Steam is not only a bottomless sea of myriad games, but also a community marketplace for various cards and items. And here is a story of how a free clicker caused a huge stir on the platform within a few weeks.

Free clicker Banana takes Steam by storm, making over 220k players hunt for rare items worth up to $1,800

Last month, a game simply called Banana began to gain popularity on Steam. At first glance, there is nothing remarkable about it: you simply click on the image of a banana to the score increase. No special gameplay hooks, no end goals (except for a single achievement). So what’s the point?

Gameplay-wise, there is none. It is even simpler than Cookie Clicker, where you have multiple achievements and upgrades. So Banana is more similar to another free-to-play clicker, Egg (PC Gamer even came up with the term “Egglike” when writing about the game a few weeks ago).

Free clicker Banana takes Steam by storm, making over 220k players hunt for rare items worth up to $1,800

The only thing that changes during the gameplay (if that term is even applicable to Banana) is the score

We’ve been seeing Banana trending on Steam for a while now, almost every time we check the CCU numbers for various titles. It barely had a few hundred concurrent players at launch, but its popularity has since skyrocketed to some astronomical levels.

At the time of writing, Banana has an all-time high of 220,621 concurrent players (via SteamDB), and the count continues to grow. It currently has a higher CCU than multiplayer juggernauts like Apex Legends (159k CCU), GTA V (111k CCU), and Destiny 2 (97k CCU), let alone single-player titles.

Made with Unity by aaladin66 and a few other people, Banana offers five digital bananas you can purchase for $0.25. But this subtle monetization is not what drives hundreds of thousands of players to flock to the game. The main reason is Steam items that users can collect and then sell on the platform’s Community Market.

As the devs explained, the “drop system is 1x item every 3h if you start the game and play for 1 [minute], and 1x [rare] item every 18h if you play for 1 [minute].”

Valve allows users to trade cards and other digital items for real money, which will end up in their Steam wallet. Of course, this system gives rise to a huge amount of speculation, and that is exactly the case with Banana.

Most drops are traded for just a few cents, but some of them start at $20 or even $80. And there are a couple of really obnoxiously expensive auction items. For example, “Crypticana” starts at $865.89, and one person is trying to sell “Special Golden Banana” for as much as $1,800 (one of them was sold today for $1,378.58).

Although the prices may seem ridiculous, they are only backed up by the level of hype. So this is pure speculation, where there will be no winners except for the people who got cheap items at start and sold them at a higher price to those who jumped on this bandwagon in hopes of making money. The more people get into the game, the less easy it will get to profit from its popularity.

Interestingly, one of the devs told Polygon that Banana is experiencing problems with bots, and the team has already contacted Valve to stop it: “Unfortunately we are currently facing some problems around botting, since the game takes basically 1% to no resources of your PC, people are abusing up to 1000 alternative accounts in order to get Rarer drops or at least drops in bulk.”

It is a weird case, but it can offer you a glimpse of what sometimes happens on the Steam Marketplace. And it will be interesting to see how long the hype around the Banana hype lasts.

Got a story you'd like to share? Reach us at [email protected]