Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp

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 4 Games For Easy Xbox 360 Achievements [MUO Gaming] 4 Games For Easy Xbox 360 Achievements [MUO Gaming] Everyone loves feeling a true sense of accomplishment. There is nothing better than knowing you worked hard and made something good happen. That is exactly why Microsoft added achievements to their games so long ago.... Read More and hard achievements 5 Gaming Achievements That Are Close To Impossible 5 Gaming Achievements That Are Close To Impossible That's right, this is a challenge from me to you. I'll bet all my marbles that no one reading this article has (fairly) earned any of the achievements you're about to read into. Read More , 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 Turn Your Steam Trading Cards Into What You Really Want Turn Your Steam Trading Cards Into What You Really Want Back in June, Steam's Trading Card system went live to the general public. Even if you have no interest whatsoever in customizing your profile or bragging about your Steam level, you can offset your gaming... Read More , 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.

Get Steam Achievement Manager

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.


Steam Achievement Manager

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.

Steam Achievement Manager

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.

Steam Achievement Manager

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.

Steam Achievement Manager

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).

It works!

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.

Steam Achievement Manager

I’ve actually picked up two more cards in the time that I’ve been writing up this article!

Steam Achievement Manager

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 off
echo Launching Steam games...
start 39140
start 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.

Steam Achievement Manager

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 Do You Want To Know How Much Time & Money You've Spent On Steam? Do You Want To Know How Much Time & Money You've Spent On Steam? Steam's annual holiday sale just recently ended and I know some of your wallets are really hurting right now. Day after day, flash sales and daily specials hit us in the face and it was... Read More . 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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Peter
    August 11, 2016 at 3:10 am

    you have to own the game though

  2. Jardel Antunes
    November 28, 2015 at 4:16 am

    Ok, its me again with the proof/explanation of the method on /#comment-1632511


  3. Anonymous
    July 12, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    There is a very easy way to farm all your trading cards without even having to download or install the games. It´s done using a little tool called "Idle Master" and is explained in this video:

  4. Anonymous
    June 18, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Anyone can confirm it's still working?

    • Anonymous
      June 25, 2015 at 7:06 pm

      It works for me, unlocks achievements and idles hours :)

  5. Anonymous
    June 10, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Just booted 21 games with SAM and have so far had 1 card drop in 10 minutes from a game I own but don't even have installed! Good so far!!!

  6. thegretunknown
    March 18, 2015 at 4:15 am

    I used the program and it unlocked all achievements but not a single card, magic 2014, L4d2,and cs source..

  7. Anonymous
    March 16, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Um just thought i would say that the achievement manager still works. Maybe not for you depending on where you live and what servers you live but i can tell u that I live on the west coast and it works for me, i can unlock every achievement (which is stupid DONT DO IT).

  8. Jardel Antunes
    February 3, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Thank you very much! I moved to a new house right before the Holidays Sale started. My isp let me with no choice other than cancel my internet plan,and the only thin I could do was to buy games with crappy 600mb 3G plan. So I ended up with 300+ drops to grab. So,after I've read this post I could get them all in two days!!
    I already had SAM,for experimental porpouses,but couldnt imagine this trick.

    Advice: You can always add and run games that arent showing on SAM list,even if it gets the "this usually means you dont own the game" error.
    Another thing,it seems like the max number of valid running games at a time is 30,following the order that you have opened them. Past 30 shows on last activities on your Steam profile,but dont count time nor give you drops.

    • Anonymous
      September 29, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      I used to do a "trick" months ago when I posted this message:

      1. Open your games with SAM.

      2. Let it run for one or two minutes.

      3. Disconnect internet.

      4. Wait one minute, nothing more than that.

      5. Connect again.

      When Steam first go on-line after reconnecting, I used to receive at least one drop for each running game. Something like 30 drops per time.

      BUT I tried this method a few days ago and it didn't worked. Of course I am not using 3G anymore, so I wonder if that trick has something to do with the connection type.
      I still need to test it, I'm too lazy to plug my smartphone on pc and check all the stuff.

      If anyone is interested to try it (adsl/using mobile as modem) tho, it would be nice to leave a feedback here, as I'm only aware of results from my personal experience.

      The truth is it is taking me so much time to get a few drops per day with SAM.

  9. Shermo
    January 28, 2015 at 1:21 am

    No need idlemaster is automated this is so long winded its unreal. Stop using Sam idlemaster is the way. Have made £30 on cards so far :)

    • Craig
      January 30, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      I believe some people feel a bit weary of using Idle Master due to it needing to make a connection between the application and Steam. If you're weary though, I'd just recommend not doing this whole process in the first place. I can vouch for and do support Idle Master.

  10. MrZube
    January 3, 2015 at 1:44 am

    It is January 2nd 2015 and this does infact still work. Just started it up and opened Civ: beyond earth and got a card within 20 minutes.

  11. Boysberry
    December 15, 2014 at 9:20 am

    I can vouch for Optimus Prime up above. Use "Idle Master". I did, and it works totally well. Takes a little more effort to set up, but worth it. I've been running it for more than a day, and have gotten my cards.

    No bans or anything. And you shouldn't get banned, because you are not doing anything to anybody, but getting cards for your own games that you purchased, which belongs to you!

