What Makes a CS:GO Skin Worth More than Market Price?
Whether you are buying or selling CSGO skins, knowing which items are worth more than others is important for all CSGO traders.
If you have spent a bit of time in the CS:GO economy, you most likely have come across items listed at a much higher price than the current market value. And to your surprise, they are actually selling at that price point. Why? A rare float value, rare pattern and valuable stickers can make a CSGO skin worth more than the normal market price. When I started trading in 2014, a lot of those factors were not fully known to the general public and not easily accessible. Luckily, a lot has changed since then and it is now more user friendly to find the things you need to properly understand the value of your items. This guide aims to help you price your items correctly, so that you do not accidentally sell them for less than they are worth. Since it is impossible to price check every single item in one guide, I will instead try to show you the reasons why certain skins are worth more than others. This guide can be a good starting point if you are new to CSGO trading and helps to avoid some beginner mistakes. But it is also useful for experienced traders to test their knowledge of CSGO skins.
So, to fully understand the factors that make items worth more than market price, I will take you on a short tour into the depths of CSGO skin valuation. Please always keep one thing in mind though: A lot of the principles in this guide apply to most skins, but there can always be outliers that do not follow the same rules.
The base price – defining the market price
For an item to be worth more than market, you will first have to determine the base price. For a lot of items, the Steam Community Market is a big help. You can check listed skins, buy orders and the price graph to get a rough approximation of the median price. The cash value is usually lower than the Steam Market value though. Using Skinport’s search, you can also check current cash price listings, last sales and price trends. This should give you a good idea of an item’s base price, its market value. If an item is too valuable to be listed on the Steam Community Market, checking the sale history on Skinport is the easiest way to get an idea of an item's price.
The first important factor to consider when determining the price of your item is the float value. To understand how different floats can influence prices, we first have to go over some basics.
Every CSGO skin is assigned a float value when it is created by being dropped or unboxed. The float value is a number between zero and one and determines how worn out an item looks.
Most people are aware of the different item conditions, ranging from “Factory New” to “Battle-Scarred”. If you have ever compared 2 Field-Tested items though, you might have noticed huge differences. Every condition corresponds to a certain float value range, so skins can be anywhere on this scale. As a rule of thumb: The lower the float value, the less scratched a skin will appear.
The float value ranges are as follows:
0.00 - 0.07
0.07 - 0.15
0.15 - 0.37
0.37 - 0.44
0.44 - 1.00
Finding the float value of an item is easy. When inspecting any item in CSGO, you can hover over the info symbol at the bottom left of your screen. The number you are looking for is the Wear Rating. Alternatively, Skinport always shows you the float value of all the items in your inventory on the sale page and the float of all items available in our CSGO marketplace. In the beginning of the CSGO economy, the float value was not visible in the game, so finding it was much harder. This also led to some people using percentages to describe the wear of an item. Though this is mainly a thing of the past, converting between the two is easy. A float of 0.1 equals a wear of 10%. This allows you to simply convert between the two, should it ever be necessary.
Not all skins are available in every condition. Some skins only come in specific float ranges. To give you some examples, most Fade skins, like the AWP Fade and all Fade knives, only come in Factory New or Minimal Wear with a maximum float value of 0.08. Another good example is the AK Redline, it only exists in the float value range between 0.10 to 0.70. To visualize the differences the float value can make in the same condition, let us look at two different M4A4 Asiimov's in Field-Tested condition. Since the Asiimov only exists in Field-Tested, Well-Worn, Battle-Scarred and with a float range between 0.18 and 1, a skin with a 0.18 float value is the best you can get.
The pictures above show the lowest and highest float Field-Tested M4A4 Asiimov that are currently in existence. The difference is massive. While one looks almost pristine, the other one has noticeable scratches all over the gun. Understanding how float values work is important to valuing your skins appropriately since most people look for skins with a low number of scratches and pay extra for them.
Now that we understand the basics, there is an important distinction to make: Not every skin becomes scratched with higher float values – some skins instead become darker with a higher float. A great example for this is the AWP Medusa. Comparing a Medusa in Factory New to a Battle-Scarred one shows us that the color changed from blue to green, while the paint itself remains pristine:
Some skins will also reveal new artwork when scratched, like the Tec-9 Hades. In Factory New the pattern is made up of Spartan soldier helmets, some of which turn into skulls with a high enough float. This makes the high float Battle-Scarred Hades as valuable as a Factory New one.
