Learn how to turn all of your unused Steam Community items like Trading Cards, backgrounds, and emoticons from your Inventory into free games with Steam's Auctions event.
Remember when Steam announced it's new trading card feature? Well, now those of you who have been hard at work trading and collecting the things will finally be able to "cash out" for a chance at free games! Steam has just announced it's new Auctions meta-game to co-incide with the winter sale, in which users can turn unused Steam Community items like Trading Cards, backgrounds, and emoticons from their inventories into "gems", which can then be used to "bid" on various games.
Confused? Valve have put together an FAQ with more information, but the basic gist of it is:
- Go to your Inventory and choose items to "recycle" into gems
- Go to the Auctions page and bid on games you want with your gems
- At the end of each 45 minute period, whoever has the highest bid on a game will win it
It's that simple! There are 100 copies of almost 2,000 titles available in the auction, meaning there are around 200,000 games up for grabs. The first auction round ends on December 16 at 12:45am with a new round ending every 45 minutes until the last auction round ends on December 19 at 3:00am.
Incidentally, Valve also revealed that the Steam Christmas sale will kick off with the next auction round in December 16.
Lastly, don't worry about having too many gems left over at the end of the event, as you'll be able to turn them back into "booster packs" of Steam trading cards.