Badges are resources earned after completing Raids or Daily challenges. Badges come as airdrops or rewards in different forms and can give you perks like boosting the chances of collecting specific resources.
Badges are also used to identify your Team. Cleantists are brilliant people, but when they disagree they tend to ... take it personal! Over time their disagreement has pushed some fringes to gang up into ideologically-divergent affiliations, competing one against the other for their objective. Despite their aura of brilliance, it sounds like there's a lot more to unfold about Cleantist!