How To Make Money On Steam

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How To Make Money On Steam


There are various ways on how you can earn an additional income online. You’ll typically hear about affiliate marketing on YouTube, putting out Facebook advertisements, or selling products on Instagram. Unfortunately, many of these have become so common that the competition is very high. However, what many don’t know is that there are easier ways to make money online through smaller, less mainstream platforms. For example, if you’re a gamer – Steam can be a great way to produce income.

What Is Steam?

Steam is the most prominent digital distribution platform for video games. Approximately 18 percent of computer games are purchased through this – resulting in about 150 million registered users and $4.3 billion in revenue from sold games.

The idea of Steam surfaced when Valve, the company that created the platform, was looking for ways to send real-time online updates to its Counter-Strike game while stopping the emergence of cheaters. They also wanted to add some services to their game accounts aside from just online playing.

The development of the program started in 2002, and the successful beta was formally launched on September 12, 2003. Aside from Counter-Strike, more and more games began using the platform to launch their new games. However, the first downfall of Steam started on the release of one of the biggest and most popular games of all time, Half-Life 2.

At that time, Steam wasn’t ready for the influx of users trying to play the game at launch. There were days during that time when players had difficulty logging-in to the servers and start their experience. Quickly, users started losing trust in the company.

It was not until the 2005 that Valve signed external publishers who helped them regain momentum. By 2007, they were able to convince various gaming companies to sell their games on Steam. This included Eidos, Capcom, ID Software, and Activision. From there, the platform grew their operations, and more and more businesses used this avenue to introduce, rollout, and sell their games.

Ways On Making Money On Steam

There are various ways on how you can make money through this platform. There are both simple and more complicated ways to profit. Listed below are some examples of how you can earn money on your own.

Distributing Your Original Game

If you want to earn through a direct method, the best way to do it is to create your own game and distribute it in Steam Direct. You get paid depending on the revenue generated from in-game purchases and game sales.

Only several companies and individuals opt to choose this strategy since it requires a lot of investment – both in energy and time in conceptualizing and creating the game. There is a small $100 fee for you to be able to add your game to Steam.

Recently, the regulations and guidelines of Steam became stricter when it comes to accepting and uploading content on their platform. Paying the fee doesn’t guarantee you acceptance into the program. The company will review the game and content to validate it is relevant, enjoyable, and acceptable to the current users (and meets all guidelines).

So, how much would you earn from this strategy?

Steam takes a 30 percent cut from the total sales revenue you generate from the game release. This is their commission for creating the platform, supporting the sale, dealing with customer service and really providing access to a massive audience of potential customers. You will need to generate a minimum of $1000 in profits before you can receive a payout.

If you want to start crafting your own game, try reading the book Al Sweigart entitled Invent Your Own Computer Games With Python. It’s a industry standard to get started in game development.

Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python

Earning Free Steam Wallet Codes

There are various websites where you can receive free Steam wallet codes. These codes will enable you to either buy games and items for games or convert them into cash. Here are some of the best apps and websites where you can collect these codes.


In GrabPoints, you can get paid to answer surveys, watch advertisements, download apps, and test these apps. You will be able to collect points in exchange for executing the needed activities. Once you have reached a certain number of points, you can then redeem Steam codes.

With Grabpoints, you can exchange these Steam codes for Steam wallet cards, Gift cards, or Paypal money.


PrizeRebel is a website which allows you to complete online surveys and earn money from it. This is one of the most popular sites with over 8 million members and has paid around $17 million to the users. Surveys include collecting your demographics and asking for feedback and evaluation on specific topics.

PrizeRebel pays you through various payment options: Amazon gift cards, Steam wallet codes, iTunes credit, or Walmart gift card. has a unique way of paying out. They will give you corresponding coins upon completing tasks such as watching the live stream, providing feedback and reviews, and viewing short videos. Then, you can convert these coins to skins, codes, and Steam games.


PointsPrizes allows you to conduct different online activities such as completing surveys from advertisers and watching partner videos. The company also awards its loyal users through regular giveaways and prizes.

What’s unique about PointPrizes is that it pays through the gift cards of a wide range of popular retailers. It also allows direct money paid through Paypal.

Buy And Sell Steam Trading Cards In The Marketplace

Steam trading cards refer to virtual cards that you can collect by playing various games on Steam. These virtual cards feature a unique artwork by the game creator related to the game concept. You can buy, sell and trade these cards with your friends online for real cash Steam Wallet cash. Like baseball or hockey cards different cards have different values and you can collect full set which have more value and can be sold for much more.

You can find these Steam cards in your profile. Click your Profile Name, select the Badges option, and you’ll see your collection segregated per game.

So, how do you get started with this strategy?

Buy Low And Sell High

Do not rely solely on your Steam activity to collect your Steam cards as this will take quite some time. Begin by going to the marketplace, study the prices for the various items, and determine which ones to buy. Do your research and stay on top of supply and demand. And obviously buy them cheap so you can sell them at a higher price point.

You’ll be surprised how quickly you can make a return on investment.  It is not uncommon to purchase a card at $0.50 and then sell it back for $1.50. It may sound like peanuts but that return in Investment is 300%. Creating a system can allow you to do repeatedly can make you serious money.

Take Into Consideration The Transaction Fee

All Steam Card purchases are subject to a 15 percent payment. This fee is automatically added to the purchase price. So be sure to consider that when doing your math.

Know Your Market

Each game has its corresponding market, and the cards under the same ones have a similar price range. Thus, make sure to study at least three markets before dipping your toes in the gaming market. And don’t spread yourself too thin trying to cover too many markets otherwise you wont be able to keep track of the latest price fluctuations and demand.

