Steam hits a new peak of 20 million concurrent users thanks to quarantines and social distancing


It’s very likely that global quarantines caused by the novel coronavirus have helped matters, but regardless of the reason, Steam concurrency numbers hit a new peak this weekend, topping off at over 20 million players online at once.

The breakdown effectively showcases that the big games are simply got bigger, with PUBG cresting at over 500K players, Dota 2 getting to nearly 700K players, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive hitting its own new record of one million concurrent players, the most in the shooter’s seven year history.

There are, of course, a number of factors likely at play, either with these titles improving themselves over time, the previously alluded to quarantines, or just a basic sense of comfort people have with specific titles. Whatever the reason, it was a busy couple of days for Steam and it’s likely only going to get busier over the next few weeks.

sources: Steam via DSO Gaming, PCGamesN

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Multiple whole aisles in stores around are completely empty of product. Over the weekend in the middle of the day there were very few people still out shopping.

It’s so weird being out and seeing how empty everything is. It almost looks apocalyptic around here.

People literally down the road from us are confirmed to have Covid-19. I’m not super worried for myself (although I certainly don’t want it either), but I’m terribly worried for my Grandmother.

It absolutely is people self quarantining and such that is driving the Steam user numbers up (obviously, right?). Not only are many people stuck at home all day right now (I wish I was one of them), playing games also is a nice distraction from worry.

Yeah, I imagine Steam and a lot of games are going to be setting some new user records for a bit more time to come. Though a lot of people are still working during the weekdays from home and such, next weekend we’re probably going to see this past weekend’s numbers get surpassed.


I’ve been a remote worker for almost a decade now… and just in the last week, most of my clients are now desperate to get assistance to be able to work remotely themselves. I’m hoping things settle down to normal in the next couple of weeks but I’m feeling practically brain dead after just a few days of trying to keep up with the demand.

Arnold Hendrick

I am feeling a little suspect about this data, since it only lists 4,286 titles. According to PC Gamer – back in Jan 13, 2019, when Steam Spy was still functioning – Steam had over 30,000 games, not counting DLCs and non-game software.

While I’m not sure of the 30k figure, I know that 4,286 is not counting some games. Some titles I searched for on the list will not appear, such as “Field of Glory II,” or “Gary Grigsby’s War in the West” – two different but high complexity wargames.

Another takeaway is that the top fifteen games that ARE on the list account for only 2 million of those 20 million, with the overall total rising much slower after that. This tells me that breadth on Steam is actually more important than big hits, despite the large numbers posted by Dota2 and PUBG. This is very different from the brick-and-mortar experience of 20+ years ago, and a very encouraging sign for the industry as a whole.

Kickstarter Donor

I think a lot of people are about to discover what I did a long time ago. I’m very home-bound because of a disability. Gaming (MMO’s in particular) have been a saving grace for me. Because of them I have friends and get to have a pretty decent social life, even if it is online. Having them helped me through depression which is always a risk when you aren’t able to get out as much as other people are.

I hope we can all get through this.