after every objective.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The side-jobs feature added during the spring-break event typically adds a small flavor blurb to the daily and weekly achievement, serving as an in-universe justification for various odd, difficult, or inane achievements the crew can accomplish. Why bother collecting that rare hockey poster? The Elephant is an avid sports enthusiast. Why go through a mission never touching the ground? The Dentist wants to test your abilities before he's sure you're ready for his next scheme.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: It is possible to play the Hoxton Breakout heist... as Hoxton.. There is actually a safehouse daily job named "Spacetime Paradox" that requires you to do this. There is also no penalty beyond the norm if you end the first day with three of four players - including playable Hoxton - in custody, even though the entire point of that day of the heist is to break one specific character out.
    • An even bigger example is the No Mercy heist. It is a flashback set during the time of the first Payday, so logically, only the original four (Dallas, Chains, Hoxton and Wolf) could be in it, yet the player can play the heist with any of the new characters, such as Sydney or Jiro. Duke, at least, does make note of this if you bring him along, where he'll pipe up during the intro that he can't help but feel like he's not supposed to be there.
  • Getaway Driver: Twitch is the crew's go to driver when it's time to bail and they escape by using a van. Sometimes the crew will also summon Bile for a helicopter escape or an unnamed boat driver if they have to escape by water.
  • Glass Cannon: You can become this if you carry powerful guns and wear a two-piece suit, which offers no additional defense (bar Dodge, which only really works with the skills and the right perk deck to make full use of it), compared to the various types of body armor. Gangster enemies can easily be killed with two shots to the torso, but their pistols 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 player's heaviest armor faster than a Bulldozer at close range, but still just as unarmored.
    • Regular uniformed police officers 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.
    • Snipers are deadly to the point where being shot by one causes all damage that exceeds your remaining armor to bleed over into your health (they're the only enemy that can do this, thankfully), making you a One-Hit-Point Wonder if you're wearing only light armor, or none at all. Snipers also have a poor defense, about on-par with regular unarmored guards, 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 elite FBI agents in white shirts with suspenders are physically fragile but pack extreme firepower. They appear as a fixed spawn on only a handful of mapsnote 
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom:
    • The default masks from The Completely Overkill Pack have glowing eyes that further accentuate the creepy factor of the masks.
    • The "God-Emperor" mask shares the same effects as those in the Completely Overkill Pack, but it's free for all players, and is a "legendary" version of "The 45th" mask, both of which represent Donald Trump.
    • Cloakers only flare their goggle's lights when they're charging someone, so if you see their eyes glow... run!
  • Golden Ending: The true ending has the PAYDAY gang successfully kill the Dentist, dealing a critical blow into Kataru's operations, and Murkywater files for bankruptcy afterwards. As the gang relaxes at the beach, the President awards Garrett for his actions against the PAYDAY gang, but in truth, he's actually a reincarnated Bain who is selling the con towards him. The gang's new lives are later detailed in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • Government Conspiracy: It's implied that this was behind Hoxtons imprisonment, as during the events of Hoxton Breakout, you need the clearance of the FBI Director to gather information, causing Hoxton to note that his case goes way up to the top of the foodchain, higher than you would expect a mere heister's case to go. Somewhat accurate, in that Hector was picked up by the FBI and ratted out the gang in exchange for a shorter sentence or something.
  • Grand Finale: The White House Heist. Bain, who is near death from a virus infection, performs his last act as leader of the PAYDAY crew to have them raid the White House for pardons that will allow them to move on from their criminal deeds. In the Golden Ending, the crew kill the Dentist and use the Mayan Gold to activate the secret vault under the White House, which seemingly allows Bain to remain alive and take the identity of the U.S. President, while the team retires to a life of luxury and riches.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: In GO Bank, the pilot may refer to Bain as "sensei" for no particular reason.
    • Played straight by Jiro while in a heist, who mostly speaks in Japanese (exceptions are for calling out units and other crew members), but averted by both Jiro in the Safe house (where he speaks mostly english), and with Joy, who is an american-born Japanese woman, and thus wouldn't had the chance to pick up Japanese while living in the US.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Doors are given little explanation beyond "pick the locks until you level enough". Granted, it's not too 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 
    • The old 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", something which is pretty unhelpful unless you know fast it is normally.
    • 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 more 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 the correct 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 this however, is the pressure gauge of the engine; you have to find the computer that tells if the P.S.Inote  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. 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.
    • How to defeat a SWAT Van Turret: Uninformed people shoot at the turret and realize they aren't doing direct damage to the turret. The key is to shoot off the Turret's barriers, which will eventually pop off upon taking too much damage and expose the reflective targeting camera underneath the gun. That's where one needs to shoot to destroy the Turret effectively.
    • Unlocking the Golden Ending requires you to complete an extremely complicated series of events. First, you must beat the Golden Grin Casino, Breakin' Feds and Henry's Rock to obtain three boxes, No Mercy to obtain Bain's Guide, Brooklyn Bank to obtain the Medallion of Perseids, and Shacklethorne Auction for the Obsidian Plate, all of which are Safe House Trophies. The trophies must then be put on display in the Safe House. You must enter your Safe House, grab the Medallion from Duke's desk and the Diamond near the kitchen, and open the three boxes, then assemble them into a floating object. You must then go to Scarface's room nearby and shoot some keys on the piano in a specific order. This causes the artifact to display a series of coded messages. Using a substitution cipher, you must translate the messages to find that they are a list of 20 of the game's achievements (which ones are different for each player, out of a list of 57), written from right to left. You must then complete all 20 achievements. Once they're done, you must start the White House Heist on Overkill difficulty or higher. You must then play until you reach the PEOC bunker, and find the Aztec painting; if you have accomplished all the previous actions, the painting will be glowing. After removing the painting, the hosting player will get C4, which they must use to blow open the wall, revealing a secret passage that leads to a puzzle wheel. You must solve the puzzle wheel four times using another cipher (all the while under attack), to gain access to a secret temple. Then you must kill the Dentist, grab a bag of gold, and place the gold bars around the temple before time runs out.
  • Gun Accessories: Firearms can be customized using various grips, barrel lengths/extensions, sights, and so on; this even extends to the cosmetic mods. Most, however, have at least some mechanical function.
  • Guns Akimbo: The Hitman perk deck is all about this. The perk deck allows you certain benefits if you decide to dual wield weapons. It was meant for pistols originally, but as of Day 5 of Spring Break 2018, almost every submachine gun in the game, including the Mark 10, Kross Vertex and Chicago Typewriter, can be dual-wielded, as well as just about every pistol in the game (with the notable exceptions of the 5/7 AP Pistol and the Peacemaker .45 Revolver). Shotguns can also be duel-wielded, though currently only three are capable of this, those being the Brother Grimms, the Goliath 12G Shotguns, and the Judge. You'll still suffer a significant stability penalty for going Guns Akimbo, however.
  • Gun Porn: Huge list of highly-detailed weapons that has only grown with the addition of more weapons. It puts military FPS games to shame (and this isn't even getting into the above Gun Accessories, where you can outfit your weapons with doo-dads to your heart's content).
  • Hammerspace: While unmasked, your character can carry a .50 caliber sniper rifle and a rocket launcher, knives, cable ties, a dozen trip mines and six C4 and two automated gun turrets into a bank and nothing will be visible except a bag on your belt and your body armor.
  • Handy Cuffs: Once again, security guards can cuff you if you approach them too closely. In return, intimidating cops allows you to force them to cuff themselves, at which point they essentially become either another hostage or, with the right skill, an extra ally.
    • Cuff cloakers on Holdout and Crime Spree cuff you instead of downing you. The former is needed as the close quarters nature of the game mode would make regular Cloakers too OP, and the latter is a modifier for crime spree.
  • Hard Mode Perks
    • Playing on higher difficulties gives out more experience points, which is very helpful, since level-up requirements increase significantly around level 40. Reward money and Continental Coins also increases in value on higher difficulties, as does the loot.
    • As the player continues to increase their Crime Spree level, they will have to apply modifiers that make the game continue to get harder. One modifier is a stacking one that will increase the health and damage output of enemies, which includes converted enemies. So of course, anyone with the Joker skill can get some really powerful allies. There are also modifiers to allow different common enemies with higher base power, who of course, gain the extra firepower and health, and they can still be converted.
  • 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, especially when using custom ammo types.
  • Harder Than Hard: Pro heists before the Hoxtons Housewarming Party event removed them. Not only is the job even harder, but failing it kicks the players from the map, meaning multi-day heists require a full replay and even single day heists became harder to find again.
    • Mayhem, Death Wish and the Death Sentence difficulties. Similar to Overkill 145+ in the previous game, damage taken increases, every enemy type receives a health boost, assault waves last longer, and you will have lower health when you are revived. Bulldozers with a light machine gun and a new durable and harder hitting SWAT team appear on Mayhem and Death Wish, along with the ZEAL Team units that appear on Death Sentence. Titan cameras can't be broken as well as Titan safes. Additional difficulty factors (such as skylights on Bank Heist variants) have a much higher chance of occurring.
    • Going even further beyond that is the One Down modifier. You can only be downed once (twice if you get a certain skill) before going into custody.
      • To put things into perspective, standard enemies do 225 damage per shot on One Down, with base player health being 230 and the base value of the game's heaviest armour being 170.
    • 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.
  • Heroic Mime: Jacket could be considered this, albeit without the hero part, as he doesn't have any actual voice lines, and speaks with pre-recorded lines on a tape.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Cloakers avert this: most of them will hide around corners, in vents, 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.
    • 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, until Update 107note , nearly all enemies lacked hitboxes on their legs, which made shooting their 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 got quite frustrating.
