What The Hell Is Going On With Payday 3


Between all of the announcements at the Tokyo Game Show, some may not have noticed that Starbury Studios Payday 3 had been released. You would think it'd be noticeable, perhaps with a new peak concurrent player count or rave reviews from players whose critical opinions are slightly mixed. All this is an auspicious occasion for the franchise, as the sequel is arriving nearly 10 years after Payday 2.

Not only is it exclusive to current-generation consoles to ensure it's the best it can be, but there are numerous revamps to the weapon progression. The skill unlocks stealth difficulty in opponents, but that doesn't mean there haven't been some issues. You must always be online, with no offline option unless you're playing the tutorial cross-platform.

Play and cross-progression necessitate the same, but you can't even play solo without going online. Played any online titles over the past several years, the obvious question becomes: what happens if servers go down? Well, you wouldn't even be able to play a huge chunk of the content you paid for.

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Then again, maybe they won't go down, and it'll be fine. Since it was officially released on September 21st. Payday 3 has been rated mostly negative on Steam, with only 34 of its 21 856 and Rising user reviews being positive limited, as the number of user reviews on Metacritics is currently at a 1.9 user score on PC, a 4.1 on PS5, and 5.9 on Xbox series X, which is pretty terrible or slightly above average if you're on Xbox, so what the hell happened?

You guessed it: server issues. Like many modern titles, Payday 3 had an early access period where those who bought the Silver and Gold Editions could play a few days early. For the most part, the server performance was fine, but there were other issues with the game, like PS5 players somehow downloading an older version, which Star Breeze attributed to PlayStation not having the correct build on its store, but most could get in and play.


When Payday 3 finally launched worldwide on September 21st, it faced matchmaking troubles almost immediately. A quick look at the official payday timeline on Twitter provides a somewhat comedic but mostly tragic timeline. The development team went from celebrating a PS5 player earning the platinum trophy before the worldwide launch to two authentication issues within 1.5 hours that were resolved, and things seemed fine with Starbury celebrating that it was the top-selling game on Steam by revenue.

Unfortunately, not 10 minutes later, reports of slow matchmaking came in. Some fixes were deployed after about eight hours, but the instability remained another few hours later. The team reported that services were working slowly but surely several hours later. It was confident in being back to full force.

Of course, matchmaking went dead again in just a few more hours. This constant back and forth of the server seemingly being back online and all issues resolved before things failed once again continues as of the time of writing. Matchmaking went down, recovered, and went down again, all within two hours.


Let's get you back in the saddle. This is a small branch bank with shade that continues to echo for most players long after it became a meme. It's unknown what the exact issue is, but there are only losers in this scenario. Developers have had to work through the weekend trying to deploy fixes that aren't working and players can't play the game they spend money on; at least it's only forty dollars.

This is one of the defenses I've seen, and it's doubtful whether Star Breeze or Deep Silver, who published the title, will officially employ that anytime soon. Many would probably say that these server issues are expected for modern online titles or that this happened to Payday 2 at launch, but remember that bit about solo play and how it wasn't possible unless you were online.

Yeah, that was also unavailable. That most definitely wasn't an issue in Payday 2 because it had an offline option. Beyond fixing matchmaking and servers, Payday 3 had several other issues. The revamped progression system requires gaining infamy points to increase your infamy level, which is your overall account level weapons, and gaining skill points is locked behind infamy levels, the latter necessary for equipping skills that make a difference in your overall play style, so do you earn them by finishing heists with higher difficulties and awarding more?

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Not quite you need to complete challenges ranging from a complete X heist on normal or higher difficulty before or after the assault phase begins, killing a select amount of dozers. Cloakers, shielders, etc. It can take more than one heist to progress a challenge, so you can finish one solo while stealthy at Overkill difficulty and get no infamy points because it's completely irrelevant.

Some challenges require using guns that aren't very good to earn infamy points. For all of the hype about player freedom and playing your way, a system restricting that feels counter-intuitive. Furthermore, it incentivizes going for more bags during a heist. Why do that when you can get the minimum amount and speed run for That Sweet XP or Infamy points?

Farming the mission quickly also offsets the low amount of cash earned; none of the above even begins to scratch the surface. When it comes to other issues, when playing solo, you essentially need to match make for a heist. You must matchmake to play solo, which means waiting in the matchmaking queue, and naturally, because it's online, you can't pause, and lag is possible because, of course, it is an enemy.

AI is reportedly quite underwhelming, though at least the cloakers are on point. There's no pre-game chat or pre-planning map before a heist like Payday 2 is offered; you can't filter and sort challenges, which means going through multiple pages of the challenge book to see which ones you have progressed on.

There's no crime. Net or Lobby browser weapon customization is lacking thus far, and you must continuously earn XP to level it up and unlock mods. There is no filter between primary and secondary weapons. Selecting the secondary weapon slot should present only secondary weapons, but primary weapons are present, which means you can waste money on something that isn't even usable in that slot.

As you probably guessed, the user interface isn't very well designed, and the Ping system, which replaces the previous interaction system, feels clunky overall. Foreign, I could say that Payday 2 had numerous issues at launch and that these will be fixed with time, and hey, Payday 3 looks better while having better gameplay and fun.

Despite some controversies over its always online nature, even when playing alone, Payday 3 had a decent amount of hype behind it. The sequel to 2010's Payday 2 promises a complete overhaul of several systems while revamping the gameplay, improving the visuals and much more. Unfortunately, when it launched worldwide on September 21st for Xbox Series XS, PS5 and PC, Starbreeze's co-op shooter faced issues with its matchmaking and servers. Even when it seemed these were resolved, they cropped up once again, and due to the game constantly being online, solo play is out of the question.
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