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Item Quality Guide
By Dioroxic
This guide will describe the item quality hierarchy.
What is the arms deal update?
I saw some basic questions regarding what this update actually is. I figured I would add a new section to explain.

The arms deal update has essentially done two things:
  • The first is that it has added two new weapons. The M4A1-S and the USP-S. You can swap these weapons in/out of your buy menu by selecting them in your inventory. They will replace the M4A4 and the P2K. You can remove the silencer by right clicking if you want.
  • The second is that it has added cosmetic weapon skins. These skins DO NOT alter the way the guns shoot, reload, or behave in any way.

So basically there are new cool looking decorated weapons that you can get by simply playing the game. They will drop for free, or you can un-case them. Now let's clear the air about a few other things:
  • The weapon skins are purely cosmetic. A default weapon works exactly the same as a weapon with pretty colors on it.
  • The models of the guns themselves are barely altered if at all. The skins are basically paint jobs.
  • Some weapon skins are more rare than others. (See 'Item Rarity' section.)
  • There are exceedingly rare special items that are knives. These knives are heavily altered from the default knife models.
  • There are StatTrak versions of weapons that will track your kills. (See below section for further detail.)
  • You can use all of these items in any game mode anywhere. Even classic competitive.
  • The items typically drop at the end of a game mode when a winner is declared.
  • You can buy and sell your items on the steam market.

I hope this helps, leave a comment if anyone is still confused about anything and I will try to explain further.
How do I get new weapon skins?
We aren't 100% sure how it works, but basically item drops are awarded at the end of game modes. The player has an unknown timer running that when it hits zero, the player can receive an item at the end of a game mode. Example game modes would be classic competitve, deathmatch, classic casual, and etc. You will either receive a new weapon skin, or a weapon case which you can unlock with the correct corresponding key. Keys for these cases can be traded for, purchased in game, or purchased in the market place. If you are impatient and have lots of money, just go check out the steam marketplace. You can buy any skin you want there from other players.

* You must be connected to a VAC secured server for a chance at drops. These are either community or official Valve servers. This means drops cannot happen offline. In a post on the ESEA forums, it seems that ESEA has been able to activate drops for their PUG related servers.

"Q: How do I earn decorated weapons by playing the game?
A: Weapon drops are awarded for play time over the course of a week. As your play time increases, the drop rate will slow down. The drop rate will reset when the week rolls over."

If you have more questions, please check out Valve's FAQ on the subject located below.

Item Rarity
There are weapon skins in the game that are less common than others. The rarity hierarchy goes as follows:

(From most common to least common.)
  • 1) - White - Consumer grade
  • 2) - Light blue - Industrial grade
  • 3) - Darker blue - Mil-spec
  • 4) - Purple - Restricted
  • 5) - Pinkish purple - Classified
  • 6) - Red - Covert
  • 7) - Exceedingly Rare ★

Q: Which rarities are drop-able?
A: To my knowledge, anything that is not in a case can drop. Case items must be un-cased. Exceedingly rare items are kind of like unusuals from TF2. They will not drop and you must be lucky enough to find one in a case. (Or trade/buy one off the market.)


* In addition, there are also StatTrak versions of the items that will track the kills done with that weapon. These are even more uncommon.
  • 1st note: If someone else picks up your StatTrak weapon during a game, the digital readout will flash "error" and "unknown user". This means that if other people get a kill with your StatTrak weapon, it will not count on the kill counter.

  • 2nd note: You must un-case, trade, or buy one on the market to receive a StatTrak weapon. They do not drop.

  • 3rd note: Bot kills do NOT count toward StatTrak progression. If you kill a bot either online or offline, it will NOT increase the counter. This is obviously to prevent kill farming bots offline.


Here are the current weapon collections.


Alternate site.



- See the below image for an example of what types of qualities you can un-case. The weapon skins that drop for completely free are usually white, but can be much higher in rarity. The weapons in this case range from Mil-spec to Exceedingly Rare.

- Below is an image of a StatTrak weapon. This weapon is normally of pink rarity in game and is part of the 'Arms Deal Collection'.

- Below is an image of an exceedingly rare special item. These items are the rarest items you can receive. As of my knowledge right now, all of the exceedingly rare items are knives. Not all of the exceedingly rare knives have StatTrak in them. The one below was lucky enough to receive a rare knife WITH StatTrak.

Item Exterior
What is item exterior? Well it is basically the quality of the paint job on the weapon itself. The hierarchy for item exterior is as follows:

(From worst exterior to best exterior.)

  • 1) - Battle-Scarred
  • 2) - Well-Worn
  • 3) - Field-Tested
  • 4) - Minimal Wear
  • 5) - Factory New

As you can see, Factory New has the freshest looking paint job out of any of the item exteriors. The item exteriors will not degrade over time. They are simply another variation of weapon finishes.

- Below are examples of each exterior. The weapon is the M4A4 Faded Zebra.

Minimal Wear
Factory New
Souvenir Items
Souvenir items are skins that can be given to players for 'attending' a certain event and receiving a souvenir packing. Attending means that you need to watch a stream/GOTV broadcast of an officially announced event that is offering souvenirs. An example is the DreamHack Winter 2013 tournament. These items randomly drop for players who are watching the tournament. The items are inside cases that do not require keys to open. Once you open a case, you will receive a souvenir item. These items are the same as default items, except they have a sticker from the event on them.

