PAYDAY 3 – Skills Guide

The Basics

As of right now (10/12/2023), only 3 skills are truly considered “mandatory” for loud play on higher difficulties: Tank Basic, Extra Plates, & Armor Up

Many other skills are considered meta, such as Ammo Funnel, Replenish, Plate Up, Enforcer, and Cutting Shot, but these can be highly dependant on the build that you are running. All skills that are considered “mandatory” or “meta” are noted as such in the following guide.

Researching & Unlocking Skills

When you first start playing PAYDAY 3, most skill lines will be completely locked, with the option to “Research” one locked line at a time. Upon completing a heist, you are awarded with an amount of skill exp, which is a separate reward from both weapon exp and infamy points. This skill exp is equally rewarded to the line you are currently researching, as well as every researched line that you have a skill point invested into.

Your skill exp is not divided among each line; All of the exp is rewarded to all of the lines. Therefore, the fastest way to unlock all skills is to put 1 skill point into all researched lines you have not fully unlocked.

To speed this up even further, you should research and invest a skill point into the largest skill lines first, such as Manipulator and Engineer, as they take more exp (and thus more time) to fully unlock.

Spending Skill Points

Once a skill line has been researched, you have the option to invest 1 or 2 skill points into the leftmost skill on that line, which we will refer to as the “root skill” for that line. Investing 1 skill point into a root skill gets you the “basic” verison, while investing 2 skill points will get you the “aced” version, which provides additional benefits while still giving you the benefits of the basic version.

These root skills share their name with the name of their respective skill line, so if you were to invest 2 skill points into the root skill of the Manipulator line, we would call that “buying Manipulator Aced”. Note that only root skills can be aced; All other skills only require 1 skill point.

With the exception of the skill to the far right of each line (which we will call the “universal skill” for that line), you cannot buy any skill in a line unless you have already bought the basic root skill for that line. Therefore if you only want one specific skill from a given line, you still need to spend 2 skill points to get it, so it can be beneficial to focus your builds into fewer skill lines.

Each line also has a universal skill, which is unlocked once all other skills in that line have been fully researched/unlocked. Universal skills usually provide some generic buff related to that skill line that can benefit a wide variety of builds. Buying a universal skill only costs 1 skill point, and can be purchased without buying the basic root skill for that line.

EDGE, GRIT, and RUSH

Many skills in PAYDAY 3 revolve around three buffs:

  • EDGE, which makes you deal 10% extra damage for 20s.
  • GRIT, which makes you take 10% less damage for 20s.
  • RUSH, which makes you move 10% faster for 20s.

There are a few ways that skills can interact with these buffs, each of which is listed below:

  • If a skill makes you “gain” a buff, and you do not already have that buff, you will be given that buff for the next 20s. If you gain a buff while you already have said buff active, nothing happens.
  • If a skill makes you “refresh” a buff, and you already have that buff, the duration of that buff will be reset to 20s, extending the effect. If you refresh a buff while you do not have said buff, nothing happens.
  • If a skill does something “if you have” a buff, that skill will provide some additional benefit so long as you have the buff it requires. If you do not have said buff, the skill in question will not provide its listed benefit(s).
  • When a skill “consumes” an available buff, if you already have that buff, the buff will immediately end regardless of duration. This will proc whatever skill that consumed the buff. If you consume a buff while you do not have said buff, nothing happens.
  • When a skill “ends” a buff, it consumes the buff without providing any additional benefit.

