How To Make Money on Steam in 2021

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If you play games on Steam, then you might be surprised (and excited) to know that you can actually make money on Steam just by playing your favorite games.

That may sound like a dream, but it’s reality!

Steam is a gaming platform that allows you to earn money and credits when you sell trading cards, game items, cosmetics crates, and even games.

Let’s dive in and see look at how to make money on Steam this year.

How To Make Money on Steam 

1. Join Apps That Give Free Steam Codes
2. Get Steam Items & Sell Later
3. Sell Cards At The Right Time
4. Save Your Steam Trading Cards
5. Hold Pre-release Items
6. Sell Crates
7. Develop & Distribute An Original Game On Steam Direct
8. Game Designing & Development

1. Join Apps That Give Free Steam Codes

Join Apps That Give Free Steam Codes

Various apps and rewards sites let you earn points that can be redeemed as Steam codes for doing simple activities online. You can redeem your points for cash or Steam cards. 

Here are the current apps that allow you to earn Steam Cash for free:

  • InboxDollars is an app that rewards you for completing simple activities online such as shopping online, surfing the web, watching videos, and playing games. You can get a free $5 bonus for signing up and can convert your earnings to extra money for Steam.
  • PrizeRebel is another online survey site that rewards you with points for completing surveys. This rewards site has over 8 million users and allows you to redeem your points in a couple of ways, including Steam wallet codes. Points redemption is only possible after you hit a minimum threshold. And you can use your Steam wallet codes to buy games and items in the Steam marketplace.
  • Rakuten also offers you another way to make money with Steam. The site allows you to earn free Steam cards for shopping online at your favorite stores. Every time you buy stuff online through Rakuten, you can earn Steam cards useful to you in the Steam store.
  • GrabPoints is another app that allows you to earn Steam codes when you take surveys, download apps, and other activities. For each activity you perform in GrabPoints, you’ll be rewarded with points that can be redeemed into Steam wallet cards after you meet a certain threshold.

2. Get Steam Items & Sell Later

Get Steam Items & Sell Later

The first way to make money on Steam is to get ahold of some cool Steam items that most players would love to possess.

When you have those items, you can sell them for a higher price later on. I know you’re probably asking, how can I get these valuable Steam items?

By playing games on Steam, you can collect dropped items and trading cards, which you’ll rarely see. 

In Dota 2, for instance, you’ll find regular item drops that provide you with valuable steam items, but you need some luck to get the gems.

Another way to get Steam items is to observe the marketplace and notice price drops in your desired items. When the price drops due to an increase in number and player database, you can buy it and sell later at a higher price.

To check the items you own in Steam, you can click on your username, and your inventory selection pops up.

You can also earn some fast cash by trading Steam items. If you found a rare item in Dota 2, you can strike a deal with others to exchange the items depending on the value.

Some gamers would also pay a premium if your item is priceless and is something they want to have.

3. Sell Cards At The Right Time 

Sell Cards At The Right Time 

Some trading cards hold more value than others. Hence, it’s more profitable to keep valuable cards and sell them at the right time.

When an item is scarce in the market, the more expensive it becomes. 

To make money on Steam, you need to know the right time to sell rare items. If an item is scarce on the market, you can charge up to $100 and more per item.

There are two scenarios where you can charge a premium price for “regular” items in Steam:

  • When the cards or items are scarce and not available on the marketplace anymore
  • If you can charge higher for first cards when a game just launched its trading card system

When you have cards that fall into any of these categories, you can charge way more for them since they are valuable and rare.

4. Save Your Steam Trading Cards

Save Your Steam Trading Cards

While playing various games on Steam, you’ll be provided with Steam trading cards as a reward, more often than not.

These cards are usually worth a few pennies each, and some could be worth a couple of dollars if you get fortunate. And in each game you play, you can get 2-3 cards.

There’s no strategy you can use to ensure you get game cards that are worth more. However, you can follow specific rules that help you get those valuable game cards in the long run.

You’ll receive your first game cards after the first 15 minutes during gameplay, and the second game card will drop after 2 hours.

The best way to get those game cards coming in and increase your trading card collection is to not think about them. 

Just keep enjoying playing the games, and your game cards will stack up over time. You can use Steam Idle Master to automate the process if you need trading cards quickly.

5. Hold Pre-Release Items

Hold Pre-release Items

Another best way to make money on Steam is to hold onto pre-order items.

At times, game developers will release exclusive pre-order crates or items and give free early access.

If the items pre-released could be sold on the Steam marketplace, you can hold onto them till they’re worth much more. It’s possible they could be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars after the game is fully released.

A great example of this scenario is the Playerunknown cosmetic set. 

This cosmetic set was given for free to all players that pre-ordered PUBG for just $30 at the time. Now, the Playerunknown cosmetic set’s value is worth much more and sells for $1,400 on the Steam marketplace. 

This makes holding pre-release items one of the best ways to make money on Steam.

6. Sell Crates 

Sell Crates 

Another way to make money on Steam is by selling cosmetic crates. You can get these cosmetic crates either by buying them using in-game currency or receiving them during gameplay.

They are relatively rare, hard to get, and are worth a lot of money.

Two popular games that mostly drop crates are Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Counter-Strike: Global Offense (CS:GO).

