Weapon skins are cosmetic items with different textures that players can equip in-game. They are completely optional and provide no bonus to gameplay. Since its debut, the Weapon Skin system in CS:GO has created a vibrant trading community, with some items selling for thousands of dollars.

In this guide, Gurugamer is going to showcase everything to know about skins in Counter Strike: Global Offensive, including Skin grade, quality, and the methods to get skins.

Best Csgo Skins

How to get CS:GO skins?

There are 5 methods players can use to acquire weapon skins in CS:GO.

In-game drops

By playing in VAC-secured servers (official server from Valve), players can get random weapon skin drops. The rate is fairly low, and the drops are all low rarity.

Open case

Players can open weapon & promotional crates to obtain skins. Players need to have a matching key to open weapon cases, purchasable in-game. Each case holds weapons from a specific collection.

This is the most common way to get new skin, and also the most expensive one as it involves RNG.

Trade-in skins using Trade Up Contract

Players can trade 10 skins of the same quality to get one skin of a higher rarity, using the game's Trade Up Contract. This method is also fairly costly, as it also requires high investments and has RNG.

Buy on the Steam Market

Players can buy skins on the Steam Market using their Steam balance. This method is still a bit costly, as Valve would take a 15% cut on all transactions, which means all prices are up by that much.

Buy on third-party websites

This is arguably the cheapest method to get valuable skins, as long as you can find a trustworthy site. We can't stress this part enough, especially if you want to buy pricey items such as gloves (all CSGO gloves are Exceedingly Rare).

What are Skin Collections?

With the exception of knife skins, weapons are organized by their collection. This might affect an item's value. For example, weapons from the Souvenir Cobblestone Collection are considered high-rarity as its case can only be acquired by playing the Cobblestone map during the Major. However, the map is no longer in rotation, which means there is no way to obtain the skins.

If you are new to trading, it is worth checking out the prices of weapons from rare collections.

CS:GO Skin Grades guide


Weapon skins in CSGO are color graded:

  • White (common) - Consumer Grade, Base Grade
  • Light Blue (uncommon) - Industrial Grade
  • Dark Blue (rare) - Mil-Spec, High Grade
  • Purple (Mythical) - Restricted, Remarkable
  • Magenta (Legendary) - Classified, Exotic
  • Red (Ancient) - Covert, Extraordinary
  • Gold (Exceedingly Rare) - Rare Special (★), Knife, Gloves
  • Rose Gold (Immortal) - Contraband (discontinued)

Items from the last 2 tiers (Exceedingly Rare and Immortal) do not drop after playing matches. This is why their prices are that high - it is very hard to get a new copy of a gold item. Contraband items are literally discontinued and no longer obtainable outside of Trading.

Skin Quality

Besides the color of their names, the skin border is also pretty important. When viewing a weapon skin in the Steam Market or in-game inventory you’ll notice that they have a colored border around its preview icon.

  • Rare Special (★) - Purple border. This includes gloves and knives. Exceedingly rare items contain a star in their name.
  • StatTrak™ - Orange border, unless it is also a rare special item. These skins track the number of kills scored while using it.
  • Dark Green - Genuine items (P250 - X-Ray, Collectable Pins)
  • Light Green - Prototype items (Skin Creator Keys, Map Contributor Coins)
  • Souvenir - Yellow border. Souvenir is a quality in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive applied to a limited number of weapon finishes exclusively received from souvenir packages.
  • General skins - White border
  • Stock weapons - Dark brown border (untradable)

What are Skin Wear levels?

A weapon's float is a value that denotes a skin's overall appearance. It ranges from 0 to 1. The higher the value, the more wear and tear the skin would have.

Weapon float affects the rarity of the skins, with the low-float Factory New and high-float Battle-Scarred items being the rarest. This is the reason why Factory new is always the most expensive variant. While Battle-Scarred is also rare, they do not look as good.

Afkgaming Import Media Images 49559 B0b61092ae3583
Weapon skin wear levels stay the same no matter how often it's used or traded.
  • Factory New - 0.00-0.07
  • Minimal Wear - 0.07-0.15
  • Field-Tested - 0.15-0.38
  • Well-Worn - 0.38 -0.45
  • Battle-Scarred - 0.45 - 1.00

Skin Pattern

Pattern is a texture, from which are some of the skins randomly generated. What the game does is move the skin up/down/left/right in any direction, thus making it look different. So this is the reason why two skins with the same quality and exterior can look different from each other.
For example, weapons that are case-hardened will differ, visually, depending on the weapon’s “seed.”

  • Hydroponic “420” seed
  • Doppler “Black Pearl” seed: items contain a lot of purple tones
  • Doppler “Sapphire” seed: item contains a lot of blue tones
  • Doppler “Ruby” seed: item contains a lot of red tones
  • Case Hardened “Emerald” seed: item contains a lot of green tones or a green handle
  • Case Hardened “Yellow Gem” seed: item contains a lot of yellow tones
  • Case Hardened “Blue Gem” seed: item contains a lot of blue tones

This skin pattern is the reason why some weapon is uniquely expensive. For example, one particular pink Karambit Case Hardened has gotten a 1.4 million dollar offer.