  • Holiday Mode: Every year, a new Halloween heistnote , as well as a Christmas-themed heist has been added:
  • "The Safehouse Nightmare", which takes place in the crew's safehouse. The mission description simply repeats "All work and no play makes Wolf a dull boy." The inside of the vault is on fire, and you have to secure the cash in the vault, all while avoiding headless Bulldozers!. Your last objective is to "Wake Up." 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.
    • In 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 Headless Bulldozers now carry light machine guns and are immune to damage from behind, are supported by Cloakers, and there are now two random effects at once.
    • For December 2014, the White Christmas heist was added, which involves the players rescuing a Vlad's brother in law, a drunken, downed pilot. There is an optional objective to search for dropped Christmas presents the plane was carrying, since some of the presents are actually hiding smuggled cocaine and other valuables. Also, the map will endlessly spawn presents, as well as cops, so players could theoretically steal an infinite amount of loot, as long as they can keep fighting off the cops.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Averted at first, then later played straight when Overkill updated all silencers to be completely silent, and balanced around penalties to damage, accuracy, concealment and the like instead of noise value. The change was due to the noise from silenced guns being heard by people from a great vertical distance, regardless of what was between the shooter and the NPC. Silenced weapons still sound plenty loud to the player though, with some of them able to be heard from a significant distance.
    • 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 here, as assault waves are delayed if you have a lot of hostages tied up.
    • A Mastermind with the Stockholm Syndrome skill can even convince hostages to revive him if he is downed and stay where they are rather than running for safety (and very likely putting themselves right in your sights at inconvenient times) once the cops free them.
    • The Crew Chief perk deck is geared towards, and has significant benefits, for having hostages - and grant a few of these 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, you guys...
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Averted, as not only can you only carry one primary and one secondary weapon (reduced from the two primaries and one secondary of the first game), 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 detection 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.
    • Played with with actual players, as that depends on whether you and your heisting crew can, well, aim.
  • 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:
    • 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. The skill was initially balanced by only having a chance to work... which everyone got around by hammering the shout button until the revival happened, hence the "Get the fuck up!" meme. Now it's a guaranteed instant revival but has a twenty second cooldown before you can use it again.
    • The Enforcer's "Iron Man" skill. Basic gives you 30% increased armor for every type of armor in the game. Acing it gives you the Improved Combined Tactical Vest, the single most effective armor available. Combine it with the earlier "Shock And Awe" skill and you and your whole team's armor recovers 25% faster.
    • The 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. One skill even lets you use one as a secondary weapon as well, allowing use of typically more powerful and versatile primary weapons for heists that the saw will be nevertheless helpful in, like Armored Transport.
    • Ghost's "Nimble", when aced, lets you pick locks twice as fast, and lets you silently pick the lock on normal black safes in about 42 seconds - about 25 to 15 percent of the time a basic drill would take! Stacks well as well with Clover's "Burglar" perk deck, the fifth-tier perk of which increases lockpicking speed by an additional 20%.
    • The Ghost's "Sneaky Bastard" skill increases dodge based on concealment level, acing it allowing you to have a detection risk of up to 25 while still getting the full benefits. What normally would be a Dump Stat in a loud mission becomes relevant and can boost one's dodge levels to insane degrees when combined with other dodge-boosting perks.
    • Fugitive's "Messiah". Once per mission, getting a pistol kill when downed grants an instant self-revive, that's even refilled if you use a doctor bag.
    • The Fugitive's Swan Song skill is also incredibly good when aced, giving you a Bottomless Magazine for your gun and letting you move around for a full 6 seconds before going down. It allows you enough time to not only take out whoever might have downed you in the first place, but can let you run to get to cover or somewhere that'd make it easier for your allies to revive you. Another alternative (or good complement) to it is "Feign Death", which allows you to occasionally get right back up after being incapacitated; basic gives a negligible 15% chance, but aced buffs it to a much more reliable 45%.
    • The Thanatos sniper rifle. It can kill anything but Dozers in a single hit anywhere on the body, pierces through thick armor, and can kill those aforementioned Dozers themselves in three hits. Most players equip this sniper rifle when on a sniper-heavy map, such as Undercover or Cook Off.
    • 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 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; "Let's do th-": Complete the heist in under 30 seconds by charging to the safe, blowing the door off, and rushing back to the escape van. The C4 and Trip Mines are also given separate ammo counters, allowing a maximum of 6 C4 alongside 14 trip mines, meaning you can use trip mines offensively and for blowing a security door apart.
    • The Fire Axe. Immensely powerful, but takes a very long time to swing, letalone charge.
    • HE Rounds for shotguns. Capable of stunning enemies, tearing off Bulldozer armor, and killing shields, but still not enough to faze the Cloaker and has a reduced ammo pool. They also can't do headshots, and on higher difficulties, the damage multiplier headshots get is absolutely crucial for killing things fast enough to stay alive.
  • Insecurity Camera: Downplayed in comparison to the first. Although they are still possible to fool or break, cameras sound the alarm if you stay in their view for too long (at which point not even breaking them will call off the incoming alarm) or destroy too many of them. In addition, the majority of the time, a guard will be paged to investigate any broken cameras, and if one sees it, they trigger the alarm. On the flip side, certain heists have security centers or purchasable camera access points that let you use the cameras to see what's going on in other areas. Killing the guard assigned to the security room renders the cameras harmless to players.
    • Your concealment level makes a difference as to whether or not a camera can spot you, with heavy armor and big guns grabbing its attention instantly, while a two-piece suit and high-concealment weapons let you stand in its view for two or three seconds before the detection meter starts (slowly) rising.
  • 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 underneath that suit, drawing attention towards you.
  • Insurmountable Waist-High Fence: During the White House raid, you need to hack a keypad to get into the West Wing to reach the Oval Office. While it makes sense to quietly do this if going stealthily, if you go loud, there's no reason why the crew doesn't just cross the Rose Garden and crash through one of the Oval Office's windows or the glass door to the Garden. Especially since, by the time you open the door to the West Wing, security lowers barriers over the doors and windows that you must breach with thermite.
  • 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. Flashbangs were changed back in 2016's "Hoxton's Housewarming Party" event, by making flashbangs actual projectiles, and once they land nearby, they can be destroyed by shooting them or hitting them with a melee attack. Doing this enough times nets you an achievement; simply called "Denied".
  • Interface Spoiler: In Rats day one, Bain sometimes reads out the wrong ingredient, which can cause you to blow the lab if he suddenly corrects himself after you add the indicated ingredient. This is easily neutralized by turning on the subtitles, which will clearly show him about to correct himself.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Following the "Hoxton's Housewarming Party" updates in October 2016, players above level 25 get a new safehouse that can be customized. By spending Continental Coins, earned through completing new daily side-jobs, acquiring trophies to stash in that safehouse, or after gaining a certain amount of experience, you can upgrade various areas, which may unlock new features like van customization, a target-practice range to test how powerful your guns are, and a punching bag to do the same for melee.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: Invoked in that 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've 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. Naturally, this went over poorly with some of the fanbase.
  • Ironic Name: Twitch, the crew's getaway driver, has almost no character animations, and yet, he is called Twitch. The one exception is a possible escape plan in Breakin' Feds, in which we see him move away from an explosion to blow up the wall, while covering up his ears.
  • 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 taunts that are Leaning on the Fourth Wall, one stating "You wanted me back, so I'm back!", making fun of the fanbase for clamouring for the Cloaker's return, then complaining when he did return.
    • The Commissar also taunts you in the Hotline Miami heist, though his threats and taunts sound more childlike than threatening.
  • It's Raining Men: The "Birth of Sky" and "Boiling Point" heists. The first has the crew jumping out of an airplane after they jettisoned money pallets out of the plane, and using parachutes to land safely in a nearby town. The second has you already in the air with the parachute out at the start of the heist. "White Xmas" also has the crew "going in like the paras", though that all happens off-screen, with the heist proper fading in after everyone's landed.
  • 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.
    • The Technician tree gets a skill named as such. It lets you carry two types of deployables at once, switching between them with a button press, though you can only carry half as many of your second deployable (e.g. only one body bag case or ECM jammer, even with the skill that would let you carry two of them as your primary deployable).
  • 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. There's also a pair of boxing gloves you can use to punch people to death with and despite their bright colors and large size, they have an extremely high concealment stat.
    • The Lumberlite L2 Chainsaw Melee weapon, which, outside of a stealth oriented build, used to be this trope. You'd think a chainsaw, of all things, would be an awesome and powerful melee weapon to use? Nope; it had damage stats equivalent to the weapon butt, except it's slower to actually charge up. It's such a slow melee weapon that it can't even be improved by the reworked Sociopath perk deck note , which makes a lot of other questionable melee's, including an ice-pick, various knives, even ''your own kung-fu style hand-moves'', all of which were more viable than a freakin' chainsaw... something that is powerful in the first place! Nowadays it has damage on par with the top damage melee weapons, but it still has it's slow swing, putting it more in Infinity -1 Sword territory
  • 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.
    • The "Get the Coke" and "Flash Drive" heists teach you the basics on loud and stealth heists. They're justified by Bain easing Dallas back into the job after two years off.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The Yakuza Character Pack released in late August also added a 'Shinsakuto Katana'trans.  which is one of the deadliest melee weapons available. In addition to enough charge damage to oneshot any special that isn't a Cloaker or Bulldozer (and even then, with skills it can oneshot a Cloaker), any Cloakers killed with the katana by Jiro will either be decapitated or bisected.
  • Kill It with Fire: The BBQ Weapons Pack DLC offers flame based weapons to roast your enemies with, such as a flamethrower, molotovs cocktails, incendiary shotgun ammo, and incidental grenade launcher ammo. Certain heists also let you purchase gasoline can assets that you can use to light an area on fire to prevent cops from going to that spot.
  • 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.
