“Steam Trading Cards are virtual cards earned by playing games on Steam. Sets of cards can be turned into game badges and tradable Steam community items.”
The Steam Trading Cards system was released on May 15, 2013 as a new element to the steam community. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the first Counter-Strike game to support Steam Trading Cards and so far, the only one.
Playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for some time will grant the player random trading card drops. When the game is purchased, a player will receive a limited amount of free card drops. To get more, he must purchase items within the game.
These cards can also be obtained by trading with friends or buying them from the Steam Market. Collecting the entire series allows them to be traded in for a level 1 badge (or upgrade it to the next level if the player already has one. The maximum level is 5), a randomly selected emoticon, and a randomly selected Steam profile background.
The first upgrade will earn 100 experience points, the second is 200, the 3rd is 300, and the 4th is 400. T the maximum level is worth 500 points. There is also a special highlighted (AKA Foil) version which is rare and requires highlighted (AKA Foil) cards to get this badge. These cards usually cost more and are rare.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
The Emoticons can be used on Status, comment and chats.
Less than 2 weeks after their introduction, the design for badges and cards were changed on May 29th, 2013.
These old versions of trading cards and badges are no longer obtainable, every existing badges and cards have been updated to their newer counterpart.
A Separatist card seems to have been planned at first but never reached the final version. It was visible in an image on the official Steam page for Steam Trading Cards, but the image was later deleted.