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 its users to showcase their achievements by leveling up their accounts and displaying badges on their profiles.

However, there are multiple ways to increase the level of your Steam profile and new users are often left wondering which is the most efficient.

The guide below provides more information on Steam’s leveling system and how to increase it, so read on if you want to learn how to take your profile to the next level.

How To Increase Steam Level Steam Profile
The level of the profile is displayed on the right side along with the “Emperor” badge

Every gamer loves to level up, even if the only benefit of doing so is flaunting your progress to your friends.

Luckily, Steam made this even better by adding a lot of additional functionality behind its leveling system, providing plenty of reason to dedicate some time to raise your level.

If you enjoy customizing your profile down to the last pixel, increasing the number in the top right corner will likely be one of your main goals.

If you think you might be alone in caring about profile aesthetics, check out this very popular group where profile competitions are held every week.

Here are some of the methods you can use to gain experience on Steam:  

  • Craft and upgrade badges using trading cards
  • Participate in events, such as Steam’s Summer and Winter sales
  • Simply own your Steam account for a long time (“Years of service” badge)

You can find detailed explanations and step-by-step tutorials for each of these methods below.

Alternatively, you could pay for a Steam level-up service, but we won’t be discussing that in this guide as most users prefer going on this exciting journey by themselves.

Table of ContentsShow

What Are Steam Levels And Why Should I Level Up?

By leveling up your Steam profile, you unlock so-called “Featured Boxes” which you can use to display certain things on your profile.

Using these sections, you can showcase your favorite game, primary Steam group, achievements, rare in-game items (cosmetics) of high monetary value, and a lot more.

If you have a lot of Steam buddies, or you have the habit of adding fellow gamers to your friend list, you will be happy to hear that Steam grants 5 additional for each level.

To some Steam users, this is the main “motivating” factor to level up their profiles.

Steam Levels
Steam experience bar progress

When your Steam profile reaches a high level, such as the profiles you can view on the Steam user leaderboard, every additional section is unlocked.

This means you will have quite a lot of creative freedom to display whatever you want to have visible on your profile.

What Does Steam Level Do
Screenshot taken from Cpt_FROGGY’s Steam Profile

By leveling up, you also receive numerous shiny badges which look very impressive.

Due to Steam allowing users to showcase only one, main badge on their profiles, it can often be difficult to choose whether to display a good-looking badge or one that helps boast a hard-to-obtain achievement.

This could be the badge for being a Steam member for more than ten years or owning more than a thousand games.

Easy Seam Badges
Screenshot taken from Cpt_FROGGY’s Steam Profile

Level Up By Crafting Badges

If you are relatively new to Steam, you might be wondering what Steam badges actually are.

Below is a quick and simple explanation that should give you a good idea of why badges are so sought-after amongst members of Steam’s passionate community.

Badges can be crafted by combining multiple trading cards into the basic, level one version of a particular badge. You can earn trading cards by playing games, but it isn’t the only way to acquire them.

If you stumble upon duplicate trading cards, you can use them to re-craft the same badge, upgrading it to a higher level.

Steam badges change their appearance with each level. Although most users prefer having their badges “maxed out” (meaning having the highest possible level of the badge), some decide to keep a particular badge at only level one or two because they prefer that appearance (design).

It’s worth noting that there are both “regular” and “foil” badges. We’ll get into crafting foil badges in just a few moments.

As mentioned previously, you earn trading cards by playing games. This means they are effectively gained “for free” as you play. However, some great-looking badges can only be earned from games with high price tags.

Recently-released, Triple-A games on Steam usually cost about $60, which is a lot of money for an aspiring badge collector.

Playing free games for trading cards is another viable option, but, some Steam users believe displaying an easily-obtained badge on their profile is just not satisfying enough.

How To Level Up Steam
The badges you can craft by combining Cyberpunk 2077 trading cards

There is another way of acquiring trading cards that you might have overlooked in your time on Steam. It is possible to purchase trading cards for a specific game without having the game in your library. This is achieved via the Steam Community Market.  

When the time comes to craft your first badge, consider visiting this useful website where you can see previews of badges before you spend your time and money crafting them. Choose the ones that match the aesthetics of your profile, or all of them if you are a collector and focused on leveling up.

Accessing the Steam Community Market is straightforward. If you don’t know how to do it, here’s an image that should help you navigate through the Steam client more easily.

