CS:GO stands for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and is one of the most popular multiplayer first-person shooter games out there. Developed by companies Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment. In the fourth installment of the Counter-Strike series, there are over 24 million monthly active users. Needless to say, there’s a pretty large Counter-Strike community.
And the CSGO skins are one of the most vital parts of the CSGO gaming experience. They can be extremely expensive. Up until recently, the most expensive purchase was $61,052.63 for a Souvenir AWP Dragon Lore Factory New; but in January 2021, this was far outnumbered with a purchase of $150,000 for the AK-47 Case Hardened with the StatTrak™ Technology. It had 4 ‘Titan | Katowice 2014’ stickers on the skin with a Minimal Wear finish.
This can all sound Greek and Latin for someone who isn’t into the game, and unaware of the booming business of trading CSGO skins. It’s the primary reason why so many people play the game and doesn’t have to be just for the insanely rich players. You can completely transform your gaming experience by getting into skins. The average CSGO skin is priced at $79, but there are many that go for way less, for even $1-7.
What is a CS:GO Skin?
Generally, skins refer to a modification to the game that is purely cosmetic. In some video games it can be a costume for a character, but in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, it refers to the visual design of the weapon, either a knife or a firearm. It doesn’t actually change the way the weapon functions, instead acts as a “coat” of either color, texture, or some added visual elements. They often feature ‘stickers’ as well.
A skin doesn’t actually affect the performance of the weapon. A regular AK-47 and the $150,000 AK-47 will function exactly the same. You might be surprised that the majoritarian male audience (78% players of Counter Strike are male) are so invested in just cosmetic looks, and that’s why we’ve put together a few reasons why people buy or trade CSGO skins at all.
Reasons why CS:GO gamers buy or trade skins
Who knows, maybe after reading these reasons, you’ll want to trade skins as well!
CS:GO skins can be very rare
One of the main reasons why they’re so pricey is because they can be extremely, extremely, rare. There are fewer items released as the skins get more expensive, and some are even released during tournaments. The $61k Dragonlore skin, for example, is one of those skins released during a tournament sponsored by Valve. It is one of the rarest skins to exist, and to top it off: was actually autographed by Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, a retired American CSGO professional player.
But while a famous eSports player using a weapon is bound to hike up its price, it’s also valuable when one of the skins is hard to come by in the first place. Many of the most expensive skins are bought only a day or two after they are released. A skin that’s easy to find and common is usually not expensive at all, but they don’t hold much bragging rights either.
A Point of Pride
Speaking of bragging rights: the whole reason why anyone purchases a rare and expensive CSGO skin is that it adds value to their persona as a gamer. Apart from being respected for your gaming skills, having a rare, unique, or creative CSGO skin means that you’re serious about the game: and definitely adds to the ‘cool factor’.
It’s also an impressive way to personalize the game. Using a unique and creative CSGO skin is what you bring to the game to change it up and make it the way you like it. Instead of just picking a regular gun from the loadout, you’ve taken the effort to personalize arguably the most important aspect of the game: your firearm.
Players also claim that other players immediately take them much more seriously when they sport a valuable skin. This could work against their advantage, however, as most people would expect you to be a highly skilled player, taking away the element of surprise from you!
A Valuable Investment
Since CSGO skins aren’t a perishable commodity, you can actually make money off buying, selling and trading them. There are lots of established skins trading sites, where you can exchange plenty of your old skins to get newer more valuable ones. And value varies: sometimes, what you might not consider too valuable may be just what someone else is looking for, and you can make a profit!
And since the pricing is set by players, it isn’t always equal. Sometimes a skin that is selling for $200 on Steam can be selling for a fraction of that price, like $45 on an independent third-party trading platform.
All you need to do to get started with skins investments is have a Steam account to make legitimate trading deals, and a Paypal account to send and receive money. Many players are actively involved in the business of CSGO skins and actually regularly make money off it. There are some niche sellers as well, who focus on procuring only the most valuable and expensive rare skins out there.
Skins look great
If you purchase your first skin, you’ll be surprised at what a difference it makes to your game. It might sound frivolous to just say ‘cosmetic changes to the game’, but a skin is really a brilliantly crafted work of art. The better skins have amazing graphics, and they look insanely cool. Some noteworthy mentions are the AK47 Vulcan and the M4A1-S | Hyper-Beast. But since aesthetics largely vary from person to person: you’ll probably fall in love with the skin of your choice. Playing with a beautiful gun really does improve your game: or so most players claim.
Additionally, if you happen to be one of the few female CSGO players: you might or might not want a skin that better suits your personal aesthetic. Many female players are proud of being the highly skilled minority (as they should be) and want to get a ‘girl gun skin’ to show that off. But firearm skins don’t discriminate. There are plenty of options for every kind of player out there.
No matter what your personal reason for purchasing CSGO skins is: there’s no denying that it’s an incredibly profitable and creative way for players to display their love for the game. In this day and age it’s increasingly possible to make a living from doing your favorite thing in the world: playing video games. And if all you want to do for the rest of your life is play sweet CS:GO, then you should’ve started trading CS:GO skins like, yesterday.