Steam is one of the most visited platforms by players from all over the world. It is used to buy games, trade CS:GO (CS2) skins, and communicate with others via chat. However, the service also offers a few other features that very few people know about, and today we will talk about one of them. Namely, Steam Trading Cards, which are quite a mystery for many users. So if you want to find out what it’s all about and what Steam rewards and badges actually are, go ahead and read our article, in which we explain everything in great detail.

The Basics of Steam

As already mentioned, Steam is one of the largest gaming platforms in the world. Valve Corporation officially launched the service in 2003 with the idea of distributing its own games. However, in 2005, as their business grew, they decided to include third-party products in the platform. Now Steam is the largest digital video game distribution platform in the industry.

In addition to game distribution, Steam offers its users a host of other services. It allows people to communicate with each other, read forums and various articles about games, as well as buy and sell CS:GO (CS2) skins on the Steam Community Market. Those are the most popular functionalities offered by the platform. However, not many people are aware that since 2013 Steam has been providing its users with something called Steam Trading Cards.

What Are Steam Trading Cards?

So Steam Trading Cards were released as a Beta in May of 2013, and then quickly became available to all users in June of the same year. They are digital items that exist exclusively on the Steam platform. What is depicted on them depends on the specific Steam game to which they are attached. Each of them is a part of a card set, which usually consists of 5-15 pieces. They are divided into standard and foil cards, with the latter being extremely rare, which also makes them much more valuable.

What Do You Need Steam Tradings Cards For?

Steam Trading Cards are used to craft Steam Badges. This can only be achieved if you successfully completed an entire set of cards.

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What Are Steam Badges?

Badges are small images (that look almost like emojis) that appear on your Steam profile after you have successfully earned one. Most of them can be obtained by completing sets of Steam Trading Cards. However, there are also some badges that you are awarded based on what function you perform in the Steam Community (e.g. Steam Community Translator, Valve Employee) or what you have accomplished (e.g. 5000+ Purchased Digital Deity). In general, these are visual representations of who you are on Steam.

What Is the Purpose of Steam Badges?

Outside of being an indicator of your position in the Steam Community, Steam Badges also provide you with some extra benefits which include:

  • 100 XP points
  • A game-specific badge
  • A new game-specific background to put on your profile
  • A game-specific emoji to use in chat
  • A Steam coupon

Once you get enough XP points, you will also level up your Steam Account. As a result, you will earn:

  • 5 extra friends slot
  • A New display case (every 10 levels)
  • Increased chance of a Booster Pack drop

How Do You Obtain Steam Trading Cards?

The most popular way to get Steam Tradings Cards is by playing games on Steam. Yes, you read that right. It’s that simple. Indeed, the cards will randomly drop into your account, and the only condition is that you have to be logged into your Steam account. Note, however, that not all Steam games give you the opportunity to get Steam Trading Cards. In case you’re not sure how to check if a game does offer them, here is a full list of games with the option of collecting Trading Cards Additionally, keep in mind that it is impossible to collect the entire set of cards by simply playing the games. This means that for simply playing CS:GO you will get Steam Trading Cards, in addition to the free CS:GO (CS2) skins you get for your regular playtime. Doing so will get you at most half of the set.

So how do you get the remaining cards?

Steam Community Market

As with all other items, Steam Trading Cards can also be purchased on the platform through the Steam Community Market. Many players put their unwanted cards up for sale to get rid of them or trade them for something better (especially since duplicates are very common in in-game drops). So if you’re really keen on completing your entire set, taking a look at the Steam Community Market might be a good idea.

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Actually, if you go to your Steam badge page, you will see a list of all the sets you have not completed. When you select one of them, the page will present you with several links accompanied by a “SEARCH ON MARKET” button. When you click it, you will be redirected straight to the Steam Marketplace page with a specific offer to purchase a given Trading Card.

Booster Packs

Booster Packs are sets of 3 cards that can include both standard and foil cards. They can be obtained through in-game drops, which happen only for eligible players. The chances of you receiving such a drop increase with your Steam level. This means that every 10 levels the probability of receiving a Booster Pack improves. This feature is completely free of charge.

What does it mean to be eligible?

Being eligible for a Booster Pack means that you have received all possible Steam Trading Card drops from a given game. If a given set is missing only those cards that cannot be collected organically, then you are eligible for a Booster Pack.

Do You Need Steam Trading Cards?

The simple answer to this question is NO. If you don’t care about crafting badges and leveling up on Steam, then you certainly don’t need to bother with Steam Trading Cards. However, remember that they are COMPLETELY FREE, which means that collecting them costs you absolutely nothing. On top of that, they are virtually hassle-free. So even if you don’t care about them, you may want to collect a few in case you want to sell them and make some extra cash.


Steam Trading Cards may not be the most essential part of using the platform, but collecting them certainly won’t hurt! Not only do you get the chance to add a personal touch to your profile, but you can also potentially earn a few dollars from selling them. So if you’re interested in finding out how it all works, read the article we’ve prepared for you. With us, you will become a master at collecting Steam card sets!