Every heist in PayDay 2 follows the same general flow of events. Knowing how the missions are laid out and when you are rewarded can help you plan your heists accordingly. More detailed information can be found in other parts of the wiki, but this will give you a quick overview.
The Safe House
When starting up the game the first time, a pop-up box will invite you to the Safe house. You can skip it if you wish, but it serves as a basic tutorial, and will introduce you to a couple new concepts in case you’re a veteran of the original PayDay. Otherwise, the only way to get in is via the main menu.
The safe house will allow you to practice your skills, which is a good idea if you’ve recently bought new tools or gadgets from the Skill Tree, or new Weapons. You can also slowly see your pile of cash grow as you complete more and more heists. However, entering the safe house is always optional; you can do as many heists as you want between visits, if you visit it at all.
Accepting a Mission
To accept a mission, you’ll need to visit Crime.Net, a service from within the game. You can visit it via the laptop in the basement of your safe house, or simply from the main menu. If you choose “Crime.Net Offline,” you’ll play solo, though you can have AI team backup.
When you activate Crime.Net, you’ll open your laptop and see an overhead view of the city. As you sit on this screen, contracts will pop up in various locations. You can mouse over the icon to hear Bain describe what’s going down, while the number of pips below the heist name indicates how difficult it is and what the expected payout is. One white pip indicates the easiest mission, but the lowest payout. Until you level up, you’ll be restricted to only a few heists.
The pips are not exactly explained perfectly, so we’ll break it down for you. The difficulty of each heist will rise based on payout, indicated by white pips. So for example, in the screenshot above, we see that both the Four Stores heist and Jewelry Store heist have one white pip. That indicates the lowest possible difficulty level (consisting of a bunch of basic cops with simple weapons), but the lowest cash payout as well. When starting out, you’ll need to do a few of these to get comfortable with the game and acquire some easy experience points.
Now take a look at the screenshot below. Here, we see two instances of the Four Stores heist, as well as a Jewelry Store heist. They each have one white pip, indicating the lowest possible payout. However, they each have multiple yellow pips, which means the difficulty increases; you’ll see stronger cops who will respond faster, have better weapons, and may activate Police assaults more often. Although the base payout is the same between these missions and the two above, you’ll get a special hazard pay bonus for completing any of the missions below. It’ll be tougher, but you can expect much better rewards!
The pips are roughly consistent among the various heists. That is, if you see a total of four pips for a Four Stores heist (regardless of how many are white and yellow), it’ll be roughly the same difficulty level as any mission with four total pips. You’ll want to always weigh your current abilities with the difficulty of the mission you’re facing before accepting it.
After selecting a mission, you’ll have a chance to confirm everything, including whether you want to play with AI backup if you’re playing solo. It is possible to perform a heist by yourself, but it can be incredibly difficult!
From there, you’ll see the intel screen. You can view any pictures, blueprints, or other information that your contacts have managed to acquire. For a fee, you can also purchase additional bits of intel, which can make your mission that much easier. Still, the best intel will fail if your Skills aren’t up to par, so don’t rely too heavily on it. Besides, many missions are heavily randomized, so you can’t expect every mission to go down the exact same way.
Perform the Heist
After viewing the intel screen, it’ll be time to perform the heist itself. The general layout of a given heist will always be the same no matter how many instances of it that you do. (For example, the Four Stores heist always involves the same map, the same layout, and the same traps.) The difficulty and your skill set can determine how exactly the heist goes down, so coordinate with your team to get through it cleanly and efficiently. Remember: the longer you’re in the heist, the greater the chance you’re going to fail, especially for the more difficult ones.
You’ll start off most jobs in “Casing Mode,” (although this varies between jobs and the heists involved within the various jobs such as “Framing Frame,”) where you’re just walking around as a normal civilian. If you stray too near to cops or cameras, you’ll arouse suspicion. Try to take a wide path around them, but definitely look around; unless your uniform and equipment are registering as “high visibility,” you’ll have some time to get a feel for the place. See if there are any alternate entrances, or if you can see a high value target immediately. Also, remember that just because a camera can see you, it doesn’t mean the police will be instantly alerted; someone has to actually press an alarm or call the cops, and if you can deal with witnesses quickly and quietly enough, you might delay a police response.
When you’re ready to start the heist, hold the G key to put on your mask. (Alternatively, if the heist is forced to start due to an alarm being tripped, you’ll don the mask automatically.) Once the mask is on, it can’t come off; you’ll be committed. Act quickly, and try not to push your luck.
For more information regarding heists, check out the Heists page.
After completing the last day of the heist, or if you were completely defeated, you’ll be taken to the summary screens of your loot and experience points. After that, every player will be presented with a series of three cards, and you’ll each get to select one. The cards contain either a cash bonus, a mask template, a weapon, or a weapon accessory. Other than the cash bonus, you’ll still need to buy your new item in order to actually use it. This card game only unlocks the right to purchase it; it doesn’t unlock the item for actual use.