Team Fortress 2

Team Fortress 2

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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.
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.

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.

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 and micro-transaction 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 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. Clicking either notification 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.

Booster Pack Creator
Trading cards, emotions and backgrounds can be recycled into a currency called "gems" by visiting your inventory, choosing an item, and selecting the "Turn into Gems" button. These gems can be used to create a booster pack for your desired game using the booster pack creator.

You can locate the booster pack creator by visiting your badges page and selecting the "Booster Pack Creator" button.

Locate the game you'd like to create a booster pack for and select the "Make Pack" button. Depending on the game the gem cost will vary. You can only create one booster pack per game, per day.
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 drop-down 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[].

You can also check out all of my other Steam Guides here.
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Very Helpful Guide with Card Trader eyes too
Bullet Kin Jan 6 @ 9:17am 
Helpful guide.
Poznanczyk Dec 27, 2020 @ 6:07am 
Nice :) a lot of information
cosmicpotato Dec 5, 2020 @ 9:20am 
El Cuchucutrulu Nov 15, 2020 @ 10:17am 
Just magnificent, thank you very much senpaimaster4756 Sep 17, 2020 @ 11:28am 
this was very helpful, thanks
maximilio Oct 4, 2019 @ 1:57pm 
what happen if you use an emoticon somewhere but then trade it away...
Darth GTB Mar 17, 2019 @ 11:16am 
ok, so they are basically useless. thanks for sharing :) now I'm going over there sell all of mine
Odious Feb 18, 2019 @ 10:17am 
cool guide, thanks!:steamhappy: