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Skills are a means of unlocking new equipment, abilities, or basic statistic improvements in PAYDAY 2. They are divided among five skill trees: Mastermind, Enforcer, Technician, Ghost, and Fugitive; often described as classes. Players are free to distribute skill points however they choose across the five skill trees.

The Skills system was overhauled in Update #100, with the five skill trees possessing three "subtrees" each, each with a different role. The content under the "Consoles" tabs (or "PS4 & XBOX ONE" and "PS3 & XBOX 360" tabs) contains information on the old skills system and is kept for reference. An update for PS4 and Xbox One had made the skills nearly identical to the PC version, therefore displaying mostly relevant information to next generation console players.

GeneralEdit

Skill pointsEdit

Ace symbol

On the PC, Aced skills are represented by this Ace of Spades background behind their respective icons.

One skill point is awarded 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 single tree totals 132 points (145 on the consoles), it is impossible to Ace every skill in even a single tree (and furthermore, there are five 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. Planning your build can be done with this skills, perks, and weapon calculator.

Skill tree structureEdit

Each skill tree has three subtrees, named after their intended role (for example, the Fugitive's Brawler subtree enhances melee combat capability). For each subtree, there are four tiers, the top three unlocked by spending a minimum total number of points in that subtree:

  • tier 2 is unlocked by spending 1 skill point,
  • tier 3 by spending 3 skill points,
  • tier 4 by spending 18.

Tier 4's point requirement can be reduced to 16 by investing an Infamy point in the appropriate tree.

All subtrees have one skill in tiers 1 and 4, and two skills in tiers 2 and 3. Tier 1 skills cost 1 skill point to unlock Basic and three skill points to Ace, tier 2 skills cost two skill points for Basic and four for Ace, tier 3 skills cost 3 for Basic and 6 for Ace, and tier 4 skills 4 for Basic and 8 for Ace.

Skill interactionsEdit

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.

Re-specifying skill treesEdit

Skills can be withdrawn and skill points returned simply by right-clicking on the skill. Aced skills are withdrawn separately from Basic skills; to fully remove a skill that has been Aced, one will have to right-click on the skill twice. Skills cannot be withdrawn if the skill points invested in them allow skills unlocked above them to be used. The higher-tier skills will have to be removed before the lower-tier skill can.

Multi Skill BuildsEdit

On the PC, Playstation 4, and XBOX ONE versions, players can unlock additional skill sets to use, allowing them to switch between multiple builds without having to re-spec skill points. This allows, for example, one to switch from a stealth build to a combat build in an instant. Skill sets can be selected and unlocked by pressing the S key.

Skill sets also have a perk deck selection associated, hence switching skill set will switch perk deck as well, although perk deck progress is universal across skill sets.

The skill set used is selected from the skill screen, meaning that it can be selected from the main menu or while in the lobby screen of a Crime.net server.

On consoles there are 5 possible skillsets available, on the PC there are 15. The requirements for the 15th is the requirement for the 5th on consoles.

The skill sets are unlocked as follows: 1. The starting skill set, available from the outset. 2. Available for unlock once you reach level 50. 3. Available for purchase once you reach level 75, costs $1M of offshore money. 4. Available for purchase once you reach level 100, costs $10M of offshore money. 5-9. Available for purchase once you reach level 100, costs $25M of offshore money. 10-14. Available for purchase once you reach level 100, costs $30M of offshore money. 15. Available for purchase once you reach level 100, requires the Tabula Rasa achievement, and costs $20M of offshore money. When resetting your level by going infamous, the skill sets unlocked remain unlocked and therefore can be used immediately afterwards.

ProfilesEdit

Class building is made easier through the use of Profiles, which are collections of loadouts (weapons, throwables, skill sets, perk decks and masks). Profiles can be swapped around in the pre-game menu, allowing players more room to plan out by having multiple loadouts to tackle any kind of situation, especially when playing multi-day heists where rule changes between days are often significant. Because profiled skill sets can not be modified during the pre-game phase, setting them up in advance is often required.

Blank profiles will default to skill set 1 when selected with all skill points unallocated. There are 15 profile slots available at the moment. Profiles can be renamed (if using keyboard and mouse) by clicking on their name in the inventory.

SkillsEdit

Gameplay • Heists • Skills • Weapons & Equipment • DLC
Mastermind
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
Aggressive Reload Aggressive Reload
Ammo Efficiency Ammo Efficiency
Enforcer
Shotgunner Underdog Underdog Shotgun CQB U100 Shotgun CQB
Shotgun Impact U100 Shotgun Impact
Far Away Far Away
Close By Close By
Overkill Overkill
Tank Thick Skin Resilience Die Hard U100 Die Hard
Transporter U100 Transporter
Shock And Awe Shock And Awe
Bullseye Bullseye
Man of Iron Iron Man
Ammo Specialist Scavenger Scavenger Bulletstorm Bulletstorm
Portable Saw Portable Saw
Extra Lead Extra Lead
Carbon Blade Saw Massacre
Fully Loaded Fully Loaded
Technician
Engineer Third Law Third Law Sentry Targeting Package2 Sentry Targeting
Package

Eco Sentry Eco Sentry
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
Ghost
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
Fugitive
Gunslinger Equilibrium Equilibrium Gun Nut Gun Nut
Akimbo Akimbo
One Handed Talent One Handed Talent
Desperado Desperado
Trigger Happy U100 Trigger Happy
Revenant Nine Lives Nine Lives Running From Death Running From Death
Up You Go Up You Go
Swan Song Swan Song
Feign Death Feign Death
Pistol Messiah Messiah
Brawler Martial arts Martial Arts Bloodthirst Bloodthirst
Pumping Iron Pumping Iron
Counter-Strike Counterstrike
Berserker Berserker
Frenzy Frenzy
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

NotesEdit

  • pd2weapons.com offers a skill calculator that is useful for planning out skill progression, along with a loadout simulator. It also offers a beta version for planning skills with infamy levels.
  • The full changes of the skills and introduction of perks in Update #39 can be read here.
  • Each skill tree is represented by one of the original heisters and the now-separate Houston; with Dallas as the Mastermind, Chains as the Enforcer, Wolf as the Technician, Houston as the Ghost, and Hoxton as the Fugitive.

TriviaEdit

  • As of 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 opens up the player's access to beneficial bonuses as to encourage calculated character building, rather than spending points in trees just for the tier upgrade, such as the old Tier 3 Technician headshot, which is a perk in all perk trees. Most of the tier bonuses have been revised into Perks, but some are removed entirely.
  • Several of the subtrees introduced in Update #100 use the same names as pre-update skills. Those that weren't removed or split across several skills were renamed.
  • The Technician's Engineer subtree focusing entirely on upgrades to the sentry gun may be a reference to the Team Fortress 2 Engineer, who specializes in sentry guns.

AchievementsEdit

I'm a Healer-Tank-Damage-Dealer I'm a Healer-Tank-Damage-Dealer
Spend 10 skill points in each skill tree.

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