When Payday 3 decides to actually work, it’s a pretty good time. Hopping into various heists and skulking away with bags-upon-bags of loot never ceases to be a rush. If that’s all Payday 3 offered, it would be a good time for a good long while.
But Payday 3 isn’t just heists, no, Payday 3 has a rather in-depth character customisation and progression system. One facet of that system is Skills, and these can drastically alter how you play the game. You are free to experiment to your heart’s content with these thanks to a very generous refund system, and in this guide, we are going to cover every last one of them.
More Payday 3 content:
Every Skill In Payday 3
This skill tree is – you guessed it – all about healing.
- Medic – BASIC – You revive teammates 20% faster. Medic Bags you deploy have 2 additional charges.
ACED – When you start reviving a teammate, you gain GRIT. As long as you have GRIT, you take 40% less damage when reviving a teammate.
- Steady Hands – Interacting with Medic Bags heals you for an additional 20% of your max health.
- Extra Charge – Medic Bags you deploy have 2 additional charges.
- Combat Medic – If you GRIT, successfully reviving your teammate will give both you and that teammate damage immunity for 5 seconds.
- Code Blue – Whenever a teammate is downed or disabled, you gain or refresh RUSH. As long as you have RUSH, you pick teammates up 30% faster.
- Triage – Interacting with a Medic Bag or First Aid Kit will consume active EDGE, GRIT, and RUSH and heal you for an additional 15% for each.
- Field Surgery – Interacting with any Medic Bag will restore an additional 10% of your max health and restore 1 DOWN.
Another fairly straightforward one, this tree heavily focuses on ammo replenishment.
- Ammo Specialist – BASIC – Your reserve ammo capacity is increased by 20%. Ammo bags you deploy have 2 additional charges.
ACED – Whenever you pick up ammo, if your current weapon’s magazine is full, you gain EDGE if you don’t have it.
- Scrounger – As long as you have EDGE, ammo drops have a 10% chance of replenishing one of your throwables.
- Fully Loaded – Ammo bags you deploy have 2 additional charges.
- Plate Up – As long as you have GRIT, ammo drops will instantly regenerate your current armour chunk.
- High Grain – After interacting with an ammo bag, you get 20% more damage for 10 seconds. This bonus does not stack with itself.
- Mag Throw – As long as you have RUSH, any ammo drops you pick up are also given to crew members within 10 metres. This won’t trigger the Mag Throw of other players.
- Top Up – Interacting with any ammo bag will restore an additional 20% of ammo and fully restock your throwables.
The Mower tree is about increasing how effective you are at, well, mowing down enemies.
- Mower – BASIC – Every 35 bullets you shoot, gain EDGE.
ACED – Whenever you reload a weapon with an empty magazine, refresh EDGE.
- Recoil Handing – As long as you have EDGE, your weapon recoil is reduced.
- Suppressive Fire – As long as you have EDGE, every shot from your weapon has a chance to inflict a heavy stagger.
- Ammo Funnel – As long as you have EDGE, the ammo you pick up is directly added to your equipped weapons magazine. If your magazine is full, it’s added to your reserves instead.
- Replenish – As long as you have EDGE, you automatically pick up ammo dropped by enemies you have killed.
- Sprint Loaded – You can reload while sprinting.
Picking locks, throwing knives, and being sneaky is the name of the game here.
- Infiltrator – BASIC – Whenever you successfully pick a lock or kill an enemy with a throwing knife, gain or refresh RUSH.
ACED – Whenever a guard begins to detect you, you gain RUSH.
- Quick Fingers – As long as you have RUSH, a successful lockpick jiggle will immediately pick the lock.
- Retriever – Your throwing knives won’t break on impact with the environment.
- Bagger – as long as you have RUSH, you bag loot 50% faster.
- Blade Bouncer – Your throwing knives will ricochet off the environment up to two times. The throwing knife will do extra damage for each bounce.
- Frugal Thrower – Throwables you use have a 20% chance to be replenished after they are destroyed.
If you want to take less damage and recover your armour more effectively, Tank is for you.
- Tank – BASIC – increase the regeneration speed of your armour chunks by 20%. Your armour bag has 2 additional chargers.
ACED – Whenever one of your armour chunks breaks, gain or refresh GRIT.
- Hardy – As long as you have at least one armour chunk, any flashbang, stagger, and stun effect duration you suffer is lowered by 50%.
- Extra Plates – Your armour bag has 2 additional charges.
- Armour Up – Interacting with any armour bag will restore an additional chunk.
- Last Man Standing – If damage would normally down you, you can instead consume available GRIT to stay on your feet and become immune to damage for 10 seconds. After this effect has been applied, you can’t gain GRIT until you heal using a Medic Bag or First Aid Kit, or until you are downed.
- Disengage – Once per heist, you can free yourself from a Cloaker or Zapper, after which you can’t be disabled by them again for 5 seconds.
All about long-range precision shooting.
