PAYDAY 3 – Stealth Guide

The Basics

Detection

When an NPC or camera sees something out of the ordinary, they will begin to “detect” it. If you are the thing being detected, you will hear a sound effect, the NPC or camera who is detecting you will have a “?” above their head, and a detection indicator will appear on your screen.

The longer you are being detected, the more this indicator will fill up, until it is completely full. Once the indicator is full, The NPC will spot you, changing their “?” to a “!”. Unlike the “?”, which can only be seen by the person being detected, every heister can see this “!” to inform them that someone got spotted.

NPCs and cameras will only be able to detect players if their head has line of sight to your head. Basically, if you can’t see their head, they can’t see you. If line of sight is broken while you are being detected, the detection indicator will disappear from your screen, and will (invisibly) start to deplete for as long as you stay out of sight.

If you are detected by the same NPC after breaking line of sight, the indicator will appear and resume filling up from however full it was. Note that NPCs and cameras have a separate detection indicator for each heister, so if an ally almost gets caught, you can sneak by right after without worrying about the NPC immediately spotting you. (unconfirmed)

Both NPCs and cameras can only detect things that are within a certain range of them, and only when they are actually looking in that direction. Cameras have a detection range of ~10m, and NPCs have a detection range of ~20m. Several things impact the rate at which you get detected (in other words, the speed at which the detection indicator will fill up). You will be detected slower if you do the following:

  • Walk instead of running.
  • Stand still instead of walking or running.
  • Crouch instead of standing.
  • Be as far as you can from the NPC or cam that is detecting you.

These all stack, meaning the best way to not get caught by someone looking in your direction is to get as far away as you can and crouch walk past them. You can even just crouch in a corner as an NPC walks right past said corner, then slipping past them once they walk past you.

Once you are fully detected (AKA “spotted”), the NPC who spotted you will perform some action depending on several variables, such as the type of NPC or security level. All of these actions and what causes them are covered in the other parts of the Stealth guide.

Suspicious Noises

If a guard hears a suspicious noise within ~13m of them, they will break their patrol to go investigate. While they walk over and investigate, they will have a triangular “!” above their head. If a guard hears multiple suspicious sounds, even if they were already investigating a suspicious sound, they will completely investigate each sound before returning to their patrol. The things that cause guard suspicion are:

  • The impact sound of a throwing knife.
  • A heister running in a secure area.
  • An activated audio lure.
  • The sound of a door lock being shot off.
  • The sound of glass breaking.

Note that destroying a camera with a throwing knife will not make a noise.

Guards will also investigate other, non-sound things that give them the same triangular “!” icon, but these are covered in separate parts of this guide, and they usually result in the guard taking some further action afterward.

Search Mode

If a guard cuffs a player, spots a sabotaged object, or fails to find a trespassing player that was spotted by a cam, that guard will take 3s to call on the radio in order to put the heist into search mode.

If you use up all of your radios and kill another guard, answering his radio will immediately sound the alarm, but by leaving his radio unanswered, the heist will instead go into search mode. This allows you to get away with 1 additional guard kill per heist, at the cost of entering search mode. If the heist is already in search mode, an unanswered radio will instantly sound the alarm.

When a heist is in search mode, guards & cams will be on high alert. All guards will break from their regular patrols, instead combing through every inch of the map, never staying in one place for too long. Private areas will be treated like secure areas (except guards still won’t investigate if they hear you running), so getting spotted by a cam will instantly sound the alarm, and guards will cuff you instead of escorting you if you are trespassing.

It is unconfirmed if there are any other changes in search mode.

Trespassing

In stealth, the map is categorized into 3 types of areas: Public, Private, and Secure. Each of these 3 security levels has different rules for how guards, cameras, and civilians will act in response to spotting you trespassing.

All of the responses listed below assume you have not masked up, since NPCs act the same regardless of security level once you are masked.

