Are you one of those gamers who strive for 100% completion in every game you own? Though they existed before the console’s time, I credit the Xbox 360 with introducing Achievements to gaming as we know them today. There are people who feel empty without them. I suffer from from that emptiness sometimes. “Beat this game? But why, there’s no proof of me ever achieving it.” There are easy achievements and hard achievements, but we just want them all. Now, it even goes beyond just the traditional system of achievements. Games will track how long we’ve played them. Some will reward you with drops and unlockables just for putting in time. You don’t have to be good at the game or actually achieve anything. You’ve just got to play along.
The epitome of what I’m describing here would be Steam’s trading card system. Steam Trading Cards drop into your inventory at random while you play eligible games. What do they do? Well, nothing. However, just like an achievement, they’re a little material keepsake that shouts, “I’ve played this game. Acknowledge that.” Strangely enough, that seems to make a lot of us gamers happy in 2014! Cards on Steam can be traded and sold, and completing sets will allow you to add backgrounds to your Steam profile, add new emoticons to your Steam chats, and more. It’s a cute little system that I’ve (for some reason) become addicted to.
I suffer from a problem that a lot of gamers probably dream about. I have too many games on Steam, which results in me being eligible to collect more cards than I have the time for. I currently have 668 games on Steam, many of which are eligible to drop at least a half-dozen Steam cards. However, I’ve found a neat little trick that should make collecting trading cards on Steam a breeze, even if you own more games than I do. Let’s check it out.
First thing’s first:
- This article will not teach you how to unlock, hack, or otherwise “cheat” to unlock Steam achievements. Despite the software’s name, this article doesn’t even deal with achievements.
- If at any point in reading this article you begin to feel as if following my instructions could result in some sort of ban or termination from Steam’s services, then please don’t follow through with anything that I’m suggesting.
Steam Achievement Manager is a now-defunct, third-party application that once allowed people to unlock achievements for their Steam games without ever actually performing the tasks. Essentially, it was a way to cheat achievements. It no longer works due to the achievements in Steam now being checked serverside. That’s right, cheaters! You missed your chance.
However, the application isn’t completely useless. Download and extract it to a directory of your choice. Upon running the application, you should see a large list of many (but not all) of the Steam games that you own or have downloaded on your system.
If this is what you see, Steam Achievement Manager is working.
Launch Steam and Pick Games
If Steam isn’t already running, you need to launch it now. Wait until Steam has started up, and then it’s time to decide which games you’d like to unlock cards for. A really great way to see which games you own are eligible for card drops is to go to the Badges page in the Steam client. Scroll down, and you should see a nice list.
Find a game that you’d like to unlock cards for, then search for it in the Steam Achievement Manager interface. If you can’t find it, use the search field or add a game to the interface. It doesn’t include all of them. I’ll select Worms Reloaded for this example.
This is the type of window that will pop up. It will be a list of all of the achievements for the game. Again, you can’t unlock these achievements with this application. It does not work anymore. Even if it did, that’s bad! Now, open your Steam client. You should see that it’s now showing you as in game.
Interesting, right? Just by accessing the game’s window for achievements in Steam Achievement Manager, it thinks that you’re running the game. With that, you’ll be getting card drops! What’s even cooler is that you can open multiple achievement windows and get drops for several games at a time. The Steam client will show you as in game for the first game that you’ve selected, but you’ll be eligible for drops on all of them (only tested with up to three running at once).
I’ve read over a lot of forums where Steam users claim that somewhere along the line, Steam changed it so that you have to actually be active in a game to get the cards. It’s simply not true. This method works.
I’ve actually picked up two more cards in the time that I’ve been writing up this article!
You just need a little bit of luck and patience.
Why do this?
Steam Trading Cards are meant to be a fun part of the Steam experience. We like to collect things, and this makes that a much more painless task. Alternatively, you can launch the games and let them just sit in your taskbar and eat up your CPU usage and RAM. If that will make you feel like a better person, I encourage it! This is in no way a “cheat” to get more or better card drops. It also will not get you banned. I say this with confidence, and I’ve even posted my Steam account name multiple times in this article. My account is valued at around $6000, so obviously I’d hate to lose it.
There are a lot of other benefits, too. Some people simply can’t afford to run certain games. The stress it brings to their machine is too much, and that puts them out of the running for card drops. This solves that problem. Some people don’t have the disk space to install games that they only intend to run so that they can pick up card drops. This alleviates that.
If you have a large number of games that you’d regularly like to be running at the same time, that can be achieved by launching them through a BAT file.
echo Launching Steam games...
start sam.game.exe 39140
start sam.game.exe 500
Saving the code above in the Steam Achievement Manager directory as “launch.bat” will provide you with a single shortcut to launch multiple games at once through it. You can edit this code to include any games, and any amount, that you want. Simply change the IDs after each line to correspond with the Steam game ID of the games you want to launch. The easiest way to find a game’s ID is to find it in your Library page, right-click it, select “Create Desktop Shortcut”, and then go to your desktop.
If you right-click the shortcut and check its properties, you’ll see the game’s ID in the URL.
This is a really convenient way to farm up those trading cards in Steam. If you’re on a low-end system, it may even be necessary. Think about how much time you’ve wasted on Steam. Why waste even more if all you’re after are those irresistible cards? Launch your games through Steam Achievement Manager and idle those trading cards the easy way!