Half-Life triples its own Steam record after big Valve update

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With Half-Life still free to keep for a brief time and Valve releasing a colossal 25th-anniversary update for the iconic FPS, we’ve seen a monumental player increase in the game. Between restored cut content, entirely new multiplayer maps, and even an hour-long documentary celebrating the game, Half-Life is well and truly back.

If, for some reason, the game isn’t already in your library you’ve still got some time to redeem the Half-Life free game offer. The Valve FPS game is a true classic and one that I’ve had the pleasure of playing for the first time at the start of this year. 1998’s Half-Life holds up astoundingly well, and the amount of people flocking back to the halls of Black Mesa proves it.

Over the past decade, Half-Life has sat around 500 concurrent Steam players, but with the 25th-anniversary update, we’ve seen a new all-time peak (from SteamDB’s modern tracking at least) of around 31,000 players. By my estimations, that’s an average increase of almost 6,000% just from one update.

The Remember Freeman community event from 2022 also saw 10,000 players flock to the game at one time, so this is triple the amount, but other than that we’re looking at an average of 500 players at any given time since 2008.

This is entirely because of the recent Half-Life anniversary update, which adds in the original Uplink demo, four brand-new multiplayer maps, Steam Deck verified status, a UI rework for 4k, and a whole lot more. The game is free right now too, of course, but I’d wager that the Valve shooter doesn’t need to be free to pump the ownership numbers up. Everyone already owns Half-Life, after all (now especially).

I’ve even put together a list of the best Half-Life mods you need now that it’s free too, as there are a handful of excellent ways to replay the FPS or enhance it for your first-ever visit to Black Mesa.

If the original Half-Life has you going down memory lane we’ve put together a list of the best old games you can still play on PC right now, alongside a breakdown of whatever happened to Half-Life 3.

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