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Steam Trading Cards
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Steam Trading Cards?
Steam Trading Cards are collectible cards you get by playing games on Steam. Collect a set of cards to earn items that help you customize your profile and show off your gameplay.
How can I get trading cards?
You can get trading cards simply by playing one of the participating games. As you play, you'll occasionally receive trading card drops which will be placed in your Steam Inventory.
Is there a limit to how many trading cards can drop?
Most games will drop a number of cards equal to about half the number of cards in that game's set of cards. For example, Half-Life 2 has 8 cards in its set, you can receive 4 card drops by playing it. You'll need to collect the other half of the set from other community members. Try the beta group discussions, community market, barter with friends, and trade discussions. You can check how many drops you have remaining on your badges page.
What about free to play games like Team Fortress 2 or Dota 2?
Free to play games drop game cards based on your in-game purchasing. For every $9 USD spent (approximate) since the start of the Steam Trading Card Beta, you will earn one card drop. This card will drop at some point as you play. If you have made in-game purchases in Dota 2 or Team Fortress 2 prior to the Steam Trading Card Beta, or if you owned Team Fortress 2 prior to the Free to Play update, you will have 4 or 5 additional card drops available.
How can I get a booster pack?
Once you have received all of your card drops, you become eligible for a booster pack, which is a set of 3 trading cards that may include both basic and foil cards. Booster packs are granted randomly to eligible users as more badges are crafted by members of the community. Make sure you log in to Steam each week to maintain eligibility.

Once eligible, your Steam Level increases your rate of receiving a booster pack drop:
  • Level 10: +20% increase in your drop rate
  • Level 20: +40% increase in your drop rate
  • Level 30: +60% increase in your drop rate
  • Level 40: +80% increase in your drop rate
  • Level 50: +100% increase in your drop rate (i.e. the rate has doubled)
  • Etc.
How do I know if I can get card drops and booster packs?
From your Badges page, the “How do I earn card drops?” window shows you how many card drops you have earned, how to get more, and if you are currently eligible for a booster pack drop.
How do I know which friends I can trade with?
From your Badges page, the "Badges in Progress" tab shows you which Steam Trading Cards you already have, how many more you can get by playing the game, and how many more you need to complete a set. Clicking on a badge in progress will show you a list of all your friends who have the cards you need to complete the set, and has a link to sending them a message to start a trade. For example, Cyl and Tappet both own TF2 and Portal 2. Tappet can see that Cyl has the Portal 2 cards he needs to complete his Portal 2 badge. Tappet starts a trade with Cyl and gives him TF2 cards in exchange for Cyl's Portal 2 cards. Tappet is now able to complete his Portal 2 badge.
Which games drop trading cards?
There's a complete list of participating games available on the Steam Store. We'll be adding more games as we get them done.
What is a badge?
A badge is an icon on your profile (and tied to your account) that represents the trading card sets you've collected or your participation in an event.
How do I craft a badge?
From your Profile page, click on the "Badges" link near the top of the right column or select "Badges" from your persona name drop down in the Steam menu. From your Badges page, the "Badges in Progress" tab will show which badges are ready to be crafted. Select a ready to craft badge to view its details and click on the blue "Craft a Badge" button.
How can I see which cards I have, or cards I don't have?
From your Badges page, under the "Badges in Progress" tab select a badge to view the card set, including cards you own and cards remaining.
What do I get when I craft a badge from my Trading Cards?
In addition to getting the Game Badge itself, you'll get:
  • a random emoticon item created for this game, that can use in chat or discussions;
  • a random profile background item created for this game, that can use on your Steam Community profile
  • a chance to get a discount coupon for a different game or DLC
  • 100XP, which may increase your Steam Level
If your Steam Level increases, the limit on the size of your friends list will be increased by five, and potentially you'll unlock the ability to customize your profile with showcases.
Can I upgrade my game badge?
If you gather another complete set of trading cards for the same game you can upgrade that game badge. You can craft a set for the same game at most five times. Each time you upgrade the game badge you'll get an extra 100XP, as well as upgrading the image and title of the badge.
