Do you love playing computer and video games and want to learn how to make money on Steam? The good news is there are several ways to make money within Steam and make real money outside of Steam. There are several things you can sell on Steam that will allow you to make money including both physical and digital products.
Some ways will allow you to bank money that can only be used within Steam to buy the latest game or items you want. If you’re already devoting a lot of your time and real money, this can be a great way to save on things you already love.
You can also make real money on Steam. You can turn your passion for coding and game creation into real dollars through the Steam Marketplace. Or you can get in touch with a business or company and design something for them.
If you have artistic skills, there are also several items you could sell on Steam. This allows you to make money from people who prefer to support artists directly.
Let’s dive into Steam and figure out how you can make money using it.
What is Steam?
Steam is an online platform for buying computer games from a digital media store. There are thousands of different games targeting almost every possible interest and fanbase. You can download the games to your computer directly. This allows you to play them without an active internet connection. Or you can join online communities and play with other gamers.
Steam was first opened as a digital distribution platform in 2003. It has since grown into the largest digital PC gaming marketplace. There are millions of gamers from all over the world using Steam to buy their games and connect with a community of other gamers.
You can use Steam to play games, create levels for games, code software, sell items or even design artwork. Whether you enjoy playing computer games or have a passion for coding and creating things, the Steam platform is perfect for making money.
How does Steam work?
Steam is an online platform for buying games, connecting with gamers and making money. You can use Steam to play games, create levels for games, code software, sell items or design artwork.
There are two sides to the Steam platform: buying digital goods and creating content. Most users make money by creating content for games. Others get cash for their Steam Wallet by selling digital goods on the marketplace. You can make real money by coding software, creating artwork, or designing new characters for games.
Steam utilizes the Steam Marketplace which is like an online storefront. You set the price of your items and you only pay a 5% fee for selling digital goods on Steam. There is also limited trading allowed with other gamers. You can exchange games or items that you have earned through playing your favorite games.
Content creators use Steam Direct to sell and distribute new games to the platform. Game developers pay a one-time fee per game. This helps ensure that everyone pays the same cost to get their game on Steam and removes the advantage of having already released a game before.
How much money can you make on Steam?
There are two different types of money when talking about Steam. There is money for your Steam Wallet which is money that can be used to purchase games or in-game add ons. You cannot transfer money from your Steam Wallet into actual dollars. However, you can make real money on Steam by selling original games through Steam Direct.
When selling games on Steam Direct, keep in mind that each game you submit cost a one time $100 fee. Steam also takes 30% of the commission because you are using their platform.
Let’s look at an example:
If you make a game and sell it on Steam for $10. If you sell 100 copies of the game then you will earn $1,000. Steam will take 30% of this which will leave you with $700. Then you need to subtract out the $100 one time fee which leaves you with $600.
The amount you are able to sell the game for and the number of games you sell will affect how much many real dollars you take home.
How to make money on steam
Whether you’re making money for your Steam Wallet or actual cash for your real wallet, there are tons of ways to get in on the action.
Use apps that give out free Steam Codes
There are tons of apps that will give you points in reward for doing certain activities. You can turn those points into real dollars or you can turn them into Steam Codes. If a site gives you money you can either pocket the cash or use that money to buy Steam Codes. These codes can then be used to add money to your Steam Wallet. Let’s take a look at the apps that let you redeem points for Steam Codes:
Inbox Dollars – Inbox Dollars allows you to do a variety of activities in exchange for cash and points. These include taking paid online surveys, watching consumer videos, getting rewarded for playing games, getting cashback for online shopping, reading emails, and using coupons.
Swagbucks – Swagbucks lets you earn points and cash by shopping online, watching videos, searching the web, answering surveys, and finding great deals to earn your points.
Survey Junkie – Survey Junkie allows you to take surveys online and earn virtual points. These points can be turned in for gift cards.
Ibotta – Ibotta lets you earn cashback points for purchases in stores and online. Whether you’re buying groceries, clothing, or pet supplies, you can turn those purchases into cash and Steam Codes.
Rakuten – Rakuten is another cashback app that lets you earn money through shopping. You can then turn this into payment via check or online payment.
What can you buy with your Steam Wallet?
Your Steam Wallet can be used to buy games, in-game items, downloadable content, and any other items sold in the Steam Market. If you are already spending real money on games or other purchases in the Steam Market, then you can save some serious cash through Steam Codes.
Can you make real money from your Steam Wallet?
As stated, you cannot convert money from your Steam Wallet into real dollars. The only way to earn real dollars is by creating games through Steam Direct.
What is a Steam card?
A Steam card is a gift card that can be redeemed for money in your Steam Wallet. Steam cards are purchased pretty much anywhere that gift cards are sold including in stores and online. You may be able to choose a steam card through sites that let you earn points for performing activities.
Once the Steam card has been redeemed through the Steam website, it can be used just like the rest of the money in your Steam Wallet to purchase items like games, content, and in-game items.
Why should you want to make money on Steam?
If you are already spending a lot of money on Steam through game or in-game purchases, then finding ways to make money for your Steam Wallet will help you have money overall. You won’t have to spend as much real money on purchases if you can cash on items you’re already collecting through the games.
