Payday 3's Progression Isn't Great - But It Could Be



I think it's safe to say right now that a lot of people have different opinions on ways to make Payday 3 better, but one thing that is getting a lot of discussion and a lot of flak in a lot of ways is Payday 3's progression system. A lot of players really don't like it, and I personally have gotten more and more distasteful towards it as time has passed, which I know is not the most positive way to open the article, but you don't have to just take my word for it about it being a hot topic because if we look at a poll I put up nearly two weeks ago.

Audience poll

I asked my audience what you thought of Payday 3's progression system, and out of over 6, 000 votes, only 5% of people said they liked the system. You've then got about a quarter who don't mind it, which is kind of where I'm sitting, maybe more towards those who don't like it as we go along. And then three-quarters of my votes nearly said they didn't like the system.


Clearly, something needs to change, and that's why I'm making this article to try and address the ways you can make it better, but in this article, what I want to do is try and discuss the good and the bad of Payday 3's progression system and what I think it does well. And what I think is that it maybe doesn't do so well and then also offers some ways to improve it regardless of whether or not they're already on Star Breeze's radar.

I want to make sure that everything is covered in this article because, if you don't already know. Star Breeze did try and stick to their guns for a while about progression, saying they're going to keep it as is, and then eventually realized that it really wasn't working and went okay. We'll work on improving it, so they are looking at ways to improve the system that is in the works.

They have said that, so I'm expecting changes to come at some point down the line, but we don't know what those are right now. I thought it would be a good idea to make this article right here and talk about the good and the bad. There will also be a section towards the end of the article, like my last one, looking at user comments.

Progression: the good things

Progression: the good things

The whole point of introducing the challenge system for progression, if you don't already know, was to encourage people to play different ways in Payday 3. They wanted you to try stealth and loud; they wanted you to try all different guns and try new features; they wanted you to mess around with different things in the game and experiment.

And that was the main drive behind it. It's not about just a basic leveling system; it's about the higher the difficulty level, the more things you've done in the game. In concept, I do think that's fine. I liked it when they told us about it in Sweden. I thought that sounded quite interesting.


As I said, it's only really an execution. As time's gone by, it's kind of weathered me down a little bit, but as I said, we'll get into that later. Another thing that I will think ties into that is that it does encourage, as a result, more gameplay variety. It's not just about encouraging you to try stealth and loud and different guns; there are also new features in Payday 3 that it pushes you to get a hold of, like the human shield.

That's a very big one. I think one of the challenges that I'm facing at the moment is trying to get 50 head shots while holding a human shield that encourages you to try a new feature. Things like that, I think, are really, really good. I think it's an interesting way to get you to try the new things that make Payday 3 stand out and do something different from Payday 2, so I don't hate that these things exist.

I think they're actually quite useful and practical ways to show people what's new in the game if, for example, you haven't played a Payday game in 5 years and you want to know what's new. Another positive I would say of the system is that there are no other rewards locked behind these challenges than infy points, and that kind of ties into a negative because some of the challenges I feel are a little bit too in depth and require you to do too much.


Again, I'm tugging at the negatives, but we will get there shortly, and I'm really glad they don't lock things like cosmetics, etc. Behind them right now, that obviously could change down the line, but I already felt there's not enough cosmetics; there's not enough suits in particular in the game; as we said, there's about five suits, and beyond that, it's just color variations.

If they locked some of the more interesting suits, or just more suits in general, behind these challenges, and they'd been as hard to get as a lot of them are, that would have rubbed me up the wrong way as well, so I'm glad that it's just quite simple: you earn ways to level up by completing the challenges, and that's it.

I'm very glad it doesn't open it to anything else beyond that, other than getting CA stacks for hitting certain levels in the game.

That could change down the line, but as it is right now, I personally really like that, and the last big positive that I want to talk about is that it just makes Payday 3 feel a bit more modern. I know a big thing with games like Call of Duty is that when you're playing Shooters, you also have challenges as a way to supplement your leveling up in Payday 3.

It's not a supplement, I know, but I like that you have this extra way to try new things out; you're encouraged to try things out. Payday 2 didn't really do that so much, so like I said, I do think there's some good things to the challenge system.

Progression: the bad things

Progression: the bad things

But now I need to talk about the negatives. I think it's important to do so because if I don't talk about the negatives, we can't talk about ways to improve the system. So, let's go through a few different things.

First off, it's all well and good to say that it encourages different play styles, but some people genuinely don't want to try them. There will be some people who just love stealth and don't care for being loud. There could be people who really like the loud aspect and don't want to sneak around.

Some people just won't want to be budged on. Some people will want to try it, and some people won't. And I think pushing you to try things you may not want to if you really are stuck in your ways about them may be very unfair towards certain players. I personally like the mix of stealth and loudness, but not everyone does, and I'm well aware of that, so I think forcing you to try something you don't want to is not the best thing, and the same applies to guns for me personally.

payday 2

My level has really started to stagnate in the 70s. I know Star Brey said you can get to 7080 fairly easily, and 100 is the soft cap and 150 is the hard cap, where you really have to push yourself, but for me. I've leveled up a few primary weapons, and I really started to struggle. I had to buy the VF 7s or scar blueprint.

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