How to Level Up Fast in Payday 3

Power leveling is a little harder this time around.

Payday 3

While you play through Payday 3, you’ll be upgrading your arsenal at every possible moment to increase its power and efficiency. A player is only as strong as what they bring with them into a heist, so someone with the starting Car-4 is likely to do worse than someone wielding the end-game VF-7S. To get that stronger arsenal though, you’re going to need levels. Lots of levels. Here’s how to level up fast in Payday 3.

How to Level Your Character Quickly in Payday 3

Leveling your character in Payday 3 works very differently from how it works in Payday 2, and any other game on the market for that matter. Instead of getting XP every match, you’ll get XP upon completing the various challenges the game offers. These can be found within the Challenges tab located at the top of the main menu. Located within are challenges that are part of three categories: Heist, Career, and Combat. The challenges within are themed as follows:

  • Heist: Different heist completion challenges such as completing the heist in stealth or loud, or completing challenges exclusive to a particular heist.
  • Career: Reaching different Infamy levels, completing different heists with certain weapons and attachments, etc.
  • Combat: Killing enemies with a certain weapon, and deploying things like Armor and Ammo Bags.

As such, the fastest way to level up in Payday 3 is to work toward completing challenges from each category at the same time. For example, I could go into the Dirty Ice Heist and complete it on Very Hard while stealthed, then complete it with the Mosconi 12G shotgun with a mod equipped, all while running an Armor Bag to complete the King of Kevlar I challenge. This would work on three or four challenges at once, each netting me some amount of IP (the same as XP) toward my next levels.

If you’re looking for some help with completing a particular heist for a challenge, check out our Payday 3 Gold and Sharke stealth guide.

About the Author

Shawn Robinson

Shawn is a freelance gaming journalist who's been with Prima Games for a year, writing mainly about FPS games and RPGs. He even brings several years of experience at other sites like The Nerd Stash to the table. While he doesn't bring a fancy degree to the table, he brings immense attention to detail with his guides, reviews, and news, leveraging his decade and a half of gaming knowledge. If he isn't writing about games, he's likely getting zero kills in his favorite FPS or yelling at the game when it was 100% his fault that he died.