Weapon skins are a huge part of the CS2 ecosystem. Acquiring valuable CS2 skins comes with its status and prestige within the gaming community. Plus, being able to buy, sell, and trade those skins with others makes them even more attractive. In short, CS2 skins are quite popular.
However, CS2 skins have multiple factors or qualities tied to them, and understanding them can be a bit confusing, especially for beginners. CS2 players often also need clarification about where to acquire skins. Here is a complete CS2 skins guide addressing all those questions and more in detail. This article was updated in 2023.
- CS2 weapon skins are valued based on intricate factors like float values and rarity tiers, influencing their appearance, desirability, and market price.
- Unique pattern seeds influence the design of certain skins, leading to diverse visual outcomes and impacting their overall appeal and worth.
- Players can obtain CS2 skins through random drops, case openings, Steam Community Market, and third-party platforms. Wise choices in acquiring skins depend on preferences and awareness of potential risks.
CS2 Skin Condition and Float Value
If you want to understand how skins in CS2 get valued, the main factor you should consider is “float value.” In CS2, weapon skins of the same type, like the AK 47 Redline, don’t necessarily look the same. One might have a lot of scratches, while the other might look fresh out of the box. That happens because of the difference in float value.
Each weapon skin in CS2 has a float value assigned to it. This float value determines the condition and amount of wear on it. The float value ranges from 0.00 to 1.00. The closer the float value is to 0.00, the better its condition. On the other hand, skins with float values near 1.00 have a lot more scratches and wear.
The condition of weapon skins in CS2 is classified into 5 categories, each with a specified float value. These five categories, starting from the best condition to the worst condition, include:
- Factory New (0.00 to 0.07)
- Minimal Wear (0.07 to 0.15)
- Field-Tested (0.15 to 0.37)
- Well-Worn (0.37 to 0.44)
- Battle-Scarred (0.44 to 1.00)
Factory New skins are pristine, with almost zero scratches and color fade. Minimal Wear skins have scratches but look almost as good as Factory New ones. Field-Tested skins have many more scratches and have faded colors depending on the float value. Well-Worn skins have a lot of scratches and a lot of color fade. Finally, Battles-Scard skins are the worst, with many scratches and color fade.
However, even within these categories, two skins can look very different since they can lie on either end of the float value range. For example, if two weapon skins are of the same type, like the M4A4 Desolate Space, and are both Factory New, but one has a float value of 0.01, and the other has a value of 0.07, the one with the higher value will have a tad more scratches. This difference becomes even more noticeable at higher float value classifications, like Well-Worn and Battle-Scarred.
Since skins can have wear marks on them or be in pristine condition, this float value system sparked a lot of confusion within the CS2 community, where many players started thinking that weapon skins accumulate wear and scratches after being used for multiple hours. However, that’s not the case. A Factory New skin will stay Factory New no matter how long you use it.
CS2 Skin Rarity Tiers
Another quality tied to each weapon skin in CS2 is its rarity. For example, if you know anything about CS2 weapon skins, you might also know that the AWP Dragon Lore skin is rare. Only a few CS2 players have this weapon skin, which is why it’s also quite expensive. On the other hand, the Tec-9 Rebel skin is abundant, and many CS2 players probably have this skin.
Like float values, rarity also has classifications that help players understand how rare certain skins are. Each weapon skin in CS2 has a rarity type assigned to it, where names and colors represent the rarity of a skin. Here is a list of all those types, starting from the least rare to the most rare:
- Consumer Grade, Common, Base Grade (White)
- Industrial Grade, Uncommon (Light Blue)
- Mil-Spec Grade, Rare, High Grade (Darker Blue)
- Restricted, Mythical, Remarkable (Purple)
- Classified, Legendary, Exotic (Pinkish Purple)
- Covert, Ancient, Extraordinary (Red)
- Exceedingly Rare, Rare Special (Gold)
- Contraband, Immortal (Light Orange)
CS2 Skin Pattern Seeds and Pattern Indexes
Pattern seeds or indexes are the most confusing aspect of CS2 skins. Most skins in CS2 have fixed designs. For example, the AK 47 Redline and the M4A4 Desolate Space. Other weapon skins, like the Fade, Case Hardened, or Doppler skins, don’t. Instead, their design depends on a pattern template.
