Skip to Content

How To Get Keys in CS:GO

How To Get Keys in CS:GO

Since CS:GO is currently going through its resurrection due to the sequel announcement, many players are frantically hoarding skins to make a huge profit later on. And as you know, cases are locked until you get a key to open them, so the demand for keys has risen too. But before you jump the gun, you should see how to get keys in CS:GO.

Keys in CS:GO can only be acquired through Steam Community Market and some through third-party trading platforms. Since they are locked to the account that has them, no one can freely trade these keys. There are no websites that can sell you these keys.


If you are contemplating whether you should get CS:GO keys or not and where you should buy them from, then this guide is perfect for you.

Do You Have to Buy Official CS:GO Keys?

Keys in CS:GO

For the longest time, the CS:GO Case Key was a readily available item on Steam, purchasable from the developer or from any player with excess inventory. It was commonly traded for in-game items through bartering among players.

They are needed to open the cases from where you can get all types of cosmetics items, including those elusive knife skins.

However, Valve made significant changes to the functionality of keys in October 2019 due to their findings on money laundering associated with high-value transactions. Following this update, keys purchased after the specified date are no longer tradable or sellable, as they are permanently linked to the buyer’s account.

There are several options available for buying CSGO keys. You can purchase them directly from Valve/the Steam Community Market. Alternatively, third-party trading platforms also offer keys for sale. However, it is crucial to exercise caution and verify the trustworthiness of the platform to avoid falling victim to fraudulent activities.

The only right way of getting CS:GO keys is through the official Steam channel. Do not rely on third-party platforms in most cases.

Are Keys Free in CS:GO?

free CS:GO keys

Also worth mentioning, keys do not drop from gameplay progression. There is no free way of getting keys just by simply playing the game. They won’t drop from any crates you open.

Players should exercise caution when encountering third-party sources claiming to offer free CS:GO Steam keys. Gambling websites and questionable platforms have long exploited this, often advertising reward systems or tasks in exchange for freebies.


Moreover, being cautious when engaging with individuals who propose trading your skins or requesting internal currencies or tokens as payment is essential.

Since CS:GO case keys are readily available and affordable on the Steam platform, there is no need to resort to external purchase sources.

Although, the concept of “free” can be a bit different in this case. It should be noted that while obtaining “free” CS:GO keys can be hard, it is still possible to achieve.

Obtaining free keys entails acquiring them without spending any actual money. This can be done by playing CS:GO extensively and collecting various free skins.

Even if a particular skin may not be of personal interest, it is still worthwhile to save them, as even the “least desirable” skins hold some in-game value.

By getting these skins, players can subsequently sell them and use the money to buy their favorite Shadow Case or Horizon Case keys on Steam that they have been eyeing for some time. This way, players can acquire the desired keys without spending their money directly.

Where to Buy Keys for CS:GO?

Third party trading platform selling CS:GO keys

As mentioned above, CS:GO keys can be bought from:

  • Steam Community Market: Here you can get keys for a minimum of $2.5. Only the rarest of keys to the rarest cases will exceed this price.
  • Third-Party Trading Platforms: There are some “trusted” private websites that have an inventory of keys on hand. Players will have to buy from them directly. Be extra vigilant when dealing with such websites as many have been home to some major frauds. The exact prices fluctuate a lot depending on the demand and rarity of the key.

There are multiple ways of getting keys, but there is only one official way, and that is through the Steam Community Marketplace. There are some well-known trustable websites, but since Valve themselves haven’t given their assurance, you can not trust them completely.

However, we recommend you not invest in CSGO keys at all. Just buy the skin you like directly from a marketplace. The keys and case system is too random, and the probability is stacked against you in getting the best items.