All Skills

Medic

  • Basic
    • You revive teammates 20% faster.
    • Any medic bag you deploy has 2 additional charges.
    • Stacks with Extra Charge and Code Blue.
  • Aced
    • When you start to revive a teammate, gain GRIT.
    • You take 40% less damage while reviving a teammate if you have GRIT.
    • Synergizes with Combat Medic.
  • Steady Hands
    • Interacting with medic bags heals you for an additional 20% of your max health.
    • Stacks with Triage and Field Surgery.
  • Extra Charge
    • Medic bags you deploy have 2 additional charges.
    • Stacks with Medic Basic.
  • Combat Medic
    • If you have GRIT, successfully reviving your teammate will give both you and that teammate damage immunity for 5s.
    • Does not stack with the 3s of invincibility someone gets when they are revived normally.
    • You also cannot be stunned while this effect is active (unlike Last Man Standing).
    • Synergizes well with Medic Aced.
  • Code Blue
    • Whenever a teammate is downed, subdued by a cloaker, or tased by a zapper, you will gain or refresh RUSH.
    • As long as you have RUSH, you revive teammates 30% faster.
    • The increased revive speed stacks with Medic Basic.
  • Triage
    • Interacting with a medic bag or first aid kit will consume active EDGE, GRIT, and RUSH and heal you for an additional 15% of your max health for each effect consumed (up to a 45% increase).
    • You interact 50% faster with medic bags and first aid kits.
    • Stacks with Steady Hands and Field Surgery.
  • Field Surgery (Universal)
    • Interacting with any medic bag will restore an additional 10% of your max health and restore 1 “down”.
    • This skill is the only way to restore downs aside from going into custody.
    • Stacks with Steady Hands and Triage.

Ammo Specialist

  • Basic
    • Your reserve ammo capacity is increased by 20%.
    • Ammo bags you deploy have 2 additional charges.
    • The reserve ammo increase ignores clip size (any ammo in your clip is not counted as part of your reserve).
    • Stacks with Fully Loaded.
  • Aced
    • Whenever you pick up ammo, if your current weapon’s magazine is full, gain EDGE.
    • This effect cannot be activated if your ammo reserves are full, since you cannot pick up ammo.
  • Scrounger
    • As long as you have EDGE, picking up an ammo drop has a 10% chance of replenishing one of your throwables.
    • This effect cannot be activated if your ammo reserves are full, since you cannot pick up ammo.
    • This effect cannot be activated if you are full on throwables.
    • Synergizes with Replenish.
  • Fully Loaded
    • Ammo bags you deploy have 2 additional charges.
    • Stacks with Ammo Specialist Basic.
  • Plate Up
    • If you have GRIT, picking up an ammo drop will instantly regenerate your current chunk of recovery armor.
    • Synergizes with Replenish and Soft Assets.
  • High Grain
    • After interacting with an ammo bag, you deal 20% more damage for 10s.
    • The damage increase cannot stack with itself.
    • Stacks with EDGE and other damage-increasing skills.
  • Mag Throw
    • As long as you have RUSH, any ammo drops you pick up are also given to crew members within 10m.
    • The ammo sharing effect won’t trigger the Mag Throw skill of other players.
    • Synergizes with Replenish.
    • Does not synergize with Soft Assets.
    • Benefits allies with Plate Up, Ammo Funnel, or Scrounger.
  • Top Up (Universal)
    • Interacting with any ammp bag will restore an additional 20% of your max ammo and fully restock your throwables.
    • Synergizes with Extra Munitions.

Mower

  • Basic
    • Every 35 bullets you shoot, gain EDGE.
    • This skill works best with automatic weapons or those with large magazines.
    • The effect can be proced on demand by shooting 34 bullets and waiting to shoot your 35th bullet.
  • Aced
    • Whenever you reload a weapon with an empty magazine, refresh EDGE.
    • You must fully finish reloading to proc the effect.
  • Recoil Handling
    • As long as you have EDGE, your weapon recoil is reduced by ??%.
  • Suppressive Fire
    • As long as you have EDGE, every shot you fire that hits an enemy has a ??% chance to stagger them.
  • Ammo Funnel
    • As long as you have EDGE, ammo you pick up is directly added to your equipped weapon’s magazine.
    • If your magazine is full, it’s added to your reserve ammo instead.
    • This effect still works for weapons without a “clip”, like the Mosconi 12 Classic shotgun.
    • Synergizes with Soft Assets.
    • Synergizes extremely well with Replenish.
    • Considered a “meta skill” for loud play in higher difficulties.
  • Replenish
    • As long as you have EDGE, you automatically pick up ammo dropped by enemies you have killed.
    • This effect works on enemies killed at any range.
    • This effect will not work on enemies that don’t drop ammo, like snipers.
    • Synergizes with Ammo Funnel, Mag Throw, Plate Up, and Scrounger.
    • Considered a “meta skill” for loud play in higher difficulties.
  • Sprint Loaded (Universal)
    • You can reload while sprinting.
    • Excellent skill for speedrunning.

