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Overview

The Arms Deal Collection, the first series of skins released for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Skins, also referred to as finishes, are a feature exclusive to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, introduced in the Arms Deal update. They are weapons with different textures that can be equipped in-game. They are entirely cosmetic, holding no gameplay function.

To acquire a skin, one must either:

  1. Earn them through random drops by playing in online community and official servers.
  2. From opening containers, such as weapon cases or souvenir packages.
  3. Trade 10 skins of the same rarity for one of a higher rarity with a Trade Up Contract.
  4. Buying skins from the Steam Market.
  5. Trading with other players.

Many skins also have unique descriptions, and provide extra flavor text to their weapon descriptions. A number of them reference characters in CS:GO campaigns.[1]

Skin Grade

Weapons skins come in different quality grades, generally signifying their rarity and value.

Grade Drop Sound Unbox Sound
White (Common)
Consumer Grade, Base Grade
Baby Blue (Uncommon)
Industrial Grade
Navy Blue (Rare)
Mil-Spec, High Grade
Purple (Mythical)
Restricted, Remarkable
Hot Pink (Legendary)
Classified, Exotic
Red (Ancient)
Covert, Extraordinary
Gold (Exceedingly Rare)
Rare Special (★), Knife, Gloves
N/A* N/A
Rose Gold (Immortal)
Contraband (Discontinued)
N/A* N/A

*: Items of the class do not drop. However, as defined in the item schema, they use the Legendary and Ancient class drop sounds.

Skin Quality

In the Steam Market and in-game inventory, generally skins have a white border around the preview icon, except for the following:

Stock weapon "skins" are also color coded with dark brown in the in-game inventory. Some stock weapons have market pages like the AK-47 for example, but they are not tradable or marketable so this color is rarely used for anything other than arbitrary sorting.

StatTrak™

Main article: StatTrak™

StatTrak™ is a weapon quality which tracks the number of kills performed by the owner of the weapon. StatTrak™ kills do not transfer between users when the item is traded. StatTrak™ kills can be converted to another StatTrak™ weapon of the same class through a StatTrak™ Swap Tool.

Weapons with the StatTrak™ quality can be acquired by opening weapon cases or fulfilling a trade up contract with skins which all have StatTrak™.

Skins in map or themed collections cannot be obtained in StatTrak™ quality, however, there was a bug at the beginning of Operation Riptide that allowed for StatTrak™ skins from map collections to be acquired. These skins were not tradable or marketable, and this was patched in an update later.

Skin Properties

Wear Rating (Float)

A float is chosen when a weapon skin is dropped, unboxed or received from a trade up contract. The float simulates a randomized condition on the skin. The rarity of the float is based on a bell curve for most weapons, with low float Factory New items and high float Battle-Scarred items being the rarest[2]. The closer it is to 0, the cleaner the skin is. The closer it is to 1, the more worn it appears.

Certain skins are float capped, where a float outside of the specific range cannot exist. For example, a P250 - Whiteout cannot have a float lower than 0.06, or a float higher than 0.80.

Different finish styles have different effects for lower weapon quality, some weapon finishes even have easter eggs built into the scratch pattern for higher floats.

A weapon float will not degrade over time and can never be changed.

The float hierarchy is the following, from best to worst:

  • Factory New (0.00-0.07)
  • Minimal Wear (0.07-0.15)
  • Field Tested (0.15-0.37)
  • Well Worn (0.37-0.44)
  • Battle Scarred (0.44-1.00)

Pattern Template

Based on the finish style used, the same skin may have different looks due to variations with texture offset and displacement. This information is stored in a visible pattern index seed between 1 & 1000.[3]

There are many interesting seeds for various weapon finishes and some are more sought after than others. This drives the price of specific items with specific items up in value. A good example of this is the AK-47 - Case Hardened. Patterns with lots of blue are known as "blue gems" and are typically more expensive.

Skin Finishes

There are several finishes which a skin can adopt.

Style Description Example
Solid Color

Individual components of the weapon are painted with up to four unique colors before reassembly.

AUG - Storm

Spray Paint

The weapon is spray-painted with multiple coats through stencil patterns.

AUG - Radiation Hazard

Hydrographic

Disassembled weapon parts are lowered through a floating hydrographic film on the surface of a water tank. The film adheres to the primed weapon parts, covering the surface with a pattern.

AUG - Copperhead

Anodized

Many comon firearms materials cannot be anodized. Instead the effect is often mimicked by applying a colored candy coat over a chrome base.

AUG - Anodized Navy

Anodized Airbrushed

This style emulates applying the candy coat via freehand airbrushing.

AUG - Amber Fade

Anodized Multicolored

In this style, the candy coat may be applied in a multicolored pattern. In the real world, methods could include silk-screening or adherable stencils.

AUG - Flame Jörmungandr

Patina

A patina is a chemical reaction that forms a non-reactive, hardened shell over metallic parts. Real-life weapon patinas include case hardening, cold bluing, and acid forced patinas.

AK-47 - Case Hardened

Custom Paint

This style enables extremely customized looks in a full range of colors.

AUG - Momentum

Gunsmith

This style uses a combination of patina and custom paint styles.

AUG - Aristocrat

Skin Collections

For a list of skin collections, see Skin Collections and for cases, see Weapon Cases

Excluding knife skins, weapon skins are organized by collections. The contents of a single case outside of the rare special items are considered to be part of a single collection. For non-case items, they are in collections based on a theme. This can be based on map, like the 2021 Vertigo Collection, or through an external theme such as the Gods and Monsters Collection.

The collection the randomly dropped weapon skins are in are not dependent on what map the player was playing. For example, playing on Train will not guarantee the player a skin from the Train Collection.

Opening weapon cases will give the player one weapon from the weapon case's collection.

Unused Content

  • An unused finish named "GO Camo" described as "It has been painted using a hydrographic in the Global Offensive camo pattern." can be found in game files.
  • An unused FAMAS skin with an ASCII theme can be found in game files.[4]
  • According to game files, items originally could drop during a round instead of at the end of the match.[5]
  • Spectators at some point were able to inspect the weapon of the player they were spectating.

Trivia

  • Weapon finishes are referred as "PaintKits" in game files.
  • At one point during the development process, the exterior quality of the weapon was intended to wear down over time to show the weapon's veteran status, but this idea was eventually abandoned after testing and re-evaluating individual skins.[2]
  • The rarity of the weapons was established based on what the developers thought would be the more popular skins (lower tiers) as a form of mitigating the risk of bright, goofy or unrealistic skins (higher tiers). This was proved wrong after the weapon skins launched, as it was apparent the Global Offensive community preferred the more unique and brightly colored skins[2] and newer weapon collections have tailored to reflect the community preference.
  • Some unused qualities also exist in the in-game files, likely copied from other Source engine games. These unused qualities include:
    • UNNAMED
    • Clandestine
    • Well-Designed
    • Violet - Haunted and Completed
    • Toxic Green - Customized
    • Rose Red - Developer
      • The "UNNAMED" quality is specified in the game's files, but it doesn't have an associated color.
  • The Arms Deal 3 Collection is the only skin collection consisting entirely of pistol skins.

External links

References

  1. https://csgostash.com/lore
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Building the Content that Drives the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Economy on YouTube
  3. http://blog.counter-strike.net/workshop/finishes/randomization.html
  4. csgo\pak01_dir.vpk\materials\models\customization\paints\custom\ascii_famas.vtf
  5. csgo_english - string: "Items have been acquired this round!"
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