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Skills in PAYDAY 2 are divided among four skill trees: Mastermind, Enforcer, Technician, and Ghost. For each class, there are six tiers: Tier 1 is unlocked by spending 1 skill point on its parent class, Tier 2 is unlocked by spending 5, Tier 3 by spending 10, Tier 4 by spending 20, Tier 5 by spending 30, and Tier 6 by spending 40. 1 skill point is given each time the player gains a Reputation level, plus an additional 2 points at every level divisible by 10 (meaning that instead of just 1 skill point, 3 skill points will be granted at levels 10, 20, 30, 40 etc). Thus, once the player reaches the maximum Reputation level of 100, the player will have a total of 120 skill points.

Because the total skill points needed to unlock Basic and Ace for every skill in a tree totals 145 points, it is impossible to Ace every skill in even a single tree (and furthermore, there are four separate trees in total). Because of this, it is advisable to only spend points on specific skills you truly need and want, and to spread skill points over multiple trees if necessary. In fact, each skill tree has highly desirable utility skills in Tier 1 that only require a handful of skill points to obtain, thus it is expedient to obtain many of these low Tier entry-level skills. Planning your build can be done with either skills calculator or skills, perks, and weapon calculator.

For each tier, there are three skills. Each skill, after the Basic is obtained, can be Aced for further benefit. Skills in tiers 1 to 3 cost one skill point to unlock Basic and three skill points to Ace, whereas skills in tiers 4 to 6 cost four skill points to unlock Basic and eight skill points to Ace.

Party bonuses do not stack with the identical bonus coming from other players in the party that have the identical skill (thus it is somewhat sub-optimal for multiple players to get the same party-benefit skills, if you always play with the same team of players). All other bonuses stack, unless stated otherwise, including bonuses from Basic and Aced versions of the skill.

As of the CrimeFest Update 39, the skill tier bonuses have been removed from the game, being replaced by the Perk Decks system which works in a similar way, but limits the player's access to beneficial bonuses as to encourage calculated character building. Most of the tier bonuses have been revised into Perks, but some are removed entirely.

MastermindEdit

Unlocking the Mastermind

The Mastermind is a manipulative leader who excels in situational control.

Spending the first point in the Mastermind skill tree unlocks the ability to place the doctor bag deployable. The doctor bag can be used to regain health and reset the bleedout counter. The doctor bag has 2 charges in its basic state.

Tier 1


Cable Guy

Cable Guy
Basic (1 pt): You can cable tie hostages 75% faster.
Ace (3 pt): Increases your supply of cable ties from 2 to 6.

Combat Medic

Combat Medic
Basic (1 pt): After you have revived a crew member, you receive a 25% damage bonus for 10 seconds.
Ace (3 pt): Reviving a crew member gives them 30% more health.

Endurance

Endurance
Basic (1 pt): Increases your stamina by 100%.
Ace (3 pt): Increases stamina for you and your crew by 50%.

Tier 2


Control Freak

Control Freak
Basic (1 pt): Civilians remain intimidated 50% longer.
Noise created by you intimidates civilians.
Ace (3 pt): Unlocks special Inside Man assets in the Job Overview menu.

Painkillers

Painkillers
Basic (1 pt): Crew members you revive take 10% less damage for 5 seconds.
Ace (3 pt): The damage reduction is increased by an additional 20%.

Leadership

Leadership
Basic (1 pt): You and your crew's weapon stability with pistols is increased by 25%.
Ace (3 pt): You and your crew's weapon stability with all weapons is increased by 50%.

Tier 3


Spotter

Spotter
Basic (1 pt): Special enemies marked by you take 15% additional damage.
Ace (3 pt): Unlocks the Spotter asset in the Job Overview menu.
During stealth, the Spotter will highlight guards for you and your crew.
If stealth is not an option, the Spotter will highlight special enemies for you and your crew.

Equilibrium

Equilibrium
Basic (1 pt): Increases accuracy with pistols by 10% and decreases the time it takes to pull and put away pistols by 50%.
Ace (3 pt): Increases your rate of fire with pistols by 100%.

Dominator

Dominator
Basic (1 pt): You and your crew 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%.

Tier 4


Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm Syndrome
Basic (4 pt): Nearby civilians have a chance of reviving you if you interact with them.
Ace (8 pt): Civilians reviving you have a chance of giving you ammunition.

