Image via Overkill

The Best Payday 2 Dodge Build

Let's talk about the best Payday 2 Dodge build, what skills to take, and how to play it.

One of the best things about Payday 2 is that you can channel various bank robber fantasies through its build system, like the nimble Matrix-bullet-dodging gunslinger. In fact, Keanu Reeves, Neo, and John Wick himself are in the game, and Reeves brought the idea of dodge builds to bank heists way back in the day. Here’s how to make the best Payday 2 dodge build that’s up-to-date and works in the modern meta.

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The Best Payday 2 Dodge Build

Before we get into the Dodge build in detail, we must first outline that in the current meta, you can’t fully rely on Dodge to keep you safe. Due to the game’s percentage-based system, it’s highly risky and fairly suboptimal to invest heavily into Dodge chance through the Sneaky Bastard skill. That extra 10% chance won’t get you far. Instead, you can pick up other damage or utility-based skills that are more useful. Therefore, a great Dodge build should have some Dodge complemented by other defensive options to be viable.

For a strong Dodge build, follow these steps. Then let’s discuss its features afterward.

  • Use the Sicario Perk Deck.
  • Equip the Two-Piece Suit along with Concussion Grenades and First Aid Kits.
  • Use the Union 5.56 rifle as your primary and the Locomotive 12G shotgun as a secondary.
  • Try to get below 23 concealment.
  • Pick up the skills listed below.

Note that you’ll need the maximum 120 skill points for this build.

Payday 2 Dodge Build Skills

Pick up the following under each section and note the Aced ones:

  • Mastermind
    • Medic
      • Combat Medic
      • Quick Fix (Aced)
      • Uppers (Aced)
    • Controller
      • Forced Friendship
      • Confident (Aced)
      • Joker
      • Partners in Crime (Aced)
      • Hostage Taker (Aced)
    • Sharpshooter
      • Stable Shot
  • Enforcer
    • Shotgunner
      • Underdog
      • Shotgun CQB (Aced)
      • Shotgun Impact
      • Close By (Aced)
      • Overkill (Aced)
    • Tank
      • Resilience
      • Die Hard
      • Bullseye
  • Technician
    • Oppressor
      • Steady Grip (Aced)
      • Surefire
  • Ghost
    • Artful Dodger
      • Duck and Cover (Aced)
    • Silent Killer
      • Second Wind
      • Optical Illusions
      • The Professional (Aced)
      • Low Blow (Aced)
      • Unseen Strike
  • Fugitive
    • Revenant
      • Nine Lives (Aced)

This build will provide excellent shotgun damage and critical hit chance with Unseen Strike, where shotgun kills will boost your primary weapon with Overkill. Furthermore, your Dodge chance, combined with HP regeneration with the Hostage Taker skill and armor regeneration from Bullseye, makes for decent survivability. Your First Aid Kits will also guarantee sustainability for you and your team.

Payday 2 Best Dodge Build Strategies

The neat part about this build is that while it utilizes Dodge, it doesn’t heavily rely on the chaotic RNG of Dodge chance to survive. Be sure to take hostages to benefit from health regeneration and aim for headshots to regenerate your armor. Place medkits where you can since you’ll have a lot of them.

More importantly, players with this build should highly utilize cover and not overextend into enemies. Sicario will provide Dodge chance and a few other useful defensive features, but the build can work with the Hacker as well.

For combat, alternate between your Union and Locomotive based on range and hip fire in most cases. Once you are in close, your Locomotive will devastate your enemies with that critical hit chance. Once a few are dead, the Overkill skill takes effect. Immediately switch to Union for that 80% damage boost and start retreating and utilizing its medium range. Cover as well as hit-and-run tactics are your bread and butter. Never stay in one place.

Screenshot by Overkill

Optionally, if you want some extra utility and supportive skills, you can focus on shotguns and not take that Ace bonus for the Overkill skill. With some respec adjustments, this can give you enough points to reach the Aced bonus of Inspire in the Medic tree. Essentially, this turns you into a nimble hybrid damage dealer who can also revive their allies.

While Dodge isn’t the best defensive tool to rely on, it can be useful when combined with other skills. This build is therefore centered around periodically benefiting from dodge while outputting high damage and being mobile. Plus, your team will love you for your First Aid Kits.

That’s our best Payday 2 dodge build. Try it out for yourself and see if the playstyle works for you. Of course, feel free to tinker around the skill tree and adjust things as you want. You can swap out shotgun skills for assault rifle ones or even go with a sniper/dodge build. That’s the beauty of the game, and if you want more guides like this, you can find them in our Payday 2 vault.

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Gordan Perisic
From playing RPGs and dungeon mastering for his D&D group to reading novels and scribbling about his fantasy setting, Gordan is a full-time nerd and devoted writer for GameSkinny. He loves to overshare and discuss literature, music, animation, and trees with fellow geeks. Also, he may or may not cook too much food for his friends. Cholesterol is one hell of a drug.