Applying the basics:
Applying what we know about the float value by now seems relatively simple: Low floats in every condition look closer to the next condition tier. A low float skin in Field-Tested will often look like a Minimal Wear skin, so most people would prefer it over other Field-Tested skins with a worse float. This can lead to the skin being worth more than the base market value. With Factory New items, this is even more noticeable. Skins with extremely low floats are often worth significantly more, so it can be a good idea to check the recent sales for other low float items. On rare skins, a low float can lead to the price doubling or even tripling.
Let us take the StatTrak AK-47 Vulcan in Factory New as an example. Being an older, rare and very desired skin, the base price at the time of writing this is around 600€ in cash. Paying this much will usually only get you the skin with a 0.07-0.06 float value though. If you want a better looking one with less scratches, the prices look very different. A 0.03-0.02 float StatTrak Vulcan will already cost you around 1100€ or more, so almost double the base price! If you are looking for a skin with two zeroes behind the comma, you will most likely have to spend upwards of 1800€ – three times the base price!
Gloves are another great example of the float value having a great effect on the price. Field tested gloves with a good float are often worth much more than the base price. Sport Gloves Pandora’s Box in Field-Tested are currently worth around 1400-1500€ with a bad float value. A float value in the 0.15-0.18 range will take that value up all the way to 2600€. Why? The answer is simple: The same gloves in Minimal Wear will cost you at least 4000€! Getting them in Field-Tested with a good float value will still save the buyer a lot of money while looking almost the same in-game.
Valuable high floats
So, the basics of float are simple: Lower floats usually mean that the skin is worth a bit more. On rare skins, the price difference is much more pronounced. If you blindly follow this rule though, you might miss out on some value. Some skins are also worth more if they have a very high float value and do not reveal new artwork. This can be due to collectors looking for the highest float value on a specific skin, or due to people looking for a specific look. A good example for the latter is the AWP Asiimov in Battle-Scarred. The skin looks pretty messed up for the most part, but if you get to very high floats, the scope will be completely black, giving the weapon a unique look. Those AWPs are often referred to as Blackiimovs. The higher the float is, the more it is worth. Most people consider anything above 0.95 a real Blackiimov, though this is in no way a generally accepted definition. Even AWPs with slightly lower floats can have fully black scopes. To give you an idea how even high floats can make your skin worth more than market price: An Asiimov with a 0.99 float can currently fetch over 250€! The Blackiimov is obviously not the only example, though it is the most well-known one.
The float value for your items is the first big factor in determining its price. Even just the float value can take the value of your items to new heights. Whenever you are selling your item, check the float value and check the prices of items with a similar float to not miss out on some extra money.
The second factor in pricing your items correctly are rare patterns. Every CSGO skin has a pattern template in addition to its float value. This pattern template determines how far a pattern is shifted along the item itself. It is sometimes also referred to as a Paint Seed or just pattern. A lot of CSGO skins work by applying a texture to the weapon itself. This texture is often a large texture file and can be applied in different ways, creating different patterns in the process. A good example for this is the Case Hardened Finish. The pattern template determines which part of the pattern is visible on the item. This can create desirable patterns such as blue gems. Since pattern templates are a number between 1 and 1000, the maximum number of different patterns per skin is always 1000.
To make one thing clear: Not every CSGO skin even has patterns! A lot of artwork Skins always look the same, no matter what their pattern ID is. Their artwork itself will always look the same. The pattern ID is still important on those items though because it influences where scratches appear. The float value determines how scratched an item is, the pattern ID determines where those scratches appear. On a Karambit this can lead to low float items having heavily scratched corners while higher float ones might look better.
Fade skins are one of the most important examples of patterns influencing the price of an item. The way the pattern template is applied makes a difference in the so-called Fade percentage. The fade pattern consists of 3 colors: Yellow, red and blue in this order. Yellow will always be visible, followed by red and blue. On some knives, the blue part of the fade pattern will only be visible with a high fade percentage. So, the more blue you can see, the better. With Skinport’s automatic fade percentage check, you will always know what fade percentage your Fade skins have!
