In the PAYDAY series, the Payday Gang, also known as the Payday Clowns, is the team of masked, player-controlled criminals.


In both games of the PAYDAY series, the player controls a four-man team of experienced criminals of various backgrounds to complete contracts or heists given by their handler Bain and other contacts in the second game via the underground network known as, also operated by Bain. 

While the gang itself does not impose a uniform policy, several of its members are usually finely-dressed in dapper suits and ties (though there have been exceptions) and with the exception of one member, carry their own unique, often clown-themed, masks. They would often make use of disguises or alternative gear when the situation calls for it in PAYDAY: The Heist, though in the second game all members would engage in missions in their usual attire.

Despite the mental instabilities of some members, the heisters all exercise a good level of professionalism during their jobs, and despite being criminals, the gang has their own standards, usually preferring not to cause collateral civilian damages (though player-controlled heisters can kill bystanders by choice or accident). As Commissioner Solomon Garrett has begrudgingly noted, their heists have often resulted in relative stability on the streets, as most victims of their contracts are usually shady corporations, high-profile crime lords, or individuals that are otherwise criminalistic in their own rights whose operations are deeply concealed or well outside of the police's jurisdictions and authorities.

As the storyline progresses, new heisters sought to join the crew and/or are inducted by one of the four original members. As of PAYDAY 2, the whole gang consists of 18 characters, each with their own backstory, masks, signature sets of perks, and weaponry.

Originally, the heisters did not have a specific name to use to identify the group, though they were dubbed the "Payday gang" by the player community and soon after, the name stuck and became an official part of the PAYDAY canon.


Original crewEdit

In PAYDAY: The Heist, players assume the role of four clown-masked heisters who refers to themselves using aliases.

Dallas, a.k.a. Nathan Steele, is an American 42-year-old chain smoking Mastermind. He wears the American flag mask during heists, and is often regarded as the leader of the crew.

Gameplay-wise, Dallas appears as the Assault class in PAYDAY: The Heist, and a Mastermind/Crew Chief in PAYDAY 2.

Chains, a.k.a. Nicolas, is an American 35-year-old ex-military Enforcer. He wears a white, blue, and pink clown mask during heists.

Gameplay-wise, Chains appears as the Support class in PAYDAY: The Heist, and an Enforcer/Muscle in PAYDAY 2.

Hoxton, a.k.a. Jim/James Hoxworth, is a British 30-year-old Fugitive and Sharpshooter. He wears a pink and white clown mask during heists.

Gameplay-wise, Hoxton appears as the Sharpshooter class in PAYDAY: The Heist, and a Fugitive/Crook in PAYDAY 2.

Wolf a.k.a. (Name/Alias unknown), is a Swedish 32-year-old psychotic Technician. He wears a white and red demon-like mask during heists.

Gameplay-wise, Wolf appears as the Technician class in both games, and as an Armorer in PAYDAY 2.


After the success of the old crew and subsequent arrest of Hoxton in 2012, various other criminals have also joined the crime group. The crew's headquarters is now situated in Washington D.C, and their criminal activities are controlled via

The entire crew now consists of 18 members with the return of Hoxton and introduction of the original members' acquaintances.

Houston (originally Hoxton) is a 31-year-old American Ghost, and younger brother of Dallas. Up until the release of Hoxton Breakout, had taken on the mantle of Hoxton, assuming his alias and mask. After the successful breakout, the name reverted back to the original Hoxton, while the mask remained in Houston's hands.

Gameplay-wise, Houston appears as the Ghost/Rogue in PAYDAY 2.

John Wick is an American Hitman in his 40s and a playable character introduced in Update #40, the eponymous character from the 2014 action movie John Wick. Wick is inducted into the crew by his long-time military friend Chains. His signature weapons are the Chimano Compact and Ursa Tanto Knife.

Gameplay-wise, John Wick appears as the Hitman class in PAYDAY 2.

Clover is an Irish 27-year-old Burglar and former apprentice of Hoxton. Released as part of her eponymous character expansion, Clover is the first playable female character in the series. Her signature weapons are the Clover's Shillelagh and Queen’s Wrath rifle.

Gameplay-wise, Clover appears as the Burglar class in PAYDAY 2.

Dragan, full alias Dragan Zubović, is a 46-year-old Croatian Infiltrator, former Interpol agent, and heister working for The Butcher. Like Clover, He was released in his eponymous DLC on January 22nd, 2015 along with his signature weapons, the Lion's Roar assault rifle and his own meat cleaver.

Gameplay-wise, Dragan appears as the Infiltrator class in PAYDAY 2.

Jacket, also known by the name of his signature mask Richard, is a mysterious and violent criminal American Sociopath originating from Miami. This is the ninth character made available to the community.

He was released alongside Hotline Miami 2 on March 10, 2015, along with his signature weapons, the Jacket's Piece and Carpenter's Delight. The Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Deluxe Edition is required to play as him.

Gameplay-wise, Jacket appears as the Sociopath class in PAYDAY 2.