Infiltrator

  • Basic
    • Whenever you successfully pick a lock or kill an enemy with a throwing knife, gain or refresh RUSH.
    • Synergizes very well with Quick Fingers and Bagger, as with all three you can lockpick a ton of locks and bag the loot behind them in much less time.
  • Aced
    • Whenever a guard begins to detect you, gain RUSH.
    • Synergizes with Quick Fingers, Bagger, Walk The Walk, and Social Engineering.
    • Considered a “meta skill” for stealth.
  • Quick Fingers
    • As long as you have RUSH, successfully jiggling in a lockpick minigame will immediately finish picking the lock.
    • Synergizes very well with Infiltrator Basic, as with both skills you can lockpick an entire wall of lockboxes extremely fast.
    • The synergy listed above is excellent both for stealth and loud speedrunning.
    • Considered a “meta skill” for stealth.
  • Retriever
    • Your throwing knives won’t break on impact with the environment.
    • Unbroken knives may be retrieved by getting close, but they can be spotted by guards.
    • This skill makes knives unusable as stealth lures, but is still useful for loud builds that involve getting knife kills.
    • There exists an exploit with this skill that allows you to permanently distract the security room guard without killing him. Since this must be done at the cost of your ability to use knives as lures, this skill is still not recommended for stealth.
  • Bagger
    • As long as you have RUSH, you bag loot 50% faster.
    • This effect only applies to the first time you bag a piece of loot. Once loot has been bagged once, it can be picked up again quickly, and this effect is not triggered.
  • Blade Bouncer
    • Your throwing knives will ricochet off the environment up to two times.
    • The throwing knife will do an additional +100% damage for each time it bounces.
    • This effect allows you to use a single throwing knife as 3 stealth lures, assuming you don’t hit the guard you are luring in the process.
  • Frugal Thrower (Universal)
    • Throwables you use have a 20% chance to be replenished after they are destroyed.

Tank

  • Basic
    • Increase the regeneration speed of your recovery armor chunks by 20%.
    • Your armor bag has 2 additional charges.
    • Stacks with Extra Plates.
    • This is considered a “mandatory skill” for loud play on higher difficulties.
  • Aced
    • Whenever one of your armor segments breaks, gain or refresh GRIT.
    • Synergizes with Last Man Standing.
  • Hardy
    • As long as you have any amount of armor, any flashbang, stagger, or stun effect duration you suffer is 50% shorter.
  • Extra Plates
    • Your armor bag has 2 additional charges.
    • Stacks with Tank Basic.
    • This is considered a “mandatory skill” for loud play on higher difficulties.
  • Armor Up
    • Interacting with any armor bag will restore 2 armor segments instead of 1.
    • Running this skill basically doubles the usefulness of all armor bags you interact with.
    • This is considered a “mandatory skill” for loud play on higher difficulties.
  • Last Man Standing
    • If damage would normally down you, you can instead consume your current GRIT to stay on your feet and become immune to damage for 10s.
    • After this effect consumes your GRIT, you cannot gain GRIT until you heal with a medic bag or first aid kit, or until you are downed.
    • You can still be stunned and staggered while invincible.
    • Synergizes with Tank Aced.
  • Disengage (Universal)
    • Once per heist, you can free yourself from a Cloaker or Zapper, after which you can’t be disabled by them again for 5s.

Sharpshooter

  • Basic
    • Stand still for 1.5s while ADS to gain EDGE.
    • Can be used to mitigate the downside of Gunslinger Basic.
  • Aced
    • Landing a headshot while ADS refreshes your EDGE.
    • Anti-synergy with Precision Shot.
  • Collateral Control
    • If you destroy a Zapper’s battery or Nader’s belt, the explosion will only affect enemies.
    • If allies cause the explosion, you will still be affected by them.
  • Long Shot
    • As long as you have EDGE and are ADSing, headshots apply the highest headshot multiplier for that weapon, regardless of distance.
  • Precision Shot
    • If you shoot while aiming down a scope, any EDGE you have will be consumed, causing your shot to deal extra damage based on the magnification of your scope.
    • This effect only applies to scopes, which are the sights that have “Scope Sight” listed next to their zoom multiplier in their stats.
    • Despite using a scope, this effect does not apply to the HET-5 Red Fox.
    • Anti-synergy with Sharpshooter Aced.
  • Cutting Shot
    • As long as you have EDGE, all your shots have an additional 0.1 AP.
  • Speed Aim (Universal)
    • Increases the speed at which you ADS by ??%.
    • Synergizes with the Reinfeld 900S, which must un-scope and re-scope between each shot.

