Payday 3 Skills Overview Guide

Players can invest and learn different skill in Payday 3 to gain excellence in missions.

Players in Payday 3 have a vast library of skills to invest in and improve their abilities during Heist Mission. Depending on your playstyle, you can choose the skill to perform the best in every situation. You can become even more destructible if you select the right weapon for each situation on top of the skills.

Whether you want to increase your skills as a lockpicker or become a hacker, Payday 3 has covered you with its big skill trees.

All Payday 3 Skills

The Skills in Payday are very diverse and have a total category of 17 with 105 sub-skills in each one. It would be best to research each skill tree to unlock its sub-skills.

To unlock these skills, you need to have points in your Payday 3. After choosing which skill you want to unlock, head to the skills menu and unlock it using “1 Point”. Once the skill is unlocked, you must unlock the nodes, known as the sub-skills, using “1 Point” once again.

After that, you can unlock each subskills starting from the lowest in the node. For that, you will require “1 Point” for every sub-skill. The Payday 3 “Master Node, “the highest skill in each node, will automatically be unlocked once you have unlocked all the previous sub-skills in the particular skills.

You can also invest in the “Ace” skill in the first skill node to gain a competitive advantage over other players. Unlocking this skill is not required to unlock additional skills in the nodes, so it’s up to you.



You can invest in Medic Skill of Payday 3 to become a medic during the heist mission for tasks such as “Reviving Downed Teammates.” You will get access to the “Medic Bags and First Aid Kits” or that. The Master Note of Medic Skill is “Field Surgery.”

Medic BASIC: “You revive teammates 20% faster, and Medic Bags you deploy have 2 additional charges.”

Medic ACED: “When you start reviving a teammate, you are in GRIT. As long as you have GRIT, you take 40% less damage when reviving a teammate.”

Steady Hands: “Interacting with Medic Bags heals you for an additional 20% of your max health.”

Extra Charge: “The Medic Bags you deploy have 2 additional charges.”

Combat Medic: “If you have GRIT, successfully reviving your teammate will give you and that teammate damage immunity for 5 seconds.”

Code Blue: “Whenever a teammate is downed or disabled, you gain or refer sh RUSH. As long as you have RUSH, you pick teammates up 30% faster.”

Triage: “Interacting with a Medic Bag or First Aid Kit will consume active EDGE, GRIT, and RUSH and heal you for 5% each. You interact 50% faster with Medic Bags and First Aid Kits.”

Field Surgery: “Interacting with any Medic Bag will restore an additional 10% of your max health and restore 1 “down.”

Ammo Specialist

Ammo Specialist is a skill tree in Payday 3 that will make you an expert in Ammunition Drops during the heist missions. Also, the quality of the bags carrying ammo will improve for this skill. The Master Note of Ammo Specialist is “Top Up.”

Ammo Specialist BASIC: “Your reserve ammo capacity is increased by 20%, and the Ammo bags you deploy have 2 additional charges.”

Ammo Specialist ACED: “Whenever you pick up ammo, if your current weapon’s magazine is full, you gain EDGE if you don’t have it.”

Scrounger: “As long as you have EDGE, ammo drops have a 10% chance of replenishing one of your throwables.”

Fully Loaded: “Ammo bags you deploy have 2 additional charges.”

Plate Up: “As long as you have GRIT, ammo drops will instantly regenerate your current armor chunk.”

High Grain: “After interacting with an ammo bag, you get 20% more damage for 10 seconds. This bonus does not stack with itself.”

Mag Throw: “As long as you have RUSH, any ammo drops you pick up are also given to crew members within 10 meters. This won’t trigger the Mag Throw skill of other players.”

Top Up: “Interacting with any ammo bag will restore an additional 20% ammo and fully restock your throwables.”


Mower is your skill tree if you want to increase your damage output of the ammunition. Using this skill, you can kill more enemies than ever due to its roved consistency. The Master Note of Mower is “Sprint Loaded”.

Mower BASIC: “Every 35 bullets you shoot, gain EDGE.”

