Steam shows no signs of slowing down as it passes 30 million concurrent users mark

midian182

Posts: 8,484   +104
Staff member
What just happened? Steam has set another milestone after it passed the 30 million concurrent users mark over the weekend. While that's the number of people logged into the service, not all of whom were playing games, it's still an incredibly impressive figure considering Steam only reached 20 million concurrent users in March 2020.

According to the service's own numbers, there were a total of 30,012,957 Steam users online at the same time at around 14:00 UTC on Sunday, October 23, though SteamDB has the figure at 30,032,005. That beats the previous record of 29,986,681, which was set at the end of March 2022.

The new record illustrates how quickly Steam has grown in recent times. It took 12 years after launching in 2003 before the service reached 10 million concurrent users in 2015, but just five more years to hit 20 million. A little over two years later and that record has increased by another 10 million.

The concurrent record covers everyone logged into Steam, including people browsing the store, chatting, etc. SteamDB writes that the number of people actually playing games was 8.5 million at the time the record was set. That's quite an increase from the previous highest number of active players, which was between seven million and eight million earlier in 2022.

The pandemic was one of the biggest factors behind Steam's recent exponential growth in user numbers. It was at the start of the lockdowns in early 2020 when the 20 million concurrent user record was set, the result of much of the world being confined to their homes. We also saw a user explosion in other areas, including streaming services.

Steam repeatedly broke its record every couple of months during the height of the Covid-19 crisis. But unlike other industries currently suffering a post-pandemic hangover, Valve hasn't experienced a decline in user numbers, even in the face of stiff competition from The Epic Games Store and its weekly giveaways (this week: Fallout 3). At this rate, it'll be interesting to see how long it takes Steam to hit 40 million concurrent users.

In related news, the Sims 4 is now free to download and keep from Steam and other platforms.

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Rocky4040

Posts: 144   +174
It was because there was a free game that was being given away and is in beta testing. I am pretty sure that event padded those numbers up quite a bit but 30 millions worth of coarse.
 

envirovore

Posts: 556   +1,021
TechSpot Elite
It was because there was a free game that was being given away and is in beta testing. I am pretty sure that event padded those numbers up quite a bit but 30 millions worth of coarse.

The easy way to verify this is subtract prior high count from the new high count then compare that to the player numbers for that game over the weekend.
Report back and let us know if there were ~20k people playing it at once, and I suppose we'll have our answer and you'll get to claim to be correct.
 

kira setsu

Posts: 447   +434
So PC gaming is actually growing, even though GPU's alone are the price of a console.
Yeah, because the majority probably arent using anything close to a high end machine, I built a money-pit for my own digital amusement but my kid brother and his gang of r6 siege addicts are using laptops and hand me downs to game.

plus look at steam and notice how many top games are old as dirt and dont need high-spec machines to run em.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,349   +2,025
Consider too that this is probably despite an overall declining share of PC gaming logins for Steam, I.e., Epic, publisher specific hubs like Blizzard's battle.net, etc.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,379   +668
So PC gaming is actually growing, even though GPU's alone are the price of a console.
Not really. Since I bet most of those 30 million users don't have a gaming computer or at most have integrated graphics which don't help much. I'd say somewhere in the 60-70% don't have a gpu or are running integrated graphics.
 

Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,594   +2,951
PC gaming officially moved into the mainstream. Hate to say it but streaming has done it. Sure you can stream on a console these days but all the kids want to be like the streamers they watch and have a gaming PC.

The kind of games people want to watch/stream are also the kind of games that only need mediocre hardware to play. It doesn't matter if you have a GTX1650, you're still getting 150FPS on Valorant or League of Legends. There has been a rapid cycle of people buying modest gaming machines to play modest games.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,379   +668
PC gaming officially moved into the mainstream. Hate to say it but streaming has done it. Sure you can stream on a console these days but all the kids want to be like the streamers they watch and have a gaming PC.

The kind of games people want to watch/stream are also the kind of games that only need mediocre hardware to play. It doesn't matter if you have a GTX1650, you're still getting 150FPS on Valorant or League of Legends. There has been a rapid cycle of people buying modest gaming machines to play modest games.
True but the problem is when their favorite streamer plays a more intense title say a cod, Battlefield, a 1650 ain't gonna cut it. That in there lies the problem. So many don't know pc gaming, how it works or how to fix things. I've seen streamers struggle to find the power button.
PC gaming is NOT nor has it ever been plug n play. A PC is NOT a console. If someone does not know computers or PC gaming my advice would be to learn or better yet have someone around who can help. Without the knowledge or help you'd be better off with a console honestly. Last thing I'd say would be, be prepared for trail and errors. Patience is needed not just in gaming but PC gaming too.
 
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merikafyeah

Posts: 359   +345
This is not surprising considering how good PC hardware is nowadays. We've gotten to the point now that basically anyone who can afford to spend time gaming can afford a very decent gaming PC if they're willing to put a small amount of effort into bargain hunting:


Even on the notebook side, if you have a mobile 3060 GPU, you can have a good experience with 99% of all games available today if you dial back the settings a little bit. Truly there has never been a better time to be a PC gamer than now.