Steam reaches a record 20 million concurrent users as coronavirus spreads

Steam has broken records again with over 20 million online users and 6.2 million in-game players. The jump comes as thousands stay home due to Covid-19 and CS:GO experiences a surge in popularity.

SteamDB reported the accolade at around 13:25 GMT today, the precise number being 20,313,451. Unsurprisingly, Sunday has proven popular for the platform, with the last record PCGamesN reported around an hour later on Sunday, February 2.

Curiously, though 20 million is the highest since records began, the number of in-game players is yet to break records. Close to 7.2 million were online on new year’s day in 2018, and it hasn’t come close since. It appears a lot of users are idling in their library, browsing the store, or have just left it running in the background.

The top game as we speak is CS:GO at 971k, followed by Dota 2 with 616k and PUBG at 264k. On Saturday, CS:GO reached a record one million concurrent players, while Call of Duty: Warzone has seen 15 million in just four days.

Though not at its peak, the number of players in-game on Steam is still higher than it was during the last online user record by about 200,000. Either there’s a renewed passion for video games, or people are spending more time at their home desk.

Indeed, the global pandemic appears to be having some effect, with one Italian ISP reporting a 70% jump in traffic since the outbreak and a jump in Fortnite players.

The 14 million difference between those logged into Steam and those playing is substantial, but this record at least points to continued growth for Valve’s platform. Increased competition from companies like Epic doesn’t appear to have caused any major issues, though Fortnite did once beat Steam’s in-game player record all on its own.