Mower ACED: “Whenever you reload a weapon with an empty magazine, refresh EDGE.”

Recoil Handling: “As long as you have EDGE, your recoil is reduced.”

Suppressive Fire: “As long as you have EDGE, every shot from your weapon can inflict a heavy stagger.”

Ammo Funnel: “As long as you have EDGE, the ammo you pick up is directly added to your equipped weapon’s magazine. If your magazine is complete, it’s added to your reserves instead.

Replenish: “As long as you have EDGE, you automatically pick up ammo dropped by enemies you have killed.”

Sprint Loaded: “You can reload while sprinting.”


Infiltrator is a skill tree in Payday 3 that will increase your skills as a lockpicker. You can then trespass on any public property and lose it whenever you like. As a bonus, your knife-throwing skill can also be increased. The Master Note of Infiltrator is “Frugal Thrower.”

Infiltrator BASIC: “Whenever you successfully pick a lock or kill an enemy with a throwing knife, gain or refresh RUSH.”

Infiltrator ACED: “Whenever a guard begins to detect you, gain RUSH.”

Quick Fingers: “As long as you have RUSH, a successful lockpick jiggle will immediately pick the lock.”

Retriever: “Your throwing knives won’t break on impact with the environment.”

Bagger: “As long as you have RUSH, you bag loot 50% faster.”

Blade Bouncer: “Your throwing knives will ricochet off the environment up to two times. The throwing knife will do extra damage for each bounce.”

Frugal Thrower: “Throwables you use have a 20% chance to be replenished after they are destroyed.”


Tank skills will help you strengthen your offense and the defense during the heist missions. You will get access to the upgraded armor, preventing you from getting damaged. Also, you will get an Improved ammunition bag, so you never get out of ammo. The Master Note of Tank skill is “Disengage.”

Tank BASIC: “Increase the regeneration speed of your armor chunks by 20%. Your armor bag has 2 additional charges.”

Tank ACED: “Whenever one of your armor chunks breaks, gain or refresh GRIT.”

Hardy: “As long as you have at least one armor chunk, any flashbang, stagger, and stun effect duration you suffer is lowered by 50%.”

Extra Plates: “Your armor bag has 2 additional charges.”

Armor Up: “Interacting with any armor bag will restore an additional chunk.”

Last Man Standing: “If damage would normally down you, you can consume available GRIT to stay on your feet and become immune to damage for 10 seconds. After this effect has been applied, you can’t gain GRIT until you heal using a Medic Bag or First Aid Kit or until you’re downed.”

Disengage: “Once per heist, you can free yourself from a Cloaker or Zapper, after which you can’t be disabled by them again for 5 seconds.”


You should invest in Sharpshooter skills to be a better sniper in Payday 3. Not only will the sniping skill be improved, but your AI will also be improved. If you hit any enemy, it will deal more damage, even if he is wearing armor. The Master Note of Sharpshooter skill is “Speed Aim.”

Sharpshooter BASIC: “Stand still for 1.5 seconds while aiming down sights or scopes and gain EDGE.”

Sharpshooter ACED: “Performing a headshot while aiming down sight will refresh your EDGE.”

Collateral Control: “If you destroy a Special enemy’s weak point, like the Zapper’s battery or the Nader’s belt, the explosion will only affect enemies.”

Long Shot: “As long as you have EDGE and are aiming down sights, distance penalties do not apply to headshot multipliers.”

Precision Shot: “When aiming down a scope, your shot will consume any EDGE you have. When this happens, your shot will do extra damage based on your scope magnification.”

Cutting Shot: “As long as you have EDGE, your armor penetration is increased.”

Speed Aim: “Increase your ADS and scope speed.”

Escapist Skill Tree in Payday 3

There will be many scenarios in a heist mission when you must rely on your foot to escape the crime scene. For this, you should invest in Escapist skills, allowing you to run faster than ever with improved mobility. The Master Note of Escapist skill is “Sprint Loaded”.

