csgo skin wear levels

CSGO Wear Levels – How does it Work?

SkinCashier
October 3, 2020

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive weapon decals, are nothing new in the gaming industry. But unique attributes like their rarity levels and CSGO wear levels continue to drive its demand among players and collectors alike.

The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive “Arms Deal” update in 2013 has introduced the highly sought after weapon skins for CSGO players. They are aesthetic assets that many players are eyeing to obtain so as to customise their weapon with uniquely designed decals. These virtual items have worked so well that other newer First-Person Shooter game titles are replicating the formula for their own ecosystem. However, unlike many other copycats, CS GO skins have proven to be so successful that these items are now perceived as investable assets that players can sell on external trading sites like SkinCashier in exchange for real money and cryptocurrencies.

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One of the main reasons that CS:GO skins have become so valuable today is due to the fact that each decal is uniquely different. Thanks to the cleverly designed mechanism brought forth by Valve, they are subject to realistic conditions such as wear and tear, and patterns that make each weapon decal virtually one-of-a-kind. Coupled with other factors like rarity levels and special addons like StatTrak, some of them are now worth as much as $100,000, as seen in a recent record-breaking StatTrak M4A4 Howl transaction.

Today, as the demand for CSGO skins continues to grow, more players are looking to learn how to evaluate the worth of their weapon skins inventory, especially when more players are planning to trade them for better ones, or even cashout via external trading sites like SkinCashier for that much-appreciated side income that they could earn just by playing the game. Hence, it is beneficial for us to understand how they are categorised and in particular, how CSGO wear conditions work.

In this article, we will take a look at how weapon skins degrade over time and what it means for them to be worn out and valuable at the same time.

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Beyond the weapon aesthetics

To put it simply, CS:GO skins are simply cosmetic items for your favorite weapons. You do not get any tactical advantage over your opponents, aside from maybe a StatTrak counter to display your frags. But nevertheless, the major selling point of CS:GO has been the CS:GO skins economy that attracts millions of players spending tons of money on them. This is likely due to the fact that these weapon skins come in varying rarity and wear levels. Such variations could influence the valuation of these virtual items, as weapon skins can now be traded over Steam Market, and even third-party marketplaces for a real world value. For instance, the wear level, which denotes the exterior quality of the weapon, could affect the price of a specific decal.

While most players preferred buying and selling CS:GO skins directly from third-party marketplaces like SkinCashier, there is still a number of active players who are inclined into earning these skins through playing the game frequently. Although the odds of getting a weapon decal or case is pretty low, those who managed to redeem these freebies often do so through an official server match or through levelling up in the game. But the time needed to obtain these drops may be too long for most players, therefore the majority of CS:GO players will purchase it directly in third-party marketplaces from other players instead.

So, if you do decide on buying or selling CS:GO skins through the latter means, it will be good for you to understand various factors which could determine the eventual price of your weapon skins. In this article, we will be discussing how players could identify a weapon skin’s wear level and how this cosmetic gradings could influence their appearances and values on the market.

What exactly is a CSGO Wear Level?

CS:GO skins are designed to wear and tear, just like objects in real life. The wear level is a gauge that indicates the level of wear and tear of any given weapon decal. In order to give the player a better reference to its exact wear level, all weapon decals are graded with a Float value, ranging from 0.0, the cosmetic item with the pristine condition, to 1.0 which denotes a badly worn weapon decal. Whenever a weapon decal is dropped or retrieved from a case, it will be randomly assigned with a float value, thereby revealing the respective wear condition of the weapon decal. Those which appear to be badly worn will more often see a less visible and saturated painting or decal, simulating a sign of degradation due to “constant use” of the weapon decal.

At this point, you may be thinking that the more worn out a weapon skin is, the cheaper the weapon skin’s valuation. However, it is not usually the case as we will briefly walk you through in a moment.

The terminology of wear levels

If you have ever browsed the Steam Market and SkinCashier, chances are that you would have noticed the term “Factory New” or “Battle-Scarred” on every weapon skin. These terms are used to allow players to easily identify the wear level of any specific weapon decal. We will briefly explain the meaning behind these terms and how it may affect the appearance and price of a weapon skin.

Factory New skin

As the name suggests, a Factory New skin is a weapon skin that has the appearance that is in the most pristine condition, otherwise known as a “Brand New” skin. In most cases, a Factory New skin falls between the range of 0.00 to 0.07. And expectedly, rare weapon skins such as AWP Dragon Lore or M4A4 Howl with a Factory New condition can easily fetch up to an exorbitant price. For example, a recent transaction of a Factory New, contraband M4A4 Howl reached a record-breaking price of $100,000, beating the previous record holder – AWP Dragon Lore, which will set a player back at a whopping $61,000. 

Minimal Wear skin

A Minimal Wear skin is at a level slightly below a Factory New skin. It is still a close-to-perfect CS:GO skin that is ascribed at a float value between 0.07 and 0.15. The “As Good As New” weapon skin could equally be worthed at a pretty decent price, and depending on the weapon skin, it may cost quite a sum just to secure a minimally worn weapon skin. Hence, if a Factory new skin is out of reach, you may consider a Minimal Wear version instead.

Field-Tested skin

Next, we have the Field-Tested version, which usually starts to show more signs of wear and tear on the CS:GO skin. Field-Tested skins are found within the range of 0.15 and 0.37 and are worth lesser than Minimal Wear skins. However, due to their better affordability as compared to a Factory New skin, the Field-Tested skin is highly sought after by traders and you will likely find more buyers and sellers for a Field-Tested weapon skin.

Well-Worn

As we move down the scale, a Well-Worn skin is obviously not as good of a weapon decal as compared to earlier versions. Some Well-Worn CS:GO skins look really terrible as decals and patterns start to fade significantly at this wear level. It can be identified at a range between 0.37 and 0.44. For buyers who do not mind the physical outlook of the CSGO skin, you may be able to obtain a Well-Worn skin at an affordable pricing.

Battle-Scarred

Last but not least, we have the most worn out CS:GO skins of all – Battled-Scarred skins. Weapon skins at these levels often make up the majority of drops and they are often portrayed with a high deterioration level. But it is worth noting that such weapon skins do not necessarily mean that they are worthless, as some collectors are constantly on the lookout for certain decals which have aged well over time, as some patterns look better when their skin quality is way past its prime. These collectors are even willing to fork out a decent amount of money just to buy them. Battle-Scarred Covert and Classified skin wear levels can be worth quite an amount of money at third-party marketplaces. The float level for Battle-Scarred skins are at a range between 0.44 and 1.0. 

How about CS:GO Stickers?

So far, we have gone through the different wear levels of CS:GO weapon skins and their worth at every wear level. But in case that you are not aware, CS:GO stickers are also subjected to wear levels, as they can be affixed onto the weapon as well, which naturally are prone to wear and tear like in realistic scenarios. Like weapon skins, unique stickers such as Souvenir skins which players can obtain through watching Majors, can be valuable in third-party marketplaces like SkinCashier. Furthermore, many sellers do attach valuable stickers onto their weapon skins so as to increase the overall value of the cosmetic item, especially if their stickers are as rare as the IEM Katowice stickers, or that they are graded as Extraordinary or Contraband. 

In order to enhance the valuation of your weapon skin, you can also choose to stick as many stickers as possible on the weapon to increase the overall worth of the weapon skin. Do note however, that stickers are for one-time use only, and you will not be able to remove or reuse it on other weapon skins once you have chosen to affix it onto one. Also, cheap and common stickers (e.g. High-Grade and Remarkable stickers) could likely decrease the worth of the dec. Hence, do make sure that you check out the rarity of the sticker before deciding to stick it onto your weapon skin, unless you are not planning to sell them in the future.

Take wear levels into consideration

All in all, it is important that as a prospective buyer or seller of a CS:GO skin or sticker, you will have to understand the rarity and skin wear level well before pursuing a weapon skin. Float values are fixed and once the weapon skin undergoes a degradation in the condition, it is irreversible. The float value of a weapon skin is determined upon its drop and there is no surefire way of getting a Factory New skin every time. Similarly, if you do plan to buy a CSGO skin, do check out the physical outlook due to the wear condition before buying them, as weapon skins with a lower float value tend to cost more than badly worned skins.

Depending on your purpose, if you do wish to sell your weapon skin in the future, you may have to consider getting a newer weapon skin or sticker so that it could be worth at a more decent price if selling them is inevitable in the near future.

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