What Is It?
The “HP Trading” skill shows the average amount of damage you get from an opponent that you managed to kill. The less damage you receive during the fights you win, the better.
The amount of damage you get is calculated at the end of the round, as there’s the possibility that your opponent dealt some additional damage with an HE that had been thrown before his death.
Why Improve It?
When you commit to a 1v1 fight, you should deal more damage than you take, which either results in a frag or in forcing your opponent to fall back and play more passively (plus, of course, it makes fragging him later in the round easier).
As a result, you get control over an extra area on the map, which expands your team’s rotation opportunities and tactical execution options, while limiting your opponent’s potential (their rotations and tactical options).
Therefore, the seemingly insignificant factor can heavily influence the macro on the map.
*Keep in mind that you should play more carefully on the CT side than while playing as Ts. The defense always suffers from losing a player or HP on a player more, than the attacking side does:
Rotations, being a man down, or swapping roles (where the injured/killed main-site player/entry fragger must be replaced by a player from another position), are more complicated for the CTs, than for the Ts, as it takes more time and utility.
How To Improve It?
A. Shoot More Accurately
Dealing damage heavily depends on how accurate you are when shooting at a target. So, the main piece of advice is, obviously, to practice aiming and improve your accuracy (you can find the most effective ways to improve these skills in our “Accuracy” and “Best Ways To Practice Your Aim” articles. To complete the shooting improvement objective, implement the prefiring technique.
However, you can use several approaches of a different nature, which can result in improving your trading skills.
B. Avoid Unnecessary fights when at a Timing And Positional Disadvantage
Avoid the fights where the negative impact from losing is far greater than the benefit of winning it.
An example which illustrates this concept is an AWP duel on Dust2 mid at the beginning of the round as a CT. Firstly, killing the T AWPer doesn’t give you much of an advantage. Secondly, you always get to the position later than the T AWPer.
The same goes for Inferno’s banana and mid (you might have noticed, that CT AWPers rarely run through CT mid toward boiler to peek T ramp, preferring not to move further than the spot which allows them to peek underpass).
You should use a similar approach (more passive play) in situations where you have the manpower advantage while playing as a CT or the numbers advantage with the bomb planted while playing as a T.
C. Sync With Your Teammates
If you’re about to go aggressively, sync up with your teammates using your and their utility, as it gives you an advantage.
Attacking catwalk on Dust2 as a T with a pop flash from your teammate is much more effective than trying to secure it on your own.
D. Choose Your Position Wisely
Secure advantageous positions – the ones where you can use textures to hide or to get the opportunity and space to retreat if the fight doesn’t go your way.
Holding B halls from the B-halls’ corner as a CT on Train is a perfect example: if you’ve spotted the Ts’ rush toward B, it’s usually better to hide and retreat to a safer position. Doing that keeps the Ts under pressure if you use your utility smartly (which you wouldn’t be able to use effectively if you hadn’t moved), spamming, and your very presence. Thus, staying alive in that situation is crucial.
If you follow these instructions, you will definitely improve your HP trading rates. And, keep in mind that improving a single skill while ignoring the rest won’t get you to the top. Becoming a Pro in CS:GO is about mastering a large set of hard and soft skills, such as positioning, cooperation, utility usage, communication, etc. If you develop all of these, you’ll be on your way to becoming the best.