Steam is a great platform for finding and playing all your favorite PC games. If you frequent yours or other’s Steam profiles, you might notice the “Level” section. Steam created this levelling system as a way to intertwine the platform and the games you play on it.

The process is pretty simple: You earn XP through various tasks, the main one being badge crafting, and once you earn enough XP you level up. There are, of course, strategies you can follow in order to level up quickly. Here are the basics on how to level up on Steam. 

Table of Contents
    How To Level Up On Steam image - title-2
    Online Tech Tips is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more.

    The Quickest Way to Earn XP: Badge Crafting

    When you start out on Steam, all you need is 100 XP to get your first level. For each subsequent level until 10, 100 XP will level you up. From then on, you’ll need 200 XP per level, and when you reach level 20, 300 XP, and so on. 

    The fastest way to earn XP is crafting badges. Badges are created by collecting trading cards through your games, as well as buying or trading them. You can see all your current badges and trading cards by going to Your Account Name > Badges

    The Quickest Way to Earn XP: Badge Crafting image - badges

    To do this, you’ll first need a game which supports badge earning. You can find these on Steam search by using the filter with the Steam Trading Card modifier. Once you’ve bought and downloaded one, playing it will give you card drops. 

    The Quickest Way to Earn XP: Badge Crafting image 2 - marketplace

    You need a certain amount of cards from a game in order to create the game’s level one badge. After you’ve played the game and reached the max amount of card drops, you’ll have to either buy the rest of the cards or trade with others for them. You can buy cards on the Marketplace.

    The Quickest Way to Earn XP: Badge Crafting image 3 - buy

    A single card usually only costs a few cents, so it’s not very expensive to complete a badge. And if you received duplicates in your card drops, you can sell them to buy the ones you need on the Marketplace. 

    The Quickest Way to Earn XP: Badge Crafting image 4 - sell

    There are also Booster Packs. These are given to you randomly, and include three cards from a certain badge’s set. To get these, you just need to make sure you use Steam at least once a week to stay eligible. 

    Upgrading Your Badges

    Each badge has the ability to level up on Steam multiple times, at a max of 5 times. So with just one game, it’s possible to get 500 XP. You can see how this can add up fast when crafting badges for multiple games. 

    Each time you craft a badge, you get three random items for doing so. You can then sell these items in the marketplace, and use those funds to buy even more cards. Or, if you have an item that nobody seems to want to buy, you have the ability to transform it into gems. Gems can be accumulated and then used to buy Booster Packs. 

    Upgrading Your Badges image - gems

    For more popular games, Booster Packs usually cost around 1,000 gems, so it might take a bit to collect enough gems for that. But if you have a lot of extra, unmarketable items, it may be worth it. 

    Craft Steam Sale Badges

    Besides amazing game prices, Steam sale times are exceptional for leveling up your account. This is because for all badges you craft during a Steam sale event, you are given the sale’s specific trading cards which can also be crafted into a badge. 

    These Steam sale badges can be upgraded an unlimited amount, so it might be worth it to wait until the next sale comes along to start actually crafting your regular badges. Then, you can put them towards Steam sale trading cards as much as possible. 

    Taking advantage of this can help you increase your level immensely. And, it’s the perfect time to buy more games to get even more craftable badges. 

    Other Ways To Gain XP

    There are a few other ways you can gain XP besides crafting badges, and these can be great things to do at first to get your level up on Steam. 

    Other Ways To Gain XP image - nocardbadges

    First of all, there is the Pillar of Community badge. This is a badge you can get by completing certain tasks on Steam, such as adding a friend, playing a game, or posting a screenshot. Once you do some tasks you’ll get the level 1 badge for 100 XP, and you can upgrade it to level 2 for another 100 XP. 

    There are also Game Collector badges. This badge gives you XP whenever you buy a certain amount of games, hypothetically until you buy every game available on the Steam store. The more games you buy, though, the less XP is awarded each time, but it’s good for the first few games you get.

    You can also get XP just by having a Steam account for a certain length of time. This is your Years of Service badge. For every year you have an account, you’ll earn 50 XP. 

    Rewards For Leveling Up

    What’s the incentive, then, for leveling up on Steam? Well, there’s actually some good benefits to every level you gain.

    Every time you level up, you get five extra friend slots. So, with each level you’ll be able to add more friends to your account. At level 10, 20, 30, and 40, you get a +20% chance of receiving booster packs, making it even easier for you to move up the ranks. 

    So if you’re feeling a little burnt out with all your Steam games, you can always take some time away from playing games and do some leveling up on your Steam account instead, and get some nice perks in the process.