Palworld can’t dethrone BG3 as top Steam Deck games revealed

If you come for the king, you better not miss. Palworld was almost the most played game on Steam Deck, but Baldur's Gate 3 held on, again.

The most played Steam Deck games for January 2024 have been revealed, and while it may not be surprising to see Baldur’s Gate 3 top the list again, there’s this little indie hit called Palworld quickly closing in on the crown.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is among the best Steam Deck games you can play, and its verified rating tells you there’s no extra input needed from you to get it running great. Palworld, however, only holds a playable rating, so to see it debut at number 2 in the most played list, after only launching on January 19, is quite the feat.

Despite its lower classification, players have clearly had no issue finding the best Palworld settings on Steam Deck. There’s been no shortage of hype surrounding the ‘Pokémon with guns’ game, and it recently passed a major milestone with 19 million total players across Steam (12 million) and Xbox (seven million).

Baldur’s Gate 3 is still a sales phenomenon as a single-player RPG. Its continued domination of all the Steam charts sends a message to anyone who thinks games-as-a-service is the way forward, which is a more pertinent message with the controversial release of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League now underway.

Looking at the rest of the most played games for Steam Deck in January 2024, there are few surprises. Expansive, content-rich games round out the top 10, with GTA V, Cyberpunk 2077, Elden Ring, Hogwarts Legacy, and Vampire Survivors all featuring.

Steam Deck most played games for January 2024

One surprise in this month’s list is the exclusion of Starfield, despite Skyrim featuring in 12th place and Fallout 4 in the 19th position. While Bethesda’s space epic has had its troubles, to have it drop off the list entirely, while its older games continue to thrive, is a surefire sign that it hasn’t landed with players the way it had hoped.

Considering buying one of the best handheld gaming PCs around? Check out our Steam Deck OLED review for an in-depth look at the current king of portable play.