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Online gaming is popular. But you already knew that, or you probably wouldn’t be reading this article in the first place. The question now is which online games are most popular for each state in the great USA.
Numbers of actual players of each game in each state can be hard to come by. The game makers themselves certainly have that data, but they, for obvious reasons, hold their cards pretty close to their chest. Even if game makers do publish their active user data, it’s rarely available on the state level, and it should generally be taken with a grain of salt. So rather than soliciting actual active user data from each game maker, we decided to take a different approach.
To determine the most popular online game in each state, we looked at five years of Google search data. We considered dozens of today’s most talked-about online console and PC games—including the following:
FIFAMinecraftCall of DutyDOTA 2OverwatchCounter-StrikeStarcraft 2Fallout 4Heroes of the StormDiabloSmiteHaloBattlefieldWorld of TanksHearthstoneMadden NFLGears of WarDestinyNBA 2K SeriesBattlefield
Two clear winners emerged from our analysis: League of Legends and World of Warcraft. In a survey of Google Trends data, LoL and WoW performed better on a state level than competitors from most* genres and platforms.
*One exception: Minecraft simply crushes all competition in search volume and would have made our map much less interesting. We could—and perhaps should—do an entire post on why and where Minecraft is so popular, but we chose to remove it from consideration this time because it seems like a genre outlier.
Many of the games we looked at enjoy abnormally high popularity in states like Utah, Idaho, Alaska, and West Virginia—all states with lower population density.Depending on the day, Kansas teeters back and forth from being an LoL state to being a WoW state. A true online battleground state.
Quick note about how to interpret these maps: Google Trends calculates the popularity of a search term as a fraction of total searches in a geographic area. Translation: while there certainly aren’t more people in Alaska searching for WoW than in California, WoW queries do make up a higher percentage of overall search queries in Alaska. Hover over your state to see how it stacks up.
A list of the top ten states for each of today’s widely played online games.
TOP 10 OVERWATCH STATES
Alaska Idaho Nevada California Utah Washington Hawaii New Jersey Arizona Montana
TOP 10 DOTA 2 STATES
California Washington Alaska Oregon Utah Vermont North Dakota Hawaii Maryland New Hampshire
TOP 10 COUNTER-STRIKE STATES
California Nevada New Jersey Hawaii Alaska New Hampshire Connecticut Rhode Island Washington Vermont
TOP 10 STARCRAFT 2 STATES
Utah Idaho Alaska Washington Wyoming Montana California North Dakota Hawaii South Dakota
TOP 10 FALLOUT 4 STATES
Alaska West Virginia Montana Wyoming Idaho Arkansas North Dakota South Dakota Maine Iowa
TOP 10 HEROES OF THE STORM STATES
Utah Alaska Idaho Nevada Washington California Arizona Hawaii Oregon West Virginia
TOP 10 DIABLO STATES
UtahAlaska ArkansasNew HampshireIdaho MaineMontanaWashingtonWyomingWest Virginia
TOP 10 SMITE STATES
West VirginiaNevadaIdahoAlaskaOklahomaIndianaArkansasNorth DakotaRhode IslandKentucky
TOP 10 BATTLEFIELD STATES
MontanaWest Virginia AlaskaWyomingNorth DakotaIdahoSouth DakotaMaineArkansasIowa
TOP 10 WORLD OF TANKS STATES
AlaskaWyomingIdahoSouth DakotaWest VirginiaNorth DakotaMontanaNew HampshireMaineVermont
TOP 10 HEARTHSTONE STATES
VermontCaliforniaAlaskaHawaiiWashingtonMaineNew HampshireNevadaUtahRhode Island
TOP 10 FIFA STATES
New JerseyConnecticutOregonVermontDelawareMarylandVirginiaRhode IslandNew YorkCalifornia
TOP 10 MADDEN NFL STATES
North DakotaWisconsinDelawareIowaWest VirginiaMarylandSouth DakotaRhode IslandNew JerseyPennsylvania
TOP 10 GEARS OF WAR STATES
West VirginiaWyomingNevadaIdahoNorth DakotaAlaskaIndianaArkansasNew MexicoDelaware
TOP 10 DESTINY STATES
AlaskaWyomingNorth DakotaOklahomaUtahWashingtonIdahoHawaiiKentuckyWest Virginia
TOP 10 NBA 2K SERIES STATES
New JerseyRhode IslandMarylandAlabamaKentuckyDelawareNew YorkConnecticutMississippiOhio
TOP 10 BATTLEFIELD STATES