Combat Doctor

Combat Doctor
Basic (4 pt): You can now place 2 doctor bags instead of just one.
Ace (8 pt): Your doctor bags have 2 more charges.

Joker

Joker
Basic (4 pt): You can convert a non-special enemy to fight on your side. This cannot be done during stealth and the enemy must have surrendered in order for you to convert it.
You can only convert one non-special enemy at a time.
Ace (8 pt): The converted enemy gains 55% more health and deals 45% more damage.
The time to convert an enemy is reduced by 65%.

Tier 5


Kilmer

Kilmer
Basic (4 pt): Increases your reload speed with assault rifles and sniper rifles by 25%.
Ace (8 pt): Your weapon accuracy while moving with assault rifles and sniper rifles is increased by 50%.
Run and reload - you can now reload your weapons while sprinting.

Gunslinger

Gunslinger
Basic (4 pt): You reload pistols 50% faster.
Ace (8 pt): You deal 50% additional damage with pistols.

Partner in Crime

Basic (4 pt): Having a converted enemy increases your movement speed by 10%.
Ace (8 pt): Having a converted enemy increases your health by 20%.

Tier 6


Hostage Taker

Hostage Taker
Basic (4 pt): Having at least one hostage makes you regenerate 0.03% health every 5 seconds.
Ace (8 pt): Having at least one hostage makes you regenerate 1% health every 5 seconds.

Pistol Messiah

Pistol Messiah
Basic (4 pt): When in bleedout, you are instantly revived if you kill an enemy with a pistol. You only have 1 charge. You will replenish your charge when you get out of custody.
Ace (8 pt): You gain an additional 2 charges. You will replenish your charges when you get out of custody.
(Stacks with basic skill for 3 total charges).

Inspire

Inspire
Basic (4 pt): You revive crew members 50% faster. Shouting at your teammates will increase their movement and reload speed by 20% for 10 seconds.
Ace (8 pt): There is a 75% chance that you can revive crew members at a distance by shouting at them.

EnforcerEdit

Unlocking the Enforcer

The Enforcer is a violent criminal, usually employed by crime syndicates to execute jobs that no one else can.

Spending the first point in the Enforcer skill tree unlocks the ability to place the ammo bag deployable. The ammo bag can be used to gain ammunition.

(Basic ammo bags contain a 300% charge. Fully charging a weapon, regardless of it being a primary or secondary weapon, its max ammo count, counts as a 100% usage by default).

Tier 1


Oppressor

Oppressor
Basic (1 pt): Your weapons are 25% more effective at threatening enemies.
Ace (3 pt): Your weapons are 50% more effective at threatening enemies.
(Stacks with basic skill for 75% total threat gain).

Bullet Storm

Bullet Storm
Basic (1 pt): Directly after you deploy an ammo bag, you can fire your weapon for 5 seconds without depleting your ammunition.
Ace (3 pt): You can fire 10 seconds longer without depleting your ammunition.
(Stacks with basic skill for 15 seconds total).
Note: Does not apply to grenade launchers.

Transporter

Transporter
Basic (1 pt): You move 50% faster when carrying bags.
Ace (3 pt): You can throw bags 50% further.

Tier 2


Die Hard

Die Hard
Basic (1 pt): You can use your primary weapon in bleedout.
Ace (3 pt): Your armor recovery rate is increased by 15%.

Underdog

Underdog
Basic (1 pt): When you are surrounded by three enemies or more, you receive a 15% damage bonus.
Ace (3 pt): When you are surrounded by three enemies or more, you receive 15% less damage from enemies.

Pumping Iron

Pumping Iron
Basic (1 pt): Your melee attacks against non-special enemies deal 50% more damage.
Ace (3 pt): Your melee attacks against special enemies deal 50% more damage.

Tier 3


Shotgun Impact

Shotgun Impact
Basic (1 pt): Your weapon stability with shotguns is increased by 25%.
Ace (3 pt): You deal 35% more damage with shotguns.

Stun Resistance

Stun Resistance
Basic (1 pt): Reduces the visual effect duration of flashbangs by 25%.
Ace (3 pt): Further reduces the visual effect duration by 50%.

Tough Guy

Tough Guy
Basic (1 pt): Reduces your camera shake by 50% when you are damaged by enemy fire.
Ace (3 pt): Your bleedout health is increased by 25%.

Tier 4


Shotgun CQB

Shotgun CQB
Basic (4 pt): Increases your shotgun reload speed by 50%.
Ace (8 pt): Increases your shotgun steel sight speed by 125%.

