Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has set the internet on fire with introduction of CS GO skins. Skins (sometimes called finishs), simply explained, are a cosmetic upgrade and don’t change any gameplay functionality, or at least not in theory. Skins are unique visual design for a CS GO firearm or knife. Giving weapons different textures and looks might seem frivolous in a game that is anything but frivolous, but certain texture and color combinations can offer the player a minor tactical advantage (or disadvantage), depending on the weapon and the circumstances. But understand: skins don’t actually change anything about the game itself.
There are three ways a CS GO player can obtain skins. Players can earn skins by playing on official CS servers and in CS online communities, through random drops. That’s not a predictable way to get skins, hence the word random. Players also obtain skins when they open weapon and promotional crates, and uncrate the skins. The third way of obtaining skins, and definitely the most discussed, is through buying them in the Steam Market. This involves other players selling skins, so in the CS GO world it is considered a trade. But everyone refers to it as buying skins. For any player unfamiliar with the process, first go to the Steam site and sign in to the account, and in inventory click Trade Offers. Click on ‘Who can send metrade offers’, and then at the bottom you’ll receive the trade URL. Skins do more than give your weapon personality: certain skins can act as camouflage in certain environments. Some skins are just absurd. And some skins make weapons look like paintball guns, so you can have all the fun of paintballing without the sting of getting hit.
There are hundred of skins. They’re categorized as normal, souvenir, or StatTrak. Normal is pretty self-explanatory. Souvenir skins have dropped during GO esports tournaments, and the description tells the particular event. Souvenir skins can be rare, or even incredibly rare, and sell (trade) for hundreds of dollars. StatTrak tracks stats: specifically, the number of kills from the weapon. When StatTrak weapons are traded in the Steam Market, the stats reset. Another factor useful to know in buying skins is that they are categorized as Factory New, Minimal Wear, Field-Tested, Well-Worn or Battle-scarred. This is incredibly important in achieving just the right look. But again, it doesn’t change anything about the firepower of the weapon. Just to further complicate matters, skins labeled by their quality grade. This signifies how rare the particular skin is. The quality grades are Consumer Grade (or Common), Industrial Grade (or Uncommon), Mil-Spec Grade (or Rare), Restricted (positively Mythical), Classified (truly Legendary), Covert (or Ancient, and who doesn’t like the vintage look) and Gold (meaning Exceedingly Rare, with emphasis on Exceedingly… and Rare). If a player isn’t content to hold his (or her) breath and hope GO delivers an awesome loot drop or weapon case, then this will be all that’s needed to begin buying CS GO skins, and making weapons look marvelous.