Payday 3 hit with ‘Mostly Negative’ reviews amid launch server issues

Jake Nichols
Payday 3 gameplayStarbreeze Entertainment

The highly-anticipated release of Payday 3 has been met with a barrage of negative reviews, mostly focused on the ongoing server issues and controversial online-only requirement.

Unlike Payday 2, which allows for offline play, Payday 3 requires players to maintain a constant online connection, a decision that led to widespread criticism earlier this year.

Since since the game’s official launch on September 21, some Payday 3 players are experiencing matchmaking issues, preventing them from enjoying the game in solo or co-op modes. The mandatory login system, requiring players to register and login before playing, has added fuel to the fire. 

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The game’s subreddit and Steam reviews are flooded with frustrated comments, with the game earning a “Mostly Negative” rating on Steam after more than 19,000 reviews.

The server issues even led to a public apology from Starbreeze’s CEO, Tobias Sjögren. “We are so sorry that the infrastructure didn’t hold up as expected, and although it’s impossible to prepare for every scenario – we should be able to do better,” Sjögren posted on Twitter

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“We work tirelessly until we have restored all services and our players can get back to heisting again without issues!”

Lead producer Andreas Häll Penninger explained the decision to make Payday 3 online-only in an interview with Dexerto earlier in September.

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The game was “built with [an online requirement] in mind,” with features like “Security Modifiers” developed around this concept, aiming to provide a better overall game experience. 

This controversial decision has resulted in some players being completely unable to play due to the ongoing server issues.

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Unsurprisingly, the players have been vocal about their experiences, taking to Reddit to post comments such as, “They said Payday 3 would be online only. So far it’s offline only.”

“Online only is a MASSIVE drawback, and the fact that the servers have been almost constantly down since launch makes it an unplayable experience. Do not buy until servers are fixed or offline is added,” one Payday 3 player cautioned in a Steam review.

Players can check in on the Payday 3 social media pages for more information and updates regarding server outages and matchmaking issues. At the time of writing, the last shared official update stated, “The team is still working on the current matchmaking service outage, hoping to have a more positive update soon.”

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About The Author

Jake Nichols was formerly a Senior Writer on the Australian Dexerto team. A "washed-up" competitive gamer with an economics degree, he has a unique angle on industry trends. When not writing, he's snapping away in Marvel Snap and hunting purple sector times in sim racing games. You can contact Jake at