  • Public Areas
    • Civilians will NOT detect you, even if you do something illegal.
    • Employees, guards, & cams will detect you performing illegal actions.
  • Private Areas
    • Civilians will not be in private areas.
    • Employees will NOT detect you trespassing.
    • Guards & cams will detect you for trespassing.
    • If spotted by a guard, that guard will attempt to escort you back to a public area.
    • If spotted by a cam, the closest guard will be notified to come investigate where you were spotted. If you escape before being spotted by the guard, once he finishes investigating the area he will radio to put the heist into search mode. Therefore it is best to let the guard catch & escort you when a cam spots you.
  • Secure Areas
    • Civilians will not be in secure areas.
    • Employees, guards, & cams will detect you for trespassing.
    • Employees will NOT detect you for trespassing or performing illegal actions if the Social Engineering skill is active.
    • If a camera spots you, it will instantly sound the alarm.
    • If a guard spots you, he will run over to cuff you, then radio to put the heist into search mode.
    • If an employee spots you, they will radio for a guard to come investigate (unconfirmed).
    • If you sprint while in a secure area, any guard within ??m will be able to hear your footsteps, and will come over to investigate. They will follow your path up until you stopped sprinting and investigate where it sounded like you ended up. This can lead to a guard walking through a door even though you stopped sprinting just outside of the door.

What Counts as Illegal?

Sabotaged Objects

If a guard sees a sabotaged object, they will run over to investigate, stopping the sabotage if possible (such as stopping a hack). They will then radio to put the heist into search mode (if it isn’t already). Civilians, employees, & cameras cannot detect sabotaged objects.

Sabotaged objects include:

  • Destroyed cameras
  • Shot-off door locks
  • Intact throwing knife (only possible with Retriever skill)
  • A bag of loot or equipment on the ground
  • A computer mid-hack
  • A broken or cracked window

Illegal Actions

Certain actions are illegal, and getting fully detected while performing these actions will result in a guard coming to cuff you. If any player is cuffed, the guard who cuffed them will radio to put the heist into search mode.

Most illegal actions are specific to each heist, but you can tell which actions are illegal when unmasked due to the red “!” next to the button prompt. They will also show the text “(Observed)” if you are being watched by an NPC that would be able to notice the illegal action.

The following list contains all actions that are considered illegal, but do not have a red “!” due to not having a button prompt. Note that since simply being in a secure area counts as an illegal action, it will also be ignored by employees if you have the Social Engineering skill, RUSH, and are unmasked.

  • Holding out a tool (preparing to place it)
  • Being in a secure area.

Actions that ARE NOT ILLEGAL OR SUSPICIOUS include:

  • Carrying a loot bag (while unmasked).
  • Tossing a loot bag to a bot or teammate.
  • Marking a guard, civ, or camera.
  • Hacking a camera.
  • Looking through your already-placed microcams.
  • Closing window shutters.
  • Unlocking doors (NOT lockpicking)

Civilians will not care if they spot you performing an illegal action, but if a guard, camera, or employee sees it they will start detecting you. Performing an illegal action while already trespassing will not impact the speed at which you are detected. If you are fully detected while you are performing an illegal action, the NPC who spotted you will do the following:

  • Cameras will immediately signal the closest guard cuff you.
  • Guards will run over and cuff you.
  • Employees will take 10s to call security, making the nearest guard come to cuff you.
  • If the heist is already in search mode, guards will radio to sound the alarm. (unconfirmed)

Illegal Objects

All NPCs can spot illegal objects, and it usually results in your cover immediately being blown. Illegal objects include:

  • Scared/Cowering civilians.
  • Tied down hostages.

Upon spotting an illegal object, NPCs will do the following:

  • Cameras will immediately signal the closest guard to come investigate.
  • Guards will run over to investigate, freeing the civilian, then will take 3s to radio to sound the alarm.
  • Employees will take 10s to call for a guard to investigate. (unconfirmed)
  • Civilians will become scared, attempting to flee if there is no masked heister within 15m of them. (unconfirmed)

Dead Bodies

Dead bodies also count as illegal objects, but are unique in the way NPCs react to them. This can be partially circumvented with the use of the skill Pressure Points. Upon spotting a dead body:

  • Cameras will immediately sound the alarm.
  • Guards will take 3s to radio to sound the alarm.
  • Employees will beomce scared, attempting to push a nearby panic button or call security. (unconfirmed)
  • Civilians will become scared, attempting to flee if there is no masked heister within 15m of them. If they escape, they will immediately call the cops. (unconfirmed)

Hostile Objects

If a guard detects a sentry or masked heister, they will open fire if they have line of sight. If line of sight is broken, they will radio to sound the alarm.

All other NPCs, including cameras, do not detect sentries, but will still detect a masked heister, reacting as follows once spotted:

  • Cams will immediately sound the alarm
  • Employees will become scared, attempting to push a nearby panic button or call security. (unconfirmed)
  • Civilians will become scared, attempting to flee if there is no masked heister within 15m of them. If they escape, they will immediately call the cops.
Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 2995 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*