PAYDAY 2 is a co-operative first-person shooter action game developed by Overkill Software and the successor to PAYDAY: The Heist . It was released on August 13, 2013, for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 via digital distribution and retail. An enhanced version (Payday 2: Crimewave Edition ) for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 was released on June 12th, 2015 for Europe and June 16th for North America. 
Payday 2 was announced when very little information was shared, other than Overkill Software would work on the sequel and 505 Games would publish it. In March, Overkill began showing previews of the game to major gaming publications.
The base game featured 12 heists, some of which take place over multiple days and locations. Overkill has released new heists through free or paid DLC, bring the total number of unique heist locations to over 20.
The Skills system featured in the original Payday has been more fleshed out, and has been compared more to an RPG-like leveling system, with five classes that players can choose to specialize in:
- The Mastermind can persuade police and civilians to assist the crew, and use the Doctor bag to heal the crew.
- The Enforcer can use heavier equipment and carry bags more easily, and is specialized in sustainability during firefights thanks to his Ammo bag .
- The Technician class, which specializes in explosives and marksmanship, returns from the Payday: The Heist Wolf Pack DLC. taking on elements of both the original Technician as well as the Sharpshooter upgrade path.
- The Ghost can disable security systems and sneak through levels easier, and has bonuses to mobility and general discretion.
- The Fugitive can provide quick fighting skills, with a predisposition to individual survival rather than support, altough their First Aid Kit can be used by the whole team.
Similar to the original Payday. heists have many dynamic events. For example, guards may have different patrol routes, safes and vaults may be in different locations, and the amount of cash and loot may be different. Some heists, such as Bank Heist. have different variants depending on the goal (i.e. cash, gold, deposit boxes).
Overkill has attempted to address complaints from the previous game. The PC version is regularly updated, runs smoother and looks much better because of the larger studio and the bigger budget. Furthermore, the game has more downloadable content planned than the previous game. The console versions, however, have not received the same amount of positive feedback, due to the lack of updates and support. (See below )
As mentioned in a developer Q&A, Payday 2 will feature special cross-overs into Overkill's upcoming 2016 co-op zombie survival, Overkill's The Walking Dead due to both games taking place in Washington D.C. 
- CRIME.NET - A dynamic network of local contacts offering contracts to the PAYDAY Gang.
- Dynamic Heist Progression & Scenarios - Most heists now offer multiple approaches with multiple variations of level geometry and events that can either compliment or complicate your approach. Some heists even have multiple days (a maximum of seven)
- Reputation. Skills. and Perk Deck System - After each heist is complete, the player is awarded with their payday (including a card ) and experience to level up their "Reputation." Every level 1 skill point is granted, with 2 bonus skillpoints each tenth level (10, 20, 30, etc). In addition to that, Perk Decks convert experience to perk points using a ratio based on your level, it starts at 100:1, and increases by 100 per perk point for every increment of 10 levels that you hit.
- Player Customization - Players are now able to purchase & customize masks. weapons and modifications for those weapons.
An in-game preview of Crime.net
In PAYDAY 2. Bain introduces the PAYDAY Gang to CRIME.NET, a dynamic network of local contacts offering contracts in Washington, DC. CRIME.NET splits Washington into five boroughs: Georgetown, West End, Foggy Bottom, Shaw and Downtown. No contracts are specific to one area and they can randomly spawn anywhere across the map.
The following descriptions of each contact is derived directly from the Contractor Database:
- Bain - The shadowy figure behind CRIME.NET. No one, not even the crew, has ever met Bain and contact with the contacts and the crew is carefully managed to ensure minimum risk to all parties.
- The Dentist - Little is known about the Dentist. He represents a large clientele whom he refers to as his patients. He is a determined, meticulate planner who has taken a great interest in the PAYDAY gang. He is the only one who knows how to free old Hoxton.
- The Elephant - John Henry Simmons, called the Elephant by the press. A dirty Republican Congressman with mysterious connections that go all the way to the top.
- Gage - Gage is an Afghanistan War veteran, known for being in a wheelchair after a failed assassination attempt. He is the best weapons dealer within the border - and a good assassin at that. Anything you might need, he's your man.
- Hector - A detail-oriented former business administrator. Hector is the biggest drug trafficker on the Eastern Seaboard and is next in line for leadership of the Sinaloan Cartel in Mexico.
- Vlad - A Ukrainian who used to be a feared enforcer in the Russian Motherland. Vlad's been running his own extortion and crime racket in DC out of his local bakery for years.
- The Butcher - The Butcher's business is weapons - their procurement, sales and distribution. With Gage on an "extended vacation", she is looking forward to a long and fruitful business cooperation with Bain and the PAYDAY Gang.
CRIME.NET in-game serves as the matchmaking service. There are two methods of connecting to CRIME.NET: CRIME.NET and CRIME.NET OFFLINE ; CRIME.NET requires internet access, while CRIME.NET OFFLINE does not.
CRIME.NET OFFLINE allows individual players to play with bots in heists. Joining a CRIME.NET OFFLINE game is impossible. CRIME.NET has all the same capabilities as CRIME.NET OFFLINE (except for pausing, even if playing alone), but it allows multiple players to collaborate on the same heist.
PAYDAY 2 is a cooperative first-person shooter with RPG elements. Up to four players can cooperate in a heist.
