If you want not only to enjoy your favorite game but become a part of its history, learning how to submit CS:GO skins is the way to go. While the first skin collections were created by the developers, currently a thriving creative community has formed around CS:GO. The Steam Workshop is filled with various designs of skins for guns and knives which have a chance to be eventually added to the game. This goal requires persistent work, but it is entirely possible for your skin to be noticed by developers. But even if that doesn’t happen, you can distribute your skin through the Steam Workshop, so other players can install it to use during their matches even while it does not belong to an official collection. 

How To Submit CS:GO Skins 1

The Basics of Submitting Skins 

To submit CS:GO skins successfully, you need to learn how to use several basic instruments. There is no need to buy any expensive software such as Photoshop. Currently, the skins are created and submitted via CS:GO Workbench, but it is expected that the process will get even easier after the update to Counter-Strike 2, which is currently in closed beta. The new version of the game will include not only graphic and network updates, but also an improved and simplified process of creating new content. 

Currently, to submit skins to CS:GO form workbench you need to fulfill the following steps: 

  • Download CS:GO Resource Package provided by Valve. It is an archive containing UV Sheets for all weapons existing in the game. UV Sheet can be described as a flattened-out surface of all the weapon elements. By modifying this file, you can influence the outlook of the skin. 

  • Open the UV sheet in the graphic editor of your choice and modify it to your liking. There are many options. For example, you can create an abstract geometric pattern, a variation of a camouflage pattern, or thoroughly paint each element of the weapon individually. Advanced artists can also modify the relief of the texture to create the effect of an engraving. 

  • Run the game, enable the Workbench, and open your skins through it. Here you can check how it looks when applied to the weapon, and adjust additional parameters. It is possible to replace colors, change the scale of the texture, set its offset, and determine if the Pattern Index affects the looks of the weapon finish. 

  • Check how the weapon looks with various Float values which describe wear levels. Set limits for the value if necessary. 

  • Finally, it is possible to submit CS:GO skin to the Steam Workshop.

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After uploading the skin, customize the page of your skin to make it look catchy and interesting. If there are several creators involved, you need to mention them as authors of the skin and set percentages for revenue sharing in case your skin gets selected for an official collection. 

What Do You Need To Know To Submit Skins?

If you want to submit CS:GO skins to the Workshop, you need to study official guidelines. Even if you are an artist with an already established style, or if there are certain topics and imagery you want to explore, it is useful to know which skins have the biggest chance to attract developers’ attention. You also need to interact with the community so your products get more attention in the Workshop. The thing is, that other players can vote for Workshop skins they like, and naturally, Valve takes the number of votes into account. Consequently, it is a good idea to use additional channels to promote your work, such as social media, forums, or Reddit. 

While the basic process of creating a skin was described above, to submit CS:GO skins that have high chances to be selected and become part of the official collections, you need to study the full Technical guide and learn about various types of weapon finishes. It is not necessary to learn everything at once, and it is perfectly normal to learn on the go. But the more you know about various pattern application methods, pattern styles, and other technical characteristics of the weapon finishes, the better you understand the capabilities of the game engine and thus can use them to create something truly original. 

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Besides that, to submit CS:GO skins which will be accepted to the Workshop, you need to follow official style guidelines. It determined the demands, restrictions, and recommendations, which are generally advised to follow. In the game itself, you may encounter some skins that look like they break the rules, but they are only exceptions. For new creators, it is always better to respect the guidelines. 

Official Style Guidelines for Submitting Skins

One of the most important parameters you need to determine while creating skin is its salience. It determines how easy it is to recognize the design even from a distance, and how bright and contrasting the colors are. When developers select skins for a new collection, they usually choose one or two highly recognizable skins, four or five less bright, etc, and then assign rarity categories based on salience. Consequently, if you create several versions of your weapon finish, adjusting its look for various rarity categories, it improves your chance of being selected. Here are the characteristics of rarity categories you need to consider before you decide to submit your CS:GO skins: 

  • Skins of blue rarity (Mil-Spec) usually have dark and muted colors, often with camouflage patterns, such as dark green, dark brown, or dark gray. The pattern can be recognized only at short distances. 

  • Purple rarity is for skins with higher contrast levels. The colors are rarely bright, but the pattern can be read by other players if they are standing close. 

  • Violet (Classified) items often can be distinguished because they use vibrant colors and intricate designs. Weapon finishes often use original artwork, fitted to the shape of the weapon, and convey the feel of uniqueness. 

  • Red items, also known as Covert, are known for the most original, unique, and recognizable artwork, which immediately attracts the attention of everyone playing or watching the match. 

These recommendations will help you to determine your color choices. Even within the same pattern, the color combination can determine if the weapon suits better for Mil-Spec or for Classified quality. As a result, if you choose to submit your CS:GO skins in the workshop in several variations, there will be more chances for your work to be eventually selected. It is also recommended to pay attention to saturation and contrast. 

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For example, the official guide mentions that the original Decimator skin looked too bright and it had to be desaturated before it appeared in one of the official collections. Do not forget to test the weapon in various in-game situations and with all the animations. Creating a weapon finish, which looks good from the player’s perspective, can make your work stand out. 

How Much Can I Earn By Submitting Skins

After you learn how to make CS:GO skins and submit them, you can turn your hobby into a source of profit. But how much can you earn this way? While Valve prohibits successful skin creators from disclosing the exact amount of their earnings, it can be a matter of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Usually, the earnings are determined as a percentage of sales. This means, if the skin is part of a certain case, its creator will get some percentage from each sale. Consequently, the authors of skins belonging to the Active Drop Pool have a chance to get more money, than the authors whose works got selected for rarer cases or cases available for a limited time. 

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There is not much information coming from Valve itself about the amounts of profits you can get if you know how to submit CS:GO skins. In 2014 the company posted an article where it mentioned that about 70 weapon finishes created by members of the community brought their authors a total of $3 million. Consequently, we can calculate that each of them got about $40 000 on average. Note, that this was 9 years ago when the total number of players was much lower and the market has not yet developed to its current size. Currently, skins and cases are purchased much more often, and a successful creator can hope to learn more than $400 000 if his skin lands in a case belonging to the Active Drop Pool. 

There are various versions circulating in the community about the exact amount of money you can get from each skin. Valve mentions 25% of any direct sale mentioned in an official guide, which probably includes situations when your skin is bought and sold on the Steam Community Market. However, when the case containing the skin is sold, or in some other specific situations, the payout can be calculated differently. The official terms say that it is up to Valve to establish the percentages or change it when it finds necessary. 

As you see, learning to submit CS:GO skins can bring you a new source of passive income. However, you need talent, luck, and persistence to achieve that. Most creators add multiple skins to the Workshop, and try out various styles and approaches before their work gets noticed. Note, that if there are several persons involved in a skin creation, for example, a designer and a 3D artist, the revenue remains the same and will be shared between them. 

As you see, it is not very difficult to submit CS:GO skins in the Workshop. Getting acclaimed is another task, but if you constantly work on improving your content, there is actually a chance that your skins will get accepted into the official game and will become a source of profit for you.

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