- Sharpshooter – BASIC – Stand Still for 1.5 seconds while aiming down sights or scopes and gain EDGE.
ACED – Performing a headshot while aiming down sights will refresh your EDGE.
- Collateral Damage – If you destroy a Special Enemies weak point, like the Zapper’s battery or the Nader’s belt, the explosion will only affect enemies.
- Long Shot – As long as you have EDGE and are aiming down sights, distance penalties do not apply to headshot multipliers.
- Precision Shot – When aiming down a scope, your shit will consume any EDGE you have. When this happens, your shot will do extra damage based on your scope magnification.
- Cutting Shot – As long as you have EDGE, your armour penetration is increased.
- Speed Aim – Increase your ADS and scope speed.
If you want to go fast and debilitate your enemies at the same time, then escapist is for you.
- Escapist – BASIC – Whenever you sprint for at least 3 seconds, gain RUSH.
ACED – If you have RUSH available and slide, it’s consumed, and you gain or refresh EDGE.
- Balanced – As long as you have RUSH and an enemy or effect would stagger you, instead consume RUSH and ignore the stagger.
- Move & Cover – If you have EDGE available and vault or mantle, it’s consumed and gain or refresh GRIT.
- Slide Tackle – If you have GRIT and slide into one or more non-Special enemies, you consume GRIT and stagger those enemies.
- Battering Ram – As long as you have EDGE, GRIT, or RUSH, you can sprint through locked doors to breach them. Only effective on doors with locks that can be picked or shot.
- Swift – Your base sprinting speed when masked on increases by 10%.
- Demolitionist – BASIC – Explosions caused by your shots or throwables have their area of effect increased by 20%.
ACED – Whenever you cause an explosion, gain or refresh RUSH.
- Cooker – Whenever you hold a throwable for at least 1.5 seconds before throwing it, gain GRIT.
- Shell Shock – Non-special enemies damaged by your explosions get a permanent penalty of 10% of accuracy. This effect can only be applied once.
- Blowback – As long as you have RUSH, non-special enemies damaged by your explosions lose all armour.
- Blast Shield – Available GRIT is consumed to negate any damage you would normally receive from explosions caused by you.
- Overcooked – Anythroeable weapon you use that has an explosive component will no longer run on a timer but will immediately explode on impact with the environment or an NPC.
- Extra Munitions – Your throwable capacity is increased by 2.
Enforcers keep their enemies on the backfoot.
- Enforcer – BASIC – Whenever you kill 2 enemies within 4 seconds that are within 5 metres of you, you gain GRIT.
ACED – Whenever you kill 1 enemy within 5 5-metre range, if you have GRIT, gain EDG.
- Quick Reload – As long as you have both GRIT and EDGE, you have increased reload speed.
- Face To Face – As long as you have both EDGE and GRIT, you deal 10% extra damage to targets within 5 metres of you.
- Solid – As long as you have both EDGE and GRIT, you’re immune to stagger effects.
- Combat Reload – Whenever you reload a weapon while the magazine still has ammo, refresh EDGE and GRIT.
- Shock & Awe – Killing an enemy within 8 metres of you has a chance to stagger all non-Special enemies within 5 metres of you.
Make the most out of hostages.
- Manipulator – BASIC – You tie up and trade hostages 50% faster.
ACED – Whenever you trade a hostage, they count as one additional hostage.
- Overbearing – Your shout range for intimidating civilians is increased by 20%. Civilians stay down 50% longer after being shouted down.
- Silver Tongue – Trading Employees, Guards, or Law Enforcement counts as trading an additional hostage.
- Negotiator – Trade Hostages for First Aid now yields 1 additional First Aid pack.
- Menacing – You can shout at Guards, SWAT or Heavy SWAT within 5 metres of you to force them to surrender. As long as you’re aiming at them, they will go down on their knees and drop their weapon. Any damage dealt to them or taking your aim off them interrupts this process. Once fully surrendered, the SWAT obeys all the rules of a civilian, including any penalties for killing them. You can’t have more than on SWAT as a hostage at any time.
- Stockholm Syndrome – When you’re downed, you can shout at a tied-down or cowering hostage within range to try and reach you and revive you.
- Master Trader – Every hostage you trade between assault waves reduces the next player’s time in custody by 20 seconds; the minimum time spent in custody is capped at 10 seconds. This time reduction resets after any player has been taken into custody.
Time to deploy some turrets to help you out.
- Engineer – BASIC – Unlocking this skill gives you access to the Sentry Turret equipment. This turret can be equipped in the equipment slot of your loadout. The turret will shoot any non-mechanical enemies it sees until the enemies are dead or no longer within sight. As it shoots, it will build up heat until it reaches maximum heat. Once the sentry is at maximum heat, it will stop functioning. The owner of the turret can pick up the turret at any point to reset the heat to 0 and redeploy it. Equipping this skill increases the maximum heat build-up of your turret by 20%.
ACED – Increase the max head build-up of your sentry turret by another 20%.
