Idle Master accumulates Steam Trading Cards while you sleep

Idle Master

Ask pc gamer

Ask PC Gamer is our question and advice column. Have a burning question about the smoke coming out of your PC? Send your questions to

Is there any way to speed up getting Steam trading cards? — R.J.

You can't make Trading Cards drop faster, but you can collect 'em all while you're doing something else. Idle Master is a lightweight, open source application that tricks Steam into thinking you're playing a game when you're not, which is only useful for collecting cards—or, I guess, supporting an elaborate lie about how you've stopped sleeping.

Leave Idle Master running, and it'll flip through your library, waiting for each game to drop all the cards it can before moving onto the next. It certainly bypasses the spirit of the Trading Card system, but was also inevitable, really—if people cheat at games, they're going to cheat when you gamify games. The best part is that you don't have to have a game installed to pretend to be playing it.

Idle Master has been around for a while without any Valve censure, so it seems pretty safe to use (though, I guess you might consider the energy cost of accumulating stacks of 10 cent jpgs). For more on the wonderful world of playing games but not really playing them, check out our story from a few years ago about Team Fortress 2 idler maps.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.