Steam breaks its own record with 20 million concurrent players due to the coronavirus

WMR on a monitor
WMR on a monitor (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The coronavirus (COVID-19) is leading to a bunch of people electing to stay home.
  • Because of this, Steam is seeing a huge influx of players all at once.
  • They're breaking their own records, with over 20 million concurrent players.
  • It seems games like Counterstrike: Global Offensive and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare are still big draws for players.

Many gaming services are seeing spikes in the number of players on the service at once, which in some cases is leading to issues. In Steam's case, however, it simply means a record-breaking number of players on the platform at once. As of March 15, 2020, Steam had over 20 million concurrent players logged in and online at one time, with 6.2 million of those players actively in a game.

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It seems that Counterstrike: Global Offensive and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the usual heavy hitters, are still the front runners for number of active players, but it's clear that there are more people than usual logging on lately. This is likely because of the coronavirus, which is encouraging people to stay at home rather than go out. What better way to spend time at home than play some video games?

If the coronavirus continues to spread, more and more people are going to choose to stay home. It's quite possible that Steam will break its record again very soon. It's not likely to happen today, however, since much of the gaming world is probably distracted by the massive amount of new information Microsoft announced about the Xbox Series X today. It's definitely a busy day for gamers.

Xbox Series X/S


Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer primarily focused on covering the latest news, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life, and have been with Windows Central and its sister sites since 2019. While originally brought on to write about all things Minecraft, Zachary has since expanded to write about practically everything that Windows Central covers. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.

  • Add on people binge-watching Netflix, Amazon, Disney etc and the internet is gonna get busy! Not to mention all those working from home needing online access too
  • Yup. There will be unprecedented use
  • Now would be a good time for Steam, GOG, et al to run killer sales. Rake in the money, get people adding new games to their libraries.