3. Payday 2: Crimewave Edition Skills, Perks & Equipment

These builds aren't gospel. Find what kind of playstyle suits you and experiment with builds that fit with it. I personally prefer being able to move around fast, so I take the likes of a Dodge Build or an Anarchist with a Lightweight Ballistic Vest. You may prefer to play differently, what is below is some builds I experimented with that are all slightly different in playstyle.

Due to this being a game with a heavy co-op element, you will want a mixed group when it comes to builds and skillsets, giving you the best chance of success. I will break the builds down into 2 types, Stealth and Loud. When it comes to certain DLC missions, I took an entirely different build that worked better than a standard overall build. By the time you attempt those, you should be a decent level and be able to just switch a few builds up on the fly.

There is no definitive best skill set-up, these are just some of my personal builds or recommendations, as they have worked well for me on my road to completing the game. Most of the skills in the game have a use in different situations, it's down to your judgment to see when those skills will be useful. These will be full builds listed, be aware though that they are at Infamy XXV-100, so if you're not V-100 with the 5 Infamy points you had put into the reduced points requirements for the trees, you might not be able to make the build work entirely. However, feel free to mix things up, maybe centre the build around different weapon types than I have listed.

Stealth Setup

Skills

  • Ghost - Shinobi skill tree
    • Everything but Chameleon Aced
  • Ghost - Artful Dodger skill tree
    • Inner Pockets Basic (for higher concealment)
  • Ghost - Silent Killer skill tree
    • Optical Illusions Aced (Again, for higher concealment)
  • Technician - Breacher skill tree
    • Hardware Expert Aced
  • DrillSawgeant Aced
    • Kickstarter Aced
  • Enforcer - Tank skill tree
    • Transporter Basic (just to throw bags further)
  • Technician - Engineer skill tree
    • Jack of All Trades Aced (get whatever to get to this point. This is mainly so you can bring 2 ECM's and a Body Bag case in case you need it)

Perk Deck

My personal choice is the Burglar perk deck, for the increased crouch movement speed, lockpicking speed and time it takes to answer pagers.

Primary Weapon

Any weapon with high concealment since you won't actually use it. The Cavity 9mm from the Golden Grin Casino Heist pack is good.

Secondary Weapon

If you have the "The Silent Killer Suppressor" attachment unlocked. I would recommend using the Judge. It's a valuable thing to be able to move a body when shooting the person, as it means getting them potentially out of sight if they're in an awkward spot. If not, a silenced pistol will work all the same.

Melee

Whatever has a base of 30 concealment. You won't be using melee pretty much at all in stealth heists.

Armour

Two-Piece Suit.

Loud Set-up

There are 2 main builds that you will see a lot of people use on this game, and at first, you may not understand one of them, which is a dodge build. Both this and a tanky armour build are viable, regardless 2 people in any lobby should have aced the Inspire skill, as it is near vital on Deathwish.

Dodge Build

This build can be tinkered to work with different weapon types, but is typically run with Akimbo pistols.

Skills

  • Mastermind - Medic skill tree
    • Painkillers Aced (damage reduction for crew members when you revive them)
  • Combat Doctor Aced (More charges in doctors bags)
    • Inspire Aced (Once every 20 seconds you can shout at a downed teammate to revive them)
  • Ghost - Artful Dodger skill tree
    • Duck and Cover Aced (more chance to dodge when sprinting/crouching/ziplining)
  • Inner Pockets Basic (mainly just for the concealment on melee weapons, which will come in handy with a skill higher in the tree)
    • Sneaky Bastard Basic (Get up to this point which whatever skills you decide you want more. You shouldn't need to ace this, as this class will be run with low concealment, so you should get the full effect from just the basic version of this skill)
  • Fugitive - Gunslinger skill tree
    • This is where you make your weapons absolutely shred through anything. Even Black Bulldozers will go down in a single clip if it's all headshots.
    • Akimbo Aced (You'll want that 50% extra ammo)
    • One-Handed Talent Aced (Extra 10 damage with pistols)
    • Trigger Happy Aced (A stacking damage effect that lasts 12 seconds, this is where you tear apart dozers)

Perk Deck

Due to the nature of this build, you'll want to take the rogue deck, as it adds 40% dodge chance on its own. Combine this with Sneaky Bastard, you will hit the max dodge easily if your concealment is low enough, if not just under 55%.

