Steam Trading Cards: A Tale Of Confusion & Self-Loathing

Today I completed my first-ever set of Steam Trading Cards, and crafted my first Badge.

Today I completed my second-ever set of Steam Trading Cards, and crafted my second Badge.

Today I completed my third-ever set of Steam Trading Cards, and crafted my third Badge.

Today I completed my fourth-ever set of Steam Trading Cards, and crafted my fourth Badge.

Today I completed my fifth-ever set of Steam Trading Cards, and crafted my fifth Badge.

Today I completed my sixth-ever set of Steam Trading Cards, and crafted my sixth Badge.

I feel dirty.

Steam Trading Cards are not new, and I’ve had dozens of the blighters sat around in my inventory for years, gained passively simply by playing assorted games. Their purpose and reward had long seemed too convoluted and nebulous to tempt me into actively collecting them, though I’d occasionally sold off a few – for pennies at a time each – to fund a game add-on and that kind of thing. Today, all too appropriately while waiting for things to level up in AdVenture Capitalist! (more on that this afternoon), I found myself browsing my inventory and wondering what it all meant. I was drawn to the three Cities Skylines cards in my inventory, due to that being my current comfort food game. I clicked through. I saw a screen with spaces on it. I did not like those spaces being there. I decided to fill them.

I had credit on my Steam account from selling other cards, so money wasn’t an issue. Not that it would have been much of one if I didn’t have any credit, seeing as the missing cards in the set cost around 7 pence each. The purchasing interface was a little torturous – click, click, agree to terms, click, click, and all the waiting that Steam’s maddening slow UI generally involves. I did this three times, and I had myself a set. Now what?

Well, Craft badge. All my cards disappeared, and I was given access to an emoticon I’d never use, access to a profile background I’d never use, a discount for a game I would never buy and some experience points. Well, that was badges, then.

Wait. The screen was showing that I could do this again, to get more emoticons, backgrounds, discounts and EXPERIENCE POINTS. Experience points. If there were more, then I wasn’t as high level as I could be. This could not stand!

So I did it again. I bought the same cards – this time expanded to six as I didn’t start with three in hand – and I levelled up. More stuff I didn’t need. More mention that there was still further to go.

And again.

And again.

Max level. Except… there were also foil cards to be had. I could not be the master of pretend pieces of cardboard related to a city-building game until I had those too. But I was out of credit.

So I got out my bank card. And I proceeded to spent some £2 on pretend foil pretend cards. More backgrounds, more emoticons, more discounts, more experience points but oh God, now would I have to do this another three times to max out the foils too? I’d come this far. There was no way I could stop. What if something genuinely wonderful awaited me at the end of this? I’d pissed away so many pennies already, what would a few more be?

Thank God, the foils only need doing just the once, it seems. But here I am, some four quid down, with 500 experience points for Cities Skylines and a picture of that bloody fake Twitter Chirpy bird from it on my profile. I’m also supposed to have a picture of the Large Hadron Collider in the background, but I’ll be damned if I can work out where it is. I’ve also got a 5 Slot Level Bonus for my Friends List Slot and I don’t even understand what that is or why it involves saying ‘slot’ quite so much.

In conclusion I don’t know why I did this, what I got out of it and, most of all, why so very many people on the Steam Marketplace seem to avidly doing this with as many games as they can. I feel as though the dark word ‘gameify’ is involved somewhere, and I don’t feel good about myself in the slightest.

Though I’ve still got £2 in my Steam wallet as it would only let me buy credit in amounts of £4 or less. Maybe I should get the rest of the XCOM cards…

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90 Comments

  1. Dorga says:

    Silly Alec…

    • Pazguato says:

      I was expecting an article about how these card collection thing is now useless and without purpose. Paying non wallet money for cards is one of the worst consumerism. At level 30 all the money I get selling cards is for cheap games on sale.

      • jezcentral says:

        There is a very specific use for this. It gets people opening the game and starts the can’t get a refund timer ticking down.

        But the backgrounds are cool, although you’ll probably only use one or two.

        • airmikee says:

          So you’re saying Valve created the trading cards years ago in order to prevent people from getting a refund under a policy they started just a few days ago?

