CS2/CS:GO Trade Up Contracts Guide

With weapon skins being such an integral part of keeping Counter-Strike alive, Valve has created a feature for players to try and upgrade their skins into better ones. This system is called the “Trade Up Contract,” a way for players to turn weapon skins into something more valuable.

What Are Trade Up Contracts In CS:GO?

The Trade Up Contract is a feature that every Counter-Strike player immediately has access to. It is free to access, but players will have to offer skins in order to use it. 

In a Trade Up Contract, a player is trading ten weapon skins of the same weapon grade from any collection to obtain one new weapon skin of the following weapon grade tier. The upgraded weapon is randomly chosen from one of the collections used.

How Do CS:GO Trade Ups Work?

To execute a Trade Up Contract, a player must own at least ten weapon skins of the same rarity. For example, ten Mil-Spec skins (blue rarity) or ten Restricted skins (purple rarity). These skins can vary in price, wear condition, or collections. 

After placing the ten skins in the Trade Up Contract, players will be prompted to confirm their actions. By performing one, players are essentially agreeing to burn these ten skins for only one skin of the next rarity.

Once the Trade Up Contract is signed, the game will reward you with a random upgraded weapon skin from any collection that was included in any of the ten skins initially placed. 

All the skins the player placed will disappear from their inventory, and the newly-acquired skin will immediately appear.

How To Trade Up In CS:GO

Using a Trade Up Contract can be done directly in the Counter-Strike client. Here is a step-by-step guide of how to initiate and complete a Trade Up Contract. 

  1. Launch your Counter-Strike client and go to your in-game Inventory.
  2. Next, right-click one of the skins you want to use in the Trade Up Contract. Then, hit “Use With Trade Up Contract.”
  3. You will be brought to the Trade Up Contract menu, where only eligible skins of the same rarity can be included in the contract.
  4. Start inserting the skins you would like to use for the Trade Up Contract. You will need a total of 10. 
  5. Once all the skins are in place, click the “Proceed” button to start the Trade Up. 

The Trade Up Contract will immediately begin, and you will receive a new skin after the process has ended. You cannot take back the skins you have placed, since they are essentially gone for good. 

Things You Need To Know About Trade Up Contracts

Let’s not pull the trigger on a Trade Up Contract yet. There are more things you need to know before blindly throwing in your skins in a Trade Up Contract.

Trade Up Contract Odds

As mentioned earlier, players can put weapon skins from different collections in the exact Trade Up Contract, as long as the weapons are of similar rarity. As a result, the player will receive a skin of higher rarity from one of the collections used in the contract.

The chances of getting skins from specific collections are equal – there’s a 10% chance for every weapon skin in the contract.

For example, a player has placed:

  • Five skins from the Chroma Collection
  • Two skins from the Prisma Collection
  • Three skins from the Clutch Collection

Then, the odds of receiving a skin from any of the collections are:

  • 50% chance for a skin from the Chroma Collection
  • 20% chance for a skin from the Prisma Collection
  • 30% chance for a skin from the Clutch Collection

This is why you might have seen players do a 10% “Dragon Lore Trade Up,” where they would only put a singular M4A1-S | Knight and fill the rest of the contract with cheap Classified skins (pink rarity). They will have a 1 in 10 chance of pulling an AWP | Dragon Lore but can increase the odds by adding more M4A1-S | Knight skins. 

That being said, it is possible to place ten copies of the M4A1-S | Knight for a guaranteed Dragon Lore. However, the price of 10 Knights exceeds the price of a Dragon Lore. 

Do Float Values Affect Trade Up Results?

You might be wondering if the wear of the skin is entirely random too. The answer is no, the outcome of the skin’s condition depends on the float values of the skins placed in the contract. 

Using a dedicated formula, the game will consider the skin with the lowest float value, highest float value, and average float value of all the skins in the contract.

If you place eight Field-Tested skins and 2 Factory New skins, the chances of the Trade Up reward being a Field-Tested skin is incredibly high. So, it is essential for you to consider the wear of the skins you place in the contract. 

YouTubers and prominent traders like Sparkles are constantly doing “#1 Float Trade Ups,” where they could collect ten skins that have incredibly low float values, put them together in a contract, and produce a skin with a similar float value. 

Here is a chart displaying the float values to their conditions:

Float Value Skin Condition
0.00 – 0.07 Factory New
0.07 – 0.15 Minimal Wear
0.15 – 0.37 Field-Tested
0.37 – 0.44 Well-Worn
0.44 – 1.00 Battle-Scarred

Limitations To Trade Up Contracts

A system like the Trade Up Contract will obviously have some boundaries. Here are some of the most relevant skin types the Trade Up Contract cannot process:

StatTrak And Normal Skins

You cannot combine StatTrak skins and non-StatTrak skins in the same Trade Up Contract. You can only place 10 StatTrak skins or ten regular ones in the same contract.