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, also known as PUBG, allows you to receive crates and make money as you play the game regularly. When you play PUBG consistently, you receive Battle Points and crates as well.

Each crate in PUBG is worth 700 Battle Points, and each time you buy one, they double. The prices of the create reset every Monday, and when you resell your crates, you can earn from $0.20 to $2 per piece.

Counter-Strike: Global Offense, also known as CS:GO, is another popular game that drops crates. Drops from the CS:GO game is much easier to get than in PUBG.

In a week, you can get two crate drops by playing the game consistently. Seasonal DLC packs contain extra content, and missions allow you to earn more rewards weekly in CS:GO.

The regular crates you get in CS:GO are worth a few cents, and a new crate added to the game can sell for a few dollars in the first few weeks.

However, the crates you get from “operations” are more valuable and could be worth hundreds of dollars.

7. Develop & Distribute An Original Game On Steam Direct

One of the best ways to make money and get paid on Steam is to develop your games and sell them on Steam Direct.

You get to generate a whole lot of real cash on Steam through this method.

And you don’t even have to develop the games yourself. 

You can outsource the game development process to some developers. And you earn real money from these games either by selling them through Steam Direct or in-app purchases.

This method isn’t easy and comes with a ton of work, effort, and investment, though. Plus, Steam now has stricter guidelines and rules for distributing a game on its platform to ensure community satisfaction.

According to the Steam guidelines and rules, your game has to be interesting, fun to play, have some Steam features, and be loved by the gaming community. And before you get your game added to Steam, you’ll have to invest $100.

You should also not forget that Steam gets to keep 30% of all your earnings from the game sales.

This is a lot, but it’s the way Steam makes money by allowing you to sell your games to their robust gamer community. But when you hit $1,000 in total payout, your $100, which you submitted at the beginning, will be refunded to you.

8. Game Designing & Development 

Game Designing & Development 

If you’re a game designer or developer and have the necessary skills needed to develop games, then you can make money on Steam. 

More often than not, you’ll find people who will pay you good money to create original games for them to sell in Steam Direct. 

Most of these freelance opportunities will come in the Steam community, so you need to participate actively in discussions and browse through Steam forums.

In addition to that, you could also find core game lovers who will pay you to create original, unique artwork for Steam profiles and in-game content.

If you’re a freelance game developer or designer, you should explore this great way of earning money indirectly through Steam Direct.

What is Steam?

Valve Corporation started Steam in 2003 as one of the largest video game digital distribution softwares. 

The platform was built to enable Valve to offer updates for their games automatically. But over the years, Steam has stretched to accommodate games from third-party developers.

Steam now serves as an income-generating source for game players, game developers, designers, and more.

In 2017, the platform sold $4.3 billion in games, and currently, over 18% of all PC game purchases are made through Steam.

Steam is now the go-to PC gaming platform for game lovers worldwide and is highly recommended if you want to earn money playing or developing games.

But before you dive in to earn money for yourself on Steam, you need to learn how the platform works.

How Does It Work? 

As established above, Steam is a digital video gaming distribution platform that serves a community of game developers and gamers.

The platform features a robust, user-friendly marketplace where you can buy digital games, software, and game add-ons with PayPal, a credit card, or a Steam gift card.

Once you’ve bought a game and installed it on your computer, you’ll find it ready to play in your Steam library.

While playing certain games on Steam, you’ll receive trading cards dropped by Steam into your inventory. These trading cards are digital pictures that independently serve no useful purpose but collectively could be made into a badge.

Since the trading cards would be useful when you have a complete set, you’ll have to buy the missing ones from others on the marketplace. This leads to trading in the Steam marketplace and an opportunity for gamers to make real money.

Steam also has a community that’s an integral part of the platform. 

You get to interact with others on individual games, see what games others are playing, and have conversations with them.

The platform also allows you to have a friend list and chat with them privately in the app.

How To Create An Account?

You can create a Steam account in two ways:

  1. Using The Steam Website – To create a Steam account through the website, go to the Steam site and click on Join Steam. Then, you simply fill out the form and click on Create My Account.
  2. Using The Steam Client – Alternatively, you can create a new Steam account when you download and install the Steam app via this link. After installing the Steam app, click the “Create a New Account” button from the Steam login page and follow the prompts.

Steam is currently available on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux.

Conclusion

Making money on Steam takes a lot of work and consistency. As you’ve seen in this post, each method to earn money requires a different amount of effort.

Some ways might not pay you real money into your bank account, but you get money into your Steam wallet. 

And you can’t withdraw the money in your Steam wallet to your bank account. For instance, you make money through Steam trading cards by selling them in the community market for credits to your Steam Wallet.

You can use the credits in your wallet to purchase games and other items in the Steam marketplace.

In this case, the only sure way to earn REAL money is to develop and sell games on Steam Direct or get hired to build and design games.

Which way are you looking to explore to make money on Steam?

Affiliate Disclaimer: I may (and probably do) receive affiliate commissions from any products I recommend or links I put on this page. My opinions are my own but they are truthful and I do my best to recommend products that I have vetted and/or purchased myself.

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Spencer Mecham

Spencer Mecham

Hey I'm Spencer! I'm a full-time affiliate marketer, YouTuber, and Blogger.

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