Payday 3 is a game where you can make everything work against all odds, and pistols are no exception. While sidearms tend to be underestimated in most games, this is not a mistake you should make in this game. In Payday 3, pistol builds can be as lethal as any other loadout with the proper skills and in the right hands.
If you want to play like a true gunslinger, stick with us and learn how to pick and customize your sidearm, which skills you should choose, how to select other equipment to complement your pistol build, as well as some other great tips for dealing with the game’s tougher enemies.
Are Pistols Good in Payday 3?
Pistols and other sidearm builds in Payday 3 are both fun and reliable. While we don’t recommend newcomers immediately jumping into a pistol-focused loadout, it offers a challenging and unique experience for completing heists.
This is especially true in higher difficulties. Running with pistols alone can be rough, but incredibly satisfying with the right skills, equipment, and pistol. It’s worth noting that pistols are great for both loud and stealth runs.
Factors to Consider for a Pistol Build in Payday 3
Certain heists may pose a greater challenge for pistol builds due to map size and layout. This necessitates careful weapon selection to ensure success in the heist.
In higher difficulties of Payday 3, enemies practically become Skynet AI, making them more competent and tougher to defeat. Prior experience in the game is crucial before attempting harder challenges with only pistols in hard or overkill difficulties.
While pistol builds are fun in Payday 3, they can be a disadvantage in certain situations. Reliable teammates are crucial for overcoming challenges and succeeding in pistol runs. Beyond that, it’s always nice to have a powerful backup weapon in case you get overwhelmed by too many enemies.
Pistols and sidearms often have limited ammo, so make each shot count. Be mindful of your deployable ammo bags and keep your weapon topped up. With this build, expect to take damage during heists, so prioritize your armor and health.
Some enemies in this game, like shields or dozers, can be tough to damage with pistols. It’s crucial to have the right tools and teammates to handle challenging foes.
Best Payday 3 Pistol Build
Newcomers to this franchise may struggle with pistol builds, but experienced players of the Payday franchise know the fun and reliability of pistols with the right equipment and knowledge. It’s important to get familiar with the game before attempting something as challenging as this. This guide will help you understand and shape pistol builds based on your needs.
The Best Skills to Use in Your Payday 3 Pistol Loadout
Here are the top five skill trees for a pistol build in Payday 3:
- Mower: This skill tree offers a wide variety of passive abilities that can make your heists successful by shaping your build according to your level and weapons.
- Gunslinger: When using pistols in Payday 3, being close to enemies is common. This skill tree focuses on hip firing accuracy, which is crucial for gaining EDGE. It emphasizes using accurate sidearms when firing from the hip.
- Enforcer: This skill tree rewards close and personal combat, enhancing your damage, reducing damage taken, and providing GRIT and EDGE. It’s recommended for loud runs, as stealth players won’t benefit from it.
- Escapist: The Escapist skill tree is perfect for players who prioritize speed and agility. It boosts movement and vaulting speed while providing buffs for staggering enemies.
- Tank: On the other hand, the Tank skill tree focuses on armor, benefiting players wearing medium or heavy armor. While taking cover and avoiding damage is crucial in Payday, having a skill tree that enhances armor regeneration is a valuable asset.
20 Best Skills for a Pistol Loadout
- Mower – Mower
- Suppressive Fire – Mower
- Ammo Funnel – Mower
- Gunslinger – Gunslinger
- From the Hip – Gunslinger
- Heavy Hipfire – Gunslinger
- Finisher – Gunslinger
- Enforcer – Enforcer
- Quick Reload – Enforcer
- Face to Face – Enforcer
- Solid – Enforcer
- Shock & Awe – Enforcer
- Escapist – Escapist
- Balanced – Escapist
- Swift – Escapist
- Tank – Tank
- Hardy – Tank
- Extra Plates – Tank
- Armor Up – Tank
- Last Man Standing – Tank
Best Pistols and Revolvers in Payday 3
- J&M Castigo 44: The J&M Castigo 44 is a reliable pistol for loud runs in Payday 3. With its brutal firepower, it can quickly take down most enemies in just one or two hits. You can’t go wrong with this revolver as it is great in short to extended ranges.
- Sforza Bizon: Unlocked at level 70, the Sforza Bizon is a late-game revolver with comparable stats to the J&M Castigo 44. It offers less recoil and improved accuracy, and its effectiveness can be further enhanced with attachments.
- SP Model 11: The SP Model 11 is a powerful pistol that can deal significant damage. Skilled users can even take down snipers with it. This weapon can also be suppressed, making it suitable for a loud or stealth build in Payday 3.