In each heist, players are required to complete objectives, usually in an effort to steal cash, intel, or valuables.
During the heist, the police will assault with waves of enemies in an attempt to eliminate the players. The players must overcome them and complete the objectives before escaping. For some
of the heists, a stealth option is available, allowing players to finish a heist without police intervening. But should the alarm be sounded, the police will begin their assault.
PAYDAY 2 includes several features to allow players to customize their experience including heist assets, masks, skill trees, and weapons.
Assets are tools that the player can purchase using in-game spending cash to assist in completing the heist. Most heists offer some form of assets and typically have unique ones as well.
For instance, an ammo bag may be purchased for use in a bank heist and will be available once the heist starts. In addition to that the player can opt to purchase insider info. which is exclusive to any variant of the aforementioned bank heist.
Some assets are also DLC exclusive such as the grenade case ; and thus requires ownership of the Gage Weapon Pack #01 to buy.
In addition to choosing your preferred character the player can unlock new masks. colors. materials. and patterns to customize their appearance. By default, players will utilize the iconic masks of each character.
At the end of each heist during the card drop. the player has a chance to earn one of the aforementioned components. There is also a chance that one of those drops may contain an infamous variant of said components.
It should be noted that once a mask (excluding Infamy-reward, event masks, achievement-tied and Poetry Jam masks) is customized, it will no longer be available for re-purchase until it is re-acquired via card drops. Any customization items applied to the mask will also be lost (although any items gained from aforementioned exclusions will also return rather than be deleted).
Skill trees are an RPG-esque feature which allows the player to balance between an adaptive and/or specialized playstyle. There are five skill trees in which the player may pursue: Mastermind. Enforcer. Technician. Ghost and Fugitive. As players complete heists and gain experience, they will progressively gain levels; dubbed "Reputation ". Each new level will unlock a single skill point (with multiples of ten giving three).
To allocate these skill points, players must use spending cash earned from completing and unlock tiers by allocating enough skill points to gain access to more skills. Each of the skill trees offer new abilities (body bags or silent drilling) to assist the player in completing heists.
Skill tree allocations can be divided into two sets: lower and upper tier. Lower tier skills (tier 1 to 3) costs one skill point to unlock the basic variant and three to unlock the aced variant. Upper tier skills (tier 4 to 6) costs four skill points to unlock the basic variant and eight to unlock the aced variant. Additionally, each skill may be "Aced" by putting additional points into it. An Aced skill may provide a bigger bonus or a different, sometimes entirely unrelated new ability.
The player may revert their skill point allocations via the "respec" option. This refunds them of all points invested into a certain tree for re-allocation, though half of the previous expenditure of money into that tree is lost.
Example image showing different modifications for the Compact-5 submachine gun.
Players can earn weapon attachments and other prizes upon successfully completing heists. For longer heists, this takes place at the end of the final day. Weapon mods are either attachments (such as scopes and suppressors) or modified/replacement parts (such as new stocks, foregrips, etc). Each weapon only supports specific mods, though most mods are usable on more than one weapon.
Each weapon mod affects the appearance and stats of the weapon. Some include a tradeoff (for example, increasing accuracy but decreasing concealability), while others only make positive changes. Players should take care to look at the mod's effect on the stat table, as some descriptions are not always updated.
After a weapon mod is found, it is placed into the player's inventory. The player may use spending cash to attach a mod to a weapon. The mod can be removed from the weapon and returned to the player's inventory at any time, but will cost the same amount to attach it again. For this reason, it is more cost effective to have two of a weapon with different mods than to take the mods on and off (e.g. owning a Compact-5 with a silencer attached for stealth and another with no silencer for greater damage, rather than repeatedly paying to remove and attach the silencer as needed).
Mod effects stack but are constrained; for example, if adding two mods that increases the stability of a weapon to the maximum value possible, adding a third mod that would otherwise increase stability will have no effect. Careful balancing of mods can improve the weapon with no downside, if the negative effect of each mod is canceled by a positive effect of another.
Before CrimeFest Update #39, the skill trees allowed players to be granted special skill bonuses that were sparsed into the different skill trees in addition to the strickly speaking skills. As of the update #39, the skill tier bonuses have been removed from the game, being replaced by the Perk Decks system which works in a similar way, but limits the player's access to beneficial bonuses. Most of the tier bonuses have been revised into Perks, but some have been removed entirely in update #39.
Downloadable Content (DLC)
Overkill planned to release more DLC and add-on content for PAYDAY 2 than for the original PAYDAY . This was planned to be between August 2013 and July 2014, however support has been extended to 2017.  A DLC Season pass was announced by David Goldfarb on Twitter, but was never developed.  
Several pieces of content present in PAYDAY 2 were created as results of Overkill's many collaborations with other studios, gaming companies or authors. Notable examples of such collaborations are the Hotline Miami heist and Jacket Character Pack (with Dennaton Games ), The Bomb Heists and Golden Grin Casino (with Lion Game Lion ), the 4 Humble Packs (with Humble Bundle ) and the SpeedRunners masks (with DoubleDutch Games ).
Aside from game developers, Overkill Software have also expressed their intention of working with certain gaming hardware companies such as Dell or movie corporations. Notable examples of such collaborations are the John Wick update (with Lionsgate Studios ) and the Alienware Alpha masks. A standard copy of PAYDAY 2 is included for free among other things upon purchase of an Alienware Alpha device.