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Skins, also referred to as finishes, are a new feature in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, introduced in the Arms Deal update. They are weapons with different textures that can be equipped in-game. They are completely cosmetic, holding no gameplay function. However, their different colours and textures can be used as a slight tactical advantage or disadvantage in some circumstances. Valve's Weapon Finishes Guide provides a basic starting point for creating your own weapon skins.
To acquire a skin, one must either:
- Earn them through random drops by playing in online community and official servers.
- "Uncrate" them from opening weapon and promotional crates.
- Trading with other players. Buying skins from the Steam Market is considered a trade.
Also, some variants include a StatTrak™ device, a counter that shows the total amount of kills acquired with the weapon by the current owner. Holding the [F] key (default) will allow the player to 'inspect' the gun in greater detail and allow you to gain a better view of your StatTrak™ counter.
Access to the inventory is unavailable when you are alive and after the warm-up in Competitive game modes for tactical imbalance reasons.
Weapons skins come in different quality grades, generally signifying their rarity and value.
- White (Common) - Consumer grade
- Light blue (Uncommon) - Industrial grade
- Darker blue (Rare) - Mil-spec
- Purple (Mythical) - Restricted
- Pinkish purple (Legendary) - Classified
- Red (Ancient) - Covert
- Gold (Exceedingly Rare) - ★ Melee Weapons
- Light Brown (Immortal) - Contraband (discontinued)
In the Steam Market and in-game inventory, all general skins have a white border around the preview icon, while knives are bordered with Purple, the StatTrak™ weapons with Orange, Souvenir weapons with Yellow, and self-made Prototype skins with Green.
A random exterior quality is chosen when a weapon skin is dropped, uncrated or received from a Trade Up Contract. The exterior quality simulates randomized wear and tear on the skin, and is determined when the skin drops. A weapon's exterior quality will not degrade over time and can never be changed.
The exterior quality hierarchy is the following, from best to worst:
- Factory New
- Minimal Wear
Opening weapon crates will give the player one weapon from the weapon crate's series.