All pattern skins from the same collection use the same template. For example, all Fade Knives use a single template. The template has blue, purple, pink, orange, yellow, and light yellow potions. Plus, it is much larger than the weapon.
Each weapon skin of the same collection gets a different portion of the template applied to it. In other words, two Fade Knives will look different. One might have gotten a portion of the template with more yellow and orange. The other one might have gotten more blue and purple.
The pattern indexes or pattern seeds of skins determine the portion of the pattern template they will get. These are numerical values assigned to each weapon skin. Since they determine the portion of the template a skin will get, they also determine how the skin will look.
Because of the differences in pattern indexes and pattern seeds and how two skins of the same type can look completely different, they also have a different value and appeal. For example, Fade Knives with all colors of the template evenly distributed are considered much more valuable than the ones with an uneven distribution.
Other Classifications – StatTrak and Souvenir Skins
Besides skin pattern seeds, float values, and rarities, there are other classifications of CS2 skins, including StatTrak and Souvenir. However, both these types also have all the properties mentioned above. Here is an explanation of what these two types represent for CS2 skins.
StatTrak refers to a varients of regular CS2 skins identical to their regular counterparts, with the main exception being the kill counter. StatTrak skins have a counter attached on their sides that counts the number of kills the skin owner has gotten with that skin.
If another player garbs your StatTrak skin in a match, the tracker will show an “error” sign. Kills other players get with your StatTrak weapon won’t be added to the counter. Plus, killing bots won’t affect the counter, either. A SatTrak weapon skin can only be acquired from case drops, Steam Community Market, or third-party marketplaces.
Like StatTrak, Souvenir skins are variants of regular skins given to players as random drops for watching live streams of official CS2 events. However, these drops aren’t guaranteed. Souvenir skins are completely identical to their regular counterparts, except for a sticker representing the event they were obtained in.
Stickers, Gloves, and Agent Skins
For the longest time, skins in CS2 were limited to weapons. However, other types of skins were added to the game later as the popularity of CS2 skins grew. Here are all the other types of skins available in CS2.
First up, we have stickers. Stickers were added to CS2 back on February 5, 2014. You can apply these stickers on your weapon skins or default models of those weapons, except knives.
Each gun has four potential spots where stickers can be applied on. But be careful since they can only be applied once, and after that, they can only be scraped off from the skin they were applied to, destroying them in the process.
Like skins, stickers also have a rarity. There are a total of 5 rarities that are represented by a color, including:
- Blue – High Grade
- Purple – Remarkable
- Pink – Exotic
- Red – Extraordinary
- Gold – Contraband
To acquire stickers, you can open sticker capsules. Capsules are like regular CS2 cases but for stickers. Both stickers and capsules can be purchased from the Steam Community Market.
In the November 28, 2016 update, CS2 got a new skin type, Gloves. Like stickers, they are exactly what the name suggests: wearable gloves that your in-game character wears on their hands. These gloves have an exterior quality tied to them, like the ones for skins.
Finally, we have the latest cosmetic addition to the game, Agents. Agents are complete character skins that gamers can apply to change the whole look of their in-game character. Agents were added to the game on November 18, 2019. Like skins and stickers, Agents also have rarity represented by a color, which includes:
- Blue – Distinguished
- Purple – Exceptional
- Pink – Superior
- Red – Master
Obtaining CS2 Skins
After learning about all those awesome rarity tiers, patterns, and float values, you might be excited about getting a brand-new weapon skin. But where can you get one? Well, lucky for you, there are several options where you can obtain CS2 skins from. Here are the most common ways of getting CS2 skins.
The first method for acquiring CS2 skins is random drops. The best part about this is that it is free, so you won’t have to spend a single penny. The way random drops work is pretty simple. As a CS2 match ends, the game rewards in-game items as random drops. This drop can include cases and even weapon skins.
However, don’t get your hopes up because you won’t get an extremely rare weapon skin from this free drop. But something is better than nothing, and getting a weapon skin for free is a great way to get you into the whole CS2 skin ecosystem.