  • Lethal Joke Item:
    • The Freedom Spear is a melee weapon that is in the form of an American flag on a pole. Jabbing the pointy end at enemies looks and sounds ridiculous until you charge up the thrust and unleash it; the spear has the most charge up damage out of all melee weapons (beating out more practical lethal weapons like a fire axe and a hammer), and also has great reach. The weapon's only downside is needing 4 seconds of wind up before you can maximize its damage, and a long delay between thrusting the weapon and actually dealing the damage.
    • Another joke weapon is a wad of money, which deals practically minimal damage but has a ridiculously high knockdown stat. Players can spam attacks with the money wad to permanently stunlock enemies, which can buy you some time on stealth runs if you need to neutralize a guard but don't have any pagers left.
  • 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 the design of Hoxton's old mask, while Hoxton himself wears his old mask that was horribly disfigured and warped due to the circumstances of his arrest.
  • 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 
    • At the end of "The Dentist" trailer, the Dentist says "Because I need my payday... too."
    • The Aftershock heist has the crew transporting safes full of weapons with customized skins so that Vlad can sell them to criminals on the east coast. This ties in with the actual safes and custom skins players can trade and buy on the Steam marketplace.
  • Leave No Survivors: A common tactic in smaller stealth runs, usually the H&T Banks, the jewelry stores, and especially the Car Shop. Better to pay the cleaner costs than fail stealth and usually the mission outright, after all.
  • 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. Before skills were updated, a respec also got you around 50-60% of your upgrade expenses back.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.
  • Limited Loadout: Despite having the ability to hold over 100 guns in your inventory, around half a dozen field equipment (ammo bags, jammers, etc) and 20 or so melee weapons, you can only use 2 guns, 1 melee weapon, and 1 field item in a heist.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: 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.
  • 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 heavily luck-based, 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 (Random 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.note 
    • The Armored Transport heist has a small chance of spawning military blueprints, which you will need if you wish to play the Train Heist.note  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 is 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 achievements 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.
      • Basically the only thing about this heist that can be said to remain consistent is that 2 guards and 6 cameras will always spawn in the beginning... and the level geometry doesn't change. Everything else is completely up in the air, but it can also be to your benefit (Hillary can be fooled, and 1% of the time the vault can be completely open, lasers deactivated and the phone calls will never come).
    • 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. This however, was mitigated a bit by a later patch which enabled Preplanning.
    • 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.
    • If you do Election Day loud, there is a 50% chance that Bain will get the wrong location for day 2 if you only hack the computer once. Hack it twice and it bumps it to 25% chance. There is no way to guarantee the warehouse on a loud way (fortunately, the map is very easy to ECM rush).

    M-R 
  • Macro Zone: The Lab Rat heist for Halloween 2015 takes the meth lab from the Rats heist and shrinks the players and cops to tiny sizes as they fight on top of the table. A giant sized Cloaker and a giant spider may sometimes appear as well.
  • The Man Is Keeping Us Down: Chains says the trope name to an extent 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 debatable, however, as they have zero altruistic motives.
    • This is Bodhi's characterisation in a nutshell.
  • Machete Mayhem: The Utility Machete, a weapon added by the Gage Shotgun DLC, the aptly named "Machete", added in the Point Break Heists DLC, and the El Verdugo, added for free when Sangrez was added to the game. They all deal some of the most damage out of any of the melee weapons when charged.
  • Made of Iron: The combination of the top-tier skills Iron Man and Bulletproof (Enforcer and Technician trees respectively) and the best armor in the game can give a player the ability to take dozens of hits before their armour breaks.note 
    • 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 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 before Update #57 rolled around and turned it into a separate contract, unlocking it required grinding the Armored Transport missions for military blueprints, which could take upwards of ten minutes each time.
    • The Bomb (Forest) Heist is just pure hell. This includes 8 possible locations for the vault, which has to be opened from the side that is on the top, which is even more annoying, because the lack of cover means that most of the cops all around the hillsides will spot you and start firing, forcing you to stay away from whatever needs to be done, such as to fix the drilling sequence, until the heat dies down. The vault itself uses the water trick to open, so that's drilling and pumping water and blowing it up. And THEN there's the escape sequence, which requires you to carry loads and loads of bags to the escape area, which can be located on the other side of the map!
    • Cooking a full seven bags of meth on Rats can take about 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.
    • White Xmas and Cookoff, both of whom have literally infinite loot, so unless you've agreed upon a set amount with your buddies, expect to be there for a looooong time, either chasing down loot or cooking meth (and, in the latter, pray the lab doesn't explode as it could end the mission in failure if you didn't hit the 3-bag increment).
    • Crime Sprees are a series of randomly selected heists that progressively get harder through with a variety of modifiers.
  • 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 to keep it in line with the accompanying short film. Also averted in the Biker Heist, as the Overkill MC have female memebers that you need to take out in order to progress.
  • 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 else can, while dealing out a ton of hurt to enemies. Bulldozers also move (somewhat) slowly while having lots of health and firepower - though they can still climb up the wall of a house, and sprint!
  • Militaries Are Useless: Although in GO Bank, Bain mentions that the National Guard is pursuing the Payday gang, none of them were even existing in locations that were already struck by said criminal gang. Not to mention for certain heists that may span more than an hour to complete. Not even a functioning tank sent in after the criminal situation already bankrupt Washington DC.
  • Mind Screwdriver: The Hardcore Henry Packs Trailer is just as confusing to the audience as it is to the PAYDAY gang, which deals with psychic powers, reincarnation, many unexplained events out of the blue. However, the trailer makes significantly more sense if you watch the movie.
  • Missing Secret: Originally, the players were supposed to unlock only one item at a time, spreading the original weapons over all 100 levels, 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, hence unlocking nothing.
  • Money Mauling: You can whack people on the head with a stack of Benjamins. It's weaker than using your fists (you need to use it twice to break thin glass), but the sheer ludicrousness of the situation causes trained special ops to fall down in surprise. The money stack can be swung fairly quickly and has a good amount of knockback, making the process of subduing law enforcement to be taken as hostages easier. What makes the weapon even sillier is you have to unlock it at a certain level instead of just taking your own money.
  • Mook–Face Turn: The Joker skill allows you to convert a guard or cop to fight for your side. Related skills allow you to convert two at a time, give your minions extra health and firepower, or enhance your own abilities (e.g. running speed and health regeneration).
    • The stronger the enemy, the more health he'll start with.
    • Some (unarmored) cops carry Bronco .44 pistols. A converted one will be a bit of a Glass Cannon, but while he lasts, his shots will be very effective.note 
    • They will behave very much like team AI, but are not controllable and will not pick you up if you go down. (They also get stuck easily. If the fight has moved on, they'll just idle there. You'll still get any boosts, but lose the extra fighting power.)
    • You can't dominate or convert specials note  or thugs.
  • More Criminals Than Targets: Inverted. The amount of law enforcement thrown at you seems to exceed the city's population.
  • 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.
    • The Overkill DLC pack adds a minigun which works much the same way as the LMGs, except you move even slower with it equipped.
    • The aced version of the Mastermind's Equilibrium skill outright doubles the fire rate of pistols. Attach it to a machine pistol or dual pistols and the fire rate is higher than the aforementioned LMGs.
  • 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 four 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.
  • Multiple Endings: The White House heist, chronologically the last heist, has two possible endings. The standard ending, done by completing the mission objectives normally, where Bain dies, and the secret Golden Ending, which you must fulfill by completing a series of steps within the game itself, which lets you find a secret area that contains a cure for Bain's virus.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Diamond Heist is one big nod to the heist with the same name in PAYDAY The Heist; both heists have you messing with circuit board wiring to disable the lasers where the main prize is located and if the heist goes loud, you'll have to hack the security systems to proceed. While the glass cutter in the first game was used only to extract the rare red diamond, the tool returns in the sequel to be used to steal optional loot without setting off the alarms. Another nod to the first game comes in the form of a puzzle you need to solve to obtain the diamond by carefully stepping on the correct tiles while stepping on the wrong one releases gas into the room, which is a reference to the secret vault in the First World Bank with a similar puzzle. To drive the point further home, the assault music for the heist is a remixed version of the original Diamond Heist's theme.
    • The original game's sole DLC was the "Wolf Pack", the major additions of which were a Grenade Launcher (the GL40) and two heists (Counterfeit and Undercover). Eventually, among all the other DLC PAYDAY 2 has received, it got its own version of the "Wolf Pack" - the major additions with it being a different Grenade Launcher (the China Puff 40mm, since the GL40 came with a much earlier DLC) and ports of the same two heists as the original. For added bonus, anyone who owned the DLC for the original game got the second game's version for free.
  • 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; this was eventually pushed up to six ties with the skill, alongside the ability to rarely replenish ties from ammo boxes, enough to have up to nine hostages tied down with the skill.
    • 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. Dominating cops or guards in stealth also used to not set off their pagers like killing them would; now it does.
    • 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 some automatic shotguns, which are 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.
    • The Spring Break event brought some beneficial changes to the Train Heist. The explosive ammo bags no longer explode from hard impacts and the achievement related to them have been reduced from 40 bags to 20.
    • The tactic of camping has been hit with the nerf bat several times through the use of more spawn points for enemies in the DLC/free maps, increased the duration of flashbangs, and Captain Winters who makes the assault wave not end while buffing the defense of all enemies and uses several shield units while camping in one spot of the map to make you come to him.
    • Special SWAT units were given a 15% health reduction temporarily due to a Game-Breaking Bug in patch 94 that was linked to marking special enemies and the developers disabled enemy marking as a temporary fix.
    • Because of the addition of the Medic, the Cloaker's spawnrate got significantly decreased and no longer spawns in "Hard" difficulty. He still spawns in "Very Hard" and higher difficulties, though.
    • The Airbow that comes with the Ethan and Hila Character Pack DLC. It was a weapon with high damage, and highly concealable so it's viable with dodge and crit build. A few days later its concealment rate was decreased to 5 from 28.
