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Is Payday 3 actually bad? Here’s why fans have rejected it

payday 3

Fans have deemed Payday 3 as “bad” and their displeasure is reflected in the mostly negative rating on its Steam page in the days since its release.

Payday 3 looks better than its predecessor, but that’s about it according to both fans and critics. Players have expressed disappointment at the lack of innovation in the franchise’s third installment. Despite looking shinier, the game lacks the polish and gameplay balancing an online co-op game ought to have. Developer Starbreeze has also been silent on multiple issues plaguing the game and some notable fan-requested features.

The game was released on September 21, 2023, and has 28,810 reviews as of writing. Most recent ones are negative. Many reviews call Payday 3 “bad” due to numerous issues that hinder gameplay at both the UX and gameplay levels.

Why is everyone saying Payday 3 is bad?

Server stability issues and matchmaking wait times are the biggest problems that have drummed up the bad fan reactions to Payday 3.

The game has had repeated matchmaking issues that prevent players from joining co-op games. Two months on from launch, the issues remain and no patch has addressed them. The developers have released some hotfixes, but nothing has solved this issue yet. This server issue has made players quit the game in frustration after waiting for a match. The game has an always-online requirement, making solo players wait for the connection to establish.

For a game focused on online co-op, having matchmaking issues is a death sentence. Server stability issues have haunted many online multiplayer games, including the likes of Ark: Survival Ascended, but those issues typically get fixed. That hasn’t been the case here.

Is Payday 3 dead?

Payday 3’s player counts are abysmally low and players haven’t left Payday 2 behind, which could lead to the death of the game. As of this writing, the 30-day average player count for Payday 2 is 25,096 while the average for Payday 3 is under 2,000.

Payday 2 has an all-time peak of 247,628 players, with the latest 24-hour peak at 25,025 gamers. In stark contrast, Payday 3 peaked at 69,112 players, with the last 24 hours only reaching 1,285 players.

Only 40% of the 32,787 reviews on Steam are positive, barely netting the game a “mixed” rating. The recent reviews remain “mostly negative” on the game’s store page. Payday 3 is also available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, with availability on Game Pass. While these numbers are only from users on Steam, review averages suggest that the PC version is the best of the three.

Embracer Group, owner of Payday 3 publisher Deep Silver, has acknowledged that the game performed below expectations. Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors stated in an investors call that “Starbreeze is now hard at work to improve the player experience.”

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Written by Bilawal Bashir

Bilawal is a software engineer who loves video games, comic books, and anime. But he will never love pineapple on pizza.

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