PAYDAY 3 – Heists (Preplanning Assets / Important Triggers)

The Basics

Security Modifiers

As you increase the difficulty for a heist, both stealth and loud become more difficult. Stealth difficulty increases via security modifiers and by reducing the amount of radios you can answer before the alarm goes off.

On Very hard difficulty, the first listed security modifier for that heist is added, and the amount of radios you can answer is reduced from 4 to 3.

On Overkill difficulty, both the first and second security modifiers are added, and the amount of radios you can answer is reduced from 3 to 2.

All security modifiers currently in the game are:

  • Titan Cams – All security cameras are indestructable.
  • Lead Guard – A lead guard spawns into the heist.
  • Cerberus Core – Devices hacked with a “runtime” (such as a looped camera) will reset back to normal after 5s.

Enemy Spawning

At the start of a heist, the only special enemies that will spawn are zappers. As you progress throughout the heist, completing certain objectives will make more types of special enemies start to spawn. However, they do not begin spawning immediately; The special enemies only begin spawning at the start of the next police assault after the objective was completed.

This means, for example, if you complete an objective that enables bulldozer spawns right at the start of a police assault, you will not actually see any bulldozers until that assault has ended and the next assault has started.

Note that since many heists allow you to do objectives out of order, it is possible to complete an objective that spawns specials from later in the mission, which will also cause all lesser specials to start spawning at the same time. For example, if you immediately did the objective that spawns cloakers, then naders will also start spawning, even though you didn’t yet complete the objective to spawn them. This also applies to the final charge – starting the final charge will cause all specials & heavy SWAT to start spawning immediately.

Event Triggers

All heists have a list of objectives that must be completed in order to finish the heist. Many of these objectives can be done out of order, well before the game tells you to do them, but they still maintain the same triggers, such as spawning bulldozers or starting the final charge (endless assault). Therefore it is important to know which objectives can be done when, and what progress can be made without triggering events that will put the crew at risk.

Additionally, PAYDAY 3 uses a fixed-RNG system, so any information that you learn in one attempt will act as permanent progress that carries over to subsequent attempts. This means it can be beneficial to go loud when attempting stealth, such as to learn the code in Touch the Sky, or it can be a good idea to stealth when attempting loud, such as to learn the keycard location and code in Gold & Sharke.

No Rest For The Wicked

Security Modifiers: Titan Cams, Lead Guard

Hostages for Negotiation: 1 (+2 per delay)

Preplanning Assets

  • Zipline Bag – Places a zipline bag next to the roof access staircase around the back of the bank, which can be used to connect the roof to a nearby building. This can be used as an alternative to the alleyway when transporting bags to the van in loud.
  • Keycard Location – A an extra red keycard is placed in the IT room for you.

Important Triggers

  • Naders spawn after igniting the thermite.
  • Cloakers spawn after the thermite is “almost through” (<2:00 left).
  • Dozers & Heavy SWAT spawn after the thermite is finished.
  • Final Charge starts after lowering the bollards a 2nd time.
  • Once Shade calls Bile, he drops the thermite equipment after 1:30.
  • Bile dropping the thermite equipment starts the timer for his 1st thermite drop (1:10).
  • Placing the thermite equipment starts the timer for Bile’s 2nd thermite drop (2:40).
  • Igniting the thermite equipment skips negotiations.
  • Lowering the final bollard starts makes the escape van arrive after 1:10.
  • The escape van arriving makes the bollards go back up after 1:40.

Road Rage

Stealth & negotiations are not available in this heist.

Preplanning Assets:

  • Zipline Bag – Places 2 zipline bags at the top of the scaffolding near where you drill into the van. Can be used to connect the scaffolding to the ground near the van and to the ground in the opposite direction. The zipline to the van can be somewhat useful to transport loot to the safety of the scaffolding while you wait for Bile to pick a side to land on. The other zipline can be useful during the escape.
  • Additional Secure Point – Places a garbage chute on the north side of the bridge, letting you secure loot immediately without lighting a flare and waiting for Bile to arrive.

Important Triggers

  • Naders spawn after the device hack is started.
  • Cloakers spawn after you start escorting the truck.
  • Dozers & Heavy SWAT spawn after you finish escorting the truck.
  • Final Charge starts after securing the minimum required loot bags of rare materials.
  • Arming the EMP device skips the rest of the waiting period before the truck arrives.
  • Drilling into the bottom of the van takes 30s jams 0 times.
  • Picking up a bag of rare elements lets you place a flare after a short delay.
  • Lighting the flare makes Shade tell you which side Bile is on after 25s.
  • Lighting the flare makes Bile arrive after 1:30.

