by Max Barry

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by The Regional Nation of The Northern Light. . 25,017 reads.

The Comprehensive Guide to NationStates Cards

Interested in Building Your Dream Deck?

Disclaimer: This guide is intended to be for the benefit of all players/regions. Have fun reading! :)

If you found the guide helpful, please upvote this dispatch to help others find it!
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Trading cards? What's that?

The Northern Light wrote:

Trading cards are NationStates' own trading card game. You can generate, trade, and collect cards representing other nations, with each card having its own rarity and value. There is a whole dedicated market where you can buy or sell cards, and compete to rise through the rankings for most valuable decks, as well as increase the value of your nation's own card. Or, you can simply create your own themed collections, e.g., your friends, enemies, regionmates, best flags, and anything else you can think of!

Why should I start trading?

Given that players from many regions (including The North Pacific, The West Pacific, The East Pacific, The Pacific, The Rejected Realms, 10000 Islands, and Texas, to name a few) have actively been involved with cards, deciding to get involved with this field will open players to an entirely new community to explore! (And yes, even game administrators, issues editors, and moderators are heavily active.) Of course, not just the wide-ranging community is to take note of, but you're also entitled to making a name for yourself, whether by collecting the most cards of a specific theme, achieving one of the most valuable decks to ever grace the leaderboard, possessing the most bank out of any player, or by becoming a philanthropist whom continues to serve as an example of pure generosity (people have actually done this in the past)!

Whoa. Sounds cool! But how do I start?

Each player has a (roughly) 20% chance to obtain a card pack from answering an issue. Answering these daily will reward you several packs, and the maximum you may store per nation is 9. You will know if you won a card pack by scrolling to the bottom of the screen right after answering an issue, as seen here:

... or by answering all your issues, going back to your nation's main page, and clicking on the card logo:

... in order to check whether you've won any packs! Each pack contains 5 cards, and some might already have bids placed on them. If you wish to quickly gain some cash, sell the card to that bidder, especially if said bid happens to be over junk value!

Junking is the act of trashing your card (done by clicking on the card and pressing "junk"; note that cards from rare rarity and upwards will require confirmation before junking) in order to accumulate a set number of "junked bank". This varies by rarity, with commons yielding a junk value of 0.01 bank, uncommons a value of 0.05 bank, and so forth. Players typically do this in order to quickly generate bank (since selling a card at auction takes a minimum 1 hour) and instantly pay for a card. Do this if you're short on time!

Of course, sometimes you won't immediately get a card you want. If you're caught in this situation, you are able to do the following: A) lodge a standing bid with the bank you have and wait for someone to notice, B) telegramming an owner of that card, or C) by posting on the card forum to have people quickly check whether they can sell a copy!

Once you gain a card (whether from buying or simply opening packs), assuming you wish to actually keep the card (and not junk/sell it), you can then A) start a collection (done by clicking "Create a collection" at your nation's card page and adding cards to said collection) and/or B) view the cards you have in your deck, and you may even use deck filter buttons to narrow down the list of cards you possess in case you want to view specific ones!

Finally, it's important to know that all nations possess an official deck limit for how many cards each nation may store. Once you reach said limit, you must consume a certain amount of bank in order to expand your current capacity, otherwise gifting becomes unavailable and your nation will be restrained from opening further packs (though you may still purchase more cards from auctions).

Expanding your capacity increases by the squared exponent of every whole number (i.e. 1, 4, 9, 16, etc.), and purchasing the Site Supporter badge from the store grants you double the permitted capacity (along with doubling the capacity you gain each time your limit's expanded).

To give you an idea, here is a table of the expansion costs for (both) regular users and Site Supporters (brought to you by Valentine Z):

Without Site Supporter

With Site Supporter


Cumulative Cost



Automatically given to all players














































































The list goes on, naturally. Don't think that this is the maximum number of cards you can store!

Any particular tools to help me trade?

Yes, actually! There are several useful player-created features to utilize at your convenience:

1. List of Cards in XML - Created by active code junkie and trader Ballotonia, this downloadable file contains an index for every single card in the game! In total, there are an estimated 180000 cards (per season), so use this list if you are aiming for a massive collection! [Note: it is highly advised that you download a text editor such as Sublime in order to better read this file.]

2. Card Queries Page - Created by (another) code junkie + trader 1 very fast endotarter, this tool allows players to look up cards of a particular type, including card rarity, badge type, government type, and more. Use this if you don't feel like manually searching for what you need!

3. Card Market Watch - Another creation by 1 very fast endotarter, this document serves to actively track the statistical data regarding the entire card market, including auction activity, every legendary's combined market value, the total amount of cards currently pullable, and just how generous the gifting has gotten; all of these are noted daily and recorded up to its date of creation (i.e. July 7, 2019).

4. LinkGoldretriever-Web - Created by Java enthusiast Racoda (and inspired from the original version by Valentine Z), this open source application will (automatically) output the total amount of bank + deck value (along with, should you input the password for each nation, the number of unanswered issues and unopened packs) for each nation listed! As to how it's done, 1) go to the website, 2) input the name of your nation(s) (if you have multiple accounts, press the "Enter" key each time you list a nation's name to add new lines), and 3) press "Start". [Note: if you wish to also calculate the number of unanswered issues + unopened packs per nation, you must ensure that the mode is set to "Auto" to enable the feature and then list both the nation's name & password and separate the two with a comma.]

5. NationStates Card Management Queue - Created by long-time user Anozia (and later expanded upon by traders Destructive Government Economic System and Racoda), this script utilizes the Tampermonkey extension (instructions on how to use the script + extension being found here) in order to allow many features, including 1) the saving of specific (or all, when using the Card Queries tool) cards to a queue for selling/gifting when needed, 2) the addition of a cards icon at the top of your nation's page (clicking on the icon will conveniently redirect you towards the deck page), and 3) the removal of the nation-name from Season 2 cards (when the lower half of the card is clicked) to allow full access to the flag appearance of the cards! [Note: the script version that you must use to access these features is within this post, as provided by Evrigenis.]

6. Firefox Containers - This guide - written by code expert Racoda - goes over an extension specifically made for the Mozilla Firefox browser, with said extension allowing you to trade/farm cards on multiple tabs simultaneously! Racoda's guide may take a while to understand, but it will definitely prove to be one of the most beneficial tools if you plan on utilizing multiple nations for card purposes!

Final thing, please note that using a script that automatically performs card-based actions (including answering issues to obtain card packs, placing bids/asks, or junking cards) has been ruled illegal, per Eluvatar's and [violet]'s respective announcements, so if you plan on developing any of these tools... you'll probably realize that none of the players will actually use them. Other than that, have fun with coding!

Special thanks to Destructive Government Economic System for writing the entire guide!