Payday 3 matchmaking not working: Why you can’t matchmake in Payday 3

Even the lobby music can get old quickly.

Four masks of Payday 3 characters.
Image via Starbreeze Studios

After a long day of behaving yourself and not stealing, it’s time to play Payday 3. But, you’ve been met with a matchmaking error preventing you from playing altogether. How do we fix matchmaking errors for Payday 3? With the solutions listed below.

The Payday 3 servers will put you in a matchmaking screen that will attempt to connect you and the rest of the squad into a game lobby, where you can select Favors, switch loadouts, and more. But the game may not always find that lobby, especially in times of high server strain or when the game is going through issues with its connection.

When Payday 3 can’t find a match, it can be for a multitude of reasons. Don’t stress, if your matchmaking isn’t working, there are ways to fix it.

Why can’t Payday 3 find a match?

Payday 3‘s matchmaking system can experience issues due to player count or technical trouble on Starbreeze’s side. At launch, for instance, Payday 3 players couldn’t find matches at all, which left them stuck in the lobby forever. You’d still get the regular screen when trying to join a lobby, but the game wouldn’t take you anywhere.

At the time, developer Starbreeze confirmed this was due to an error that caused slow matchmaking, then said matchmaking was “still unavailable.” This means players were completely locked out of matches, though in our experience, we could still buy and customize weapons and masks (and we gave the O.G. mask a nice new coat of paint while we waited).

These hiccups are par for the course for highly anticipated releases like Payday 3 (which carved out the first spot among the top sellers on Steam worldwide). Of course, that doesn’t make them any less frustrating.

How to fix Payday 3 matchmaking error

The official Payday 3 support page with disclaimers about delayed cosmetics on PlayStation 5, issues with invites on Xbox, and slow matchmaking across the game.
The support page is a good stopping point if you’d like to know if something is amiss. Screenshot via Starbreeze

Check Starbreeze socials

The issue causing matchmaking errors in Payday 3 may not be on your side of the connection. If you can’t find a match in Payday 3, the best step is to search for official communications from the developer, including its official social media or the official website.

Payday support also displays warnings related to server issues—in the case of the launch issues, a disclaimer said the devs were investigating a cause for the slow matchmaking.

See if others are experiencing the same issues

Other heisters may also share their experiences on Reddit, and report-based websites such as Downdetector can potentially flag issues with Payday 2 and 3.

Generally, this points to widespread issues on Starbreeze’s end, meaning there isn’t much you can do other than wait. This might also be due to unforeseen trouble on your platform, such as a Sony outage if you’re on PlayStation.

Disabling Crossplay in Payday 3

Matchmaking settings in payday 3 with mouse over the crossplay setting
Turn this off. Screenshot by Dot Esports

I’ve seen rumblings regarding crossplay in Payday 3 and how it can impact your matchmaking. By disabling crossplay in Payday 3, we can at least rule out one solution if it doesn’t work.

To disable crossplay in Payday 3:

  • Open up Payday 3
  • Go to settings
  • Open “Gameplay” settings
  • Then scroll down to the bottom to find Online
  • Turn Crossplay “Off”

Other solutions for matchmaking errors in Payday 3

Payday 3 Vault with money and gold and a guard shooting a shotgun behind a player with an america mask
This could be you. Screenshot by Dot Esports

If the failure to matchmake in Payday 3 actually comes from your side, it’s likely related to a problem with your connection. Detecting this can be trickier, and the first step is relaunching the game (a tried-and-true approach for a reason). You may have different authentication issues with your Nebula account, which is required to play the game.

In the realm of more mundane problems, switching your connection or restarting your router could also clear up easy-to-diagnose issues. If worst comes to worst, you can also use Starbreeze’s support website for more specialized help.

A simple computer restart can also be the step that brings you back into your heist matchmaking. This also includes a reinstallation of Payday 3, if need be. This solution, in particular, is the one you want to pursue last.

To do this:

  • Go into Steam
  • Find Payday 3 in your Library
  • Right-click Payday 3 and go to manage
  • Then click uninstall

This means you’ll have to install the game all over again.

The last thing you want is a matchmaking error on Payday 3. You’ll never be able to collect hostages if you can’t log on. With any luck, these solutions have been helpful, and you’re stealing once again.


Pedro Peres
Pedro is Dot Esports' Lead Destiny Writer. He's been a freelance writer since 2019, and legend has it you can summon him by pinging an R-301 or inviting him to run a raid in Destiny 2 (though he probably has worse RNG luck than the D2 team combined). When he's not shooting Dregs, you can see him raising the dead in Diablo IV, getting third-partied in DMZ, or failing a stealth heist in Payday 3. Find his ramblings on his Twitter @ggpedroperes.

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Harrison Thomas
CS:GO, Overwatch, and Valorant Staff Writer - Played CS:GO since 2012 and keep a close eye on other titles. Give me a game and I'll write about it. Ranks are private information. Contact [email protected]

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