Dirty Ice

Security Modifiers: Lead Guard, Titan Cams

Hostages for Negotiation: 1 (+3 per delay)

Preplanning Assets:

  • Zipline Bag – Does nothing on this heist.
  • Distracted Manager – The manager will never leave the store, and instead will be distracted in the kitchen. This asset removes your ability to use blackmail to lure her into the back room, so you must grab her from the kitchen.
  • Employee Entrance – The side entrance to the lower floor (the one that requires a red keycard to open) will be left wide open.
  • Rooftop Chopper – Instead of the usual location, you can summon the escape chopper on the low roof next door to the jewelry store. This is a much easier and safer place to secure loot than the street or the spot down the road, and the chopper will not leave once he arrives at the roof.
  • Escape Van – When the heist goes loud, the escape van will stay until the assault indicator says “First Response Incoming” (an extra ~20s).

Important Triggers

  • Naders spawn in the second assault wave.
  • Cloakers spawn after securing any amount of loot, including loose jewelry.
  • Dozers & Heavy SWAT spawn after Bile has left the 1st location OR after arriving at the roof.
  • Final Charge starts shortly after Bile has arrived at the 2nd location.
    • Final Charge never starts if using the Rooftop Chopper asset. (unconfirmed)
  • Entering the store causes the manager to leave after 8/5/4/3 minutes (depends on difficulty).
  • Approaching the manager makes Shade tell you when she is about to leave (1:00 before).
  • Picking up any baggable loot opens the escape van or lets you place a flare.
  • Getting the blackmail from the basement safe AND going near the iris scanner lets you call the manager to lure her into the back.
  • Drilling into the basement takes 60s, and it jams 1 time.
  • Scanning 1 bag of jewelry takes 30s.
  • Lighting the flare at the 1st location makes Bile arrive after 1:50 (1:40 if on the roof).
  • Once Bile leaves the 1st location, he will arrive at the 2nd location after 1:20.

Rock The Cradle

Security Modifiers: Titan Cams, Lead Guard

Hostages for Negotiation: 1 (+3 per delay)

Preplanning Assets:

  • Zipline Bag – Places a zipline bag in front of the elevator door in the VIP club which can
    be used to connect the upper floor to the VIP club in the basement via the elevator shaft. Useful for transporting bags to the cage faster in loud.
  • Crypto Wallet – Delays the deletion of the crypto wallet until the assault indicator says “First Response Incoming” (an extra ~20s).
  • Additional Secure Point – Up the stairs by the front door, the VIP room on the right will have a ventilation shaft you can enter with a secure point inside. You must be masked up to throw the bags high enough to secure them. Only useful for securing the VIP room paintings, and only functions in stealth.
  • Additional Keycard – An insider at the bar upstairs from the front door will give you a red keycard after a short talk. Guards can patrol here, and can easily spot you during this conversation.

Important Triggers

  • Naders spawn after the van arrives with the cage parts.
  • Cloakers spawn after opening the door to the downstairs VIP Club.
  • Dozers & Heavy SWAT spawn after inputting the correct vault code.
  • Final Charge starts after securing the crypto wallet OR putting the minimum required loot in the cage.
  • When the alarm sounds, Twitch will arrive with the cage parts after 50s.
  • Drilling into the VIP Club takes 60s and jams 1 time.
  • Hacking to reactivate the vault’s keypad takes 2:45.
  • After putting the minimum required loot in the cage, Bile will arrive after 1:40.

Under The Surphaze

Security Modifiers: Titan Cams, Lead Guard

Hostages for Negotiation: 1 (+2 per delay)

Preplanning Assets:

  • Zipline Bag – Places the zipline bag on the ground near the waterfront, which can be placed on the fire escape on the waterfront side of the building, connecting it to a dumpster right next to the stealth escape location. Useful in stealth for transporting loot bags to the dumpster (which is a safe spot for loot), then using it to escape at the end. Note that any guard walking toward the nearby windows can see the bags as they are ziplining, so be careful with when you throw them.
  • Dumpster Secure Point – Moves the stealth loot secure point to a dumpster just over the side of one of the fire escapes. You can reliably toss loot bags down into the dumpster by standing still at the edge of the fire escape and looking straight ahead before throwing the bag. Just don’t miss your throws, because a guard patrols the outer perimeter.
  • Additional QR Key – 1 extra phone with a QR code will spawn on the reception desk.
  • Faster Chopper – Reduces the amount of time it takes for the chopper to arrive from 35s to just 15s.

Important Triggers

  • Naders spawn after you disable the security bars on either the top or bottom floor.
  • Cloakers, Dozers, & Heavy SWAT spawn after doing either of the following:
    • Picking up one of the bloody Vicario paintings.
    • Picking up the Uma Ladette AND Greg Jud paintings.
  • Final Charge starts after picking up ALL of the following:
    • The Uma Ladette painting
    • The Greg Jud painting
    • The first of the two bloody Vicario paintings
  • Picking up any baggable loot item will allow you to place the flare to call Bile.
  • Placing the flare makes Bile arrive after 35s (15s with asset).

