Payday 3 marks a new era for developer Starbreeze Studios. Leaving its old engine behind and shifting the action into New York City makes Payday 3 a sturdy choice to be among the best FPS games this year – but there is an obstacle to consider. Though heisters are eager to jump over from Payday 2 ahead of the Payday 3 release date, brand director Almir Listo confirms that Payday 3 always requires an active internet connection.
During a recent Payday 2 livestream, Listo fields questions from players, with one avid fan asking: “Will Payday 3 have [an] offline mode, like playing solo?” Listo clarifies at 9:15 that Payday 3 is an always-online title, explaining that “no, you will be able to play by yourself, but I do believe you will have to have a connection.”
Sadly, that means if you happen to have reasonably unreliable internet, it is going to be difficult to play Payday 3 at all. Listo cites the game’s transition to Unreal Engine as a key factor in keeping the game in an online state: “Because it’s made in Unreal Engine, it’s using cross-progression, crossplay, and you will have to be online for this.” Having Payday 3 crossplay in the mix is a great win for PS5 and Xbox players this time around, as Payday 2’s lackluster console counterpart was heavily restrained content-wise in comparison to its PC version.
In our Payday 3 preview, we sampled the game’s multiplayer in full four-person teams, but it was said that Payday 3 is an experience that is enjoyed on your own too, thanks to advancements in Payday 3 combat and its accompanying AI. These work in tandem to elevate the notion of the ‘Hollywood Heist‘ – an essential ingredient to the Payday formula.
Despite technological advancements to the franchise, the choice to keep Payday 3 online at all times is already causing fans to abandon the game before it drops. “[I’m] not getting it then. My NBN connection here in Australia is somewhat unstable so no thanks. Lame move, Overkill,” says Redditor ‘BaldingThor‘. Conversely, others are canceling their pre-orders. “The one time I break my rule to preorder a game, I get punished for it,” adds ‘Czarchasm00’.
‘Kcan1‘ believes this is “horrible news. This game went from ‘I’ll buy the gold edition’ to ‘I might check it out once it’s on sale for $15’ for me.” With Payday 2 introducing stealth as a highly important element, many players have opted to play the game in solo mode, to avoid the pratfalls of random or inexperienced players.
Many players have already racked up thousands of hours doing this, such as Redditor ‘SomeRandomGamerSRG’ who comments they’ve clocked up “1000+ hours; I’d wager around 900 of those were offline with bots.”
Whether an offline mode will be implemented pre or post-launch is undetermined, but in our conversation with Listo himself, bringing improvements to Payday 3’s console version is equally as important as giving players an enjoyable experience across any platform. Payday 3 arrives on Xbox Game Pass on day one, but before then, check out the Xbox Game Pass July 2023 games roster to keep you occupied.