The newest entry in the co-op heisting game, Payday 3, unlocked for early access today and we finally got the chance to play it. I have always been a fan of the first-person shooter and loved how replayable the last entry was, so I was really excited to dive into this one. After playing it for a bit, I can happily say I love the improvements that were made.

The new visuals look great, the gunplay is tight, and the progression is quite interesting, but is it enjoyable to play on the Deck? Well, after playing through all eight heists, I can say that Payday 3 can play alright on the Steam Deck, but it does need some compromises.

Payday 3's Performance on the Steam Deck

Looking at the minimum specs for Payday 3, I was a little worried about how it could run on the Steam Deck. Having a minimum requirement of an i5-9400F, 16gb RAM, and GTX 1650, I was worried running it would be extremely hard. Thankfully, this wasn't the case. Each heist was able to keep an almost completely stable 30 FPS with some modified settings. I did try to lower all the way to see if 40 was possible, but unfortunately, it wasn't from my limited tests.

For this impression, I tested every heist with 3 bots on normal, and a couple of the harder performing heists on Overkill instead of online matchmaking.

Since this is an impression, I didn't go through the settings and do extensive testing, that will come in our review in the future, but I did play on all low with upscaling set to Quality and Anti-Aliasing set to performance with a TDP limit of 12. While this did make the image a little blurry, it did keep the game running without much issue, except for two things.

First, the outside areas of the Dirty Ice and No Rest for the Wicked heists did slowdown a bit. Without any caps, the outside areas would slow down to around 25 FPS, but would go right back up to 30 as soon as you entered the buildings.


Second, there are some minor stutters here and there throughout playing. This could be fixed through the shader cache that will release, but if you are hoping to get into the game immediately, you will experience these. They aren't horrible to the point of noticing every single time, but it will appear here and there.

Overall, I was quite impressed with how it was performing. It definitely isn't an easy game to run, and does require compromise, but overall, it is playable. I am hopeful the shader cache will improve the stuttering, and I have not tested the game on the SteamOS 3.5 Preview, which could help a little more, but I would consider Payday 3 playable on the stable branch regardless.

Payday 3 releases on September 21st, but is available now with the early access you can get through its Silver and Gold edition. You can buy it multiple storefronts:

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