Every game comes with bugs, and the Payday franchise has some pretty memorable ones. While most of the funniest are in the sequel, the really useful ones survive in the first game because the devs don’t update it anymore, meaning that a number of strats have entered the high-level playbook despite being slightly different from what the developers intended.
1. Reviving people through walls. This is the most famous bug, and even low-level players should know this one. You can interact with objectives, equipment, and players through almost anything, the only requirement is that you’re in range. This lets you take cover in the nearby bathroom while reviving your downed partner who’s taking fire from three different directions.
This trick can also save your life during certain high-risk objectives. For example, during Panic Room the best place to attach the magnet is from the floor below:
So when you place your ammo or doctor bags, make sure they’re flush with walls that allow your team to use them from nearby rooms. On that note, also remember:
2. Ammo/Doctor bags are bulletproof. Cops cannot shoot through them (though you can), meaning that they can create additional cover if placed in strategic positions. Common spots include stairwell banisters, chest-high furniture, and doorknobs. Remember that cops always take headshots and the first-person camera is roughly sternum-height.
Speaking of getting the most out of your map entities…
3. You can duplicate objective pickups. This trick is more famous in Payday 2 due to the importance of keycards, but multiple teammates can pick up the same objective item if they grab it in the same frame. Heat Street’s gascans are the easiest to duplicate with this method; when you first reach Matt’s crashed van, have the whole team pile on top of what will imminently become a gascan spawn. If a gascan spawns there, everybody will grab it and you got four for the price of one. The same trick is doable on Slaughterhouse, though harder due to there being more possible spawns.
4. Only the host needs a silencer. During the stealth portions of missions, the game will not notice what firearms the clients (aka the three players connected to whoever’s hosting) are using. If everybody but the host used Brenner machineguns to take out the cameras in No Mercy, that’s fine. The game will notice if stealth-breaking actions are performed, such as shattering windows or killing guards, but this means that three teammates can bring Bronco revolvers and grenade launchers instead of gimping their loadout with silenced weapons.
5. Spots the cops will never catch you. Many, many games have “Jesus spots” and Payday the Heist is no exception. A popular one is behind the construction boards on Heat Street:
The cops will never path to your location. Simple enough. Now on the difficulties with respawn timers, one very bored player can be a bottomless get-out-of-jail-free card. But if nobody wants to see any cops:
6. You can fully-stealth No Mercy. From elevator to morgue, never sounding the alarm. The critical bug involves putting your mask on the second the screen goes black after playing doctor, and the rest just follows on after that.
Step aside, Diamond Heist, the best heist in the game just got even better.
7. The host has it harder. The four heisters were not created equally. Cops will target the host (aka whoever created the server) and AI heisters faster, meaning that there’s a statistical advantage to being a client. (On the other hand, clients will experience a delay when placing equipment, which means only the host can reliably speed-tag Bulldozers with trip mines.) This is because everything on the server is being run by the host’s computer, meaning the enemy AI get to skip the networking step of transferring data when firing at him. But this is a double-bladed sword for the police, because the host’s computer/network speeds will also determine how quickly the cop AI does anything. If the host is using an old laptop leeching internet from the hotel next door, you’ll often find police officers spawning into the map and then standing there doing nothing. This, again, happens because the host’s computer is literally handling everything, there are no dedicated servers like in, say, Left 4 Dead 2. So if you’re having trouble with an Overkill 145+ heist, consider downloading porn in the background to drop frames. There aren’t many games where that’s a valid tactic!