CS:GO Best Trade Up

One of the cool things that you can do in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is to exchange 10 of the skins you own for a random skin of higher quality. This is done by utilizing a CS:GO Trade Up Contract feature, which is available in the form of an item located in your inventory.

When you get involved in CS:GO Trade Ups, ideally, you want to obtain a skin that’s expensive enough to be worth the sum of the skins that you traded for it. But that’s not easy to pull off.

The History of the Trade Up Contract Feature in CS:GO

CS:GO Best Trade Up

Initially, the Trade Up Contract was called the Arms Deal Contract differently. But the underlying mechanism has remained the same. The idea is easy to understand: you get a lot of skins by playing the game and opening cases. 

Most of them are of poor quality, so you can’t do much with them. So, instead of letting them fill up your inventory and make it harder to manage, you can just swap them for something better. But the problem is that you don’t get to choose what you swap them for. You only get to see the potential skins will be.

To receive a single CS:GO skin of higher quality, you need to offer 10 skins of lower quality in exchange. But there are rules that you must follow.

Steps for Using the Trade Up Contract Feature

If you want to use the CS:GO Trade Up feature, enter the game, go to your inventory and locate your Trade Up Contract item. This item cannot be sold and represents the contract you will use each time you want to exchange 10 skins of a given weapon grade for 1 skin of a higher weapon grade.

The next step is to click on the Trade Up Contract and open it. You will be shown all your skins on the left and the ones you’ve selected for the exchange on the right. As you add skins to the contract, you will notice that some skins on the left start to disappear. 

That’s because you can only use skins of the same tier on one contract. So if you decide to use just Industrial Grade skins, you can mix 10 of them regardless of what case they belong to, and you’ll be shown what you might get in return. If you’re happy with the potential outcomes, just sign the contract and see what you got.

CS:GO Weapon Grades

In CS:GO, weapon grades indicate the rarity of skins. A Mil-Spec skin is much easier to obtain by unboxing a weapon case than a Covert skin. The former can be obtained with a probability of around 80%, while the latter’s probability is only 0.64%. This means that, on average, you’ll have to unbox more than 100 cases to get a Covert skin.

The complete list of odds associated with unboxing each type of skin quality (or rarity) is the following:

  • Mil-spec (Blue): 79.92%
  • Restricted (Purple): 15.58%
  • Classified (Pink): 3.2%
  • Covert (Red): 0.64%
  • Exceedingly Rare Knife: 0.26%

You’ll have to unbox around 400 cases to get one knife. On the bright side, though, that knife could be worth $500 – $2000.

What CS:GO Skins You Can Trade Up

When you Trade Up CS:GO skins, you cannot use souvenirs, knives, or Covert weapon skins. However, you can use Mil-Spec, Restricted, and even Classified ones. The combinations most likely to result in a good trade up involve Mil-Spec and Restricted skins.

These two categories of skins are generally inexpensive but can result in expensive rewards. The key principle you need to understand here is this: a weapon’s rarity doesn’t always dictate its price. There are quite a few Covert skins that are incredibly cheap because they look awful. And many Classified skins cost a fortune.

How to Find Cost-Effective Trade Ups

One principle when searching for cost-effective Trade Ups in CS:GO is this: you can buy lots of skins on the Steam Market and experiment with various combinations. Given that you’ll see your potential rewards each time you create a Trade Up Contract, having an inventory full of skins will let you play around with the possibilities.

The method of finding cost-effective combinations is this: take note of your input cost and what it consists of, the output, and what you might be able to sell it for.

When buying CS:GO skins, look for those with a low float point because they’re cheaper. Just as skin can have one of 5 rarity classes, it can have one of 5 wear classes. These wear classes are the following:

  • Factory New: 0.00 – 0.07
  • Minimal Wear: 0.08 – 0.15
  • Field-Tested: 0.16 – 0.38
  • Well-Worn: 0.38 – 0.45
  • Battle-Scarred: 0.46 – 1.00

The higher the float value, the lower the item’s price value. This price value is determined based on the wear class, the rarity class, and the CS:GO community perception of a given skin. 

For example, the AWP Dragon Lore is considered highly valuable. People love the design and associate it with the best AWP players in the world. So, even though there are many other AWP skins on the market, this one is much more expensive than all the rest.

One thing that helps you find cost-effective Trade Ups more easily is being knowledgeable about the most expensive CS:GO skins on the market. Your goal should always be to find trade up formulas whose output is one of these skins. The second step is to buy the “raw materials” that you need to use good formulas repeatedly.

Finally, the last step is to put the skins you obtained from the exchanges up for trade on the Steam Market or on a third-party platform.

Keep in mind that you won’t make a fortune by using a successful recipe once. You’ll need to do it repeatedly and be aware of the fluctuations in skin prices. What’s cost-effective today may not be cost-effective a month from now.