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Payday 2 – [TOP 5] Best Shotgun Builds

[TOP 5] Best Shotgun Builds - Payday 2

As discussed in our previous article about Payday 2 stealth builds, there are a lot of ways that you can take on heists in Payday 2. The game allows you a huge degree of freedom on how to play the game and each of the maps can be taken on with a variety of play styles.

Stealth is only one of the ways that you can play Payday 2.

There are other immensely fun ways that you can play the game. One of those ways involves using one of the loudest weapons in the game. It only makes sense that since we made the last guide about stealth, we make this one about loud firepower, the shotgun builds.

This article will focus on the use of shotguns as they are one of the most powerful weapons in the game and allow you to brute force past every enemy that you come across.

With the number of shotguns in the game, and the various perk decks and skills that compliment them, there are a lot of builds that are possible focusing on shotguns.

We’ll go through all the builds from advanced to newbie so that you can have the full shotgun experience. We hope you enjoy our guide on the Top 5 Best Shotgun Builds in Payday 2!

Advanced Shotgun Build – Payday 2

This build focuses on being a tank that deals an incredible amount of damage. This is one of the most powerful builds in the game as it can carry you through just about every heist in the game.

The build works well solo as well as with other people. Just like the previous build article we’re going to go over the weapons, perk deck, skills, deployables, and armor.

Advanced Shotgun Build - Payday 2


The primary weapon that you want to use for this build is the Raven Shotgun which is one of the best shotguns in the game. It is part of the Gage Shotgun Pack DLC so you’re either going to need that specific DLC or you can get the Ultimate Edition of Payday 2 in order to get all of the DLCs at once.

The weapon can be modded with a ton of stuff but you’re going to want to equip the 000 Buckshot, Long Barrel, the King Crown’s Compensator, and any mods that will increase the stability of the weapon.

The secondary weapon that you should equip with this build is The Judge Shotgun which is a fan-favorite and one that has been mentioned before. It is one of the best secondaries in the game and is an important part of every build’s arsenal.

It is incredibly versatile and powerful and can blast enemies in no time. To make this weapon your own for this build, you’ll need HE Rounds, Shark Teeth Nozzle, and the LED Combo mods. This makes the weapon pack a serious punch so that you can use it to dispatch regular enemies with ease. 

Since you’re going for a high damage build with the shotgun it makes sense to use a throwable that compliments that playstyle. For the throwable, I would recommend either Molotovs or Incendiary Grenades.

Intermediate Shotgun Build - Payday 2

Both are effective at crowd control and for weakening enemies so that multiple can be finished off with a singular shotgun blast.

READ MORE:  Payday 2 - [TOP 5] Best Stealth Builds

The melee weapon that you can use is the Buzzer. It can be used to stun enemies that get too close for comfort, or you can use it to stun civilians and take them as hostages. 

Perk Deck

The perk deck you’ll want to equip for this build is the Anarchist one as it makes you a walking, talking, and shotgun blasting tank. It allows you to have a lot of armor, especially if you Ace Bullseye.

That allows you to reduce the chance of your armor breaking as it increases the toughness for it. It works wonders because to make shotguns as effective as possible you’re going to have to get up close and personal. 


If you’re going for a shotgun build then it’s obvious that you’ll want to select the Enforcer skill tree. As for the branches that you should select, go for Shotgunner and Tank.

Both of these branches will help you stay alive while you deal a ton of damage so you’ll be an invaluable asset to any team. If you’re interested in completing heists solo then you should also include the Mastermind skill tree with the Controller branch as your primary focus.

Payday 2

It will allow you to convert people to your side and allow you moments of health regeneration. 


The main problem with shotgun builds is that they run out of ammo really quickly. That is why you’re going to want the ammo bag as your deployable. It will definitely save your life because there just isn’t enough ammo in the world for a shotgun build. 


The armor that you’re going to want for this is the ICTV. The ICTV stands for the Improved Combined Tactical Vest. It is the best armor in the game in terms of the damage that it can absorb. It has a base armor value of 170 which is insanely high and using the Anarchist perk deck with this deck will ensure that you’ll regenerate armor faster than ever. 

Intermediate Shotgun Build – Payday 2

This particular build is more designed for team play rather than being a one-man army. It uses the same weapons but there are changes to the skills, armor, weapon mods, and deployables.

This build does make it so that there is more of a threat of being downed by enemies but it allows for a great shotgun build that works well with other builds that are on your team.

Intermediate Shotgun Build - Payday 2

This build also makes playing stealthily viable as the weapons and skills are tailored more towards that. Here is all that you need for this build:


The primary weapon that you’ll want is the Raven Shotgun. This is one of the best shotguns in the game and it would behoove you to get it as early as possible. It can be modded for a bunch of situations but in this case, you’re going to want to focus on concealment.

The mods that you’re going to need for this are Flechettes, Silent Killer, and Compact Laser Module. You’ll have to focus on concealment if you want this build to be effective. 

