The Thanatos .50 cal is an extreme-damage sniper rifle, with almost 3000 base damage per shot – the fourth highest damage per round in the game by a factor of ten, and the highest damage weapon to receive standard ammo pickups. It is surpassed in damage only by the HRL-7, Commando 101, and Javelin. However, one can carry only 15 rounds total (19 with Fully Loaded + 20 with Total Ammo boost), the number of shots recieved from ammo boxes dropped is only 0.6, and the reload speed and fire rate are both low.
The Thanatos is particularly effective against the Bulldozer, killing an unarmored Bulldozer with a single headshot. All other enemies aside from the Cloaker can be killed with a single body shot, including the Shield and Maximum Force Responders. However, unless ammo is plentiful, the player should save their .50 cal ammunition for special enemies in dangerous positions.
Equipping mods specifically for high concealment is not recommended as the maximum concealment for the Thanatos is only 5.
The concealment listing for weapon mods do not show properly for this weapon. Almost all additional mods that do not add concealment will reduce it, despite not showing a negative concealment rating.
Ammo bags are highly recommended to overcome the Thanatos's low ammo capacity in sustained shootouts.
Purchasing Kilmer skill is recommendable as the amount of time spent reloading is reduced by the 25% reload speed increase, thus making the player less vulnerable to enemy fire and allowing him to retaliate sooner.
Bring a high total ammo SMG or powerful pistol and save the Thanatos for Bulldozers. Doing this will save Thanatos ammo.
With such a small reserve ammo pool, one should try to save this weapon for Bulldozers, Shields in particularly threatening positions, Cloakers that are an immediate threat and/or a Taser keeping a teammate helpless when no other help is available. Beyond that, taking out several Maximum Force Responders in one shot (if the opportunity presents itself) is also efficient. Ammo pickups refill less than one round each, so the use of ammo bags is practically required to refill this weapon's stock.
Acing Fully Loaded will remedy this problem, as the ammo drops will restore about 1 bullet each, allowing less restricted use of this weapon.
With aced Silent Killer, equipping the Suppressed Barrel increases the damage from 2880 to 3120; with aced Berserker and aced Overkill, the suppressed Thanatos 50 cal's damage can reach over 10920. This, compounded with the effects of Underdog the damage value per shot can attain a monstrous rating of 12558 points.
This means that the Thanatos .50 cal is capable of killing a fully armored Skulldozer with a single shot, provided the above conditions are met. Even the Halloween-exclusive Headless Titandozer from Hell could not survive an aforementioned shot, though since the player will have to be in bleedout mode while surrounded by 3 or more enemies for this to effectively work (and even then it only has a 20% chance of happening), attempting this without proper planning is not recommended.
Trying to pull off this feat on the Headless Titandozers is even more suicidal, as it requires the player to aim directly at one, which would invoke his wrath and, seeing how their KSP machine guns can crush the player into total incapacitation in very short order, one would have to be either very lucky or very skilled to even fire a single shot.
Acing The Professional will increase the chances of penetration to 40%, and the Rogue perk deck further increases the odds to 65%.
Players with Swan Song Aced have a better chance and more breathing room to safely pull off this trick shot than those who don't have the skill.
Since update 100, the player can take the berserker, silent killer, and high priority target skills, and so long as you have the suppressed barrel equipped, you will be capable of instant-killing a marked bulldozer from ten or more meters every time.
The Thanatos .50 Cal performs very poorly against multiple enemies at medium to close range. Without Swan Song, users may only be given a small chance to fire a single shot before being downed, especially on Death Wish.
To counter the low ammunition and low rate of fire, players may wield SMGs, such as the Micro Uzi and Jacket's Piece, as secondary weapons.
Unlike what the name suggests, the Barrett QDL (Quick-Deploy Large) suppressor is as conventionally attached as any snap-on rifle silencer. The bare tip is missing the auxiliary muzzle brake, maximizing sound reduction at the expense of worse recoil. This puts the Stability hike into question.
The in-game model has been dolled up to look more like an integral unit. The real suppressor would envelop much less of the barrel, sitting nearly a third of its own length farther.
As a cute touch, the camouflaged shroud is also an official Barrett accessory.
Although the main flashlight has a toggle switch, the laser sight component of the LED Combo is pressure-activated, meaning the laser will stay on as long as the pressure switch is depressed. This switch is not placed where it should be, however (on foregrips, magazine wells, etc...) and is instead ziptied to the main taclight, leaving no plausible mean for the user to toggle it without awkwardly moving their off hand off the weapon and gripping the attachment itself.
While aiming down sights with this gadget, the bullets will land directly on the tiny circle of the sight, not above it. In other words, obscure your target with the small circle to it. While hip firing, the sight lines up relatively close to target, allowing easy hip fire shots at close range. However, sniper rifles overall suffer from an extremely large hipfire cone of fire; aiming down sights is highly recommended.
