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Payday 3 Art Heist
Image via Starbreeze.

What is a Lead Guard in Payday 3? – Answered

That's one way to up the difficulty.

While trying to stealth your way through Payday 3’s heists on normal is a relatively straightforward affair, trying to stealth on higher difficulties can be quite challenging. You’re presented with numerous new things to consider, with cameras, for example, becoming indestructible on Very Hard and Overkill. The hardest difficulty, Overkill, introduces a mechanic that can screw you over if you aren’t careful. Here’s what a Lead Guard is in Payday 3.

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What Does a Lead Guard Do in Payday 3?

Payday 3 Guard Red Keycard
Image via Prima Games.

The Lead Guard is an Overkill difficulty-exclusive guard who has a repeating pager. When killing most guards, you’ll have a pager to worry about before they’re no longer an issue. However, the Lead Guard will require you to deal with a pager over and over again. This would otherwise be a standard inconvenience. However, you only have limited pagers to work with. On Overkill difficulty, you only have two pagers before the third sounds the alarm. With this in mind, you’d need to be nearly done with the heist before killing the Lead Guard could make some semblance of sense.

What Does the Lead Guard Look Like?

Payday 3 Lead Guard
Image via Prima Games.

To locate the Lead Guard, look for a guard with different clothing than the rest of the security detail. While most guards on something like the No Rest for the Wicked heist sport a standard shirt and pants, the Lead Guad will additionally be sporting a bulletproof vest alongside a cap and additional equipment. If any of that sounds confusing, you can see his image above.

The Lead Guard will also be found both with a much larger patrol route and in an inconvenient spot. In my run of No Rest for the Wicked, he would patrol the roof, the entire second floor and the first-floor stairwell. All of this while moving through the only stairwell in the building. This makes him a pain to deal with, as if he spots you, you’re screwed.

If you want more help in heisting, check out our Payday 3 No Rest for the Wicked stealth guide.

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Shawn Robinson
Shawn is a freelance gaming journalist who's been with Prima Games for a year and a half, 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.