Anyone who plays Counter Strike: Global Offensive regularly knows that weapon skins are one of the most important features of the game. The gameplay is of course important, but the skins economy is where many players hope to make a fortune. Steam users very often sell CS:GO (CS2) skins for a lot of money, which is why it’s such an important thing for so many players.

There are multiple ways to obtain new weapon skins for your Steam inventory. The most popular method is to simply open weapon cases, which contain random skins inside. Players can also trade with each other or purchase skins from third-party online markets. However, there is an easy way to obtain free CS:GO (CS2) skins, without spending a single dime. Here is all you need to know about the trade-up contract feature in CS:GO.

What Is A Trade-up Contract?

Trade-up contracts, although they might sound similar, are actually completely different from the standard CS:GO (CS2) skins trading. A trade-up contract, known as the arms deal contract in the past, is a quick and easy way to obtain free skins in CSGO. Trade-ups are free because they don’t require you to pay any extra money. However, you will need to trade in 10 skins of the same quality you own. This way, you can simply choose to sacrifice 10 different skins you might not need to get a weapon skin of a higher quality.

Here are some basic rules, which trade-up contracts follow:

  • You can’t combine StatTrack and normal skins (if you trade 10 StatTrack skins you will get a StatTrack skin a weapon grade higher)
  • The collection of weapon skin you get depends on the skins you trade-in. Each skin you use in a trade-up contract increases the chances that the outcome skin will be from the same collection by 10% (meaning that, for example if you put in 10 skins from the Italy collection, you will have a 100% chance to get a skin from that collection)
  • You must always use 10 skins of identical quality. After a successful trade-up you will receive a skin one weapon grade higher quality than the skins you traded.

Although the process itself might be completely random, it’s still one of the best ways to utilize skins that you don’t need. Many players have a collection of common cheap skins, which would be hard to sell on the Steam marketplace or anywhere else. However, with a trade-up contract, you can try your hand at giving up a number of skins you don’t need to receive a much more valuable item.

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Can You Control Trade Ups Outcome?

Although a trade-up contract is technically completely random, you can influence the outcome skin. In order to do this, you must first understand float values.

Every skin in the game can come in different float value. Float values are numerical statistics, which reflect the weapon skin condition. The better the float value of your skin, the newer will it look. Lower float values generally are covered in many scratches and are in the battle-scarred quality, while the highest float values correspond to factory new skins.

A float value is a scale between 0 and 1. While the float values correspond to the skin’s quality, not all skins are available in all qualities, meaning that some skins will never have a float value on the battle-scarred level. Thanks to the float value mechanic, two skins with the same name can actually look different in-game.

So how do float values play into Counter Strike trade-up contracts? Depending on the average float value of the skins you trade in, you will receive a skin of a different quality. Thanks to this mechanic, a smart player can actually influence the outcome of their trade-up contract and receive a weapon skin of a better quality.

The outcome skin is calculated according to this mathematical formula:

Output Float = Average Float Value of 10 skins* (Maximum Possible Float of Outcome – Minimum Possible Float of Outcome) + Minimum Possible Float

How To Quickly Calculate The Output Float values?

As you can see, the trade-up contracts aren’t really completely random. Of course, you can never really control what skin you get, however, you can influence what weapon quality you will receive. Understanding float values is the key to profiting on trade-up contracts, as you can limit the possible outcomes and receive a skin in a minimal wear or a tier higher quality, instead of consumer grade skins. Although calculating the outcome skin float value can be done by yourself, the formula itself involves a lot of numbers and calculating every trade-up this way would be very tedious.

This is why the best CSGO players always use a trade-up calculator for their trades. This way, you can quickly calculate the potential float value of the outcome skin, and even see what specific weapon skins you have a chance of receiving in the trade-up contract. Trade-up calculators are all very easy to use. All you have to do is select the skins that you plan to trade up, and the calculator will tell you what skins you might receive in return. Some of the most popular trade-up calculators currently available are:

  • Trade Up Spy
  • CSGOfloat
  • CSGO.exchenge
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Is It Worth To Use Trade-up Contracts?

This question is difficult to answer since you never really know which exact skin you will receive. Still, a trade-up contract is a great way to turn cheap skins that you don’t need into potentially much more valuable skin. Even if a trade-up contract is a gamble, if you use a trade-up calculator, you can be sure you will come out on top.