Counter-Strike Global Offensive is one of the most popular FPS or first-person-shooter game makers Valve. It has made news for a betting scandal that involved certain Youtubers. The whole fiasco is centered around ‘skins‘ in this version of Counter Strike.
For computer games, in general, a ‘skin’ is basically an alternate outfit for any character or item that is a part of the game. In the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a ‘skin’, which is also called a ‘finish’ is basically a unique design for one of the weapons, like a knife or a firearm.
What do Skins do?
Technically nothing in the game-play. Yes, skins are just visual modifications, they do affect the actual abilities of the item or the player in the game. They only make the item or player look different.
In Counter Strike: Global Offensive the skins are purely cosmetic and do not modify the weapon’s firepower in any way. As evidenced by the use of the P90 sub-machine gun, the gun works with skins exactly the way it does without any skin.
These skins were introduced by maker Valve in August 2013 as the ‘Arms Deal’ update. This update added a total of over a hundred skins grouped into ten different ‘Collections’. Some of the popular collections include Assault, Dust, Office and Aztec.
The game offers players hundreds of different skins ranging from very realistic ones to the most absurd ones who may have ever seen. Some of these skins do provide tactical advantages for instance the Aztec collection’s skins feature forest camouflage help the guns blend perfectly into any jungle environment. However there are a ton of outlandish and weird skins that have no tactical utility at all such as the Akihabara Accept, which believe it or not, is an assault rifle that features an anime magazine cover imprint on its side.
There also different quality grades in skins, which basically signify a skin’s rarity and ultimately its value. The skins can be categorized in several levels of rarity starting from the Consumer Grade which is common to the Gold which is exceedingly rare.
Another distinctive factor is the skin’s external quality which shows the freshness of the item or weapon being used. These can be categorized in order from the least wear and tear to the most, we have: the levels ranging from Factory New which is the newest to Battle-Scarred which is the most wear and tear borne one.
These skins are also marked as ‘Normal’, ‘StatTrak‘ or the ‘Souvenir’. These have different meanings such as a weapon with the StatTrak skin keeps track of the number of kills that you rack up using it. However, this number will go back to zero if you put up this skin for transfer of ownership on the Steam Market. ‘Souvenir’ marked skins are skins that were dropped during the game’s e-sports tournaments and their description mentions the event. Some of these Souvenir skins are extremely rare and sell for up to hundreds of dollars.