Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Steam has a new hit game, and it’s Pokémon with guns

A giant pal uses a minigun in Palworld.

Steam’s latest viral hit is Pocketpair’s Palworld, a game that the internet has deemed Pokémon with guns.

Palworld is an open-world survival crafting game that layers a “Pal” creature collecting system clearly influenced by Pokémon on top of all that. It launched into early access on PC and Xbox Game Preview on Xbox Series X/S today, and it’s clearly already a massive hit on Valve’s PC storefront and launcher.

The Steam version of Palworld peaked at over 370,000 concurrent players, according to data from SteamDB, with Pocketpair saying it has already sold 1 million copies. These are the biggest numbers we’ve seen on an unexpectedly viral game launch since the likes of Dave the Diver and Baldur’s Gate 3 in 2023. Xbox sales, as well as Game Pass players across PC and Xbox, also aren’t accounted for by SteamDB’s statistic, so it’s likely that the true number of concurrent players is even higher than what SteamDB shows.

Three sheep-like Pals use guns in Palworld.

It remains to be seen if this virality is just a flash in the pan or ensures Palworld a lasting legacy. It’s already in hot water for allegedly stealing some fan-made Pokémon designs. Palworld sitting at a “Very Positive” aggregate rating on Steam with nearly 3,000 reviews.

Palworld is now available in early access across PC and Xbox Series X/S; it was a day one Xbox Game Pass release too, so you don’t even have to pay the $27 price tag to try it out. Pocketpair’s current plan is to keep Palworld in early access “for at least one year,” according to the game’s Steam page, although the company says that “depending on the progress of development, we may consider extending early access, or if we are satisfied with the state of the game, officially releasing the game.”

Editors' Recommendations

Tomas Franzese
Gaming Staff Writer
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
Turnip Boy Robs a Bank is a hilarious chaser to January’s serious games
Key art for Turnip Boy Robs

In The Last of Us Part II Remastered, you’ll experience a brutally emotional action game about how an endless and vicious cycle of violence can slowly chip away at your humanity. In Turnip Boy Robs a Bank, you’re going to play as a god-killer turnip who decides to join a gang and rob a bank.

That’s the beauty of having such a packed video game release calendar: multiple new titles can run the gamut from gravely serious to utterly ridiculous over the course of a couple of days.

Read more
Persona 3 Reload leads a surprisingly strong batch of Xbox Game Pass additions
A character uses a bow and arrow in Persona 3 Reload.

Microsoft unveiled the next batch of new Xbox Game Pass titles, which are dropping between January 18 and February 8. Of the seven new titles coming to the video game subscription service over that time span, four are new games being added on the day of their release. The most noteworthy of those games is Persona 3 Reload, Atlus' highly anticipated remake of an RPG classic.

Persona 3 was first released for the PlayStation 2 in Japan in 2006 and came to North America just a year later. While its sequels would go on to garner a bit more immediate acclaim, Persona 3 provided the solid foundation that they all built on. It is darker than those future entries, though, as you'll go from living your life as a Japanese teenager to shooting a gun at your own head to summon a Persona in stylish turn-based battles. Persona 3 is considered one of the best RPGs of its generation, and this remake brings the experience to modern platforms with a visual overhaul that makes it look more like Persona 5.

Read more
Frostpunk 2 will come to PC Game Pass when it launches this year
A city in Frostpunk 2.

11bit Studios confirmed that Frostpunk 2 will be released on PC sometime during the first half of 2024 and will be on Game Pass from day one alongside the first full gameplay reveal for the highly anticipated survival city-builder.

The new gameplay trailer for Frostpunk 2 is just over two minutes long and gives the public a first look at the game's city-managing mechanics. Frostpunk 2's gameplay significantly departs from its predecessor in some ways, as it's more focused on the macro management of a city that's survived an apocalypse rather than the micromanaging of resources for basic survival. After getting an extended hands-off look at Frostpunk 2 in action last year, I said it "scales its challenges and gameplay systems up while also holding on to the ethical dilemmas and emphasis on consequences that made the original so great (and depressing.)."

Read more