Steam trading beta will let you swap TF2 items for spare Steam games

Tom Senior


Steam trading system - items acquired from Big Tom!

The Team Fortress 2 hat economy is in full swing, with players bartering, backstabbing and frantically crafting their way to the best items. The carnage is about to spread beyond TF2. The TF2 blog announces that the Steam trading beta is now live, and will let you swap Team Fortress 2 items for unredeemed gift games on Steam.

One of the pleasant side effects of the enormous Steam sales is that you'll often buy a bundle that contains a copy of a game you already own. Most of the time you're able to gift this spare game to anyone with a Steam account. The Steam trading beta now lets you exchange a Team Fortress 2 item, say, a tower of hats, for one of those spares.

If you want, you can also buy a new game purely for the purpose of trading. As long as you don't add the game to your Steam library, it's swappable, and this is just the beginning. The trading system looks set to items in other games as well.

The wording on the Team Fortress 2 blog post states that "Steam Trading Beta lets you securely trade your in-game items for other in-game items from participating games." That suggests we might eventually be able to trade TF2 items for Portal 2 items, or even in-game items from third party games that opt into the trading system.

You can opt into the beta by selecting "Steam Settings" in the Steam menu, then picking the trading beta from the drop-down menu. For more information, check out Valve's Steam trading beta FAQ . We've tried it out. Here's how it works.

You can invite a friend to trade from their drop down menu in your friends list.
Next, simply drag and drop the items you want to trade into the trading zone.
Once both players have confirmed the trade, the swap goes ahead.
You can drag items into Steam chat to show them off. Tom rejects my offer of Vintage Sandvich :(
About the Author
Tom Senior

Tom stopped being a productive human being when he realised that the beige box under his desk could play Alpha Centauri. After Deus Ex and Diablo 2 he realised he was cursed to play amazing PC games forever. He started writing about them for PC Gamer about six years ago, and is now UK web ed. Tom will be attending the PC Gamer Weekender in London in March. Click here to find out how to attend!

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