Welcome to the Steam Trading Cards Wiki
Everything about Steam Trading Cards
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How does this all work?
Steam trading cards were released as a Beta on the May 15, 2013. Beta ended on June 26, 2013, at which point it became available to all Steam users.
Not all games on Steam have trading cards: its up to the game's developers to decide if they want to participate or not. If a game does participate, it will have 5-15 cards in the set. These cards appear in 2 forms, standard and foil, which is rarer. When you collect all of the cards, you can craft them into a badge.
Each game has 6 types of badges: 5 levels of the standard badge, and the foil badge. When you craft a game's badge the first time, you'll receive the level 1 version of the badge. Crafting it again will upgrade the badge to level 2, and so on, up til level 5. Once you reach level 5, you cannot craft that game's cards into a badge again. The foil badge for a game can only be crafted once.
As you craft badges, you'll receive experience. Each level of a badge is worth 100 points of experience (so a level 5 badge is worth 500 experience.) Gaining experience will cause you to gain levels.
How do I get cards?
The primary way to get cards is to purchase a game and play it. By doing so, you'll receive 1/2 of the cards in that game's set (rounded up.) These cards can be duplicates. To get the rest of the cards for a set, you'll either need to trade with your friends, purchase them from the Steam Community Market, or wait and hope you receive a pack.
Free-to-play games work differently. Because you can't actually 'buy' the game, card drops are based off of how much you spend on in-game content for that game. The current rate is that for approximately every $9/9€ spent, you'll receive 1 card drop. This may vary from game-to-game, though.
What are Steam levels?
By crafting badges, you gain experience, which raises your Steam level. Benefits of having a higher Steam level include:
- Increased Friends list size (+5 friends per level)
- Showcases for your Steam Profile (1 new showcase every 10 levels)
- Increased chance of Pack drop (+20% chance for every 10 levels)
How do I get Packs?
Once you've gotten all of your card drops for a game, you'll be eligible to receive booster packs for that game. You need to log into Steam at least once a week to remain eligible for packs. The odds of receiving a pack increase by 20% for every 10 Steam levels (meaning +20 chance at level 10-19, +40% chance at levels 20-29, etc.)
Valve has stated that there's a bad luck filter for pack drops: the longer it has been since you've received a pack, the higher the chance that you'll receive one the next time they're given out. The specifics of how this works, such as whether it's per-game or overall, is unknown.