Best CS2 cases to open: How to buy cases, best ROI, case odds, knives, more

Calum Patterson
csgo case opening

CS2 cases can be tempting to open, but before you do, there are some things you should know. Here’s everything you need to know about cases in Counter-Strike 2, including the best ROI cases, how to open them, and CS2 case odds.

While CS:GO, now CS2, is best known for its competitive matches, captivating esports scene, and smooth gameplay, it also supports an in-game economy worth billions. This economy has largely originated from in-game cases that players can open at a cost, and may result in obtaining a rare expensive item.

Case openings have had a resurgence since the launch of Counter-Strike 2, so new and returning players alike may be wondering if they’re still worth opening. Valve has also released the first new case for the game, the Kilowatt Case, with thew new Kukri Knife.

Here’s everything you need to know about CS2 cases.


How to get cases in CS2

There are two ways to get a case in Counter-Strike 2: Case drops and buying cases.

Case drops

The first method is free, and requires you to simply play the game. The first time you rank up your account level in a week, you will receive a weekly drop – you can then choose a case as one of your rewards. The case you get will be entirely random, but there is a 99% chance it comes from the ‘active drop pool’. These are currently: Revolution Case, Recoil Case, Dreams & Nightmares Case, Snakebite Case, and Fracture Case.

There is a 1% chance you will receive a ‘rare’ case drop, which will typically be a more expensive case. We will explain case prices later.

csgo case drop in-game
Cases are dropped to players after ranking up for the first time each week.

Buying cases

The second method to get cases, and the one you will need to use if you want to open more than one case, is to buy them. You can buy cases from the Steam Market or from third-party websites.

Third-party websites will typically have cases for cheaper than the Steam Market, so if you want to buy cases in bulk, you should use a site like Skinport, or others, where players will list their cases typically in bulk.

Once you buy a case, or multiple, they will be added to your inventory, ready to be opened. You can buy any case you want this way, and see what skins and knives are available in each one.

You can also resell the cases back on the market, if you decide against opening them – but remember there is a 15% fee on the Steam Market, so you won’t get the full purchase price back, unless the price of the case has increased.

How to open cases in CS2

Once you have a case or cases that you want to open, there is one more thing you need before you can open them: a key.

Each case will require a single key, specific to that case. You can buy the key from Steam directly, just prior to opening the case. But note: Keys cannot be refunded or sold on the Steam market – so don’t buy them unless you plan to use them.

csgo case in game
Before opening the case, you will see all the skins you could get, and the price of the key you need to buy.

How much do CS2 case keys cost?

Case keys cost a flat price of $2.49, or the equivalent in your currency. Do not buy keys from the Steam Market – they will be much more expensive! Buy them directly from the in-game store instead.

If you do buy a key from the Steam Market, it means it is tradeable, because it is from before an update when Valve made all keys untradeable. You should simply sell it on the Steam Market again to recoup your cost.

CS2 case odds

The odds of opening cases and getting a rare item, such as a covert skin, knife, or gloves, are of course, not very high.

Most cases you open, you will receive a ‘Mil-Spec’ (blue rarity) item, and sometimes a Restricted (purple) or Classified (pink). You can see the case odds in CS2 here:

Skin RarityNon-StatTrakStatTrak
Mil-Spec (Blue)79.92%7.99%
Restricted (Purple)15.98%1.59%
Classified (Pink)3.2%0.32%
Covert (Red)0.64%0.064%
Rare Special Item (Gold)0.26%0.026%

Every item in a case has a 10% chance to be ‘StatTrak’. This adds a kill counter to the weapon or knife (but not gloves, because you can’t kill enemies with gloves!).

Are cases worth it?

As you can see, 95% of cases that you open will give you a Blue or Purple skin, and more often, it will be a Blue. Blue and Purple skins are always the cheapest, typically ranging from a few cents to a few dollars at most, unless they’re from a very expensive case.

Given the price of the case and the key, you lose, on average, 60-70% of your money with any case. So, with average luck, if you spent $100 on cases, you will receive approximately $30-$40 in value.

Of course, it’s possible for you get very lucky, and open a Knife with your first case, making a massive profit. But, the odds of this are very low.

If you want a particular skin or knife, you should simply buy what you want from the Steam Market or third-party sites, rather than spending money on cases. It will almost certainly be cheaper.

Best CS2 cases to open: Case ROI

If you can’t resist the urge to try your luck on some cases though, despite the bad odds, then you should at least try to open cases with the best return possible.

