So in 2013, CS:GO and Valve would use this as an inspiration to create something of a much larger scale. CS:GO would host a marketplace where players could buy, trade and sell in-game skins for weapons that they had obtained. This would come through the ‘Arms deal’ update released in August 2013.
Since then these skins have become valuable commodities within the CS:GO community. One reason for this being that players enjoy the ability to customize weapons to their liking, giving their game experience a more personal feel. Plus, due to the steam marketplace, these skins also have a cash value. Meaning that having better quality skins allow players to flaunt their opulence. Not to mention the ability to become an entrepreneur with skins as your product.
Since their introduction in 2013, the community as a whole has really taken to the idea of skins within CS:GO. It has allowed for a progression system separate from the rankings system. Players have a completely separate goal in collecting new and interesting skins with higher rarities.
Not to mention that these skins can be obtained in random drops. In events such as tournaments, you are spectating. You may be watching your favorite CS:GO players and just so happen to be gifted a great skin. Which only encourages a more active and supportive competitive community.
Also, unlike Call of Duty, which had a very finite number of skins on offer. CS:GO has an ever-increasing number of skins on offer to players. With a grand total of 766 unique skins available in the game as of September 2019.
This variety of skins multiplies if you take into account the weapon condition attributes. These can range from battle scarred, the worst quality variation of a skin. To the much sought after ‘factory new’ skin conditions that offer the most pristine versions of each weapon skin.
As mentioned, these skins come through random drops but are more commonly purchased through cases. Keys for said cases are bought through in-game Microtransactions. Allowing players to open them for a chance to obtain some fantastic skins.
Plus for those worrying that skin float may deteriorate with use. There is no need to fret. This is because the float that it comes in is how it will stay. So if you want to parade your new ultra rare skin. Do so with the knowledge that there will be no consequences. Other than being the envy of other players of course.
So let us introduce the various condition classes. Beginning with factory new, the rarest and desired of the lot. All skin floats are represented by a decimal score ranging from 0.01 to 1. So for a weapon skin to be classed as factory new, it must be in the realm of 0.01 to 0.07.
Just for context, here is a snapshot of how the degradation of weapons looks. Showcasing factory new as the most visually appealing:
These skins are the most expensive that you will find in the marketplace. With the average factory new skin coating up to five times more than the next best condition category.
Moving onto the minimal Wear class. These weapon skins are still very desirable items within CS:GO. In terms of aesthetics, they show some signs of deterioration. Though in reality, still retain a large amount of the visual aesthetic of the factory new skins. They are far from mint condition, though they do offer the next best thing for a fraction of the price.
Again, here is an example of minimal Wear degradation. Slightly worse than before but still very presentable:
These skins have a float value of anywhere between 0.07 to 0.15. Though one important caveat of purchasing minimal Wear skins is the fluctuation in quality between this bracket. A 0.08 skin will often look significantly better than a 0.14 skin, despite being in the same category. So before you go spending, be sure to give the skin a quick once over.
Next up is the field-tested category. These skins are the first that always show obvious signs of deterioration. Scratches are more prominent and cover significantly more surface area of the weapon. Often making the design look cheaper and lower quality. Though many view this as a positive in some skins, giving the weapon a more rugged and authentic ‘field tested’ look.
Here is a visual of field tested degradation. Cracks, blemishes, and other imperfections are much more obvious:
The float values for this class is between 0.15 and 0.38. This is a much larger gap than before so it is important to consider the float value before purchasing.
The drop-off, even between this bracket could impact the overall aesthetic tremendously. Though if you are willing to settle for a more worn skin. You could see savings of up to 90% or more in some cases when compared to the minimal Wear variant. Something to consider at the very least.
Onto well-worn skins. These skins have a rather small bracket of a float value. Ranging between 0.38 and 0.45.
Though there isn’t a massive difference between these skins and the lower end of field-tested skins. It’s worth saying that these skins have very little to offer players.
Here is a snapshot of the well-worn degradation. The skin is a shadow of its former self, barely resembling anything like the original:
The designs are recognizable but offer only fragments of the desired aesthetic that higher conditions offer. If you are in the market for something that resembles the original design, it’s recommended to go a category up at least. Provided you have the funds to do so of course.
Then lastly, we have the battle scarred wear. These are the lowest rated skins on the market.
Ranging from anywhere between 0.45 to 1 in terms of a float value. For this reason, you can see a massive variation in design quality. With the higher end having some slight redeeming qualities. Whilst the lower end of the scale offers the lowest quality possible.
Here is an example of the battle-scarred deterioration. Anomalies aside, this float is basically fodder. Little of interest and you’ll want to get yourself something with more substance as soon as you can:
However, there are some anomalies within this category that can offer unique designs through their immense deterioration. The best example perhaps being the P2000 imperial dragon skin. When this skin is at a ludicrously low condition it can offer interesting variations in color. Adjusting to a reddish-pink, which has its own charm.
Fashion on the Battlefield
Whatever reason you want a nicer skin. Whether that be to flaunt your premium piece, to avoid ridicule for the battle-scarred skin you currently own, or to sell and make a fortune. It can be said that the skin system and market is a fantastic addition to CS:GO, delivering a more personal and rewarding experience for players. Plus more goals and challenges for players to set for themselves.
So be the envy of your team next game and go in search of a new stylish skin upgrade. May luck be on your side when the case opens!