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Baldur’s Gate 3 loses Steam Deck playtime top spot to new champion

After racking up the longest consecutive streak to date as the most played game on Steam Deck, the DnD RPG now enjoys second place.

Astarion, a playable character from Baldur's Gate 3, on a Steam Deck, with a Grizzbolt pal from Palworld on his shoulder

Following its six month reign as the game with highest Steam Deck playtime, Baldur’s Gate 3 has finally been usurped by a new favorite among the handheld community. Despite BG3 managing to hold its own against the game in question last month, its constitution roll simply wasn’t high enough to hold back the power of pals.

Sad as it is to see one of the best Steam Deck games swap gold for silver, this shift in popularity in no way diminishes the joy to be had in playing Baldur’s Gate 3 on the Steam Deck. This is equally true of previous champions, with one mainstay now surprisingly absent from the list.

A screenshot from X, detailing the most played games on Steam Deck in February 2024

Rising from second place in January, Palworld was the most played Steam Deck game in February 2024, according to Valve. How long it can maintain this position, though, is uncertain, as the game’s player base continues to steadily decline following a hugely successful initial launch.

Looking at the wider list reveals a welcome slew of new entries, including Helldivers 2, Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth, and Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor. In fact, this is the most debuts we’ve seen in a Steam Deck playtime list since Valve expanded the number of entries from 10 to 20 back in November 2022.

If the Steam Deck OLED wasn’t enough to quell any doubts of the platform’s popularity or longevity, it’s data like this that show Valve’s handheld gaming PC has plenty to offer releases new and old. Seven of the twenty games here are from this year alone, with the number rising to 10 if we also include 2023 releases.

While we’d love to see a leaderboard extend past 20 entries, for now all we can do is mourn the absence of previous Steam Deck darlings. Once the most popular game on the handheld, Vampire Survivors sadly didn’t make the cut this time around. Again, though, this doesn’t make it any less of a cracking time on the device.

With Valve keeping its Steam Deck 2 plans close to its chest, if you’re after higher levels of performance to play more demanding games on the go, check out our ROG Ally review. Alternatively, if you’re happy with your handheld, give our best Steam Deck accessories list a look for recommendations on how to improve your setup.