Okay, you might have known some of these already. But after talking to some of the best players in the community and getting engrossed in Youtube videos of high-level play, I’ve picked up a few little known facts about Payday: The Heist, enough that I felt like putting them in an article. How many of these did you know?
1. You can dominate snipers. But it’s bloody difficult. I’ve searched a lot of profiles of the biggest names in Payday:The Heist and only ever found one guy who did it a single time, and all he could tell me was that it happened in First World Bank and he thought it had been a glitch.
But actually, the Sniper in the first Payday is not a special unit; you can’t highlight him via shouting and he is flagged to be capable of surrendering.
Payday‘s enemies have two conditions for surrendering that both need to be satisfied. Firstly, there must not be an assault going on and fewer than 5 police hostages, and secondly the enemy must be either fleeing (Enemies start fleeing at less than 55% health outside of assaults if their character tweak data supports retreating) or taken by surprise (player is not in his list of detected objects and the player is in the half-space behind wherever his head is turned). Special thanks to Frankelstner for explaining these mechanics to me!
Since they don’t flee, it stands to logic that you have to sneak up on a sniper to attempt a domination. Their tendency to spawn outside the playable map and with long sightlines makes this a bit difficult, so I think your best possible chance is First World Bank on higher difficulties, where snipers will spawn on the second-floor balcony overlooking the lobby. If you can zip through the blast doors before they close (like Tromboncino does in this video) you’ll have one shot per Sniper to shove yourself into that half-space and shout him down. Don’t melee him first or it won’t work.
2. Cops can kill civilians. Not in most circumstances; normally civilians are immune to both cops and AI heisters (they can even shoot through them!) But if you play the game long enough, you might witness a peculiar event where Bain chastises you for killing a civilian, but you and your whole team is sure they didn’t kill any.
This is what happened: One of the rarer police death animations has the poor cop slump to the ground dramatically, his firearm chewing through the rest of its clip before running dry. These bullets are actually classified as neutral, meaning that while they can’t hurt the players, they can affect all destructive map entities like other cops, glass, cameras and civilians.
3. You can toggle weapon upgrades mid-heist. Are you trying to hit a sniper with your M308 on a daytime outside map but are having trouble seeing the red dot of the scope? Well, you can actually take that scope off and use the iron sights without even quitting the heist. Just go to the upgrade page menu like normal, scroll through the list of unlocked upgrades and click any that have a star next to them to turn them off/on.
Don’t worry, you’ll maintain the stat upgrade even if you turn off the visual. The primary use for this is choosing what scope you prefer for ADS; my favorite weapon the M308 has amazing iron sights that I prefer for close-quarters combat and brighter maps.
4. You can use deployables as cover. Don’t just throw that duffel bag on the ground; find a way to add it to your environment and seal off somewhere you don’t want cops shooting through (remember that cops always aim for the head). Tromboncino has a couple great examples in this guide under the section “Deployables: Medic and Ammo bags“. There’s another in his video where he solos Counterfeit on 145+ without bots:
Look at his medic bag placement at 9:58. He’s covered himself from any cops coming down those stairs, and he uses that cover repeatedly in that video to fend off everything from smoke waves to Bulldozers.
5. You can board up that jump at the end of Undercover. That darn final jump is my single least favorite moment in the entirety of Payday:The Heist. Have fun with surprise first-person platforming; too bad you can’t see your legs! There’s a fallen piece of fence that slightly increases your margin of error, but it only appears on Normal. If only we could get that assistance on all difficulties…
Actually, it turns out that on all higher difficulties a final set of boards spawns at the exit, and whoever gets there first can lay down some planks to shorten the jumping gap for his teammates. Please help your less-acrobatic teammates out; we need it!
And just in case you knew one of these, here’s a bonus: Did you know you can destroy the vault’s display cases on Diamond Heist before the vault’s even open? Watch this video: at 4:07 Trombincino is firing his grenade launcher at the floor to bust the glass through splash damage.