  12. biilly
    December 13, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    how long do you have to leave it running

  13. Mark Rollercoaster
    November 14, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Sometimes. when steam is your friend or something. i have never got banned.

  14. Neret
    November 11, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Can i get ban while using it but not playing any game ?

  15. Patrick
    October 8, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    My SAM isn't working, he doesn't detect the games,and yes,Steam is open

  16. Pedro
    October 4, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Did any of you guys get banned?

  17. Thee Man
    September 22, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    The Card drop rate gets lower the more games you run using sam means this as well.
    i tryed running 23 sams for games that ahd drops at once after 36 days no cards i did restart steam and sam many times after i close all but 4 i got 10 cards after another pc restart.
    so you guys see the rate gets lower the more you run.
    Best i can say is run upto like 7 at most get the cards and close and open the next games in sam.
    i'm doing this as i type this.
    i know my grammer and spelling sucks.
    Please forgive me.

  18. Optimus Prime
    August 1, 2014 at 11:06 am
  19. Sascha R.
    July 31, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Well, I tested it with all my games, I had carddrops left.
    As you can see in this picture, I'm running 30 Games at once:
    After a few hours I closed all SAM windows and restarted my pc to see how many cards I got, but I got no single card.
    I never installed all of these games.
    Then I started in SAM only those games I had installed (5 I think) and got after 2 hours 2 new cards.
    I really don't understand why I got no cards, while running all games, I'm going to test only 1 game, I haven't installed, to see if this is the problem.

  20. Alessandro
    July 23, 2014 at 10:08 am


    At first I wasn't getting any trading cards. I tried some days with different games and I finally got some cards for some games. Trying to find out the reason for this, as well as why some people in those comments succeeded while others not, I concluded that you forgot to mention a very important thing about it.

    On the first screenshot you presented in the section “Launch Steam and Pick Games”, you forgot to mention that the blue text in each game shows how many cards you can still get by playing the game. It reads “X card drops remaining”. This means that you’ll only get this amount of cards by “playing the game”. When you get those cards, it should now read “No card drops remaining”. The games with that text will not drop any other cards, even if you “play” the game 1000 hours.

    I only have some games with cards left to drop, so I would use this method only with them. Hope this helps.

  21. Rishaan
    July 18, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    This works quite well for gaining steam trading cards. I have it running on over 7 games racking up game time and trading cars.

  22. Mike
    June 24, 2014 at 5:44 am

    While this is great and all, (it really is) I want to know how I can open the Steam Achievement Manager Directory. I can't find anything to help on the internet. Seeing as you somehow got it open and working could you take the time to help? Thanks in advance!

  23. Lance
    June 14, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Hey, amazing article. I am having issues with obtaining cards from multiple games at the same time - launching all my games with cards not dropped (over 50) through the S.A.M .bat trick seems to (incredibly slowly) get me cards for only one game. It feels like I'm running just one game at a time, even though my playtime counts over 50.

    PS. Is it possible to get cards if I turn my status to "Offline"? I don't want to eff up my playtime by idling.

    • Mason
      June 21, 2014 at 1:34 am

      Setting your chat status has no effect on games that you have running. It only changes how people will see you in chat, on your profile and on their Friend List.

      It also will not prevent Steam from racking up "hours played" for a game, but I'm sure you're aware of that by now.

    • K-kun
      June 21, 2014 at 5:40 am

      Possible to set your status, yes, but it doesn't matter because Steam will always track your game play time.
      The only time it breaks it's when there's inconsistency due to actual "Offline mode" - And of course you can't get cards like so.

    • Craig S
      June 27, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      It doesn't matter if you're online or off. There's also no way to prevent the racking up if your time play, as Mason said, unfortunately.

      I myself has noticed that Steam is a little wonky when it comes to registering new inventory items. Sometimes I can have SAM windows running for hours, get nothing, then I reboot my computer and launch steam and there's 5 new inventory items. My suggestion is that, if things seem funny and you're not getting drops the way you think you should, restart SAM and Steam.

  24. TomorroWlan
    May 25, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    "Running for about 24 hours, running multiple games… not a single card drop."
    On my steam "No card drops remaining" on all the games i have, i forgot about this detail xD

    I test on my frind account... half hour= 2 card drops

    Steam Achievement Manager, working !
    Card Drop, working !

  25. TomorroWlan
    May 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    "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."

    Steam Achievement Manager, unlock all achievements for me on:
    Team Fortress 2
    Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

    "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."

    Running for about 24 hours, running multiple games... not a single card drop.

    PS: Great article, but for me dont work at all. Keep up the good work, love this site.

    • Craig S
      May 25, 2014 at 6:09 pm

      You are correct, SAM has actually made me eat my words and the program does in fact work with unlocking achievements, it's just that the interface has changed. Now, you've got to click the small "Store" button after checkmarking achievements for them to unlock. I apologize for that misinformation, and although achievement unlocking isn't at all the focus of this article it's still definitely worth correcting!

      As for the card drops, what games are you running? What is your status on Steam chat? I've also noticed that drops won't appear in your inventory until you close and reopen the Steam application sometimes.