If you’re familiar with gaming, then you’ve certainly heard of Steam, one of the largest video game distribution platforms out there.
And while Steam is a great way to play your favorite solo or co-op games, did you know you can turn the platform into a new side hustle?
That’s right: it’s possible to make money with video games thanks to numerous Steam features and ways to make money.
So, if you want to know how to make money on Steam, you’re in the right place!
In this guide, we’re covering 10+ ways to make money with Steam so you can fund your gaming hobby or bank some extra cash.
Sounds good? Let’s dive in!
How To Make Money On Steam
Steam has over 120 million users, making it one of the largest video game distribution platforms out there.
Because of this userbase and popularity, there are plenty of ways to earn money on Steam if you get creative.
Some of these ideas even involve playing video games or creating gaming-related content, so there’s an idea for everyone!
1. Make Money On The Steam Market
One feature gamers love about Steam is its reward system, which can award you with various in-game items when you play your favorite games.
Rare Steam items usually come in the form of skins, camos, and specialty weapons within various games.
There are also several ways to obtain rare items on Steam:
- Play a game and earn them
- Play a game and find them in a drop
- Buy them from the Steam Community Market
- Trade items with friends
Once you obtain items, you can actually sell them on the Steam players for real cash.
The most common place to sell them is in the Community Market. To get there, hover over “Community” in the Steam application, then select “Market”.
You can filter items by price, rarity, game, and a ton of other options. Generally, the more rare an item is and the more popular a game is, the higher the potential price tag.
Granted, a lot of Steam drops are very cheap, common items. However, rare ones can sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
I mean, certain CS:GO skins have sold for over $750,000 before, so you get the idea of just how valuable some Steam items can be.
Some popular video games than have a lot of rare items on Steam include:
- Dota 2
- Apex Legends
- Team Fortress 2
- Portals 2
2. Offer Video Game Coaching Services
Are you exceptionally talented at a certain video game on Steam?
Well, if that’s the case, one of the more creative ways to make money on Steam is to offer coaching services to players who want to get better.
If you search on Fiverr for video game coaching, you find plenty of gigs ranging from $20 to $100+ per hour of coaching.
An advantage of this Steam side hustle is that there are also lots of competitive games where players are willing to pay for coaching.
Some of the most popular games where people pay for coaches include:
- League of Legends
- Starcraft 2
- Dota 2
- Apex Legends
Most gamers will take advice from other gamers in the highest ranks of whatever game they play.
For example, a League of Legends player will only be willing to listen to anyone who is Diamond or higher.
You can also look on other websites besides Fiverr, like GamerSensei for an example, to start selling your skills online.
3. Sell Steam Trading Cards
Steam Trading Cards are virtual cards that you earn by playing games on Steam.
This is similar to earning in-game items, except Steam cards are more like collectible cards and don’t really have in-game utility.
However, you can turn Steam cards into game badges and tradeable community items that range in value, so it’s another way to make money with Steam.
Here are a few participating games that give trading cards:
- Dead by Daylight
- Farming Simulator 22
- Forza Horizon 5
- Apex Legends
- Rainbow 6 Siege
- The Sims 4
Here’s how you can use Steam trading cards to earn money on Steam.
Crafting badges with your cards give you items like profile backgrounds, DLCs, game coupons, emoticons, and more.
This process also gives you XP to level up your Steam profile. All of these items can be extremely valuable to game lovers on Steam.
At the very least, you can earn coupons for other games that you might find interesting or were going to purchase anyway.
4. Get Free Steam Codes
Another way to make money with Steam is to find ways to get free Steam codes.
Steam Codes are basically activation codes you can use to purchase different games on the platform. Some codes also add to your Steam wallet credit so you can purchase anything you want.
In other words, Steam codes are like gift cards for Steam that you can put towards in-app purchases.
Some of the best methods to get free Steam codes include using different get-paid-to websites and apps to earn rewards:
- Mistplay: Play new Android mobile games to earn free gift cards, including Steam codes!
- Gamehag: Play PC games to earn Soul Gems that are redeemable for PayPal cash, Steam items and codes, and more.
- Swagbucks: Another popular reward site that lets you make money by playing games, answering surveys, and watching ads.
- Bananatic: Like Gamehag, Bananatic lets you get free Steam prizes for playing different games.
- AppNana: Another app that lets you play new mobile games to earn rewards.
- Reddit Steam Threads: Various Reddit communities often run Steam game giveaways or help players find ways to get free codes.
It’s worth noting that these apps and websites let you redeem a variety of gift cards, not just Steam codes.
Many of them also offer PayPal money as a reward option, so you can also redeem points for PayPal cash and skip the whole Steam part entirely.
Just keep in mind that points can take a while to rack up. However, if you’re already a fan of mobile games, it won’t feel like much of a chore!
5. Sell Pre-Released Gaming Content
In some cases, pre-ordering a Steam game unlocks certain exclusive content, skins, or in-game items that are in limited supply.
So, if you can get your hands on some exclusive cosmetic item or skin, there’s a chance other players are willing to buy it from you.
This is even more true if the game you have pre-released items for becomes very popular.
All you have to do is obtain these items, wait for them to hopefully appreciate in value, and then list them on the Steam Community Market for sale.
This idea is usually better if you’re already going to be playing these pre-release games and happen to earn rare items.
Otherwise, it will be hard to open a ton of games and hope for something nice to land in your inventory.
6. Sell Cosmetic Crates
Cosmetic crates (or drops) are small packages that contain valuable skins and add-ons that can be placed on weapons, characters, or profiles.
You can obtain these crates by playing different Steam games or by purchasing them with in-game currency.
The most popular games with crates include:
- Payday 2
- Team Fortress 2
If you play any of these games often, you probably already own a ton of crates (or items from these crates).
