What are the Payday 3 heists? Payday 3 sees you return from retirement to get back in the heist game, so naturally there’s some story at play here. What brought you back? Who are you after? How much money do you want? All important questions, and all answered throughout the Payday 3 missions.
You can play these heists in the order they were meant to be played, or, for the anarchist in you that’s making you play Payday 3 in the first place, you can try them in any order you wish. Doing it that way might leave the story a little disjointed, though. What you can’t mess with is your equipment, and the best Payday 3 weapons are essential for success. That said, it’s not just about guns. The best Payday 3 builds ensure your armor, throwables, and tools are also up to the task – and don’t forget your pick of masks and suits, because half of the job is looking cool.
Payday 3 heists and story
Taking place some time after the events of Payday 2, when the Payday gang decided to put their lives of crime aside and enjoy a peaceful retirement, someone has double crossed them, stolen all their money, and brought them back in. It’s up to you and the other five members of the dwindling crew to get your own back, get your money back, and make sure it’s secure this time.
This campaign plays out across eight Payday 3 heists, each with unlockable cutscenes to flesh out the story itself. You can play these missions in any order you wish, but you can only unlock the cut scenes and understand what’s going on by completing them in order. Once you’ve done them all, there’s no limit on how many times you can go back and try again, perhaps increasing the difficulty and getting more cash each time you do.
All Payday 3 heists
Here are all eight Payday 3 heists in order:
- No Rest for the Wicked
- Road Rage
- Dirty Ice
- Rock the Cradle
- Under the Surphaze
- Gold and Sharke
- 99 Boxes
- Touch the Sky
There might be some story spoilers below, but we’ve tried to avoid them as best we can. Only read on if that doesn’t bother you.
No Rest for the Wicked
To start you off and get the funds you need to supply your bigger jobs, you break into the Secure Capital Bank. This particular branch is holding an unusually large amount of money due to a transport mix-up, so there’s more to steal – but there’s also an increased security presence to take down.
This first Payday 3 heist gives you creative freedom regarding how you want to proceed: go in quiet and disarm the security systems, or go in all guns blazing and burn through the floor above the vault with thermite. Get as many bags of cash out as you can without destroying it, and get them down the road to your getaway vehicle.
- Estimated loot value between $100,000 and $500,000 depending on difficulty.
Head to the Queensboro Bridge to intercept a vehicle carrying rare-earth materials worth a fortune. The vehicle has already been rerouted to the bridge to confuse their SWAT escort while providing an ideal place to steal the shipment since the bridge is currently under construction. This is a stealth mission, so don’t alert the driver.
- Estimated loot value between $200,000 and $850,000 depending on difficulty.
You’re all about sticking it to the corporate machine, and that’s just what this Payday 3 heist is all about. Ashton Fine Jewelry might look like a small business, but its new owners are importing blood diamonds and other precious stones directly into their new branch. You’re after their most valuable items, but be careful, some stones are marked with Subsurface Laser Etching. Use a scanner to filter out the unmarked goods as the etched stones aren’t worth nearly as much.
- Estimated loot value between $50,000 and $500,000 depending on difficulty.
Rock the Cradle
Next, you’re going to the Neon Cradle nightclub, but not to drink and party. While the place is teeming with the rich and powerful, and there is plenty of money around in drugs and illegal gambling, you’re going after a crypto-wallet on which each night’s profits are securely stored. There is a vault in here too which probably has some value in it, but prioritize the drive. And be careful, if you set off the alarms, the drive gets wiped.
- Estimated loot value between $100,000 and $1,000,000 depending on difficulty.
Under the Surphaze
There is an exciting exhibition taking place at the Surphaze Art Gallery, showcasing a number of precious artworks, all on loan from some of New York’s wealthiest collectors. As such, security is more tight than ever, and you must override a series of security measures to even get close to touching them. Take what you can, but our buyer is after some specific pieces, and these will be worth the most to him. One of them just happens to be the most valuable piece in the exhibition though, and the most protected.
- Estimated loot value between $400,000 and $1,300,000 depending on difficulty.
Gold & Sharke
Another bank heist, only this one is of personal interest. This bank is owned by Patricia J Sharke, the same Patricia Sharke who stole all your money and tried to have you killed. It’s time to get her back. This heist is twofold. Firstly, get information on Patricia and anyone else involved in your takedown to destroy their reputations. It’s only what they deserve. Of course you want to take some money too, so get into the vault to get the cash and access to the server.
Again, go about this how you wish: take it slow and stealthy and avoid alerting the bank’s security systems for as long as possible, or do it in style with guns ablaze.
- Estimated loot value between £400,000 and $1,300,000 depending on difficulty.
Head to New York harbor where a shipment of experimental electronics equipment is awaiting transport. The components are worth a fortune, but they must be kept cool to avoid deterioration. You need to prepare refrigerated transport and get in and out as quickly as possible. The clock starts as soon as you grab the goods, and the longer you take, the lower the components’ value becomes.
- Estimated loot value between $300,000 – $1,000,000 depending on difficulty.
Touch the Sky
In your final Payday 3 heist, you’re going for one of the big boys: Mason Laurent. Laurent used to be a heavy hitter in the Murkywater PMC, and you’re hitting his home for the piece of tech that’s going to keep your takings secure. He lives in a lavish penthouse, within which is a copy of a digital encryption key. This is what you need to turn your cash into C-Stacks and prevent it being stolen – again.
Laurent is cautious and likely has heavy security. Think private guard on staff, hidden vaults, panic rooms. The hard drive you’re after is probably locked in a vault somewhere, but keep your wits about you as you don’t know what Laurent might have waiting for you.
- Estimated loot value between $200,000 and $1,000,000 depending on difficulty.
Payday 3 heist difficulty options
Every Payday 3 heist can be completed at four different difficulties: the higher the difficulty, the higher the payout. If you want to go for the highest difficulties, Very Hard and Overkill, we recommend you have a full team on comms as there are significant security modifiers in place for some missions.
The Payday 3 heist difficulty options are:
- Normal: For new players to Payday 3, or those still learning the mechanics.
- Hard: For returning Payday players and the majority of its mechanics.
- Very Hard: For once you’ve built out a well-rounded loadout, some security modifiers in place.
- Overkill: For anyone looking for an uncompromising challenge, max security modifiers.
Payday 3 heist security modifiers
There are three different security modifiers, with up to two on each heist, depending on the mission itself. They are usually in the form of some security measure that is tightened up or impenetrable.
- Titan Cameras: All security cameras are indestructible.
- Lead Guard: The lead guard has endless radio spawns.
- Cerberus Core: Hack runtimes are reset after five seconds.
That’s pretty much everything there is to know about the Payday 3 heists – we’ll leave the rest of the story, characters, and how they play into each other for you to find out. While a solid crew with friends is essential for those higher difficulty missions, you might be more inclined to play Payday 3 solo in some of the easier difficulties. If heisting and breaking the rules is your thing, why not also try some of our favorite hacking games and stealth games for more intense, law-breaking escapism? We certainly don’t recommend robbing any banks in real life.