A crook’s guide to not getting caught, and letting NPCs (and their devastated families) take the hits for you.
New and old players alike fall victim to the same mistakes that cause them to stick out like a sore thumb. Below is a list of player and NPC behaviours to keep in mind with notes for each, and a handful of tricks I’ve picked up along the way afterwards.
A lack of experience and understanding causes new players often fall victim to a handful of mistakes, but don’t worry, it’s easy to offset these with a little practice.
- Staring at nearby cops as they move around the area. | Don’t be afraid to turn your back on cops
- Moving too often and too erratically | Take care and notice how the NPCs move around the map.
- Strafing while walking, especially in conjunction with looking at cops | If you need to look at something it’s better to walk an extra straight line.
- Walking after and following cops | NPCs will stop on long straight paths and look around a little, don’t get caught following a cop the whole way.
- Opening and closing doors. NPCs will walk through open doors but never open or close them | Better to follow an NPC through if you need to pass under supervision.
- Moving immediately after a PC hack or starting a fire | Better yet, wait for an NPC to be near you.
- Passing through metal detectors, but this one should be obvious with the audible -beep-
All of these can be offset by watching how the locals behave for a round or two, practice mimicing how they move, see how far you can push it with the cops.
Naturally, as some players are bad at acting like NPCs, so too are some bad at deducing robbers despite these above mistakes. Some cops out there are godlike savants that can see the fear in your quivering lip, they won’t hesitate to send you back to the spectator screen, best to learn from it all.
The sheep to cover your wolf-like demeanor. NPCs will generally act in the following fashion –
- Aimless movement for the sake of movement | Hide you intentions, take a zigzag path to the vault.
- Looking around at the beautiful scenery | The walls sure are wonderful aren’t they? While you’re not holding a weapon, looking straight up still appears to be forward, use this to take out cameras.
- Moving in straight lines unless there is a door or stairway to navigate. | The turns are quite extreme, observe and follow
- Turning consistently. | NPCs generally don’t erratically turn, turn fast or slow, but not both.
- Loitering in a location for a moment. | Breathe and take your time, the rounds a long.
Merely observing the NPCs and following them around will give you a good indication of how they behave.
Situational Tips and Tricks
Dealing with Being Caught
Did you just get seen tossing a molotov at a crowd of innocent bystanders? You’ve been seen and are on the run, best thing you can do is break line of sight, change your disguise (even as civilian) and blend back into a group of people. What might appear to be a failure on your part has actually distracted one or many cops from the rest of your team’s antics, it’s a blessing in disguise, much like you.
Pinning it on the NPC – Cop Bait
A handful of classes are especially effective at baiting cops into shooting NPCs and getting knocked out for the remainder of the round:
- The Ninja can sit next to plants in a box and ignite it as NPCs walk past.
- The Pickpocket can herd NPCs around the map like a shepherd, while guaranteed to get attention, his secondary ability allows you to strip cops of their ability for when they get too close.
Likewise, the concept behind these tactics are not specific to certain classes, timing your actions with NPCs is key to getting rid of cops for the round.
It’s Probably not Hacks
Some cop classes provide omniscient abilities that seem like magic, the detective has the ability to see footsteps, meaning that window you jumped through now has a trail of footprints leading to where you’re standing. Identify the problem classes that counter you and learn how to deal with them.
Dealing with Elite Cop Players
Somehow, despite all your best efforts you will find that you’ve done an action and gotten killed despite not being caught in the act. A handful of cops out there have memorised the robber’s civilian outfits based on their class. Offset this savantism by changing your civilian disguise early if you intend to make a ruckus.
As mentioned previously, some cops are just going to notice you, whether it was a hunch or not on their part, you can’t guarantee your shenanigans will go unnoticed.
Smile, accept it, maybe ask in all chat what gave you away, most people are happy to share information.
And finally, there’s no progression, no unlocks, don’t get mad when then next round is <5 minutes away. Have fun with it!