Top 10 Steam games peak player counts of all time: Most popular Steam games ever

Calum Patterson
steam top 10 games peak player count with pubg and csgo

Steam shows public player count stats, meaning we can see what games are most popular. These are the top 10 highest player counts ever recorded on Steam after Palworld zoomed up the charts.

From classics like Counter-Strike and PUBG to major AAA releases like Cyberpunk 2077 and Elden Ring, there is a wide mix of games that attract hundreds of thousands, and even millions, of players to jump in at one time.

The top played games are always changing, but over the years, some games on Steam have peaked at massive live player counts, with the highest ever at over three million. In 2024, a surprise new entry joined the list – the overnight success of Palworld.

In fact, Palworld went so viral in January 2024, that it even eclipsed Counter-Strike’s all-time peak player count, to take second spot on the list. It is now only the second game ever to hit over 2.1 million concurrent players on Steam.

These are the top 10 highest peak player counts on Steam of all time.


10 highest Steam player counts

RankGameRelease datePeak playersDate achieved
1PUBGDecember 21, 20173,257,248January 13, 2018
2PalworldJanuary 19, 20242,101,867January 27, 2024
3CS:GOAugust 21, 20121,818,773May 6, 2023
4Lost ArkFebruary 11, 20221,325,205February 12, 2023
5Dota 2July 9, 20131,295,114March 6, 2016
6Cyberpunk 2077December 10, 20201,054,388December 10, 2020
7Elden RingFebruary 24, 2022953,426March 5, 2022
8New WorldSeptember 28, 2021913,634October 3, 2021
9Hogwarts LegacyFebruary 10, 2023879,308February 12, 2023
10Baldur’s Gate 3August 3, 2023875,843August 13, 2023

Data via SteamDB (January 2024).

PUBG still holds the record for the highest peak player count of any game on Steam, with 3.25 million. This was achieved at the height of PUBG’s popularity in 2018.

However, since then, its average player count has dropped significantly. Although it’s still a popular game, it lags far behind Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which is almost always the most-played game on Steam every day.

Palworld’s shock success meant that CS: GO (now CS2) dropped to third in the list of all-time peaks. Palworld is also available on Xbox and Microsoft Store, so the true total will have been even higher when including all platforms.

counter-strike 2 test
CS: GO is over a decade old, but still setting records.

Other games that make up the top games in average players are Dota 2, Apex Legends, and GTA V. All of these games regularly achieve over 200,000 average players at peak times.

Of course, all of the games mentioned above are live-service, multiplayer games (GTA V has GTA Online), so what about single-player experiences on Steam?

The highest player count achieved by a single-player Steam game is Cyberpunk 2077. While the console version had a troubled launch, PC players enjoyed a much smoother experience, and it’s the only single-player game to reach over 1 million concurrent players on Steam.

Cyberpunk 2077 David Martinez
Cyberpunk 2077 holds the record for single-player games on Steam.

Next was Elden Ring, which despite a massive launch, just failed to crack the 1 million players mark, and it was followed by Hogwarts Legacy, with just under 900,000.

Remember, these are only players on the Steam platform — so players using other launchers like the EA App, Xbox App, or playing on console, aren’t counted.

We will keep this list updated as new games are released and try to beat the records.

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