Steam Trading Cards are randomly dropped out-of-game items for the PC version of the game. The initial collection is made up of eight trading cards, their foil versions, alongside the special Summer Getaway Sale card. The trading cards can be obtained by simply playing the game. Four cards will drop at random while playing. After the four initial cards drop, you must either gain randomly received booster sets that can only be received by people who are active on Steam at least once a week to continue gaining cards, trade for more, or buy them off of the Steam Community Marketplace. Cards you currently own can be clicked on in your Steam Inventory to reveal a full-sized version of the image, at a resolution convenient for wallpapers.
After completing a set of cards, the option to craft a badge commemorating the feat will become available. Alongside the badge, you will receive experience points to boost your Steam Account Level, an emoticon of one of the cities map emblems that can be used in chat or in discussions, a random profile background image themed around Skyrim that you can use on your Steam community profile, and a chance at receiving a coupon for a different game or DLC. There are five badge levels with increasing amounts of rewarded experience, requiring up to five complete sets. There is also a sixth badge for collecting a full set of foil cards. The Summer Getaway Sale card is included in a separate set and cannot be received in-game. It was part of the Steam Summer Sale 2013 event, along with the related rewards.
The Special Edition does not have trading card support.