If you want to buy any in-game items for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, you need a good method to determine their value, and the knowledge of CS:GO skins rarity will be useful here. Listed below are the key attributes of skins that are worth considering before making a purchase, as they will help you determine if the weapon finish is worth the asking price from the seller. This information is also useful for those, who plan to invest some money in virtual items, accounting for their future rise in price. 

What does skin rarity mean?

Each skin has a characteristic called rarity, which is represented by a certain color. It can vary from a Consumer Grade (White) to Extraordinary (Gold) and determines, how easy it is to obtain a particular skin. Moreover, the rarity of CS:GO skins is frequently influenced by their visual appeal, with higher rarity items featuring more striking, eye-catching, or one-of-a-kind designs. Below, you'll find a detailed list of all rarity values, each accompanied by examples to illustrate their characteristics.

CS:GO/CS2 Skins Rarity Colors

In CS:GO/CS2, skins for weapons and other items come in various rarity levels, each represented by a specific color. These rarity levels not only indicate the item's scarcity but can also affect its market value. Here's a breakdown of the CS:GO skin rarity colors, from most common to most rare:

  1. Consumer Grade (White): These are the most common skins and have the highest drop rates.
  2. Industrial Grade (Light Blue): Still common, but slightly less so than consumer-grade skins.
  3. Mil-Spec (Blue): Also known as "Rare," these skins are less common and start to introduce unique designs.
  4. Restricted (Purple): These skins are even rarer and often feature more detailed and sought-after designs.
  5. Classified (Pink): Classified skins are very rare and usually have very distinct and attractive designs.
  6. Covert (Red): The rarest of the regular drop skins, Covert items are highly sought after and often come with unique finishes.
  7. Exceedingly Rare ★ (Gold): This category includes knives and gloves, which are exceedingly rare and highly valued by players.
  8. Contraband (Orange): This rarity was introduced with the retirement of the M4A4 | Howl and its sticker capsule due to copyright issues. The Howl was upgraded to Contraband status, and items in this category are extremely rare and typically very expensive.

Consumer Grade CS:GO Skins Rarity

White or gray colored skins are marked as Consumer Grade, and are the most frequently found items. They are commonly obtained for free while playing and have the highest likelihood of being acquired through random drops. These skins are typically priced at less than a dollar, or even just a few cents, if you wish to purchase them. While some may buy these skins to use in trade-up contracts, their value may not be high.

Understanding skin rarity in CS:GO 1

A typical example of Consumer Grade skin is FAMAS Faulty Wiring. Like most items of the type, it is colored in various shades of gray, dark green, or brown. These weapon finishes look realistic, but not recognizable enough, so most players prefer to replace them with something with a more interesting look, as soon as the opportunity arises. 

Industrial Grade CS:GO Skins Rarity

The next step of CS:GO rarity is Industrial Grade. Such skins are marked with light blue. While they are rarer than Consumer quality skins, they are still relatively easy to obtain. Their prices typically range from a few cents to a couple of dollars. Industrial Grade skins can be obtained through weekly rewards and random drops after matches.


Understanding skin rarity in CS:GO 2

To get a feel of what Industrial Grade is, look at G3SG1 Ancient Ritual. The design looks more elaborated, there are more colors and some accents, but darker shades still prevail. In most cases, you won’t see an interesting idea behind the design. Rare exceptions, such as XM1013 Banana Leaf, exist, but they also cost much more than the typical skin from the light-blue category. 

Mil-Spec Weapon Rarity

This category of CS:GO skins are marked by blue color. Teal skins are acquired through Weapon Cases and Trade-Up contracts. Prices for this category typically range from 1 to 10 dollars, though there are some exceptions, with certain skins fetching prices as high as 50 or even 100 dollars. As the largest category, there is an extensive range of skins available in this rarity.

Understanding skin rarity in CS:GO 3

For this category, the typical example will be Sawed-Off Morris. It has some remarkable details in its design and is decorated with contrasting colors. You can see flowers and leaves on the body of the gun, while the barrel is painted in a more realistic way. 

Restricted CS:GO Skins Rarity

Moving on to the more intriguing skins, we have the Restricted quality which is denoted by a purple color. Obtaining these skins can prove to be quite challenging, but they offer a wide range of captivating designs, with prices varying from a few dollars to a few hundred.

Understanding skin rarity in CS:GO 4

An example of this level of quality among CS:GO skins is AWP PAW. This AWP skin features a prominent display of whimsical animal illustrations that occupy the majority of the weapon's surface area. Additionally, their placement is defined by the skin's pattern index, resulting in varying levels of desirability for different pattern variations. Despite its unique design and intricate details, the AWP Duality is still considered a relatively affordable skin, even in pristine Factory New condition, making it a highly sought-after addition to any collection.

