Everything You Need to Know About CSGO Weapon Quality

Toby Marshall
20 March 2022
CSGO Weapon Quality

If you play Counter-Strike – and want to head over to the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive trading community, or want to start dabbling in skins, then here is what you will need to know about CSGO weapon quality…

CSGO Weapon Choices and Finishes

One of the areas that make Counter-Strike: Global Offensive so popular is its wide range of weapons and weapon finishes. Those in the industry will often refer to these as weapon skins – and they allow players to express their personalities and style through decorative and original skin textures.

The concept of this was originally introduced in 2013’s Arms Deal update. They were designed to be purely a cosmetic feature – and no matter how much swagger they offer – or how stylish and swanky they are, they give you absolutely no gameplay advantage.

Since they were first released, these have attracted a wide number of steam community collectors and traders. Indeed, there are some weapon skins that are so rare, that they are actually worth thousands. There are even some collectors that have grown their CSGO inventory to include the most highly valued and sought after skins in the game. If you too want to start buying and trading skins, then here’s what you need to know about skin quality and skin grade so that you can successfully acquire skins in-game.

We will look at how you can purchase and get your hands on weapon skins – there are a number of different ways – and your chosen method depends on what you want to achieve.

How to Get Skins

There are a few ways in which you can acquire new skins – 

Earning Skins via In-Game Drops

After you complete a game in VAC secured servers, there will be weapon skins that are randomly dropped to players. These are not usually high-value skins.

Unbox Skins By Opening a CSGO Weapon and Promotional Case

There will be CSGO sites out there that offer promotional weapon cases. These will give players the chance to receive a weapon skin.

However, players will need to have a matching key to open the weapon cases, which you can buy in the game. Every case contains a weapon from a certain weapons collection. Some will be free promotional offers, others you will need to purchase.

Using a Trade Up to Get a Higher Quality Skin

If players already have some skins in their collection, then they can trade in 10 skins of a similar low quality for one of a higher rarity, quality and value by using the in-game Trade Up Contract.

Trade on the Steam Market or Via Third Party Sites

The safest way to trade – and know that you are getting the skin you want, is by trading through the Steam Market. If you do opt to go through third party skin trading sites then make sure you do plenty of research first!

Gun skins (not knife skins) are organised by their collection – and an item or skin’s rarity can be affected by the collection it is from. An example of this is the Souvenir Cobblestone Collection, whose weapon skins have a high rarity. The reason for this is because items in this collection can only be obtained by playing the map during the Major and the Cobblestone map is no longer in the rotation.

If you are just starting out collecting skins, then you should definitely consider weapons from rare collections, just be aware that these can be expensive.

CSGO Weapon Skin Grading

Each weapon’s skin is graded according to its rarity and value. Here are the skin quality grades from the most to least common:

  1. White – common: Consumer Grade / Base Grade
  2. Baby Blue – uncommon: Industrial Grade
  3. Navy Blue – rare: Mil-Spec / High Grade
  4. Purple – mythical: Restricted / Remarkable
  5. Magenta – legendary: Classified / Exotic
  6. Red – ancient: Covert / Extraordinary
  7. Gold* – exceedingly rare: Rare Special* / Knife / Gloves
  8. Rose Gold* – immortal: Contraband (discontinued)

Those marked with an asterisk will not drop randomly in-game.

Skin Quality

The value isn’t just about skin rarity, but also about skin quality. When you see a weapon in the Steam Market or in-game inventory, it will have a certain colour border around its preview icon. The coloured border will indicate the quality – in line with these categories:

  1. White border – general skins
  2. Purple border – rare special (*) includes gloves and knives
  3. Orange border – StatTrak TM  unless they are also rare special items. These items will track the number of kills made with that weapon,
  4. Yellow border – Souvenir
  5. Dark green – Genuine weapons, currently only available with the P250 | X-Ray
  6. Dark brown border – stock weapons.

*Stock weapons cannot be traded.

** The rarest items will usually include a star in their name.

StatTrakTM Weapon In CSGO 

The Arms Deal Update also included the StatTrakTM weapons. These are only available when you open a weapon case and will not be found in in-game random drops. StatTrakTM can be seen on any gun or knife. However, there aren’t any StatTrakTM varieties of vanilla weapons apart from vanilla knives (excluding the default knife)

A StatTrakTM weapon will have an orange LED display that can track the number of kills actioned using that weapon by the owner. In a similar way, a StatTrackTM knife will have its confirmed kills etched into its blade.

In 2015, it became possible to use StatTrackTM skins as part of a Trade Up Contract. However, they can only be traded up for other StatTrackTM weapons.

CS:GO Weapon Float

The float of CSGO weapons refers to its overall quality and appearance. After a skin has been unboxed, dropped or gained from Trade Up Contracts, a skin float will randomly be chosen for the weapon. The rarity of this item’s float is all based on a bell curve with low float Factory New and high float Battle-Scarred items being the rarest.

The float scale ranges between 0 and 1, with those closest to 1 being the most scratched and damaged. Here are the CSGO weapon floats arranged from lowest (least damaged) to highest float (the most battle damaged.

  1. Factory new: 0.00 – 0.07
  2. Minimal wear: 0.07 – 0.15
  3. Field-tested: 0.15 – 0.38
  4. Well-worn: 0.38 – 0.45
  5. Battle scarred: 0.45 – 1.00

When a weapon has been assigned its float value, it will not become worn over time. It will retain its same float value no matter how much it’s used or traded.

CS:GO Skin Patterns

There are those CSGO skins that look different all depending on their texture. So, for example, those weapons skins that have been case hardened will look different, depending on the ‘seed’ of the weapon.

  • A Hydroponic 420 seed
  • Doppler ‘Ruby’ Seed items will include a lot of red tones
  • Doppler ‘Sapphire’ Seed items will contain lots of blue tones
  • Doppler ‘Black Pearl’ Seed items will contain a lot of purple hues
  • Case Hardened ‘Blue Gem’ Seed items will contain a lot of blue colours
  • Case Hardened ‘Yellow Gem’ Seed items will include lots of yellow tones
  • Case Hardened ‘Emerald’ Seed items will either have a lot of green toned or it will have a green handle.

So, now that you know enough about weapon skin quality, you can start your journey trading and collecting skins. Remember, always make sure you trade through a respectable website and avoid scam traders who try to offer you rare skins and items via Discord and Steam!

Author Toby Marshall