  • Naïve Newcomer: In a way, Commissioner Garrett. He's a legendary police commissioner, famous for taking down entire mafias and the impressive strategist that the SWAT team desperately needs, but he's oblivious to the scale of corruption in his own partners and only mildly suspicious of PMC's like Murkywater (he knows about the illegal contraband, but definitely has no clue about the stolen nuclear warheads).
  • Necessary Drawback: Class balancing enforces this. On a scale of Fragile Speedster to Mighty Glacier, the order is: Ghost — Mastermind & Fugitive — Technician — Enforcer.
    • Light machine guns: high ammo capacity, high rate of fire, and is great to use to clear out crowds in small areas, especially with headshots. Has a LONG reload time and can't actually aim down their sights (and, as such, can't fit sight attachments to boost their stability) so that the weapon isn't completely overpowered.
    • Sniper rifles: high power (even the weakest ones equal the damage of the strongest assault rifles and shotguns; the Thanatos is at the point where only explosives deal higher damage), can pierce multiple enemies, and can hit enemies from behind certain walls or through armor, including Shields. 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 (since they can't be aimed properly either), 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 $200,000,000 from your offshore account (for the first five times). All of your level-locked guns and armor are relocked due to level restriction (though able to be used without having to be bought again once you get back to their required level) 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. The infamy tree permanently increases your experience earned and can decrease the number of points required to advance to the next tier in a tree, and some fun mask options. You also get a power guitar chord when you join a game. You can earn up to 25 levels of infamy.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The events leading up to Bain suffering from a virus the Kataru injected into him was caused by the crew's heist on the No Mercy hospital from the first game (this was due to the contact they worked with, who wanted the item, and would later on in the sequel become the crew's main antagonist). While it is never shown, a fictional news report states that a "mysterious fire" caused the whole building to collapse. Said fire was caused by a missile attack by Murkywater attack craft against the hospital.
  • Ninja: Repeatedly referenced. There is the Shinobi Ghost Skill, and then the Shadow Raid heist. All the achievements read together sound like a Badass Creed. There is also the Gage Ninja Pack DLC, which adds throwable shuriken and the option of an Okinawan-style sai and a kunai for melee. Some heisters, like Bodhi, also refer to Cloakers as "ninja cops" and similar.
  • No Fair Cheating: Effectively what makes Death Wishnote  difficulty so hard; not only is the AI advantage maxed out, but even cutting corners isn't allowed. Try to charge to the Ukrainian Job safes 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 doesn't trigger, forcing a restart.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Parodied In-Universe by a Monthly Safe House job.
    "Nostalgic people prefer to only think about what was good back in the day, easily forgetting the bad days. Like when you're robbing a bank with shoddy weapons and poor armor."
  • Nostalgia Level: In the same manner as Left 4 Dead 2, the developers have gradually ported the original game's heists over to the second game. One interesting difference from its inspiration is that, for the most part, these remade heists are explicitly the second time the gang hits the location in question, which the characters will sometimes comment on.
    • First World Bank, as of the 2015 CrimeFest, makes a return from the previous game and it plays exactly like before while having some minor changes and randomizations to make it feel a little different. Unlike in the original version, it's possible to finish the heist in stealth, with the addition of an insider who directs you on how to sneak through if you keep things quiet.
    • Slaughterhouse was added a few days later as well, featuring similar upgrades as First World Bank. Unlike First World Bank, this heist still can't be done in stealth.
    • In February 2016, the game got its own version of the first game's Wolf Pack DLC - including ports of the same Counterfeit and Undercover heists the original added, again featuring a few upgrades and changes, most noticably the ability to actually print counterfeit money at the end of the former. As a bonus, owners of the first game's Wolf Pack got this version for free.
    • The Hoxton's Housewarming Party event added a remade Panic Room heist on the last day.
    • The Search for Kento event added another two remade heists, with Heat Street coming on day 2 and Green Bridge on day 10, both with minor changes, both to gameplay as well as to their story to fit in with the event in question (such as the Chinese prisoner from Green Bridge being replaced with a Yakuza member named Kazuo).
    • Crimefest 2018 added the No Mercy heist, with small changes in the lore to fit the current storyline. Unlike the other Classic heists, this one is stated to be a flashback.
  • Noob Cave: Jewelry Store and Four Stores (Normal difficulty) are very straightforward with minimal randomization elements and simple objectives.
    • Four Stores is easy enough after Infamy on Overkill with decent weapons (presumably you built some before you went Infamous... right?), help from the AI, and a bit of care. note 
    • Jewelry Store is simple enough that even on Death Wish, you can solo it as a level 0 heister (which makes it great for jumping right back into the action after going infamous). The same goes for Ukrainian Job, which uses the same map.
    • Four Stores can also be solo-stealthed at level 0 on any difficulty, but requires a big safe in the coffee shop (drilling any other big safe will attract guards), so may take several restarts. note 
  • 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 a single 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 the stealth-only heists, GO Bank (free DLC), the technically-an-escape Train Heist (paid DLC, bonus contract for the longest time). Of these, the stealth-only heists are the most likely heists where this can happen, due to it being possible to trigger the point of no return before the mission objectives had been completed, since it's triggered by setting off the alarm and breaking stealth.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Falling from a great height will either severely damage your health or instantly incapacitate you, depending on the distance. Before the effects were made part of the default game, the Cat Burglar skill reduced fall damage and acing it damaged armor instead. However, in the "Birth of Sky" heist, if you're stupid enough to jump out of the airplane without your parachute, you'll splatter yourself across the pavement and get taken into custody instantly.
  • No Swastikas: In the trailer for the diamond heist that shows the history of its owners, the part in Nazi Germany has flags that just have featureless circles instead.
  • No Sympathy: It can feel like this when using aced Inspire to revive companions at a distance; they've been shot up and are probably screaming for help, while you holler "Pain is just mental!" and "Get back in the fight!" at them instead of seeing to their wounds.
    • Chains, Houston, Hoxton and Wolf all just shout "Get the fuck up!" instead of the previous lines, which are said by Dallas.
    • Even the Medic Bulldozers get in on trash-talking their fellow officers when they pick them back up, as they too have Inspired Aced.
  • 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 most 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 on heists you haven't played in a while. 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.
    • Newer stealth maps are being made resistant to the controversial tactic of ECM rushing. The Bomb Dockyard is impossible to rush since the Moretta takes so long to change berths. You can rush Car Shop, but breaking anything glass will set off the alarm and it's almost impossible to avoid someone (you or a guard) shooting a window during a rush since the whole front of the shop and half the second-floor interior are windows. Additionally, in Hoxton's Revenge your EC Ms mess up the timelock on the panic room and it stops counting down when an ECM is active.
    • Update #75 changed the exp system from a set amount of exp per heist to a variable range, where you start out with a base set of exp and gain additional ones based on objectives being completed and loot secured. This was due to players sitting in Crime Net trying to "snipe" heists to get massive amounts of exp without doing any work, as well as people doing just the bare minimum of objectives and leaving the majority of the money behind since they usually take a long time. The most notable of these changes is Shadow Raid; prior to the patch you would receive almost 1 million in exp upon completion. Now even with many infamy points you would only receive about 300k on the highest difficulty unless you looted every piece of loot and the armor.
    • Jewelry Store can still be solo-ECM-rushed in under 30 seconds on Normal, and under 18 seconds with a coordinated team. You don't get much money or XPnote , but it's the fastest way to farm post-heist card flips.
  • Occidental Otaku: It's implied Sydney is one - she's implied to really want to learn how to be a katana master from Jiro (and calls him sempai), and occasionally fakes a sweet-toothed anime voice when picking up pagers.
  • 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 downright terrified of Cloakers, while Clover is terrified of EVERY special unit.
    • Bulldozers sometimes respond with this rather than a Badass Boast when their armoured visor is shattered. Thanks to this allowing attacks on their vulnerable head, they are often Killed Mid-Sentence - not that this stops their corpse from 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 OVE9000 Saw.
    SWAT Officer: We aren't prepared for this, that's the Payday Gang!
    FBI Officer: He just killed somebody, with a saw!
    • And before an escape sequence, your getaway driver will likely scream one of these right before he crashes into something and dies.
  • 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 taken down by one for the first time.
    • Snipers get to almost demonic levels on Deathwish due to the damage ramp up; against a fully specced out Tech-Enforcer in ICTV armor, he can kill you in about 3-4 shots. Anyone else (even a normal Enforcer in ICTV armor) can and will be downed the moment a sniper hits you, regardless of your health and your armor.
    • The rocket launcher is powerful enough to kill anyone with a direct hit, even the most durable enemies like the Commissar and the Skulldozer. This also applies to you if you're not careful with your aim and just happen to be wearing light armor.
  • 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.
  • One Steve Limit: Played straight, mostly, for the player characters.
    • You may play any player character, unless somebody else is playing it in your game.
      • Whomever joins a lobby first with a character gets priority (it should be obvious that the host automatically gets his or her first choice).
      • An update allow you to select a series of four characters in descending order of preference. When you join a lobby, the game will run through your list until it finds a character not already being used. If you select characters for all four, you're guaranteed to play as one of them, even if it ends up being your fourth choice because all three other players who joined first managed to take all your other preferred characters.
    • Between Payday: The Heist and Payday 2, Hoxton was put in prison and his place taken by Dallas's brother, who picked up the Hoxton name and mask. However, the studio held an event and added a Hoxton Breakout map where they added old Hoxton back into the game and changed the names around, old Hoxton taking his name back and new Hoxton being renamed to "Houston". During the breakout, old Hoxton makes a point to tell new Hoxton to change his name to Houston, because he's "got a fucking problem".