Primary Weapon

Any akimbo pistol (Bernetti 9 is a decent choice, as it has medium damage to high ammo count). Mod it out how you choose, adding some damage, accuracy, and stability where possible.

Secondary Weapon

The Judge Shotgun. Probably one of the best secondary weapons. If equipped with AP rounds, it will go through shields, killing them in 2-3 shots on Deathwish. The only other suggested attachment would be the King's Crown Compensator, for increased accuracy, damage and threat.

Melee

Down to personal choice, but Electrical Brass Knuckles are always a good choice. If an enemy gets close, just punch them to give you a quick breather, and time to run or reload.

Armour

Two-Piece Suit.

Tank Build

Again, this build can be tinkered to work with different weapon types other than shotguns, or even swapping out Inspire for better ammo bags if you're running with 2 people that have inspire already.

Skills

  • Mastermind - Medic skill tree
    • Painkillers Aced
    • Combat Doctor Aced
    • Inspire Aced
  • Mastermind - Controller skill tree
    • Joker Aced (A converted non-special enemy that will survive with ease on Overkill and below, and still survive a fair amount of time on Deathwish, as well as deal more damage)
    • Confident Aced (Make that 2 converted enemies)
    • Partner in Crime Aced (10% more movement speed and 30% more health per converted enemy of yours. Useful, as well as giving them more health)
  • Enforcer - Tank skill tree
    • Resilience Aced (Faster armour recovery rate, as well as a 75% reduction in the visual effect of flashbangs)
    • Die Hard Aced (20 more armour rating on every ballistic vest)
    • Shock and Awe Aced (Faster armour recovery rate, and a chance to knock back shields with ranged weapons, or guaranteed knockback with a melee weapon)
    • Ironman Aced (30% increased armour values on all armour as well as access to the Improved Combined Tactical Vest)
  • Enforcer - Shotgunner skill tree (if you are planning on using shotguns)
    • Shotgun Impact Aced (More damage and 8 extra stability)
    • Far Away Aced (Pretty much will make you shotgun a sniper rifle when ADS. Very useful for snipers)
    • Overkill Basic (Killing an enemy with a shotgun or OVE9000 Saw, you will get a 75% damage increase for 30 seconds for said weapon)
  • Enforcer - Ammo Specialist skill tree
    • Portable Saw Basic (Taking it purely if you want to use the saw as a secondary with a shotgun)
  • Technician - Oppressor skill tree
    • Steady Grip Basic (the only point really needed in this tree, purely for a little extra accuracy)
  • Ghost - Artful Dodger skill tree
    • Duck and Cover Basic (Just some extra movement speed for sprinting)
    • Parkour Basic (10% extra movement speed)
    • Shockproof Basic (30% to have a taser backfire and knock themselves back)
  • Ghost - Silent Killer skill tree
    • Second Wind Basic (for some extra movement speed when armour breaks)

Perk Deck

This is somewhat open to choice, as a few different perk decks could benefit this build. First is the Grinder deck (which is a DLC deck). Two original decks that are good, are the Muscle and Armorer deck. The Armorer deck gives you increased armour and recovery rate, whilst the Muscle deck gives you 70% more health, as well as regenerating 3% of your health every 5 seconds.

Primary Weapon

Again, open to choice, but the Raven Shotgun is a good choice if you've gone with a shotgun build, otherwise the Thanatos .50 cal will be fine as a primary special killer.

Secondary Weapon

This depends on what you take as a primary weapon in a sense. If you take the Raven, I would suggest the HRL-7 Rocket Launcher. Whilst it doesn't 1 shot bulldozers like it used to, that and a well-placed shot of a few shotgun shells can take a dozer down. If you took the Thanatos, that will be the special killer weapon of choice, so at this stage, you could choose anything, The Judge with AP rounds isn't a bad choice, you'll just need to make sure to pick up ammo enough.

Melee

Electrical Brass Knuckles again are never a bad choice.

Armour

Improved Combined Tactical Vest.

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