READ MORE:  Payday 2: [TOP 5] Best Tank Builds

The secondary weapon is again going to be the Judge shotgun. This time though you’ll want to focus on stealth rather than damage. The mods that you’re going to need in order to make this work are HE Rounds, Compact Laser Module, and Shhh!.

Best Shotgun Builds

You’ll have to focus on concealment once again in order to be effective with this weapon. 

Perk Deck

The perk deck for this build is going to be anarchist again. It is a perk deck that just works well for people that expect to take a lot of damage so it can come in clutch in situations when you’re close to going down. 


To make this build as effective as it can be you should focus on the Enforcer, Fugitive, and Ghost trees. As for the branches that you should focus on, Ammo Specialist, Revenant, and Silent Killer should take priority.

These skills will allow you to focus on silently taking out enemies without having to worry about ammo, and will give you a lot of opportunities to stay alive. 

Payday Deployables


For this build, you should bring the armor bag as you won’t have the best damage absorption. You’ll start running out of armor pretty soon so you should bring some spare with you cause you’re going to need it. It can also really help your team get out of sticky situations. 


The armor that you should bring along with this build is the Lightweight Ballistic Vest because although it won’t give you a lot of protection, it will allow you to move faster thus giving you a chance to find cover before all hell breaks loose. 

Beginner Shotgun Build – Payday 2

This build utilizes some of the other weapons in the game. The primary is still a shotgun but the secondary allows this build to be more diverse and thus useful in more situations than one. You can complete a lot of heists really easily with this build and remain a flexible member of your team. 

Weapons - Payday 2


The primary weapon that you want for this build is the IZHMA 12G shotgun. This is a 12 gauge weapon that packs a serious punch. The most important mod for this weapon will be the Dragonbreath rounds that you equip with it. It makes the gun excellent at crowd control and makes dealing with every shoot out really fun. 

The secondary shotgun that you should use with this build is called the Jackal SMG. This sub-machine gun pairs really well with the shotgun mentioned above because it allows you to finish off enemies with ease after unloading some shotgun shells into them.

The weapon can also be modded with a suppressor so it can come in handy when taking out enemies stealthily.

The melee weapon that you can go for with this build is the Buzzer and for maximum crowd control, you should choose concussion grenades as the throwable. 

Perk Deck

Best Shotgun Builds - Payday 2

The perk deck for this build is going to be Rogue because this deck mainly focuses on being able to dodge a lot. This per deck makes that possible and enables you to dodge through a lot of the damage that is going to be thrown towards you. 

READ MORE:  Payday 2: Best Secondary Weapons


The three main skill trees that you should focus on with this build are Mastermind, Enforcer, and Ghost. In these trees, you should go for Controller, Ammo Specialist, and Sharpshooter. All three of these branches will help you survive and ensure that you can get out of the heist safely. 


You should carry the Doctor Bags in your deployable slot for this build because your armor isn’t going to offer you much protection as you’ll be mainly focusing on dodging rather than tanking. 

Armor - Payday 2


To ensure that you don’t have any penalties for dodging and movement you’ll have to equip the two-piece suit for this one. It makes engagements harder but also allows you to dodge through more damage. 

Newbie Shotgun Build – Payday 2

This is a build that is just okay for heists. It utilizes one of the weakest shotguns in the game but the benefit to using this build is that it is accessible early and it is cheaper compared to the rest of the build mentioned in this article.


The primary weapon for this build is going to be the Predator shotgun. This is a shotgun that is widely regarded as one of the weakest in the game but with the build, that is mentioned below, it actually makes this weapon viable for beginner level play. 

Payday 2 - Perk Deck

The secondary that you can equip with this is the Bernetti 9 for concealability. The weapon can also be outfitted with a lot of mods so you can make it so that this weapon remains the silent killer. 

Perk Deck

The perk deck that is most effective with this build is the Stoic one. The deck is easy to understand and to build around so it works well with the weapons and skills in this build. 


The three skill trees that you’ll want for this build are Enforcer, Mastermind, and Ghost. As for which branches to choose, you should go for Combat Medic, Shotgunner, and Artful Dodger.


You should bring Doctor Bags so that you can easily stay alive and heal yourself if you take too much damage. 


The armor that I recommend for this build is the Heavy Ballistic Vest. It is a tough armor that can prevent you from going down often. It is well worth the investment. 


In conclusion, these are only some of the builds that you can have with shotguns. Make sure to experiment on your own because shotguns are extremely viable in Payday 2 and can make the difference between succeeding or failing a heist. 

We hope you enjoyed our guide on the Top 5 Best Shotgun Builds in Payday 2. Please share to all your friends and family! Comment below with any other ideas.


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Written by Gaming Reaper

Small-time blogger and passionate gamer! I love to share things for people who are seeking information about their game! I hope by the end of this, you as a reader are more knowledgable about the game and will share the secrets to other friends and family!