If you are looking for higher-tier free drops, you’ll have to tune in to a live stream for a CS2 esports event. The thing about live streams for these events is that they often have random drops enabled, especially for large-scale events. These drops include limited-time cases you can open to get high-tier skins.
The next and one of the most popular methods for acquiring CS2 skins is by opening CS2 cases. Cases are in-game items shaped like briefcases that players can open using case keys. Once opened, players receive a random skin based on the collection of the type of case that got opened and a roulette-style animation.
CS2 has several types of cases. You can also open cases at third-party platforms for better odds of getting a high-tier skin. To learn more about opening CS2 cases, check out our extensive CS2 case opening guide.
Buying from the Steam Community Market
If you are eying on a particular weapon skin and don’t want to gamble on cases, you can always buy them directly with cash through the Stem Community Market. The Steam Community Market is like a used marketplace from Valve, where players can list tradable in-game items for sale, which you can buy using funds from your Steam wallet.
Buying from Third-Party Marketplaces
Gamers aren’t just limited to the Steam Community Market for buying or selling CS2 skins. Because of the popularity of CS2 skins, multiple third-party platforms have opened up which operate as online marketplaces for CS2 skins.
The best part about these marketplaces is that you aren’t restricted to your Steam wallet for payments. You can use other cash transfer methods like PayPal or credit cards. These payment methods depend on the platform you choose.
Speaking of choosing a platform, you must be careful about what third-party marketplace you use for your CS2 skin buying needs. While there are a ton of legit platforms out there, there are some scam sites as well, where many unsuspecting gamers have lost their money. To help you avoid all those places, we made a list of the best places to buy CS2 skins.
CS2 has a plethora of skins with tons of qualities and classifications. There are skins for weapons, knives, gloves, whole character models, and even stickers you can apply onto weapon skins. Plus, there are rarities, float values, and pattern seeds tied to skins that determine how attractive and rare they are. Now you know what all of those terms mean and are ready to grab your first CS2 skin.
What is the significance of float value in CS2 skins?
Float value determines the wear and tear of CS2 skins, impacting their appearance and value within the game.
How do rarity tiers affect the value of CS2 skins?
Rarity tiers, ranging from Consumer Grade to Contraband, influence a skin’s exclusivity and market price.
What are pattern seeds in CS2 skins?
Pattern seeds dictate the unique design variations of certain skins, contributing to their visual diversity and market worth.
Where can I acquire CS2 skins?
CS2 skins can be obtained through random drops, case openings, the Steam Community Market, and third-party platforms.
Are StatTrak and Souvenir skins different from regular skins?
Yes, StatTrak skins display kill counters, while Souvenir skins commemorate events, both adding unique elements to the skins.
What other types of skins are available in CS2 besides weapons?
CS2 offers stickers, gloves, and agent skins, providing players with diverse customization options beyond weapons.
How can I ensure safe purchases on third-party marketplaces?
Choose reputable platforms and be cautious when using payment methods like PayPal or credit cards to avoid scams.
Do skins accumulate wear over time in CS2?
No, a skin’s wear status remains constant; wear doesn’t accumulate regardless of the time it’s used in-game.
What are the advantages of understanding skin characteristics in CS2?
Understanding float values, rarity tiers, and patterns empowers players to make informed choices when selecting, trading, or purchasing skins.
Can I apply stickers to any weapon in CS2?
Stickers can be applied to weapons and default models of those weapons (excluding knives), adding a personalized touch.
How do I obtain StatTrak skins in CS2?
StatTrak skins can be acquired through case drops, the Steam Community Market, or third-party marketplaces.
Are Souvenir skins guaranteed drops during CS2 esports events?
Souvenir skins are random drops from watching live streams of CS2 esports events, offering a chance to obtain special skins.
Are all CS2 skins available on third-party marketplaces?
Most CS2 skins are available on third-party platforms, but players should choose reliable sites to avoid scams.
Can I use skins acquired from random drops for trading or selling?
Yes, you can trade or sell skins obtained from random drops on platforms like the Steam Community Market.
Do float values impact gameplay in CS2?
No, float values are purely cosmetic and do not affect gameplay mechanics or weapon performance in CS2.