An in-depth guide to investing in CS:GO skins

According to the Steam API, the number of active CS:GO players has nearly doubled in the last two years. The game's rise in popularity has increased demand for in-game items on the Steam Community Market, making skins, cases, capsules, and stickers more valuable than ever. Can we expect this trend to continue? And if so, let’s consider — is it worth investing money in CS:GO in-game items hoping to make a real profit? 

How does the rise in popularity of CS:GO affect Steam Marketplace prices?

For almost two years now, ever since Valve decided to move CS:GO to a Free-To-Play model, most of the game's older items have been steadily increasing in price. An excellent example of this is the Operation Bravo case, which has doubled in price over the past two months, or the famous AWP Lightning Strike, which depending on its quality, may have become a hundred times more expensive. 

Why is this happening? It's simple — the more people who are interested in buying a unique item, the higher its value on the market. This principle works not only in CS:GO but also in any other business involving selling products with limited availability. E.g., many real estate investors recommend investing in countries experiencing demographic growth as it increases the demand for the good they have invested money in. There is demand; there is supply. It works no differently for any video game with microtransactions; the more people are interested in the game, the higher sales volume and value of all the game-related items. With that said, the number of active players will be the main factor in determining the profitability of investing in any items in CS:GO. 

Is it worth investing in CS:GO skins?

Whether it is worth investing in CS:GO skins will always depend on how popular the game is at the time. First, we should ask ourselves — do we expect CS:GO to be even more popular than it is now? Do we think that the eight-year-old FPS game still has its glory years ahead of it? It would seem quite possible, as Valve keeps investing in the game and frequently provides players with updates and new Operations. However, the game is still pretty old, and there are newer ones (such as Valorant) that prove to be pretty good competition for Counter-Strike. 

Bottom line — we've heard stories of people who have gotten significantly rich from investing in CS:GO skins, and we're aware that it's possible. However, we're unsure if this is the right moment and if the best time to do skin shopping on the Steam Community Market hasn't already passed. And sure, if you have a few dollars in your Steam account that you don't have anything to spend, it might be worth investing it in some weapon skins for CS:GO. Nevertheless, we leave the decision on whether to invest or not to you and do so at your own risk. 

What CS:GO skins should you invest in exactly?

If you still feel like investing in some CS:GO skins, let us help guide you and tell you which investments you are likely to make the most profit on.

The good thing would be to focus on skins that are not so widely available anymore. So to the point, what CS:GO items might be worth investing in? 

eSports 2013 Case

CS:GO Weapon Case

Operation Bravo Case

Operation Hydra Case

The following items can be purchased on the Steam Community Market, and sites such as CS.Money and Dmarket, where you can also sell and trade skins for real money. Remember that we don't guarantee you that the items you invest in will make you a profit. No one can tell you exactly how prices will change, and you can only speculate by analyzing current trends.

Souvenirs and Rare Special Items

Besides skins from older cases, you might want to consider investing in tournament souvenirs, especially from maps that are no longer in the Active Duty Map Pool, which are Cache and Cobblestone. Souvenir skins and packages seem like a pretty sensible investment overall; there’s a minimal number of them, and they get harder and harder to get overtime. We would recommend concentrating on the Souvenirs from 2013-2015 majors, as they’re the least amount and relatively cheap to purchase as of now (prices start at $10 and go up to $2,000).

Investments in Rare Special Items, on the other hand, seem to be quite risky, as their prices fluctuate constantly. But here again — it seems to make sense to invest in good quality old knives with StatTrak, such as the Karambit Fade ($1,700) or iconic skins like M4A4 Howl (up to $6,500). 

Stickers and Capsules

We could also watch a steady increase in pretty much all the stickers’ prices over the last two years. We offer a simple way to invest — purchase any stickers/caps from older majors (like ESL Cologne or Dreamhack Winter) and just keep an eye on trends.
It's the team stickers and player autographs that sell the best on the market, and they will always be in the highest demand, especially if a particular player/team will be involved in some drama. If current trends continue, by investing in even the cheapest tournament stickers, your investment could yield up to 4 times the profit!

Access Passes 

Surprisingly, a growing number of collectors are interested in coins of specific Operations on the Community Steam Market. For example, Operation Vanguard Access Pass price has increased from $5 to $1000 in just one year. So, if you can buy any Operation Access Pass for less than $25 — why not? There are good reasons to believe that such investments can be highly profitable. At the moment, Access Passes with the most significant quantity deficit in the market include:


Summary

As you can see, there can be many ways to invest in CS:GO. If you have some money in your Steam account and don't know what to do with it, buying some old in-game cosmetics can be an excellent idea. 

That’s going to be it for this guide. We hope this article was helpful and wish you good fortune with your trades and investments. And again — don’t forget that every investment comes with a risk!