CSGO Skins: Everything You Need to Know

On this page, you will find out everything you need to know about CSGO Skins – where to get them and how they work. Any seasoned Counter-Strike Global Offensive player knows that whilst they might not make you a world-class player, there’s plenty of reason to start buying, selling and trading in skins. So, let’s find out why these colourful decorations are more than skin deep

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How CSGO Skins Work

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a popular first-person shooter (FPS) game by Valve. Although people are attracted to the game initially because of its skilled gameplay, there are plenty of other reasons that people find themselves drawn to the game… and it’s not to practise their shooting skills.

More focus, recently, has been put on CSGO skins and their role in the game and its economy. Not only do people use them to make their weapons and character look more attractive but you can also buy CSGO skins, sell them and trade them. You can even gamble with them to get bigger and better weapon skins. This means that there’s money to be made. You can buy skins online, sell it on – or gamble it at an online CSGO gambling site to try and get an even better one. Know what you’re doing and there can be some interesting gains to be made.

What is a CSGO Skin?

The term ‘Skin’ in general terms in video games is an ‘outfit’ or covering of some sort that goes on a weapon, item or character. In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the skin – also referred to as the ‘finish’ is a well-designed and unique visual creation that has been designed for a weapon – be it a knife or a firearm.

What is the Point of a Skin?

If you are talking about what a skin does in the game then the only answer we can honestly give you is ‘nothing’. But they do look rather fabulous. 

In the game itself, a CSGO skin is purely a cosmetic item, which means that it will only change the way the weapon looks and not how it performs. For example, the P90 submachine gun plays and behaves in the exact same manner in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive no matter what skin it wears, be it Sand Spray or Leather skins.

How Long Have CSGO Skins Been Around?

Although they have been around for quite some time, they haven’t been around for quite as long as the game itself. They were first introduced by Valve with the Arms Deal update which was released by the company in August 2013. This update introduced more than 100 different skins, all split into 10 collections with a variety of themes including Aztec, Dust, Aztec and Assault.

The Different Kinds of CSGO Skins

So, this is where it starts to get interesting – and there’s a lot to be said, so settle down and read on…

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These days, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive offers literally hundreds of different types of skins, from sophisticated realistic skins to crazy, almost absurd-looking ones. Several of these skins offer a slight tactical advantage – such as the Aztec skins which feature camouflage that can help the weapon blend into the jungle environments. Then there are the bolder and more outlandish CSGO skins, such as the Akihabara Accept, which is an assault rifle that has an anime magazine cover printed on the side.

At the start, the technical artists and designers at Valve considered camouflage to be cool and the way to go. However, mids were changed when they started researching what the CSGO gaming community actually wanted – a gun that looked more like a paintball gun than a real gun.

As well as having numerous different designs, skins are also available in several different quality grades which will signify the rarity of the skin, and thus its value. In terms of value, from the least to most expensive skins, they are:

  • Consumer Grade: most common
  • Industrial Grade: Uncommon
  • Mil-Spec Grade: rare
  • Restricted: mythical
  • Classified: Legendary
  • Covert: ancient
  • Gold: Exceedingly rare

As well as this, the other differentiating factor between skins is their exterior quality – which is the indicator of how fresh the weapon skin looks. From the most wear and tear to the least wear and tear, the order is:

  • Battle-Scarred
  • well-Worn
  • Field-Tested
  • Minimal Wear
  • Factory New

The other differentiating factor is whether the skin is Normal, StatTrak or Souvenir. 

StatTrak: If the weapon has a StatTrak skin then it ‘tracks your stats’ which means it keeps a tally of how many kills you manage with that weapon. However, the number resets as soon as you decide to trade or sell the skin on the Steam Market and it transfers over to a new owner.

Souvenir Skins: This is the type of skin that is dropped during a CS: GO esports event or tournament – and the style and description of the skin will refer to the event during which it is dropped. Some of these skins can be very rare indeed as you may well expect. These can go on to be sold for hundreds of dollars if you get lucky.

How You Acquire CSGO Skins

There are several ways to acquire skins, which means that you can start collecting no matter what your experience or budget. These can be given out as rewards for playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – whether you are playing on the official server or community servers – in random drops which can occur at regular intervals.

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For some missions, you may even receive a weapon case as your loot drop. You can only open these cases with keys that can be purchased from the CSGO in-game store for just $2.50. They can also be acquired via trade or purchase from the Steam Community Market.

Of course, you can also get them by buying skins or trading them on the CSGO marketplaces.

Beware the Commission

However, you do need to remember that any transaction made on the market will be conducted using your Steam Wallet funds. Valve Corp will take a 15% cut on any CS: GO-related purchase made on CSGO marketplaces. Also, it is not possible to withdraw any money or funds from your Steam Account Wallet. If this were not the case, Steam might then be considered a ‘banking or financial institution’. This would then make the company subject to numerous different regulations that it would otherwise avoid.

Currently, Valve has placed a $500 limit on all Steam Wallet funds and has placed a $400 maximum sale price on any singular item from the Steam Community Marketplace.

That is why many Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skin transactions actually take place off of the Steam Market. The Valve Steam API allows third-party to link to a player’s Steam account. This means that any trade or purchase of CSGO skins – with no minimum or maximum prices, can take place on sites such as OPSkins and CSGOShop. Both of these sites allow players to withdraw the funds received from the sale of a skin directly into financial services and platforms such as PayPal.

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CSGO Skin Gambling

We have looked at the fact that you can get skins for free in in-game skin drops and you can buy, sell and trade skins with other users at the Steam Market and other third-party trading sites, but we would be remiss not to mention CSGO gambling.

The thing about CSGO skins is that they might only be virtual online digital objects, they are worth real money. The value of the skin you have, as is the case with most investments, is based on the economy… in this instance the CSGO game economy.

Although it isn’t quite a free market, because Valve will influence the rarity of skins such as Souvenir skins, it is still a market. That means that skin values will fluctuate in time. On the Steam Market page for every Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skin, you will also find a graph which tracks that skin’s median sale prices over a specified period of time – similar to the stock market.

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A Booming Economy

Esports, just like real traditional athletic sports, attract fans and spectators who like to bet on the outcome of a game. That is why there are now numerous websites that have launched and taken advantage of the Steam API, allowing these fans to gamble on the CSGO tournaments and competitions with CSGO skins. These skin betting sites are now well-known across the industry and attract plenty of punters. You can deposit your skins into the betting site, play different games and win skins – just as you would in a real traditional casino. Or, you can place your skins on the outcome of a game or tournament… just like a traditional sports bet.

When a punter places a wager with a skin, they will be moved to a bot-controlled Steam account that is owned by whichever 3rd-party service you use. If you win your bet, then you will get your skin back along with the skin that you wagered for. You can sell whatever you win for a profit on either the Steam Market or on an outside, third-party website. Basically, the skin works in a similar way to chips at an online or land-based casino.

The Growing Popularity is CSGO Skins Gambling

Very. And it’s getting more popular by the day. It allows players to risk skins that they no longer want or need with the hope of getting the ones they prefer.

Some sites are much better than others – and you need to make sure that you play on a decent CSGO gambling site. There are those that don’t look after their players, but any CSGO gambling site we recommend here at CSGO Captain is trustworthy and will offer a fun and exciting CSGO skin gambling experience.

Hopefully, you know exactly what they are and how they work. You can read up on all the most valuable CS skins and CSGO items right here – and read reviews on the best CSGO betting sites where you can try your luck for the best out there. What are you waiting for? It’s time to hit the best site and play the markets…