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Steam Trading Card beta launches; achievements now have tangible value


We were left scratching our heads last week as to what Steam Trading Cards were. They’d been spotted in the Steam database but Valve weren’t talking about their newest initiative. Well, the curtain’s been drawn back to reveal that they’re a development of Steam achievements & badges which will reward your playing of games with a deeper profile page and money off coupons.

The way it works is that each game will have a deck of collectible cards. According to Valve, “Up to half the card set is dropped through game play, the other half is earned through your collecting prowess.”

Complete sets of cards can then be crafted into badges that can then be pinned to your profile page, showing off your mastery of certain games. These badges differ from the ones Valve currently have knocking about Steam, crafted badges come with benefits, benefits like “emoticons, profile backgrounds, and coupons”. You can collect a card set multiple times, allowing you to level up your badge and earn more benefits.

All these badges and levels accrue XP for your overall Steam level, something Jeremy spotted earlier today. That Steam level is viewable through your newly updated profile.

Games that are currently taking part in the beta are:

  • CS:GO

  • Team Fortress 2

  • Dota 2

  • Portal 2

  • Half-Life 2

  • Don’t Starve

You can sign up to be considered for the beta by joining the Steam Trading Card group.

This is a great update from Valve, actually adding something of value to the gamerscore/trophy/achievement culture. It’s a system which rewards playing games to completion and also recognises players who have stuck with a game for a long time, allowing them to level up a badge multiple times.