Escapist

  • Basic
    • Sprint for 3s straight while masked up to gain RUSH.
    • Excellent skill for speedrunning.
  • Aced
    • If you have RUSH and slide, your RUSH is consumed, and you gain or refresh EDGE.
    • Synergizes with Move & Cover to allow the player to pick which buffs they want at any given time.
  • Balanced
    • As long as you have RUSH, any attempt to stun or stagger you will consume RUSH and ignore the stagger.
  • Move & Cover
    • If you have EDGE and vault or mantle, your EDGE is consumed, and you gain or refresh GRIT.
    • Synergizes with Escapist Aced to allow the player to pick which buffs they want at any given time.
  • Slide Tackle
    • If you have GRIT and slide into any non-special enemies, your GRIT is consumed and you will stagger those enemies.
    • This effect can stagger groups of enemies at once, as long as you hit them all with the same slide.
  • Battering Ram
    • As long as you have EDGE, GRIT, or RUSH, you can sprint through locked doors to breach them.
    • This effect only works on doors with locks that can be picked or shot.
    • Synergizes with any skill that gains EDGE, GRIT, or RUSH.
    • Excellent skill for speedrunning in both stealth and loud.
  • Swift (Universal)
    • Your base sprint speed is 10% faster while masked up.
    • Since this affects your base sprint speed, this effect stacks multiplicatively with RUSH.
    • Excellent skill for speedrunning.

Demolitionist

  • Demolitionist Basic
    • Explosions caused by your shots or throwables have a 20% larger AoE.
    • This includes non-damaging explosions, like from flashbangs (zapper battery & shock mines are not yet confirmed).
    • This includes environmental explosions (unconfirmed) and shooting a nader belt (unconfirmed).
    • Stacks with Tactician Aced.
  • Demolitionist Aced
    • Whenever you cause an explosion, gain or refresh RUSH.
    • This effect is proced by any explosion directly caused by you, but only if it can deal damage.This means it excludes flashbang explosions and zapper batteries.
    • The explosion from the Detonation skill does not proc this skill, despite dealing damage.
    • The effect also procs from environmental explosions (like fire extinguishers) and shooting a nader belt.
    • Synergizes with Blowback.
  • Cooker
    • Hold a throwable for at least 1.5s before throwing it to gain GRIT.
    • The buff will only be gained when the throwable is actually thrown.
    • Synergizes with Retriever to allow the player to gain GRIT on command using throwing knives.
    • Synergizes with Blast Shield.
  • Shell Shock
    • Non-special enemies damaged by your explosions get a permanent penalty of 10% to accuracy.
    • This debuff can only be applied once per enemy.
  • Blowback
    • As long as you have RUSH, non-special enemies damaged by your explosions lose all armor.
    • Affected enemies will take regular damage from the explosion first, then shed any remaining armor if they survive the explosion. (unconfirmed)
    • Synergizes with Demolitionist Aced.
  • Blast Shield
    • Available GRIT is consumed to negate any self-damage from your explosions.
    • Very useful with the Mamba due to its high amount of self-damage.
    • Synergizes with Cooker.
  • Overcooked
    • Any throwable or 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.
    • This includes explosives that do not deal damage, like the smoke grenade and flashbang.
  • Extra Munitions (Universal)
    • Your throwable capacity is increased by 2.
    • Synergizes with Top Up.

