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CS2 Skin Quality Guide

CS2 - Skin Rarity Guide

In Counter-Strike, customized weapon finishes are a mainstay of the gameplay, with some being more unique than others. Each unique finish (referred to more commonly as skins) has its own value determined by a couple of factors such as design, rarity, wear, and overall popularity. When it comes to the overall quality of a skin, that is determined by its rarity and float value or wear. Each skin is assigned specific defining characteristics that reflect its rarity and quality. Understanding these grades is crucial for players who want to navigate the bustling CSGO skin market.

CS2 Rarity Order

The rarity of Counter-Strike skins are divided into categories which are also assigned colors for easier identification. There are eight rarity types in total, however only seven kinds are available to be unlocked through natural ways such as in-game drops or opening cases. The rarity types are Consumer Grade, Industrial Grade, Mil-Spec, Restricted, Classified, Covert, Exceedingly Rare, and Contraband.

Consumer Grade (White)

Consumer Grade skins are the most common and easiest to obtain in CS2. They are indicated by a white color on its border when checking them through the game or in your inventory. These skins are usually plain and lack intricate designs. They are commonly dropped in-game after completing matches or can be obtained through weapon cases. They are the most populated drops in weapon cases and fetch the least amount of money when posted on the Steam community market. Consumer Grade skins are typically the cheapest that money can buy, however depending on the weapon the values of certain skins in this category can differ by around 100 to even 1000%.

Industrial Grade (Light Blue)

Industrial Grade skins are slightly rarer than Consumer Grade skins. They are indicated by a light blue color. While still relatively common, Industrial Grade skins often have more detailed designs compared to Consumer Grade skins. They are just a step above the Consumer Grade skins, thus making their prices only slightly more valuable with some even staying in the same realm as the lower tier finishes. There are some outliers such as the AWP | Sun in Leo that skews way beyond the average price range due to their popularity and overall design being far from what is usually expected of an Industrial Grade skin.

Mil-Spec (Blue)

Mil-Spec skins are considered to be in the average of what one can get. Decent chunk of money for a decent looking skin that stands out more than just a change in color or simple toned-down look that a White or an Industrial Grade skin will get you. Mil-Spec skins are of average rarity. They are indicated by a medium blue color. These skins often feature more elaborate designs and are sought after by players who want something more visually appealing without spending a significant amount of money. Some like the AK-47 Laminate finishes are classified as Mil-Spec skins yet reach prices of anywhere starting from $20 to $100 depending on float value.

Restricted (Purple)

The Restricted category is where people start actually getting excited about what they unbox. A Purple skin will more often than not have some beautiful patterns with an obvious theme . These skins mostly belong in the mid-tier value range, but there are some budget gems that go for way less than they should, especially considering the quality other designs offer.

Classified (Pink)

Classified skins are even rarer than Restricted skins. They are indicated by a pink color. Many “play skins” used by common players and even professionals alike come from the Classified category due to their unique and appealing designs. These include iconic finishes such as the AK-47 | Case Hardened, Frontside Misty, and Phantom Disruptors, the M4A4 | Dragon King, Cyber Security, and Desolate Space, and the AWP | Mortis and Duality.

Covert (Red)

Covert skins are the most sought-after and valuable weapon finishes included in a case or collection. Unboxing one almost always guarantees you make your money back or even profit from how much the key cost to open the case itself. Some Covert skins still dabble around the $20 price range, while the true gems of the game extend to the quadruple or even quintuple-digit valuations. Iconic skins such as the AWP | Dragon Lore and AK-47 | Fire Serpent belong in the Covert category.

Exceedingly Rare (Gold)

Reserved for knives and gloves that come with a case, these are the true rarest things one can unbox and fetch numbers way above how much the key cost. All gloves and knife finishes are categorized as Exceedingly Rare.

Contraband (Orange)

The Contraband category is reserved for one skin and one skin only: the M4A4 | Howl. The most notorious and infamous skin in the game was placed in the Contraband category by Valve after reports of copyright infringement and plagiarism arose from the design’s true creator. Since then, the M4A4 | Howl was removed from all cases and will not be placed into any future cases or in-game drops, making its current amount in circulation the maximum it will ever be moving forward. The value of this skin rises as time goes by with inventories getting banned and players quitting the game, leaving their M4A4 | Howl in almost permanent storage. In short, if you don’t already own a Howl the only way to get it is by trading with someone that already does since there will never ever be more created by Valve.

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