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Idle Master accumulates Steam Trading Cards while you sleep

Idle Master

Ask pc gamer

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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 (opens in new tab) 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
Tyler Wilde

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.