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If you can believe it, Payday 2 has over 10x more players than Payday 3 on Steam

Interest in Payday 3 has seemingly evaporated just one month after launch.

Payday 3 is firmly in its rough patch era. The game's popularity has dwindled to a worrying degree, at least from what we can see on Steam. The heist simulator only came out on September 21, so it's been a little over a month since launch.

Perhaps the more shocking reveal here is that, as it stands, way more people are currently playing Payday 2 on Steam than they are the new game.

At the time of writing, Payday 3 has 2,122 players in-game, compared to 29,495 in Payday 2. SteamDB also lists Payday 3's 24-hour peak concurrent at just 3,234, which is more than 10x lower than Payday 2's 36,538 concurrent.

It is worth noting, of course, that Payday 3 is available on Game Pass, so the player base is likely much larger than it appears on Steam. Payday 3 also supports cross-platform multiplayer, which means it shouldn't be hard to find a match, especially considering the nature of the game. You don't need teams of eight or 16 players each, after all.

These figures are, however, reflective of the sentiment many shared in their Steam user reviews, which have always been stuck on the Mixed rating. It's clear Payday 3 has had its stumbles since launch, with matchmaking issues that persisted for longer than anyone would've have liked.

Though most of those problems have been solved, the impact they had at players eager to jump in at launch cannot be overstated. It's clear a large chunk of that audience moved on. Payday 3 also has its own troubles with the way player progression works.

The game currently does not reward players for finishing heists, or doing it stealthily. Instead, it has a Call of Duty-like progression system that incentivises grinding weapons for unlocks. It didn't help that developer Starbreeze wasn't initially willing to make changes, though it has since revealed plans to fix progression.

For now, everyone awaits the game's next big patch, and subsequent progression tweaks, now that servers and matchmaking issues have been solved.

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In this article

Payday 2

PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Nintendo Switch

Payday 3

PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

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Sherif Saed avatar

Sherif Saed


Sherif (he/him) is VG247’s go-to shooter and Souls-likes person. Whether it’s news, reviews, or op-eds – Sherif is always eager to tell you about video games. He's one of VG247's most veteran writers, with 10+ years experience on the site.