There are 3 possible maximum levels:
An imposed maximum by Valve would cut off leveling. Thus far, Valve has not specified any imposed maximum. Based on questions I've asked Steam Support, they are very clear about what has imposed maximums(friends list) and generally don't say anything about what does not (wish list) unless directly asked. It seems likely, ...
The higher your level the more "showcases" you can add to your profile which includes:
You'll want to join the Steam trading card group to level up your profile.
Joining the Steam trading card group is no longer required.
On May 15th, 2013 the Steam Trading Card system went into Beta. In
order to gain access to the beta, users must join the Steam ...
From what I've seen so far:
Crafting a game badge grants 100 XP
Leveling a game badge grants 100 XP
Years of Service awards 50 XP per year
The games in your game collection award XP (The math is not clear to me, I have 414 for 209 games currently)
Steam Special Events appear to grant XP, although the formula is unclear to me. The individual data is ...
Get chrome and use this plugin. It's amazing :)
Bear in mind you will need to make some kind of tax / US citizen declaration once you hit 200 trades. Just do a normal manual trade when you hit this limit to fill out the requested form... 'Information ...
Foil badges are separate from regular badges, and only have one level. Crafting a foil badge will provide 100 Steam XP, the same as a level of the regular badge.
Source: Steam Trading Card Faq "There is no extra benefit to having foil cards or foil badges aside from their rarity."
Booster pack drops are random
They drop randomly for players who have:
Completed all of the available trading card drops for a game
Used Steam during the last week
These players will randomly receive booster packs. These packs contain three additional cards for the game, and may contain foils.
Note, this does not mean that you have to have crafted a ...
All games have:
A max of 5 levels for the regular badge.
A max of 1 level for the Foil badge.
A few examples:
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Most Steam seasonal sales have:
A theoretical max of ∞ levels for the regular badge.
A theoretical max of ∞ level for the Foil badge.
All Steam seasonal sales so far with ∞ badge levels:
Steam Summer ...
From the FAQ:
Can I upgrade my game badge?
If you gather another complete set of trading cards you can upgrade that game badge. You can craft a set for a game at most five times. Each time you upgrade the game badge you'll get an extra 100XP, as well as upgrading the image and title of the badge.
You can also build a foil game badge out of foil ...
Typically you get one drop about every 15, 30 or 60 minutes of "gameplay" depending on the game.
By gameplay, of course, I mean "have the game running", and by "have the game running" I mean "the border of your avatar changes from blue to green." For example, for Trine 2, idling in the launcher counts as gameplay.
Hot Trine 2 gameplay action
Per recommendation I extracted this from question to answer.
Valve released an announcement on June 19th on the Steam Trading Group with more details and updated the FAQ. Here's extract from the announcement:
Booster Pack Eligibility - you can now confirm your eligibility for a booster pack drop from your badges page. Just click on "How do I earn ...
As per this Steam forums thread, and this Community discussion:
By default, you have a limit of 250 people for your friends list and every level adds another 5 slots - which means that you get 50 slots per milestone (10, 20, etc).
In addition to that, linking a Facebook account adds another 50 slots - to a base of 300.
As per the FAQ page:
Is there a limit to how many trading cards can drop?
Most games will drop a number of cards equal to about half of the number of cards in that game's set of cards. For example, Half-Life 2 has 8 cards in its set, you can receive 4 card drops by playing it. You'll need to collect the other half of the set from other community ...
Crafting a badge from a full set of cards gives
The badge (which gives Steam XP, which in turn gives Steam Level and therefore friend list slots)
A Steam Store coupon
A profile background
So, yes, there is quite some use to the cards. Whether or not it is worth it is an entirely different discussion.
Higher Steam levels help with:
better drop rates for booster packs - Every 10 levels gets you a 20% increase in drop rate. At level 50 you are getting 100% increase in the drop rate for booster packs
profile customization - everybody gets the same set of choices it seems but you can add more showcases as your level increases. (I had 3 showcases at level ...
Steam Trading cards are given out based on time spent in-game. Steam doesn't have, for most games, any way to know whether or not you're actually doing anything, just whether you have the game running or not.
You certainly can find the same card twice, or even three times! And it does, sadly, count toward your card drops.
I managed to get 3 Wolfgang cards from Don't Starve, a game that only gives you three card drops.
Also, you can trade for duplicate cards. I traded my Portal 2 Destruction card to a friend who was then able to trade it back to me, despite my ...
Examining your profile more carefully:
The cards that are faded out are cards you must also get in order to fully craft a badge. Keep in mind, the amount of drops you can get are roughly half of the amount needed to craft the badge.
You'll have to either trade to get your other cards, or buy one via the Steam Market.
If you're looking for games with as little cards as possible, the following incomplete list shows games which only have five cards each:
Super Meat Boy
The Walking Dead
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
for a probably complete list of games with trading cards, have a look at this one
No, trading cards are items stored in your inventory
If you uninstall a game, the cards you've already collected will remain in your inventory.
Additionally, any progress you've made towards collecting cards and the total you've earned out of the available gifted free cards from playing will be preserved. For example, if you have collected 3 out of 4 ...
Levels provide the following benefits - every level you get will increase the size of your Steam Friend's list and every 10 levels you will get access to a Showcase on your profile.
More details about the stuff you can get on your profile can be found here http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=145245037
All you have to do to get the free cards from the game is play the game, and the game plays itself even if you're not actively watching/playing it. Even if you load the game once and then close the tab, you'll still get cards from "playing." (I've gotten one card so far this way, after loading the game once and having the tab just lock up on me)
Click here to view all games with Trading Cards!
How to get there:
Go to the Steam shop page or open the Store in Steam itself.
Click on the search button (the magnifying glass in the top right).
A little below, on the right side there are categories to filter by.
Look for the category "Narrow by feature" and select "Steam Trading Cards"
Voilá, all games ...
The Snow Globe Trading Cards for the Steam Holiday Sale 2013 were explicitly only available during the sale:
Unlike previous badges, once the sale ends the cards will disappear. Make sure to trade and craft your badges before Jan 3rd 11am PST.
The cards have, as such, since been removed from the system and will not be handed out anymore.
Ah, I found my answer at the verrry bottom of the Steam Trading Cards FAQ:
Do I get Trading Cards for completing achievements in game?
Trading Card drops are currently just tied to playtime within a game, independent of which achievements you are getting. We will definitely look into adding more rules for how cards are dropped in the future, but ...
No. If they allowed this, it would be abused by people with multiple accounts.
For this same reason, you cannot get cards for free-to-play games without purchasing something first:
What about free to play games like Team Fortress 2 or Dota 2?
Free to play games drop game cards based on your in-game purchasing. For every $9 USD spent (approximate) ...
For a couple of years now, since Holiday Sale 2013, the trading cards related to sale events have been only temporary. In fact 2013's Steam Summer Getaway cards are the only ones that didn't expire. (Although badges and items obtained from them would be permanent.) After expiring, the cards would disappear from all inventories.
The Holiday Sale 2015 card ...
I attempted to give a high level 3-question quiz about why you would care about Steam Trading Cards in this article:
Are you excited about cosmetic customization elements in games? For instance, do you spend a long time getting your character’s face just right in Skyrim, or do you like picking out and wearing hats in Team Fortress 2?
Do you find ...