KEY POINTS

  • "Master Duel" has reached more than 200,000 players on Steam
  • The game features the vast majority of the available "Yu-Gi-Oh!" cards
  • "Master Duel" is free to play and has a generous premium currency gift for new players

Just one week after its release, the latest virtual iteration of Konami’s popular “Yu-Gi-Oh!” card game “Master Duel” has already become the most popular official game on PC.

“Master Duel” was surprisingly popular when it launched, and the player numbers kept growing in the following days, according to the population part provided by SteamDB. The game reached its highest peak of 262,000 players Sunday, and it continues to enjoy an average of 200,000 players every day.

Meanwhile, “Duel Links,” the other “Yu-Gi-Oh!” game on Steam, only gets around 6,000 players per day. Granted, “Duel Links” is a mobile game, and the numbers on Steam API websites only reflect those who play the game on PC. However, it’s worth noting that the all-time peak for the PC version of “Duel Links” only reached 21,000, according to Steam Charts.

“Master Duel” is recognized as the virtual definitive version of the actual “Yu-Gi-Oh!” trading card game (TCG), which has been continuously evolving with new cards and rules over the past 20 years.

Sky Striker Kagari - YGO Master Duel Sky Striker Kagari Photo: Yugioh Master Duel

Like “Duel Links,” “Master Duel” is completely free-to-play with a premium Gem currency that’s used to purchase additional card packs and extra accessories. Gems can be earned by spending real money or by simply playing the game and completing objectives.

The game is surprisingly F2P-friendly. A fresh account can easily build two or three meta decks within the first few hours of gameplay; “Master Duel” is very generous toward new players, though the actual Gem grind naturally slows down after the first couple of days.

As far as card variety goes, the vast majority of cards in “Yu-Gi-Oh!’s” large catalog is available in “Master Duel,” even the ones that are currently banned in the TCG like True King Of All Calamities and Sky Striker Mobilize – Engage. However, some of the newer cards like the Exorsisters archetype are not yet available.

Veterans of the “Yu-Gi-Oh!” TCG have received “Master Duel” very positively on Steam. However, some newer players have claimed that the game is a little too complicated for their tastes, especially since some cards have long and confusing effects.