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First Steam ‘players’ were clicking bananas for cash, now it’s cats

The bizarre Banana game that has overtaken Steam has a new rival in Cats, which also drops priced items for players who continuously click.

A small, green cartoon cat on a background showing an exponential red line

You’ve probably spotted the mysterious Banana game that has scaled the Steam charts over the past week or so, overtaking everything except for Counter-Strike 2 – and even then, it’s sometimes pretty close. Tasking players with clicking images of bananas to earn Steam items that can, in theory, be sold for real cash, it now has a competitor in the newly released Cats, whose meteoric rise kicked off over the weekend.

According to Steam Charts, Banana has 789,976 concurrent Steam players at the time of writing, with a 24-hour peak of 834,343. This means that it’s overtaken several of the best PC games out there, including Dota 2, Elden Ring, and GTA 5.

Cats, which released on May 21, 2024, currently sits at 43,114, peaking at 48,554 over the past day. The premise is the exact same as Banana, except this time you click through a series of different cartoon cats to earn drops instead of myriad iterations of the same fruit.

It’s worth noting that Banana and Cats’ player counts are no doubt inflated with bots, given their potential real-world cash incentives for playing and keeping multiple instances open at once for periodic item drops.

An image from Steam Charts showing the player count for a game called Cats

But just how does this whole thing work? Well, I’d advise you to check out The Spiffing Brit’s extensive YouTube breakdown for a full explainer, but let me endeavor to explain the basics. When you visit the Banana Steam page, you’ll see an item shop. There’s a wide range of collectible bananas that double as Steam items, with some being so common they’re worth nothing and others being rare enough to seemingly net some real-world cash. Taking the ‘Disconana’ as an example, you can buy it for 19p and then resell it on the Steam Marketplace for 49p – a 30p profit. When an item is bought, the developer also makes money.

On the player side, you’re encouraged to play because, as per the game’s Steam description, every eight and 13 hours, you’ll receive a banana drop. You can then sell your items on the Steam Marketplace for real cash, with rarer drops netting you more money. You can see where this is going, can’t you?

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Given the sudden surge in popularity of both games, PCGamesN has reached out to Valve and Steam for comment. We’ll update this story if we get a response.

If you’re looking for something actually fun to play, however, we have a list of all the best free Steam games, as well as a rundown of all the top free PC games – I’d give those a whirl instead.

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