Let's start by breaking down CS:GO skins - where they came from, how they're divided into categories, and the odds of obtaining them.
CS:GO Skins: A Beginner's Guide
CS:GO skins have been around since August 2013 when Valve released new content for the game called “Arms Deal." This update introduced over 100 new weapon finishes also known as “skins” into the game, organized into 10 collections which represented maps from the game such as Dust, Office and Aztec.
You can earn skins through random drops by:
- Playing the game
- Unbox them from weapon and promotional containers
- Trade 10 skins from the same rarity for a random higher quality item from skins used in a trade-up
- Trading with other players/using 3rd party websites.
There are two types of skins in the game: Collection skins which come from maps or operations and Case skins which are obtained through opening containers.
Examples of Cases and Collections
CS:GO Weapon Container Odds
The odds from CS:GO weapon containers are as follows:
- Mil-spec (Blue) - 79.92%
- Restricted (Purple) - 15.98%
- Classified (Pink) - 3.2%
- Covert (Red) - 0.64%
- Knife/Glove - 0.26%
Items coming from containers have a 1 in 10 chance to be Stat Trak quality - these weapons track the number of kills performed by the user with the weapon and sell for more on the market. There are mechanics in the coding which help ensure every skin created in the game is unique.
CS:GO Skin Pattern IDs
This is a number between 1-1000 and gives the skin a set pattern from the image file in the game. Some skins have many patterns where almost all 1000 are unique. The Case Hardened skins pattern is taken from a large canvas and its scale and size depends on the weapon or knife.
Above: A case hardened skin pattern.
For example, there is a Case Hardened AK-47 that has the bluest pattern on top - this is #661 and is well known as the #1 pattern for this AK-47 Case Hardened. Only an AK-47 with this pattern ID will have a full blue top like this.
A Case Hardened AK-47 skin - the coveted pattern #661
As you can see, it has taken the best possible spot of full blue from the image file and there is only a 1 in 1000 chance to get this pattern. A Stat Trak Minimal Wear version of this AK-47 recently sold for $32,000 in comparison to more average pattern Minimal Wear AK-47's in Stat Trak that sell on the market for around $200. This is an example of an average pattern which is not worth overpay (extra money).
Above: The spikes in prices on the sales charts are from nicer patterns being sold with bluer tops or rare stickers that have been applied on the weapon.
Other skins do not have a changing pattern at all and the pattern ID will just change how scratches appear on the skin. For example, with King Snake gloves, the pattern is not changing so the ID will just change the location and formation of scratches and wear.
Above: King Snake driving gloves. (L) Float value 0.5639342070, Pattern 29 versus (R) Float value 0.5727948546, Pattern 850
CS:GO Skin Float Value
This determines the amount of wear and tear that a skin will have and is randomly generated when a skin is unboxed. In trade-up, the average float value of the skins used will be given to the end item.
The exterior quality hierarchy is the following, from best to worst:
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)
Things to consider:
The closer it is to 0, the cleaner the skin is. The closer it is to 1, the more scratched and worn it appears.
A weapon's exterior quality will not degrade over time and can never be changed.
Different finish styles have different effects for lower weapon quality, some will get more worn and scratched where others will get darker and lighter depending on the float.
Example of scratches and wear:
Above: The same rifle, Factory New vs. Battle-Scarred
Collectors will pay a lot of extra for 0.00 float items as they look very clean and are extremely rare. There are also collectors of 0.99 and up float items which receive overpay for being the worst of its kind or looking nicer when darker. These are the best float value items in the game currently.
There you have it! I hope this guide helps you better understand why CS:GO skins are priced so differently. Do you have questions about CS:GO skin trading? Hit me up on Twitter or check out my Twitch channel!
PS: The secret giveaway code is BILBOBLOGGINS. Say hi to Koob!
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