Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel is kicking ass on Steam

A card battle in Yu-Gi-Oh.
(Image credit: Konami)

Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel has launched on Steam and, as what developer Konami calls the definitive digital edition of the trading card game, seems to have landed big-time. The free-to-play card-shuffler has been riding high in various Steam charts, most notably hitting a peak of 262,333 concurrent players (over the last 24 hours, the peak was 233,099), and boasts mostly positive reviews.

We'll have a review up soon, but the general sentiment around the game is that Konami has built a polished and promising foundation for digital Yu-Gi-Oh. The complaints are around things like the timer for each player's turn (too high at the moment), meta decks (the one-turn kill nonsense) and naturally the gem prices. As one wag noted, "the most powerful card in my deck is my mom's credit card."

The game is naturally PvP focused and doesn't yet include a casual mode: Though there are various solo story modes. The wider game is built around rotating tournaments and events and, with 10,000+ cards included, clearly a little familiarity will help a lot (and if you don't have that, here's our guide to getting started).

Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel kind of crept up: it didn't come out of nowhere, exactly, but this appears to be an excellent version of a card game that has decades of history and a devoted fanbase. It's nice to see Konami score a win anyway, and a reminder of the simple fact that good games attract lots of players.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."