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Steam Trading Cards

New ways to spend all your money on Steam

As I mentioned yesterday when the Summer Sale began, Steam has been pushing its new trading card system with a few select games that reward playtime with cards. These cards can then be crafted in to badges, which show on your profile and raise your Steam Level.

That sounds like a neat way to get people to spend more money on games.

...Duh. Steam's ability to promote games through the promise of trading cards is insanely business savvy and a wonderful way to get the community to interact internally.

Games don't offer enough drops for every card required to craft the badge. Purchasing the game grants you three card drops, but there are usually 5-10 cards for each badge. It's up to you to collect the rest through trading and the use of the Community Market Place.

Crafting badges and raising your Steam level to at least 10 makes you eligible for Booster Packs, which contain multiple cards for a given game. Your chances increase by 20% every ten Steam levels.

Can I get them through achievements?

Nope. Currently, trading cards are not tied to achievements in any game. Valve states in their FAQ that tying cards to achievements can make things boring as some achievements are grind-heavy or just stupidly hard to get.

It may also encourage users to use more guides and achievement-unlockers to get cards, and that's not great either.

The Community Marketplace allows gamers to purchase cards.

Including the Summer Sale cards--these can be bought on the marketplace for anywhere from $1 to $.50. As people begin to collect more and more cards through purchases and votes, the price will drop even further.

The ability to trade and buy trading cards is ridiculously addicting. A friend and I have been back and forth trying to collect all the cards required for various game badges.

Currently, the games that offer trading cards are listed on the official Steam Store page--there are over 60 of them.

What do these do for me as a user?

Crafting badges is rewarded by:

  • 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

You can also craft the same badge again to increase its level--or upgrade it. Upgrading a badge gives you 100XP and a new title/image for that badge.

Steam levels allow you to customize your profile and increase your friend list count by 5.

Published Jul. 12th 2013
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