Ammunition Specialist

Ammunition Specialist
Basic (4 pt): You can now place 2 ammo bags instead of just one.
Ace (8 pt): Each ammo bag contains additional 200% ammo.

Berserker

Berserker
Basic (4 pt): The lower your health, the more damage you do. When your health is below 25%, you will do up to 250% more melee and saw damage.
Ace (8 pt): When your health is below 25%, you will do up to 100% more damage with ranged weapons.
Note: Does not apply to grenade launchers.

Tier 5


Hard Boiled

Hard Boiled
Basic (4 pt): Increases your shotgun weapon accuracy by 20% when firing from the hip.
Ace (8 pt): Increases your weapon accuracy by 20% when firing from the hip with all weapons.

Fully Loaded

Fully Loaded
Basic (4 pt): Your total ammo capacity is increased by 25%.
Ace (8 pt): Increases your ammo pickup to 175% of the normal rate.
Note: ACE version does not work with custom shotgun ammo types.

Portable Saw

Portable Saw
Basic (4 pt): Unlocks the OVE9000 portable saw for you to use.
Ace (8 pt): Increases your saw blade amount by 1.

Tier 6


Overkill

Overkill
Basic (4 pt): When you kill an enemy using a shotgun or the OVE9000 portable saw, you receive a 75% damage bonus for 5 seconds.
Ace (8 pt): The damage bonus now applies to all weapons. Skill must still be activated using a shotgun or the OVE9000 portable saw.
Note: Does not apply to grenade launchers.

Iron Man

Iron Man
Basic (4 pt): Unlocks the ability to wear the Improved Combined Tactical Vest.
Ace (8 pt): When you melee Shield enemies, they get knocked back by the sheer force.
Run and shoot – you can now shoot from the hip while sprinting.

Carbon Blade

Carbon Blade
Basic (4 pt): You replace your saw blades with carbon blades, increasing your saw efficiency by 20%.
Ace (8 pt): Attacking enemies with the OVE9000 portable saw wears it down 50% less than before. Saws are 20% more effective.
You can use the OVE9000 portable saw as a secondary weapon.

TechnicianEdit

Unlocking the Technician

The Technician is an expert in the practical application of criminal science, enjoying anything that goes BOOM!

Spending the first point in the Technician skill tree unlocks the ability to place the trip mine deployable. The trip mine can be used to blow things up, like people and safes.

2 deployable trip mines are added to your inventory.

Tier 1


Rifleman

Rifleman
Basic (1 pt): Your snap to zoom is 100% faster with assault rifles and sniper rifles.
Ace (3 pt): Your weapon zoom level is increased by 25% with assault rifles and sniper rifles.

Demolition Man

Demolition Man
Basic (1 pt): Adds 1 more trip mine to your inventory.
Ace (3 pt): Decreases your trip mine deploy time by 20%.
(Can stack with Hardware Expert Aced for 40% total reduced time).

Nerves of Steel

Nerves of Steel
Basic (1 pt): You take 50% less damage while interacting with things.
Ace (3 pt): You can now use steel sight while in bleedout.

Tier 2


Sharpshooter

Unlocking the Sharpshooter
Basic (1 pt): You are 20% more accurate with all single shot weapons.
(This also applies to weapons with the Single Fire mod installed.)
Ace (3 pt): Your weapon stability is increased with all rifles by 25%.

Combat Engineer

Combat Engineer
Basic (1 pt): Allows you to turn trip mines on or off.
Ace (3 pt): Upgrades your trip mines with a sensor mode, highlighting enemies that walk past. During stealth, the trip mines will highlight guards and special enemies for you and your crew.
If stealth is not an option, the trip mines will highlight special enemies for you and your crew.

Hardware Expert

Hardware Expert
Basic (1 pt): You fix the drill 25% faster and you also deploy trip mines 20% faster.
(Can stack with Demolition Man Basic for 40% total reduced time).
Ace (3 pt): Gives drill a 30% chance to autorestart when it breaks down. You also deploy the sentry gun 50% faster.

Tier 3


Sentry Gun

Sentry Gun
Basic (1 pt): Unlocks the sentry gun for you to use.
Ace (3 pt): Your sentry gun gains 150% more health.

Tactical Mines

Tactical Mines
Basic (1 pt): The radius of trip mine explosions are increased by 30%.
Ace (3 pt): Special enemies marked by your trip mines take 15% more damage.

