Nearly a month into Season 4, Diablo 4 is continuing to defy my expectations

 Diablo 4.
Diablo 4.

What you need to know

  • Diablo 4 just broke it's concurrent player count on Steam again, hitting an all time high of 38,981 players.

  • Steam is a small snapshot of the actual audience, but it's interesting that this is happening over 3 weeks into Season 4 when most players have finished the Season quests.

  • The numbers could mean many are still playing long after completion, or there's an influx of new players, or a combination of both. Either way, it's looking like the changes made with the Loot Reborn patch are continuing to be successful.

When Diablo 4 Season 4 launched 3 weeks ago, I already had high hopes that this would be a turning point for Diablo 4. The promised itemization overhaul, new Helltide events and reworked Codex are just a few of the changes in Patch 1.4 that promised to make it a bigger, better game for those playing past the campaign. Despite my optimism, though, even I couldn't have predicted Season 4 would be just this much of a hit, and the Steam numbers tell an interesting story on its trajectory.

Diablo 4 has just broken its concurrent player number for the second time this week, which in itself is impressive. However, looking at the numbers with more context and within the Seasons timeline, they tell an even better tale. Within the hour before I wrote this news post, it broke 38,981 concurrent players on Steam, an all-time high.

Why is this such good news?

Diablo 4 concurrent numbers on SteamDB charts  showing 38,981
Diablo 4 concurrent numbers on SteamDB charts showing 38,981

The numbers may not seem impressive at first, but remember that Steam is by far the smallest audience for Diablo 4, with the bulk of the playerbase playing on or on Xbox, with a large chunk on Xbox Game Pass, but we don't have access to that data.

To put the figures into perspective, I'm going to refer back to my post about how Diablo 4 is cool again, where I discussed the player numbers around each of the Seasons we've had so far, at least those we have the data for since it's addition to the Steam platform. Season 2 was a generally well received season with its vampire themes and Blood Harvest overworld activity, it started on October 17, and peaked around November 20 which is some time after the season launch, as word spread that the season was fun, but it only peaked at 28, 836 players then steadily declined.

Season 3 however didn't get the same warm reception, peaking at only 15343 at launch and then steadily declining. Season 4 has pretty much blown these two out o the water and continues on an upward trajectory. But why? Most have finished their Season journey quests by now, and I count myself among those. This season however is the first I've immediately gone to start a new character, I want to keep playing.

Season 4 is Season of the Alts

Diablo 4
Diablo 4

We've all seen the streamers who play day in and day out with their roster of level 100 characters a week into a season, but for most of us, we only level one singular character to 100, but this season has changed that. Levelling is easier than ever, the addition of the Helltide to World Tiers 1 and 2 makes it less of a chore, levelling Glyphs is no longer the bane of my existence, we have some incredible season specific elixirs this season that also give an XP boost.

These, plus the changes to the Codex, meaning you can actually keep all of the Aspects you find without stressing about your stash, mean that jumping in with a brand new character is easier than ever. After all, why shouldn't I start a third?

This Season has surpassed even my own expectations, as normally, once I've finished all my tasks, I bow out to take a break and await any new events. Unfortunately, in the case of Diablo 3, because of how easy it was to get the best gear, this tended to happen in less than a week. I'm glad that so far, Diablo 4 is getting the balance right; it's not too fast or too easy to complete your Season tasks, but it is not so much of a chore that you burn out before you get there. At least in my case.

There are other factors to consider in this bump in numbers

Diablo 4
Diablo 4

It would be foolish of me not to point to other reasons for this rise in player numbers this weekend; of course, we also have the 1st-anniversary celebrations taking place right now. The March of the Goblins is a two-fold celebration consisting of an increased Goblin spawn rate and an active Mothers Blessing buff, giving all players a 35% boost to XP and Gold across both Seasonal and Eternal Realms. Hence, it's highly likely that many players are logging in specifically to check out the event, perhaps using the buff as the perfect opportunity to jump into the seasonal activities. It's still worth noting, though, that this isn't the first time we've had an event like this, but we haven't seen these numbers on Steam.

It's also worth noting, Diablo 4 is currently on sale on Steam to celebrate the year anniversary. Most more enthusiastic fans will already own the game on or Xbox, but those coming in fresh may prefer the Steam platform and want to take advantage of the cheaper price.

If you are a new player jumping in, check out our guides

If you have just decided to bite the bullet and grab Diablo 4 this weekend to take advantage of the anniversary sale and Mother's Blessing event, then I hope you are enjoying a pleasant stroll through Sanctuary while fending off Lilith's army. If you decide to go further and jump into some end-game activities, then I've written a bunch of guides to help you know what you are supposed to be doing!

Everything you need to know about Tempering

Everything you need to know about Masterworking

The Boss ladder: Locations, summoning guide and loot tables

Everything you need to know about Helltides

If you're an experienced player, I'd love to know your thoughts on Season 4, are you still playing? How does it shape up for you?