How to unlock safes in Payday 3

Payday 3 safe unlocking
(Image credit: Starbreeze)

Payday 3 safes and safecracking are a minigame that doesn't really go explained, meaning you might be halfway through a heist and suddenly realise you have no idea how to unlock the safe in front of you - which is hardly ideal in a well-planned burglary. Fortunately the safecracking minigame isn't as complex as it initially looks, and having gone through it myself, I'll explain it below so you're never caught unawares. Here's how to unlock a safe in Payday 3 - no code required!

The Payday 3 safecracking minigame explained

Payday 3 safe unlocking

(Image credit: Starbreeze)

To unlock a safe in Payday 3 requires you to go through a little minigame. When you interact with it, you'll immediately get a clear view of the safe's combination dial, and here's what you need to do from that point on:

  1. Turn the dial in the direction indicated by the arrow, left or right.
  2. As you approach the correct number, the dial will start shaking and juddering about. Slow down!
  3. Keep turning the dial, slowly, one number at a time.
  4. When you hit the correct number, the dial will turn green. Hold it there for a second for the first of the 3 icons below to fill in.
  5. Turn the dial in the opposite direction, repeating the above process until you fill in the second icon.
  6. After that, turn the dial back in the first direction and fill in the final icon.
  7. With all 3 correctly input, the safe should open.

Don't worry if you overshoot or input incorrectly - the codes for safes might be random each time you start a new game, but they're at least fixed and consistent within that session. So if a safe code started with 17-83 and then you entered the third number wrong, those first two numbers will remain 17-83 until the game is over.

The actual contents of safes vary depending on what heist you're doing, and will often contain useful info rather than anything more functionally valuable. For example, the safe in the Payday 3 Dirty Ice heist has blackmail material you can use on the manager, while the one in the Payday 3 Rock the Cradle job has a keycard and a code to the club's vault.

Payday 3 safe codes

Payday 3 safe unlocking

(Image credit: Starbreeze)

As far as I've experienced and found, the safes in Payday 3 don't have discoverable codes you can use - but then again, if you can do the minigame above, you don't need them. Codes in Payday 3 are usually tied to more high-tech or larger safety measures, like vaults or security gates, but anything that can be solved with a quick minigame can usually only be solved with a quick minigame.

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Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.