      • Inverted and Played for Laughs: Not only can you play old Hoxton in Hoxton Breakout while the NPC Hoxton is present, but there's a special side job called "Spacetime Paradox" that rewards you for doing just that.
  • 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.
    • The Shadow Raid heist offers an achievement for securing six loot items without killing anyone.
    • The We Are Professionals achievement semi-requires you to do this on GO Bank. While you're allowed to kill the guards (who would otherwise make the level impossible to do), you're not allowed to kill any civilians. Unlike other maps, GO Bank infinitely spawns civilians until the end, so you will certainly run out of cable ties even if everyone has the skill aced.
  • Palette Swap: The Bulldozer that uses the automatic shotgun wears a black suit of armor compared to the green colored pump-action counterpart. Then there's the Skulldozer introduced in the Death Wish Update, that wears the black suit of armor but with a distinctive skull painted on the faceplate, which carries a light machine gun.
  • 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 more quickly 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  Civilians also play this entirely straight until you have your weapon drawn.
    • Played straight again with the Glasses "Masks", especially John Wick. These "masks" consist of a pair of glasses... and nothing else. However you still gotta "mask up" to actually start shooting people. Taken to the extreme with items like The Chef hat or Almir's Beard, as they don't even cover your characters eyes and make them more distinctive if anything, especially if you're wearing the beard as Clover, Sydney, Bonnie, Hila or Joy. Not to mention a number of ordinary hats and caps, the tiara, a bandanna, and the like, none of which conceal any facial features.
  • Parking Garage
    • One of the possible Escape segments begins in one.
    • The second half of both the Hoxton Breakout trailer and Day 1 of the Hoxton Breakout heist take place in a parking garage. The truck holding Hoxton is forced to make a detour through a parking garage, tailed by SWAT, when its forward progress is halted by security bollards. A firefight ensues as the crew (Dallas and Wolf in the trailer, all members in the heist proper) searches for a security room, to lower the bollards and continue the escape.
  • 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 Fugitive and Enforcer skills can reduce the damage you take from enemy melee attacks, increase the damage you deal with such attacks and make it easier to knock enemies down with such attacks.
  • Play Every Day: The Spring Break update in March 2015 added Side Jobs, which gives you daily and weekly tasks to complete for bonus cash, weapon mods, and masks.
  • Point of No Continues: Before they were removed, Pro heists had a higher payout, but were harder than the standard difficulty, could play out slightly different, and couldn't be restarted after failure. Failing any day of the mission booted you back to the lobby (meaning restarting repeatedly to force certain director conditions required a full restart), and failing a mission that spans multiple days required a full start over if you fail.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • In Rats Day 1, Bain frequently says the wrong ingredient; easily caught if two players hear something different. Comparing notes and waiting for repeats are the best ways of checking.
    • 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 (or swears).
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Most of the crew have some sort of line while masking up. There's also a sort of indirect version with Bain's random words of encouragement at the beginning of Police Assaults.
  • 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.
    • Averted if using the Platypus sniper rifle as Bodhi; getting headshots on tasers will blow their heads clean off.
    • Again averted if the popular HoxHud mod is used, which allows for any high-caliber weapon to take enemies' heads off.
  • Private Military Contractors: GenSec, with their various wares that places used to secure their goods, such as safes, indestrcutible camera's and the like. There are also Murkywaters' Mercenaries, returning from the first games' "Slaughterhouse" Heist, and Akans' Russian Mercenaries situated in "Boiling Point". Both are PMC's not affiliated with other law enforcement.
  • Product Placement:
    • The entire Alesso Heist DLC is a vehicle for the Swedish music producer of the same name. The group infiltrates a concert Alesso is holding to steal from vaults that are in the arena, and Bain doesn't hesitate to mention how big a deal Alesso is at the start of the heist.
    • John Wick, Point Break, Hotline Miami, Goat Simulator, Hardcore Henry, Scarface (1983) and Reservoir Dogs have tie-ins to the game. Usually, whenever each tie-in is released, there's a trailer to go with it, as well as serving as the games' start-up intro.
    • Clover mentions The Walking Dead several times. She was added around the same time Overkill announced they were developing a shooter based on said series.
    • A cheeky one - Rust, played by Ron Perlman, makes sure to mention Hellboy several times whenever he answers a pager.
    • DLC added in late 2017 adds Youtube personalities Ethan and Hila of h3h3productions as a pair of heisters.
  • "Psycho" Strings: These play while you have a Psycho Knife melee attack fully charged.
  • Punch-Packing Pistol:
    • The Judge gun is a revolver that 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 a revolver, all the shells are reloaded at the same time rather than the one shell a time that most shotguns go by, and it benefits from the Enforcer's shotgun buffs. The only downsides to the gun are: extremely poor accuracy; low ammo count (25 shells total with Fully Loaded only giving another six); and, unlike most other community weapons, it costs almost a million (especially the Akimbo variant) to purchase.
    • One of the weapon rebalances that came about during the 2015 Crimefest, and which wasn't fixed until that Christmas, turned every pistol into some variety of this. Even the smallest, weakest pistols, with suppressors and the like that lowered their total damage, still dealt as much per-bullet as an assault rifle; slightly bigger ones were so damaging that below Overkill difficulty you almost didn't need a primary weapon. Even after they were nerfed, there are still some non-Judge standouts; the page image for this trope, in fact, shows off the "Baby Deagle" pistol (a Jericho 941) dealing three times the damage per-bullet as an AK-74.
    • The 5/7 AP pistol (FN Five-seven FDE) not only has a fairly high damage stats, but it will also pierce armor; it's also easily useable in a stealth build. The drawbacks? Hilariously poor accuracy, an excruciatingly low ammo pool and pickup rate (for every ammobox you pick up, you retrieve a quarter of a bullet!), and a fairly long reload time. This, coupled with a high rate of fire makes it very easy to chew through your entire ammo reserve.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Hoxton, albeit briefly. He got pinched between the events of the first game and the start of this one. He wasn't happy to hear that his old crew had replaced him, and so, after a few contracts later from the Dentist later, The Dentist helped the Payday gang to break him out. He's still rather bitter about it, though, and really has it out for Houston, the former person who took his name, never failing to berate the poor bastard.
    • Ditto Hector... at least for a while; he's had no new heists since the game was released, and ultimately turned out to be the rat who got Hoxton arrested, so they Dropped a Bridge on Him.
  • 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 (named, appropriately enough, "Jack of All Trades") that allows for carrying C4 and sentries, even if this still costs a lot of points and causes a lot of false flags for cheating.
    • With the skill tree revamp, sentries got even better; the highest-tier skill allows you to deploy four sentries at once while still carrying a second deployablenote  and no longer be falsely accused of cheating.
    • Even better, if you purchase the "More to Deploy" Gage Bonus on a crime spree, you can carry six turrets and a second deployable; if you invest your points properly, you can carry two fully loaded bags of ammo to help keep the turrets fed. note 
  • 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 a weapon mod 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 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 Place Background: Several, mostly in D.C.
    • The bridge where Rats Day 3 takes place is based on the Fredrick Douglas Memorial Bridge. The stadium seen in the distance on the far side is meant to represent Nationals Park.
    • There really is a bank at 1500 Penn, where the Benevolent is in-game. The exterior is identical to its real-life counterpart (aside from the name), and both the Treasury Building and the White House are present where they appear in-game.
    • The FBI Headquarters in Hoxton Breakout is based on the J. Edgar Hoover building; the FBI files explicitly identifies it by name in-universe. Though the layout of the interior is likely fictional, the plaza outside the entrance is real.
    • The McKendrick Museum is based on the Freer Gallery of Art, located in the National Mall next to the Smithsonian Institute (here named the "Andersonian Institute").
    • Election Day Plan C's building is based on the lobby of the Field Building in Chicago, IL.
  • Real Time: It's pretty much been established that the events of the games and their follow up DLC are happening in real time. For example, the game launched in 2013 and the Art Gallery heist, which was released in 2014, takes place one year later. Hoxton burns down the original safehouse, explicitly granted to the gang in 2013, in 2016. About the only thing that isn't progressing with real-world time is the characters' listed ages.
  • Reality Ensues: The Captain Winters trailer shows that because of the Payday Gang's high-profile crimes and constant survival against the impossibly high amount of cops, the people of DC have barely any trust for the police, and the crime rate has increased among the entire population of the city.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Before the introduction of HE shotgun shells and sniper rifles, the most effective way of killing a Bulldozer was to charge in point blank and unload a high rate of fire weapon directly into his faceplate, which would break it and score numerous headshots. This is still a viable strategy, particularly for those players who prefer submachine guns over sniper rifles and shotguns. Light machine guns with decent accuracy and a bipod can work as well, if you can handle staying in one place and letting the Dozer unload back at you.
    • Also, during stealth, detection of players is based solely on whether or not a direct line can be drawn from a guard or civilian's head hitbox to the player's. In certain maps with thick walls, a player can crouch in the corner and look directly down — the character's head will clip through the wall, and the player will go undetected as a guard passes behind him inches away (unless the guard actually bumps into the player). Most easily done on Shadow Raid, in the warehouse stairwell.
  • 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. The Bronco also does more base damage than most of the other pistols. The Matever and Peacemaker revolvers are also pocket snipers in a pinch, though both suffer from strong recoil and long reload times, respectively.
  • 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. After the addition of the new safehouse with Hoxton's Housewarming Party, one of the trophies you can get for the safehouse is a partially-eaten cheese toast sandwich, unlocked for finding the partially-eaten cheese toast sandwich in the manager's safe in Big Bank - the name of which, "It's Not Even Fresh..." alluding to the ridiculousness.
    • To say nothing of the rare giant "Almir's Toast" in the Xmas Heist. It's one of the heaviest items able to be carried (on par with the fusion engines from Big Oil), and its value is on par with a turret part from the Train Heist, something like ten times as much as any of the coke bags you spend most of your time .