Marble Fade Skins
Marble Fade skins are also highly affected by the pattern template. The colors yellow, blue and red are applied onto the skin. On most knives like the M9 Bayonet or the Butterfly, this can lead to desirable patterns with big red tips. On the Bayonet, Flip knife, Gut Knife and Karambit it can instead lead to very expensive Fire and Ice patterns that only show red and blue on the visible side of the knife. Fire and Ice patterns are worth much more than the base price, depending on how little yellow is visible and of course also depending on the float value.
Case Hardened Skins
Most Case Hardened skins have the possibility of blue gems. Blue gems are skins with a lot of solid and uninterrupted blue on them, preferably on the play-side of an item. Blue gems on knives and AKs can be worth thousands, depending on the condition of the item. The most famous blue gem has to be the legendary AK Scar Pattern with the Pattern Seed 661. Even in Battle-Scarred, this beauty will cost you close to 5000€. StatTrak Versions in good condition will cost you more than a brand-new luxury car. So, if you have an AK with a very blue pattern, make sure to check if it might be worth more than you think!
Doppler gems are known by a lot of people, but you will still find people that are not aware of their full value. Doppler knives can come in one of four phases or as a gem pattern. The phases usually have some price differences between them, with phase 2 being the most expensive. The gem finishes include ruby, sapphire and black pearl for doppler knives and emerald for gamma doppler knives. While unboxing a knife is already super rare, unboxing a doppler gem takes it a step further. Gems are worth a multiple of the normal doppler knife price. On a Butterfly Doppler, it can take the price from 700€ all the way to 7000€ for a sapphire. Skinport will always let you know which phase your knife is and adjusts the suggested price accordingly, so that you do not accidentally miss out on a lot of money!
The pattern seed of your skins is more than just a number. Knowledge about rare patterns can make the difference between a good deal and losing out on hundreds or even thousands of Euros. So, make sure to check your pattern before you sell your items, they could be worth much more than the market price!
When trading in CSGO was starting to become a big thing, a lot of traders used a sentence that haunts me to this day: “Stickers don’t add value!” You would hear it everywhere when trying to sell your items. This was wrong back then and is even more so today. Stickers can be a huge part of a skin's value, so understanding how they work is important in finding the correct price for your stickered items.
The basics of stickers are simple: You can apply stickers to any gun in CSGO, except for the taser (Which is not a gun anyways). Most guns have 4 different spots stickers can be applied to, the G3SG1 being the exception by allowing a total of 5 stickers to be applied. You can put one sticker that you own on each of the spots. Should you not like it anymore, you are able to scrape it off in multiple steps, making the sticker look more worn and eventually removing it.
CS:GO has a lot of valuable stickers, some worth thousands of Euros. To make one thing very clear though: Once you put a sticker on an item, you are losing a good part of the sticker value, sometimes even all of it.
Some of the most desired stickers are the Katowice 2014 Holos and non-Holos, the Katowice 2015 Holos and Foils, the Crown Foil sticker and different golden player signatures from famous players. Simply check the value of the sticker in question on its own. If It is worth a lot, it will not fully lose its value when applied. Cheaper stickers on the other hand will often not get you anything more than the market price since the buyer could craft it easily. If someone is looking for your specific craft, they might consider buying it for a bit above the market price to save money compared to crafting it. With old, discontinued and expensive Stickers, crafting the item yourself is in no way cheap and sometimes even impossible, so desirable stickers can get you a price that is way above market price. The stickers themselves are just one part of the equation though.
The skin they are applied to
Since we are talking about items with stickers, the item itself is as important as the stickers on it. On the one hand, you must consider the condition and look of the item itself. Many people will prefer Factory New skins over Battle-Scarred ones, so the amount of overpay for your stickers is dependent on the condition. If the stickers also fit the skin’s color scheme, the value increases further.