          • Aetylus says:

            Of course. This is all the build up for the grand master plan, fully unveiling an another couple of decades where they unveil the clause in the original trading card EULA that proves they own your soul. That’s how corporations think dontchaknow.

          • jezcentral says:

            At the time, it occurred to me that I was starting games and I wouldn’t be able to get a refund on them. This was last year, and, yes, the refund thing has only just kicked in, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t figure in their thinking when they came up with it.

            I’m not a conspiracy theorist. It just seems a practical reason for them doing this. (I mean, has anyone got any idea whey else the cards are there?)

          • Xeshor says:

            I don’t think so, but they obviously changed the rules how the cards drop. Before, you dropped the first one as soon as you launched the game, then one every 15 mn or so. Now, you have to wait 2 hours before dropping the first one. That was implemented AFTER they introduced the refund system. Seems pretty logical though.

  2. neoncat says:

    I sell off my cards as soon as they arrive, so that I am not tempted to try collecting them. ^_^

    tho I did make a full set of To The Moon badges because they are lovely (and I still need the Rocket background)…
    and I did also make a handful of other badges when I got random booster pack drops… >_>

    Also, now that you have had a taste of collecting, did you know that there are computer things that will idle in the background, earning you all your card drops? >_<

    • thedosbox says:

      tho I did make a full set of To The Moon badges because they are lovely (and I still need the Rocket background)…

      I’ve managed to avoid spending actual money on cards, but there is some nice artwork out there that’s worth trading and crafting for.

      • somnolentsurfer says:

        Also, a badge on my profile that say’s ‘I played To the Moon’ seems like the kind of thing everyone should have.

        • kalirion says:

          But you can have a badge for any game, including one that you don’t even have in your account.

    • Smashbox says:

      I absolutely love the trading card system. For some reason, people (like Alec I suppose) may you actual money for jpgs you accumulate by playing games. I sell them all immediately and by my estimates I’ve made nearly $40 to spend on games.

  3. Llewyn says:

    No, wait, there are multiple levels of badges? So people make the same badges many times? I… don’t know what to say.

    I’ve only crafted one badge – Papers, Please, which seemed like something I wanted to memorialise playing – and thankfully didn’t notice I could have done it all over again. Although even learning this now doesn’t particularly make me inclined to do so, nor to complete other badges as a matter of course.

    I understand entirely why some people want to do this, but I can’t for the life of me understand why real money (and yes, Steam credit is real money for anyone who will ever buy a game from Steam) changes hands for these things. I know each individual transaction is generally small, but given the amount of credit I’ve accrued for disposing of them it seems likely that some people are spending substantial amounts on virtual badges.

    Life is strange, indeed.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I kind of like collecting the cards I get from playing a game. It’s a bit like having a souvenir from a game. But I never buy additional cards, and I sell the cards I get double.

    One time I got all the cards of a set except one, and this was the only time I bought a card – so that I could craft a badge and see what would happen then. I wasn’t impressed with the results and therefore went back to just collecting the ones I got for free.

  5. Vandelay says:

    I crafted a badge from the latest sale, thinking I would make something that would be valuable on the market place. I didn’t. You are much better off selling the individual cards. It isn’t hard to accumulate a lot of them if you play a variety of games, with them ranging between about 4p and 15p, with the shenanigans during sales often inflating this further. You suddenly have enough in your Steam wallet to get through a sale without spending very much at all (and a bunch more games to repeat the process with next time.)

    I really can’t fathom why anyone would be wanting to spend real money on such things, but there must be some people out there.

  6. DrScuttles says:

    Another confession here. I crafted badges for 14 games. It started off with games that I really liked, like The Binding of Isaac and Half-Life 2, then I started doing it for games that were yeah, pretty alright, just stuff I was playing at the time. And then I had to do the sale events.
    I was looking in the mirror and I saw something deep inside my eyes. And I realised the line must be drawn here. This far, no further.

  7. Continuity says:

    Yeah I always sell mine, frankly i’ve made a reasonable amount of credit out of them by now… shame it all gets spent on csgo weapon skins.

  8. Cochise779 says:

    I have completely ignored the cards, recognizing them as most likely not worth the dark rabbit hole they represented. I’m still surprised Valve did this – they print money as it is, what does game-ifying games really do?