Steam Level Up Steam Community Market
Accessing the Steam community market through the official Steam App for Windows

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

Steam Easy Badges

If you want a foil badge, you need to search for the foil versions of trading cards, which are often a lot more expensive. If you want to get the most bang for your buck when leveling your profile, it’s best to avoid foil badges altogether.

A foil badge awards 100 experience points, and it will cost three or four times more than crafting any of the regular badges. Also, foil badges have only one level, and you cannot upgrade them.

It is a good idea to learn how to trade cards, rather than purchasing them. There are many ways to accomplish this, but we recommend the largest and most popular Steam Card-Trading Community Group as the best starting point.

The sheer number of members in the group will allow you to complete your trades with remarkable speed and ease.

How To Level Up Steam Profile
The foil badge for Cyberpunk 2077
Raise Steam Level

Badges come in five different “basic” versions and one foil version. Each level of the badge showcases one version, meaning the design also changes upon upgrading it.

If, for example, you want to display the third-level version of the badge on your profile, you’ll need to acquire each trading card three times. If you want the fifth-level version, acquire each card five times, etc.

Once again, you can use this website to see how different versions of a badge look like before investing funds and time into crafting it. This is really useful to get an idea of what’s going to match your profile design the best.

To craft a badge, begin by acquiring the five required trading cards. You’ll need some funds in your Steam wallet if you plan to purchase the cards from the market.

Once you’re done shopping, head over to the crafting section, which you can open by hovering over your username on Steam and clicking Badges from the list of options.

Seam Badges

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

You will be greeted with one last confirmation screen.

Steam Craft Badge
How To LVL Up On Steam
Easy Badges To Get On Steam

And you’re done!

You now have the basic version of the badge and a few extra rewards that you get each time you craft something on Steam. If you want to improve the badge and have the necessary “ingredients”, feel free to repeat the process.

However, there’s something important to keep in mind when upgrading badges.

If you level up a badge, you can no longer display the previous versions of it on your profile.

To pin the brand-new, freshly-crafted badge on your profile, click the Edit my Profile button on the post-crafting screen, as seen in the image above. Otherwise, feel free to continue shopping and crafting more badges.

Keep up the pace, and your Steam level will rise quickly.

Level Up By Participating In Seasonal Events

Steam occasionally hosts special events where you can purchase games at discounted prices, as well as complete specific tasks that yield XP (Experience Points).

The two most well-known events, which are hosted annually, are the Steam Summer and Steam Winter sales. However, there are also other “irregular” events.

The best way to stay updated on future events is by visiting the official Steam Upcoming section.

During seasonal events, users often have an opportunity to earn exclusive or limited badges. If you want to level up your Steam profile, it’s important to be active on the platform during these periods.

Steam Winter Sale
The official banner for the 2020 Steam Winter Sale

Some Badges Can Be Earned Without Crafting

For anyone looking to level up their profile on a budget, there are a few options to consider.

Firstly, there is the “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; you only need to have more titles in your library, including free games. However, if you want to level up this badge to its highest level, which requires 25,000 games in your library, you’ll need to invest some money as there aren’t enough free games on Steam.

In addition, some free games count towards this badge’s progress, and others don’t. There hasn’t been an official answer yet on why this happens.

The first level of the badge is called “One-Stop Shopper.” It requires you to have just one game in your Steam library. You’ll see a lot of Steam users showcasing this badge on their profiles as it’s really easy to get.

How To Get A High Steam Level
The first level of the “The Game Collector” badge

If you want to see what the rest of the levels look like, and decide whether or not you want to invest in the badge, take a look at this guide.

A cost-efficient way to level up this badge is by purchasing game bundles. To maximize quantity (as the badge favors that), Steam users often purchase older games due to their lower price, which makes buying in bulk much cheaper.

You can do this, and donate money to charity simultaneously, by purchasing game bundles from The Humble Bundle Store, which is already a known “tactic” amongst the Steam community.

Finally, we have The Community Leader badge, which you can quite easily obtain and level up by taking simple actions on Steam.

These include reviewing a game, voting for upcoming games in the Steam Greenlight section, as well as a few other tasks you can find in this thorough badge guide.

How To Raise Steam Level
How To Get XP On Steam

Conclusion

Leveling up your Steam profile is an enjoyable activity, and taking part in it allows you to showcase both your achievements and creativity to fellow Steam friends.

Luckily, you now know how to begin this satisfying and often expensive journey, so put the knowledge to good use and decorate your Steam profile the way you want it to be.

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Bojan Veselinovikj
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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.