Why Is No One Playing Palworld Anymore?

Palworld is dropping in popularity twice as quickly as it rose when it was first released.

Story Highlights

  • Palworld is a survival game developed by Pocket Pair that took the charts by storm in January 2024.
  • It was a source of both controversy and extremely fun memes during its prime.
  • Two months later, many players have left the title behind, crashing its consistent player base to nothing.

I think it’s safe to say that most of us gamers remember the immediate spread of Palworld in early 2024. It caught immediate fire and spread to almost every corner of the gaming sphere with its unique twist on companion-based games in the survival genre.

Granted, it was met with a lot of mixed reviews, but the majority of the players seemed to love it. It had cute little Pals you could force labor out of, you could enslave NPCs and you could give guns to small monkeys. Fast forward to May, and Palworld is nothing more than a game collecting dust in our Steam libraries. 

The Prime Stage Of Palworld

Palworld’s prime, however short-lived, was a massive one. Just a few days after its release, every gamer had heard the name Palworld and how it’s the best survival game ever. I bought the game 2 days after its release and got on the same hype wagon alongside 15 million other players, capturing Pals and building huge bases.

Palworld Peak Graph
Peak player count in Palworld since release | Source: SteamDB

Bluntly put, Palworld was a game disguised as a great meme with its dark nature presented as sunshine and rainbows. You could murder cute pets, enslave humans, trade living things, and force them into labor. It was a fun meme but like all memes, it was extremely short-lived.

What Is Palworld Like Right Now?

The current state of Palworld is quite sad. After the first few weeks of success, Palworld is now chained to the unbreakable shackles of irrelevancy. I have been monitoring the state of players via SteamDB for a while and the trajectory doesn’t look too good for Palworld, as the player count is decreasing each day.

Ultimately, Palworld was another win for Indie studios. Just as with Lethal Company, Among Us, or Stray, this indie game too launched with a bang, carried the momentum, cashed in with the memes, and ultimately got left behind in the dust. I have made a small chart to show gamers just how similar this pattern with indie games is.

Indie Games Comparison Charts
Indie games release date to relevancy ratio

Most indie games that blow up a lot, tend to die just as fast with rarely any exceptions. As Heimerdinger once said, “It’s a sad truth that those who shine brightest often burn fastest.”

What Went Wrong?

Most of this section will be simple theories from my side supported by some evidence. I’ll start by mentioning the thing that drove me away from Palworld which was the world bugs. Palworld was a very grindy game but when you lose more than 60 hours of progress because of one faulty save for the third time, you start to question your life. There were tricks you could use to fix it, and the bug did get “patched” later but it was too little too late.

Multiplayer world crashed and deleted save file
byu/Almightyshamwow inPalworld

Even if the bugs weren’t there, Palworld is a game with a very repetitive nature. Without frequent updates with new content and enough support from the modding community, it was bound to lose relevancy extremely fast. Unfortunately, it is an indie game so naturally it can’t get a lot of frequent updates. Just an unfortunate hand dealt to the team at Pocket Pair Inc.

by from discussion

What The Future Looks Like For Palworld

Fortunately, Pocket Pair has been working hard behind the scenes to try and bring back Palworld from death. In their recent posts on X, they mentioned that are releasing new Pals in the next update and planning to keep adding more.

Pocket Pair Palworld Update Post
Palworld’s Tweet confirming new Pals in future updates | Source: X

However, without major updates, I don’t think Palworld is going to see a good rise in players. Even the key modders of this title have left their projects with their last updates being back in February. Palworld is one of those games you replay now and then but a consistent player base does not seem to be in its cards, at least that’s what the data says.

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Ibrahim Akhtar is a guides & features writer at eXputer. He uses his passion for gaming to provide insightful takes in his articles. Ibrahim spends most of his time defending Baldur's Gate from the forces of the Absolute. He has accumulated more than 15 years of gaming experience, having 1000 hours in The Witcher 3 and twice as much on Skyrim V. Ibrahim has previously worked at TopTierList. You can keep up with his Steam account to stay up to date on his latest explorations.

Experience: 1+ Years || Previously Worked for TopTierList || Education: Bachelors in Data Science.

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