CS:GO is Steam's second-biggest game ever, clocking up over 1.5m concurrent players this weekend

(Image credit: Valve)

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive may be one of gaming's oldest shooters, but it's currently the most popular game on Steam right now – and the second-most-popular game of all time.

That's right; despite releasing over 11 years ago, CS:GO has never been more popular. The shooter has just broken its own concurrent user record - the term given to the number of players logged into a game simultaneously - topping 1,519,457 concurrent players over the weekend (thanks, SteamDB). 

Before recent rumors began to fly, sparking renewed interest in the game and pushing up player numbers, CS:GO's last long-held record was 1,308,963 concurrent players, set back during the first pandemic lockdown.

It's likely no coincidence that the record comes the same week the next generation of Valve's iconic FPS, Counter-Strike 2, was finally announced. It currently targets a summer 2023 release window, but a limited test is already up and running.

With a concurrent 1,519,457 peak, that makes CS:GO Steam's second biggest game ever, second only to PUBG: Battlegrounds, which sports a staggering concurrent record of 3.2m players.

Steam, too, is incredibly popular at the moment. Its upward trend began three years ago, in January 2020, when the world began to self-isolate at the start of the COVID-19 crisis. On February 2, Steam's existing record of 18,537,490 users – set in January 2018 – was surpassed, smashing the existing record by an impressive 300,000 to peak at 18,801,944 players. 

It's gone on to be broken several times since, including a weekend in March 2020 that saw numbers breach 20 million for the first time. We then saw 24.7 million users peak in December 2020, 26.5 million in February 2021, and at the end of October, the PC platform topped 30 million users at once for the first time.

And would you believe it? Yep, the record has been smashed again this weekend, hitting a staggering 33,598,520 concurrent users earlier today, 10.1 million of which were actively in a game and playing at the time the record was set.

Did you see that a Counter-Strike fan thinks they've found a reference to "Left4Dead3" in the files for CS2?

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and GameIndustry.biz. Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.