    But seriously, how do you even get the dang cards?

    • Premium User Badge

      oggnogg says:

      You get cards for buying games, playing games, and buying during sometimes for sale events.

  9. Sir_Deimos says:

    I usually sell the cards from games I don’t like to finish the sets of cards for games I do like. I try to see how many sets I can make without spending anything but steam credit. Kind of a silly rule to only use credit when a $50 game gets you $0.46 worth of cards.

  10. Rizlar says:

    There are some nice backgrounds though. Not that anyone is likely to ever see them. Did a badge and got this – link to venimarolka.com – I regret nothing!

  11. dangermouse76 says:

    I can’t get my head round the whole card trading thing. I kinda see as part of the smoke and mirrors “added value, ” steam likes to use to stop you thinking about the fact you dont own any of the games.

    OOOHH! look at the shiny stuff….dont read the T’s&C’s. Look a hat.

    On a side note steam has updated and taken all my installed games out of their categories and put them back in “Games”.

    The Dan is unimpressed. The Dan has also had an allergic reaction to the new washing up powder and has a constant stream of water coming out his nose. The Dan is unimpressed.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Oh, it’s very much that. But just like achievements, I’d actually still like to have them (although not to the extent of paying money for them). And I’m firmly of the opinion that’s very much because of basic human psychology, just the way games like those ‘free to play’ games work by tugging at your psyche.

    • kevinspell says:

      To me the point of the cards is to get steam levels. Becouse if you have a level 40 steam profile I’ll assume that you put some effort into your account and most likely you are not a dirty wall hacking cheater, you are probably just better in CS:GO than I am.

      • that_guy_strife says:

        So that someone who bought his way to level 40 is better than you ?

        • desolation0 says:

          I believe the implication was that someone who has invested enough value into reaching a level 40 account is relatively less likely to try stuff that would result in a VAC ban. A smurf account for cheating wouldn’t have even bothered with trading cards enough to hit that point.

    • Chiron says:

      I put them in the same category as those shitty Steam Achievements you see, ignore them as best you can because its a pile of shite.

      But with the added bonus that you can sell them and eventually get a £2 game.

  12. liquidsoap89 says:

    I just trade my cards with a trading bot. That way I don’t deal with crappy people and I don’t have to spend any money. It’s a completely shallow “experience”, but it gives me a slight feeling of support when I create a badge for a game I like.

    • Jalan says:

      I quit doing that. It became quite clear that the persons behind said bots were overvaluing/undervaluing on pure whims and if I was going to be shoving off three cards in exchange for one to complete a set one time I decided I’d rather take my chances with the market than I would anything else.

  13. April March says:

    Every time I feel like crafting a badge, I think of how I could buy a game by selling those cards instead. “But it’s only worth a few cents!” Exactly – so I need to sell as many as I can get my hands on in order to have enough money to buy a game.

    If I still tempted I imagine the discount coupon for a game that I know nothing about, and even if I did would probably not want to buy from Steam anyway, taunting me in my inventory, for ever (ever being about three months).

    I did idle in a few games when I was on vacation so I could get some cards for them. It was only games that I had either played DRM-free versions or tried and disliked before trading cards were implemented, so I was ‘owed’ some cards for them. Still made me feel very filthy, as if I was in an idling TF2 server.

    Interestingly, I’ve heard that Train of Afterlife lasts about as long as it takes to get all of its Steam cards, and you’re supposed to look at those as if they were a tarot reading. I haven’t actually played it yet but regardless of whether that’s a true thing it sounds like an interesting approach, like a degamification of gamification. (Which you then can sell.)

  14. JiminyJickers says:

    I used to be all “get of my lawn” about trading cards, until I sold all mine and bought Running With Rifles with them. Now I don’t mind them at all, as long as people keep buying them off me, win-win.

  15. Mr Coot says:

    I don’t mind the trading cards. What is unsatisfactory to me, is that you must display the max Steam level you have accrued and also, if you complete all 5 levels of a game’s set, the only level you can display is L5.

    I would have spent double what I’ve already spent on them by now I’m sure – because I do enjoy having a slew of emotes and backgrounds, and I like to declare my appreciation for a game by levelling it up to 5 and tossing a bit of extra money at the devs for a game that’s been superb – however… I am presently L42 on Steam and I simply can’t bear to go beyond that. So I simply no longer create sets of cards.