Drill Sergeant

Drill Sergeant
Basic (1 pt): Your drilling efficiency is increased by 15%.
Ace (3 pt): Further increases your drilling efficiency by 15%.
(Stacks with Basic skill for 30% total increase to drill speed).
(Click here for exact times).

Tier 4


Sentry Targeting Package

Sentry Targeting Package
Basic (4 pt): Your sentry gun's accuracy is improved by 100%.
Ace (8 pt): Your sentry gun's rotational speed is increased by 150%. Your sentry gun is loaded with 50% extra ammo.

Jack Of All Trades

Jack Of All Trades
Basic (4 pt): The radius of trip mine explosions are increased by an additional 70%.
Ace (8 pt): You can now carry sentry guns and trip mines at the same time. When you deplete your trip mines or sentry guns you will switch to the other one.
Note: You need a sentry gun for this skill to work.

Silent Drilling

Silent Drilling
Basic (4 pt): Your drill makes 65% less noise. Civilians and guards are less likely to hear your drill and sound the alarm.
(Reduces the sound radius to 9 meters).
Ace (8 pt): Your drill is silent. Civilians and guards have to see the drill in order to sound the alarm.

Tier 5


Sentry Combat Upgrade

Sentry Combat Upgrade
Basic (4 pt): You can reload the Sentry Gun using your own ammo.
Ace (8 pt): Your sentry gun receives a protective shield.

Shaped Charge

Shaped Charge
Basic (4 pt): Adds 3 more trip mines to your inventory.
Ace (8 pt): Trip mines can now be converted to shaped charges, used to breach certain safes and doors.

Shockproof

Shockproof
Basic (4 pt): Taser shock attacks on you backfire, knocking back the Taser.
Ace (8 pt): Interacting with an enemy Taser while he is electrocuting you will electrocute him, dealing 50% damage to his health.

Tier 6


Sentry Tower Defense

Sentry Tower Defense
Basic (4 pt): You can now place 2 sentry guns instead of just one.
Ace (8 pt): Your sentry gun damage is increased by 300%.

Mag Plus

Mag Plus
Basic (4 pt): Your weapon magazine capacity is increased by 5 rounds.
Ace (8 pt): Further increases your weapon magazine capacity by 10 rounds.
Note: Does not apply to sniper rifles.

Bulletproof

Bulletproof
Basic (4 pt): Improves your armor so you can absorb 50% more damage.
Ace (8 pt): The armor recovery rate of you and your crew is increased by 25%.

GhostEdit

Unlocking the Ghost

The Ghost is a stealth artist, capable of grand theft without force or violence.

Spending the first point in the Ghost skill tree unlocks the ability to use the electronic countermeasure equipment, also known as the ECM jammer. When used, the ECM jammer can open ATM machines and temporarily cancel out electronic devices such as cell phones and cameras.

1 ECM jammer is added to your inventory. An ECM jammer lasts 20 seconds.

Tier 1


Dead Presidents

Dead Presidents
Basic (1 pt): Adds 10% more value to loose items that you pick up.
Ace (3 pt): Adds an additional 20% more value to loose items that you pick up.
(Stacks with Basic skill for 30% total).

Sprinter

Sprinter
Basic (1 pt): The time before stamina regeneration starts is reduced by 25% and the regeneration of stamina is increased by 25%.
Ace (3 pt): Your sprint speed is increased by 25% and you have a 25% better chance dodging enemy fire while sprinting.

Cat Burglar

Cat Burglar
Basic (1 pt): You take 75% less damage from falling from non-fatal heights.
Ace (3 pt): Your fall damage is reduced so that you only take armor damage from falling from non-fatal heights. Your custody time is reduced by 50%.

Note: Custody time applies only on Normal and Hard difficulties; on Very Hard and above there is no release timer and thus custody time cannot be reduced.

Tier 2


Fast Hands

Fast Hands
Basic (1 pt): You can pack and interact with loot bags 25% faster.
Ace (3 pt): Further increases your pack and interaction speed with loot bags by 50%.
(Stacks with Basic skill for 75% total).

Chameleon

Chameleon
Basic (1 pt): In casing mode, you can now mark guards, cameras and your concealment is increased by 25%.
Ace (3 pt): You are 15% less likely to be targeted when you are close to your crew members.

