What exactly are skins? In general, a "skin" in a video game is an alternative outfit, whether for a character or an item. In the context of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a skin - also called "finish" - is a unique visual design for a weapon, whether it is a firearm or a knife. A skin in CS:GO is a purely cosmetic item, which means that it only affects the appearance of a weapon, not its firepower. For example, the P90 submachine gun behaves the same in-game, regardless of whether it comes in leather or sand spray skins.
Valve introduced Skins in CS:GO with the game's arms deal update, released in mid-August 2013. The update included more than 100 skins divided into 10 thematic "collections" including Assault, Office, Dust, and Aztec.
CS:GO Skin Types
Skins come in several quality levels that indicate the rarity of skin and thus its value. In order from lowest to highest rarity we have: Consumer Grade (Common), Industrial Grade (Uncommon), Mil-Spec-Grade (Rare), Restricted (Mythical), Classified (Legendary), Covert (Ancient) and Gold (Extremely rarely).
Another distinguishing feature is the external quality of a skin, which indicates the freshness of the weapon in question. To ensure the least wear and tear for most, we have the following properties: brand new, minimal wear, field test, worn, and slaughtering.
Finally, some skins are marked as Normal, StatTrak, and Souvenir. A weapon with a StatTrak skin will track how many kills you kill with it, although the number will reset when you put the skin on the Steam market and take ownership. You can get Souvenir skins from CS:GO major tournaments, and their description mentions the event in question. Some souvenir items, as you might expect, are incredibly rare and sell for hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
How to get CS:GO skins?
You will receive skins as a reward for playing CS:GO on official or community servers, in regular loot items. Occasionally, you will also receive "weapon cases" as loot or rewards for certain missions. Suitcases can only be opened with keys that can be purchased in the in-game store for $ 2.50 or bought through purchase or trade on the Steam Community Market. Another way to get skins is, of course, to buy them or trade them in the market.
One thing you should know, that Valve takes 15 percent in all purchases related to CS:GO. All transactions in the market are handled with steam wallet funds, and Valve will make a 15 percent reduction in all purchases made by CS:GO in the market. However, it is impossible to withdraw money from your Steam Wallet. Otherwise, Steam could qualify as a banking institution, and Valve is likely to be subject to all kinds of regulations that avoid online marketplaces. Valve retains a limit of $ 500 for Steam Wallet Funds and a maximum retail price of $ 400 for any item on the Steam market.
For this reason, many global offensive transactions take place outside the Steam Market. With Valve's Steam API, third-party services can be connected to players' Steam accounts. This means that trades and purchases of CS:GO skins - without price limits- are possible on third-party websites, which allow customers to withdraw the money they receive from skin sales to services such as PayPal.
How to buy skins in CS:GO
You can buy skins in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, in different ways - either directly via Steam or third-party CS:GO marketplace sites.
You can easily purchase items via the Steam Marketplace. You can use the balance of your Steam wallet for this. The items will then be directly available in your inventory. But make sure that you can only trade them after seven days.
As an alternative, you can also purchase items through third-party skin marketplaces. The advantage here is that the price is often well below the Steam market value.
Be patient with both options: The best offers often come very quickly and are again below the actual price. This can save you cash. The time of day also often plays a role. The more users are online, the better the offers.
Warning: With Steam, you are definitely on the safe side, because of the various authentication levels. With third-party providers, the data protection situation is often different, and not every page can be trusted blindly.
Sell CS:GO skins: how it works?
Selling old items can be worthwhile - for example, if you no longer use them or need money for new ones. A distinction must be made here whether you want real money or Steam credit for it. You can then use the latter for games and other steam items.
Steam credit: Simply advertise your items on the Steam marketplace and set a price for them. Make sure you study the graph and don't set your price too high or too low. The lower the price, the faster you can get your money.
