Steam Collectible Trading Card Tips

Half Life Steam Trading CardLike other Steam addicts, between Steam’s seasonal sales and the glorious temptation that is BundleStars, the lifemate and I have accumulated hundreds of steam games over the years. It’s only recently I realized that library held a gold mine in nickles and dimes, as I started to delve into Steam’s collectible Trading Card Game. See, I have no interest in the badges they can be turned in for, myself, but I do enjoy gathering the cards. Rather than saving them up, I sell them on the Market – rolling that money over to spend on other steam games.

Diving into the collecting game can be time consuming and confusing at first, but I’ve picked up a few tips I’ll share today that make it MUCH easier.  So if you’re just getting started, or thinking about it, this is the article for you.

At first, I thought the card drops were tied into achievements or how far you played.  That’s not so at all.  The drops are random, and can even happen if you leave the game sitting open on the title screen.

In playing a game with Trading Cards, you have the potential to gather half the possible cards, the expectation being that you’ll trade or purchase to get the rest of the set.  In my first few weeks collecting, it didn’t seem like there was any easy way to tell how many cards each game could give, and which games you owned would drop them.  Comparing the list of all steam games that drop collectible trading cards with your game library, name by name, can take hours.  But there is a place to check this quite easily – In the steam client, under your user name, click on “Badges”.  You’ll see a concise list of which games you have that offer card drops, how many cards have dropped so far, and how many you could still get.

To sell a card, you click on it in your inventory, set a price, toggle the check box that says you understand the rules, and put it up for sale.  Steam makes it even easier by telling you what the current going price is, amongst the other information that appears to the right after you click on a card.  If you stick with the current price Steam recommends, most cards will sell quickly – typically for anywhere from .05 to .20.  Which is not a lot, no, but just playing around with this has given me enough to get a couple of Indie games for free.

If you get impatient – or notice later that the price Steam recommended is no longer accurate because the price was falling at the time – usually due to an awesome sale, and there suddenly being more supply of the cards – you can go to your Community tab, down to Market, check your listings, and from there you can remove any sell offer you’ve made without penalty.  The card will return to your inventory.

When you’ve received all the standard possible card drops, you become eligible for random drops of booster packs.  Booster packs can contain rare cards, which are worth a bit more than the commons, as you’d expect.  You don’t actually have to start the game for your chance to get them, either – just log in to Steam weekly.  When the lifemate and I were playing a lot of Secret World together last year, between us we got a ton of cards, and several rares.  That adds up quite nicely.

Have fun!

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