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Level refers to the number of Tributes or Sacrifices required to summon a monster to the field. The Level of a card is determined by the number of stars it has in a row on the top right corner of that card, below the card's name and Attribute. For example, a Level 4 card will have this image on it:

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The level of a card can sometimes be altered by the effect of a card, which will make it easier or harder to summon. Sometimes cards can be destroyed or Special Summoned based on their level, usually by the effect of another card.

Level has no bearing whatsoever on the ATK or DEF values of a monster, nor does it have any impact on the rarity or any other aspect of a card. The following table lists the number of Tributes required to summon monsters of all the various levels:

Level/Tributes Relationship
Level Tributes Required
1-4 No Tribute Required
5-6 1 Tribute Required
7+ 2 Tribute Required

These requirements may be altered by a card's effect. For example, some cards can only be Special Summoned by tributing specific monsters, or monsters of a specific Attribute or Type.

The God Cards, while illegal for Tournament play, require 3 Tributes in order to be summoned in the anime and manga.