- AP Turret – Increase armour penetration of sentry turrets you deploy by 1.
- Cooling System – Reduce heat build-up from damage, electrical explosions or hack attempts by 30% for all turrets.
- Detonation – Whenever your turret overheats, it will cause an explosion that damages NPCs in an area.
- Spin Cycle – Your sentry turret can now rotate 360 degrees to acquire its targets.
- Dual Sentries – You can now deploy a second sentry turret, but all your turrets build heads 50% faster while shooting.
- Targeted Fire – Your turrets will switch targets to whichever enemy you mark manually if it’s within line of sight. If you mark multiple enemies, it will prioritise the last one you marked.
Become the fastest trigger in the West.
- Gunslinger – BASIC – Whenever you switch your weapon, you gain EDGE. ADSing will end any EDGE you have active.
ACED – Performing headshots with your weapon in hip-fire will refresh any EDGE you have.
- For The Hip – As long as you have EDGE, your hip-fire spread is decreased.
- Heavy Hip-fire – As long as you have EDGE, hip-fire shots will cause heavy stagger.
- Finisher – If you have EDGE, the last shot of your magazine will consume it to deal 200% more damage.
- Quick Draw – Increase your weapon swap speed.
Lots of utility.
- Grifter – BASIC – As long as you are masked off if you are within 1 metre of a civilian or employee, gain RUSH.
ACED – When your mask is on, any civilians or employees within 10 metres that can see you will become intimidated.
- Walk The Walk – As long as you’re unmasked and have RUSH, cameras can’t detect you trespassing in private areas. (They will still detect you performing an illegal action).
- Social Engineering – As long as you’re unmasked and have RUSH, employees will ignore you performing illegal actions.
- Open Mic – Answer radios 50% faster.
- Slippery – After getting cuffed by a guard, you can break free by lockpicking the cuffs.
Become the ghost in the machine.
- Hacker – BASIC – You can hack cameras to gain access to the area’s CCTV system. This functions as though you had accessed the heist’s security room. You gain one Runtime.
ACED – You can overload a device that already has an active Runtime. This will cause an electrical explosion that will stun anyone within range and destroy the device. You gain one additional Runtime.
- Secure Loop – You can use one Runtime to make the security camera you’re controlling loop its footage. Cameras looping their footage cannot detect you or anything out of the ordinary. If the camera is destroyed, you regain your Runtime use. If you apply a new Runtime when you’re at max Runtimes, your oldest active one is removed.
- Appliance Breach – You can activate lures from a distance, as long as you have a clear line of sight.
- Routed Ping – You can spend a Runtime to make the hacked camera automatically mark any guards or law enforcement within its range. Targets stay marked for 5 seconds after leaving the camera’s view and do not count towards your maximum number of marked targets.
- Glitch Protocol – You can hack a guard’s radio to cause a disturbance, stopping and distracting them, and pausing any action they are doing. You must have a line of sight to the guard to hack them. The guard is distracted for 5 seconds, after which they will go back to their previous action. If the guard was escorting a player, the guard will go back to patrolling. If the guard was about to detail a player, the guard will go into search mode instead. Using this ability has a cooldown of 60 seconds.
- Signal Glitch – You can answer radios remotely if you have a line of sight to the guard’s body.
Debilitate your enemies to gain even more advantages.
- Tactician – BASIC – Whenever you stun or stagger an enemy, gain EDGE.
ACED – Your flashbang and smoke grenade area of effect is increased by 20%.
- Crowd Control – Civilians affected by your flashbang will cower for a duration that is twice as long as if you had shouted them down. Civilians affected by your smoke grenade will stop moving unless you order them to follow you.
- Coup De Grace – If you have EDGE, you will deal 5% more damage when you shoot a staggered or stunned enemy.
- Discombobulate – Enemies affected by your flashbangs suffer a 40% damage debuff for the duration of the stun and 5 seconds after it wears off. Enemies affected by your smoke grenade suffer a 40% damage debuff while in the smoke, and it has a duration of 5 seconds after they have escaped the smoke.
- Expose – Shots fired at enemies affected by your flashbangs will ignore armour for as long as they are stunned.
- Scramble – Any stun effects you apply last 20% longer.
Lead your team to victory with killer intel.
- Strategist – BASIC – You can mark 1 additional target. Your marks last 20% longer.
ACED – You can mark 1 additional target. Your marks last 20% longer.
- Combat Marking – As long as you have EDGE, you deal an extra 10% damage against any marked target.
- Threat Assessment – As long as you have GRIT, you take 10% less damage from any marked target.
- Misdirect – As long as you have RUSH, any marked CLoaker or Zapper that tries to disable you will instead suffer a heavy stagger.
- Marked For Death – Whenever you are downed or disabled by an enemy, that enemy and up to 5 enemies within 5 metres of you are marked.
That’s all we have on Payday 3 for now. Be sure to check out our other lists and guides for more Payday content.