Note: In Update #100, Dominator's basic effects became a default gameplay feature and its aced effects were moved to the basic version of Confident.


Mastermind Tier 3
Basic (1 pt): You can now intimidate a non-special enemy into a hostage. Less well trained enemies are easier to intimidate.
Ace (3 pt): The power and range of your intimidation is increased by 50%.


With Dominator, pressing the interaction key while looking at an alerted enemy has a chance to threaten him into submission. The chance of this happening can be increased via factors in combat, such as how low the enemy's health is or whether or not the enemy is reloading.

The amount of enemies that can be dominated is equal to how many players have the Dominator skill (for example, if two players have Dominator in a four-player lobby, two enemies can be dominated). Players in custody will not affect this amount, whether or not they have the skill. Additionally, only players with the skill can dominate enemies, though players without the skill can help with further intimidation after the enemy has raised his hands.

A dominated enemy becomes a hostage until freed, killed, or converted.

Special enemies cannot be dominated from the use of this skill.


Having the basic skill allows for domination of enemies, though the chance of success is rather low at first. This can be remedied by certain skills. The chances of one surrendering also varies based on the type of enemy one is shouting at. A security guard is more likely to give in than an FBI agent. One additional law enforcer can be intimidated for every player on the team that possesses this skill.

The target enemy will vocally announce his surrender if the domination attempt is successful. If he doesn't say anything, then the shout didn't work. Once a guard has entered the animation in which he has his hands up, any player can then shout him through into the surrendering and cuffed stages.

Major factors in successfully intimidating a law enforcer or guard include;[1]

  1. Passive intimidation level increases massively increase the effectiveness of this skill
  2. Whether the officer is alert and has their weapon drawn; if shouted at within 1.5 seconds of becoming alerted, domination success is almost guaranteed
    • Tougher opponents such as FBI Agents and Murkywater PMCs have a ~20% chance to resist even if caught in this phase
  3. Health; intimidation success chance increases as victim health decreases, up to certain limits depending on the enemy type (highest when below 65 to 50 percent of maximum health)
  4. Distance; intimidation chance increases when the dominator is closer to the victim (highest when within 3 meters)
  5. Angle/Position; intimidation chance increases when the dominator is flanking the victim
  6. Squad; if the victim was spawned as part of a team and no members of that team are within 8.5 meters (either due to death or separation), they are easier to intimidate
  7. The "Weapon Down" State; if the victim is reloading, or playing a medium or heavy pain animation, they are easier to intimidate
    • The victim is not considered to be in the 'weapon down' state if they are diving prone from suppression (see #9)
    • High knockdown weapons have a very high chance to cause medium/heavy pain reactions, making the Telescopic Baton and Ding Dong exceptionally effective for intimidation
  8. Initial intimidation attempts: after the first attempt, they are more vulnerable to successive intimidation attempts for the next 5-9 seconds - the more attempts occur within this period, the easier they are to intimidate
    • However there is a 5-10 second window after the first window expires, during which an enemy will always resist; attempting to intimidate them again simply extends this window (potentially indefinitely)
  9. Violence; shooting at (or hitting) a potential victim temporarily increases their chance of resisting to 100% for two seconds, in most cases. Sometimes this factor may be ignored if the target is knocked down by a melee weapon then immediately intimidated.

All of these factors are considered together and have a combined effect (up to a certain point). For instance, attempting to intimidate an enforcer from behind whilst more than three meters away will have less chance of succeeding than if you stand right behind them and attempt to intimidate them whilst they are in the middle of reloading.

Note that as of Update #25, dominating guards whilst in Stealth requires the crew to answer their pagers, even if the guard is left alive. Once the pager is answered, the guard can be killed without further repercussions and without risk of an additional pager check; in fact, the guard can even be killed before or during answering the pager without sounding the alarm. One shout (instead of three as in loud) within 1.5 seconds of them becoming alert will have a very high chance of the guard immediately cuffing themselves.

Keep in mind that due to networking behavior, a law enforcer may start surrendering on one player's screen but not appear to surrender to another player. Exercise caution if you know another player is capable of intimidating. Clear team communication can be essential to successfully taking captives in hectic, close-quarters combat - especially since the audio cue can be difficult to hear over everything that's going on. Also, paying attention to the number of hostages indicated by the HUD can also greatly help; if the number increases and one is sure no one is tying down a civilian, then a law enforcer has surrendered.