  16. jrodman says:

    i crunch my cards into gems. And then i let the gems sit in a pile that I will never use.

    At least this way I have fewer items in my “inventory” to deal with if i get a coupon I feel like using.

    • Jalan says:

      That’s what the inventory filters are for. Coupons even have their own spiffy section so you don’t have to click past potentially hundreds of pages of not coupons.

      Gems seem like the more easily viable way to make money off cards (at least, in a faster manner) though I’m sure it’s a losing effort when you factor in that most cards tend to yield 2 gems and you could blow through hundreds of them just to end up with whatever the current price of a gem sack goes for at the market currently.

      • jrodman says:

        One of the hopes I have is that someone writes a query when datamining this crap that determines that users exist who see no value in the cards at all. Maybe I’ll even get an option someday to turn them off permanently.

  17. Fontan says:

    I just sell all of them whenever they come up. I’ve gotten a couple of games and quite a few DLC I wouldn’t have bothered with otherwise, so as long as people are willing to collect and buy cards from me, I’m happy.

  18. heretic says:

    This is WRONG. Gabe has enough money already!

  19. James says:

    I sell off my cards. I bought Homeworld Remastered with them :D

  20. Roobean says:

    1. Wait until the Summer Sale; for every badge crafted you get a Summer Card.
    2. Marketplace = expensive, trading methods (using websites like http://steamcardexchange.net and http://steamtradematcher.com) ftw
    3. Unfortunately 6 Badges is nothing; I need to get to level 126 when the Sale hits; currently 76 or something. =P

    Once http://Scrap.tf add Trading Card Banking, my life will be so much easier.

  21. amateurviking says:

    I’d sell mine but the amount of clicking and wasted time required by the aforementioned glacially slow UI means that I generally just ignore them. I did complete the XCOM one once, but felt hollow and empty afterward.

    • Aninhumer says:

      Let me introduce you to Steam Inventory Helper:
      link to chrome.google.com

      It’s unfortunately only available for Chrome, but it’s useful enough that I have it installed just to use this extension.

      While I’m at it, I’ll also mention Idlemaster, for people with massive libraries of unplayed games:
      link to steamidlemaster.com
      It pretends you’re playing games until you get all the card drops.

  22. Greg Wild says:

    It’s this kind of deep level, hard-hitting investigatory journalism that really does show why RPS are the best in the business.

    Reporters in Anbar province have it easy by comparison.

  23. Darkheart says:

    If you are an avid bundle customer and use some program to idle the games you get a nice flow of new cards to sell/collect. I’m around lvl 50 right now (because that doubles your chances at free boosters) and I think I spend around 5€ of real money on that. Now I just sell high and buy low and I’m at 21€+ in fake Steam monies.

    I tell myself this Steam summer sale will be the last one where I craft badges. I have some 130 complete sets in my inv and crafting them during the sale gives you extra special badge cards which you can sell for 10-15 cents a pop. I should be lvl 60 after that and that’s it then. Hopefully… Praise GabeN!

    • kalirion says:

      Mysterious Cards have already replaced coupons in preperation for the sale next week, and will become Summer 2014 cards once the sale starts. Feel free to start crafting.

  24. philosoaper says:

    sooo… I’m level 76 on the steam trading cards experience-O-meter.. *blush*

    • Chirez says:

      Please to explain!
      Does it feel good to make that number go up? I am all about games in which the numbers go up, I’m the last person to judge, I’m just genuinely curious. Why bother?

      • Kuuppa says:

        Because numbers no up, that’s why. It is the whole meaning of life, to make numbers go up. Life is all about numbers going up. Your age, your grades, your salary, your pension, the price of your toys, your Steam level, they all go up as time goes by. It is a very important thing.

  25. Jackablade says:

    I don’t recommend going the converting cars to gems and gems to booster packs route. It’s an effective way to get rid of all of your cards and not finish a single badge.

    • kalirion says:

      I usually convert card to badges, and then the cheap emoticons and backrounds I don’t like to gems. Won/bought about 10 games in the holiday gem auction with the results, though my gem supply is now exhausted and I don’t have nearly as many new emoticons and backgrounds to convert this time around.

