PAYDAY 3 Beginner’s Stealth Guide

Learn the mechanics and tips of Payday 3 stealth.

General Tips

  • You have unlimited zipties! Use them!
  • Try not to kill civs. It takes away a percent of your money.
  • When masked up, don’t sprint! The guards will hear it even on different floors and begin a search.
  • If you’re observed while doing an action, try moving around to find a sweet spot that is out of the civ’s view.
  • Stealth requires patience. Use the tools and environment at your disposal to your advantage.
  • In contrast to the tip before, try take some risks as well. Find out what you can or can’t get away with. It will allow you to become a better stealther overall.
  • Use lures! They will cause the guard to deviate from his regular path, allowing an easy keycard snatch. Or open up space to run to a location that was being guarded.
  • You can silently take down guards without using any weapon.
  • The lead guard has indefinite pagers! Do not kill him! (Identified by the baseball cap) (only on Overkill difficulty)
  • If you’re caught doing something illegal or in a secure area, you will be cuffed. Either mask up and kill the guard, or use a skill / team mate to get you out of cuffs.
  • If you’re caught more than twice by the same guard, he will sound the alarm.
  • When playing with multiple people, if one of the heisters stay unmasked. They can then walk out the front door with the bags on their back! They won’t get detected by anyone.

Difficulty Levels

There are 4 difficulty levels ranging from Normal to Overkill. Each difficulty going up makes more money, but usually adds mechanics you have to be careful of when doing stealth.

Very Hard:
– Cameras are indestructible
– Cameras are Indestructible.
– There is a lead guard identifiable by wearing a baseball cap.
– If the lead guard is killed, he has a pager that goes off indefinitely. Avoid Killing Him!
– You get two free pagers. On the third pager, it will trigger a search, causing the guards to hastily walk around trying to find you essentially. On the fourth pager, it will trigger the alarm, causing the heist to go loud.


If you are being observed while doing an action. It means that you will be detected when you have completed said action. To know if you are being observed, there will be a red exclamation with the words “observed” near the center of your screen. You can usually crouch and move around to get a blind spot from civilians near by that lets you do an action without being observed. This ultimately just takes time and practice to figure out how to move around to not be observed.

An example is if you are trying to flick the power switch and a civilian is there facing the wall. If you move back slightly behind him and get in the right spot, you will be just out of view and therefore able to flick the power without being observed. Even though the civilian is standing right there staring at the power switch.


Lures are a great way to distract security guards to get to areas being guarded off. It will show an icon on a speaker that you can interact (F) with. Which will hack and cause the speaker to play noise that causes the guard to investigate. I think another thing that I should mention under this category is if a guard is about to walk near a masked team mate, you can alert the guard and save your team mate from being caught. It will also help make everything move quicker in general as guards tend to stand in the same spot for a while.


In order to get a keycard, you have to grab it off the back of a security guard while you are not being observed. A couple ways you can do this are as follows:

– Simply grab it off the security guard while his back is turned.
– Activate a lure which will force the guard walk towards the lure making an easy grab while he’s walking towards the lure.
– Having you or a team member get caught in a private area (not secure). Then grabbing the keycard while the security guard is escorting you and while you aren’t being observed. (Not ideal obviously but it works)
– There are usually different colors for each keycard, which will open different rooms. It is good to keep this in mind.

Takedowns & Bodies

If you played Payday 2, you know takedowns weren’t really a thing. You also would have to use body bags to pick up a body. In Payday 3, you can now do a silent take down without using a weapon, and you can grab civilians and throw them around to where you want to go. Just make sure after you throw the civilian to the ground you zip tie their hands. Otherwise they will sound the alarm if left for too long. When a civilian or guard is dead, you can simply throw them over your shoulder and place them in secure spot that wont be seen. This gives you a lot of control of the situation.

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