The Angled Sight can be installed along with another sniper scope, and does not replace the default sniper scope if installed without one.
Requires a pre-installed sight mod to mount. The magnification level can be changed while aiming down the sights, and the aiming FOV will automatically adjust itself. Not compatible with the Acough Optic, Military Red Dot, Milspec Scope, Combat Sight, Reconnaissance Sight, Theia Magnified Scope, Box Buddy Sight, the JP36's Original Sight, the Raven's Flip-up Sight or the GROM and Platypus 70's iron sights. Currently bugged and not appearing as intended on certain weapons, for a list see here. They're still listed below even if broken.
Upon release, the default reticle of this sight was a chevron instead of the retail version's red dot. After the release of the Gage Mod Courier DLC, it was reverted to the regular sight's red dot.
It is functionally the same as the standard Military Red Dot Sight, but the sight's casing is tan instead of black with the line "A-10" scrawled on near the adjustment knob. The sticker on the lens cap's interior also says "I <3 Payday" instead of having a picture of an American flag.
This sight was based on the Aimpoint CompM2 optic. While it is portrayed as a high-zoom scope in-game, the CompM2 is actually a reflex sight, meaning it offers no magnification in reality.
In its original setup, this is your standard high spec telescopic sight, but it's been fitted with some auxiliary software and hardware, which adds the following functions:
Range Finder Allows you to accurately measure distances up to 200m, displayed on the actual unit and in the reticle. Practical use for this is dubious at best considering that bullets in Payday 2 use hitscan mechanics and have no simulated gravity or windage effects. Furthermore, very few in game locations exist where targets can be engaged from even remotely close to 200 meters away. However, it can be extremely helpful in obtaining the Far, Far Away achievement, as it makes identifying enemies that are at 40m or further much easier.
Auto-Tagger In stealth, the scope will automatically tag any enemy you sweep your sights over, and once the alarm has been sounded, it'll auto-tag specials. This acts similarly to the effects of High Value Target Aced, and having the skill will also cause the increased damage and mark duration.
Note: Due to a bug in the current version of the game, this scope is unable to mark enemies in stealth. This is not intended.
The Theia Magnified Scope's in-game optic is extremely simplified compared to the real BORS. The system, when paired with a magnification scope, would show indications of humidity, environmental temperature, barometric pressure and projectile elevation/depression for precise compensation, which the in-game scope lacks, though seeing as every sniper rifle in the game uses a hitscan system to determine shot placement, the other miscellaneous functionalities are likely not needed.
When aiming down the sight, there is a dim "Y" above the "M" that stands for meters. This dimmed letter would stand for Yards, a different unit of distance measurement. Since the game only uses the metric system, the reason for this being there isn't exactly clear.
The Theia Magnified Scope currently has the largest magnification in the game.
In Greek mythology, Theia was the Titan goddess of sight and shining light of the clear blue sky.
The method of obtaining the sight is ironic to an almost bizarre degree as it's intended for precision shots at long range and not for something that in reality would be haphazard to the point of being insane (i.e. Zip-line Rifling).
Despite being based upon a dedicated night scope with tinted lens, the Box Buddy Sight provides the same clear sight picture as any other optic in the game when aimed through during daytime or in areas with bright lighting.
Matrjoschka is the German version of Matryoshka, a popular type of Russian nesting dolls. It is unclear why the developers went with this slightly unpopular iteration rather than the standard form of the name.
The Hype Train skin is an obvious reference to the Hype Train community event.
The Thanatos .50 cal's in-game operation is impractical, as the Barrett M95 was not designed to be fired from the shoulder, hence the bipod, due to the possibility of injury caused by the rifle's recoil. The proper shooting posture of the M95 involves the user lying flat on their stomach with the rifle's bipod fully deployed and shots being fired from that position.
Despite coming with a pre-deployed bipod, it is merely a cosmetic addition and cannot be utilized to any effect during gameplay.
Prior to Update #55, the Thanatos .50 cal had the highest damage per shot of all weapons in PAYDAY 2. It has since been surpassed by the HRL-7, though it remains the hardest-hitting ballistic weapon.
In mythology, Thanatos was the Greek god and embodiment of death. This is somewhat reflected in the Thanatos .50's huge damage that is capable of ending a life swiftly and effectively.
The Thanatos .50 is the first sniper rifle to not possess a frame/body mod, preceding the Repeater 1874 and Platypus 70 (the Lebensauger .308's many alternate grips are technically counted as body mods since they also change the rifle's foregrip and stock), and the only one introduced with the Gage Sniper Pack to lack such customization.