      The problem with selling all the cheap cards is that as a U.S. Citizen I’m under the 200 market sales per calendar year limit. I could raise the limit by giving Valve my SSN# but fuck that.

    • Aninhumer says:

      Yeah, the gem conversion rates are terrible, usually even crossing the market spread for an instant sale gives better rates. And I find cards usually go within a day at market rate, or within a few hours if you undercut.

  26. Not_Id says:

    “In conclusion I don’t know why I did this, what I got out of it and, most of all, why so very many people on the Steam Marketplace seem to avidly doing this with as many games as they can. I feel as though the dark word ‘gameify’ is involved somewhere,”

    Is this what Valve mean why they spout that “games as a service” bollocks? Gamers will buy crap so Valve services them.

  27. Baf says:

    Steam Trading Cards is effectively a game, right. And the key to enjoying that game is to never buy cards. Fill your gaps by trading cards for cards. Get more cards by playing the games you got in a bundle but never tried — you might even find something you like this way! — and then trade them for the cards you want.

    Obviously you can get cards faster by paying for them, but where’s the fun in that?

    • Premium User Badge

      ComicSansMS says:

      I see it slightly different. For me the market is the game and cards are just the tokens used for playing.

      I never transferred money to my wallet, but once you own a couple of games on Steam, you can make more than enough starter money by just selling cards from games that you don’t like.

      From there on out, the game is on: The Steam market is not that different from a poor-man’s stock market, but since you only trade for pennies, the punishment for a bad decision is not that hard. And occasionally being able to craft a badge for a game I like is enough reward for what little time I spend on the market.

      Same is actually true for trading of TF2 hats, only that prices are usually orders of magnitude higher there which kind of spoils the fun for me.

  28. brulleks says:

    I don’t know why people bother with it either but I’m glad they do – I got £15.00 off GTA V thanks to people buying my old trading cards.

  29. King in Winter says:

    I have crafter one badge, being the previous winter card thing collection, since RNG() favoured me by throwing all but one of the cards my way. I sold all the doubles I had, bought the missing card, and turned them into a badge. Maybe I shouldn’t have, since now my inventory is cluttered by an emoticon I have no idea how to use, and a background I have no idea how to use either.

    The latter though is probably fault of my steam account being so old that the profile page asks me to set up a Steam ID instead of displaying my information. Which I refuse to do, just of ouf being contrary.

    Not that I have had many card drops either… whenever a game allows to, I launch it directly instead of through Steam. So, most of my games are either showing no game time or several minutes, since Paradox games lose all of their DLC info after every update until you relaunch them through Steam.

  30. MrNash says:

    I still can’t be bothered with these badges most of the time. Maaaaaybe during one of the sales I’ll trade with some friends, but half the time I forget I even have these things.

  31. JohnnyPanzer says:

    I did the exact same thing with KSP. I was browsing my inventory one day, more or less ofr the first time, and for no good reason I suddenly decided to see what the deal with badges was, bought the missing cards, crafted the badge, noticed that there were several levels and just kept going out of curiosity.

    It took me quite a while to figure out what the background was supposed to be used for, but it appears that there is this weird social media thingie hidden in the steam UI. Sort of a status page. The background goes there and it’s hardly visable. I assume the emotes are supposed to be used on this page as well, maybe for status updates? Who the hell knows, I had no idea there steam came with a useless status wall, but now I’ve seen it and I doubt I’ll ever see it again.

    • Kuuppa says:

      Those emoticons can also be used in chat and Steam forums, comments and whatever. I use the Steam chat to communicate with some of my friends, so some emoticons have actually been useful. Or at least fun. Sadly most of of them are just ugly and useless.

  32. Aiven says:

    I did not bother much with the cards, but they cluttered up my inventory. So yesterday I found a solution, other than turning it into worthless gems or spending five minutes per card to sell them. With it takes only two seconds to sell a card. Nice to tidy up the inventory. Sold most my cards and made 2£ since yday.

    • Aiven says:

      Well, I messed up the link it seems. It’s supposed to say Steam Inventory Helper.