Gold & Sharke

Security Modifiers: Cerberus Core, Titan Cams

Hostages for Negotiation: 1 (+2 per delay)

Preplanning Assets:

  • Zipline Bag – Places a zipline bag on the roof, right next to where it can be deployed. Used to connect the second floor of the bank to the roof through the skylight. Useful for safely transporting bags to the roof in loud, since cops will not spawn on the roof to steal your bags until you head up there yourself.
  • Elevator Access – Opens the elevator shaft in the secure room outside of the vault, which lets you transport bags to the parking garage in stealth more quickly and safely. Once you throw all bags into the shaft, jump in the shaft to open the door on top of the elevator, throw all the bags down against the wall closest to the van (so the guard can’t see them), then proceed with moving the bags.
  • Cafe Celebration – On the left side of the second floor (facing away from the vault) is a cafeteria. This asset consolidates almost all employees on the second floor to the cafeteria for a party.

Important Triggers

  • Naders spawn after you gain access to the 2nd floor.
  • Cloakers spawn after you gain access to the room outside the vault.
  • Dozers & Heavy SWAT spawn after you gain access to the vault (don’t need to open it).
  • Final Charge starts shortly after securing the minimum required cash bags.
  • Once the alarm sounds, Shade will suggest drilling the gate after 30s.
  • Drilling the gate takes 1:00, and jams 1 time.
  • When halfway done hacking the keypad, Shade will call Bile and he will drop the thermal lance parts after 1:00.
  • After lighting the flare on the roof, Bile arrives after 2:10.

99 Boxes

Security Modifiers: Titan Cams, Lead Guard

Hostages for Negotiation: 1 (+1 per delay)

The FBI van cannot spawn on this heist.

Preplanning Assets:

  • Zipline Bag – Places the zipline bag needed to access the storage yard right next to where it needs to be placed.
  • Prototype Bags – Extends the amount of time you have to secure the degradable devices from 25s to 40s per stage.
  • Opened Container – Opens the interior and exterior doors for a random lootable storage container in the storage yard. Only has a 2/5 chance of opening one that contains a degradable device, and is functionally useless otherwise.

Important Triggers

  • Naders spawn after interacting with the computer once the hack has finished.
  • Cloakers spawn after opening the exterior door to the 1st crate holding a device.
  • Dozers & Heavy SWAT spawn after opening the exterior door to the 2nd crate with a device.
  • Final Charge starts after opening the interior door to the 2nd crate holding a device.
  • Approaching a crate in loud that holds a degradable device calls Bile to drop thermite (1:15).
  • Picking up the first device will enable you to use the QR code to open the second crate (stealth), or will call bile for the next thermite drop (loud).
  • Thermite burns through after 1:00.
  • Closing the truck doors after securing both devices in loud makes you able to place the road spikes. Note that the road spikes can be picked up at any time, even before the heist goes loud.

Touch The Sky

Security Modifiers: Titan Cams, Lead Guard

Hostages for Negotiation: 1 (+1 per delay)

The FBI van cannot spawn on this heist.

Preplanning Assets:

  • Zipline Bag – Places the zipline bag at the vent entrance up the stairs at the very start of the heist. Can be placed in Mason’s bedroom to connect it to the balcony where Bile lands the helicopter at the end of the heist. Useful for transporting jewelry bags from the vault to the helicopter. Note that placing the zipline will break the window, so avoid doing this in stealth.
  • Note that there is currently an exploit where loot bags can be secured by throwing loot into the zipline spot instead of the zipline bag. This only works before the zipline bag is placed, it works in both stealth and loud, and securing the SSD via this exploit will softlock the heist, so be warned!

Important Triggers

  • Naders spawn after starting the bedroom hack.
  • Cloakers spawn after Shade calls Bile for thermite OR using the red keycard.
  • Dozers & Heavy SWAT spawn after entering the panic room in Mason’s office.
  • Final Charge starts after placing the escape flare.
  • Once Shade calls Bile, he will deliver the thermite after 1:00.
  • The thermite burns through after 1:00.
  • Drilling the panic room takes 3:00 and jams 0 times.
  • Decrypting the SSD takes 1:00.
  • After lighting the flare, Bile arrives after 1:00.
Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2706 Articles
My first game was Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot (PlayStation) back in 1996. And since then gaming has been my main hobby. I turned my passion for gaming into a job by starting my first geek blog in 2009. When I’m not working on the site, I play mostly on my PlayStation. But I also love outdoor activities and especially skiing.

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