Best Payday 3 Shotgun Build: Weapons, Skills, Equipment

An in-your-face approach to completing heists in Payday 3.

If our best stealth build is not for you, consider going with our best loud build. If you want to leave behind a trail of chaos, there is no other choice but to go with our best shotgun build in Payday 3.

The one main difference between a loud and shotgun build is that the latter is all about making an impression. You will be getting in close and dirty, blasting police and armored SWAT right in their faces before making your escape.

We have catered to a lot of players and come up with the best possible close-range build using a shotgun, including weapons, skills, and equipment amongst other things.

Best Payday 3 Shotgun Build Loadout

Primary Weapon Slot: Reinfeld 880 / Mosconi 12 Classic
Secondary Weapon Slot: J&M Castig .44
Overkill Weapon Slot: Marcom Mamba MGL

Ammo Specialist: Ammo Specialist (Basic), Plate Up
Mower: Mower (Aced), Ammo Funnel, Replenish
Tank: Tank (Basic), Extra Plates, Armor Up
Escapist: Escapist (Baisc)
Enforcer: 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

Payday 3 shotgun build weapons

There are only two shotguns to choose from in Payday 3. However, worry not as the two options available are more than enough for those who appreciate the run-and-gun approach.

The Reinfeld 880 is a short-range shotgun that has the largest rounds in the game meant for dealing large amounts of damage. It is simply a must-have for anyone running a closed-ranged shotgun build in Payday 3. A vertical grip will aid greatly with the sprint to fire speed for with weapon.

The second option for this build is the Mosconi 12 Classic, a double-barrel shotgun meant for a quick and destructive shot designed for dealing with enemies in a brutal fashion. Attaching a CQC barrel is a great way to reduce the extra recoil that comes with this weapon.

Although either weapon is feasible for this build, we highly recommend the Reinfeld 880 as its higher magazine capacity and faster reload, relative to the Mosconi 12 Classic, makes it the optimal shotgun for this close-ranged build.

For a secondary weapon, you can never go wrong with the J&M Castig .44 revolver. As a revolver it contains 6 bullets but each shot fired does massive amounts of damage to enemies.

Since you will be fighting close range, you will guarantee kills with this weapon. Make sure to attach a Tac Grip and Compact Compensator for an increase in swap speed and reduction of recoil, respectively.

Your Overkill weapon of choice can be the Marcom Mamba Mini Grenade Launcher. We found it to be best for dealing with large groups of enemies, especially the swat teams in Payday 3.

Best Payday 3 shotgun build skills

A closed-ranged shotgun build in Payday 3 is only as effective as the skill you use to enable your weapons to achieve maximum efficiency.

The Ammo Specialist (Basic) skill from the ammo specialist skill tree is a core requirement for this build. Since you will be firing a lot of rounds you will require a higher capacity of ammo, and with this skill, your reserve ammo capacity is increased by 20%. Furthermore, the ammo bags that you will deploy will have 2 extra charges.

Couple this with the Plate Up skill from the same skill tree. This will allow you to instantly regenerate your armor chunks with ammo drops, as long as you have GRIT. Letting you take 10% less damage from GRIT’s passive.

Mower (Basic) is another important skill to pick up for this build. It will give you a damage-increase Edge buff for every 35 bullets you fire. Optionally you can equip Mower (Aced) for a refresh on Edge every time you reload your weapon but we would not recommend it.

Pick up Ammo Funnel, which as long as you have Edge, will automatically add the ammo you pick up to the weapon you have equipped. In case your magazine is full it will be added to your reserve instead.

Invest in Replenish as the next skill from the Mower skill tree, which as long as Edge is active will automatically pick up the ammo dropped from the enemies you have killed.

Since you will be in close-quarters combat, having the ability to soak damage is a necessary aspect to ensure you stay alive. The Tank skill tree is a must-have in order to deal damage while you sponge bullets from enemies at the same time.

Tank (Basic) increases the regeneration speed of your armor chunks by 20% and gives you an additional 2 charges for your armor bag.

Acquire both Extra Plates and Armor Up as the next two skills from the skill tree, as they will give you 2 additional charges for your armor bag and the ability to restore an additional chunk upon interacting with any armor bag, respectively.

Escapist (Basic) is a great skill to select from the Escapist skill tree as it gives you RUSH, which increases your movement speed for the duration it is active.

From the Enforcer skill tree first pick up Enforcer (Aced). Mainly due to the fact that you will be up close and personal with enemies, you will easily be able to proc its passive of gaining EDGE on every 1 enemy that you kill within 5 meters, as long as you have GRIT.

Obviously, you will get GRIT from the basic version of the skill, which states that you need to kill 2 enemies within 4 seconds of each other with the same distance constraints as the aced skill.

As the default reload time for a shotgun is quite long, picking up Quick Reload becomes necessary as it increases your reload speed while you have both GRIT and EDGE active.

Additionally, pick up Face to Face as it allows you to deal 10% additional damage to enemies within 5 meters of yourself with both GRIT and EDGE active.

Learn Combat Reload next, as this will refresh your GRIT and EDGE every time you reload a weapon that still has ammo in its magazine.

Finally, choose Shock & Awe, which is easily one of the best close-ranged skills for a shotgun build in Payday 3. Upon killing an enemy within an 8-meter radius, you get the ability to potentially stagger all non-special type enemies within 5 meters of you.

Payday 3 shotgun build equipment

As far as equipment goes, choosing an Armor Bag as your deployable of choice is the best option for this close-ranged build as far as we are concerned. As it replenishes your damaged armor with each use.

You want to stay quick and agile as you run around gunning down enemies with your shotgun. For that, we recommend the Light Ballistic Lining Armor, a lightweight Kevlar armor that grants some ballistic protection all the while allowing for mobility.

Optionally, if you like to run around a bit more than the average player. The Standard Lining Armor is also a viable option as although it gives very little protection from bullets, it gives the highest mobility amongst all the armors available.

For a throwable, nothing beats a simple Frag Grenade as a tried and tested method of dealing with a large group of enemies clustered together in a cathartic manner. You can also choose a Smoke Grenade to daze and confuse the enemy but we recommend the frags as they are much more fun.

Lastly, the Infrasonic Mine caps off for this best shotgun build in Payday 3. The staggering capabilities of this plantable explosive are the highest among any throwable in the game. Giving you ample time to run circles around your foes.

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Ali is a passionate RPG gamer. He believes that western RPGs still have a lot to learn from JRPGs. He is editor-in-chief at but that doesn't stop him from writing about his favorite video ...