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Trading parcel.png

Trading is an in-game system first introduced in the Mann-Conomy Update that allows players to swap weapons, hats, misc items and tools, with others in order to obtain items they desire.



The trading screen, with an example trade in progress.
A successful trade.

To reach the trading screen from the main menu, select the Manage Items button, and then the Trading icon.

A player may select a fellow user from their friends list, from the current game server or by entering their Steam Community URL. A trading request will be sent to that player, providing they are online and are currently playing Team Fortress 2. Should the reciever choose to accept the trade, the game screen will be replaced with the trading screen. Should the player deny the trade or not accept within the 30 second time limit, the trade will be cancelled.

Up to eight items of any kind can be traded from one player to another. Items may be selected and dragged from the user's backpack on the left side of the screen to the upper eight trading boxes on the right side of the screen. The lower eight trading boxes display the other user's trade offer. The trading window also shows the color of the item's Rarity as a background and outline. Both users can communicate and determine the trade using the provided private chat box visible under your backpack.

Gift Wrap allows you to "wrap" an item, creating a "Carefully Wrapped Gift". Some normally untradeable items can be wrapped and traded. A wrapped item can be delivered to offline players. Gift Wrap is available in the Mann Co. Store for $1.99 / £0.99 / €1.99.

After reviewing the items offered in the trade, both users must click the "Ready to Trade" checkbox. If the offer is changed, the players will be required to click "Ready to Trade" again. Once both users are ready to trade, they must then click "Trade Now" to complete the trade.

It is possible to continue playing, and leave the trading window in the background, by pressing the 'escape' key. A player wishing to block all trade requests can do so using the game options.

Trading Tips

Keep the following tips in mind for an enjoyable trading experience.

  • Pay attention to the background color of the items being traded, signifying Rarity.
  • Always re-check items being traded after seeing the "Offer is changing... Please wait" message.
  • Take your time when conducting a trade. Don't give into the other player's pressure if they're pushing you into a trade you're not happy with.


Due to the wide range given to trading, players may be subject to scam attempts and/or offer disagreements. It is advised to avoid the following practices.

  • Multiple trade transactions: Trading more than 8 items over two separate trade transactions is a risky and best avoided practice. There is no guarantee the other trader will not simply disappear after the first trade.
  • External trades: Trading in-game items for money and/or Steam games is extremely risky and not supported by Steam's Terms of Service.
  • Crate opening services: Some users may offer to open your crates in exchange for an item or a promise on return of the contents. Be aware that since you agree to the trade, they are not obliged to return any items found in the crates given.
  • Raffle contests: These usually consist of the players giving a low value item, such as scrap metal, to enter a raffle for a chance to win a high value item, such as a hat. There is no way to guarantee the contest is carried out fairly; in all likelihood the "random winner" is in on the scam. An alternative outcome to this scam is that the host of the raffle, i.e. the person receiving all the entry items, may simply leave the server with the low level items they have collected.
  • Gift Wrapped items: Make sure that during the trade regarding a gift wrapped item, you ensure that the wrapped gift shows on the bottom right hand corner, a picture of the item you want and not some other item picture.
  • Name Tags/Description tags: People can change the name/description of default weapons in order for it to have the same name and description as other weapons. Example: People will name a rocket launcher the rocket jumper and change the description so it looks like a rocket jumper and sell it to inexperienced players.

Community trading glossary

With the implementation of the trading system the community has started and since then continuously used specific terms describing items' specific attributes concerning their usability in trading and crafting as well as their trading value.

"Clean" items 
Refers to hats, weapons and Miscellaneous items that have not been gifted to obtain the "Gifted from" text. They can be directly used in the trading process (without requiring the use of a gift wrap). They are also generally craftable (with few exceptions).
"Dirty" items 
As opposed to the "clean" ones, these are not directly tradable (Mann Co. Cap e.g.) and are not usable in crafting. Items that have been gifted or bought from the Mann Co. Store are neither tradable, nor craftable, unless gift wrap is bought once more for these mentioned items in order to make them tradable (not craftable) once again.However, you would continuously require further gift wrap for further trading of these items in the future.
"Crate hats" 
These are hats that are obtainable by unlocking a Mann Co. Supply Crate with a Mann Co. Supply Crate Key (Note: Unusual hats are not considered to fall under this category, despite originating from crates). Whether the hat was crafted or found via the Item drop system, it is still considered a "crate hat" since it is one that could be obtained from a crate.
Sweeteners are additional non-specific items usually added into a trade negotiation where the value on one side of the trade is perceived to be notably different in comparison to the other. The goal of adding sweeteners is often to provide additional incentive to trade, despite the perceived difference in value of the original item(s).
A term used to describe trading a vintage item for a corresponding non-vintage item plus extra material, or vice versa. In some cases, may also be used to describe trading for the same, but different level item to attain a specific level item.


Scrapbanking is a common trade practice in TF2. It involves one person, who had crafted scrap metal, who offers it for any two weapsons. This cuts down on the time it takes for people to obtain scrap metal and therefore has become very popular.

Advantages of Scrapbanking

Person trading Weapons

Cuts down on the time needed to get scrap metal for trading and removes the need for same class weapons for crafting.

Person trading Scrap

Gives the user a wide variety of weapons to trade for different prices, resulting in a slow, but easy way to gain a profit.

Common Abbreviations

Term Meaning
BP Backpack
Buds Earbuds
C+D Cloak and Dagger
CaC Crit-a-Cola
f. Festive
FaN Force-A-Nature
Lid Lumbricus Lid
Jumper Rocket Jumper or Sticky Jumper
LF Looking for
Mask Physician's Procedure Mask or Mildly Disturbing Halloween Mask
Max set Max's Head, Lugermorph, and Big Kill
Merry Vintage Merryweather
nv. Non-vintage
Promo Any promotional item (ex. Max's Severed Head)
s. Strange
Set hat Any Polycount Set Hat
SS Sydney Sleeper
Skull Spine-Chilling Skull
Slug Triboniophorus Tyrannus
SnS Safe'n'Sound
Sombrero Old Guadalajara
UHHHH Unusual Horseless Headless Horsemann's Headtaker
v. Vintage
Whiskers Whiskered Gentleman
Wig Magistrate's Mullet
WTB Willing to buy/ Want to buy
WTS Willing to sell/ Want to sell
WTT Willing to trade/ Want to trade

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