  • Russian Reversal: The Commisar pulls a vulgar one on you once you start trashing his motel.
    The Commissar: You think I'm asshole, eh? Well in Russia, asshole fuck YOU!

    S-Z 
  • 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, such as C4. It's still a worthwhile investment, though, since without interruptions cracking the safe by hand will invariably be faster than waiting for even a fully-upgraded drill (drills tend to have a minimum of two minutes for safes, with the Ghost's skill you can crack it yourself in about 40 seconds).
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: The man with the glasses in The Diamond trailer, who's there when Marie Antoinette gets beheaded, when Hitler shoots himself, and when Dallas is about to take the diamond.
  • Scavenger Hunt: Patch 26 introduces several packages that spawn in random locations across various heists that you can pick up. You'll get a small experience bonus for collecting them, and if you own the Gage Courier Pack DLC, collecting enough of any specific kind will also grant you free 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.
    • Clover is always shrill when she points out any special enemy.
    • Your getaway driver, in the 12 Days of Payday.
  • 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.
    • The announcement video introducing Aldsworth (Hoxton's butler, voiced by John Cleese), ends with him saying "Selling drills on the black market is not the best idea you've ever had, was it?", referencing the controversy that erupted when Overkill sold virtual "drills" via microtransactions.
    • Several of the achievements added in the Hoxton's Housewarming Party update include jabs at the game itself, such as "Bag Throwing Simulator",note  and "What a Flat!"note 
  • 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 fewer chances to stay alive if you go down multiple times. Cops can also steal your loot bag if you are not watching it.
  • Sequel Hook: The game ends with the death of Bain and the entire gang getting pardoned. However, the Kataru, the missing president and the Dentist plot threads are still unresolved.
    • Resolved in "The End 2" where The Dentist is revealed to be behind the Kataru and also the final "boss", the missing president is missing but Bain took his corporeal body, and the entire gang retire happily... oh, as for John Wick, the entire game turns out to be a Stealth Prequel to the first John Wick film.
  • Serial Escalation: The Payday gang starts as a crew of four people who take on small heists like trashing malls and robbing jewelry stores. As time goes on they recruit more members and eventually take on bigger jobs like robbing a big casino across the US, taking out a secret lab in Russia, and stealing nukes.
    • The difficulties available have also ramped up as the game evolved; originally the highest difficulty was Overkill, then Death Wish was added with new enemies, massive buffs to existing enemies, and sometimes unique events for heists. And then One Down difficulty was added, with even tougher enemies than Death Wish and only giving players a single down; the second down sends them immediately into custody. This was later replaced with Death Sentence, with One Down being turned into a modifier.
  • Shadow Archetype: The Commissar. While the PAYDAY gang isn't exactly noble, the Commissar is known for tying a bomb to his hostages, torturing said hostages, and is implied to create sex videos for either profit or for his own pleasure while he also produces and distributes coke. The PAYDAY crew only tie up civilians and prefer to not harm them while also avoiding the more nasty illegal activities like slavery and torture. They also help distribute drugs.
  • Shaped Like Itself: Chains's 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 you need to drill the lock, cut through it with a saw, or blow the door entirely with C4.
  • Shoot the Medic First:
    • A major update near the end of 2016 introduced the Medic special enemy. As his ability is healing nearby enemies and turning mooks (or even highly dangerous special enemies) into bullet sponges, he becomes a high-priority target when present.
    • Before him was Captain Winters, who is arguably a more fitting instance of this trope than the Medic - whereas the Medic's healing is limited to a single person at a time, is easy to counter (particularly on the lower difficulties the Medic spawns in, where you can just shoot the target in the head again), has a short but noticeable cooldown, and leaves the Medic vulnerable as he plays out an animation of healing someone, Winters gives passive buffs to the defense of everyone around him just by being there, and on top of that makes assault waves never-ending until he and his cadre of Shields are cut through and forced to retreat.
  • 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 recovered and runs the official Payday merchandise store now. He even gets to sell his bobble heads! Upgrading Jimmy's section of the new Safehouse has him show up as the bartender, as well.
  • 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. Unfortunately, several post-release patches gave the shotguns 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 shotguns 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.
    • Shotgun spread itself is played differently from other games; unlike other games the shotguns in PAYDAY deal full damage if any pellets hit the target, and will cause a headshot in the same way. However, more than one pellet hitting the target will not increase the damage whatsoever, making it actually efficient to use the shotgun in the way it works in real life; to compensate for a lack of accuracy (you can shoot in the general direction and as long as one pellet hits, it's like the whole shell has hit, also allowing for easy multi-kills with one shell).
    • Due to the way shotguns work, this actually makes the Accuracy stat work in reverse; Accuracy in the game increases the likelihood of the shot landing to the center of the screen (where the crosshairs would be on another FPS). With shotguns however this reduces pellet spread, actually making it harder to hit something on target. Outside of messing around with slug rounds (which trade off the multiple pellets for armor-piercing capability), this completely invalidates a skill that increases shotgun accuracy, and means that people will actively mod their shotguns with lower accuracy to make them better at hitting stuff.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Shovel Strike: The K.L.A.S. Shovel, an entrenchment tool added by the Gage Shotgun Pack DLC, complete with an achievement for completing the Night Club heist using nothing but that shovel.
  • 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 or jump more than two inches 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.
    • Crossed with The Coconut Effect, the developers know exactly how to attack with the 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.
    • Inflated magazine sizes throughout the game notwithstanding, the devs understand that the number of shells a tube-fed shotgun can hold is dependent on the length of that tube - as such, some shotguns with different barrel lengths that also change the length of the tube, like the M1014 and Raven, will increase or decrease their total mag capacity appropriate to which barrel length you have attached.
    • The reloading animation for the RPG-7 accurately includes the character cocking the hammer after inserting a new rocket, a detail that almost no other game to feature the RPG-7 shows.
  • Signature Move: Every class has several signature abilities and playstyles as well as a weapon of choice.
  • Silliness Switch: The mutators change up the rules of the game in many ways and several of them are downright hilarious, such as the tractor beam mutator which lets you carry the bodies of any enemy you killed with a shotgun by an invisible tractor beam with ragdoll physics, similar to the gravity gun from Half-Life 2. The mothership version sends any enemy killed with shotguns to rocket off into the sky.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun:
    • The female prison guards and FBI agents throughout the Hoxton Breakout heist are a bit on the short side, but they also wield the Bronco .44.
    • While not exactly small, Clover wielding the Minigun is this. Especially if you add on the long barrel attachment and have her wear the 2 piece suit.
  • 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.
    • The Commissar in Hotline Miami is this in day 2. When you catch up to him, he loses his shit.
  • Sniper Pistol: With the right mods, the Desert Eagle can be outfitted as one. Even dual Deagles can be modified, with the right skills behind it, to be perfectly accurate. The Broomstick pistol even more so, being able to be modded with a precision barrel increasing damage to be on par with assault rifles in the game modded with a DMR kit, and fitted with a sniper scope.
  • Socialization Bonus: There is level grinding which you must do in order to unlock new skills and equipment. Completing heists with friends gives you a "Crew Alive Bonus'', which gives you extra money and experience points for having friends alive at the end of the heist. If you want to ease the pain of level grinding, bring a buddy or two.
  • Speed Run: Possible with the right tools like faster drills or C4 charges. Several heists have achievements for finishing under a certain time:
    • Gone in 240 Seconds: Finish Car Shop in under 4 minutes.
    • 12 Angry Minutes: Finish Big Bank in under 12 minutes.
    • Let's Do Th..: Finish Ukrainian Job in under 30 seconds.
    • Smoke and Mirrors: Finish The Diamond in under 10 minutes.
    • The Turtle Always Wins: Finish the Art Gallery job in stealth in 4 minutes with each crew member wearing the Improved Combined Tactical Vest.
    • ''Long Fellow"": Complete the Meltdown job within 7 minutes.
    • Full Throttle: Complete the second day of the Biker Heist in under 2 minutes.
    • Self Checkout: Complete the Mallcrasher job in 3 minutes.
    • There's no achievement for it, but Four Stores can be completed in under 2 minutes, as an ECM jammer or saw will let you open an ATM for far more than the needed amount within seconds, at which point you just wait 60 second for your getaway ride.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": It's Bain, not Bane. And Cloakers are not spelled as Cloackers (although this could be a Stealth Insult by calling them cloacas).
  • Starts Stealthily, Ends Loudly: Technically possible in any of the stealth-capable heists, but is definitely applied in both Car Shop and Panic Room.
  • 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.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Throwing money away from a bridge or a shipyard gives you a thought what an "off-shore" account would be. Do you know there is also an achievement for this?
    • Joy, a character who was introduced as a timed exclusive for the Nintendo Switch port, was shown wearing a light up LED mask in her debut trailer with the colors red and blue on either side of the mask, mimicking the most common color combo of joycon controllers.
  • 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 stealth-only heists (Shadow Raid, Car Shop, Murky Station, The Yacht Heist and Breakin' Feds). You can't have the alarm raised at all, otherwise you'll have just a very short amount of time to secure the rest of the loot, finish any objectives left and hightail it out of there before you're left behind.
    • Any mission that can be Stealthed generally comes with a bonus in exp and cash. This combined with the fact that going loud on such missions is very hard (having to resort of Plan B, the Payday crew will have to accomplish additional objectives on Loud versions of these heists, which takes up time and means they have to face more assault waves) encourages people to do these almost exclusively stealthed.
    • "The Elephant" Contractor is explicitly stated to favor this type of mission, as given his position and the nature of the jobs, it's understandable that he doesn't want anyone to know. He also provides a substantial cash bonus to every successfully stealthed mission, usually in the form of several stacks of gold that would otherwise be inaccessible to the crew should they go loud (this is on top of the usual stealth bonus).
