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Understanding Steam Trading Cards
By Jimo
I will explain how to obtain and craft Steam Trading Cards. I will also explain how to use the rewards you receive from crafting them.
Steam Trading Cards are virtual collectible cards you can get by playing Steam games. Collecting sets of cards will earn you collectible badges and items which can be used to customize your Steam profile.

This guide will explain how to obtain and craft Steam trading cards. It will also explain how to use the rewards you receive from crafting them.

Trading Cards
You can find a list of games which currently have trading cards here. Check back frequently to see if new games have been added.

Tracking Progress
Each set of trading cards has a badge associated with it. You can earn and level up trading card badges by crafting a completed set.

To access your list of available badges click on the badges link on the right side of your Steam profile. Badges which require trading cards will display the card images on the bar. Cards which are greyed out are ones you need, and the ones which are lit up you currently own.

Clicking on each section will bring up additional details about the card set and resources you can use to find the ones you're missing.

Near the bottom of the page you can view who on your friends list has completed at least one level of the badge.

You can also see who on your friends list owns the cards you're missing. Selecting the buttons next to their names will allow you to send them a chat message or a trade offer. It will also provide links for the games trading forum and the Steam Community Market page for the card.

Next to the badge name there is a "How do I earn more card drops?" link. Clicking on this link will display information on how you can earn card drops from the selected game.

Purchasing a game will earn you half of a single card set for its badge, the others will need to be collected by trading or purchasing them through the Steam Community Market. These cards are dropped randomly through play time, and don't replenish once depleted.

Free-to-play games such as Team Fortress 2 or Dota 2 will drop trading cards based on your in-game purchasing history. You'll receive approximately one additional card drop for every $9 USD spent. For these types of games there is no limit to how many cards you can earn. These cards are also drops dropped randomly through play time once you've met the requirements.

Once you've depleted your card drops and if you've logged into Steam within the last week you'll have a rare chance of receiving a booster pack. Booster packs contain three additional cards, and your chances of receiving one increases by 20% at Steam level 10, 20 and so on. They are granted randomly to eligible users as more badges are crafted by members of the community.

Clicking on the "How do I earn more card drops?" link will inform you on your booster pack eligibility status along with your purchase progress for Free-to-Play games.

You can also view a complete list of games you're eligible to receive a booster packs for by selecting the "View my booster pack eligibility" button located at the top of your badges page.
Card Drops
Whenever you receive a card drop or a booster pack you'll get a Steam notification.

The message icon at the top of Steam will also be lit up. Each type of alert will take you to your inventory.

Near the top of your inventory new cards and booster packs will be displayed within the new items box.

If you received a booster pack you'll need to unpack it. To do this navigate through your Steam Community inventory and locate it. Within the item information box select Unpack.

Once you've selected unpack the cards the booster pack contains will be revealed to you.

Crafting Cards
When you're done collecting an entire set of cards you can craft them to earn a badge. There are five levels to standard card badges.

To craft a badge visit your badges page. Locate the set of cards which you've completed and select Ready.

On the next screen select Craft Badge.

Once you've crafted the badge the set of cards you collected will be consumed.

Once the crafting is complete it will display the results of your craft. You'll earn Steam experience points, profile backgrounds, emoticons and more.

You can view the progress towards your next Steam level at the top of your badges page. Leveling up will also earn you additional slots on your Steam friends list and showcases for your Steam profile.

The badge you earned will be displayed on your Steam profile and your rewards will be placed in your inventory.

Foil Cards
Everytime you earn a trading card through a random drop or a booster pack you have a chance of receiving a rare foil card instead. By collecting all of the foil cards in a set you're able to craft a foil badge. There is only one level to foil badges and they have a unique look.

If you're in possession of a foil card the foil badge will appear on your list of available badges.

Crafting a foil badge doesn't grant you any special rewards besides the badge itself, it's purely for bragging rights. Foil badges are completely separate from the standard variant.
Using the Rewards
Once you've achieved Steam level 10 you'll earn a showcase slot for your Steam profile. Showcases can display Steam Community workshop submissions, artwork, guides and more. You'll earn an additional showcase slot for every 10 levels you achieve.

To add a showcase or a background to your profile click on the Edit Profile button at the top of your Steam profile.

If you'd like to add a background to your profile click on the Select Background button to make your selection.

Further down on the page you'll see a field called Featured Showcase if you're Steam level 10 or higher. From the dropdown menu you'll be able to choose from a number of options to display.

Once you're done making your selections click on the Save Changes button at the bottom of the edit profile page.

If you return to your Steam profile you'll see your changes.

When you craft a badge you'll also get a chat emoticon. These are small, themed images which can be inserted in Steam chats, profiles, discussions and more. You don't have to do anything to equip emoticons, they will instantly be added to the emoticon list. Click on the smiley face icon located on Steam chat windows and discussions to make use of them.

Closing Notes

If you have any questions or comments regarding this guide please feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch with me on Steam or through my website[www.Jimo.co.uk].

You can also check out all of my other Steam Guides here.

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ImagineeBCH [E。B。M] Jul 12 @ 12:47am 
nickybond Jul 6 @ 6:08pm 
finally i got the idea of it, thanks :)
King Darthrog Jul 5 @ 11:56am 
I haven't crafted any badges but I have bought a background and the option to change background in profile settings hasn't shown up yet
FidelGastro Jun 29 @ 3:11am 
I kept getting these stupid badges while playing a game and wondered what they were for, now that I've read this I see they are meaningless as far as I'm concerned. I'm never going to use real currency in any game. Once I've bought the original game, that's it, to hell with any DLC's and other money spinning rackets.
Shadowgroudon Jun 27 @ 12:42pm 
If you craft 2 of the same badge, will it give you a lvl 2 badge instead of lvl 1?
redD1W0N Jun 26 @ 3:10pm 
Can I craft badges from foil trading cards of the game I dont own , please reply.
ヽ(◉◡◔)ノ Wongu Jun 24 @ 10:24pm 
Boosters aren't that common at your level. I'm lvl 31 and I get boosters maybe once every 2-5 weeks. It's very random.
One question, I rarely ever log out of steam, am I still legible for the weekly thing? Cuz I haven't gotten any cards for well over a year (not including the ones I have bought from the marketplace, retrieved from voting in the new summer sale, or found from a freshly bought game)... ;__; stupid Summer sale, wish I had money, that way I could have a chance to earn one of those badges... need five more f**king cards xP
HaMean Jun 24 @ 12:22pm 
This explains so much. thank you.
Vexia Jun 22 @ 7:16pm 
Thank you super helpful