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What just happened? With all the attention and positive reviews Hogwarts Legacy is receiving, you'd be forgiven for thinking the game would be topping Steam's most-played charts. However, that honor is still held by Counter-Strike: Go, which has just broken its concurrent-player record 11 years after release.
PC Gamer writes that according to SteamDB's charts, the competitive multiplayer FPS, which launched on August 21, 2012, hit its all-time concurrent-player record of 1,320,219 players on February 11, 2023, beating the previous record of 1,308,963 players. That's a pretty amazing achievement, especially considering that the original Counter-Strike started as a mod for Half-Life in 1999.
The free-to-play CS:GO remains the only game on Steam that regularly attracts over one million concurrent players. It's long been followed by Dota 2 in second place, but Valve's MOBA has found its position challenged since the release of Hogwart's Legacy last week. The RPG has already reached a record 879,308 concurrents, and its player numbers have been higher than Dota 2's over the last few days.
Despite its popularity, CS:GO doesn't hold the title of having the most concurrent Steam players ever. Its new record is around half that of PUBG: Battlegrounds, which previously hit an all-time peak of 3,257,248. Lost Ark's record is also higher than CS:GO's, albeit by just over 5,000 players. The only other two games with concurrent-player records of over one million are Dota 2 and Cyberpunk 2077.
Rising concurrent-player records align with the increasing number of people using Steam. In January, the number of active players on the platform---as in, those that were playing games---reached an all-time high of 10,284,568, while the total number of people logged in hit 33,078,963.
We can expect Steam's concurrent-user numbers to continue to rise as Valve introduces more features to its service. The most recent of these is an overhaul of its Big Picture mode. It adds a Steam Deck-style user interface to the feature, which is designed to give PCs a console-like UI with controller support when connecting to a large TV.