The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

How to earn the Steam Hardware Candidate Badge

I’ve actually been out of the loop for quite a long time with Steam-related stuff, but today, I was looking through my profile when I realised that there was a badge that looked like I could quickly attain without much effort on my part. I am referring to the Hardware Candidate Badge, which is given out for completing four actions. The fifth action awards the Enthusiast badge, although since that expired on Friday, I won’t go into much details about it. However, attaining the first badge itself is very straightforward. There are four requirements and four correspondingly easy actions: some of these requirements may already be satisfied and won’t require further action on the reader’s part, while others will require at most five minutes to complete.

  1. Join the Steam Universe group- This is easy; at the URL, there’s a button to join the group. Just click that to complete this requirement. Those wishing to opt out later can find a “Leave group” button on the side of the page.
  2. Make 10 friends- Ask around and see if anyone wants to be friends. Most people should already have this one unlocked.
  3. Create a public Steam Community profile- Most players should already have a profile; players with a public profile will already have this one unlocked, but people like me, who have other privacy settings, will need to go into their profile privacy settings and set their profile to “public”. This will unlock, and then one may switch back to their previous settings.
  4. Launch and play a game using a gamepad in Big Picture mode- This is the toughest one to unlock, but even then, it’s quite easy. Download VJoy, a virtual controller, and install it. Readers will need the one with the key to the joy application. Once it installs, open the program’s settings and map “Button 2” to any key, preferably “A”. The next step is to open Steam’s Big Picture mode, choose a game, and hit “A” to run it. The achievement should unlock, and those wishing not to keep VJoy can uninstall it.

  • That red ring around my level number is pretty dapper. What’s my favourite badge, one asks? That would have to be the Steam Sightseer one, because it is a cool (virtual) keepsake reminding me of how pro the Steam 2013 Summer Sale was.

  • Thanks to that showcase window, my profile looks awesome. A year ago, I was sitting at level five and was rocking a 19 inch 1280 by 1024 display, and for one reason or another, Steam’s Big Picture mode wouldn’t work on it. I’m guessing that either my screen was too small, or my resolution was too low.

After acquiring this badge, I have finally reached level ten and have a cool red ring surrounding my level number. Being level ten isn’t any different than being level nine, but I do get a showcase window that offers a bit of customisation option. Right now, I’m using it to exhibit some of my favourite screenshots, although the showcase window can also exhibit one’s favourite games, rare achievements, recommendations or even a personal message to the community. Additional levels unlock more showcase windows (level 20-29 players get two, level 30-39 players get three, etc.), increased chance of dropping card packs and allow more friends, but for the time being, I’m quite pleased to have reached level ten. Of course, leveling up from here on out now requires 200 XP points, but I’m going to take things one step at a time.

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