  33. Stargazer86 says:

    I just sell off any duplicates I get, keep the others, and then occasionally buy the missing cards I need with the money I make. Never spend an extra cent and often enough just don’t bother with the cards at all.

  34. Joshua Northey says:

    I don’t understand what any of this is for? The epeen of children right? I mean I have hundreds of steam games and I don’t think I have ever looked at my profile/badges/cards/jewels/hapsichords/wombats and whatever other accouterments come with the account.

    I mean what on earth is this supposed to be about? Do people really have that much trouble finding games they enjoy? I literally am so confused.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      If you’re confused by it just sell them. That’s what I do. It’s painless, takes seconds and it’s free money.

      • Chirez says:

        I’m sure it’s simple enough when you care to try it, but I don’t find it painless, quick or free.
        The amount of effort necessary to figure out what the hell this shit is all about is way above the level that seems to validate any potential reward.

        • BooleanBob says:

          That’s the weird thing about this whole feature. Taking the time to figure out the system, to pursue and engage with it by crafting badges, leaves you with assets less valuable than the cards that you start out with.

          I was vaguely annoyed when I discovered this, but if you think about it, the optimal strategy (selling cards immediately) is also the most convenient, so I don’t see how anyone is losing out, exactly.

      • that_guy_strife says:

        I’ve always found it hilarious selling doubles within hours. Who buys those ? What’s the point ? Collecting I s’pose. I keep the one I earn and see no point in buying further … It’s just a marketing ploy reaching for the reptilian part of human brains.

    • Philomelle says:

      I grew up in an era when collectible sticker albums were a fad among teenagers, so to me it’s basically pretending like I’m fifteen years old again but without the stickers costing me all of my monthly savings.

      I’m actually not sure why Valve is calling these “trading cards”. They function effectively the same as collectible stickers, complete with a series of digital mini-albums to stick them into.

  35. MrBehemoth says:

    I always and immediately put all trading cards up for sale upon quitting the play session in which I earned them, and play pricing games in an attempt to make the most pennies I can. It’s a better metagame than building badgers or whatever you’re supposed to do with them because of the real money that appears in my Steam wallet. I am bewildered that anyone actually buys them, but if they add up to give me 50p off my next purchase then it gives me a tiny gleam of smug.

  36. airmikee says:

    I’ve saved up most of my cards over the years and I sell them during the holiday events. The prices usually skyrocket upward during those events, giving a card normally worth $0.05 a bump up to around $0.20. The most I’ve ever got was $3.50 for a foil card, which I saved until after the holiday event was over and bought dozens of cards when the price went down in order to sell during the next holiday event.

    “Never get high on your own supply.”

  37. Chirez says:

    I see a lot of people in the comments who prefer selling them, personally I can’t even get that far.

    Right now I have around 170 of the damned things in my inventory, including six 3 card packs, and I don’t even care enough to nudge a friend into taking them off my hands. Which is what I did with the first few hundred. The tedium of clicking on cards to fill up the trade box for no reason other than tidyness became too much quite quickly. Now I just let them sit there.

    The question immediately becomes ‘who actually does this?’
    The only answer I can see is those people who are aware of their steam level. I occasionally glance at the little red 12 circle in my Steam and feel a distant twinge as the call of levelling rises from the depths, but I always just turn to whatever part of my brain causes that effect and give it a metaphorical smack with the metacognitive newspaper.

  38. supirman says:

    This can’t be today. If you craft today you will get Mystery Card instead of Discount Coupon.

  39. Grendel says:

    What I love about the trading cards are the mostly beautiful and artistic bigger pictures when you click on a card. I use some of them as my background in windows (eg from Wasteland 2) or as greeting cards around holidays like christmas. :D

    • kalirion says:

      Yes, many people aren’t aware that quite often the “Large” version of a trading card is not just a “larger” version of what they see in their inventory.

      Case in point: La-Mulana link to steamcardexchange.net

      Go ahead, click on the Skimpy Bathing Suit card, I dare you!

    • malkav11 says:

      Yeah, that’s a big part of why I get them. Of course, once you’ve had a card ever you can always look at the large image, so I complete my collection once (and craft the badge because why not) and then largely don’t bother unless I happen to stumble into another full set through boosters or it being a free to play game where I spend a significant amount of money (I have like a level 3 or 4 Marvel Heroes badge). I instantly sell every foil I get, though. Not crazy enough to try and piece a foil badge together and those sell for real money.