Similarly, if gaming is your passion and you have a good idea of what works in the market, learning to develop your own games can be a valuable way to make actual money.
Master the use of the Steam Market to make money for your Steam Wallet
The Steam Marketplace is a great way to sell in-game items and trading cards. Knowing the worth of your items and having good timing is key to maximizing your gains.
Find and sell items on Steam
One way to make money on steam fast is to collect and sell in-game items. Most games will let players collect items for playing. This includes items like skins for weapons or armor, character models, and other aesthetics.
Games like Counter Strike and Dota 2 are known for item drops. The more you play the better your chances of getting drops. Most will be generally common items, but there are chances to obtain rare items which will sell for a lot of money on Steam Market.
You can post your items on Steam Market but make sure you understand the market value of your item.
Sometimes you can even get cosmetic crates while playing games. Cosmetic crates contain multiple items, some of which can be valuable or rare. You can buy cosmetic crates with your Steam Wallet but most people report that the items are usually not worth the money. It’s better to try and get crates through game play.
Most items won’t net you huge gains. However, the more you play the more you have a chance of landing a rarer and more valuable drop. Some of these items have sold for over $1,000 on Steam.
Sell special pre-release content you get
Some games will give out pre-release content to those who pre-order games. Because of the exclusivity of this content, these items can sell for high amounts on Steam Market. Timing is key. The items won’t immediately be valuable because anyone that wanted the item could pre-order the game.
However, over time the item should become more valuable as it becomes more exclusive. Save what you collect and watch the Steam Market to time your sale.
Sell trading cards
Most games will provide players with trading cards as they play games. Typically you can collect 2-4 trading card per games. Most cards will only be worth a cents but there are rare cards that will be worth much more. The more you play the more trading cards you’ll acquire.
When trying to accumulate money through trading cards remember the following:
- Always check the market value of your card and try and time the market. If you can’t get much money for a card, try holding on to it for awhile to see if the value goes up.
- If you collect trading cards from a new game, they may be more valuable.
- Foil cards are more valuable than a trading card and are typically found in booster packs.
- Some games will let you know how many trading card drops remain, helping you to collect them all.
- Sets of cards can sometimes be transformed into
Create and sell your own mods in Steam Workshop
If you are creative and interested in game development, you can create and sell your own mods to other game players. This can include things like characters, items, and maps. You can create these mods in the Steam Workshop for many different games.
If you end up being good at creating mods, you can make money through mod purchases but also through fan donations.
Create and sell your own original game through Steam Direct
The only way to make actual money on Steam is to create and sell your own original game. You can do this via the Steam Direct platform. Players use Steamworks, which is a set of tools and services that help game developers build their games.
Steam has over 90 million monthly users across 249 countries allowing your games to reach a massive, global audience. Steamworks not only gives you the tools to help develop your game, but they help you manage and market it as well.
Create an engaging game experience through Steamworks
When creating your game, you can set up achievements that reward fans when they achieve certain activities. You can also give players in-game statistics and leaderboards so they can track their progress against others. And finally, you can incorporate voice commands and chats into your game without third-party software.
Managing your game through Steamworks
Steamworks allows you to see your real time sales data including sales, player counts, and wish lists. You’ll also have the ability to control how you sell your games, run discounts, bundle offers, and run beta tests.
Marketing your game through Steamworks
You can work to build up a following on Steam through strategic marketing. Offer your community early game playing experiences before your game is officially released. Run sales or promos to boost sales. Keep your community informed through announcements, a community hub, and forums.
You can even get your game in front of influencers and Steam Curators to boost appeal.
Want to develop your coding skills?
If you’re interested in turning your gaming passion into cash, start by learning web development and coding! There are many code schools available to help you develop your skills.
If you’re serious about learning how to code, you can turn that skill into a career! Besides just using those coding skills to create your own games, you can apply to work at companies like Google and Facebook.
Create your own video and upload to YouTube and Twitch
If you’ve always wanted to be a YouTuber or gamer star, now’s your chance! Create videos of yourself playing games on Steam and upload them to YouTube or Twitch. If you are good, or even just entertaining, while playing you can get enough views to make money.
This can work in conjunction with Steam Direct because you could start out by uploading your game to get it popular, then once people watch it on YouTube they will go check it out on Steam. There are many ways to monetize your videos through affiliate links and platforms.
Final Thoughts: How to make money on steam
Whether you’re looking to make in-game money or real money outside of Steam, there are plenty of ways to do so. For the most part, these strategies typically lend themselves to people who are already a part of the gaming community.
For example, if someone is already spending a lot of real money on gaming then they will save quite a bit by utilizing these strategies to make money for their Steam Wallet. Similarly, if a person is interested in creating their own following it usually helps if they are already good at gaming. However, a good idea for a channel could be about a person who is just getting started!
If you’ve got a knack for coding, then game development may be right up your alley. Steamworks can be a great place to start growing and honing those skills. It can also give you a live look at how people react to your games and marketing strategies. If you’re interested in making games but don’t have the skills yet then try an introductory coding course to see if it’s right for you.
If you want to make money through Steam it’s possible. Start being strategic with the items you have and come up with a game plan for how to maximize your gains.