Following a week of speculation and rumour, Valve have officially announced the beta of Steam Trading Cards, a new feature that will allow players to earn and trade rewards using their games and Community Profile. Also included is a major cosmetic update for the Steam Community, offering players better ways to personalise the look and layout of their profile pages. Players will be able to obtain the new Trading Cards in two ways. Firstly, by playing any of the participating games on Steam and secondly, by trading with other players in the Steam Community. Currently, the beta allows users to obtain cards using any of the games listed below, with more titles to follow in the coming months: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Don't Starve Team Fortress 2 Portal 2 Dota 2 Half-Life 2 Once you have amassed a completed collection of cards, they can be combined to craft a badge specific to that game. These badges will be displayed on your profile page, including one "featured" badge displayed at the top of the page. Badges now also posses an XP value that contributes towards your profile level. Each new level offers certain perks, including increased friends list capacity and Profile Showcases, a new feature that allows you to highlight your favourite games, workshop items, or achievements on your profile page. Crafting badges will also unlock their own randomised rewards, including coupons for the steam store which offer discounts on Games and DLC; new emoticons for use in your steam chats; and background art for your newly customisable profile page. All of these crafting rewards are tradable. However, they can only be used while you own them. Profile pages in general have also seen a major update, with a greater emphasis on your personal playing habits and style. Along with customisable background art, information such as achievements, statistics, and community contributions have been organised into blocks which can be highlighted via the new Profile Showcase feature mentioned above. Invites to the new beta are being released periodically, so be sure to sign up here if you wish to get early access to all the new features.