On the other hand, you have to consider the rarity of the item in relation to the stickers. This concept is easier to understand with an example. Let us say that you have two items with one Katowice 2014 iBuyPower Holo sticker. One of them is an Ak-47 Redline in Field Tested, the other one is an AK-47 Legion of Anubis in Field Tested. Even when you ignore the small price difference between both skins, there is another big reason that an iBuyPower Holo would be worth more on the Legion of Anubis. The Redline was released in 2014 when iBuyPower Holos were cheap. Therefore, a lot of them have been crafted. The Legion of Anubis was released in 2020, finding one with an iBuyPower Holo would mean, that someone put the sticker on while it was worth thousands of Euros. To my knowledge, no one has done this yet. If someone did it, they would be able to recover much more of the current sticker value in comparison to slapping it on an AK redline. This principle applies to all skins, so seeing a newer skin with Katowice 2014 stickers is rare. If you do see one, it will cost a fortune.
With 4 different sticker positions available, it should come as no surprise that the positioning of stickers can make a price difference. This of course only applies to skins that do not have four of the same stickers on it. A lot of guns have sticker spots with high visibility and ones that do not show the sticker that well. A perfect example of this are the pistols in CSGO. Each pistol, apart from the Tec-9, has a sticker spot on the pistol grip. This spot is covered by your hand while playing, so the sticker is not properly visible. If a rare sticker is applied here, the value is usually lower. The other sticker spots on the pistols are also not equal. The most liked one is the one right above the pistol grip, because it best showcases a high value sticker in that spot. Therefore, a sticker applied on this spot will fetch the highest value in comparison with the other sticker spots. On the AK-47 the best spot is on the wood in the front of the gun, the scope on the AWP is its best spot and the two M4s have their most valuable sticker spots above the magazine.
Mixed rare Stickers
Sometimes you will come across a skin with multiple valuable stickers on it. If they are different stickers, it can be extremely difficult to find an accurate price for that item. The reason is simple: Most people prefer matching stickers over mixed stickers. There is no simple rule you can follow to find the value of those items. You could try to find an item with similar stickers but finding one that matches yours perfectly can be close to or even impossible. Try to find similar ones and compare the sticker positioning. If the stickers do not fully match yours, it can still be a good point of reference to get a rough idea of the price. In the end, it is all about the looks. If your mixed stickers look good, the price will be higher. At this point you are entering a buyers’ market though, so the price will depend on what people are willing to pay. If you are looking to trade items with stickers, mixed sticker crafts are usually not the best place to start at. Once you are more familiar with sticker prices and the CSGO economy, you will develop a gut feeling about the value of mixed sticker crafts.
Scratched stickers are another problem child. Stickers can be scraped off quite a lot, changing the look of them. Most people do not want high value stickers that are partially damaged. So, for simplicities sake one can follow this rule: High tier stickers on items should never be scratched, otherwise they have lost most of their value. Exceptions can apply if the sticker is not visibly damaged, but in the end, those stickers still add less value than an unscratched one!
Some stickers do look better when they are scraped off partially or even reveal new artwork, but those are usually not worth enough to be considered worthy of any overpay. Signature stickers can create a cool look when scraped, but most people do not overpay for them by much.
Stickers alone can make your CSGO skins worth much more than market price. A rare sticker on a bad skin can still take the value to astronomical heights. As you might have noticed, this article does not have any specific percentages of the sticker price you should add to the price of your item. Sticker crafts are often too unique to price with a fixed percentage, making the valuation of your stickered guns the hardest part. Always be careful when selling items with high value stickers, it is better to lower your price over time instead of selling it too cheaply!
Combining all factors
Now that we have covered all important factors on their own, it is time for the best part: Combining them all together. While you will often have items that only have a rare float, rare pattern, or rare stickers, this is obviously not always the case. If an item combines multiple value factors, the price can be extremely high. Each factor influences the other ones, so by combining them, the value can increase by more than the sum of the value factors on their own. A low float item with a rare pattern and valuable stickers is extremely rare, so the price will rise accordingly. In the end, it is all about rarity and desirability. The skin with the lowest float, best stickers and best pattern will always be the rarest and most desirable, so people are going to pay a lot for it.
Skinport’s built in tools help you to find the right price for your item, by showing you the float and highlighting a lot of rare patterns. Combining those tools with this guide should help you find the right price for your items, so that you do not lose out on any money!