Best Payday 3 Builds

Gear up for every situation.

Preparing to take on a heist in Stealth or Loud isn’t the only option in Payday 3. When it comes to a heist, there are many factors to consider – the difficulty, your playstyle, whether you have teammates or not, etc.

If you’re playing at a higher difficulty, your priority is bringing one of the best weapons you have. Similarly, if you’re playing with a team, you need to get the best skills in Payday 3 that offer utility.

Keeping all this in mind, we need to create builds centered around a specific playstyle. Since there are a lot of possibilities, creating a build perfectly suitable for yourself becomes quite difficult.

If such is the case, then we have come up with some of the best builds in Payday 3 that are suitable for almost all situations and playstyles there are, which is why these builds are highly recommended.

Best skills to get early in Payday 3

Skills generally make a bigger impact when you plan to take the Stealth Route, they can be overlooked in the Loud route since the Skills, in that case, can be substituted for better weapons.

That said, even if you’re just starting the game, the best Payday 3 skills that you can get early are mostly going to be ones that aid in Stealth. However, we will still be taking some Skills that aid in Loud as well – or both routes equally.


To get your hands on the best early-game Skills, we recommend investing your points in the Infiltrator, Hacker, and Grifter Skill Trees if you’re looking for beginner stealth skills.

The best early Loud skills, on the other hand, are obtained by spending your points in the Escapist and Strategist Skill Trees. Though there is a whole plethora of skill trees available, these selected few are enough to get you through most of the early game.

As you will see later in our best Payday 3 Stealth and Loud builds respectively, you will notice that most of the skills we selected are from the aforementioned skill trees.

This is one of the first trees you unlock and is coincidentally also one of the best skills to get first in Payday 3. This tree helps a lot in stealth by giving decent bonuses to lockpicking skills, looting, and throwing knives.

It mainly works with the RUSH passive, which is great for increasing your overall movement speed. We would recommend Acing this skill and getting the Quick Fingers, and the Bagger skills as early as possible.

The Bagger skill, in particular, is considered one of the best skills in Payday 3 overall because it lets you bag loot significantly faster if you have RUSH. This is independent of any situation, and therefore, highly recommended in all builds.

You could say that the Hacker Skill Tree was specifically built for players who enjoy taking the Stealth route. This tree has numerous skills that help you get around cameras and guards easily, without getting detected.

In this skill tree, we would also recommend grabbing the Secure Loop skill as early as you can because it grants an excellent ability to trick security cameras.

The Grifter is one of the main skill trees that contain skills helping with the Casing Mode. Much like the first skill tree, the Grifter also takes advantage of the RUSH passive and grants you faster movement speed.

We would advise you to pick a few skills from this tree if you plan to finish the heist without even putting your mask on. The Social Engineering skill in particular is very helpful for Stealth, and is hence a top recommendation in this tree.

The Escapist Skill Tree takes advantage of the RUSH, EDGE, and GRIT passives to greatly improve your overall mobility. We would recommend Acing the skill to get the added bonus of EDGE on top of RUSH, which increases your overall damage.

If you’re looking for a skill more on the defensive side in Loud, then you can go for the Balanced skill which ignores a stagger if you get staggered while in RUSH.

The Strategist skill tree contains skills that are helpful for the Loud route in particular. It focuses on making enemy marking much more efficient, improving your damage, and defense.

The Misdirect skill is a great skill to get your hands on in the early game, as it allows you to stagger Cloakers and Zappers, which are very strong enemies. You can pick the Combat Marking skill too if you want to increase your overall damage.

Best builds to use in Payday 3

The dynamic playstyle and the varying difficulty of the heists make it very hard to make a single build that works best. Therefore, the best builds to use in Payday 3 are ones that match your playstyle and the situation at hand.

As you already know, all of the heists in Payday 3 can either be taken on in Stealth or in Loud – except the Road Rage heist which can only be completed in stealth.

For these two situations, we would recommend picking the best Stealth and Loud builds in Payday 3. However, if you’re looking for something specific to a particular playstyle, then you can also take a look at the Tank, Damage, Support builds, etc.

Best Solo Build

The best Solo Build is the main choice for lone wolves. Though doing a heist is always easier with teammates, this build doesn’t make it feel like that at all.

This build will have a mix of weapons and skills that complement both the Silent and the Loud route. For example, we chose an assault rifle as our primary weapon for its high damage output, mag size, decent range, and great accuracy.

Our secondary weapon, on the other hand, is going to be a silenced pistol to go along with the Stealth route. As for your skills, we will select ones following the same idea as well.