Enforcer

  • Enforcer Basic
    • Whenever you kill 2 enemies within 4s that are within 5m of you, gain GRIT.
    • This is considered a “meta skill” for loud play on higher difficulties.
  • Enforcer Aced
    • If you have GRIT, whenever you kill 1 enemy within 5m of you, gain EDGE.
  • Quick Reload
    • As long as you have both GRIT and EDGE, your reload speed is increased by ??%.
    • This is considered a “meta skill” for loud play on higher difficulties.
    • Synergizes with Combat Reload.
  • Face To Face
    • As long as you have both GRIT and EDGE, you deal an additional 10% damage to targets within 5m of you.
    • This buff stacks with EDGE and other damage buff skills.
    • Synergizes with Combat Reload.
  • Solid
    • As long as you have both EDGE and GRIT, you’re immune to stagger effects.
    • Extremely effective for dealing with dozers, as this allows you to get close without getting stunned.
    • Completely overrides Hardy when active.
    • Synergizes with Combat Reload.
  • Combat Reload
    • Whenever you reload a weapon while the magazine still has ammo, refresh EDGE and GRIT.
    • Synergizes with Quick Reload, Face To Face, and Solid.
    • Synergizes with Ammo Funnel and Replenish due to an odd interaction: If you get a kill with your last shot in the magazine, the gun will first run out of ammo, and then you will get bullets put back into your clip. Since the gun ran out of ammo first, the game treats this as if you have a completely empty clip, and cannot shoot at all unless you do a full reload. Upon completing this full reload, the extra bullets that were added to the clip will count toward procing Quick Reload, refreshing EDGE and GRIT despite this being a full reload.
    • The synergy described above will not proc with Finisher, due to the anti-synergy between Finisher and Replenish.
    • This is considered a “meta skill” for loud play on higher difficulties.
  • Shock & Awe (Universal)
    • Killing an enemy less than 8m away has a ??% chance to stagger all non-special enemies within 5m of you.

Manipulator

  • Manipulator Basic
    • You tie up and trade hostages 50% faster.
  • Manipulator Aced
    • Whenever you trade a hostage, they count as one extra hostage.
    • Stacks with Silver Tongue and Negotiator.
    • Synergizes with Master Trader.
    • It is considered meta to have one person on your team run this skill for loud on higher difficulties.
  • Overbearing
    • Extends your 30m intimidation range by 20% (increased to 36m).
    • This only increases the 30m radius for the initial shout, meaning you can shout at civs up to 36m away, and a successful shout will intimidate every civ within 36m of you. It does not increase the 15m radius of passive intimidation around you.
    • Civilians stay down for 50% longer when you intimidate them. This extends both the 5s and 20s intimidation timers to 7.5s and 30s respectively.
  • Silver Tongue
    • Trading employees, guards, or law enforcement counts as trading one extra hostage.
    • Stacks with Manipulator Aced and Negotiator.
    • Synergizes with Master Trader and Menacing.
  • Negotiator
    • Trading a hostage for first aid now yields one extra first aid kit.
    • Stacks with Silver Tongue and Manipulator Aced.
  • Menacing
    • You can shout at law enforcement within 5m to force them to surrender, turning them into a hostage that obeys all the rules of a civilian (including penalties for killing them).
    • You must hold them at gunpoint until they fully surrender, which takes 4s. Any damage dealt to them or taking your aim off them interrupts this process.
    • You may only have one surrendered enemy as a hostage at any given time. (per player maybe?)
    • Synergizes with Silver Tongue.
  • Stockholm Syndrome
    • When downed, shouting at any tied down or cowering hostage within ?m will cause them to stand up and attempt to reach you.
    • If the hostage successfully reaches you, they will revive you and return to cowering.
    • The same hostage can be used to revive you multiple times in a row.
  • Master Trader (Universal)
    • Every hostage you trade between assault waves reduces the next player’s time spent in custody by 20s, down to a minimum of 10s.
    • Time reduction resets after any player is taken into custody.
    • This effect does not apply to bots, nor does the reduction reset when they go into custody.
    • Synergizes with Manipulator Aced and Silver Tongue.

