Basically, no one like microtransactions – that's understandable. However, one thing is clear – skins have changed absolutely everything in CS:GO. Thanks to them, this extremely popular e-sports game has gained a new quality that no other production on the market can offer.
What are weapon skins in CS:GO? How do they differ from weapon camouflages in other games, such as Call of Duty or Battlefield, for example? Here's a brief history of Valve's unique idea, which has become a real money-making machine.
History of CS:GO skins and the most important information about them
The Counter Strike series has been on the market for more than 20 years. In fact, from the very beginning (that is, from the fan modification Half-Life: Counter-Strike) it has been at the top of the popularity lists. In 2000, a year after the mod was released, Valve saw its potential and bought the rights to the brand from the developers.
Over the next 13 years, more games came out, gaining popularity thanks to the highly polished shooting and movement mechanics. The well-thought-out design of asymmetrical maps and the roles of the two teams was also a big advantage of these games. However, in 2013 something happened that completely changed fans' perception of the series – weapon skins appeared in Counter Strike: Global Offensive, the latest game from Valve.
The collections of the first skins in CS:GO took their names from the most popular maps in the game: Mirage, Nuke, Train, Dust, etc. Some weapon skins could be dropped on these very maps. Winning a match increased the chance of gaining particular skin.
At the same time as the appearance of the above-mentioned collections, unique skins for weapons and knives hidden in two cases came to the game: the CS:GO case and the e-sports case. The first of them hides weapons from the Weapon Trade collection, for example:
AWP | Lightning Strike,
AK-47 | Carburized Steel,
Desert Eagle | Hypnosis.
The prices of these CS:GO skins are really high. Actually, they are extremely rare and are practically collector's items. For example, the mentioned AWP on the market can cost up to $1,000 if it is in high quality. Items with expensive stickers can even double the price of this skin.
A similar situation happens with the items from the 2013 e-sports suitcase. The income from the sale of keys to this case went to the e-sports tournaments organization in 2013. You can find in it such skins for CS:GO weapons as:
P90 | Death from Kittens,
AK-47 | Red Laminate,
AWP | BOOOM.
How do skins work in CS:GO, and what is their uniqueness?
How do skins work in CS:GO?
Up to this point, it might seem that skins in CS:GO are nothing special. After all, camouflages were already available (for free) in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007), for example. How are Counter Strike items different?
Foremost, they are virtual, unique items that you can own in your inventory on Steam. Each skin has its own special code, which distinguishes it from other similar items. What is important, it is possible to exchange and sell CS:GO skins through the Steam marketplace and exchange offers between users of the platform.
All this has made weapon skins in CS take on real value, just like, for example, physical cards in Magic: The Gathering. The rarer and more interesting the skin is, the higher is its price. Higher-quality CS:GO skins are also pricier, as same as souvenir versions or StatTrack items.
What do the condition and quality of CS:GO skins mean?
The first parameter – the condition of CS:GO skins – determines the level of their visual usage. However, there's something more. Skins in CS:GO, even from the same condition class, can differ significantly from each other. This is influenced by another factor – float value. This is a point scale that tells you the exact level of wear and tear on an item.
For most skins, the following condition is determined (and the float value expressed in points):
Factory New (0.00–0.07);
Minimal Wear (0.07–0.15);
Field Tested (0.15–0.37);
Float value is determined by a very detailed number (up to a dozen decimal places). As a rule, the better the condition of a CS:GO skin, the higher its value. However, this is not a rule. Occasionally, there will be a skin that stands out by its unique float value.
A good example of this is the situation that occurred in 2022. In that year, someone bought the skin MAG-7 | Rust Layer for more than $3,000, although the average value of this skin is only a few cents. Why such an absurd price for this CS:GO skin? It all boils down to float value – at the time of the sale it had the highest float value in the game (the exact value is 0.99999988079071), which makes it somehow unique. A collector who gathers items with the highest float value of any skin in his inventory decided to make such a purchase.
