CS2 skins explained – PCGamesN

Now that CS2 is here, this is what you need to know about your precious Counter-Strike 2 skins now that they’ve transferred from CSGO.
Christian Vaz
Will CSGO skins transfer to CS2? It’s an important question, and those of us with thousands of hours, skins, and – most importantly- dollars invested in the FPS want to know the answer before we commit to a new grind. There’s a huge market for CSGO skins, so the developers are treading on thin ice when it comes to the future of this digital asset.
Owning Counter-Strike 2 skins isn’t just about making a fashion statement. It’s about putting your mark on your implements of death. It’s about showing off your expertise, and, occasionally, selling on for a decent profit – maybe just wait for the skin prices to calm down a little before you decide on investing too much. Now that the Counter-Strike 2 release date is finally here, this is everything you need to know about CS2 skins before you jump in.
Counter-Strike 2 skins: an assault rifle spraypainted orange and blue.
Thankfully, CSGO skins transfer over to Counter-Strike 2. Because CS2 utilizes the Source 2 engine, your skins also look much nicer in the newer game. 
As soon as you boot up CS2 for the first time, you should find your inventory stocked with your skins from CSGO.
There are certain weapon skins that have some minor differences compared to the way they looked in CSGO. This might come in the form of scratches or wear where there otherwise was none.
Valve hasn’t responded to any complaints about this, but they have been fixing weapon skins in updates. The most recent update to address this problem arrived on October 2, though there are still issues that haven’t been worked out yet. For example, the Printstream weapon skin for the Desert Eagle, UPS-S, and M4A1-S doesn’t have the pearlescent effect in CS2 that was present in CSGO. Expect more patches in the future to fix these problems.
The fastest way to acquire CS2 skins is to pay for them on the community market, however, you can claim some for free in-game using the weekly care package system. Once you earn enough experience points, the new weekly care package system allows you to pick up to two rewards. You have four options that should include weapon skins, cases, and sprays. These are weekly rewards, so you need to wait seven days before you get the chance to claim any more skins.

The CSGO skin market has been booming since CS2 was announced back in March, prompting skin traders to hoard as many rare weapon and knife skins as possible. In addition to this, the Source 2 engine has received a huge lighting upgrade, making certain skins like the Fade effect stand out considerably more than before.
As a result of these changes, knives that were readily available on the market have shot up in price by two, sometimes three times their original value since March. There are variations of the Butterfly Knife and M9 Bayonet, two of the most popular knives in the game, that have disappeared from the market due to scarcity. It’s unclear whether the skins bubble is likely to burst with the launch of CS2, dropping prices back down to what they were, or potentially grow even larger as more new players get into the game.
As of October 31, Valve has not released a new crate containing CS2 weapon skins. The workshop tools released for CS2 have revealed effects that weren’t available in CSGO, so there’s a good chance the latest crate is going to introduce weapon skins, unlike any others.
Now you know that your skins will all transfer over to Counter-Strike 2, and look a lot shiner, it’s time to get your head down and start grinding out some matches. We have a list of all Counter-Strike 2 maps here, as well as how to use the CS2 smokes and CS2 binds. Finally, if you’re looking for other free PC games, check out that list, it’s good. Promise.
Christian is PCGamesN’s deputy guides editor. In West London, born and raised, on the virtual battlefield is where he spends most of his days. You might see him twirling his Fade Bowie Knife in Counter-Strike 2, racking up win streaks in Street Fighter 6 as JP, and scoring hat-tricks with his unstoppable Arsenal FC team in EA Sports FC 24. He’s been working in the games industry as both a video producer and writer for several years, and has written for Rock Paper Shotgun, Wccftech, The Loadout, Pocket Tactics, and GameWatcher. When he’s not writing guides about the latest games, he’s probably reviewing something hardware-related to improve his computer setup.


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