GameSpot may receive revenue from affiliate and advertising partnerships for sharing this content and from purchases through links.

Payday 3 - Release Date Window, Gameplay, And Everything We Know

Developer Starbreeze hasn't shared too many details yet on Payday 3, but we have gathered some fascinating intel on the game since it was first revealed.


After years of secrecy and at least one police raid during dire times for developer Starbreeze, a new Payday game is almost here. Payday 3 is coming soon according to Starbreeze, but for now, the studio is keeping info on the game locked up tighter than a lost mouse in the Fort Knox gold deposit vault. While we're not quite ready to don a snazzy suit, clown mask, and pull off the information-based heist of the century, we can a look at everything that we know so far about the game and how it's shaping up.

Release date

Payday 3 will launch on September 21. Preorders for the game are available, and you can score a 17% discount if you purchase the game through Fanatical. Xbox Game Pass subscribers can also download and play Payday 3, as it'll be available as a day-one release through that subscription service.

Payday 3 DRM

Just a week before it was due to release, developer Starbreeze announced that it had removed the anti-piracy software Denuvo from the PC version of Payday 3. The anti-piracy software has a reputation for impacting the performance of PC games, although it's unknown what the exact reason was for Starbreeze's decision to drop the program just before the launch of Payday 3.

Payday 3 DLC

Like its predecessor, Payday 3 will receive post-launch content. Details on what players can expect are scarce, but for the game's first year, which is named The Bad Apple, the developer roadmap lists four DLCs.

Syntax Error will arrive in Winter 2023, Boys In Blue is scheduled for Spring 2024, The Land Of The Free is out in Summer 2024, and Fear And Greed caps off the first year in Fall 2024.

Trouble (and a comeback) at Starbreeze

The game has been in development for years, and has survived a turbulent period at Starbreeze as the Stockholm-based studio was on the brink of bankruptcy after Overkill's The Walking Dead emerged as a financially and critically disastrous game and accusations of insider trading resulted in a police raid, although former chief financial officer Sebastian Ahlskog was acquitted of these charges. After a period of reconstruction that gave it the chance to pay off its debt and once again become profitable--largely thanks to Payday 2--Starbreeze was in a much healthier financial state.

In March 2021, Starbreeze signed a $54 million publishing deal with Koch Media to assist in financing Payday 3's development, publishing, and post-launch support plans.


Payday 3 will launch for a wide number of systems, including PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One. Starbreeze says that the game is identical on PC and consoles, thanks to it being made in the Unreal Engine.

Payday 3 storyline

As part of the franchise's 10th anniversary in 2021, game director Erik Wonnevi shared a few more details on the storyline for Payday 3. The threequel is a soft reboot of the series and takes place several years after Payday 2. Dallas, Hoxton, Chains, and Wolf are back in action, and this time they'll be pulling off heists in a version of New York City, while also dealing with cryptocurrency, mass surveillance, and dark web themes.

Payday 3 gameplay

Starbreeze has revealed more of the game over the last couple of months, which retains its core identity as a first-person team-based shooter in which you pull off heists

Payday 3 is all about perfectly executing a plan and adapting your tactics when things inevitably go wrong, and you can expect some interesting developments on this front. The game evolves its formula with new and revamped special enemy types, new weapon customization and progression systems, as well as smarter enemy AI.

SWAT and Heavy SWAT units are some of the more common enemy units that you'll encounter, and as senior game designers Miodrag Kovačević and Jimmy Karlström explained in a developer diary, these foes will appear in every one of Payday 3's four difficulty modes. Higher difficulty modes will increase enemy numbers, accuracy, and damage, but enemy health is consistent around all settings in order to provide an even player experience.

Also, Ice T will appear in Payday 3.

Catching up on Payday

If you're new to the series and want to get better acquainted with it, you can watch a four-part docu-series that was released to celebrate Payday's 10th anniversary. You can watch each installment for free on YouTube, through the links below.

Darryn Bonthuys on Google+

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 4 comments about this story