Real Money: To get real money, you have to sell on third party cashout sites. Here the prices are usually lower, often even well below "market value"; So-called dumping depresses the value of many skins. Moreover,, these pages are not necessarily secure.
So decide for yourself whether it is really worth the risk and the lower price. Conversely, if you buy games from the money anyway, you can also park them in your Steam wallet.
Buy and sell CS:GO items - more tips
Since the world of skins is now extremely diverse, there are a few things to consider. There are even traders who make money from skins. But of course, you have to be very experienced in handling the items. We'll show you some of the trader's tricks:
- To be able to calculate prices well, use steamanalyst.com. This page calculates the average price of all units sold. This will help you find the exact values of the different items.
- Pay attention to so-called scams. These are methods by which fraudsters try to seize your items. Steam no longer supports loss.
CS:GO stickers & sticker capsules
If weapon skins alone are not enough, you can now also attach stickers to your weapons in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and thus further individualize them. These fall into the category of CSGO Souvenir skins. There are funny or abstract motifs, but also clan logos and much more. A sticker can be anything from an abstract image to a team or event logo. You can also create your own stickers and, with a little luck, find them in the game one day.
Stickers made their first appearance at the time of DreamHack Winter 2013. During the event, spectators had the opportunity to get a “souvenir case”. It contained a random weapon with one of six different stickers on it. This was of course thematically based on the DreamHack Winter.
Only about two months later, namely with the update from 02/06/14 , the stickers really found their way into CS: GO. A new item has been introduced for this purpose. Since then, so-called sticker capsules have been able to drop. These are capsules that work just like a gun box: they need a key to open and contain a random sticker from a given collection. The keys to opening a sticker capsule only cost € 0.75.
You can put any sticker on any weapon. It is even possible to have up to four stickers on one weapon. There are many different motifs. From funny sayings or abstract images to clan logos, anything is possible. Of course, it is also possible to remove the stickers that have been attached. The “scrape” action can be performed in the inventory. You just do that until there are no more residues to be seen.
CSGO Souvenir skin cases drops
There are also Souvenir cases that are only dropped during the majors. A Major in the CSGO world, is a competition that is sponsored by Valve. It can be organized by any third-party that is picked by the developer. There are usually three Majors held every year but their numbers can be dropped to two as well. It only depends on Valve’s decision. Some of the biggest organizers host these events, which include Dreamhack, Eleague, ESL, Intel, and PGL.
The souvenir case drops are given to the spectators randomly. Only the lucky ones watching the matches on Twitch or GOTV win the cases. To stand a chance of getting a Souvenir case on Twitch it is essential that you Twitch account is connected to Steam account only then you will be amongst the lucky ones
You should also know that getting a souvenir drop during the group stage of the Major is extremely rare. But the number of people getting rewarded increases as more matches are played. Still each spectator has just a 0.1% chance of getting the drop.
Seeing the above mentioned drop probability, it is no surprise that souvenir cases are quite prestigious in the Steam Market. They hold stickers of the Major and also bring exciting designs of the weapons. You should know that there is no way to get Major souvenir stickers from the market and they also cannot be resold. We would urge you to not expect a drop and watch the game for the beauty of it.
CS:GO Skin & Sticker Workshop
Owing to the popularity of these souvenir skins, Valve laid the foundation of the workshop. It allows players to create and upload their own stickers and skins. If you are creative and know a little about image processing, you can now try your hand at your own stickers/skins and present them to the masses. Everyone else can look forward to evaluating the works in the workshop and providing feedback. As with the skins, Valve will now and then select some of the best stickers and integrate them into CS:GO via an update.
Create your own stickers - At the end, If you are familiar with image processing and would like to create your own stickers, you should definitely take a look at Valve's official guide. It explains what types of stickers there are, how to create an associated VMT file and what role the CS: GO Model Viewer plays in the creation. Please note that you always have to offer a sticker in at least two different styles for the workshop entry to be valid. The sticker workshop will certainly fill up with plenty of content in the near future.