Escapist BASIC: “Whenever you sprint for at least 3 seconds, gain RUSH.”

Escapist ACED: “If you have RUSH available and slide, it’s consumed, and you gain or refresh EDGE.”

Balanced: “As long as you have RUSH and an enemy or effect would stagger you, instead consume RUSH and ignore the stagger.”

Move & Cover: “If you have EDGE available and vault or mantle, it’s consumed, and you gain or refresh GRIT.”

Slide Tackle: “If you have GRIT and slide into one or more non-Special enemies, you consume GRIT and stagger those enemies.”

Battering Ram: “As long as you have EDGE, GRIT, or RUSH, you can sprint through locked doors to breach them. Only effective on doors with locks that can be picked or shot.”

Swift: “Your base sprinting speed when masked on is increased by 10%.”


In hostile situations, using weapons will worsen the situation, which is where throwable comes into play. To improve your skill in throwab es, you should invest in Demolitionist skills. It also has a high success rate of getting rid of enemies. This is because this skill will make sure the throwable explodes upon hitting the target. The Master Note of Demolitionist is “Extra Munitions”

Demolitionist BASIC: “Explosions caused by your shots or throwables have their area of effect increased by 20%.”

Demolition ACED: “Whenever you cause an explosion, gain or refresh RUSH.”

Cooker: “Whenever you hold a throwable for at least 1.5 seconds before throwing it, gain GRIT.”

Shell Shock: “Non-special enemies damaged by your explosions get a permanent penalty of 10% to accuracy. This effect can only be applied once.”

Blowback: “As long as you have RUSH, non-special enemies damaged by your explosions lose all armor.”

Blast Shield: “Available GRIT is consumed to negate any damage you would normally receive from explosions caused by you.”

Overcooked: “Any throwable or weapon you use that has an explosive component will no longer run on a timer but will immediately explode on impact with the environment or an NPC.”

Extra Munitions: “Your throwable capacity is increased by 2.”


Enforcer is a skill in Payday 3 that will improve your “Close Quarter Combat” abilities. You will often find yourself in these situations when doing heist missions. The Master Note of Enforcer is “Shock and Ave.”

Enforcer BASIC: “Whenever you kill 2 enemies within 4 seconds that are within 5 meters of you, you gain GRIT.”

Enforcer ACED: “Whenever you kill 1 enemy within 5 meters range, if you have GRIT, gain EDGE.”

Quick Reload: “As long as you have both GRIT and EDGE, you have increased reload speed.”

Face to Face: “As long as you have both EDGE and GRIT, you deal 10% extra damage to targets within 5 meters of you.”

Solid: “As long as you have both EDGE and GRIT, you’re immune to stagger effects.”

Combat Reload: “Whenever you reload a weapon while the magazine still has ammo, refresh EDGE and GRIT.”

Shock & Awe: “Killing an enemy within 8 meters of you has a chance to stagger all non-Special enemies within 5 meters of you.”


Manipulator is your skill if you want to excel in every situation involving hostages. This skill will improve your ability to take hostage and their compliance. The Master Note of Manipulator is “Master Trader.”

Manipulator BASIC: “You tie up and trade hostages 50% faster.”

Manipulator ACED: “Whenever you trade a hostage, they count as one additional hostage.”

Overbearing: “Your shout range for intimidating civilians has increased by 20%. Civilians stay down 50% longer after being shouted down.”

Silver Tongue: “Trading Employees, Guards, or Law Enforcement counts as trading an additional hostage.”

Negotiator: “Trading hostages for First Aid now yields 1 additional First Aid pack.”

Menacing: “You can shout at guards, SWAT, or Heavy SWAT within 5 meters of you to force them to surrender. If you’re aiming at them, they will go down on their knees and drop their weapon. Any damage dealt to them or taking your aim off of them interrupts this process. Once fully surrendered, the SWAT obeys all the rules of a citizen, including any penalties for killing them. You can’t have more than one SWAT as a hostage at any time.”

Stockholm Syndrome: “When you’re downed, you can shout at a tied-down or cowering hostage within range to try and reach you and revive you.”