Souvenir Skins

Souvenir skins cannot be used for Trade Up Contracts. However, the regular version of a Souvenir skin can. This is why you have never seen anybody perform a Souvenir | AWP Dragon Lore contract.

Covert Weapon Skins

The next tier after a Covert (red rarity) weapon skin is an Exceedingly Rare Special Item, which is either a knife or gloves. It is impossible to trade up for a knife or gloves, so Covert skins cannot be used in a contract. The highest skin rarity is Classified (pink rarity). 

Knives or Gloves

As discussed previously, knives and gloves cannot be used as rewards from a Trade Up Contract, so it doesn’t make sense to include ten knives or gloves in a contract as there is nothing above them. 

Skins That Do Not Have A Next Highest Grade In A Collection

There are some cases of weapon skins that are unusable despite not being a Classified (pink rarity) skin. For example, the Tec-9 | Ossified is a Mil-Spec (blue rarity) skin. However, it cannot be used in a Trade Up Contract. This is because it comes from the Aztec Collection, where the highest rarity is Mil-Spec. 

Can You Make Profit From Trading Up?

The Trade Up Contract feature has been in the game since 20213, and the community isn’t dense. The system has had a significant impact on how weapon skins are priced. As a result, one cannot simply find a Trade Up Contract that offers guaranteed profit.

The Cobblestone Collection Example

Let’s go back to the popular AWP | Dragon Lore Trade Up Contract as an example. The Cobblestone Collection only has one Covert (red rarity) skin, which is the AWP | Dragon Lore. A Factory New version costs around $12,000. 

The M4A1-S | Knight is a Classified (pink rarity) skin in the same collection. You can put ten of them in a contract and get a guaranteed Dragon Lore. However, the biggest problem is one Factory New M4A1-S | Knight costs nearly $3,000 each. So, putting 10 Knights for a Dragon Lore will automatically net you a $17,000 loss.

The primary way of profiting through Trade Up Contracts is essentially gambling. Instead of ten, you could try putting one or two M4A1-S | Knights for a 10-20% chance at a Dragon Lore and make a big profit if it hits. 

Frankly, the risk of “gambling” on Trade Up Contracts is far greater than the reward. You can buy four Knights for $12,000 and have a 40% chance of getting a Dragon Lore that will net you $12,000 – it doesn’t take a scientist to tell you it’s not worth it. 

The Bravo Collection Example

Though we’ve been harping about the Cobblestone Collection trade up, every other collection has a similar story.

Another example is the Bravo Collection, where players would aim for the AK-47 | Fire Serpent. You can buy a P2000 | Ocean Foam in Factory New condition for roughly $180. An AK-47 | Fire Serpent in Factory New condition is worth $2,500. 

Sounds fantastic, right? You can buy 10 Ocean Foams for $1,800 and potentially get a Fire Serpent for $700. However, it’s not that simple. There are two Covert (red rarity) skins in the Bravo Collection, with the other being the Desert Eagle | Golden Koi, worth $130 in Factory New condition. 

So, you will have to do a 50-50 coin flip, with the outcomes being a Fire Serpent, which would be profit, or a Golden Koi, which would be a considerable loss. Even if you get the Fire Serpent, you are only profiting less than half of your investment at a 50% chance. The odds are simply terrible. 

Simply put, “easy money” does not exist in the world, and the same concept can be applied to Trade Up Contracts. You can only profit from contracts if you are taking risks, such as 10 to 40% chance contracts.

Best Tools For Trade Up Contracts

If you are still willing to take a gamble by performing Trade Up Contracts, let’s ensure you at least do it right. It is vital that you know your exact odds and outcomes before you sign that contract.

Members of the Counter-Strike community have created tools that aid players with calculating Trade Up Contracts. 

The most helpful tool for Trade Up Contracts is the “Trade Up Contract Calculator” made by CSFloat, a website dedicated to providing players with free trading tools. 

With this tool, you can add all the skins you plan to include in a Trade Up Contract and see the potential outcomes and estimated profit or loss. Keep in mind that almost every single contract will display a negative estimated value for the reasons we’ve discussed above. 

Additionally, you can use marketplace websites such as the Steam Community Market or third-party websites to calculate the value of your skins and ensure you make educated decisions when placing your items in a contract.

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