What is the most played game in the world?
Apex Legends – 411,183 (Steam)
Stealth Respawn’s Apex Legends came out of nowhere and then started taking the battle royale genre by storm. It turned out to be the perfect recipe for compelling gameplay, AAA production quality, and a free-to-play business model that helped it temporarily dethrone Fortnite and PUBG as the most played and watched multiplayer games.
The numbers have dropped since its opening month saw a record 2 million concurrent players, but despite the occasional bump in the road, its community has remained fairly large. It’s safe to say that Apex has worked its way into the genre and secured its place for the foreseeable future. So far, Apex Legends has peaked at 411,183 on Steam alone in 2022. With the console numbers added, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the total approach a million on a good day.
PUBG – 696,707
The game that started the craze that has seen the entire multiplayer gaming landscape reshaped in the last few years, PUBG still commands a huge audience despite the battle royale genre being flooded with copycat titles. Most notably, of course, it was copied and then replaced by Epic Games’ Fortnite. PUBG’s premium model and its delay in coming to consoles saw it fall behind rather quickly once Fortnite started to gain steam. But while PUBG may no longer rule the battle royale roost, it still offers a tactical military sim experience unmatched by other games in the genre. That, and the fact that its mobile version is also extremely popular (numbers not included in the statistics above), should see the PUBG community soldier on throughout 2021. The peak number of concurrent players for PUBG in 2022 increased significantly from last year, reaching 696,704. In 2021, it was only 458,778.
Dota 2 – 786,118
Another game that is growing in concurrent players year over year is Dota 2. Its growth seems to contradict the popular opinion that the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre is dying. Sure, it’s true that MOBA games aren’t seeing the growth they once did, but don’t think for a second that they’re going anywhere anytime soon.DOTA 2, the sequel to the founding father of the genre, still outshines most of the competition. It regularly approaches a million concurrent players over the past 12 months, and sometimes exceeds that total despite being around for almost a decade.
Like CS:GO, its presence in esports has fostered a passionate community of players who are in no rush to switch to a new IP. DOTA 2 is also a big buzz in the East, especially in China, which accounts for a significant percentage of its player base.
Counter-Strike: GO – 1.01 million
Counter-Strike: GO is an FPS that doesn’t just end. April 2020 saw an all-time high of concurrent players exceeding 1.3 million. Not only is that a hugely impressive number in itself, but the game has been churning out this kind of performance for eight years now. As for this year, CS:GO peaked at 1,013,237 in April. The strong presence of esports and the power of the franchise brand, which has been around since the late 90s, keep CS: GO ahead of newer versions. The game remains primarily in Europe, where countries like Russia contribute massively to the overall size of the active community.
The Lost Ark – 1,324,761
The only 2022 release on this list, Lost Ark, was an instant hit when it launched in February and continues to prove extremely popular. The 2.5D fantasy MMORPG saw a whopping 1.3 million concurrent players in its first month, but unlike games like New World, Lost Ark has maintained its momentum. There has been a very little decline, with an impressive 800,000+ concurrent players recorded in the last 30 days according to Steam Charts.
Minecraft – 1.4 million+
Minecraft is a behemoth that’s always moving, , we know for sure that Minecraft has grown its player base exponentially over the past four years. Just look at its monthly active users (MAU) for proof.
For comparison, and to give some context as to where we’ve increased Minecraft without more recent concurrent stats, DOTA 2 had an estimated 11.9 million MAUs at the start of 2019. Minecraft has ten times that.
Our concurrent stats of 1.4 million are taken from a Polygon article in 2015 when Minecraft’s MAU was estimated to be under 40 million. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that Minecraft now occasionally sees more than triple the current number.
Roblox – “Almost 4 million
Roblox has skyrocketed in popularity since its launch in 2006, especially in the last five years. In 2016, CEO David Baszuski proudly touted 700,000 concurrent players and stated that the 1 million milestones were not far off. Fast forward to 2020 and Roblox’s 7th Annual Bloxy Awards saw a whopping 4 million players watch the game concurrently. While the novelty of this event slightly skews the concurrent record for this list, we’re still confident that Roblox has earned its place at #4 on this list. We understand that Roblox often sees more than 1 million concurrent players throughout the year even outside of special events.
Crossfire – 8 million
It’s likely that until recently, most of our readers haven’t heard of one of the most played video games in the world. Crossfire, a Counter-Strike clone, is an absolute beast in Korea and will soon make its way to the west. Korean developer Smilegate Entertainment recently struck a deal with Microsoft to bring a new version of the game called Crossfire X exclusively to Microsoft platforms in 2021. However, we are not sure if the same concurrent numbers will appear in this sequel. It would depend on whether the next iteration of the game will see a global release or if it is something being prepared specifically for the western market. It certainly has something to live up to if it matches Smilegate’s claims of 8 million concurrent players. That’s a statistic we should note has been offered for several years, so it’s a bit unclear what the current size of the game’s community is.