What is my Steam Level?
Your Steam Level is a summary of your badges and shows off your trading card collection and participation in Steam events. Each badge earned increases your XP, and every 100 XP gives you an added Steam Level (at least to start).
How do I feature a badge?
You can select any completed badge from your Badges page. Your featured badge will display at the top of your profile and in the mini profile you see when you hover over your avatar.
Can I buy and sell trading cards on the Community Market?
Yes, trading cards can be traded to other users and bought or sold on the Community Market.
I have a game on Steam, how can my game participate?
Instructions and tools for trading cards can be found under the Community tab of your App Admin in Steamworks.
How can I contribute new profile backgrounds and emoticons?
We'll be working first with game developers to get them to contribute, but after release we'll be looking into adding a Workshop for community items.
When will you be adding more games and more badges?
Adding new games will be slow at first while we work through any issues with the system or content. After we get everything working smoothly we hope to add many more games.
What do I do if I'm unhappy about a trade I made?
All trades are final; make sure you really want to make a trade before confirming.
How many badges do I need to increase my Steam Level?
When you get started, each badge you craft will increase your level. Most badges give 100 XP, and it takes 100 XP to get to the next level. The amount needed to level up increases every 10 levels, meaning after Steam Level 10 you'll need 200XP per level, after level 20 you'll need 300XP per level, etc.
What is the point of my Steam Level?
The Steam Level is a quick way for users to see how much someone has invested in their Steam account. We have just a few different ways to get badges right now, but we hope to expand that to include all the different ways users contribute.
What are the direct benefits of my Steam Level?
You get more options to customize your profile, and the maximum number of friends you can have on your friends list increases.
Are there ways to get badges other than playing games?
The Steam Community badge, earned by doing some basic tasks on Steam, is the easiest way to get a badge. The Years of Service badge (granted on the anniversary of your account creation) will automatically give you more XP the older your account is. Special events on Steam also frequently have badges. We hope to keep expanding the ways you can get badges.
What is a showcase?
It's a way to customize your profile with the things that you find most interesting on Steam. There are a lot of showcases to pick from, including your favorite games, best achievements, screenshots, virtual items, among others.
How do I add a showcase to my profile?
Once you reach Steam Level 10 you can pick and customize a showcase from the profile edit page. Each 10 Steam Levels earns you an extra showcase, i.e. two showcases at Level 20, three showcases at Level 30, etc.
What is a Steam Emoticon?
An emoticon is a small image, themed for a particular game, that you get from crafting a Game Badge. You can insert it in Steam chats, discussion board posts, comment threads, etc. You can see the emoticon in your Steam Inventory and you can trade it to other users, or put it up for sale on the Steam Community Market.
What is a Profile Background?
A profile background is a large image, themed for a particular game, that you get from crafting a Game Badge. You can select it to show in the background of your Steam Community Profile. You can see the profile background in your Steam Inventory and you can trade it to other users, or put it up for sale on the Steam Community Market.
What are Foil Trading Cards?
There is a small chance whenever you get a Trading Card from playing a game that it will have a special foil border. You'll need to collect a set of foil cards in order to craft them into a foil badge. There is no extra benefit to having foil cards or foil badges aside from their rarity.
Is there a game I play with the cards?
Steam Trading Cards are about collecting and trading; there isn't a game with them. It is a great idea though and something we'd like to look at adding in the future, or maybe find a way to let users build games using the cards they have.
Do I get Trading Cards for completing achievements in game?
Trading Card drops are currently just tied to playtime within a game, independent of which achievements you are getting. We will definitely look into adding more rules for how cards are dropped in the future, but there are a few problems with in-game achievements that prevented us from using them right now. Many games have achievements that are grindy or un-fun to get, and we want the act of getting game cards to be fun for all users in games. We also don't want to push users to cheat or use achievement-unlockers in games in order to get cards, since that devalues achievements and isn't that fun either. Achievements are still valuable, and having the Achievement Showcase on your community profile is a great way to show off those rare achievements.