Engineer

  • Engineer Basic
    • Researching this skill unlocks the “Sentry Gun” deployable.
    • Equipping this skill increases the max heat capacity of your sentries by 20%.
    • Stacks with Engineer Aced.
  • Engineer Aced
    • Increases the max heat capacity of your sentries by 20%.
    • Stacks with Engineer Basic.
  • AP Turret
    • Increases the armor penetration of your sentries by 1.
  • Cooling System
    • Sentries build heat 30% slower from taking damage, electrical explosions, or being hacked.
    • It is currently unknown what “being hacked” refers to in this context.
  • Detonation
    • When one of your sentries overheats, it will cause an explosion that deals 80(?) damage to all NPCs within 8m of the sentry.
    • The explosion can be blocked by walls, but not shields
    • Does not synergize with any skills from the Demolitionist skill line.
  • Spin Cycle
    • Your sentries can now rotate 360 degrees, letting them aim in any direction.
  • Dual Sentries
    • You can now deploy 2 sentries.
    • Your sentries build heat 50% faster from shooting.
  • Targeted Fire (Universal)
    • Your sentries will prioritize shooting at the enemy you have marked most recently.
    • The limited 15m range of the sentry still applies to marked targets.
    • If your sentries don’t have line of sight to any targets you have marked, they will follow their regular targeting behavior.
    • Does not synergize with Combat Marking.

Gunslinger

  • Gunslinger Basic
    • Switch your weapon to gain EDGE.
    • ADSing will end any EDGE you have active.
    • Synergizes with Quick Draw.
    • Anti-synergy with ADS playstyles. Avoid using this skill unless you are using a hipfire build.
  • Gunslinger Aced
    • Performing headshots with your weapon in hipfire will refresh EDGE.
  • From The Hip
    • If you have EDGE, your hipfire spread is decreased by ??%.
  • Heavy Hipfire
    • If you have EDGE, all hipfire shots will cause hit enemies to stagger.
    • This is considered a “meta skill” for hipfire builds in high difficulties.
  • Finisher
    • If you have EDGE, the last shot of your magazine will consume EDGE and deal 200% more damage.
    • The EDGE is consumed before the shot even connects with the enemy, so this skill has anti-synergies with lots of skills that require you to have EDGE.
    • Anti-synergy with Gunslinger Aced, Quick Reload, Sharpshooter Aced, Precision Shot, Cutting Shot, Mower Aced, Suppressive Fire, Ammo Funnel, and Replenish.
    • Due to all the anti-synergies, avoid using this skill unless you made your entire build around it.
  • Quick Draw (Universal)
    • Switch weapons ~10% faster.
    • Synergizes with Gunslinger Basic.

Grifter

  • Basic
    • When unmasked, if you are within 1m of a civilian, gain RUSH.
  • Aced
    • When you put your mask on, any civilians in a 10m radius that can see you will be automatically intimidated.
    • Does not synergize with Overbearing.
  • Walk The Walk
    • When unmasked and you have RUSH, cameras won’t detect you tresspassing in private areas.
    • Cameras can still detect you performing an illegal action while the effect is active.
    • This is considered a “meta skill” for stealth.
  • Social Engineering
    • When unmasked and you have RUSH, civilians will ignore you performing illegal actions.
    • Since tresspassing in secure areas counts as an illegal action, this skill also makes civs ignore said tresspassing.
    • Using this skill is the intended way to complete the Ice Cold challenge.
    • This is considered a “meta skill” for stealth.
  • Open Mic
    • You answer radios 50% faster.
  • Slippery (Universal)
    • After getting cuffed by a guard, you can break free by lockpicking the cuffs. (can you get caught doing this???)
    • You cannot lockpick cuffs from cloakers (unconfirmed).

Hacker

  • Basic
    • You can hack cameras to gain access to the CCTV system. This gives you access to all cameras, as if you had accessed the security room’s computer.
    • You gain one “Runtime”.
  • Aced
    • You can overload a looped camera to cause an electrical explosion, stunning NPCs in a 5m range and destroying the camera as if you had shot it.
    • In stealth, when this stun wears off, NPCs react as if they had been hit with an infrasonic mine.
    • The electrical explosion part of this skill is completely useless on heists with indestructible titan cams.
    • You must own the skill Secure Loop to use the explosion effect.
    • You gain one additional “Runtime”, for a total of 2.
  • Secure Loop
    • After hacking a camera, you can spend one “Runtime” to loop the current camera you are viewing.
    • Looped cameras cannot detect you or anything out of the ordinary.
    • If the camera is destroyed, you regain your “Runtime”.
    • If you use another “Runtime” when you have none left, your oldest active “Runtime” is automatically removed.
    • Looped cams will emit a blue light instead of red.
    • This is considered a “meta skill” for stealth.
  • Appliance Breach
    • You can activate lures from a distance of up to 10m, as long as you have a clear line of sight.
    • Useful in a few spots on a few heists, but you can just use throwing knives instead.
  • Routed Ping
    • You can spend a second “Runtime” on a looped camera to make the camera automatically mark any guards or law enforcement within its detection range.
    • Targets marked by this effect stay marked for 5s after leaving the camera’s view.
    • Targets marked by this effect do not count towards your maximum number of marked targets.
    • Since this skill requires you need to apply 2 “Runtimes” to the same camera, you must own the skill Hacker Aced to use this.
    • If you attempt to apply Routed Ping to a looped cam when you don’t have Hacker Aced, the camera will simply stop looping.
    • Since cameras stop working when the alarm sounds, this skill cannot be used in loud gameplay.
  • Glitch Protocol
    • You can hack a guard’s radio to completely distract them for 5s, after which they will resume their previous action.
    • You must have line of sight to a guard to hack them.
    • Using this ability has a cooldown of 60s.
    • If you hack a guard while they are escorting a player, the guard will forget about the player and go back to their regular patrolling behavior.
    • If you hack a guard who was about to cuff a player, the guard will forget about the player, but the heist will still be put into search mode.
    • If you hack a guard who is escorting you, be sure that the escort circle disappears before you run off. If you leave too quickly or the guard walks too far away before the hack is finished, the guard may get distracted while still in escort mode, meaning that he will act as though you ran away when his radio is fixed and raise the alarm. To avoid this, simply stay near the guard if the escort circle does not disappear when you hack him.
    • Bumping into a guard while they are distracted will cause them to turn and face you when their radio is fixed.
    • Bumping into a guard while they are distracted will make them able to see you performing illegal actions while they are still distracted, and they will cuff you once the radio is fixed, so be careful! (unconfirmed if this is what causes this behavior)
    • This is considered a “meta skill” for stealth.
  • Signal Catch (Universal)
    • You can answer radios from up to 8m away if you have line of sight to the guard’s body.

Tactician

  • Basic
    • Whenever you stun or stagger an enemy, gain EDGE.
    • Synergizes with Coup De Grace.
    Aced
    • Your flashbang and smoke grenade AoE is increased by 20%.
  • Crowd Control
    • Effects of this skill on flashbangs is currently unknown. It does not appear to produce any effect.
    • Scared civs affected by your smoke grenades will stand still unless you order them to follow you.
    • Does not synergize with Overbearing.
  • Coup De Grace
    • If you have EDGE, deal 5% more damage to staggered or stunned enemies.
    • Stacks with EDGE & other damage increasing skills.
    • Synergizes with Tactitian Basic.
  • Discombobulate
    • Enemies affected by your flashbangs deal 40% less damage for the duration of the stun and for 5s after it wears off.
    • Enemies affected by your smoke grenades deal 40% less damage while in the smoke and for 5s after they escape the smoke.
    • Stacks with GRIT & other damage resistance skills.
  • Expose
    • Shots fired at enemies stunned by your flashbangs will completely ignore armor while they are stunned.
    • This effect causes all shots to deal full damage directly to the enemy’s health, regardless of the shot’s armor penetration.
    • This effect also applies to shots fired by teammates and sentries.
  • Scramble (Universal)
    • Any stun effects you apply last 20% longer.
    • This skill only applies to stuns from your flashbangs and infrasonic mines.

Strategist

  • Basic
    • You can mark 1 additional target. (2 total)
    • Your marks last 20% longer.
    • Stacks with Strategist Aced.
    • Synergizes with Combat Marking, Threat Assessment, and Misdirect.
  • Aced
    • You can mark 1 additional target. (3 total)
    • Your marks last 20% longer.
    • Stacks with Strategist Basic.
    • Synergizes with Combat Marking, Threat Assessment, and Misdirect.
  • Combat Marking
    • If you have EDGE, deal 10% extra damage against any marked target.
    • This effect applies to targets marked by you, teammates, bots, motion sensors, and cams with Routed Ping.
    • Stacks with EDGE & other damage increasing skills.
    • Synergizes with Routed Ping.
  • Threat Assessment
    • If you have GRIT, take 10% less damage from any marked target.
    • This effect applies to targets marked by you, teammates, bots, motion sensors, and cams with Routed Ping.
    • Stacks with GRIT & other damage resistance skills.
    • Synergizes with Routed Ping.
  • Misdirect
    • As long as you have RUSH, any marked Cloaker or Zapper that tries to subdue/tase you will instead suffer a heavy stagger. (does it stop shock mines?)
    • This effect applies to targets marked by you, teammates, bots, motion sensors, and cams with Routed Ping.
    • Synergizes with Routed Ping.
  • Marked For Death (Universal)
    • If you are downed, tased, or subdued by an enemy, that enemy and up to 5 other enemies within 5m of you are automatically marked.