After taking captives, it is also important to note that they do not receive any kind of protection or even restored health - and unlike civilians, they cannot be relocated. Care must be taken to avoid accidentally killing them, especially if you are waiting to release a teammate from custody and have no civilian hostages.

Standard Capture TechniqueEdit

The following guide will lay out how to efficiently and reliably capture law enforcers by focusing on the main intimidation multipliers. Be sure to have Dominator Aced to significantly increase your base intimidation chance!

  • Step 1: First, isolate your target. Ensure there are no other law enforcers within a few meters, as they may interfere with the capture attempt, either via the squad modifier or simply attacking you.
  • Step 2: Once the target is suitably isolated, stun them. Here, you have two main options;
    1. High-knockdown weapons like the Baseball Bat or Telescopic Baton are ideal. Martial Arts Basic also helps when taking this approach, as it increases effective knockdown.
    2. The Buzzer also works well here given its ability to stun enemies; a stunned/tased enemy has a very high chance of surrendering.
  • Step 3: Once the target is prone (this may occasionally take two or three hits) or once they are shaking from being tased, quickly circle around behind them. This gives the violence cooldown time to expire, and also enables the flanking bonus.
  • Step 4: Before the target has had time to fully stand up or whilst they are still shaking from being zapped with the Buzzer, shout at them from behind.

Assuming you followed all of the steps correctly, the target should begin to surrender almost immediately. If they don't, you're in the perfect position to quickly get rid of them and try again with a new target.

One thing to note is that this technique obviously requires that you can actually flank the enemy, and given the concentration it requires (as opposed to just shouting indiscriminately) you will likely want to have your teammates watching your back. Making sure they don't interfere unless also trying to intimidate the target (a stray shot could restart the violence timer, for instance) is also important.

Occasionally, circling around behind an enemy may be impossible (due to terrain). Don't be discouraged - there's an upper limit to surrender chance and not every modifier is needed to make it reach that point, so you may not even need the flanking bonus in order to get an enemy to surrender with this approach.


  • A heister in Casing Mode can dominate guards in stealth if shouted at within the standard 1.5 second window, so long as they became alert to anything other than the unmasked heister (which would automatically mask them up if detected). However the heister must be able to mark guards in casing mode with basic Chameleon; "marking" them as they become alert will dominate them instead, without playing the heister's voice line.
  • Successfully dominating a rappelling enemy will cause him to teleport straight to the ground and surrender.
  • Occasionally when executing a dominated guard, they will appear to fire off their weapon during their death animation. While gunshots will sound, it will only be audible to players and not other NPCs nearby; this is due to them technically being alert as they die and triggering the 10%~ chance of discharging their firearm.
  • Lag may cause a full domination to require less than three shouts if the shout button is pressed rapidly enough.
    • This bug can also work in the opposite way, with a law enforcer requiring up to six shouts after surrendering before they cuff themselves.


  • Community image 1386930295

    A Dominated Taser.

    When the game was first released, Dominator only allows for one dominated enemy at any time. A recent update enabled all crew members with the skill to dominate an enemy, up to a maximum of 4.
  • A player can shout at an enemy even without the skill. It won't work, obviously, unless at least one player on the team has this skill.
    • The same thing applies to shouting at special enemies, with the skill or not, though Tasers may somehow react to the shout and may attempt to sidestep away from the player's crosshair when shouted at.
      • (Pre-patch) Tasers, due to a very rare bug prior to the Christmas 2013 update, were susceptible to Domination attempts. However, they could not be converted. This was patched when GO Bank was released.
  • Your choice of weapon and protective equipment have absolutely no influence on intimidation chance. A KSP is no better than a Gruber Kurz when it comes to taking captives.
  • There is an unused script which allows special enemies to be dominated, suggesting that Overkill could have planned to implement such a skill. However, as the script is unused, special enemies remain unable to be dominated unless the game is modified to make use of the unused script. The script is present in the game files without any modifications involved.
  • If aim assist on console is activated the player will target dominated law enforcers if they are aiming close to one. The same applies to converted law enforcers.
  • In the early versions of the game and on consoles, the dominated law enforcer had their hands behind their heads without visible handcuffs once dominated. In the updated versions, they have their hands on their back with visible handcuffs.
  • When the game was initially released, dominating guards in stealth worked like in loud, and didn't cause a pager alert, allowing people to dominate 4+ guard maps, easing stealth in most instances. This got changed when stealth was overhauled to be less forgiving, allowing an instant-conversion in stealth, but still needing to answer a pager for doing so.
  • The domination audio cues still follows the scripting order of PAYDAY: The Heist (surrendering and dropping weapon on the first, kneeling on the second and cuffing on the third), despite the process being reworked in the sequel.
  • It's possible to for a player to dominate two law enforcers at once when they are close to each other.
  • Hurting a dominated law enforcer in stealth will often cause him to yell "Cover me!", though this will not alert any guards or civilians.