The complete build is as follows:

  • Primary Weapon Slot: Northwest B-9
  • Secondary Weapon Slot: Signature 40 (silenced)
  • Overkill Weapon Slot: Marcom Mamba MGL grenade launcher/HET-5 Red Fox sniper
  • Skills: Infiltrator, Quick Fingers, Manipulator, Stockholm Syndrome, Medic, Steady Hands, Triage, Ammo Specialist, High Grain, Plate Up.
  • Deployable: Armor Bag
  • Armor Lining: Standard or Heavy Ballistic
  • Throwable: Frag Grenades/Smoke Grenades
  • Tool: Infrasonic mines/ Motion Sensors

Best Loud Build

If you’re a guy who likes to give someone a bullet for every ounce of cash you steal, then the best Loud build in Payday 3 is something you won’t be able to resist.

This build is designed to take down every single cop that comes in front of you as you rob the bank. With high-damage weapons such as the SA A144 or the Model 11, damage won’t even be a problem.

As far as skills are concerned, you are mostly equipped with the ones that are responsible for topping up your ammunition. Since you will mostly be shooting hordes of enemies in the Loud mode, ammo is something you shouldn’t take lightly.

Apart from that, you have a general loadout that is specifically designed to get the best results out of a Loud Heist.

  • Primary Weapon Slot: SA A144 / Reinfeld 880/ VF-7S
  • Secondary Weapon Slot: Model 11, Stryk-7
  • Overkill Weapon Slot: Marcom Mamba MGL grenade launcher/HET-5 Red Fox sniper
  • Skills: Ammo Specialist (Aced), High Grain, Plate Up, Fully Loaded, Enforcer, Quick Reload, Solid, Sharpshooter, Combat Reload, Cutting Shot, Mower, Quick Reload, Solid, Combat Reload
  • Deployable: Armor Bag
  • Armor Lining: Standard or Heavy Ballistic
  • Throwable: Frag Grenades
  • Tool: Infrasonic mines/ Motion Sensors

Best Stealth Build

If you’re the type of player who enjoys being a sneaky ninja, then the best Stealth build is made just for you. This build is suited for taking on heists without ever getting spotted with the help of silenced weapons and stealth skills.

Apart from that, you are even equipped with tools that are built specifically for Stealth, like throwing knives, for example.

Since you won’t be killing many enemies in the stealth mode, your choice of weapons doesn’t really matter – as long as they’re silent. Other than that, the rest of the Stealth build is as follows:

  • Primary Weapon Slot: Car-4 with either the Scope or the Silencer attachment.
  • Secondary Weapon Slot: Signature 40 with either Obelisk or Snub Silencer.
  • Overkill Weapon Slot: HET-5 Red Fox Sniper.
  • Skills: Infiltrator (Aced), Quick Fingers, Bagger, Grifter, Walk the Walk, Social Engineering, Open Mic, Escapist, Battering Ram, Hacker, Secure Loop, Glitch Protocol.
  • Deployable: Armor Bag.
  • Armor Lining: Standard Lining.
  • Throwable: Throwing Knife.
  • Tool: Motion Sensor/ECM Jammer.

Best Tank Build

The best Tank build in Payday 3 is made exclusively for players who can’t handle a lot of damage. Either a lack of skill, increased difficulty, or whatever reason it may that makes you take a lot of damage, the Tank build will help you overcome the challenge.

Moreover, with the help of weapons like the Car-4, the Signature .40, and the Marcom Mamba MGL, you won’t have a problem dashing out tons of damage either.

Essentially, with this build, you could absolutely massacre New York’s entire police force standing at one place. You also have a few skills to top up ammunition as well to keep the bullets raining.

Lastly, the Tank skills we choose are most essential to this build as their bonuses help complete the build by greatly reducing the damage you take.

  • Primary Weapon Slot: Car-4
  • Secondary Weapon Slot: Signature.40
  • Overkill Weapon Slot: Marcom Mamba MGL
  • Skills: Ammo Specialist, Plate Up, Tank (Aced), Extra Plates, Last Man Standing, Enforcer
  • Deployable: Ammo bag
  • Armor Lining: Medium Ballistic Lining
  • Throwable: Flashbang Grenade
  • Tool: Infrasonic Mine

Best Damage Build

The best Damage Build in Payday 3 is exclusively created to dash out the most amount of damage you can. This build is especially useful in higher difficulties like Overkill, where you face stronger enemies.

This high damage is achieved with the help of some of the best weapons in the game, which include the Rienfeld 880 / SA A144, the J&M Casting 44, and the MGL Grenade Launcher / HET-5 Red Fox.