Cleaner

Cleaner
Basic (1 pt): You deal 5% more damage against special enemies. You can now buy a body bag asset which contains 3 body bags that can be shared with your crew.
Ace (3 pt): 1 additional body bag is added to your inventory.
(You can now carry up to 2 body bags).

Tier 3


Shinobi

Shinobi PD2
Basic (1 pt): Your walk speed is increased by 25% and your crouch speed is increased by 10%.
Ace (3 pt): Enemies make 95% less noise when shot or meleed to death.
(Reduces the sound radius to 0.25 meters).

Martial Arts

Martial Arts
Basic (1 pt): You are 50% more likely to knock down an enemy with a melee strike.
Ace (3 pt): You take 50% less damage from all melee attacks because of training.

SMG Specialist

SMG Specialist
Basic (1 pt): Increases your reload speed of SMG weapons by 35%.
Ace (3 pt): Increases your rate of fire with SMGs by 20%.

Tier 4


Nine Lives

Nine Lives
Basic (4 pt): You gain the ability to go into bleedout 1 more time before going into custody.
Ace (8 pt): When you get into bleedout, you have a 35% chance to get right back up.

ECM Specialist

ECM Specialist
Basic (4 pt): You can now place 2 ECM jammers instead of just one.
Ace (8 pt): The ECM jammer duration is increased by 25% and the ECM feedback duration lasts 25% longer. The ECM jammer now delays the pager response time as long as the jammer is active.

Silent Killer

Silent Killer
Basic (4 pt): You deal 15% more damage with all silenced weapons.
Ace (8 pt): You deal 15% more damage and have a 15% chance to pierce enemy armor with silenced weapons.
(Stacks with Basic skill for 30% total more damage with silenced weapons).

Tier 5


Lockpicking Expert

Lockpicking Expert
Basic (4 pt): Increases your lockpicking interaction speed by 25%.
Ace (8 pt): You can now silently crack safes by hand.
Further increases your lockpicking interaction speed by 25%.
(Stacks with Basic skill for 50% total increase in lockpick interaction speed).

ECM Overdrive

ECM Overdrive
Basic (4 pt): Your ECM jammer duration is increased by 25%.
Ace (8 pt): Your ECM jammer can now also be used to open certain doors.

The Professional

The Professional
Basic (4 pt): Your weapon stability with silenced weapons is increased by 50%. Your snap to zoom is 100% faster with silenced weapons.
(Reduced recoil for all silenced weapons by 50%).
Ace (8 pt): Your weapon accuracy with silenced weapons is increased by 50%. You gain a 15% chance to pierce enemy armor with silenced weapons.

Tier 6


Camera Loop

Camera Loop
Basic (4 pt): Interacting with a camera at close range will cause the camera to temporarily see a pre-recording for the next 10 seconds so you can sneak past it. Your crew can only loop 1 camera at a time.
Ace (8 pt): Camera loop duration is increased by 10 seconds.
(Stacks with Basic skill for 20 seconds total).

ECM Feedback

ECM Feedback
Basic (4 pt): You can now interact with ECM jammers to cause a feedback loop. When interacted, the ECM jammer has a 50%-100% chance to incapacitate enemies within a 25 meters radius every 1.5 seconds.
ECM feedback lasts 15-20 seconds.
Ace (8 pt): You will now instantly interact with a ECM jammer and the ECM feedback duration is increased by 25%.
Your ECM jammer has a 100% chance every 4 minutes to recharge itself.

Moving Target

Moving Target
Basic (4 pt): You can now sprint while strafing.
Ace (8 pt): You can now sprint in any direction.

FugitiveEdit

A new skill tree scheduled to be released alongside Old Hoxton's return on the 27th. No details about the skills contained within this tree are currently known.

NotesEdit

  • www.pd2skills.info offers a skill calculator that is useful for planning out skill progression, and was endorsed by Overkill.[1] It also offers a beta version for planning skills with infamy levels.
  • With the Death Wish update, the value of durability-increasing skills like Iron Man, Bulletproof and Sprinter Ace are increased, helping to prolong survivability on Death Wish difficulty.
  • The Ace effects of Mag Plus does not apply to Sniper Rifles, the Bronco .44 and the Mosconi 12G, for balancing issues in the case of the former and technical reasons in the latter two (e.g. the Mosconi has only two barrels, adding an extra round would prove unrealistic). The durability of Saw blades are also not affected by this skill, despite having a numeric "ammo" count.
  • The full changes of the skills and introduction of perks in Update 39 can be read here.

ReferencesEdit

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