How To Level Up On Steam

So how do you level up on Steam? What are the best ways to raise your Steam level? Here's the ultimate guide on how to level up your Steam account.

Steam allows users to showcase their experience on the platform by leveling up their accounts and displaying cool badges.

However, since there are a few different ways to increase the level of your Steam profile, new users are often wondering which one is the most efficient.

We’ll be clarifying this in the guide below, so feel free to hop in for this journey down Steam’s complex leveling system and enjoy the ride.

The level of the profile is displayed on the right side along with the “Emperor” badge

Every gamer loves to level up, regardless if the reason for that is just showing off.

Thankfully, Steam put a lot of functionality as well behind their leveling system which gives you a good reason why you should be doing this in the first place.

So, if you find joy in customizing your profile until the very last pixel, bumping up that number in the top right corner should be your main goal.

Oh, and if you think that this is only a small portion of people who care about profile aesthetics, feel free to check out this insanely popular group where competitions are being hosted every week.

Here are the things that you can do to earn experience on Steam:  

  • Crafting new badges by using trading cards
  • Participating in events such as Steam’s summer and Winter sales
  • Simply being the owner of your account for long time (“Years of service” badge)
  • Increasing the level of your badges by re-crafting it four more times

You can find detailed explanations and step-by-step tutorials for all these below. Alternatively, you can buy a Steam level service, but we won’t be discussing that in this guide as it is pretty straightforward.

What Are Steam Levels And Why Should I Level Up?

When you increase your Steam levels, you unlock more customization features (sections) that you can use later on to display the exact things you want on your profile. These include your favorite game, your main Steam group, achievements, in-game items of high monetary value, and a lot more.

And, if you have a lot of friends, or you simply love adding fellow gamers to your friend list, Steam grants you +5 slots on that list for each new level.  

Steam experience bar progress

When your Steam profile is a really high level, such as the profiles that you can find on the Steam user leaderboard, all of the additional sections are unlocked for you, and you have a lot of freedom displaying things you find important for others to see.

Screenshot taken from Cpt_FROGGY’s Steam Profile

You also get a lot of shiny badges and they look amazing. It’s sometimes difficult to choose whether you should display a badge that looks good or one that shows off an amazing achievement, such as being a member on Steam for more than ten years.

Screenshot taken from Cpt_FROGGY’s Steam Profile

Leveling Up By Crafting Badges

So, what are Steam badges?

Badges can be crafted by combining multiple trading cards into the first version of a certain badge. You get trading cards by playing games, but that’s not the only way to acquire them.

There are both “regular” and “foil” badges. 

As mentioned above, you get trading cards by playing games, which basically means “for free”, however, some really good looking badges come from games that cost a lot. Triple-A titles on Steam are almost always $60. That’s a lot of money if you are trying to become a badge collector.

Playing free games for trading cards is also a viable option, but a lot of Steam users feel like having an easily-obtainable badge displayed on their profile is not satisfying enough.

The badges you can craft by combining Cyberpunk 2077 trading cards

Thankfully, there’s something not many new Steam users know of, and that’s the fact that we can purchase the trading cards for a certain game without even having it in our library. The Steam community market is here to save the day once more.  

Now let’s get to crafting.

It’s time to craft your first badge, so feel free to use this really useful website where you can see how badges look like before you spend your time and money crafting them. Choose the ones that match the aesthetics of your profile, or just all of them if you are a collector and eager about leveling up.

Accessing the Steam community market is easy, but if you don’t know how to do it, here’s a self-explanatory screenshot.

Accessing the Steam community market through the official Steam App for Windows

Searching for trading cards is the next step. Cyberpunk 2077 is used for this particular example, but feel free to search for trading cards for any other title.

For a foil badge, you need to search for the foil versions of these trading cards. Please note these cards are more expensive, and if you want to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to leveling, it’s best to avoid them.

One foil badge awards 100 experience points, and you’ll spend more money to craft one than you would if you were to craft three of four regular ones.

It’s also a really good idea to learn how to trade game cards instead of purchasing them. There are many ways to do so, but it is recommended to use the largest and most popular Steam Card-Trading Community Group for that, as the huge number of members in there will allow you to issue your trades in less than one minute.

The foil badge for Cyberpunk 2077

Purchase the five trading cards. Remember, you’ll need to have some funds on your Steam wallet to do so. Now, there’s something really important that needs mentioning.

In one of the screenshots above, there’s a visual representation of the five different versions for the Cyberpunk 2077 badge. If you want to display the third level of the badge on your profile, for example, you’ll need to purchase each trading card three times. If you want to use the fifth level version, buy each trading card five times, etc…  

When you’re done shopping, head over to the crafting section. Here’s how.  

The badges ready for crafting will be displayed first, on top of the list before others. Simply click the “ready” button to proceed.

You will be greeted with one last confirmation screen.

And done!

You now have the first version of this badge and a few extra rewards as well. If you wish to improve it, you can do so just like instructed above.

Please note that if you level up the badge you can no longer use the previous versions of it on your profile.

Click the “Edit my profile” tab if you wish to pin your brand-new badge on your profile immediately. If not, feel free to continue shopping and crafting more badges. Keep up the tempo and the level of your Steam profile will rise quickly.

Leveling Up By Participating In Seasonal Events

Every once in a while, Steam hosts special events where you can take advantage and purchase games at a discounted price, as well as complete certain tasks that yield XP (Experience Points).

The two most popular events which are hosted regularly are the Steam Summer and Steam Winter sales. But, there are other “irregular” ones as well.

The best way of staying updated for these upcoming events is by visiting the official Steam Upcoming section.

During these seasonal events, users can often meet the opportunity of earning exclusive and limited badges. If leveling up your Steam profile is your goal, it is recommended that you’re active on the platform during these periods.

The official banner for the 2020 Steam Winter Sale

Some Badges Can Be Earned Without Crafting

For those of you looking to level up your profiles on a budget, there are a few options you can take a look at.

Firstly, we have “The Game Collector” badge which awards experience points each time you level it up.

You don’t need to purchase games to level up this badge. All you need to do is have more titles in your library, which works by adding free games as well. However, if you are trying to level up this badge to the highest level, which requires owning twenty-five thousand games, you’ll have to invest some money as there aren’t that many free games on Steam.

It’s also worth mentioning that some free games get counted towards the progress for this badge, and some don’t. It’s still not officially clear why.

The first level of this badge is called “One-Stop Shopper” and it requires you to have just one game in your library in order to get it.

The first level of the “The Game Collector” badge

If you want to see how the rest of the levels look like and decide whether you want to invest in this badge or not, you can do so here in this guide.

A very cost-efficient way of leveling up this badge is by purchasing bundles of games, usually older ones, for a cheap price. If you wish to do so by also donating to charity at the same time, The Humble Bundle Store is the perfect place for it.

Last but not least, we have The Community Leader badge that can be easily obtained and leveled up by performing simple actions on the Steam platform.

These include reviewing a game, voting on the Greenlight section on whether a game is good enough to be on Steam or not, as well as a few other tasks that can be found here.


Leveling up your Steam profile is a very fun activity, and the best thing about it is showcasing your progress to the world.

Collecting and trading Steam cards is a hobby for many, and you can learn how to do it easily if you follow this guide.

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Bojan Veselinovikj

Bojan is a video-game developer and a tech enthusiast. Combining these two passions allow him to keep you informed on everything that's new in this fast-paced digital world.