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CS:GO Weapon Skins Quality Guide

By this moment, you should already know that here at csgolegit.ninja, skins are one of our favorite topics to talk about, especially since is the basis of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive micro-economy. Every day and every night, gamers around the world make use of skins gambling websites throwing in their drops, hoping to output a much better, more expensive design that they can brag about when playing online, or just to trade them for some sweet money.

Certainly, we have talked about this subject in a fragmented way – First, it was the general topic, then a knives-only dedicated post and finally, we published an article about the inner workings of CS:GO upgrade websites. And throughout all of them, we have given you a tip or two about how can you start messing around with those cheap skins you may have accumulated out of despair for not being one of those lucky youtubers that seem to have a four-leaf clover tattooed in their bodies (and working).

But then, there’s one essential part of weapon designs in this game that, albeit briefly mentioned in the first skin related article here, it was not fully approached and is one of the basic things you need to dominate in order to help you measure the true value of a certain gun (or knife): the CS:GO skin quality.

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You’re beautiful. You’re ugly

Why is item quality so important? Well, that’s a question only newcomers to the franchise would ask. But here we are to happily enlighten you, little padawan. As you would tell of real-life things, we humans tend to give an object a specific (or relative) value, based on subjective points like how beautiful it is, if it’s brand new or already used, uniqueness of said thing, if it has a background that could raise or lower its value, etc. The list can just go on and on, but for the sake of this article, let’s bear with these aspects for now.

Now, I’ve just said subjective points because not everyone would have the same point of view as ours, so if I think that a battle-scarred, classified Five-Seven – Doppler is a delightful piece of art worthy of a good price, you could agree with me, or think that probably I have ocular cancer and that I should be burned and crucified. Whatever the case, my point is that these values are based solely on subjectivity, and bringing people to accept the given value of something can be quite harsh.

Fortunately for us, the CS:GO community is pretty much oriented to certain standards that makes rating easier. Contrary to what Valve thought when releasing their Arms Deal Update – the reason why skins exist in the first place – gamers tend to like cheesier, colorful designs like the Akihabara Accept rather than dark, serious tuned draws like Doppler. Of course, there’s much more to that than just a pink-haired anime girl emblazoned in an AUG.

The predetermined hierarchy for aspects of the weapon like rarity and uniqueness help us give them a value most of the people will accept, thus stabilizing the micro-economy ran at Steam marketplace. Today, we’re going to cover these subjects in order to give you a better understanding of the inner mechanics that run the skin trading in Counter Strike – Global Offensive.

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Exterior Quality

There are two basic elements you have to keep in mind when measuring the value of a specific weapon. The first one is exterior quality. This element determines whether your gun is a brand new or a used one. How can you know this? By looking at the gun itself. In its description, you will find a feature named Exterior, followed by one of the five possible outcomes for it, ranging from better to worse: Factory New (FN), Minimal Wear (MW), Field-Tested (FT), Well-Worn (WW) and Battle-Scarred (BS).

The choice of any of these options is completely random, and determined at the moment of the unboxing, dropping, or upgrading. Such categories are not just plain text attached to the gun, for you can actually check the wear on it, and how scratched it is. For example, a FN gun will look polished and beautiful, while a BS is displayed with its painting erased in some parts or almost entirely.

On the inner side of this aspect, there’s a defining factor responsible for the external quality of your drop: a float value operating inside game data, waving between 0 and 1. As you may infer, depending on which position such value takes between both numbers, it will determine if that beautiful Dlore AWP will come with a red ribbon and a letter welcoming you to the AWP family (closer to 0), or if will be a greasy, cracked gun like worn by a careless person (closer to 1).

It is worth mentioning that the exterior quality of a CS:GO weapon is immutable, that is, if your gun is Factory New, it won’t degrade or lower in rank, no matter how much you use it. Awesome, isn’t it? Just bear in mind that the opposite is also true (you can’t upgrade a BS weapon).

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Skin Quality

The other key aspect is probably the most obvious. Whereas the exterior condition is for the body of the weapon, the skin quality determines the rareness and uniqueness of a specific design. Like the former, it can be classified according to the official hierarchy, ranging from most desired to please keep it away from me: Yellow Orange (Contraband), Gold (Melee weapons), Red (Covert), Pinkish Purple (Classified), Purple (Restricted), Darker Blue (Mil-spec), Light Blue (Industrial grade) and finally, White (Common). With the exemption of the Contraband level (click here for more info about that), all of them are droppable or can be unboxed from their cases, if that’s the case (get it? Case, cases, hahahaha… Kill me).

If you’ve been following us for a while, you may already have an idea of what kind of finishes people hold dear. In fact, I just mentioned one here, the infamous DragonLore (Dlore, for short), a Covert-quality skin exclusive of the AWP rifle. Another finish that stands out of others is the Case Hardened, which has its own gauge of rareness measuring the uniqueness of said finish, according to the pattern displayed on the weapon. The colors associated to their respective category outlines the silhouette of the weapon, so you can easily identify if you dropped or unboxed item is a beautiful red ancient gun, or a plain, regular white one.

There are other aspects regarding the skin value and have to do with some extra stuff a weapon can come with: the StatTrak component, and the Souvenir quality. Briefly, the StatTrack is a neat attachment that keeps track of the number of baddies you have shot down with a gun or knife that holds this item. People consider this a very cool feature and adds to the overall value of the gun. Souvenir is a special category that is obtainable only on tournaments sponsored by Valve, and consist of stickers unique of their respective event, attached to an item. Weapons with this classification can’t be used with the Trade Up Contract.

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Tips to consider

Now that we’ve talked about both basic elements, let me give you some tips you may want to keep in mind when going out trading and upgrading items.

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That’s right. Depending on the stuff, a gun that has a low exterior quality (like a BS AK-47), may actually look closely to an MW or even an FN gun. Case hardened skins are good to trick people, since a Battle-Scarred rifle will look like a Factory New one but darker. You may want to give that rusty WW a second chance. Who knows, maybe after finishing this article, you could see it with other eyes.

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Sometimes, the exterior quality can play for, or against you, depending on how good a weapon looks. Simply put, you want to buy a gun, and you are shown two of the same condition, but one of them will look better than the other (more clean, polished, the skin is better detailed). Taking the best of them can help you get a possible buyer offering you the money somebody else would pay for a weapon of a higher tier, for your gun that is of lower quality. This is because of the randomization factor in the mechanics that play with texture offsets and displacement.

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This may be quite obvious, but a lot of people seem to forget it every time they want to update their skins via special websites. If you don’t want to have a bad time, then don’t bet those items you would regret losing, unless you’re pretty sure the output will be positive.

And that’s it! Thank you for reading us and if you like this article, please share it with your friends by clicking the buttons below.

See you next time!

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