How To Level Up on Steam in 10 Easy Steps

Steam is one of the largest digital distribution platforms for PC and Mac games! On Steam, you have a profile where you can showcase your gaming accomplishments. One way to show off on your Steam profile is by increasing your Steam Level. The higher your Steam Level, the more experienced you are perceived to be on the platform!

In this guide, we will go over the different ways you can level up your Steam account and reach higher levels. By following these steps, you'll be leveling up in no time!

Table of Contents

What is a Steam Level?

Your Steam Level is a representation of your overall engagement and activity on the Steam platform. The higher your level, the more badges, games, trading cards, and other items you've accumulated over time.

When you first create a Steam account, you will start at Level 0. As you complete certain actions like crafting badges, making purchases, chatting with friends, and other engagement, you will gain experience points (XP). Accumulating enough XP will allow you to level up to the next Steam Level.

There are over 100 Steam Levels to achieve. However, it does get progressively harder to level up the higher your level gets. The XP requirements increase significantly with each new level. Still, with regular activity, most dedicated Steam users can reach Level 20-30 with some effort. The top Steam Levels are reserved for the most hardcore gamers.

1: Craft Trading Card Badges

One of the easiest and most reliable ways to gain XP is by crafting Trading Card badges. Most Steam games have Trading Cards that can be obtained by playing the game for a certain amount of time. You can also purchase cards on the Community Market if needed.

Once you collect the full set of cards for a game (usually 6-8 cards per set), you can craft them into a badge. This will reward you with XP, profile backgrounds, emoticons and other rewards. Aim to craft badges for all the games in your library to maximize your XP gains.

2: Purchase and Play Games

Making game purchases on Steam directly contributes to your account level. Each dollar spent on games, DLC, in-game items or subscriptions equates to a small amount of XP. So buying new games, especially during Steam sales, is a great way to level up over time.

In addition, playing and logging hours in your Steam games will also reward you with incremental XP. The more engaged you are with your library, the faster you'll climb the Steam Levels. Even just leaving games running idle in the background while AFK can help boost your playtime stats.

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3: Complete Community Achievements

Steam has Community Achievements that are separate from in-game achievements. These are global challenges anyone can contribute towards by performing certain actions. Completing Community Achievements rewards you with XP as well as profile badges.

Some examples of Community Achievements include chatting in group discussions, reviewing a certain number of games, participating in Steam events/giveaways, and more. Check the Community section regularly for new Achievements to complete. This is essentially free XP for engaging with Steam.

4: Trade with Other Users

Player trading is a big part of Steam. Whether buying, selling or trading games/items with other users, each successful trade transaction rewards a small amount of XP. This can add up over time.

A good way to increase your trade volume is by collecting Trading Cards and then listing them for sale on the Community Market. You can also look for trades involving games you don't want from your inventory. Just be wary of scammers when trading with strangers. Only trade with trusted partners.

5: Chat with Friends

Social interaction is also rewarded on Steam. Simply chatting with friends, joining group discussions or commenting on others' profiles/activity feeds provides incremental XP gains. The more engaged you are in the Steam community, the faster you'll level up.

Make an effort to chat regularly with friends, participate in group chats, and be an active member of any gaming communities you're part of. This is a largely passive way to earn XP just by socializing on the platform like you normally would.

6: Follow Developers & Games

Following your favorite game developers, publishers and individual games on Steam provides small amounts of XP each time they update their pages or release new info.

Spend some time browsing Steam and follow all the profiles/games that interest you. This allows you to stay on top of new releases while also passively earning XP in the background. The more you follow, the more opportunities there are to gain experience points over time.

7: Complete Steam Goals & Quests

Periodically, Steam rolls out optional goals and quests for users to complete. These could involve playing a certain number of hours in a week, crafting multiple badges at once, or other targeted challenges.

Completing Steam goals and quests provides significant XP rewards. Keep an eye out for when new ones become available and make an effort to finish them before they expire. This is another reliable way to earn large chunks of XP towards leveling up.

8: Earn Steam Points from Purchases

Steam Points are a rewards system introduced in 2021 where users earn points from eligible purchases that can be redeemed for items like profile backgrounds, emoticons and other cosmetics.

Earning Steam Points also contributes directly to your account level. So making qualifying transactions is a way to double dip - level up while also building your points balance for cool rewards. Pay attention to point-earning opportunities during sales.

9: Reach Milestone Hours Played

In your Steam library, there is a playtime statistic that tracks the total number of hours you have spent playing games on your account. Every 50 hours you reach a new milestone.

For example, when you hit 50 total hours played, you reach the first milestone. At 100 hours you hit the second milestone, and so on. Each time you cross one of these 50-hour thresholds, Steam will reward you with a small amount of XP.

The XP awarded for reaching a milestone is very minor, usually only 5-10 XP. But it's essentially free XP that you earn passively just by playing games as normal. You don't have to do anything special to trigger the reward.

The playtime is tracked in the background across all games in your library, whether you are actively playing or just have a game running idle. So over time, you will naturally accumulate hours and occasionally unlock these milestone bonuses.

10: Be Patient and Consistent

Reaching the highest Steam Levels takes significant dedication and time invested in the platform. Don't expect to max out your level overnight - it's a long-term goal.

Focus on making Steam engagement a regular habit through chatting, trading, crafting badges and playing your library. Consistently performing these leveling activities will slowly but surely see your profile rank increase over weeks, months and years. Patience and persistence are key to climbing the Steam Level ladder.

What You Can Earn by Leveling Up on Steam

Here are some of the main things you can earn by leveling up on Steam:

  • Profile Badges - Each milestone level unlocks a new badge that displays on your profile, showing your Steam Level. These range from basic shapes and icons to more detailed artwork.
  • Profile Showcases - Levels that are a multiple of 5 unlock a new profile showcase slot, allowing you to feature screenshots, artworks, videos, etc.
  • Chat Emoticons - Certain levels award new chat emotes and animated stickers you can use in conversations.
  • Trading Cards - Leveling up grants booster packs containing trading cards for various Steam games. Collect full sets to earn even more badges and items.
  • Coupons - Occasional levels will give you Steam coupons offering discounts on select games during sales events.
  • Points & Formatted Level Number - Your Steam Level number gets special bronze, silver, gold etc formatting based on the numerical value. Points can be used for featured community items.
  • Bragging Rights - A higher Steam Level shows your commitment to and engagement within the Steam platform and community over time.
Published 17 October 2023
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