Apart from the weapons, the selection of skills is also a great contributor to the overall damage output of this build. An example of this is the Sharpshooter skill, which helps you gain EDGE by aiming down sights, increasing your damage significantly. With such a great amount of utility provided by this build, it is considered one of the best builds in Payday 3 generally.

The build loadout is as follows:

  • Primary Weapon Slot: Rienfeld 880 / SA A144 / Car 4
  • Secondary Weapon Slot: J&M Casting 44
  • Overkill Weapon Slot: MGL Grenade Launcher / HET-5 Red Fox
  • Skills: Tank (Aced), Armor Up, Sharpshooter (Aced), Longshot, Cutting Shot, Enforcer (Aced), Face to Face, Shock & Awe, Engineer (Aced), AP Turret, Cooling System, Spin Cycle, Dual Sentries
  • Deployable: Sentry Turrets
  • Armor Lining: Heavy Ballistic Lining
  • Throwable: Frag Grenade
  • Tool: Infrasonic Mine

Best Support Build

As opposed to the Solo build, the best Support Build is focused on a team-oriented playstyle, providing you with the necessary utility and resources to become a valuable member of the squad.

This build especially comes in handy when you are doing try-hard runs to achieve a perfect run, or just want to have some fun with a bunch of competitive friends.

Whatever the reason may be, the Support build takes advantage of Skills like Medic, and Extra Charge, among others, to help your teammates. You no doubt get the best weapons and the Tank skills to protect yourself as well.

The whole loadout is as follows:

  • Primary Weapon Slot: SA A144/ Reinfeld 880 / FIK PC9
  • Secondary Weapon Slot: Signature.40/ J&M Castigo.44
  • Overkill Weapon Slot: Macrom Mamba MGL grenade launcher
  • Skill: Medic (Aced), Extra Charge, Combat Medic, Manipulator (Aced), Silver Tongue, Menacing, Stockholm Syndrome, Tactician, Coup De Grace, Discombobulate, Expose, Scramble, Tank (Aced), Ammo Specialist, Fully Loaded, Top-Up
  • Deployable: Medic bag
  • Armor Lining: Standard Lining, Heavy Ballistic Lining
  • Throwable: Flashbang Grenade
  • Tool: ECM Jammer/Infrasonic Mine

Best Shotgun Build

Although the best Shotgun build is centered around a Shotgun specific playstyle, it has the potential to be considered a damage build because the damage output with this one is insane.

The main thing with this build is your choice of weapons. The first choice is the Reinfeld 880 pump action shotgun which is a close-ranged shotgun meant mostly for a run-and-gun playstyle.

If that’s not really your style, then you can opt for the Mosconi 12 Classic. This is a double-barrel shotgun that has a higher comparative range and almost the same damage output, which is insane, to say the least.

The whole build is as follows:

  • Primary Weapon Slot: Reinfeld 880 / Mosconi 12 Classic
  • Secondary Weapon Slot: J&M Castigo .44
  • Overkill Weapon Slot: Marcom Mamba MGL
  • Skills: Ammo Specialist (Basic), Plate Up, Mower (Aced), Ammo Funnel, Replenish, Tank (Basic), Extra Plates, Armor Up, Escapist (Baisc), Enforcer (Aced), Quick Reload, Face to Face, Combat Reload, Shock & Awe
  • Deployable: Armor Bag
  • Armor Lining: Light Ballistic Lining / Standard Lining
  • Throwable: Frag Grenade / Smoke Grenade
  • Tool: Infrasonic Mine

Best Pistol Build

If you’re someone who enjoys slinging around pistols rather than rifles, then we would recommend going for the best Pistol Build in Payday 3.

What the build provides is pretty much self-explanatory. We will be picking out the best pistol in the game and choosing the rest of the loadout and skills to improve the gunslinger-like playstyle.

Some of these skills include skills from the Gunslinger tree and the Enforcer tree, which help with using pistols and close-quarter combat respectively. The complete build is as follows:

  • Primary Weapon Slot: Reinfeld 880
  • Secondary Weapon Slot: J&M Castigo .44/Sfora Bizon
  • Overkill Weapon Slot: Any
  • Skills: Mower. Suppressive Fire, Ammo Fuel, Gunslinger, From the Hip, Heavy Hipfire, Finisher, Enforcer, Quick Reload, Face to Face, Solid, Shock and Awe, Escapist, Balanced, Swift, Tank, Hardy, Extra Plates, Armor Up.
  • Throwable: Flashbang Grenade/Smoke Grenade
  • Tool: Infrasonic Mine
  • Armor Lining: Standard Lining
  • Deployable: Armor Bag

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