  1. Frankelstner's "The Long Guide"
Gameplay • Heists • Skills • Weapons & Equipment • DLC
Subtree Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3 Tier 4
Medic Combat Medic Combat Medic Quick Fix Quick Fix
Painkillers Painkillers
Uppers Uppers
Combat Doctor Combat Doctor
Inspire Inspire
Controller Forced Friendship Forced Friendship Confident Confident
Joker Joker
Stockholm Syndrome Stockholm Syndrome
Partner In Crime Partners In Crime
Hostage Taker Hostage Taker
Sharpshooter Stable Shot Stable Shot Rifleman Rifleman
Marksman Marksman
High Value Target High Value Target
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Ammo Efficiency Ammo Efficiency
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Close By Close By
Overkill Overkill
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Transporter U100 Transporter
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Engineer Third Law Third Law Sentry Targeting Package2 Sentry Targeting

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Engineering Engineering
Jack Of All Trades U100 Jack Of All Trades
Tower Defense Tower Defense
Breacher Hardware Expert U100 Hardware Expert Combat Engineering Combat Engineering
Drill Sawgeant Drill Sawgeant
More Firepower More Firepower
Kickstarter Kickstarter
Fire Trap Fire Trap
Oppressor Steady Grip Steady Grip Heavy Impact Heavy Impact
Fire Control Fire Control
Lock N' Load Lock N' Load
Surefire Surefire
Body Expertise Body Expertise
Shinobi Chameleon Chameleon Cleaner Cleaner
Sixth Sense Sixth Sense
Nimble Nimble
ECM Overdrive ECM Overdrive
ECM Specialist ECM Specialist
Artful Dodger Duck And Cover U100 Duck And Cover Parkour Parkour
Inner Pockets Inner Pockets
Dire Need Dire Need
Shockproof Shockproof
Sneaky Bastard Sneaky Bastard
Silent Killer Second Wind Second Wind Optical Illusions Optical Illusions
The Professional The Professional
Low Blow Low Blow
Silent Killer Specialized Killing
Unseen Strike Unseen Strike
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Akimbo Akimbo
One Handed Talent One Handed Talent
Desperado Desperado
Trigger Happy U100 Trigger Happy
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Up You Go Up You Go
Swan Song Swan Song
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Legacy (update #39)
Inside Man • Fast Learner • Smooth Talker • Black Marketeer • Improved Crafting • Blast Radius • Lucky Charm
Legacy (Update #100)
Cable Guy • Endurance • Leadership • Dominator • Kilmer • Gunslinger • Control Freak • Oppressor • Stun Resistance • Tough Guy • Hard Boiled • Carbon Blade • Demolition Man • Nerves of Steel • Sentry Gun • Silent Breaching • Sentry Combat Upgrade • Shaped Charge • Sentry Tower Defense • Mag Plus • Bulletproof • Dead Presidents • Sprinter • Cat Burglar • Fast Hands • Shinobi • SMG Specialist • Lockpicking Expert • Moving Target • ECM Feedback • Spotter • Tactical Mines • Camera Loop • Daredevil • Hidden Blade • Thick Skin • Run And Gun • Brother's Keeper • Winston Wolfe • Undertaker

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