The price of CS:GO skins (in addition to condition) is also affected by their quality. The higher the quality, the rarer the skins in question are. Currently, skins of the following quality classes can be acquired in the game:
consumer quality (light blue),
military quality (dark blue),
industrial quality (blue),
“confidential” classes (pink),
“secret” classes (red).
In addition, during e-sports tournaments it is possible to get cases with “souvenir” skin category. In its name it is listed in which tournament, during which match and in the clash of which teams the skin was dropped out. Even consumer-quality weapons can be worth many more thanks to this.
Another category is StatTrak™. Skins in CS:GO marked with this name have a built-in kill counter. Importantly, the counter resets after changing ownership. Instead, it does not reset after the end of a match. So, this is a treat for collectors who, moreover, like to play with the skins they own. This also significantly increases the price of the skin (even dozens of times).
The last quality class of CS:GO skins is “contraband” (yellow). This is a unique category, which includes only one weapon – M4A4 | Howl and a sticker of the same name. Why is it so unique? Because it can no longer be obtained in the game. Some time after the release of this skin, it turned out that the design used on it was plagiarized. It had to be withdrawn from the game for this reason.
However, the already plagiarized items remained in players' inventory, making them absolute unique items on the CS:GO market. The sticker alone can be bought for at least $1000, and the M4A4 | Howl is one of the most expensive skins in the game.
In addition to weapon skins in CS:GO, glove and character skins also appeared over time. When did this take place?
Glove skins in CS:GO
It was a matter of time that after the success of weapon skins in CS:GO, other skins would also appear. At the end of November 2016, a glove box debuted on the market, in which the aforementioned items could be dredged up. They were drawn in the same way as knives, they could only fall out after pointing to the golden question mark.
More glove skins in CS:GO have already appeared regularly with subsequent updates. 24 different types of them debuted in February 2018 and December 2020, respectively.
In addition to this, during the EPICENTER 2016 tournament, each of the teams participating in the e-sports competition received glove skins with their colors and logos. These are unique items impossible to get in any other way.
Skins for characters (agents) in Counter Strike
November 2019 saw the release of the biggest operation so far in Counter Strike: Global Offensive – Shattered Web. Along with it, skins for CS:GO agents came to the game for the first time.
Players earned character models by completing more operation objectives in a paid battle pass. The further they went, the more valuable operators they acquired. Valve divided them into rarity classes similar to those we know in CS:GO from skins:
Distinguished Agent (blue),
Exceptional Agent (purple),
Superior Agent (pink),
Master Agent (red).
Agents of the highest classes are not only character skins in CS:GO – they also have changed voices and expanded stories. This allows players to get even more into the mission during gameplay.
Is it possible to make money from CS:GO skins?
You already know how skins work in CS:GO. If you're wondering if it's possible to make money on these items, I’m answering – yes! Some of the following will only require you to spend time, and some will require a bit of your contribution.
Playing the game and winning
You can get free skins for winning matches in CS:GO. Most often these are items worth at most a few tens of pennies. However, this is also good – such items are earned meanwhile, and later you can easily multiply their value.
Exchange and sale of CS:GO skins
This is a slightly more time-consuming solution. On the Steam market you can freely exchange items. However, the 7-day lock on exchanging item, introduced a few years ago, slows down the process a bit. For the exchange and sale of CS:GO skins to be effective, it is good to have a lot of them in your inventory.
Roulette and CS:GO gambling sites
The fastest way to get the most expensive skins in CS:GO is through roulette and gambling sites. If you know the right tactics, have a bit of luck or are well versed in e-sports, you can play for free or redeem to deposit cheap CS:GO skins to get money to play.
Want to know more about making money on CS:GO skins? Refer to the list of CS:GO roulette sites and launch promo codes prepared by the dreamcodes.gg team. This will help you gain knowledge about which CS:GO roulettes are trustworthy and whether they are worth playing. You will also learn about the most popular gambling games and how much you can win on them.
All you need to do read the materials available on dreamcodes.gg. With us, you will gain the most expensive skins for CS:GO faster and cheaper than if you had to scratch them out of cases or buy them on the Steam market!