Bonnie is a Scottish 43-year-old Gambler and the ninth announced character for PAYDAY 2 and the tenth to be released. Bonnie is the second female heister added to the game, and the first free one. Bonnie was unlocked in The Hype Train event on March 1, 2015 and was released March 15th during the Spring Break event. As a team asset, she played an important role in helping Hoxton discovering the identity of his traitor and get even.

Bonnie was released along with her signature weapons, the Joceline O/U 12G and Rivertown Glen Bottle.

Gameplay-wise, Bonnie appears as the Gambler class in PAYDAY 2.

Sokol is a Russian 25-year-old former Hockey Grinder and the eleventh addition to the gang. Currently the youngest member, Sokol made his contributions to the collective by designing and providing them with the Big Fucking Drill, to be used in the Golden Grin Casino heist. His signature weapons are the Valkyria and the Hockey Stick that he likely used during his time as an athlete.

Gameplay-wise, Sokol appears as the Grinder class in PAYDAY 2.

Jiro is a Japanese 52-year-old former Yakuza member and the twelfth announced character in PAYDAY 2, who came to the United States in search of his son Kento, with the help of Bain. He was released in his own Yakuza Character Pack on August 27th, 2015 along with his signature weapons, the Shinsakuto Katana and the Micro Uzi.

Gameplay-wise, Jiro appears as the Yakuza class in PAYDAY 2.

Bodhi is a former FBI operative and the thirteenth character in PAYDAY 2. He was introduced in Update #91 alongside The Point Break Heists DLC, both being a crossover with the 2015 remake of the movie Point Break. His signature weapons are the Platypus 70 and the Utility Knife.

Gameplay-wise, Bodhi appears as the Ex-President class in PAYDAY 2.

Jimmy is a coke addict and unpredictably dangerous criminal, and the fourteenth playable character in PAYDAY 2. He was introduced to the game in his eponymous character pack as a cross promotion for the release of the movie, Hardcore Henry. Jimmy's signature weapons are the Specialist Knives and the Heather Submachine Gun (available in both single and akimbo variants).

Gameplay-wise, Jimmy appears as the Maniac class in PAYDAY 2.

Sydney is an Australian member, a punk rock anarchist and the fifteenth playable character in PAYDAY 2. She was introduced to the game in the Sydney Character Pack. Sydney's signature weapons are the Wing Butterfly Knife and the Bootleg Assault Rifle.

Gameplay-wise, Sydney appears as the Anarchist class in PAYDAY 2.

Rust is an American outlaw and former member of Overkill MC, the hostile biker gang encountered by the crew in Day 1 of Big Oil. Through the help of the Elephant, Rust was inducted into the crew by Bain for reasons not yet explained. His signature weapons are the Breaker 12G shotgun and the Chain Whip.

Gameplay-wise, Rust appears as the Biker class in PAYDAY 2.

Scarface is a Cuban Kingpin and former capo of his own drug cartel who joined the Payday Gang in exchange for their help in his plot for vengeance. Scarface's signature weapons are the Little Friend 7.62 rifle and Lumber Lite L2 chainsaw.

Gameplay-wise, Scarface appears as the Kingpin class in PAYDAY 2.

Sangres is a dangerous man. He spent many years working as an enforcer and assassin for a drug cartel in Monterrey, Mexico. Then one day he decided to defect and crossed the border to the US, looking to make the big bucks. Gage introduced him to the Payday Gang. He's as skilled as he is ruthless and with those revolvers he can really light things up. And yeah... check out that razor-sharp machete.

Gamplay-wise, Sangres appears as the Sicario class in PAYDAY 2.

Preferred CharacterEdit

Character Pick
Choose Character

Released in CrimeFest 2015 was the ability for players to select up to four of their most favourite characters to play as during a mission. The player will automatically assume the role of the first character in a lobby if possible, but if that one's already chosen by someone else, then the selection will default to the second preferred heister, and so on.

Obviously, a player can only choose the base-game heisters unless they are either in the PAYDAY 2 community group or own any character packs.

Before this feature was revamped, one could only have a single preferred character. If the selected heister has been taken, one would be randomly assigned to that player, allowing them to play as DLC-specific characters without ownership of their content packs.



  • The four original members of the gang are often depicted as criminals wearing black suits and ties in an uniform fashion in promotional artworks and various upgrade tree icons of the first game, though they'd still wear their signature outfits during missions where applicable.
  • Hoxton is the first ever member of the crew to officially refer to the whole group as the "Payday gang", during the Breakout heist, though only in his NPC/contractor form and not an active character. Other members have since received updates to acknowledge the new moniker.
    • In a randomly played quote during assaults in both games, Dallas may say "We'll make 'em remember the day they fought the PAYDAY gang!"
  • The character of Hoxton was originally intended to be replaced by the now-separate Houston in PAYDAY 2, as both of his actors were unable to reprise their roles during the web series and game's production (Richard Blom ended his contract with Overkill in 2013 and Pete Gold had a scheduling conflict). Due to the games' community wanting the character back, however, they re-added him in the 2014 CrimeFest, making him available to all of those who had completed the Hoxton Breakout heist, which was also added during the CrimeFest.
  • Nonononononono

    Wolf with his bindle.

    Wolf is the only recurring original member of the gang to retain both his voice and actor.
    • Due to his departure from Starbreeze, various scheduling conflicts and personal projects, Ulf Andersson will not be reprising his role as Wolf in any future PAYDAY-related media, nor will he be providing voice over updates for the character. It is unclear at this point if either a new actor will be hired for the role, will Wolf be using generic lines from now on, or will he be written off entirely from the series' canon.
      • Likely as a nod to Andersson's departure and subsequent inability to reprise his role, his character Wolf was seen holding a bindle on the Road to Crimefest website between the end of the event and the 6th day of CrimeFest 2015 (the announcement of the Wolf Cards). After that, his sprite was removed from the website.
  • As the PAYDAY series was inspired largely by the 1995 crime film Heat, the four original heisters each resembled a member of the gang from the movie in terms of characteristics and temperament.
    • Dallas resembled Neil McCauley in the sense that both are portrayed as intelligent, calculating but also suave, if not noble masterminds of the team.
    • Chains is akin to Michael Cheritto in that both men are ex-military, are somewhat ill-tempered and easy to get angry.
    • Hoxton and Chris Shiherlis are both known for their calm and collected mannerism while under duress.
    • Wolf is like the gang's Trejo for always being optimistic and cheerful.
      • Additionally, Wolf could also mirror Waingro, sharing the criminal's unhinged mentality and propensity for violence.
  • Half of the new faces in PAYDAY 2 were inducted into the old crew by the original members. The heisters inducted into the crew by non-members consist of Dragan, Sokol, Jiro, Bodhi, Jimmy, Sydney, Scarface, Sangres, and possibly Jacket and Rust.
    • John Wick was Chain's old friend and former comrade in the military. He joined the crew to pay off an unknown favor.
    • Houston is Dallas's younger brother, who were inducted to fill in Hoxton's place before the Englishman's breakout in late 2014.
    • Clover and Bonnie were former acquaintances of Hoxton.
    • It is possible that Jacket was introduced to the team by Wolf, as they both appeared in the teaser trailer for the Hotline Miami DLC.
    • According to her description and FBI File, Sydney seemingly inducted herself, appearing during a bank robbery being executed by the gang.
    • While Rust is invited into the crew by Bain and The Elephant, the former for his information on advanced technology a client of his wants, the latter for their shared (former) allegiance with the OVERKILL MC, Rust is officially inducted into the crew by Dallas as well as given his clown mask by him, and it is suggested by a necklace made of a shotgun shell with Dallas' name etched into it, that they were acquaintances in the past, or possibly that Rust had intended to kill Dallas prior to being invited to join the gang.
    • Sokol, Jiro, Bodhi, and Jimmy are the only members thus far to have been inducted by Bain, not counting the original four.
      • Dragan and Scarface were inducted into the gang by Bain via The Butcher.
    • Sangres was introduced to the gang by Gage.
  • The term "clowns", is commonly used by law enforcers to name the Payday Gang due to the heisters' fondness of stylized clown masks which they all canonically wear during missions.
  • Hoxton is the only member of the Gang to have been canonically arrested in a traditional sense since the beginning of the series, with the police custody mechanic notwithstanding. Although several others have also reportedly done time before being released to join the crew, their incarceration likely happened before PAYDAY: The Heist took place. 
  • The Payday crew started off as ridiculously well-equipped thieves, but added heists have propelled them into international terrorists at best. If nothing else, the sheer number of police they've killed has easily qualified them all for the death penalty hundreds of times over.
    • Additionally, they have stolen nukes, working cold fusion engines, and committed countless acts of grand larceny and theft.
    • Unlike many other criminals, the gang seems to have honor as they try to spare civilians despite their threats to kill them when shouting at them. This also ties into their professionalism, although it could have also been a case of pragmatic villainy in play, as actively killing off civilians incurs a significant dent in cleaner costs to their wealth.
    • There is a small, ongoing joke in the community about the PAYDAY gang essentially being James Bond villains, due to their high-profile heists, advanced equipment, distinctive look, and the body count left in their wake.
    • Considering the heists they have done, and that the in-game trailers after the Death Wish update have shown them facing off against GenSec Elites, each member of the PAYDAY gang would probably have at least a billion USD, excluding the most recent ones. However, spending this money in the USA or any of her allies in high amounts would be nearly impossible without garnering attention due to the PAYDAY gang's high-profile nature and the fact that the FBI seems to know their faces. Ironically enough, this makes their vast earnings nearly useless in their main area of operations, though these issues could perhaps be at least partially circumvented if the gang's members did mostly use their money in the black market, or otherwise circumvented the system.
  • Most members of the Payday Gang has a safe with thematic skins that corresponds to them, with those of newer DLC heisters being typically released shortly after their respective character packs are made available. As of current, the crewmembers without a corresponding safe are Houston, Clover, Dragan, Jacket, Bonnie, Sokol, and Jiro.
Gameplay • Heists • Skills • Weapons & Equipment • DLC

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