How Does StatTrak Work in CS2? - KeyDrop Blog
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How Does StatTrak Work in CS2?

KeyDrop Team

StatTrak skins include a kill counter. If that’s all you needed to find out, we’re glad to have helped! But know that there’s much, much more to the story. How does the StatTrak counter work? Can you reset it? What happens to the counter when you sell or buy the skin? Anything worth knowing about StatTrak in CS2? Read on to find out! 

What is StatTrak in CS2? 

StatTrak is a kill counter that tracks the number of kills you get with a weapon (or, more precisely, with a skin). On guns, it appears as an orange digital display with six figures. The exact placement of the counter is different for each weapon, though for handguns, it usually appears on the accessory rail, so on the underside of the barrel. 

Here are some examples of StatTrak skins (yeah, we know, they’re pretty boring, we’ve picked plain ones to make the StatTrak counter stand out). Click the images to view the full-size versions:

StatTrak was introduced with the Arms Deal update in 2013, and StatTrak skins are available for every weapon in the game, including knives. Music Kits also have StatTrak versions—the counter records the number of times a Kit has played its MVP. Gloves are the only exception: they do not have StatTrak versions. 

On marketplaces and other websites about CS2, StatTrak skins and/or their prices are usually marked in orange. 

What is the Purpose of StatTrak in CS2? 

Technically, you can use StatTrak to measure your performance with specific weapons or determine which weapon you use more. For instance, if you’re forever on the fence about whether you should use the M4A4 or M4A1-S, you could get StatTrak skins for both and compare the numbers after a month of play—you’ll see which helped you get more kills. (Or just read our M4A4 vs. M4A1-S comparison guide, it’ll tell you everything you need to know.)

In general, though, StatTrak doesn’t have any practical applications, perhaps apart from giving you some bragging rights about your kill count. 

How Does StatTrak Work? 

The first thing to know is that the counter is an integral part of a StatTrak skin—it can’t be removed and it can’t be added. If you want the kill counter, you have to get the StatTrak version of the skin. 

The counter tracks only the kills made while the skin is equipped. For instance, if you have a StatTrak Cartel skin on your AK-47, the counter on your Cartel skin will only record the kills you get with the AK-47, with that skin equipped. Bot kills don’t count, by the way. 

The counter only responds to the original owner of the weapon. If someone else uses your StatTrak AK-47, for instance, they’ll see a flashing “ERROR” message on the counter and their kills won’t be added to the total. 

Note also that there are no Souvenir skins with StatTrak, and every skin has a maximum of two versions: standard + Souvenir or StatTrak. You won’t find a skin that’s available in all three versions. 

StatTrak Resets and Transfers

When you get a StatTrak skin, the counter will always start at zero. It doesn’t matter whether you bought the skin from another player or how many kills the previous owner had: the counter resets at purchase or trade

Afterwards, there is no way to reset the counter until the next trade… at least not officially. It so happens that for the counter to reset via trading, the item doesn’t have to be sold, just listed. So, in theory, you can list your StatTrak skin on the Steam Community Market and then cancel the listing—your counter will reset. Just remember to list the skin at a high enough price to deter any potential buyers! 

If you want to transfer your kill count to a different skin, you can do so (with certain limitations) using the StatTrak Swap Tool. We’ll tell you more about it below. 

Maxing out the Counter

The digital display has six digits, so what happens when you reach 999,999 kills? Exactly what you’d expect: the counter goes back to zero. This doesn’t mean that it has reset completely, however—that’s just the display starting fresh. In your inventory, you’ll be able to see your full number of kills when you inspect your StatTrak weapon. 

StatTrak in Trade-Ups

You can use StatTrak skins in trade-up contracts, but only with other StatTrak skins—StatTrak and standard skins can’t be mixed in a single contract. When you fill a contract with StatTrak skins, you always get a StatTrak skin in return. 

To find out more about getting the most out of your contracts, check out our CS2 trade-up guide.

StatTrak Knife Skins

StatTrak is available for all knife skins, but it looks different from the gun version (thankfully). On knives, you’ll find numbers scratched into the blade. Just as well, since an orange digital display would probably ruin the look of most knife skins. 

On some skins, especially high-float ones, these scratched numbers can look pretty cool—for instance, take a look at this Battle-Scarred Butterfly Knife | Boreal Forest with StatTrak: 

However, some designs don’t work so well with this solution—like this Butterfly Knife | Lore skin with a barely visible counter that’s right on top of the decorative Celtic pattern: 

Still, whether you like the look of it or not, StatTrak will always boost the value of a knife. If nothing else, StatTrak knives are rarer than standard ones, which makes them more valuable due to a limited supply.

StatTrak Swap Tool: Transfer Your Kill Count

The StatTrak Swap Tool enables you to transfer your kill count from one StatTrak skin to another StatTrak skin. The two weapons have to be of the same type: you can only transfer from one rifle to another, from pistol to pistol, and so on. The rarity and float don’t matter. 

The most common use case for the Swap Tool is when you get a new skin for your weapon. For instance, let’s say your StatTrak AK-47 | Cartel has lots of kills on the counter. You get lucky on Key-Drop and win an AK-47 | Fire Serpent, also with StatTrak. Once you’re done celebrating, you can use the Swap Tool to transfer your kills from the Cartel to the Fire Serpent and avoid losing your kill count. The same process would work between different rifles, too. 

You can get the tool in-game for $0.99 or via the Steam Community Market for around $0.50. 

StatTrak vs. Skin Value

StatTrak skins are rarer than standard ones. For this reason, they’re usually more expensive, though the margin varies depending on other factors that affect each skin. 

All other things being equal, medium-value StatTrak skins hover around 130–180% of the standard version prices on the Steam Community Market. For example, a Factory New AK-47 | Bloodsport costs $160 for the standard version, $400 for StatTrak (around 150% difference). A similar example is a Desert Eagle | Code Red: standard costs $85, StatTrak $218 (156%). 

The difference in prices is broadly proportional to the skins’ price range. Typically, when the standard price is relatively high (i.e. in the hundreds), the difference will be smaller. Otherwise, we’d be paying thousands of dollars extra just for a kill counter. Meanwhile, cheaper skins, like those for the Glock, often show a bigger difference in prices: a standard Glock-18 | Bullet Queen costs $50, but almost $200 with StatTrak (300%). 

Note that these are very general trends: exact figures vary wildly between skins, with plenty of exceptions to the above. But if you’re interested in trading StatTrak skins, this should give you a decent starting point!

Anyway, that’s all there is to cover about StatTrak in CS2. If you’re a newcomer to the world of Counter-Strike skins, you may want to check out our guide to float in CS2 next. Have fun on Key-Drop and good luck getting kills and maxing out your StatTraks!

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