  • Stealth Prequel: The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue reveals that John Wick, after retiring from PAYDAY Gang, married and adopted a dog. Everyone who watched the first minutes of the first John Wick will know how this leads to...
  • Stealthy Mook: Cloakers are not technically invisible but they have a knack for hiding in places inaccessible by the players in order to ambush them for an instant Non-Lethal K.O..
  • Stock Scream: In the web series, episode 2, the Wilhelm scream can be heard when Dallas and Wolf dispatch a random cop.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: An ability for the Mastermind allows you to turn civilians and hostiles to your side.
  • 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, for a while, if the shells were tossed too far, the shock of the impact made the shells explode. This example had been 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 your ammunition capacity for higher-damage shells which deal area damage and stun all enemies in the blast radius.
    • The Overkill DLC pack adds an actual rocket-propelled grenade launcher, which can kill anyone, even a Bulldozer, in a single shot with a fairly large blast radius.
    • The mutator feature has one option that lets you make any enemy explode when you kill them. There's also a "Nuclear Bulldozer" option where if you kill a Bulldozer, not only does he explode, but every enemy on the map explodes too.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: "Donacdum", which heavily features Houston's "Don't act dumb" and other phrases in a dance-style remix.
  • Surprisingly Happy Ending: The secret ending still has the gang retiring and Bain dies, but the gang retires happily, is reunited with the good contractors including The Butcher and Vlad, also Bain is revealed to be reincarnated as the president.
  • 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 for the previous game).
    • 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, assuming that the Cloaker itself would be DLC, or even that the developers did exactly as asked and added the Cloaker at all. 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 of the 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.
    • A very subtle jab at the players, and possibly themselves, in Hoxton Breakout. A common complaint about any given heist DLC is that it's too short, and said DLC typically costs $7. Cue Bain's comment when you take the parking ticket back after getting through the parking garage:
    Bain: Seven bucks?! We were hardly here!
    • Further mocked with the Alesso heist. See 'Continuity Nod' above.
    Bain: Good work gang, got your seven bucks back. Remember, stretch goals are good.note 
    • You get an achievement called Van Gogh to Hell if during the heist in a modern art gallery, you throw a painting in the toilets.
  • 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.
  • Temporary Online Content:
    • 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.
    • Played straight with the "Completely Overkill" DLC masks. If you didn't buy the pack before March 12th 2015, too bad, no cool masks for you! Not to mention the secret cosmetic item scheduled for future release only obtainable by those who purchased said mask pack.
    • The Alpha Mauler was the first weapon to be this. It was only available if you registered on the Alienware Arena website and claimed a key during the first release of the Alienware Alpha and the Payday 2 deal with it. While you didn't have to buy an Alpha to claim a key, it still rubbed quite a lot of the community the wrong way, mostly because it was something that actually mildly affected gameplay as opposed to a cosmetic mask.
  • Tempting Fate: The Alesso Heist takes place in a large arena that is owned by GenSec and they brag that their vaults are perfectly impenetrable. Bain wants to prove the security company wrong by having his crew steal money from the company while Alesso's concert is used as a cover. They succeed.
    • On one of the interview tapes scattered around the house in Hoxton Revenge, the FBI are interrogating Hector about a contract they want him to submit to Crimenet in an attempt to surround the Payday Gang. That contract being Watchdogs. The FBI Handler simply remarks "What are they gonna do? Fight their way out?", which is exactly what happens at the start of said heist.
  • 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" on October 27th, "The Diamond" on December 16th, and "Golden Grin Casino" on June 25th.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Guard behavior in the game is incredibly odd, to say the least. As in most stealth games, guards have very poor peripheral senses, and can only really see what's directly in front of them. They mostly won't notice when normally locked doors have been opened, either. However, god forbid if you shoot a window or camera along their path, because they will notice it and proceed to call in the national guard to purge the entire area. Another baffling thing is just how gullible pager operators are, as they can be fooled by people speaking completely different accents, languagesnote  or are a different gender from the guard they just killed!
    • This is partially explained in-universe. In the FBI Files, Garrett notes that Harvest & Trustee doesn't really have any incentive in upgrading its security since their losses are federally insured, the Jewelry Store's simply can't afford more sophisticated security, and the Art Gallery uses the high profile thefts as a way to increase their publicity and therefore attract more visitors.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: Using the rocket launcher, mini-gun and Grenade Launcher on anything that's not a Bulldozer, which crosses over into Disproportionate Retribution
  • 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 stealth-only heists. You are required to stealth them. If you're detected, you have a short amount of time to complete the heist and get to the escape or you lose, which can be Unwinnable by Design 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.
    • Also averted in Hoxton Breakout, where the only option is to drive through the streets while being shot at by police from every angle. Bain even lampshades it. The same goes for Day 2 of the heist likely due to it being an improvisation on Hoxton's part.
    • Most Loud-Only Heists have only Plan "B" as, obviously, you can't stealth them. In addition, some of The Dentist's Stealthable heists have a Plan B for Plan B, usually different escape plans that cost Favours; the more it costs the easier it is (with usually the most easy one costing almost all of the available favours for the given heist).
  • Title Drop: A knowingly cheesy and homophonic one. The trailer for the Dentist's pack of missions has it end on "You see... I need my payday (long, obvious beat)... too."
  • 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. Likewise the Thanatos .50 cal rifle and the rocket launcher are usually saved for the bigger nasties since the sniper rifle requires more ammo pickups compare to a standard gun and the rocket launcher can only get ammo from an ammo bag.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The entire police force has received 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 spawn 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 take significant damage from headshots.
    • Street cops can now use the Bronco .44 (a freaking hand cannon!)
    • 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 fusion 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 counterparts. 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.
    • Vlad, of all people, took a level in Badass in Meltdown when he asks you to steal live (but mercifully not armed) nuclear warheads. The Crew itself also took a level in the mission as Bain initially deemed an all-out assault on the Murky Water Compound to be too dangerous, but now has you assaulting the facility in broad daylight.
    • A minor one for Chavez, who was a mission critical NPC from the first game in the Panic Room heist. In the first game, Chavez is treated as a civilian and can be tied up. In the remake of the heist, Chavez is not only wearing body armor, but he also dual wields pistols and will fight back. He can also withstand plenty of headshots despite not wearing a helmet.
    • The Hoxtons Housewarming Party added Mayhem and One Down (later renamed to Death Sentence) difficulties, the cops have gotten even more badass. However, the real badassery starts when people play Death Sentence and go up against ZEAL Team, a group of elite forces that make absolute mincemeat out of players. Even normal security guards on that difficulty can take a lot more punishment, but they're better than facing ZEAL Team.
  • Train Job: Originally a Bonus Level, but as of Update #57, it's a separate heist called "Armoured Transport: Train", where you have to secure a turret and it's ammo from an idle train.
    • Up to Eleven in the "The Bomb: Forest" heist. This time, they derail the train by blowing up a bridge and raid the wreckage for a thermobaric bomb.
    • Day 2 of the Biker Heist, which sees the heisters landing on a train in-motion, fighting to the front of the train through both hostile bikers and police, retrieving a specific piece of loot from the front of the train, then fighting again to the back of the train to deposit the loot.
  • 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.
    • Also the reason that Pro Jobs were initially added. Players got a higher cash prize, but cannot restart as failure kicked players back 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. Pro jobs were eventually removed entirely with the Hoxton's Housewarming Party update.
  • 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 alludes to Hoxton's arrest and shows that he has Hoxton's transfer schedule on hand, Dallas doesn't bat an eyelid before accepting the nebulous 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.
  • Truer to the Text: The Scarface Mansion in the eponymous heist is a fairly faithful recreation of the one seen in the film, not the one that exists in reality. Changes made include making the driveway leading to the house being filled with flowers, the removal of a balcony in the main lobby, with everything else being created from scratch simply because we never see the rest of it on-camera Though amusingly, the Mansion in-game is near the ocean, yet the real-life mansion is surrounded by trees on all sides.
  • 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, yet another completely useless mask pattern or color when they already have all their masks customized how they want, or an attachment that's a copy of one they already have and don't use or is for a weapon they don't own or plan to use. Suffice to say, whatever you don't want from the card drop is probably what you're going to get. The Offshore Payday option added around late 2016 has assisted in this, as the player can decide what they want and then "safe" any or all of the cards so that it will definitely have what they want, though at the cost of a good chunk of money from the otherwise-unusable (except for going Infamous the first five times) offshore account.
    • Safes made this even worse from when they were first added up until Update 100. Instead of getting anything useful, you could end up with a safe that holds a random weapon skin... and requiring you to spend nearly $3 in real life just to open it. Technically, you could also get a drill instead of having to buy one, but they were naturally far more rare than safes - and there's also the possibility that the drill would be for a safe type you don't have. Even with the safes able to be opened for free now, there's still always the possibility that the skin you get is for a weapon you don't own and/or have any plans to use... or is even for something from a DLC you don't own. Though this is mitigated by the Steam Marketplace, where you can sell the skin if you don't have the weapon for it/ you don't like it/ have gotten for the 5th time.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: The Car Shop in more ways than one. Similar to Shadow Raid, it is a stealth-only heist. Unlike Shadow Raid, you start in casing mode instead of wearing your mask already, and with the exception of a handful of guards there are no enemies and a few civilians, whereas Shadow Raid at least had the highly trained Murkywater mercenaries. And finally, instead of bagging the loot, you get into a car and drive away with them.
    • The Hotline Miami heist takes this 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 Commissar'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 to breaking out Hoxton.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: Mission-critical notes, such as Day 2 on the Big Oil heist, the recipes in Hotline Miami and the whiteboard in Car Shop used to be too blurry to read on lower texture settings. Update #105.2 fixed this.
