Basic introduction to skins, knives, and the CS:GO skin economy.

I typed all of this out to explain to someone, and figured it might be a nice idea to share with the general public.

There are several different grades of skins (in order of rarity)
White (Common) - Consumer grade
Light blue (Uncommon) - Industrial grade
Darker blue (Rare) - Mil-spec
Purple (Mythical) - Restricted
Pinkish purple (Legendary) - Classified
Red (Ancient) - Covert

After matches, there is a chance to drop either a crate or a skin

A skin that drops after a match will be of a random map collection, and the tier will be White through Purple. (only exceptions are SCAR-20 | Splash Jam of the Militia collection and P250 | Franklin of the Bank collection, which are are Pink-tier)

If you unbox a crate, the tier will be Darker Blue (mil-spec) through Red (covert). 

Generally, the more rare an item is, the more it will be worth. However there are exceptions, like if a skin is more used. This is why M4, AK, AWP, and Glock skins generally are more expensive than other skins on the market.

An example of this is the Operation Phoenix crate, where the two most expensive skins are the AWP Asiimov and the AK Redline. The AUG Chameleon is Covert-tier (same as the Asiimov AWP), meaning that it is probably more rare than the Redline AK, but the Redline AK is more expensive. This is because there is more demand for the AK skin, meaning that its price will be higher.

There is approximately a 14% chance of unboxing a Stat Trak weapon from a case, and Stat Trak varients of weapons are almost always more valued, and therefore more expensive than their non-stat-trak counterparts. The only real exception to this is on rare occasions when there is a lesser-used pink-tier gun that is used frequently for trade-up contracts.

All cases have a chance (esimated at about a 1% or less chance) of containing an "exceedingly rare special item" which is always a knife. The knives seem to have their own (hidden) tiers of rarity, with Flip and Gut knives being more common, Karambits and M9s beign the rarest, and Bayonets being in about the middle. 

Knife skins all have chances of dropping, with different wears. No specific skin seems to be rarer than another, but some skins are more valued than others. In particular, Fade, Slaughter, and Crimson Web knives are liked the most, and Boreal Forest, Safari Mesh, Scorched, Forest DDPAT, and Urban Masked are liked the least.

Finally, there are five different qualities of weapons (listed from most worn to least worn):

Battle-Scarred
Well-Worn
Field-Tested
Minimal Wear
Factory New


Generally, Field-Tested skins are the most common, especially with normal drops. 

Also, please note that once you have a weapon skin, it will NEVER degrade to being more worn.

However, not all weapons can come in all five wears, such as the Asiimov M4 and AWP (Battle-Scarred through Field-Tested), P2000 Scorpion (Minimal Wear and Factory New ONLY). I'm not entirely sure why this is, but it might be a way of establishign rarity. The exact mechanic of how the drops and unboxing works is relatively unknown to the general public. 

Also, due to the fact that the ways skins are worn is random, some skins have a chance of looking better (or worse) than average. A Field-Tested weapon can actually look Minimal Wear, an Minimal Wear can look Facotry New, and so on. 

Additionally, many skins (especially the ones that are hydrographics) can look different from gun to gun depending on how the hydrographic generates. This can easilly be seen by checking out weapons like Five-seveN Kamis, AWP Booms, and Galil/Tec-9 Sandstorms. 

I hope this could help somebody! 

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