How to Make Money on Steam: From Gamer to Entrepreneur

Steam is one of the most popular gaming platforms with over 120 million active users. Apart from playing games, Steam offers several opportunities to make money, including selling games, in-game items, and trading cards. In this article, we will discuss different ways to make money on Steam and provide tips on how to maximize your earnings.

How to Make Money on Steam

How to Make Money on Steam

How to Make Money on Steam

At the moment, there are 6 best ways to make money on Steam.

1. Getting items

So, there are a few ways to acquire highly coveted items that would appeal to most players. The first method involves obtaining valuable steam items. But, how can you acquire these items with added value? One option is to play games and gather dropped items and trading cards, but this is usually limited. For instance, in Dota 2, there are regular item drops, but it takes a lot of luck to get the rare drops.

Another approach is to keep an eye on the marketplace and wait for an item’s price to decrease. Typically, this occurs when there is an increase in drops due to a larger player base. Additionally, you can earn some quick cash by trading items. Suppose you have found an invaluable item in Dota 2 and someone offers you ten keys for it. A savvy gamer would compare the market values of both parties’ items before striking a deal.

Are you ready to start building wealth? It’s also worth noting that many gamers are willing to pay a premium for an item they truly desire. By regularly checking your inventory selection, which can be accessed by clicking on your username next to the community, you can keep track of the items you own.

2. Sell for a higher price

The second method involves selling items at a higher price, particularly during the right time. Foil cards tend to hold more value than regular trading cards, so they can be sold at a much higher price. As a general rule, the rarer an item, the more expensive it will be in the market, and you can charge over $100 for a single item!

Timing is crucial in this regard. There are two situations where regular items may sell for a premium price. Firstly, when a game launches its trading card system, the first few cards usually sell for a lot more than those that follow. Secondly, items that are no longer available become more valuable.
If you search for summer trading cards in the Community Market, you’ll see that the prices of the foil cards have increased. While this is currently true for foil cards, regular cards will also become more expensive over time. Why? Because some collectors need the Summer Sale identification, which they can only get when they collect all cards and combine them into a badge. Others may hold onto their cards and predict that the price will increase at a higher rate over time.

3. Save Up Your Trading Cards

The third strategy involves saving up your trading cards. As you may have already guessed, many games offer steam trading cards as a reward for playing them. While each card is usually worth just a few pennies, you can get 2-3 cards per game, and occasionally, you might get a card worth a couple of dollars.

There’s no real pattern to getting valuable game cards, but there are certain rules that can help you out in the long run. For instance, you’ll likely receive your first card after the first 15 minutes of gameplay and the second card after 2 hours of gameplay.

The best way to get more cards is to simply enjoy playing the games you have, and over time, your trading card collection will grow. If you’re in a hurry to get more trading cards, you can use Steam Idle Master to automate the process. However, personally, I think it’s better to focus on enjoying the game and let the cards come to you naturally.

4. Hold Onto Pre-release Items

Developers occasionally release exclusive pre-order or early access crates or items that can be sold on the Steam market. Holding onto these items can be highly beneficial since they can increase in value significantly after the game is fully released.

A notable example of this is the Playerunknown cosmetic set, which was awarded to all players who pre-ordered PUBG. At the time, the game cost $30, and the set came for free. Today, the cosmetic set can be sold on Steam for $1,400. So, it’s always worth considering holding onto exclusive items like these for future resale value.

5. Distributing an Original Game on Steam Direct

If you are looking to earn real cash on Steam, creating and selling your own games through Steam Direct is the way to go. However, it requires a lot of hard work and investment to develop a game that adheres to Steam’s strict content guidelines.

Despite the challenges, if you can develop a game that people love, you have a chance to earn genuine cash. Keep in mind that 30% of your earnings from game sales goes to Steam as they are allowing you to sell your game to a massive community of gamers.

After submitting a $100 fee, which is refunded once your payout exceeds $1,000, you can release your game. To ensure success, focus on making your game interesting and fun to play. Create impressive screenshots and trailers to generate curiosity and interest among players. Additionally, integrate Steam features, such as trading cards and achievements, to make your game more relatable.
Lastly, remain active in the Steam community after the game is released to interact with players and address any concerns. With hard work and dedication, you can earn real cash by developing and selling games through Steam Direct.

6. Look Out For Item Drops In Your Favorite Games

Keep an eye out for valuable item drops in your favorite games. Some games offer more than just trading cards, and you can check which games have valuable drops by using the “browse by game” section on the right side of the Steam program. The Steam market has an impressive selection of items that can be purchased.

One interesting example is Golf With Your Friends. The game only costs $6, but it drops items that can be sold for up to $8. These drops occur regularly while playing the game, but it can take some luck to get the valuable ones.

Check out this informative video by Anomaly that delves into the various ways of earning money on Steam.

Don’t Fall Into Buying And Opening Crates

A common mistake to avoid is using your hard-earned Steam money to buy and open crates. Though the chance of getting a rare item might be tempting, it’s usually difficult to obtain high-value items. For instance, the Biker crate in Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds costs around $0.50, but there’s only a 0.01% chance of getting the $150 cloth mask. This means that on average, you’ll need to spend $5000 on these crates to get a single $150 cloth mask.
Therefore, it’s wiser to save the money earned from crates and invest it later in buying cosmetic items or even new games.

The Right way to buy

When buying items on the community market, it’s recommended to use the browser as it’s faster than using the Steam program. Additionally, you can use a script such as Steam Market Helper which can automate some of the process for you. This script can open the cheapest item automatically, improve price readability, and accept the agreement on your behalf to save time.
However, it’s important to note that you still need to be present during the transaction unless you use the script’s auto-reload, auto-purchase, and repeat options, which can result in a ban from Steam as bots are not allowed.
Overall, using a browser is faster than using the Steam program and can provide a better understanding of the item’s price before making a purchase.

Other ways to make money on Steam

In addition to the ways mentioned above, there are two other ways to earn money on Steam.
1. Skilled designers and coders often offer their services to independent game developers.
Game developers sometimes need to hire specialists to complete a lot of the work. You can search for these opportunities by participating in chats and hanging out at the Steam groups.
2. You may also find hardcore gamers who are willing to commission artwork. These individuals are often willing to spend money on creating original artwork for their Steam profiles and in-game content.

Practice Patience

It’s important to remember that using the Steam market to earn money won’t make you rich overnight. In fact, in most cases, you’ll only make small amounts of money.
However, over time, your Steam wallet balance will continue to increase. If you keep selling items as you receive them, eventually you’ll have enough money to buy a new game.
Many individuals have been following the steps in this guide for several years and have been able to purchase numerous full-priced games ranging from $30 to $60, just by selling items received from playing games such as CS:GO, H1Z1, Team Fortress 2, and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds.

Final Thoughts on Making Money on Steam

In conclusion, it’s important to understand that making money on Steam is not a quick or easy path to riches. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication.

Additionally, one downside is that the money you earn from selling items on the Steam market goes into your Steam Wallet, and not your bank account. This means that you can only use that money to buy games or other items on the Steam market.

The only way to make real money on Steam is to create and sell your own game on the Steam community, which can be a difficult and expensive undertaking unless you are a skilled developer or can afford to hire one.

While some individuals have found success hiring small development agencies to create and sell their games, there is no guarantee that you will make money.
That concludes our guide on how to make money on Steam. Best of luck to you in your endeavors!


In 2012, I graduated from the university with a degree in Computer Science. In the same year, I started working as an Internet marketer in a private company, where I still work today. At the same time, I am developing my Internet resources, programming at an amateur level, looking for and testing various ways to make money on the Internet, which I share on this Internet resource.

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