The CS:GO skins market is incredibly diverse, with skins ranging from a couple of cents to thousands upon thousands of dollars. When you look at the pro scene and content creators it can be easy to think that $500+ skins are the norm, but that’s not the case at all. In fact, the median inventory value of a Global Elite player lies around $300 according to Scope.gg. That’s a far cry from the $1000+ knives you see on YouTube and Twitch. The majority of the most popular CS:GO skins can be bought for less than 15 dollars.
But what skins move the most in the low-mid tier section of the skins market? In this article, we’re taking a look at the skins that are the most popular with ‘the average Joe’. The data in this article comes courtesy of our friends at CS.Money, so while this does not include Steam users, it does give a good idea of what traders like these days.
Do note that this is not investment advice. We’re merely commenting on trends that we see.
1. AK-47 Redline (Field Tested)
Not a bunch of knives, but AK skins lead the way when it comes to the most popular CS:GO skins, and that makes sense. Before you get to what’s generally considered a ‘passable’ knife (read: no lower tier finishes such as Safari Mesh and Scorched, and no lower tier knives such as the Navaja and so on) you’re already spending well over a hundred dollars these days, and most players simply don’t want to burn that kind of money on a skin. It therefore makes sense to go for a gun skin if you want to spruce up your inventory a bit without draining your wallet too much, as the entry fee is simply much lower with gun skins.
The Redline is a perfect example of that. It’s a clean looking skin that looks great on its own, but thanks to its clean and clutter-free design it also takes stickers really well, meaning that you can really make this gun your own by adding some. The Redline has been a well-liked and very respected skin since it came out, so it makes sense to see this one in the first spot.
2. USP-S Cortex (Field Tested)
In the world of CS:GO skins, the USP-S Cortex is dirt cheap, and that’s incredibly handy for people who like an intricate design. It’s a weapon skin that’s also used by a lot of pros due to how good it looks, and that makes it even more amazing that this skin is just a Classified weapon skin. This could just as easily have been a Covert skin if you ask us, so if you’re talking about bang for your buck you’re talking about the USP-S Cortex.
3. AK-47 Slate (Field Tested)
The AK-47 Slate has some things in common with the AK Redline: it’s a classy skin with an exterior that’s mostly black. Whereas the Redline incorporates some silver/grey elements (to simulate a carbon fiber look) along with red stripes, the Slate is mostly completely black. That means that it’s an amazing canvas for people who want to create a playskin with stickers, and it’s also a great choice for the minimalists out there. The AK-47 Slate is a super clean skin that’s available to people on a budget so it’s not very strange to see it round out the top 3.
4. AWP Atheris (Field Tested)
The AWP is one of the most popular weapons in the game (we’ve all been in that matchmaking game where three random teammates buy an AWP on attack) and also one of the largest guns in the game, meaning that it’s a great canvas for artists to create amazing skins. The AWP Dragon Lore is probably the best example of this, but that skin costs thousands of dollars and as such isn’t an option for most gamers.
If you want an AWP with a serpent on it at a friendlier price, the Atheris is a good skin to consider. It’s of course less detailed than some of the rarer AWP skins in the game, but it still looks really clean and it doesn’t cost multiple monthly wages to add to your inventory.
5. Desert Eagle Mecha Industries (Field Tested)
The Desert Eagle has some iconic skins that have gotten very expensive over the years (the Blaze being one of them) but there are some fantastic skins to be found at lower price points, and the Mecha Industries is one of those. The skin looks like it’s a gun out of a futuristic shooter, yet it’s not too loud in its design thanks to the stylish black and off-white color schemes. There are some neat little details to be found here, and its relatively clean design makes it relatively easy to find matching stickers for.
6. AK-47 Phantom Disruptor (Field Tested)
As you’ve been able to see throughout this article, the most popular AK-47 skins are clean and simple designs, but there’s also something out there for people who like it to be a little louder. The Phantom Disruptor isn’t the busiest AK design out there, but it’s certainly a lot more detailed than the Redlines and Slates of this world. The gun features a foggy, misty creature with lots of teeth and eyes, creating an almost mythical creature. Due to the color palette that the creator has chosen (black with more natural colors such as beige and so on) this is still a rather subdued skin that seems to only show its true design once you take a good look at it. Fitting for a skin that depicts a monster such as this one.
7. M4A1-S Decimator (Field Tested)
The whole retrowave vibe might have passed its peak by now, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy what it brought us over the years. The M4A1-S Decimator is a peek into the past and the future all at once, featuring that iconic neon pink and blue color scheme that we’ve all come to associate with retrofuturism. Or Miami. You decide.
8. M4A1-S Leaded Glass (Field Tested)
The M4A1-S Leaded Glass could’ve looked like a bit of a cacophony if it weren’t for one thing: the skin is designed in such a way that the individual shards of glass have a 3D/textured look to them. This gives this skin an interesting extra dimension, making it look like actual shards of leaded glass have been applied to the gun rather than some painted areas. It’s not for everyone, but it’s certainly a great bang-for-your-buck skin that features an interesting color palette and ditto art.
9. AK-47 Asiimov (Field Tested)
The Asiimov skin line is iconic in CS:GO. The OG Asiimov skins (M4A4 and AWP) now cost a pretty penny due to their rarity, and while the AK-47 Asiimov isn’t exactly a budget skin with a starting price of around 20 dollars it’s the cheapest way of getting into the Asiimov assault/sniper rifle ecosystem.
The fact that there are no less than five (!) Asiimov skins in the game right now shows just how insanely popular and well-liked this line of skins is, so if you get one of these you’re bound to get some appreciation. It’s perhaps not the most original choice, but it is a classic for a good reason, and due to the (relatively) affordable prices that the AK Asiimov goes for it’s not a surprise to see it in the list of the most popular CS:GO skins.
10. AK-47 Neon Revolution (Field Tested)
What do you get if you take the AK-47 Wasteland Rebel and transport it to the year 2123? You’d get the AK-47 Neon Revolution. This skin is bright, shouty, and draws the eye immediately, so if that’s what you’re after then this is certainly one to get. We like the fact that, contrary to some of the other Covert AK skins that sport a meticulously designed look, this looks as if some futuristic anarchist wanted to parody those skins by dumping a bucket of paint on the skin itself. The Neon Revolution is definitely an acquired taste, but if you’re into this sort of Joker-esque futuristic look then it’s a relatively inexpensive way to cop yourself a bright and noticeable Covert skin.
The most popular CS:GO skins – conclusion
As is to be expected, there are a lot of affordable but nice looking skins in the top 10 most traded CS:GO skins. Not everyone can (or wants to, even if they could) spend hundreds of dollars on a weapon skin, so it makes sense that most of the most popular skins can be bought for under 25 dollars at the point of writing.
It’s also interesting to see that all of these skins are Field Tested. This might be due to the fact that it’s a ‘happy medium’ between Factory New and Battle Scarred skins; Field Tested skins usually don’t look too worn but are way cheaper than the rarer Factory New and Minimal Wear variants, so it does make sense to see most people go for a Field Tested skin.
We’ve certainly seen some surprises in this top ten, and while beauty is in the eye of the beholder it’s good to see so many high quality skins being among the most popular CS:GO skins.