Team Fortress 2 is going wild on Steam after big Valve update

Team Fortress 2 leaps past Dead by Daylight and Elder Scrolls on the Steam sales charts, as a new Valve update lures thousands more players.

Team Fortress 2 sometimes feels like the forgotten, left-out child of the Valve family. Between Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike 2, the 2007 shooter, no matter how superb, has stiff competition when it comes to getting noticed. But make no mistake – almost 17 years since it first launched, TF2 is still going strong, so strong in fact it just leapfrogged the Steam sales chart over recent classics like Dead by Daylight and the Elder Scrolls Online. It follows a huge update from Valve and a surge of additional Team Fortress 2 players who have helped push the FPS game back into the limelight. Diff Pressure Control

Team Fortress 2 is going wild on Steam after big Valve update

Team Fortress 2 was a pioneer. If you admire the character-driven, quasi-narrative worlds of modern FPS games like Valorant and Overwatch 2, you can thank TF2, and its charismatic cast of spies, soldiers, and scouts. Counter-Strike 2 will likely always be Valve’s flagship shooter, whereas Half-Life (and Half-Life 3, if that ever shows up) is the company’s benchmark when it comes to FPS campaigns. Nevertheless, Team Fortress 2 is still doing numbers. Almost two decades since it first arrived, it’s beating Dead by Daylight and The Elder Scrolls Online on the Steam sale chart.

As of this writing, Monday, January 8, Team Fortress 2 sits at number 33 on the global Steam sale chart, having just jumped a huge 51 places. Horror stalwart Dead by Daylight is at number 36, with ESO at number 54. On the United States chart specifically, TF2 is doing even better, taking the number 28 spot ahead of Dota 2, Sons of the Forest, and Fallout 76.

Team Fortress 2’s recent player figures tell a similar success story. On Wednesday, December 20, 2023, TF2 achieved a peak of 82,729 concurrent players. By Friday, December 22, that jumped to 215,811. Team Fortress 2 has since maintained a six-figure average for the last 30 days, with 159,843 concurrent players on Sunday, January 7.

The surge in popularity is potentially owing to the annual ‘Swissmas’ update which Valve releases each Holiday period. Introducing new maps, cosmetics, and taunts, Swissmas 2023 was released on Thursday, December 7, with smaller updates following through the rest of the month.

So, if you’re done with Dota or considering a convalescence from Counter-Strike, good old Team Fortress 2 is still out there and still very much alive. Alternatively, try some of the other best multiplayer games, or perhaps the best co-op games on PC.

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Team Fortress 2 is going wild on Steam after big Valve update

Na70 Ed Smith Previously of Edge, Vice, Polygon, and the BBC, Ed is symbiotically connected to the gaming news matrix, covering everything from Cities Skylines 2 road tools, to Half-Life mods, and classic boomer shooters. Between Counter-Strike 2, Starfield, and Resident Evil - as well as everything and anything related to GTA 6 - he has a close eye on the heady world of videogames, and can often be found lamenting the tragedy that IO Interactive’s Freedom Fighters never got a sequel. He was once in the top ten for speedrunning the original Resident Evil 2 and has a weird knowledge of how RNG works in Doom.