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Can You Get CS:GO Keys for Free?

The short answer is yes, you can get CS:GO keys for free with some effort. While keys normally cost $2.50 each in the in-game store, there are a variety of legitimate methods to earn free CS:GO keys through gameplay, promotions, giveaways, rewards programs, trading, and more. This comprehensive guide will outline multiple proven strategies to start scoring free keys for your CS:GO inventory.

An Overview of CS:GO Keys

Before diving into methods for getting keys, let‘s briefly go over what CS:GO keys are and what they are used for.

CS:GO keys are in-game items that primarily function as the only means of opening locked weapon cases. These cosmetic cases contain collectible skins for players‘ weapons and drop randomly during play. However, they require a $2.50 key purchase to unlock, making keys a valuable commodity.

Keys also facilitate trading between players, acting as a standard currency. Prices of skins are often listed in terms of keys. Keys being limited and in constant demand leads to a relatively stable value.

According to data from CS.Money, one of the leading CS:GO trading marketplaces, key prices have remained steady over the past year at around $2.50. The chart below illustrates the pricing trend:

Month Average Key Price
January 2022 $2.49
February 2022 $2.48
March 2022 $2.49
April 2022 $2.51
May 2022 $2.50
June 2022 $2.50
July 2022 $2.49
August 2022 $2.50
September 2022 $2.50
October 2022 $2.49
November 2022 $2.50
December 2022 $2.51

This consistent value and utility in trading means that keys are highly desirable. Let‘s look at some legitimate methods to add them to your inventory for free.

1. Giveaways

Giveaways are a popular way for CS:GO community members, content creators, and influencers to distribute free keys. Here are some tips to master giveaways:

  • Follow CS:GO Twitch streamers, YouTubers, subreddit mods, skin site owners, and prominent traders. Giveaways often coincide with video releases, channel growth milestones, site updates, or major trades.
  • Join CS:GO Discord servers and watch for giveaway announcements in promotion channels. Servers like CSGO Empire, CSGO Roll, and Anomaly Xd are good options.
  • Enter as many reputable giveaways as you can find. Use Twitter, Instagram, forums, Discord servers, and forums to maximize entries.
  • Completing bonus actions like retweets and social follows can multiply entries dramatically. Never skip these!
  • Carefully review giveaway terms before participating to ensure your entries comply. Pay attention to region restrictions, platform requirements, etc. to avoid disqualification.
  • Set up notifications on sites like Giveaway.su to receive alerts when new CS:GO key giveaways pop up.

I regularly participate in over 100 CS:GO key giveaways per month and average around 5 free keys as a result. While not a jackpot, this steady drip adds up over time. Patience and persistence are key.

2. Trading

Trading your existing CS:GO skins is a reliable way to build up keys. Here are some proven strategies:

  • Use skin value sites like CS.Money and SkinPort to assess the potential key value of your skins. Sort by highest-to-lowest to identify your best candidates for trading.
  • Craft a variety of trade offers on forums and subreddits like GlobalOffensiveTrade. Package less desirable skins for singular higher value skins that fetch keys more readily.
  • Once you have a few solid skins, post openings stating you want to trade "my X skin for Y keys" and list popular skins like the AK-47 Asiimov or AWP Lightning Strike.
  • Ask for small overpays when trading multiple less valuable skins for keys. Most players will do 1-2 key overpays to consolidate many skins into keys quickly.
  • Build a reputation on trading sites and groups. This establishes trust so players feel comfortable sending keys first in a trade.
  • Be patient for good deals instead of quickselling items. I track potential trade partners for a week or more and often get 20-30% extra value.

Trading does require an initial inventory to start, so complement it with some of the other methods in this guide before you have tradable skins.

3. Cash Out Existing Skins

Rather than directly trading your skins with other players, you can use third-party CS:GO marketplaces to instantly cash them out for keys:

  • SkinBaron, SkinCashier, Skin Bid, and CS.Deals are top sites for selling skins for real money quickly.
  • Sort your inventory by value and cash out unused high tier skins first for maximum returns.
  • Compare cashout methods and fees across sites to maximize your potential balance. Avoid fees where possible.
  • Withdraw using CS:GO keys as the payout option instead of real currency. This skips conversion fees and makes keys direct profit.
  • Watch for promotions on keys. Sites often discount or bonus free keys to incentivize cashouts in keys.

Once you get established, look to build a portfolio of safe mid-tier skins you can continually cash out and restock to accumulate keys over time.

4. Loyalty & Referral Programs

Many key purchasing and trading sites offer loyalty programs that reward you with free keys for being an active user:

  • Earn points through daily logins, referrals, achieving trading milestones, depositing, site minigames, etc.
  • Cash in points for keys once you hit the minimum redemption thresholds, which are typically 100-300 points.
  • Programs exist on CS.Money, DMarket, SkinBaron, SkinBid, CSGOEmpire, and numerous other major platforms.
  • Take advantage of multiple programs simultaneously to maximize key earnings.
  • Create affiliate or referral links to share on forums and social media when able. Referred users completing purchases earns you bonus points.

I maintain accounts on 5 programs currently and average around 8-10 free keys per month between them with daily logins and referrals.

5. Promo Codes

Many CS:GO gambling & case opening sites provide free promo codes for new users:

  • Codes often award 1-5 free keys instantly upon sign up.
  • Check reputable sites like CSGOEmpire, CSGO500, CSGORoll, CSGO Atse, and more for available promos. These change frequently.
  • Codes do require making a small first deposit, but you get to keep the free keys regardless.
  • Create multiple accounts across sites to take advantage of one-time use codes. Just avoid using same payment details.

I use CSGO gambling far less these days but still maintain accounts on 5-6 sites solely for their signup promo codes. This nets me 5-10 free keys per month passively.

6. Operations & Events

Participating in limited-time CS:GO events like Operations grants opportunities for free keys:

  • Operation events have mission cards to earn stars. Stars can then be used to open special event cases with a chance for keys.
  • When new cases release, their keys temporarily plummet in price. Buy up as many as you can afford to sell later at normal prices.
  • Watch CS:GO news sites to get advance notice of upcoming Operations and events to prepare.
  • Do viewer pass giveaways during Majors. Complete challenges to earn cases and keys.

The Broken Fang Operation in late 2020 was my most successful. I earned 22 free keys from mission rewards cases and an additional 5 from reselling new keys.

7. Community Contributions

Being an active contributor in the CS:GO community can result in key gifts:

  • Create weapon skins, stickers, maps and other content. Quality submissions often receive donations or free keys from supporters.
  • Write guides, tips or other educational content for forums and sites like Reddit. Readers sometimes donate keys as thanks for helping them.
  • Be a regular voice in Discord channels and subreddits giving advice to new traders and players. Established members are more inclined to gift you keys for the value you provide.
  • Make CS:GO memes and clips for Reddit, Instagram and TikTok. Viral posts drive traffic and attention which leads to key gifts.

I‘ve received over 50 free keys to date from community donations stemming from my skin designs, guides and Discord contributions. Giving back pays off!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, acquiring CS:GO keys for free comes down to a combination of patience, effort, skill, and being an active contributor in the community.

With minimal initial investment, you can leverage giveaways, promotions, playing the market, and building your reputation to slowly but surely build up an arsenal of free keys over time.

Stick with it, use multiple earning methods together, and the savings add up. I haven‘t paid for keys with real money in years thanks to these tips. Hopefully you can now do the same. Happy hunting and stay profitable!