CS:GO skins: a complete guide
Published: November 14 2022
Last updated: May 9 2023
Feeling lost in the world of CS:GO skins and in need of some guidance? Our complete guide is here to walk you through the various skin grades, finishes, and collections.
The amazing world of skins, finishes, cosmetics, beloved child goes by many names. As many games today, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has them, and while they might be only for aesthetics, they are a definite must when braving the battlefield.
From common to rare, factory new to battle-scarred, they come in all kinds of shapes, colors, and collections. We all have our favorites, but how do you get more, and what do floats and finishes actually mean? Fret not, we have you covered!
Before we go ahead, do you know that you can track your CS:GO stats with G-Loot, and get rewarded at the same time, just by playing your favorite game? Try it out, and get gift cards you can redeem for skins.
CS:GO skins breakdown
We’ll get started by going into the different types of categorizing skins, and our first stop is skin grading. Every skin has a grade for rarity and value, and each of these grades corresponds to a color, which we’ve listed below, from lowest to highest. The different rarities even have unique drop and unboxing sounds, except for Exceedingly Rare and Immortal which use the same sounds as Legendary and Ancient.
-White/Common: Consumer Grade and Base Grade
-Baby Blue/Uncommon: Industrial Grade
-Navy Blue/Rare: Mil-Spec and High Grade
-Purple/Mythical: Restricted and Remarkable
-Hot Pink/Legendary: Classified and Exotic
-Red/Ancient: Covert and Extraordinary
-Gold/Exceedingly Rare: Rare Special ⭐ (Knife and Gloves)
-Rose Gold/Immortal: Contraband (Discontinued)
Skin floats can also be seen as a type of wear rating for skins, and it’s the setting for showing how worn a weapon is, and it’s directly reflected on the skin style. The lower the float number, the cleaner and newer it looks, while the higher the float number, the more worn and dirtier it looks - the lowest it can be is 0 while the highest is 1. Not all skins have the ability to take on every float rating either, with some being capped to a certain range. The closer to 0 or 1 the float number is, the rarer it is, as well.
Rating from lowest (newer) to highest (most worn):
Factory New (0.00-0.07)
Minimal Wear (0.07-0.15)
Well Worn (0.37-0.44)
Each style of skin is put in a type of pattern category, which is called skin finish, and each finish style represents a technique that actually exists and is used in the real world!
Each weapon component is painted individually, and with up to four different colors, before the weapon is reassembled.
The entire weapon is spray-painted by using stencils and patterns, with multiple coats of paint.
The weapon is disassembled, and each component is lowered into a tank filled with water, and through a floating film that is patterned. This film sticks to the weapon, and then a protective coat is added to ensure that the hydrographic coat is preserved.
To anodize a weapon, you use a liquid mixture after running the weapon through an electric current, before being sealed with distilled water. Most weapon materials can’t be anodized, and instead, a candy coat is usually used on top of a chrome base, to mimic the effect. Anodizing can be any color, and it can look extra stylish with an engraving.
This finish is created by airbrushing the weapon by hand, typically without a template, and imitates a candy coat.
A candy coat is applied to the weapon with a pattern in many different colors. Real-world methods include adherable stencils, silk screening, and more.
Patina is added to a weapon by a chemical reaction, on top of metallic components, which creates a hard shell that is non-reactive. Examples of usage in the real world include case-hardening, which creates a thin, hard metal surface while allowing the x underneath to stay soft; cold bluing, which is a form of bluing that doesn’t require heat but is mostly used for smaller scratches; and acid forced patinas, which is a patina that is forced by acid onto the metal as a way to accelerate the natural aging process.
A custom paint finish allows for a fully customized look of the weapon, enabling a huge range of colors.
The Gunsmith finish combines different custom paint styles with patina to create a mixture of the two styles into one.
StatTrak™ in CS:GO: what is it and how does it work
This is a really useful quality that is not only cosmetic - it tracks the kills the user has gotten with that specific weapon that has the quality feature. StatTrak weapons can be obtained from weapon cases, or trade-up contracts, but they can’t be obtained from maps or themed collections. Weapons with StatTrak will show up with an orange border in the inventory, and do note that it only tracks the kills of the current owner. If the weapon is traded, the counter will reset to zero.
CS:GO skin collections
Does what it says on the tin, it’s a collection of skins. It’s typically based on a theme, but some are also based on a specific CS:GO map. Each collection has a variety of skins of different rarities, and these skins and collections are often time-limited. There are currently a whole 37 skin collections available in CS:GO as of this article!
Do note that, for skins that are based on a map, playing that specific map does not guarantee that the skin will drop from that map. For example, the Desert Eagle skin “Fennec Fox” is part of the Mirage map collection, but it is as likely to drop from playing the Train map! Also, note that knife skins are not organized by collections 🔪
So how do you get skins in CS: GO?
First of all, they can be earned through random drops that can be distributed either through the online community or on official servers. This could be during events, or just randomly.
The second way to get skins is by opening containers in the game. Upon opening a container you get a skin from the collection of the container. One example of these containers is weapon cases that players have a chance of receiving after completing a game on a VAC secured server. A key is needed to open these cases, which can be bought in-game. It might also be possible to buy tradable keys from other players, however, these are rare due to tradable keys being removed in an update done in 2019. Weapon cases also have a unique, small chance of dropping the StatTrak version of skins.
The third way is to, pure and simply, buy skins from the Steam Market. This is where other players put up their various items for sale, including weapons, skins, crates, and more. The prices for rare items can sometimes be high due to demand, but you can also get lucky and get a really good deal on a specific skin you’re on the market for!
You can also trade skins and weapons with players directly 👀
And don’t forget that by playing with G-Loot and completing our Daily Missions, you can gain Coins and rewards that can be turned into Steam gift cards with time…
Trade-up contracts in CS:GO
With trade-up contracts, you can get new skins just by trading in your old skins you may not want anymore. Basically, if you trade in 10 items of the same quality, you will receive a single item that is one step higher tier quality than that which you traded in. If you put in items that are a part of different collections, the new item you get after trading will belong to one of the collections provided. Do note that, if you wish to trade in or receive an item with StatTrak, all items traded must have the StatTrak feature.
Ready for your next CS:GO game?
Now that you have all this knowledge, why not try it all for yourself? Did you know that you can play CS:GO with G-Loot in order to track your stats, but you can also earn Coins which you can redeem for Steam gift cards? Start playing today and reap the rewards or earn just by playing!
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