Based on the average price of skins in the case, compared to the price of the case & key, these are the best CS2 cases to open in 2024 based on their ROI:

CasePrice (+ Key)ROI %
Kilowatt Case$1.22 (+$2.49)79.17%
CS:GO Weapon Case 2$12.91 (+$2.49)73.59%
CS:GO Weapon Case 3$7.46 (+$2.49)71.68%
Operation Wildfire Case$2.61 (+$2.49)67.04%
Winter Offensive Weapon Case$6.05 (+$2.49)66.51%
Esports Winter 2013 Case$10.89 (+$2.49)64.87%
Operation Vanguard Case$3.06 (+$2.49)63.98%
Horizon Case$0.85 (+$2.49)63.60%
Huntsman Weapon Case$10.32 (+$2.49)60.66%
Prisma Case$0.66 (+$2.49)60.58%

Even with these “best” cases to open though, you can see that you will still, on average, lose about half of your money opening these.

If you are looking for the “most profitable” CS2 cases – just know that there aren’t any. In order to profit from opening cases, you would simply need to get very lucky.

Knives in CS2 cases

The biggest appeal about opening cases is, obviously, the knives. On average, you will get a knife (or gloves) from every 400 or so cases, with a 0.26% chance.

Summit1g emerald butterfly knife
A rare Emerald Butterfly Knife like this is worth over $20,000.

However, not all knives are available in every case. For example, the coveted Butterfly Knife, the most expensive type of knife, is only in three specific cases. Here are some of the most desired knives in CS2, and which cases they are in.

Butterfly Knife cases

  • Operation Breakout Case
  • Dreams & Nightmares Case
  • Operation Riptide Case

Karambit cases

  • Gamma Case
  • Gamma 2 Case
  • Chroma Case
  • Chroma 2 Case
  • Chroma 3 Case
  • Revolver Case
  • Operation Vanguard Weapon Case
  • Operation Pheonix Weapon Case
  • eSports 2014 Summer Case
  • Winter Offensive Weapon Case
  • CS:GO Weapon Case 3
  • eSports 2013 Winter Case
  • CS:GO Weapon Case 2
  • eSports 2013 Case
  • Operation Bravo Case
  • CS:GO Weapon Case

M9 Bayonet cases

  • Gamma Case
  • Gamma 2 Case
  • Chroma Case
  • Chroma 2 Case
  • Chroma 3 Case
  • Revolver Case
  • Operation Vanguard Weapon Case
  • Operation Pheonix Weapon Case
  • eSports 2014 Summer Case
  • Winter Offensive Weapon Case
  • CS:GO Weapon Case 3
  • eSports 2013 Winter Case
  • CS:GO Weapon Case 2
  • eSports 2013 Case
  • Operation Bravo Case
  • CS:GO Weapon Case

Skeleton Knife cases

  • Fracture Case
  • Shattered Web Case

Pandora’s Box Gloves cases

  • Glove Case
  • Operation Hydra Case

Vice Gloves cases

  • Clutch Case
  • Revolution Case

Kukri Knife cases

  • Kilowatt Case

Most expensive CS2 cases

  1. CS:GO Weapon Case: $91.81
  2. eSports 2013 Case: $53.47
  3. Operation Bravo Case: $47.95
  4. Operation Hydra Case: $19.02
  5. CS:GO Weapon Case 2: $12.35
  6. eSports 2013 Winter Case: $10.39
  7. Huntsman Weapon Case: $9.89
  8. eSports 2014 Summer Case: $9.66
  9. Operation Breakout Case: $7.55
  10. CS:GO Weapon Case 3: $7.37

The most expensive CS2 cases are typically so because they are old, rare, or even discontinued. This means that every time one is opened, there are fewer in supply.

Cheapest CS2 Cases

  1. Recoil Case: $0.17
  2. Snakebite Case: $0.25
  3. Fracture Case: $0.26
  4. Revolution Case: $0.36
  5. Clutch Case: $0.50
  6. CS20 Case: $0.60
  7. Prisma Case: $0.64
  8. Prisma 2 Case: $0.70
  9. Danger Zone Case: $0.71
  10. Horizon Case: $0.84

The cheapest cases usually include less desirable skins, or are in abundance, meaning they are not very rare at all. These prices will fluctuate on the Steam Market, but are generally around this price, as of April 2024.

Hopefully, though, it is clear that opening cases will not be a profitable endeavor. If you see friends or big streamers getting lucky and opening knives and gloves, it is still likely that they have made a loss overall due to the number of cases opened.

You may see stories like a new player opening a knife worth over $150,000, but remember the odds of this are in the millions, and you would be just as well playing the lottery.

With Counter-Strike 2 replacing CS:GO, case openings are likely to continue to increase, but remember the golden rule: just buy the skin you want, instead of buying the case.

That’s everything you need to know about cases in CS2. For more content on the game, check out our guides below:

Best CS2 settings | CS2 Commands you need to know | How to jump throw in CS2 | Can you play left hand in Counter-Strike 2? | All smoke changes in Counter-Strike 2 | Can you play Counter-Strike 2 on Linux or macOS? | Can banned CS:GO players play Counter-Strike 2? | What will happen to my CSGO skins? | Will Counter-Strike 2 come to Steam Deck?

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