      • kalirion says:

        Not quite – you can look at the large image in your profile if you have the card in your inventory, or if you’ve crafted at least 1 level of the badge. However if you get rid of the card without crafting the badge, you can’t look at the large image anymore.

        Then again there are sites which let you look at the large image of any card without having to have it in your inventory :)

        • malkav11 says:

          Ah. I guess I’ve never checked since I generally craft the badge. And yeah, I’m sure I could just go look them up on a site, but where’s the fun in that?

  40. IonTichy says:

    I sell them instantly, bought me a lot of dlc in sales

  41. RanDomino says:

    My sister’s boyfriend’s cousin’s dog made $€1425.817 per jiffy buying and selling steam Trading cards – so easy I couldn’t believe it – http://buyandsellsteamtradingcardsontheinternetinordertomakemoney.tv

  42. drewski says:

    I only ever buy enough to complete the first set, only if I really like the game, and only ever with free credit I’ve got from selling other cards, or TF2 freebies or Horace hats or whatever. Otherwise I just sell them after they drop.

    I don’t really get the collector mentality, but eh.

  43. Ranjeev says:

    I like this system for just showing people (or myself?) what i care about.

    For example i got lots of cards for the games i played the most, sold off the ones i dont care about and used those cents to buy the ones i did.

    I now have completion badges for Arkham Asylum, Divinity Original Sin and The Witcher 2. I am happy to have those badges showing i cared about those games enough for them to represent on my account.

    I don’t care to make the badge look nice or get foils or even use the items you get… i guess the info is more of a thing for me than cosmetics?

  44. Ham Solo says:

    I despise this card business, after every gaming seesion new spam about how i got new stuff in my inventory, I just give it all to the trashbot. I want no part of it, I also stopped playing TF2 when it became all about hats and microtransactions instead of the game itself.

  45. TheSplund says:

    I flog ’em as soon as I see’ em

  46. Duoae says:

    I really don’t mind the trading cards in principle. I don’t mind them sitting there in my inventory – I’ve never seen another set spawn in all my playtime or purchasing of over 200 games, even though it’s supposedly possible according to the blurb on Steam. I don’t mind them unlocking icons, emoticons and backgrounds.

    However, I think it is criminal that Steam would lock friends list slots behind this (and other) mechanisms within Steam. It’s completely unfair. I mean, I can have spent hundreds of euros/pounds/dollars on games and have a smaller friends list available than someone who gave their facebook profile and purchased £10-20 of trading cards?

    Ridiculous.

  47. FatOak says:

    I too, am guilty of collecting the cards. Starting off it seemed harmless enough, trading to get full sets of games that I really enjoyed, but it quickly progressed onto games I only kind of liked, and from there it spiralled downwards towards obsession. Constantly F5-ing the page of a particular card I wanted to get it at a good price, or trying to sell cards high when they were new or during a Steam Event when they would become more valuable, it all came to a head in one of the Steam Sales where you contributed to your team by crafting badges, with the minute possibility that you might be rewarded with an actual game if your team won. I deluded myself into the opinion that the Steam wallet I was bolstering with the sale of spare cards didn’t constitute real money, and therefore it was ok to fritter it away on digital cards, and I was even quite ‘proud’ that I never spent real money on the cards. I finally kicked the habit recently and sold all my cards to fund my purchase of Invisible Inc, which was a much more worthwhile use of the funds. There is, however, still a tiny part of me that is slightly irritated by those greyed-out badges I haven’t crafted yet.

    • Enkinan says:

      I too have spent more money than I should on cards. It’s that feeling of something not completed laying there. The extra slots and backgrounds can be nice as well and I just sell booster packs of sets I already have.

  48. Don Whitaker says:

    I used to sell all the cards as soon as they appeared, until I made a set of my own. It was a pretty big job to craft all the cards, backgrounds, badges and whatnots. While looking at other cards for ideas I began to appreciate them more. Now I generally sell a few cards from one game to complete sets for games that I enjoy. I like having the virtual souvenirs from my favorite games and the devs do make a tiny bit of profit from the card sales.