CQC Specialist

  • Basic
    • Whenever you finish performing a takedown, gain or refresh RUSH.
  • Aced
    • Whenever you grab a human shield, gain or refresh GRIT.
    • Lets you permanently have GRIT active so long as you are using a civilian as a human shield, since you can gain or refresh GRIT by just shoving the civilian and then immediately grabbing them as a human shield again.
    • Synergizes with Pin Puller.
  • Soft Assets
    • Shoving a SWAT, Heavy SWAT, Sabotage Specialist, or Hostage Rescue unit you were using as a human shield will give you extra ammo, as if you had picked up an ammo box.
    • The shoved SWAT will still drop an ammo box on death.
    • Move 5% faster while holding a human shield.
    • Movement speed buff stacks with Pin Puller.
    • Synergizes with Ammo Funnel, Plate Up.
    • Does not synergize with Mag Throw.
  • Groundskeeper
    • Perform takedowns 20% faster.
  • Pin Puller
    • If you have GRIT, shoving a SWAT, Heavy SWAT, Sabotage Specialist, or Hostage Rescue unit you were using as a human shield will set off their smoke grenade.
    • Only one smoke grenade per SWAT can be triggered.
    • All skills that affect your thrown smoke grenades also apply to the smoke grenades you set off from this skill.
    • Move 5% faster while holding a human shield.
    • Movement speed buff stacks with Soft Assets.
  • Savage Takedown
    • When you start performing a takedown, all civs within 5m will immediately become intimidated.
    • The civs do not need to be observing the takedown to become intimidated, but they do need line of sight.
  • Pressure Points
    • After you perform a takedown, the resulting body will cause NPCs that see it to go through a lengthy inspection process before the alarm is sounded, giving you a lot of time to react.
    • If a civ sees an affected body, they will run over to it to inspect it (with a red “!” above their head). Upon reaching the body, the icon above their head will change to a radio, and they will spend ~10s inspecting the body. Once they finish, they will call a guard to come inspect the body, then resume their previous behavior as if they had never seen the body.
    • If a guard sees an affected body (he must see it even if called over by a civ), he will run over to inspect it (with a red “!” above his head). He will then take ~10s to inspect the body, after which he will radio to sound the alarm.
    • Cameras will still react the same to these bodies and instantly sound the alarm.
    • Once the body is spotted, if the body is moved before the inspection is complete, the NPC will instead react as though they had just seen a regular dead body, so be sure to leave the body until the NPC is safe to eliminate.
    • If the body is spotted and inspected by a civ, it can be quickly moved while the civ leaves and the guard is on his way (while neither NPC has a red “!” or radio above them). This will cause the guard to simply return to his post at no penalty.
    • Picking up or moving the body does not cancel this skill’s effects on said body, allowing it to be relocated.
  • Cover-Up (Universal)
    • Performing a takedown on a guard will prevent his radio from ever going off, instead acting as though you had already answered the radio.
    • This effect will still reduce your number of remaining radio uses by one, as if you had answered the radio normally.
    • Performing a takedown on a guard with this skill when you have no radios left will NOT instantly answer the radio, as this would make the alarm go off. Instead, the heist will be put into search mode, as if you had left his radio unanswered.
    • Due to the fact that this skill prevents the radio from ever going off in the first place, it prevents the lead guard’s radio from starting the countdown that leads to his radio going off again. This means Cover-Up can be used to safely eliminate the lead guard, as it will permanently silence his infinite radio at the cost of only one of your radio uses.
Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2707 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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