Baldur's Gate 3 launch slams into Steam like a rogue iceberg, but the servers refuse to sink

Gale the wizard grins
(Image credit: Larian)

Baldur's Gate 3 finally went into full release today, and with a whole new game to download and no preloading available, that meant every RPG fan in the world was crashing headlong into Steam to get their hands on it. And it's a big fella, too—122GB in all. But the good news for everyone is that Steam seems to be handling it well.

Let there be no doubt, the load was very heavy: The Steam Stats page indicates a peak total bandwidth usage of more than 146Tbps (terabits per second) worldwide. To put that into perspective, that's almost triple the load that Cyberpunk 2077 (also a pretty popular game at the time) put on Steam when it went live.

(Image credit: Steam)

That's not to say there haven't been problems. Downdetector reported a surge in outage reports when Baldur's Gate 3 went live, but the raw numbers were relatively minor, and they tapered off fairly quickly. The unofficial Steam Status page also reported no widespread outages caused by the launch.

Larian boss Swen Vincke apologized for the inconvenience.

(Image credit: Swen Vincke (Twitter))

Downloads are also running slower than normal for some people. I haven't noticed that myself because my internet sucks and I never get over 6Mb/s anyway, but some of my PC Gamer compatriots are reporting reduced download speeds on Steam, and there are similar reports on Twitter. Still, the process seems to be going well overall, perhaps in part because Valve knew it was coming. 

If you are having issues, some people have reported that changing their download region has improved things somewhat: You can do that by going into your Steam settings and selecting the "Download" sub-menu.

Naturally, Baldur's Gate 3 currently sits atop the top sellers on Steam, and it's slowly making its way up the most played games list too: At the moment, it's climbed to third spot and sits just ahead of PUBG, with more than 205,000 people playing. That number will no doubt continue to climb as more people unlock the game. It's also the most-streamed game on Twitch right now.

(Image credit: Twitch)

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Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.