Steam users baffled as Palworld becomes most-played game on platform

Patrick Dane
Palworld PC Requirements and Specs

Steam users have been left scratching their heads as Palworld has become the biggest game on the platform despite many having never heard of it. 

In case you’ve missed it, Pocket Pair’s Palworld has had a pretty big weekend in the world of video games. The title has exploded in popularity since its early access release on January 19, making it one of the biggest video game launches ever. 

The game raced to 1 million sales on Steam in just eight hours, and since has sold a staggering 5 million copies in just three days. This was confirmed in a post on X/Twitter by the developer sharing the milestone.

What’s more, at the time of writing, it is the game with the most concurrent players according to SteamCharts with 910k players, over Counter-Strike 2’s 580k. It also peaked at 1,284,221 concurrents over the weekend.

However, with how impressive this al is, it has left many scratching their head. How has a relatively unknown game from a relatively unknown developer come completely out of nowhere?

Steam users try to understand how Palworld became so big

To illustrate, a thread titled ‘How on earth is this Palworld game so popular’ on the Steam Reddit page has garnered over 2.2k upvotes. The thread has struck a chord, with many trying to understand just why the game has taken off like it has. 

A player rides a flying Pal in Palworld

One user hypothesised the success, saying: “Pokemon fans are starved for a decent game + survival game so the Valheim/survival game crowd is in + “Pokemon + guns” memeability.” Another joked, saying: “It’s survival Pokémon with guns and slavery. That seems to appeal to people”

One commenter added: “Likely this is scratching an itch that people have wanted Pokemon to scratch for a long time”

Others are hoping that the game will affect how Pokemon is made, saying: “Really wish the success of Palworld would set a fire under Game Freak and Nintendo’s asses. Make them actually put quality first again instead of churning out games just because they sell, for now.”

Whatever the case, it’s clear this is a phenomenon in the world of gaming, and on Steam in particular. Palworld is one of the biggest gaming launches ever, and it’s spreading like wildfire with no signs of slowing down yet. 

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About The Author

Patrick Dane is Dexerto's Gaming Editor. He has worked as a professional games journalist for over eleven years, writing for sites like TechRadar, IGN, PC Gamer, GamesRadar, International Busniess Times and Edge magazine. He has over 2000 hours in both Overwatch and Destiny 2, though has a wide and diverse appreciation for a variety of genres.