Today was a record-setting day for Steam: Valve’s games platform just broke its own record for concurrent users, with 18.8 million players online at the same time.
According to SteamDB, Steam saw a peak of 18,801,944 players Sunday at about 14:20 GMT, the most concurrent users ever. The previous record was 18,537,490, which was set on January 14, 2018.
Interestingly, while the number of concurrent users Steam is seeing right now sets a new record, fewer players were actually in-game at the time than in January 2018. That month saw a high of more than seven million players in game, while today’s in-game figure peaked at 5,956,968 in-game players.
So what accounts for all of the concurrent players today? It’s all guesswork of course, since SteamDB doesn’t provide additional information on what those players are up to. The top games of the moment are (in descending order) Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, Grand Theft Auto V, and Monster Hunter: World, which together account for around 2.5 million players.
As we’ve seen, recent analysis shows that more Steam users have VR headsets connected to their PCs than ever before, and Valve has made all the Half-Life games free-to-play in the lead up to the launch of Half-Life: Alyx.
.@Steam has broken its record for most concurrently online users that was held for two years. Previous record was 18,537,490 users. It's still increasing!
But there's about 1 million less players actually in-game (≈5.8mil vs ≈7mil two years ago).https://t.co/D6WDHbz0B4
— Steam Database (@SteamDB) February 2, 2020
There’s still that big 13 million differential between players actively playing and users connected, though. Last year, Steam hit the one billion account mark, and as we noted at the time, many of those are presumably used solely as bots for the purposes of Steam Market trading and various spam and scam schemes.
But a lot of those idle folks are likely people like me, who are working on something else while leaving Steam up in the background.
At any rate, all indications point to a pretty massive number of real life users – and to the continuing growth of Steam.