But, one quick way to make money on Steam is to sell these crates right as they drop rather than opening them yourself.
Crates rarely go for anything over $5, but selling multiple crates within a month can add up to a decent pile of cash.
7. Release A Game On Steam Direct (Steamworks)
If you know how to program and have some game design talent, you can always try selling your own game on Steam Direct.
This is also one of the ways to make money on Steam with the highest earning potential, although it obviously requires knowing how to code.
Here’s how to list your developed game on Steam Direct:
- Sign digital paperwork
- Pay the application fee ($100 per submitted game)
- Build your store page
- Upload builds
- Configure Steamwork features
- Price your game
- Wait for approval
- Release the game
After approval, anyone on the Steam platform can buy your game, resulting in more money in your pocket.
Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that your game will sell, but it is one of the highest paying ways to earn money on Steam when it does sell.
This idea is not for everyone, but it’s extremely valuable for those who have video game developing experience.
8. Sell Steam Mods
Like selling your own game, you can also earn money on Steam by selling game mods to other players.
Mods (or modifications) can be sold in the Steam Workshop for money.
Mods are essentially designs that look different than they normally would in a game. For example, if an iron sword is usually just grey, a mod can make it look blue.
Some mods are more in-depth and add new game content, storylines, and overall improvements to enhance gameplay.
A few examples of Steam mod categories include:
- Weapon designs
- Custom maps
- Game abilities
- Character interactions
Creating mods requires a bit of digging to find the game engine and to download the mod tool kit for any specific game.
A lot of mods are only sold for a couple of dollars, but if a lot of people purchase them, it can add up over time into some nice passive income.
9. Sell Steam-Related Artwork
If you’re a bit of an artist, then this way to make money on Steam is definitely for you.
Gamers are generally massive fans of what they play. Some are such fans that they would love art related to the games they play to hang up on a wall or put into a frame.
So, if you understand video game culture and are a good artist, your next big side hustle could be selling Steam-related artwork.
For example, you can post video game gigs on marketplaces like Fiverr to pitch your services.
Here’s a few examples of what gaming artwork gigs you could offer:
- Drawing custom game characters for people
- Painting someone’s favorite weapon skin
- Turning your character into pixels, pokemon, 2D art, etc.
- Building 3D models of your game’s world
- Making a custom wallpaper related to your game
Wallpaper gigs or custom artwork are some of the more common gigs out there, and you can probably charge $20 to $50 or more for some simple designs.
There are a ton of ways you can turn Steam games into art. Get creative, learn from what others are doing, and test out your art skills before pitching!
10. Sell Steam Games To Other Players
One of the easiest ways to make money on Steam is by selling your old Steam Games.
You probably have games that you don’t play anymore and wouldn’t mind making some of that money back.
Unfortunately, Steam doesn’t have a marketplace for you to sell the games themselves.
However, websites like Gameflip let you sell discounted video games to users who want to pay less.
It’s win win scenario. You make a bit of money back for your game and new players get the game at a lower price!
You upload a small description and title for your game, offer a steam key after purchase, and everything else is handled within the website.
Keep in mind that Gameflip takes an 8% commission (+2% for digital items) for selling a game through their platform.
Extra Reading – The Best Game Apps That Pay PayPal Cash Instantly.
11. Stream Steam Games On Twitch.TV
If you enjoy entertaining an audience and want to show off your gaming skills, you can always consider streaming games on Twitch.
Twitch.tv is one of the largest streaming platforms out there, and people stream anything from competitive games like League of Legends to casual games or simple chat rooms.
Now, you can’t make money on Twitch right out of the gate.
However, if you become a Twitch partner, you can earn a percentage of revenue from the people who subscribe to your channel. You can also make money by showing ads on your channel.
Furthermore, the Twitch community is quite generous, and streamers often get donations from loyal fans who enjoy tuning in to watch their gameplay and banter.
Building a Twitch following is similar to making money on YouTube in that it takes time to grow your subscriber base and brand.
However, if you diligently stream and provide value or entertainment to people, you can make money online by streaming Steam games on Twitch.
Extra Reading – Do Twitch Mods Get Paid?
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s The Best Way To Make Money On Steam?
This depends on what your skills are and what activities you enjoy on Steam. For example, if you’re an incredibly skilled player, offering coaching services is probably your best bet. Similarly, if you can design video games, you can always try selling games on Steam to make money.
The easiest methods involve selling in-game items on the Steam Marketplace or selling trading cards.
How Much Money Can You Make?
Most methods of making money on Steam won’t make you rich. This is because unless you get an incredibly rare item, most things only sell for a few dollars at most on the Steam Marketplace.
But, you can potentially make thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars with very rare items. Plus, if you sell a Steam game, the sky is the limit for earning potential.
At the end of the day, this is more of a fun side hustle than serious money-maker. If you really need to make fast cash, you can always turn to gig apps like driving for DoorDash or becoming an Instacart Shopper instead.
At the end of the day, there are a lot of ways to make money on Steam.
Some make more but take longer while others make less but are super fast options.
If you want to make enough to afford new games on Steam, then definitely go with free steam codes. They’re fun, easy, and allow you to try new games.
If you’re already good at the video games that have been mentioned throughout the post, then flipping crates, selling cards, and getting rare items are your best bet.
Hopefully you’ve gathered something useful that you can start to implement on Steam in the near future.
Good luck gamer!
Looking for more ways to make extra money? Checkout:
- The Best Reward Apps To Earn Gift Cards & Cash.
- GG2U Review – Make Money By Playing Games & Answering Surveys!
Daniel is a 20 year old blogger from Los Angeles with a huge love for everything entrepreneurship, finance, and investing. When he’s not blogging at Modern Teen, you can catch him playing volleyball, shooting archery, or finding new ways to make money.