Master Trader: “Every hostage you trade between assault waves reduces the next player’s time in custody by 20 seconds; the minimum time spent in custody is capped at 10 seconds. This time reduction resets after any player has been taken into custody.”

Engineer skill tree in Payday 3

Engineer is a skill tree that lets you perform better in the heist mission by deploying sentry humanoid robots. These are intelligent robots capable of shooting enemies and dodging all incoming fire. The Master Note of the Engineer is “Targeted Fire.”

Engineer BA IC: “Unlocking this skill gives you access to the Sentry Turret equipment. This turret can be equipped in the equipment slot of your loadout. The turret will shoot any non-mechanical enemies it sees until the enemies are dead or no longer within sight.

As it shoots, it will build up heat until it reaches maximum heat. Once the sentry is at full heat, it will stop functioning. The owner of the turret can pick up the turret at any point to reset the heat to 0 and redeploy it. Equipping this skill increases the max heat build-up of your turret by 20%.”

Engineer ACED: “Increase the max heat build-up of your sentry turret by another 20%.”

AP Turret: “Increase armor penetration of sentry turrets you deploy by 1.”

Cooling System: “Reduce heat build-up from damage, electrical explosions, or hack attempts by 30% for all turrets.”

Detonation: “Whenever your turret overheats, it will cause an explosion that damages NPCs in an area.”

Spin Cycle: “Your sentry turret can now rotate 360 degrees to acquire its targets.”

Dual Sentries: “You can now deploy a second sentry turret, but all your turrets build heat 50% faster while shooting.”

Targeted Fire: “Your turrets will switch targets to whichever enemy you mark manually if it’s within line of sight. If you mark multiple enemies, it will prioritize the last one you marked.”


Gunslinger is the skill that will increase your Revolver and Sho gun managing skills. You will also get Hip Firing a bonus with this skill. The Master Note of Gunslinger is “Quick Draw.”

Gunslinger BASIC: “Whenever you switch your weapon, you gain EDGE. ADSing will end any EDGE you have active.”

Gunslinger ACED: “Performing headshots with your weapon in hip-fire will refresh any EDGE you have.”

From the Hip: “As long as you have EDGE, your hipfire spread is decreased.”

Heavy Hipfire: “As long as you have EDGE, hipfire shots will cause heavy stagger.”

Finisher: “If you have EDGE, the last shot of your magazine will consume it to deal 200% more damage.”

Quick Draw: “Increase your weapon swap speed.”


A mode in Payday 3 called Casing Mode will let you inspect the heist place as a civilian before anything happens. Investing in Grifter skills will allow you to be a professional in Casing Mode. The Master Note of Grifter is “Slippery”.

Grifter BASIC: “As long as you are masked off, if you are within 1 meter of a civilian or employee, gain RUSH.”

Grifter ACED: “When you mask on, any civilians and employees within 10 meters that can see you will become intimidated.”

Walk the Walk: “As long as you’re unmasked and have RUSH, cameras can’t detect you are trespassing in private areas.”

Social Engineering: “As long as you’re unmasked and have RUSH, employees will ignore you are performing illegal actions.”

Open Mic: “You answer radios 50% faster.”

Slippery: “After getting cuffed by a guard, you can break free by lockpicking the cuffs.”

Hacker skill tree in Payd y 3

As the name indicates, Hacker is the skill that allows you to be a better hacker in Payday 3. You can then be able to be run a stealthy operation without the consequence of getting caught. The Master Note of Hacker is “Signal Catch.”

Hacker BASIC: “You can hack cameras to access the area’s CCTV system. This functions as though you had accessed the heist’s security room. You gain one Runtime.”

Hacker ACED: “You can overload a device with an active Runtime. This will cause an electrical explosion that will stun anyone within range and destroy the device. You gain one additional Runtime.”

Secu e Loop: “You can use one Runtime to make the security camera you’re controlling Loop its footage. Cameras looping their foot e cannot detect you or anything unusual. If the camera is destroyed, you regain your Runtime use. If you apply a new Runtime at max Runtimes, your oldest active one is removed.”

