As players earn experience points, their reputation level increases. When a player’s level increases they earn skill points, allowing them to buy abilities and bonuses from skill trees representing five criminal archetypes and playstyles. It is not possible to max out every single tree and players are often encouraged to mix and match skills from each tree to maximize usefulness. Players also receive “perk points,” in proportion to their experience earned, that can be used to unlock additional bonuses from 17 “perk decks.” Players can switch between 15 profiles of skills, perk decks, weapons and equipment at no cost before starting a heist.
When a player reaches level 100, they can opt to raise their “Infamy” level, up to twenty five (as of 5 March 2015; there are only five levels of Infamy on PS3 and Xbox 360). Becoming Infamous grants a player access to special skill trees and items and gives them special poses in lobby screens. However, raising one’s Infamy level causes them to lose all of their spending money and experience, and a sum of $200,000,000 is deducted from their offshore account until they reach Infamy level 5 (going ‘Infamous’ after this point is free)