For more insights into the best pistols and revolvers you may want to use in your Payday 3 pistol build, check out our ranked tier list of every gun in Payday 3.
Best Primary Weapons for a Pistol Build in Payday 3
Yes, you won’t be using big guns during a pistol run, but it’s nice to have a reliable primary weapon in case things get ugly. Remember, it’s better to finish a heist halfway through than to waste time, lose, and make no profit.
- Reinfeld 900s: A sniper rifle that helps you deal with enemy snipers if you’re struggling against them.
- Reinfeld 880: A good option if you’re cornered by large groups of enemies and have no backup.
Best Equipment for a Pistol Build in Payday 3
What Favors and Deployables to Equip in Payday 3 for a Pistol Build
Deployables and favors for a pistol run depend on your playstyle and personal preference. Balance the available ammo, medic, and armor bags to refill your resources. When playing with friends, coordinate loadouts to cover all necessary resources for refilling.
Best Throwables to Use in a Payday 3 Pistol Build
- Flashbang Grenades: Flashbang grenades stun enemies, enabling you to approach and defeat them. Certain skills can also increase your damage against stunned enemies.
- Smoke Grenades: Smoke grenades help you reposition by obscuring enemies’ line of sight.
What Tools to Use For Your Pistol Build in Payday 3
- Infrasonic Mine: The infrasonic is effective for stunning enemies at choke points, enabling you to eliminate them with minimal damage. This kind of tool complements your Payday 3 pistol loadout because it can help deal with large groups of enemies. Large groups can overwhelm some players using pistols (and especially revolvers) due to their relatively low rate of fire.
Selecting the Right Armor to Match Your Playstyle
The armor you choose should be based on your play style. Lighter armor options enhance movement speed but sacrifice protection. For a pistol build in Payday 3, you will need to have great aim and try to keep at least some distance between you and your enemies. If you can effectively use obstacles to shield yourself from fire, you can make do with lighter armor.
However, if you find yourself taking too long in your heist, you will face tougher and more challenging waves of enemies that may require you to take more protective and cumbersome armor in your loadout.
Best Overkill in Payday 3
- Marcom Mamba MGL: The Marcom Mamba MGL is the perfect weapon to deal with annoying enemy forces. It acts as a powerful deterrent against large groups of enemies.
Final Thoughts on How to Complete a Great Pistol Build with Your Payday 3 Loadout
Payday 3 allows you to fully customize your pistol build to suit your playstyle. From skill selection and weapon choices to the right equipment and armor, every decision will significantly impact the success of your heists. Remember to balance your skills in your loadout, keeping in mind the need for speed, agility, damage output, and resilience based on the specifics of your mission and your role in your team.
The ultimate goal is to create a pistol build in Payday 3 that complements your style, enhances your abilities, and maximizes your contribution to the team’s success. Use our suggestions as a starting point. Then, keep practicing, experimenting, and refining; with time and experience, you’ll create the perfect pistol build for your own adventures in Payday 3. Happy heisting!
For more great Payday 3 content and another unique loadout, check out our guide on how to complete the best turret build in Payday 3. You can sit back and relax while your turrets spawn camp the AI and cover your flanks!
FAQs about Pistol Builds in Payday 3
Some of the top skills for a pistol loadout include Mower, Gunslinger, Enforcer, Escapist, and Tank. These skills enhance your capabilities in combat, improve your weapon handling, and boost your survivability.
The J&M Castigo 44, Sforza Bizon, and the SP Model 11 are among the top pistols to choose from in Payday 3. These weapons offer a balanced mix of firepower, accuracy, and versatility in both loud and stealthy operations.
While you’ll mainly be using your pistol or revolver with this kind of build, the Reinfeld 900s and Reinfeld 880 are good primary weapons to have as a backup. These weapons can effectively deal with enemy snipers and large groups of enemies.
Your choice of deployables and favors depends on your playstyle. It is essential to balance ammo, medic, and armor bags to refill your resources during a heist. Pistols are all-around good weapons. These additional loadout items can help you complement your strengths or fill in your weak points.
Your armor choice should match your playstyle. If you can use cover effectively and maintain distance from enemies, lighter armor can work. However, if your heist takes longer, you may need heavier armor to cope with more challenging enemy waves.
Pistols are great at medium range. It will help you and your squad succeed if you can better cover your close-quarters and long-range weaknesses better with other loadouts. For instance, a great shotgun build in Payday 3 will help ensure that up close, your team isn’t easily overwhelmed.
Likewise, to deal with snipers and other enemies from a greater distance, you may want to have one of your allies check out our Payday 3 sniper build to cover marksman ranges well.