Classified CS:GO Skins Rarity

The Pink-colored category of CS:GO skins is known as Classified and features some of the most sought-after and valuable items in the game. Although it is still possible to find some affordable options in this category, they tend to be in high demand and sell quickly. Therefore, it's important to act quickly if you come across a good deal on a Classified skin. Many players view skin trading as an investment and are willing to pay a premium for these highly sought-after items.

Actually, there is a high chance, that the Classified weapon finish will go up in price if you wait long enough, so patient owners can hope for profits. In total, there are a bit less than a hundred and a half guns of this CS:GO skin grade. 

Understanding skin rarity in CS:GO 5

As an example, look at AWP Duality, that got recently added to the game. It replaced the AWP Doodle Lore, a homage to the legendary Dragon Lore skin, known for its rarity and exorbitant value in the CS:GO community. As you see, some of the Classified skins have interesting stories or references hidden in the details for players, who know, where to look. Like many other guns of the Classified category, it is easily recognizable even from a distance, so you can boast not only to your comrades but to your opponents as well. 

Covert CS:GO Skins Rarity

The color of this CS:GO skin rarity is red, and these skins are the rarest. With less than a hundred weapons in this category, each design boasts a unique color combination and idea. Prices for these skins vary widely and are influenced by factors such as the skin's visual appeal, players' individual tastes, and supply and demand. For example, AK-47 Fire Serpent can cost more than 1,5 thousand dollars for a version without StatTrak, while AK-47 Asiimov currently costs no more than 200 dollars. 

Understanding skin rarity in CS:GO 6

The above-mentioned AK-47 Asiimov is a good example of a Covert gun. It was created by a skinmaker, who had a certain idea in mind a found the best way to implement it. This skin for AK-47 belongs to a collection, which includes several guns of the same style. Its colors are minimalistic, but the contrast of black, orange, and white gives it a very distinct look. 

Contraband CS:GO Skins Rarity

Understanding skin rarity in CS:GO 7

Covert rarity may represent the highest tier for obtainable CS:GO skins rarity, but there is a category beyond it. Known as Contraband, this category is reserved for skins that are no longer obtainable, having been available for a limited time. Currently, the only skin in this category is the M4A4 Howl, which was cancelled due to copyright infringement. The skin's creator used a stolen image in the design, resulting in its removal from circulation.

Extraordinary CS:GO Skins Rarity

The top level of CS:GO skin grades is an Extraordinary category. Every glove skin is classified as Extraordinary. These skins are denoted by a prestigious golden color, fitting for their rarity. Prices for Extraordinary skins start in the hundreds of dollars and can reach several thousand for gloves with lower float values.

How to Get Rare CS:GO Skins?

If you're not willing to spend real money on skins, there are still ways to obtain some of the rarer items. However, the methods for obtaining skins differ based on their quality.

  • Items of Consumer and Industrial grade are obtainable as post-match rewards.

  • Items of higher rarity can only be obtained by opening cases with purchased keys. 

  • Another way to obtain skins of higher rarity is through TradeUp contracts, which involves exchanging multiple skins of lower rarity for those that are one step higher

As you can see, all of these methods involve an element of chance. Valve has provided information on the chances of obtaining items in each category, which can vary greatly. However, if you prefer not to rely on luck, you can simply purchase the exact skins you want. This is especially useful if you are trying to complete a collection, such as acquiring a full loadout of a particular color. 

Using the Steam Community Market or a third-party website can be the best option in this case. It's important to consider the rarity of skins in CS:GO to determine which items you want and how much they will cost.

What other factors are important?

Rarity is not the only factor influencing skin costs. Here are several other characteristics to consider: 

  • The condition of a CS:GO skin is determined by its float value, which is assigned when the skin is obtained through a crate drop or a trade contract. The wear and tear of a CS:GO skin is reflected in its float value, which is determined upon obtaining the skin through a trade contract or crate drop. The higher the float value, the more blemishes and imperfections can be seen on the surface of the skin. Typically, skins with higher float values are less valuable, but there are some instances where specific float values can result in unique visual effects. It's worth noting that the float value cannot be changed once it's been assigned, so it's important to consider this factor when purchasing or trading for skins.

  • For a selected group of skins, pattern index plays a crucial role in determining their value. When a skin features abstract patterns, such as gradients or geometric shapes, the pattern index specifies how these patterns are applied to the surface. With 1001 possible variations for each skin, some are considered more aesthetically pleasing than others. The pattern index is particularly important for skins with a Fade pattern. 

  • The availability of CS:GO skins is subject to the laws of supply and demand, meaning that scarcity due to various factors can lead to an increase in value. For instance, a skin that has become hard to obtain due to changes in the game or the market can become more expensive. Additionally, the introduction of new cases or operations can create volatility in the market, causing price fluctuations for certain skins.

If you are only beginning to build your skins collection, you can find various lists of CS:GO weapon skins by quality and rarity to understand, how the system works and what skins you need to buy first. With the information above, it will be easy for you to estimate skin prices and buy what you want without paying too much.

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