Valve Releases Their October Software Survey for Steam – Statistics, Insights

Steam has released its monthly Hardware and Software survey for the month of October, and there’s some interesting data in there. We decided to take a look at it and point out some interesting developments.

All the percentages given here are in relation to the total player population and are taken directly from Steam’s official survey page. You can read that post for more information, but we’ll take a look at the broad aspects. Let’s get into it!


Operating System

windows xp background

Let’s start with the operating system most Steam users have. Unfortunately, unlike the following sections, we only have data for this month’s ownership and the change from the previous month, so we can’t really see how things have evolved over a long period.

Shock of all shocks, Windows dominates by an absolutely titanic margin. 96.50% of users run Microsoft’s operating system, with a 0.09% increase over the previous month.

Things are a little more interesting when it comes to distribution. Windows 10 comes on top with 68.91% of installs, with Windows 11 coming in second at 23.37%. Win10 is actually seeing an increase of 0.42% from the previous month, while Win11 went down by 1.41%

The real anomaly is Windows 7, the third most popular version of Windows on Steam. 3.59% of users still use it, but the real kicker is that it actually saw an increase of 1.19% from the previous month, which is kinda’ nuts! Aside from these, 0.11% are using the 32-bit version of Win7, meaning that, among other things, they’re limited to 4 GB or RAM.

Moving away from Windows, 3.51% of users are on either Mac or Linux. The higher percentage actually goes to Mac users, with 2.23%, a decrease of 0.13% from last month. This means that Linux players make up 1.28% of Steam’s population, including (we assume) Steam Deck users.


Processors

computer processor

Since May 2021 and until now, Intel has dominated this section of Steam users. They’ve constantly hovered around 70% of the market, with AMD taking up the rest. Their highest percentage was in August 2021, with 72.6% of Steam users having an Intel processor.

That said, they’ve been on a steady decline until September of this year, with AMD gaining on them the whole time. Their lowest has been in August 2022, ironically enough, with 67.7% representation. They’ve gone up the past two months, currently sitting at 70.6% of PCs running Steam.

The likely reason for this dip for AMD is likely the release of the AM5 socket. As it’s a new socket, you’d also need to change the motherboard, as well as the RAM, as AM5 only supports DDR5. All of these new components are also quite expensive at the moment. Intel’s current processors, meanwhile, can still be used on the motherboards that launched last year which support both DDR4 and DDR5 (not on the same board).

That said, a ~30% margin for a company that left their rival reign uncontested for about half a decade is not bad at all. Unfortunately, we don’t have a breakdown of CPUs by model, so we have no idea how old the processors are. What we do have is the number of cores used, and this is where things get real interesting.

In May of 2021, the oldest date we have in this survey, 40.5% of Steam users had 4 cores and 28.9% had 6. Now, players with 6 cores are the most numerous on Steam, with a 35.97% margin, followed by those with 4 cores in second, at 29.06%, and those with 8 cores in third at 19.10%.


Graphics Cards

graphics card

If you thought Intel’s domination was strong, Nvidia’s is even stronger. They’ve had more than 75% of the Steam user install base for the past 18 months, currently sitting at 78.84% of users. AMD started the year at 16.2% and are currently at 13.13%. And Intel was present in about 8 to 9% of users’ PCs, currently sitting at 7.85%. Oh, and there’s a 0.18% “other” from… somewhere.

So, yeah, things aren’t looking so hot for Team Red. Though, to be fair, they haven’t had a competitive product in years and, while the 6000 series trades blows with their Nvidia counterparts, both were nearly impossible to find the past two years. We’re curious how this graph will look in about 6 months.

In terms of individual GPUs, the kind of budget cards, the GTX 1060, has been dethroned… kinda. If you go on the GPU page, the 1060 still has the highest percentage of cards, at 7.62%. However, that also includes mobile versions of the card and the 3GB version (which is weaker than the regular 1060).

If we account for the aforementioned discrepancies, the new king is the RTX 3060, which sits at a combined total of 8.86% ownership (5.47% for the desktop version and 3.39% for the mobile one). This flip happened in August, when the 1060 sat at a 6.60%, while the two versions of the 3060 barely edged it at 6.63%.


Virtual Reality

virtual reality headset

Lastly, let’s look at some VR numbers! The undisputed king is the Oculus Quest 2, with an adoption rate of 41.5%. This is likely due to its relatively low price and very little competition in the space. Oculus has 2 more products in this graph, the Rift S at 13.9%, and the very old Rift at 6.3%.

However, things get real interesting if you look at the August numbers (we’ll ignore September since the changes are minimal). At the time, the Quest 2 was sitting at a 49.3% adoption, meaning it dropped almost 8% in two months. What’s more, the Rifts actually increased in popularity, with the Rift going from 4% to 6.3%, and the Rift S growing from 11% to 13.9%.

And the competition isn’t sleeping, either! Valve’s own Index, which costs double the Quest 2, went from 15.4% to 17.5%, while the HTC Vive, a headset that’s not even produced anymore, went from 6.5% to 7%. Lastly, Windows Mixed Reality (which isn’t a single product but a number of them) went from 4.4% to 5.3%.

So yeah, Oculus is losing ground in this space, even if very slowly (and to its own, older products). However, there might be a new contender in the ring: the PlayStation VR 2. We don’t know if it’ll be compatible with Steam, but if it is (and it might be, since the previous PSVR was), it will be a good alternative to what’s on the market, as it will come at about half the price of the Index and a little over that of the Quest 2, with similar specs to the former.


What do you think of this survey? Did any of the data points presented here surprise you? Let us know in the comments below!