I'm a free to play Team Fortress 2 player and was wondering how can I start trading?

I want to to trade some of the items for games (max $15) at some point and hopefully without spending a dime.

I already have my bag full of items/tools. Most of them are Unique except for Vintage Pyrovision Goggles (which everyone has, as far as I know) and Unusual Haunted Metal Scrap.

Got a couple of #43, #44 and #45 crates which everyone says are not worth much and I'm better off destroying them to free up my space.

Just found out about the http://tf2spreadsheet.blogspot.ca and http://backpack.tf that everyone seems to be using/recommending, but I'm totally confused by all the terminology such as "+/- buds" and so on.

So, could anyone suggest some good resources to get started with trading in TF2?

I'm watching this video tutorial at the moment, but can't really tell if this guy is providing legitimate information:

  • 1
    You can't trade if you're F2P, you have to buy something from the TF2 store first (it doesn't matter what it is, but you have to open your Steam account with at least $5), then you'll have a Premium account and you can trade.
    – Dan C
    Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 1:32
  • @DanC Really? The guy in the video, I provided, says you can go from F2P to Premium without paying anything.
    – Steve
    Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 1:34
  • 1
    @Steve he's lying.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 7:25
  • 1
    Well, if you receive the premium upgrade as a gift you yourself do not have to pay anything.
    – jw013
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


As a F2P, you are restricted to a certain set of privliges, taken from here.

Q. How is a free account different than a premium account?

Premium accounts have a few extra features, including access to rare and cosmetic items through random item drops, the ability to store more items in your backpack, and more powerful trading and crafting abilities. Otherwise, the gameplay experience will be identical for both accounts.

What this is saying here is that, as F2P, you can only receive items, but you cannot send items out. As a premium player, you are able to receive AND send items to any player. There is one exception: items you receive in trades can be traded away. Item drops, however, aren't.

You need to buy something from the Mann Co. Store (or the Orange Box) to become Premium and gain the benefits of full trading.

For more information of trading, go here.

  • 3
    minor note: you can send any items you've received from others.
    – Schism
    Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 3:18

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