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How to Make Money on Steam? 8 Best Ways to Monetize

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How to Make Money on Steam? 8 Ways

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You might need to spend some money on in-game items. Instead of using your hard-earned cash, you can boost your Steam money with free wallet codes. 

Survey Junkie is a great source for free codes, offering a fast way to get these. It’s a website that collects data for market research companies. To get your free gift cards and codes here, you only need to sign up and take surveys.

After completing surveys, Survey Junkie will reward you with virtual points that you can use to redeem Steam wallet codes.  

What can I buy with Steam Wallet?

With your Steam wallet, you can buy games, downloadable content, in-game items, and even those sold from the Steam Market. 

You don’t have to worry about your Steam Wallet funds expiring. You can use this for as long as the platform with over 90 million monthly users, is active. 

Can I cash in my Steam Wallet for real money?

While Steam Wallet funds don’t expire, you can’t, however, cash it in for real money. You can only use it on the platform. 

This is actually a good thing for your budget. It is because, with Steam Wallet, you need not use your real money for game purchases. You get to enjoy your games and paid features without having put a strain on your finances. 

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Partner with Game Developers and Ask for Sponsorships

One of the top ways to make money on Steam is through sponsorships. If you have your own streaming channel, you can reach out to game developers and ask them to sponsor your next stream. 

In exchange, game developers get more people to know about their products and with your help, generate more sales. Of course, you’ll have a better chance of getting sponsors when you increase your channel subscribers.

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Sell Items and Item Drops

Item drops in Steam games, like Dota 2 or Counter Strike Global Offensive,  can also bring you some real cash. These can be any in-game items that you find or receive while playing. 

While there’s no way you can take these items out from the virtual world, you can sell these at Steam Market. Think stocks or cryptocurrencies or games with Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). 

Whatever item you find might be available to other players. Its value depends on market supply and demand. 

Fortunately, the Steam Community Market actually includes a graph showing the price fluctuations of an item. 

This way, you can decide whether to hold on to the item or to sell it. Some items sold on the market can range from a mere 10 cents to $50. For extremely rare item drops, prices go over $1,000. 

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Sell Your Trading Cards

Steam also rewards cards that you can collect and trade. Normally, you’ll get 2 to 3 cards for each game that you play. 

There’s no definite time when you’ll receive the card, much like the item drops. However, you might get one after a 15-minute playtime. If you continue playing for another 2 hours, you might get another card. 

Basically, the more games you play, the more trading cards you can collect. 

And just like item drops, some cards can be quite common while others are extremely rare. Through the Steam Market, you’ll find card collectors willing to pay good prices for your trading cards. 

Additionally, it’s worth noting that card prices also fluctuate. So, instead of selling one for a few cents, keep it as its price might soar in the future.

More on trading cards, here are tips to guide you in the Steam card trading market: 

  • You can check on the games to see the remaining card drops. Play more to get all of those.
  • Trading cards from newer games are typically more valuable. 
  • You can get foil cards from a 3-card Booster Pack. These foil cards are worth 10 times more than regular trading cards. 
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Hold and Sell Pre-release Content

Holding and selling pre-release content is another way to make money on Steam. If you’re one to be always on the lookout for upcoming games, this option might be ideal for you.

You can pre-order games before these come out of the market. In many cases, pre-release games also include exclusive content from game developers. These may be in the form of skins, items, or crates.

The thing is when the game enters the market, buyers won’t have access to these pre-release contents. It’s practically a reward for early birds, like you, in the market. And most of the time, these contents can be really valuable. 

The strategy is to hold on to these pre-release contents. Then, watch out for its price fluctuations as you’ll likely sell it for a higher price later. In principle, the fewer people have these items, the more money you can sell them for. 

Create and Sell Mods in Steam Workshop

Games these days, by themselves, offer stunning visuals and well-thought mechanics, plots, and features. Yet, there’s always another way to play your favorite game. Here’s where modifications can take your gaming to another experience. 

Luckily, many developers leave plenty of room for mod creators to spice up their games. It might be a good marketing and PR move, as players talk about their game in forums. 

Additionally, some creators saw it as an opportunity to make money on Steam Workshop. 

Depending on the game, you can create and sell the following mods:

  • Characters
  • Items
  • Maps 
  • Missions
  • Stories

By creating and sharing mods, you can gain followers on the platform, willing to support you. Besides purchasing mods, some generous patrons even give donations to keep the creator working on new mods.

Develop and Sell Your Own Game via Steam Direct

If you’ve been dabbling in mod creation, you might want to dive right into game development.  It is undoubtedly one of the best options to make money on Steam. Besides the actual game itself, you can get profit from the in-game items you sell. 

Learn to code games

If you have zero coding skills, there are websites across the internet that offer free lessons and tutorials. But considering how learning a new skill can be a great investment, opt for paid online classes. Some excellent options are Udemy and Codecademy.

After all, becoming a game developer can be your lucrative, albeit new, career. Besides a small fee for the classes, you need to spend time actually learning the skill. Once you start earning from your games, you’ll find the experience and preparation all worth it.


Steamworks has the tools and services you might need to build and sell your games on Steam. Besides developing your game, it also has features to let you monitor the finance, sales, and marketing aspects of your product.  

There are also features that you can add to your game for free, adding more value. Plus, Steamworks make the process of creating and selling your game much easier. 

Here’s basically what you need to do:

1. Sign up for a Steamworks account. 

2. Download the Steamworks SDK to start building and uploading your game to Steam.

3. Upload your game to Steam and test it. 

4. Configure some Steamworks features. Use as many or as little as you want. 

5. Prepare your product pricing and store page.

6. Get ready for your game release. 

Steam Direct Program

Before you can sell your game at Steam, you’ll need to join the Steam Direct Program. It is a submission path designed to make the process of developing and selling games seamless and more affordable. 

How much money can you make selling your game on Steam?

There really is no limit as to how much you make selling your game on Steam. Besides, it depends on the game quality and popularity. You’ll also be the one to set the pricing for your game. So, a $1 to $60 range is reasonable enough. 

Pro Tip: The point is to sell games. Stick to a reasonable price that is lower than the major game developers. 

For example, some major game distributors price a game of the same genre as yours at around $40. In that case, you can set your pricing to say, $15. 

After selling 500 copies of your game, you generate $7,500 gross profit. Steam takes its 30% commission, so you’ll have at most $5,250 revenue. 

While the return looks very promising, keep in mind that developing games should still focus on giving fun and quality. You want players to enjoy your game and tell people about it. 

And if they do, they’ll likely leave positive reviews, attracting other players and boosting your sales. 

Sell Your Freelance Art and Design, or Coding Skills

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Building and selling games through Steam might require some capital that many might not have. In that case, selling freelance art, design, or even coding skills on Fiverr might be a better option. 

You can also check the Steam community and watch out for game developers looking for freelance designers and programmers. If you’re active in forums, take this opportunity to network with other game developers as well. 

The Steam community is not just a place where people talk about their favorite games. It’s also a marketplace for professionals and investors in the gaming industry that generates over $180 billion in revenue.

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Kate Starr


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