Payday 3 entered early access on Sept. 18, but server issues kept many players from being able to properly play the game during the three day early access period. The game officially released today, and as I write this, I am nearing the 20 minute milestone of waiting to connect to a match.
What makes it all the more painful is the fact that my matchmaking preferences are set to “invite only.” That’s right, I have been waiting 20 minutes to find a match that will only include myself. Payday 3 only allows for online play—there is no offline co-op or offline single player mode. No matter what, you have to deal with matchmaking.
Players can excuse the occasional server issue. What I, and tons of other fans on Twitter and Reddit, cannot excuse is the fact that everyone has to wait for matchmaking even if they’re actively trying to play alone. In Payday 3, there is no way to set your preference for what sort of teammates you’ll be paired up with. This means you might get a teammate that fires his gun the literal second that the heist starts, thus making stealth no longer an option for anybody else. If you were hoping for a stealthy heist… too bad.
Because of this, I personally am extremely hesitant to play Payday 3 online if I have a specific goal in mind, because I simply have no way of communicating that goal to the matchmaking gods and no way of knowing if the people I’m matched with will share that goal. If my friends aren’t available, I’m going alone to ensure that I can full stealth a heist.
At the time of writing, Payday 3 online servers are down again, as Starbreeze has communicated in this tweet. The replies are full of frustrated fans voicing their concerns, but almost none of those replies are focused on the fact that matchmaking is taking an absurdly long time.
Rather, nearly every reply expresses a frustration at the fact that the game does not have any option to play offline, and that you have to go through the hassle of creating an online lobby set to private and wait for match making if you want to play by yourself.
Hopefully, Starbreeze takes to heart what so much of the Payday 3 community is saying and adds on offline mode as soon as possible.