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It's time for a PAYDAY... So don your masks, and launch The Heist!
Steam Trailer

PAYDAY: The Heist is a downloadable four-player cooperative First-Person Shooter in which a crew of hardened criminals attempt to execute a variety of daring heists, in pursuit of "the next big score." It was developed by OVERKILL Software and published by Sony Online Entertainment, and runs on the Diesel engine. It was released on October 18th, 2011 for the Playstation Network and for PC via Steam two days later.

Borrowing heavily from Valve's Left 4 Dead series, PAYDAY attempts to render a concise cinematic experience in cooperative video game form: In this case, the Heist Film. So if you notice that a lot of the tropes below seem familiar... well, now you know. Four career bad guys (Dallas, Hoxton, Wolf and Chains) in scary clown masks, six objective-oriented heists, a variety of weapons and equipment, and innumerable trigger-happy cops trying to keep you from making a dishonest buck.

Unlike Left 4 Dead, you earn cash for completing objectives which goes towards your "Reputation" level, earning you new weapons, equipment and upgrades as you play. You can change up your loadout before each heist.

PAYDAY: The Heist provides examples of:

  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The "Heat Street" heist isn't actually a real heist, it's the aftermath of a job gone wrong (the crew's newest member betrays them and makes off with the loot, they have to chase him down while the cops are chasing them). It's left unclear how the actual heist went down, but given how the ones in the rest of the game go, and that it involved printing plates for US currency, it must have been quite the spectacle.
    • Alternative though since Matt double-crosses the team and Bruce (the getaway driver) mentions that the police seem like they've already set up roadblocks as if someone tipped them off, it may very well be that it was always intended for the job to go easy by the police. This would allow them to get the bad guys out in the open and in a van and stop them in a place they've evacuated as opposed to a drawn out gun battle with civilians. The police, most of the time, for instance will go straight after Matt in the van at the start of the mission and will drive right by you coming out of the alley.
  • Pacifist Run: You can perform a heist with no violence and no alarms being tripped, but good luck. It's Nintendo Hard.
  • Pistol Whip: You can perform a melee attack with any equipped weapon. This is a good way to force cops to surrender-- generally, one whack and then spamming your "use" key will do the trick.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Don't shoot civilians. Each civilian is a potential hostage, and every one you kill makes the Police take longer to agree to a hostage trade if you get taken into custody. You also receive a cash penalty at the end of the round for every civilian killed. Morality doesn't really enter into it...
  • Private Military Contractors: You fight some Murkywater mercs in "Slaughterhouse", who are escorting the armored truck of gold you are hitting. This was also Chains' former occupation.
  • Regenerating Shield Static Health: You have a regenerating armor layer on top of non-regenerating health. It pays to let the armor regenerate, as the only way to get health back is the precious medic bags... or a well-timed Level Up Fill Up if on Hard or below. Your remaining health also determines how much armor you'll get.
  • Safecracking: Pssh, who has the time? In "First World Bank", the crew burns through the vault roof with cans of thermite, bypassing the door entirely. In "Panic Room", they simply steal the whole panic room. In "Diamond Heist", the codes either work... or they don't, and a Hostage Situation ensues to get the vault open. In "Slaughterhouse", they drill through the front of the safe. Sensing a pattern yet?
  • Scary Black Man: Chains.
  • Sniper Rifle: The M308 (M14) rifle serves as one, with far and away the greatest accuracy of any weapon and a red dot sight to help you along. Some heists feature SWAT snipers which can quickly inflict nasty damage on you if you aren't smart enough to duck. However, their shots have highly visible tracer lines and they aren't any tougher then Blue SWA Ts. However, given the distances they set up at and their spectacular accuracy, simply hitting them can be a challenge depending on the weapons you're carrying.
  • Status Buff: The crew bonuses. Each affects only your teammates, but you benefit from each one your teammates equip, though they do not stack. "Noob Lube" isn't usable after you reach a certain level, but if you max out one of the class trees you get access to the "Nice Guy" bonus, which does the same thing.
  • Stealth Based Mission: "Diamond Heist" begins with you infiltrating a high-rise office area. If you're sufficiently sneaky, you can place the alarm scramblers and open the vault without firing a shot- and you can grab all the sapphires scattered about, which are worth a great deal of Cash.. If not, you lose your shot at the sapphires, have to take some hostages, and then shoot your way out.
  • Sliding Scale of Villain Effectiveness: On-site guards < local cops and FBI agents <Blue SWAT units < Heavy SWAT units < the specialist units.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Actually averted by the Reinbeck 880 (Benelli M1), which can reliably hit enemies across most rooms. Played straight by the Locomotive 12G (Serbu Super Shorty), though given its rather short barrel this is probably justified. The Locomotive has a far greater fire rate, however.
  • Shout-Out: Each of the heists is based on a movie. For example, the "Heat Street" heist, involving an open-air shootout with the cops on crowded city streets, is heavily inspired by Heat.
    • Have an AI teammate in the bank lobby at the start of the "First World Bank" heist. Neil McCauley's line from the bank robbery scene gets quoted, word for word.
    • There is one to Left 4 Dead in the form of an achievement, Left for Dead, which you get for finishing a heist in custody while all three of your teammates escape.
      • The 7th Patch added zombie-related movie-posters to "Panic Room" and some very familiar red first-aid-kits - four in a room only avaible in Overkill 145+, two in the cellar you escape through. In addion, "Diamond Heist" got a few posters with a young woman, which looks a lot like Zoey with a bit longer hair and no ponytail. And then of course there is the upcoming update, which will feature a full crossover between Payday and Left 4 Dead.
    • Another achievement, for finishing a heist having killed a bulldozer and not having taken damage from any, is called Dodge This!
    • And A Bridge Too Far for finishing "Green Bridge" on hard or overkill difficulty.
    • The clown masks that the crew wear seem to be an homage to the beginning of The Dark Knight.
  • Super Window Jump: Averted, the cops will break the windows before jumping through, or blow them out with an explosive charge in the case of the heavy glass in the front of "First World Bank."
  • Villain Protagonist
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Bain, who guides you through each heist. Among other things, he will tell you when an Assault is about to happen and when specialist units are heading your way.
  • We Cannot Go on Without You: If all human players are in custody, the heist ends in failure, even if the difficulty is on normal or easy and any player is 3 seconds away from auto-respawning. In Single-Player, this pretty much means you (and only you) have to survive the entire level without being taken into custody.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Bain is no chessmaster, but he's surprisingly good at improvising. He has about nine backup plans for the Diamond Heist, sets up an enormous trap on short notice for The Slaughterhouse, and still arranges your escape after everything goes wrong on Heat Street. It helps that he's always listening to police scanners, and knows every move the Police make.
  • Zerg Rush: The cops do this during Assaults.


  1. Normal and Easy have a countdown timer that automatically brings your character back when it elapses
  2. the locations of certain targets
  3. The Secret door in Diamond Heist may not even be available, preventing you from getting the related achievement on that run.
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