Gaming on Steam: The Best Strategies for Earning Cards and Increasing your Steam Level

Gaming on Steam: The Best Strategies for Earning Cards and Increasing your Steam Level

By Luca Fanicchia

Steam, the world’s largest digital distribution platform for PC gaming, offers a unique system for players to earn rewards and showcase their gaming prowess through Steam Trading Cards and Steam levels. These features not only add a touch of gamification to your gaming experience but also provide tangible benefits like profile customization, increased friend list size, and more. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best strategies for earning cards and boosting your Steam level to get the most out of your Steam gaming journey.

Steam Sale Strategies: How To Get The Best Deals During Seasonal Sales

Understanding Steam Trading Cards

Steam Trading Cards are virtual cards tied to specific games available on the platform. Each game has a set of trading cards that players can collect. Once you’ve gathered a complete set of cards for a particular game, you can craft a Badge, which contributes to your overall level. However, before diving into the strategies, let’s break down the fundamentals of Steam Trading Cards:

Playtime Rewards

The primary method of acquiring Steam Trading Cards is through playtime. The more you play a supported game, the higher the chance of receiving card drops. However, it’s essential to understand that not all games have the same card drop rate. Most games offer around half of the total card set as random drops during gameplay. After receiving these initial card drops, the card drops will stop until you’ve received all the available drops or completed the set.

Purchasing Cards

If you’re eager to complete a set quickly, you can buy or trade cards on the Steam Community Market. The market allows players to buy and sell their cards, backgrounds, emoticons, and other items. Keep an eye on the market for price fluctuations, and try to purchase cards during seasonal sales or discounts to save money.

Trading with Friends

Utilize the Steam Community to trade duplicate cards with friends or other players. Trading can be a fun and efficient way to complete sets without spending extra money. You can also use online trading websites or forums dedicated to Steam trading to find players willing to exchange cards.

Crafting Badges

Once you’ve collected a full set of cards for a game, you can craft a Badge. Crafting a Badge not only grants you a sense of accomplishment but also several benefits that enhance your Steam experience:

Steam Level Increase

Crafting badges increases your Steam level, which unlocks additional profile showcases, emoticons, and profile backgrounds. As your level increases, you gain access to more customization options, making your profile page more unique and attractive.

Experience Points (XP)

Crafting a Badge also rewards you with Experience Points (XP). Each badge has its own XP value, and higher-level badges provide more XP. Accumulating XP points contributes to faster level progression, allowing you to unlock additional features and customization options.

Profile Customization

Each badge you craft offers a random profile background and a chance to get a random emoticon. These items can be showcased on your Steam profile, adding a personal touch and personality to your gaming identity. Some badges even feature animated backgrounds, making them particularly sought after by collectors.

Managing Your Card Drops

To optimize your Steam Trading Card earnings and level up efficiently, consider these tips:

Check Playtime Requirements

Not all games have the same playtime requirements for card drops. Some offer card drops after a couple of hours, while others might take longer. Be mindful of this and plan your gaming sessions accordingly. If you have several games you want to collect cards for, consider rotating your playtime among them to maximize card drop opportunities.

Utilize Idle Games

Certain games on Steam are designed to be “idle” games, which means you can run them in the background to earn card drops without actively playing. These games are perfect for situations where you might be away from your computer but still want to earn cards. Keep in mind that the drop rate for idle games is generally lower, but the passive accumulation can be beneficial in the long run, especially if you have many idle games running simultaneously.

Participate in Events

During events or seasonal sales, card drop rates may increase, providing you with a great opportunity to collect more cards quickly. Be on the lookout for announcements of such events and take advantage of the increased drop rates to boost your Steam level and collection.

Top Tips to Enhance Your Games on Steam and Boost Your Success

Anything else?

Apart from earning Steam Trading Cards and crafting badges, there are several other methods to level up your profile quickly. Here are some additional strategies:

Participate in Events

Steam regularly hosts special events and sales that offer opportunities to earn additional experience points (XP) and level up faster. Keep an eye on the Steam Store and announcements for upcoming events.

Complete Discovery Queues

Steam offers a “Discovery Queue” feature that recommends new games based on your preferences. By completing daily discovery queues, you can earn a small amount of XP.

Participate in Community Tasks

Steam occasionally releases community tasks, such as reviewing games, creating content, or participating in discussions. Completing these tasks can reward you with XP.

Crafting Game Badges for Cheap

While crafting badges from popular games can be costly due to the higher prices of the trading cards, you can save money by crafting badges from cheaper games.

Explore Free-to-Play Games

Many free-to-play games offer Steam Trading Cards. By playing these games, you can earn cards without spending money.

Level Up Existing Badges

Crafting higher-level badges provides more XP than crafting multiple low-level badges. Focus on leveling up your existing badges whenever possible.

Collect Profile Backgrounds and Emoticons

Obtaining and showcasing rare profile backgrounds and emoticons can also grant you additional XP.

Participate in Steam Sales

During seasonal sales, the cost of trading cards often drops. Take advantage of these periods to buy cards and craft badges more affordably.

Complete Game-Specific Objectives

Some games have in-game achievements or objectives that grant you Steam Trading Cards upon completion. Check the game’s community page or announcements for details.

Earn Experience from Friend’s Badges

You can earn XP by showcasing your friend’s game badges on your profile page. The more friends you have with higher-level badges, the more XP you’ll receive.

A special mention: Gems and Boosters


Gems are a virtual currency on Steam that can be obtained by converting Steam Community items, such as trading cards, emoticons, and profile backgrounds, into gems. They are mainly used in the Steam Community Market and for crafting booster packs.

  • Booster Pack Crafting: You can use gems to craft booster packs for games that you have Steam Trading Cards for. Crafting booster packs allows you to receive additional cards for that game, increasing your chances of completing card sets and earning more XP.
  • Marketplace Transactions: Gems can be used to purchase certain in-game items and other items available on the Steam Community Market. You can convert your items into gems and use them as a form of currency to buy other items.
  • Event Participation: During certain events, gems might play a role in special event mechanics, such as crafting event-specific items or contributing to community progress.

Booster Packs

Booster packs are collections of three random trading cards from a specific game. They are usually obtained through crafting or as random drops.

  • Card Collection Completion: Booster packs can help you complete your card sets more quickly. When you receive a booster pack for a game, you have a chance of getting cards you need to complete your set.
  • Additional Card Drops: Crafting a badge for a game allows you to receive random booster packs for that game, which can be used to increase your level and gain more XP.
  • Trading and Gifting: Booster packs can be traded with other users or gifted to friends, allowing you to further engage with the Steam community.

Both gems and booster packs can contribute to leveling up your Steam profile and enhancing your gaming experience. By wisely using gems to craft booster packs and strategically managing your card collection, you can speed up the leveling process and unlock the various advantages that come with higher levels.

Remember that the XP required to level up increases with each level, so leveling up becomes progressively harder over time. Focus on a combination of the above methods, and enjoy your gaming journey on Steam as you progress through the levels and unlock various profile customization options and perks.

How to Get a Refund on Steam


Earning Steam Trading Cards and increasing your level is an engaging aspect of the Steam gaming experience. By understanding the different ways to obtain cards, efficiently managing your playtime, and crafting badges, you can not only showcase your gaming accomplishments but also gain access to various benefits and customization options.

Remember, gaming on Steam is about having fun and connecting with a diverse community of players. So, enjoy the journey, complete your collections, and level up your Steam profile! Happy gaming!

%d bloggers like this: