Picking The Right Skin Offers You Not Just An In-Game Advantage, But Also Bragging Rights And Investment Purposes
In January 2018, a wealthy Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) player bought a skin for a whopping US$61,000, caught the attention of the CS:GO community and the larger gaming ecosystem worldwide. The skin in question, one of the rarest of its kind, was designed for the Dragon Lore rifle, and had been autographed by Cloud9’s Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham. It was sold shortly after Cloud9 became the first American pro team to win a Valve-sponsored CS:GO event in Boston. Since then, there is a growing consensus among the community that CS:GO skins could not only provide an in-game advantage or aesthetic reasons, but potentially as a form of investment for regular players acquiring skins on a frequent basis.
What exactly are CS:GO skins?
The concept of skins may be foreign to players of older CS versions such as 1.6 or Source. But the highly innovative game company - Valve, has revolutionised the team-based action gameplay with the CS:GO’s “Arms Deal” update, which initially featured more than 100 skins split into 10 collections, namely Assault, Office, Dust and Aztec.
Skins, otherwise known as finishes, are custom textures commonly designed for various weapons which can be equipped in-game, allowing each player to portray their personalities or simply a form of bragging rights to fellow players within a game. Certain skins can even be used to showcase the number of kills made by the owner of the weapon, striking fear into the hearts of their opponents.
Currently, there are three types of skins: Normal, StatTrak and Souvenir, with the Normal types being the most common skin types available with no special characteristics or properties. StatTrak and Souvenir types, on the other hand, have traits which are mutually exclusive. For instance, StatTrak enables the player to display the total number of kills through a LCD display embedded on the skinned weapon. However, listing the StatTrak skin on the community market will reset the kill counter, effectively removing the record made by the previous weapon’s owner.
Souvenir weapons, as the name suggests, are unique weapons that were dropped as rewards to spectators of CS:GO tournaments. The design of the skin differs widely to represent respective tournaments, and oftentimes have a special commemorative message to the specific game. Players obtain such weapons through special weapon cases, which were randomly distributed to spectators during the tournament. It is worth mentioning that the aforementioned Skadoodle’s autographed skin is a souvenir weapon. Therefore, this type of skin does fetch an exorbitant price and recipients of these skins were either kept as a form of trophy or sold to CS:GO’s skin trading marketplaces for a handsome sum of money.
Wear Ratings of CS:GO skins
Regardless of the type and rarity of the skin, all of these skins are subject to a “wear rating value”, or “float value”. A wear value ranges from 0.00 to 1.00, and the maximum value may vary across different skins. In general, the value alters the appearance of the skin and is graded according to the cosmetic condition of the skin, namely Factory New, Minimal Wear, Field-tested, Well-worn and Battle-scarred. The condition of a Factory New skin will look exactly like the spotless image as represented in the skin menu, while a Battle-Scarred depicts a weather-beaten skin.
Essentially, the skin’s condition is a secondary concern to an ordinary CS:GO player since it does not affect the damage one inflicts on his or her opponent. However, wear values do make a difference in terms of the worth of the skin. The general rule is, the less wear on the skin, the higher the price. Thus, it is highly advisable for players who own a skin with great rarity to refrain from using them if they are considering selling the CS:GO skin on a trading marketplace.