This guide will go into more detail about the different item qualities in Counter-Strike Global Offensive.
The arms deal update
The arms deal was a big update for CS:GO and added two things into the game:
- Added two new weapons who had long been requested: The M4A1-S and USP-S (silenced CT weapons). You can swap these weapons in the inventory, so that they appear in the buy menu. They will replace the M4A4 and the P2000. If you right click with the weapon equipped, it will remove the silencer.
- Added cosmetic skins. These skins do not change the way guns shoot, recoil, reload or behave in any way – the only difference is the look.
Some facts about weapon skins:
- The weapon skins are purely cosmetic. A default weapon works exactly the same as a weapon with another skin.You can use all of these skins in any game mode anywhere. Even classic competitive.
- Some weapon skins are more rare than others (we will explain item rarity later on).
- There are exceedingly rare special items that are knives. These knives are heavily altered from the default knife models and so is the animation.
- The models of the guns themselves are barely altered if at all. The skins are basically paint jobs.
- There are StatTrak versions of some skins, these will track your kills with the weapon.
- The skins typically drop at the end of a game mode, when a winner is declared. In community servers, VAC has to be enabled to drop skins.
- You can buy and sell your items/skins on the steam market.
How to get weapon skins
If you play online on official Valve servers or community servers with VAC enabled, you will have a chance to get weapon skins or cases to drop at the end of every match. If you get a case, you have to unlock it with a key. Keys can be bought from the store/Steam marketplace. Items, cases and keys can also be traded with others and you can but them from the marketplace. Drops cannot happen on offline servers.
You do not have unlimited drops, there is an internal timer that resets every week. This means that you have X drops each week. The exact amount is unknown.
There are weapon skins in the game that are less common than others. The rarity hierarchy goes as follows:
From the most common to least common.
- Consumer grade (white)
- Industrial grade (light blue)
- Mil-spec (darker blue)
- Restricted (purple)
- Classified (pinkish purple)
- Covert (red)
- Exceedingly Rare ★ (gold)
- Contraband (light orange) – discontinued skins
What can drop?
Consumer grade to classified weapon skins can drop in-game, while covert or exceedingly rare items must be unlocked from cases. The chance of a consumer grade skin dropping is much higher than getting a classified drop.
StatTrak versions of weapon skins exists. They will track how many kills you get with the weapon/knife. Getting a StatTrak version makes a weapon skin even more rare.
Facts about StatTrak:
- StatTrak weapon skins cannot be a drop – they must be obtained by opening a case (or bought from marketplace).
- Bot kills do NOT count as a StatTrak kill and it will not increase the counter.
- If someone else picks up another players StatTrak weapon, the digital readout will read “error” and “unknown user”. Kills will not increase the counter.
Example of a case that can be dropped in-game. On the right you can see which items it can hold, sorted by item rarity. It only contains one weapon skin.
Example of a StatTrak weapon.
Example of an exceedingly rare special item. The rarest item that can be obtained in cases. At the moment, all exceedingly rare items are knives. Some of them can have StatTrak, which makes them even more rare. The most rare item of my knowledge, is a StatTrak Karambit (fade or slaughter) with Factory New exterior. Especially if it’s 100% fade or a special pattern slaughter.
Exterior are basically the quality of the paint job on the weapon skin. The hierarchy for item exterior is as follows (goes from worst to best exterior):
- Battle-Scarred – [BS]
- Well-Worn – [WW]
- Field-Tested – [FT]
- Minimal Wear – [MW]
- Factory New – [FN]
The item exteriors will not change/decrease over time. It is simply another variation of weapon finishes. Factory new is normally the best exterior to get. Some skins is only available with some of the exteriors. For example:
- Asiimov: Battle Scarred / Well-Worn / Field Tested.
- Fade pattern: Minimal Wear / Factory New.
- Slaughter pattern: Field Tested / Minimal Wear / Factory New.
- Boom pattern: Field Tested / Minimal Wear / Factory New.
We are working on a separate article about skin patterns.
Souvenir items are special skins given to players for “attending” certain events. These events can officially announced strams/GOTV broadcasts that offers souvenirs. For example the DreamHack Winter 2013 tournament was an offical event which was streamed. While players where watching the tournament, there was a random chance to get a souvenir package. They do not require keys to open an contains one item. The souvenir items are the same as the weapon skins, except they have a sticker from the event on them.
Some facts about souvenir items:
- Souvenir packages can only be obtained from watching an official event. You can buy them off of the market if someone puts them up for sale or you can get them from trading.
- Souvenir items are the same as normal weapon skins, but includes a sticker on them that relates to the event they were found in.
- Souvenir packages do not require keys to open.
Stickers (sticker quality)
Stickers was added to the game at the 2nd of June 2014.
- Stickers can be put on weapon skins (not knives).
- You can put stickers on the base models of guns. This will create an extra skin with the base model + the sticker.
- You can apply multiple stickers to any single gun (to a maximum of 4).Every sticker has 4 positions on a gun.
- Stickers can be received from sticker capsule drops (like weapon cases).
- Capsules can be opened with a sticker capsule key. The cost for a key is about 1 dollar.
- Stickers can be scraped off. If they are scraped off, they are permanently destroyed. You do not get them back.
- When you trade or sell a gun with a sticker, the sticker goes with it, just like name tags.
- Stickers and sticker capsules can be sold on the marketplace.
Like skins, stickers have differing rarities. As of now, there are three different qualities:
- High Grade (normal)
- Remarkable (hologram / holo)
- Exotic (foil)
Normal is least rare, holographic is second rarest and foil is the rarest stickers.
Contraband items are skins removed from cases and therefore cannot be obtained anymore. On June 11th 2014, the M4A4 | Howl and the Howling Dawn sticker became labeled as contraband items and the original graphic on the gun was changed. This was because the artwork used on the gun/sticker was stolen from a user on Deviant Art. The user on Deviant Art filed a claim against Valve and requested them to remove his artwork from the game. Valve then removed the items from the Huntsman Case, and all of the items that already existed had their graphics changed. The item can no longer be found in the huntsman case.