Appliance Breach: “You can activate lures from a distance, as long as you have a clear line of sight.”

Routed Ping: “You can spend a Ru time to make the hacked camera automatically mark any guards or law enforcement within its range. Targets stay marked for 5 seconds after leaving the camera’s view and do not count towards your maximum number of marked targets.”

Glitch Protocol: “You can hack a guard’s radio to cause a disturbance, stopping and distracting them, pausing any action they are doing. You must have a line of sight to the guard to hack them. The guard is distracted for 5 seconds, after which they will return to their previous action.”

Signal Catch: “You can answer radios remotely if you have a line of sight to the guard’s body.”


Tactician is one skill that Payday 3 offers, allowing players to “Stun” and “Stagger” enemies during the heist missions. The Master Note of Tactician is “Scramble”.

Tactician BASIC: “Whenever you stun or stagger an enemy, gain EDGE.”

Tactician ACED: “It will increase your flashbang and smoke grenade area of effect by 20%.”

Crowd Control: “Civilians affected by your flashbang will cower for a duration that is twice as long as if you had shouted them down. Civilians affected by your smoke grenade will stop moving unless you order them to follow you.”

Coup de Grâce: “If you have EDGE, you will deal 5% more damage when you shoot a staggered or stunned enemy.”

Discombobulate: “Enemies affected by our flashbangs suffer a 40% damage debuff for the stun duration and 5 seconds after it wears off. Enemies affected by your smoke grenade suffer a 40% damage debuff while in the smoke, and it lasts 5 seconds after they have escaped the smoke.”

Expose: “Shots fired at enemies affected by your flashbang will ignore armor for as long as they are stunned.”

Scramble: “Any stun effects you apply last 20% longer.”

Strategist Skill tree in Payday 3

With Strategist skills, you can make plans and strategies with a 100% success rate. This skill will also improve your ability to handle unforeseen situations in Payday 3. The Master Note of Strategist is “Marked for Death.”

Strategist B SIC: “You can mark 1 additional target. Your marks last 20% longer.”

Strategist ACED: “You can mark 1 additional target. Your marks last 20% longer.”

Combat Marking: “As long as you have EDGE, you deal an extra 10% damage against any marked target.”

Threat Assessment: “As long as you have GRIT, you take 10% less damage from any marked target.”

Misdirect: “As long as you have RUSH, any marked Cloaker or Zapper that tries to disable you will suffer a heavy stagger instead.”

Marked for Death: “Whenever you are downed or disabled by an enemy, that enemy and up to 5 enemies within 5 meters of you are marked.”

CQC Specialist

Investing in Payday 3 CQC specialists is your best choice if you want to take down enemies without them ever knowing. Not only the stealth, but you will also get “Human Shield Effectiveness” using this skill. The Master Note of the CQC Specialist is “Cover-Up”.

CQC Specialist BASIC: “Whenever you perform a takedown, gain or refresh RUSH.”

CQC Specialist ACED: “Whenever you grab a human shield, gain or refresh GRIT.”

Soft Assets: “When you shove away a SWAT you’re using as a human shield, gain extra ammo. You move 5% faster while holding a human shield.”

Groundskeeper: “You per orm takedowns 20% faster.”

Pin Puller: “If you have GRIT and have a SWAT you held as a human shield, GRIT is consumed. And then one SWAT’s smoke grenade is triggered when they land. You move 5% faster while holding a human shield.”

Savage Takedown: “Whenever you perform a takedown, any civilian within 5 meters will immediately become intimidated.”

Pressure Points: “Corpses you’ve left after performing a takedown need to be examined in detail before civilians and guards realize they are dead.”

Cover-Up: “Taking down a guard will immediately also answer the radio.”

Bilal Tariq is a guides writer at He started his video games journey with Need For Speed and GTA Vice City on his parents PC. He is obsessed with F1 Games and Forza Horizon ...