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Payday 3: Best Skills for Stealth Builds

Trying to optimize your sneaking in Payday 3? You can't go wrong with these stealth skills.

Just like its predecessor, Payday 3 features a skill tree system that allows players to craft their own personal builds. Since there is a limit to how many skill points you have, it should come as no surprise that many want to find the optimal grouping for certain playstyles. For those trying to keep things quiet, here’s what we chose for the best stealth build skills in Payday 3.

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Payday 3: Best Skills for Stealth Builds

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Use the links below to fast-track to a specific skill you’re curious about. There are a lot more loud-based skills than those for stealth, so a quiet-only build will use most if not all of these. We suggest experimenting with all of them to help craft the best build for you.

Infiltrator/Infilitrator Aced

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The Infiltrator tree is a crucial part of any stealth build and that includes its initial namesake skill. Having this allows you to gain/refresh Rush every time you pick a lock or kill an enemy with a knife. The Aced version also provides Rush whenever a guard begins to detect you. Considering how valuable the movement buff of Rush is, we recommend going for both.

Quick Fingers

Next in line and the perfect follow-up to the previous skill is Quick Fingers. As long as you have Rush, it allows you to pick a lock in one go. This is helpful when opening multiple doors, but its real value comes from opening up deposit boxes in quick succession. If you’re trying to maximize your loot in No Rest For the Wicked, having this is vital.


Another natural follow-up, Bagger can save you a lot of time. It allows you to bag loot 50% faster as long as you have Rush. This also works perfectly among deposit boxes, especially in the Road Rage heist, but you can find other triggers to use it in other heists too.


The Master Node of the Escapist line can come in handy in either stealth or loud. It increases your base sprinting speed by 10% when your mask is on. We don’t recommend it for maskless run attempts though, unless you want it as a safety net in case things go south.


The Manipulator line itself is fantastic for dealing with hostages, although some of them are more helpful for loud. The base namesake skill is helpful on its own though, as it allows you to tie and trade hostages 50% quicker.

Grifter/Grifter Aced

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Along with the Infiltrator line, the Grifter line is another essential part of any stealth build. The starting Grifter skill activates when you’re in casing mode and provides Rush when within 1 meter of a civilian/employee. The aced version meanwhile activates when you mask up and intimidates any civilians/employees that see you within 10 meters.

Walk the Walk

Next is Walk the Walk, which makes it so that cameras won’t detect you trespassing in private areas as long as you’re unmasked and have Rush. They’ll still detect if you do something illegal (such as lockpicking doors), but it makes sneaking around much easier.

Social Engineering

Arguably one of the most broken skills that allows you to get away with a lot. Social Engineering only activates when you’re unmasked and have Rush, but it makes it so that employees don’t recognize you performing illegal actions. Feel free to lockpick to your heart’s content with this in your build.


Slippery is a simple skill that allows you to break free of handcuffs in case a guard detains you. Ideally, this wouldn’t be needed, but for many the quintessential Payday experience is when things go horribly wrong. This safety net skill is certainly worth a spot in your build. You will need to deal with guards in Search mode for the remainder of the heist though.

Related: How Long Do Searches Last in Payday 3?


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The Hacker line won’t seem attractive to all players, but it certainly helps for some players to have these skills. The initial skill allows you to briefly control a camera. It’s useful for seeing what’s nearby or moving it to allow a teammate to sneak by.

Glitch Protocol

Something else that can be overpowered in the right scenario. Glitch protocol allows you to hack a guard’s radio, distracting them for five seconds. This is a helpful skill when coming across the bouncer bug, but it’s also useful when a guard is escorting or about to detain you.


Most of the Strategist line works well for loud, but the initial namesake skill is a great addition for stealth. It allows you to mark an additional target and increases the length of marks by 20%. The aced version essentially doubles the effect, although you might find that to be more helpful in loud.

That covers what we feel are the best skills for Stealth Builds in Payday 3. If you’d like to see practical usage of them, check out our list of the 10 best builds. Other skill-related and general tips can be found at our PD3 guides hub.

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Samuel Moreno
Samuel is a freelance writer who has had work published with Hard Drive, GameSkinny, Otaquest, and PhenixxGaming. He's a big fan of the Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil series, but truth be told he'd sell his soul simply for a new Ape Escape game.