Payday 2 is the follow-up to Payday: The Heist where once again the player can take control of one of the four members of the Payday Crew (Dallas, Hoxton, Wolf or Chains) and engage in several different heists in varying degree of difficulties. Much like the original, the player can rob banks, jewelry stores and the like but also take part in operations that can last several days and include stealing art, moving bags of cocaine or destroy money, evidence and even engage in the destruction of property to complete a mission.
Players can either use stealth to avoid detection and the attention of police officers, or go in blazing and attract as much police as possible. Each stage with their own degree of difficulty (known in the game as “pay grade”). Completing them nets the player large amounts of money to buy weapons, weapon mods, skills or create masks. Mask items and weapon mods are unlocked after players pick from three different cards which are available after each mission.
There are four specific classes: Mastermind, Enforcer, Ghost and Technician, each with their own skill sets such as the ability to use C4 to blast open doors (Technician), have police officers turn to your side (Mastermind) or use saws to open lock boxes with ease (Enforcer). The player uses skill points earned by earning XP after leveling up, from a skill tree. Players can also unlock weapon bags and health kits and equip them to use during robberies, however once a specific load out is selected it can not be changed at any time during the mission.
The major draw of the game is that players can join up with friends in co-op where players can choose to join missions through a mission selection through Crime.net. Players can also start their own heists and have random players to join in at any time during the robbery. While there is an offline mode where the player can play solo with two A.I. characters, the A.I. however can not carry loot or be given specific commands.