  • The souvenir cases can only be obtained from watching an official event. You can buy them off of the market if someone puts them up for sale or you can get one if you trade somebody items.
  • These souvenir packages do not require keys to open.
  • The souvenir items are exactly like normal weapon skins, but instead they have a sticker on them that relates to the event they were found in.
  • The are actually 2 types of sticker qualities. (There are now 3 qualities of sitckers due to the update on 2/6/14. Normal, holo, and foil. Normal and foil are the only qualities of the Dreamhack Winter 2013 souvenir stickers.) There are normal stickers and then there are foil stickers. This is similar to how steam trading cards have normal cards and then foil cards.
  • You can search the market for these items by typing the word souvenir in the steam market search box. You can also type in souvenir foil, and check the descriptions box to search for souvenir items with foil stickers on them.

Below is an image of a souvenir package.

Below is an image of a souvenir item with a standard sticker.

Below is an image of a souvenir item with a foil sticker.

As you can see, the foil stickers are much more colorful. There are many different stickers for certain events, but I showed the 'mountain' sticker twice so you can compare the difference between foil stickers and normal stickers.
Stickers have been added to the game as of 2/6/2014.
  • Stickers are exactly what they sound like. Stickers that you can put on your weapon skins.
  • Stickers can be received from sticker capsule drops.
  • Capsules can be opened with a sticker capsule key. This costs about 1 dollar.
  • The stickers have differing rarities. There are normal stickers, holographic stickers, and then foil stickers. Normal are the least rare, holo are the second rarest, and foil are the rarest.
  • You can apply these to any gun, and you can apply multiple stickers to any single gun.

Side Notes:
  • Stickers can be scraped off. If they are scraped off, THEY ARE DESTROYED. You do not get them back.
  • Every sticker has 4 positions on a gun. This leads me to believe 4 is the max you can have on a gun.
  • You can put stickers on the base models of guns if you don't have a skin for them.
  • Stickers cannot be put on Knives.
  • When you trade a gun with a sticker, the sticker goes with it. Just like name tags.
  • Both sticker capsules AND stickers after you open the capsules can be sold on the community market.

Below is an image of a sticker capsule, and it lists the stickers that can be found inside.

Here is a picture of the stickers and their corresponding categories based on the schema update.

Here is a picture of what scraping a sticker looks like.

The CZ75-Auto
On February 12th 2014 the CZ75-Auto pistol was added to the game. This is the first automatic pistol in the history of Counter-Strike. This gun can be swapped in and out with the p250. This is similar to how the M4A1-S and USP-S are swapped out with the M4A4 and P2000. The CZ75-Auto has the same damage as the p250, but it is fully automatic. The CZ75's drawback is that it only has 12 shots with 12 in reserve.

Here[blog.counter-strike.net] you can read about the CZ75-Auto update in depth!

On September 2nd, 2014, "-The CZ75-Auto has been moved from the P250 slot to the Tec9/Five-seveN slot and its price has been raised to $500."

Here you can read the change notes for 9/2/2014[blog.counter-strike.net]

Contraband Items
On June 11th 2014, the M4A4 | Howl and the Howling Dawn sticker became labeled as 'Contraband' Items and the original graphic on the gun was changed. This is because the artwork used on the gun/sticker was stolen from a user on Deviant Art. The user on Deviant Art filed a claim with Valve to remove his art work from the game. Valve then removed the items from the Huntsman Case, and all of the items that already existed had their graphics changed. The item can no longer be found in the huntsman case, thus making its rarity increase.

Here is the link to the official statement regarding the contraband items by Valve.

Here is a market search for Contraband items.

Below are before and after pictures of the M4A4 | Howl.



Music Kits and In-Game Offers
As of October 10th, 2014, Music kits have become available for purchase. These kits can be obtained through limited time in game offers, or by purchasing them off the steam market.

"You can share your music kit with anyone you are playing with, and they include a special broadcasted MVP Anthem that plays whenever you are MVP."

Other items such as certain stickers can be obtained through limited time in game offers. If you would like to read the update in depth, Here is a link to the CS:GO blog post![blog.counter-strike.net]

Below is a picture of a limited time in game offer.

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Skittles Jan 29 @ 5:56pm 
Very well written, Keep up the great work! Its people like you that I like to see in the community helping other players! :)
Xmas Panda Jan 25 @ 2:58pm 
omgosh --- im so new to cs:go and this guide is so helpful ... <3 thx for ur tym making this guide :3
Malthael Jan 25 @ 3:04am 
Fun fact: The DeviantArt user who created the Howl was female, not male.
Huh... Good to know. I thought item exteriors degraded over time.
☴Renegade Jan 18 @ 10:43am 
Thank you so much! Really helped me
Kot Behemoth Jan 18 @ 8:04am 
2 Necropo1ice: skins like Cartel, Emerald Pinstripe ect just become darker depending on the condition.
Snapback Jan 17 @ 1:43am 
Necropo1ce> The factory new is unused and the minimal wear is a little more worn, Inspect them ingame to see the difference.
Necropo1ice Jan 10 @ 9:37am 
Can you explain me please different between Cartel (Minimal wear) & Cartel (Factory new) ?
Sylvix Jan 8 @ 1:38am 
opened 3 crates yesterday, got a stattrack clip knife field tested, first case opening session.

then i put it in the market... for 65,71 euros.

i think, i'm lucky
Hypno73ch Jan 8 @ 12:52am 
It is said, that they dont !!!