How to Level Up in Steam (Badges | Community Involvement | Market | XP)

This is a guide on how to level up in Steam covering: badges, community involvement, market and XP.

Last updated: 27th October 2021

Warning: You do anything at your own risk! If you or somebody else incur costs or have any problems you’re responsible! Please be careful and I suggest you avoid becoming addicted to leveling up!

Please note: I’m only at the beginning of my journey to try and increase my Steam level. This guide is probably incomplete and as I level up further, if I do something different I will consider updating this guide. 

Introduction (written Oct ‘21)

Whilst I’ve been using Steam for many years, it’s only recently that I started to pay attention to my level and XP numbers.

What I discovered is that the act of trying to level up has made me pay more attention to the Steam community, my huge library of games and Steam features that I’ve not be using.

I’ve found that whilst one task that contributed to getting more XP was taking a screenshot, I’ve since carried on doing screenshots, despite it not contributing further to my XP score.

I’ve also given some of my inventory items to friends for no reason other than I didn’t want them and thought they might.

I’ve taken time to update my profile, look at friend’s profiles and discovered games I might want to play. I’ve been enjoying the process of leveling up and it has made me more interested in the Steam community.

Getting started

As you gain more XP via various activities, you reach milestones which result in a level increase. To begin with you might find it easy to get some XP and level up a few numbers, but then it might become tougher and take longer.

Play some games

If you’ve got some games in your library that are able to drop cards, but haven’t yet, then you might want to consider playing those games to add cards to your inventory.

Those cards then ‘might’ be able to be used in different ways to help you gain XP to level up. For example you could trade cards for ones you want. You could also sell cards and then use earnings to buy the cards you want.

Once you have a complete collection for a game, you can create a badge and get some more XP. I will cover that further in the ‘crafting badges’ section further down.

Add free games

You can gain XP for adding free games to your library. Admittedly this isn’t a good way to gain XP points due to the small increase in XP, but depending on your circumstances the XP might be helpful. 

Sites that regularly list free games on Steam:

Pillar of Community/Community Ambassador Badge

I think I’ve enjoyed obtaining this badge more and other than playing games, this has had the most impact on my Steam involvement.

If you’ve not done many community/profile activities yet, you should see a ‘Pillar of Community’ badge listed in the ‘Badges’ section. To begin with I found it an easy way to get some free XP quickly.

There are various tasks such as sharing a screenshot, writing a review, joining a group etc which contribute to a target, which once reached gives you more XP.

Crafting badges

If you’ve been playing games for a while, you might’ve noticed various cards have been added to your inventory. Once you complete a collection of cards you can then craft a badge and gain more XP.

Screenshot showing Steam cards for a game.

You can trade cards with others, such as friends or even give a friend a card as a free gift. Another option is to sell unwanted cards via the community market and then if you have enough earnings you could use that money to buy a card you might need.

You can also turn unwanted cards into gems, which given sufficient numbers can be turned into booster packs. I’ve not created a booster pack yet and I currently regret creating gems more than the one time I wanted to for a ‘Pillar of Community’ badge task.

Example: I already had four cards towards a badge and used some earnings from selling unwanted cards to buy a fifth card, that enabled me to craft a badge and get more XP.

A screenshot of a Steam badge being crafted.

Final thoughts

I told my fiancée about trying to level up and we decided to do this journey together. Whilst I have a larger Steam library than my fiancée, over time she has played more games than I.

My fiancée has easily been able to craft more badges and I will admit it’s made me take more interest in the games in my library that I’ve not been playing!

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