Palworld beats Counter-Strike 2, Dota 2 and Cyberpunk 2077 with an all-time peak player count of more than 1.8 million

Palworld early access
(Image credit: Pocketpair)

Palworld continues its runaway success, and after selling more than 6 million copies in just four days the developers now have another reason to celebrate: it's managed to grab the second spot in Steam's most played games when it comes to all-time peak concurrents

The critter-based survival game is giving every other game in the history of Steam a run for its money today, reaching a peak concurrent player count of 1,864,421. Not only does that make it Steam's most popular game right now, it also secures its legacy as the game with the second highest all-time peak concurrent player count, stealing the spot from Counter-Strike 2 by a handful of people. 

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With Palworld only launching last week, it may continue its ascent, though it has steep competition: PUBG currently holds the top spot thanks to its peak concurrent score of 3,257,248 players. But you never know—that record might be broken. Palworld's momentum certainly shows no signs of slowing down. 

It's all come as a bit of a surprise. Sure, it was firmly on our radar thanks to the wackiness of the concept: a survival game with Pokémon knock-offs who can be put to work in mines or armed with modern weapons. But I don't think anyone could have predicted that it would become the big game of the moment. 

Lincoln was a bit ambivalent in his Palworld early access impressions, but the player reception has been largely positive, garnering the game a Very Positive rating on Steam based on nearly 60,000 user reviews. 

Palworld guides

Palworld Black Marketeer - Petting a Pal

(Image credit: Pocket Pair)

Best Pals: What to catch early
Palworld roadmap: The early access plan
Palworld mods: Best tweaks to install
Palworld multiplayer: How to co-op
Palworld dedicated server: Full-time Pals
Palworld breeding guide: Get started with cake and eggs

Its arrival has not been without some controversy, though. Xbox and Game Pass players, for instance, are stuck with a less up to date version of the game thanks to Microsoft's certification process; it's been accused of copying Pokémon models, which the head of Palworld developer Pocketpair, Takuro Mizobe, called "slanderous"; it allows you to enslave humans as well as Pals, which not everyone is too keen on; and, because this is 2024, some players are convinced it uses AI generation, though there's no solid evidence of this. 

Naturally, big games will always generate some drama, but it doesn't seem to be affecting its popularity. At least not negatively. 

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.