    • Averted in Day 2 of the Watchdogs heist. Any of the bags that you throw into the water, either by mistake (from not realizing the boat that comes to get it has a limit on how much it can carry, for instance) or intent (just from the less-jerkish possibilities, there's an achievement for throwing a bag in the water here making fun of Call of Duty: Ghosts's "innovative" fish AI) 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 without actually being unwinnable. Shadow Raid gets a better aversion, as any bags that end up in the water near the zipline you send them off on will just respawn right next to that zipline.
    • Hotline Miami has a section where you have to torch 4 cars with gas cans. However, more than 4 gas cans and cars can spawn. If more than 4 cars are torched before the mission objective disappears (which can happen if two players shoot two gas cans at the exact same moment) the mission logic glitches and the next objective never comes.
    • Sometimes the RNG can result in oddly-specific setups, such as having the Vault directly in front of a camera on Day 3 of Framing Frame.
    • A rare bug can occur on Day 1 of Hoxton Breakout if a player other than the host grabs the parking ticket. When a player leaves/disconnects or goes into custody, key items like the parking ticket are supposed to transfer to the next viable player. If the player disconnects while going into custody, the two scripts conflict and only get as far as removing the parking ticket from that player's inventory, without transferring it to another player, which results in the entire day being unwinnable as the team no longer has the key item necessary to unlock the escape sequence.
  • The Usual Adversaries: Gensec.
  • 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. Stealth Heists like Shadow Raid, Yacht Heist and Murky Station deserve special mentions as the music changes in response to the progression of the heist instead of the status of an assault wave. There are usually at least three different mixes: the starting mix (which is timid), a slightly more intense mix that starts up closer to your goal, and the "alert" mix/buildup. The Yacht heist has eleven stages to it's soundtrack!
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can kill innocent civilians for no reason as they try to run away from you or call the police, 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. In some stealth runs, it's encouraged - shooting a civilian about to run and call the cops, or see the entire bank taken hostage, and taking the $3,000 or so penalty is a drop in the ocean, compared to the $6,000,000+ payout. Impatient players can also quickly wipe out an entire bank to find the manager and his keycard. It doesn't help that the game still considers a mission "Stealthed" as long as the alarm isn't raised, and the quickest and easiest way to do this is to drop an ECM and murder every living thing on the map.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the BBQ Pack, where one can incinerate civilians.
    • Combined with Disproportionate Retribution in the Counterfeit Heist, where you can murder Mitchel, Wilson and all of their friends and families just because you want to steal their money printer.
  • 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. 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..
    • Played straight with a certain Crime Spree modifier that limits how many civilians may be killed before the alarm sounds.
  • Villain Ball: The Dentist says: Why yes, I will hold Mission Control hostage armed with only a pistol and a suit with no backup against four professional criminal marksmen with military-grade guns and armor. And then give all four of them five seconds and a clear shot.
  • 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.
    • For that matter: a heister can carry full body armor, a minigun, a rocket launcher, four automated turrets, a large bag of ammunition, a broadsword, a bag of gold and an infinite number of safe-cracking drills(!) but can't carry more than six zipties? It boggles the mind.
    • 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.
    • Jacket answers the pager with an automated message... that states it's an automated message. The other heisters at least try to sound human.
    • Lampshaded with the "I Have No Idea What I'm Doing" achievement, unlocked for completing Shadow Raid, a stealth-only heist, while bringing a minigun and an RPG launcher. The idea is you take it and sit at the van tossing in bags for someone else with a more competent loadout. People have nevertheless found ways to get the achievement solo (by using the melee weapon to kill). A lesser example is with the "The Turtle Always Wins" achievement, for completing the Art Gallery heist in stealth in four minutes while wearing the heaviest armor in the game that basically makes stealth impossible, and the least painful manner of stealthing it in the allotted time involves abusing another loophole regarding what counts as breaking stealth (i.e. ECM rushing).
    • The way to get the most payout for the Framing Frame heist? Do it properly on stealth... until you get into the vault and bag all the gold and are home free, afterwards bag all the gold then come back in guns blazing so you get the extra pay from doing it on loud as well as the gold for doing it quietly.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Bonnie. Considering that her signature melee weapon is a whiskey bottle, you could almost consider her a white, two-eyed, female version of The Demoman, moreso if you have a grenade launcher like the China Puff, since it's basically just the Loch-N-Load with an extra round in the mag.
  • 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. Just to illustrate the point, a simple bank heist can easily result in the players killing 250+ police officers.
  • Whole Plot Reference: Without spoilers, The The Reservoir Dogs Heist is pretty much this, down to the days being reversed to mimic Tarantino's storytelling style.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Bain's messages throughout Day 3 of Framing Frame, while stealthing it.
    • Also his dialogue in Ukrainian Job when stealthed.
    • Bain's instruction while stealthing the Bank Heists. "Guys, the thermal drill, go get it!"
    • It is possible to get rid of these via the gameplay option for muting contractor voices.
  • Wham Episode: The Reservoir Dogs Heist is the start of a massive Genre Shift for the story. From that point onward, things slowly go from "masked clowns performing robberies of epic proportions" to "battling an Ancient Conspiracy to recover a device of untold power and save the world."
  • Wham Line: In Hoxton's Revenge:
    "The rat was Hector?!"
    • Or if the player searches the tapes:
      "I'm getting impatient Hector, look, I know you are connected to Bain, if you want this little arrangement of ours to continue, you better give me something on the clowns."
    • A minor example from the Safehouse Nightmare, which implies that Jacket isn't everything he appears to be:
    • The Reservoir Dogs heist drops a massive one from Locke, whom up until that point had been thought to have been a traitor for the gang:
      Locke: I know you got little incentive to trust me after Alaska, but sending you there was the only credible ruse we had time for, to get you out of DC. People Bain used to think could be trusted... were listening. And now he's gone.
    • On Hell's Island, at the very beginning:
      The Dentist: What's that I hear? Rats... in the sewers?
    • The true ending shows the 46th President granting Solomon the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor for "eradicating" the Payday Gang. Then, at the end of his speech, he says something that might sound familiar...
  • Wham Shot: The Shacklethorne Auction heist contains multiple documents that hint towards the existence of the Nephilim, massive Humanoid Abominations that herald disaster and are supposedly descended from angels. It's creepy, but there's no indication of there being any truth to it. But then let's say you go out to the front of the mansion... and a flash of lightning lights up the sky, revealing the silhouette of something massive on the horizon.. something that looks an awful lot like the depictions of the Nephilim.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: If you wait in the boxes at the beginning of the second day of Hotline Miami, one of the mobsters may mention that he's worried about his daughter skipping school.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Bain and Locke 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.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: If the Golden Ending is obtained, a new video called "Rumors and Stories" is unlocked that describes what happened to the members of the Payday gang after the White House heist.
  • White Mask of Doom: It is entirely possible to make a mask that is pure white simply by using the base 'white plastic' material with no pattern and no color. The "Clean" variants of the Crews' own masks start out this way. Though none are quite as featureless as the trope's page image. The closest one could get would be by using the Alienware or Gage Blade masks and using as much white as possible.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The No Mercy heist is a retelling of the events that occurred from the same heist in the first game with Chains in the present musing over how he had a bad feeling about the whole thing from the start and should have said no to the job. The virus the crew stole from the first game was injected into Bain while he was held prisoner and now he's on death's doorstep.
  • 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.
  • Wild Mass Guessing: In-Universe, during the Hoxton's Revenge heist, if one examines the evidence board, one can discover the FBI seems to be completely and utterly convinced that Vlad is an ordinary baker, and is possibly being used as a front by Bain without his knowledge, and his time in prison was only because Bain framed him.
  • 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 have reached the maximum infamy level are often kicked out of many games because people assume that maximum infamy is a cheater's calling card. Doubly so for max-infamy players who have their Steam profiles set to private, since many people assume private profiles means that person has something to hide, and acting Properly Paranoid because of it. The same happens in reverse, where people will kick low level players because they believe they might screw them over due to lack of available weapons and character skills. Justified on high-difficulties such as Death Sentence, but complete nonsense on Overkill or Below.
    • Taken up to eleven with the "Dodge VS Armor" debate, where on loud heists you can get kicked for wearing too much armor, too little armor, or the wrong kind of armor.note 
    • There are several exploits within the game that seasoned veterans like and will exploit, as in some cases they're the only way you can survive on Death Wish. Grab a keycard on Hox Breakout when everyone else was trying to dupe it? Kick. Turn on the sprinklers on Hotline Miami Day 2 after someone just braved the fire to fix the drill? Kick. Take the Thermite before people could dupe it? Kick. Of course, there are people that will do the exact opposite and will kick anyone that even dares to suggest to go for any of these exploits on purpose.
    • It gets worse when you play Rats or Cook Off on Death Wish or Death Sentence as hosts start designating who cooks the meth. If you aren't one and even happen to pick up an ingredient...
    • The addition of microtransactions with weapon skins exacerbated the problem even further by people who will kick anyone on sight if they are using paid skin mods. This is due to the community's overwhelming negative response to the microtransaction system and believing that punishing the players who support it would send the devs a message. It even continued after the mandatory microtransactions were removed!
  • You Don't Look Like You: An audio version, since we never see Bain's face (up until Hell's Island). A lot of the earlier heists (Ukrainian Job being the most obvious due to inordinate amounts of chatter) have Bain sound more like he does in PAYDAY: The Heist, quite unlike his present radio filter.
    • On a lesser note, Hoxton and his live-action counterpart. Hoxton is played by Josh Lenn, while his Voice is Pete Gold.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Some of the weapons have folding/telescoping stocks, but you have to actually pay money to fold/extend some of them.
  • Zerg Rush: Cops don't rush in as much as they used to in the first game, preferring to strategically flank you instead. On Mayhem, Death Wish and higher however, the cops play the trope straight at all times, since they have 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.


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