Determine Valuable Items

Among the different kinds of trading cards, the foil cards are the most valuable. The reason behind this is that these cards are harder to find; hence, charged at a higher price. Believe it or not, these rare items can sell for more than a hundred dollars. However, there are situations where you can price regular items higher sch as:

  • Items or cards which are not available for drops
  • A trading card system from a new game (the first ten to twenty cards are more expensive than others)

Consider Opportunity Costs

When selling trading cards, make sure to weigh the opportunity cost of holding on to these items. Sometimes, it is easier to sell the cards as soon as you have purchased it as compared to waiting for a small amount of time. This is most recommended for the newly released games.

Organize Your Files

If you are trying to expand this kind of money-making business on Steam, then you should try your best to be organized. The inflow and outflow of your cards might be too much for you to handle manually; thus, some automation mechanism might be your best go-to strategy. You can start by organizing your information in Google Sheets or Excel file such as:

  • Tracking your buying and selling movement
  • Analyzing the historical data to forecast future orders
  • Tracking which games produce a particular card
  • Creating a system for future orders

Sell Cosmetic Crates

steam wallet funds

Cosmetic crates drop when the users play the games or purchase in-game currencies. Since these crates are not easy to obtain, they are worth a lot of money.

Two of the most popular games which regularly drop expensive crates are Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and Global Offensive. PUBG enables you to collect a lot of money once you play the game regularly. The more you win, the more you receive Battle Points. One crate in here is worth 700 Battle Points.

Similartly, in Counter-Strike, as you gain more experience through official game modes,  you can receive two crate drops per week.

You may also try running “operations” – these refer to specialized games which contain story mode missions and other extra content. The more you conduct operations, the more chances of getting the reward for the week. Take note that some rewards are worth $100 each.

Selling Summer Getaway Cards

Summer Getaway Cards are considered a unique and more expensive trading card offered during the summer sale. You may obtain these in three ways:

  • Every time you spend $10 in a Steam sale, there is a chance to win a group of cards.
  • There is also a POSSIBILITY to get this type of card through crafting a badge (destroying nine cards).
  • You get one card for every three times you cast your vote in the Community Choice deal. Drop your vote in Steam once every eight hours to be able to grab free cards.

Livestream On Twitch And YouTube

One of the most popular trends nowadays is doing a live stream on Twitch And Youtube. But what most people do not know is that you can don’t have to rely on these third-party websites to stream your content. Valve added an option to broadcast online games to anyone using the Steam client. Here is the step-by-step process on how to use this strategy.

Setting Up Your Account

To start, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Click on the “Steam” button on the top menu and select the “Settings” option from the drop-down menu.
  2. From your account window, look for the “Broadcasting” tab.
  3. Your account will be automatically be set to “Broadcasting Disabled.” To enable your streaming, choose only one from these options – “Anyone can watch my games,” “Friends can watch my games,” and “Friends can request to watch my games.”
  4. Adjust the video resolution by selecting from the drop-down menu in the “Video Dimensions” options. Choose from the four categories: 640×360 (360p), 854×480 (480p), 1280×720 (720p), and 1920×1080 (1080p). Make sure to tailor your choice to which kind of game you are trying to stream. For example, a low-resource 2D game such as Terraria should be streamed with the 1080p setting. This will let you have a clearer view of what’s happening inside the game.
  5. You may also choose which area in the monitor the chat window will appear. The four options include bottom-left, bottom-right, top-left, and top-right.
  6. Ready your microphone for streaming by going to the broadcast setting and clicking on the link entitled “Configure Microphone.”
  7. From here, you should also configure it on the Windows proper. On the “Voice” tab under Settings, click on “Change Device” button. This will automatically direct you to the Audio Control Panel. If you have properly installed your microphone, it should appear on the Available Sound Devices list. To finalize, choose the microphone you want to use and click on the “OK, I’m finished changing setting” prompt button.

Watching Game Broadcasts

There are various ways to let your friends know on your broadcast. If they are friends with you, you can ask them to look for your name on their friend’s list, right-click this, and choose the “Watch Game” feature. They will automatically be taken inside the Steam client.

If they are not friends with you, they can go to the Community option on the main menu of Steam. Then, select “Broadcasts” to load open and public streams.

You also have the option to monetize your live stream. Read the basics on how to do this by reading Twitch: Creating, Growing, & Monetizing Your Livestream by Prima Games.

Twitch: Creating, Growing, & Monetizing Your Livestream

Buy a copy now from AMAZON.COM

Join An Esports Team

The eSports industry is slowly becoming one of the best sources of income. A common misconception of individuals is that the only way to earn money from this strategy is to be among the top competitors or to be included in the top tier teams in the country, region, or whole world. However, this is not true.

There are online tournaments in Steam which offer prizes for the winners. Many computer shops or technology organizations spearhead these kinds of events. Some examples of the most popular games where you can make a bit of extra money include PUBG, DOTA 2, Counter-Strike, and Overwatch. Just remember that the money will be split between you and your teammates.

If you have already established your team, you may read The Invisible Game by Zoltan Andrejkovics to have an idea on what the mindset of a winning team is.

The Invisible Game: Mindset of a Winning Team

Sell Your Accounts

Selling your account might take a while. However, once you become a high-value account, you might be able to earn a tremendous amount of money compared to farming items for selling. There are websites where you may post your account offers such as PlayerAuctions.

The value of your account will increase if you have rare skins inside, a high rank, and a large number of unlocked champions.

Be Patient

The Steam marketplace will most likely not generate you millions overnight. In most cases, you’ll start with just earning pennies here and there. Your money and Steam wallet will grow as time passes by. But if you love to game anyway, why not incorporate some of these strategies and get paid for what you’re willing to do for free anyway.


C. James

C. James is the managing editor at Wealth Gang. He has a degree in finance and a passion for creating passive income streams and wealth management.