Skins are a part of almost every online title. Games like League of Legends, Fortnite, and Overwatch all look to retain users and incentivize them to drop a bit of extra cash using fun and interesting cosmetic items.
But none of them have skins as tightly woven into the community as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
CSGO players relish the opportunity to show off their items to teammates and the enormous trading community on Steam has helped transformed the game to its core. This is such a profound phenomenon that there is an entire subsection of the game that exclusively focuses their efforts into unboxing and trading weapons. This has resulted in CSGO skins carrying a significant monetary value and in some cases, those items can be worth absurd amounts of money.
Here are some of the most expensive items in CSGO.
How did these CSGO skins make the most expensive list?
Parsing the prices of CSGO weapons is difficult for multiple reasons.
When it comes to official skin trading channels, such as the Steam Community Marketplace, many of the listings are set outrageously high due to the item being rare, but the chances of it actually being sold are very low. There are plenty of unofficial sales that go on for expensive skins, but the details of these trades often play out in private. Though many skins have likely been sold for tens of thousands of dollars, prices and details are kept under wraps due to both security and market concerns.
Tracking down exact figures at scale is essentially impossible, as is judging how the market value of these items will have shifted over time. Finally, many items that are sold for five-figure sums are additionally rare due to limited time availability alongside their inherent drop rarity.
As such, this article will highlight some of the most popular items, along with some interesting stories behind the skins. Price figures are estimated in large part through Steam Analyst.
Souvenir Dragon Lore AWP remains most expensive CSGO skin at $61,000
Back in 2018, larger gaming outlets like Polygon and PC Gamer ran reports on the perfect souvenir item.
The skin itself is a Factory New Dragon Lore AWP, which has a slick fire-breathing dragon design running down the stock and forestock. Rare AWP skins are going to fetch a high price under any circumstance, and this goes doubly so for those with high qualities.
What put this one over the top is the fact it is a souvenir from a game between two of CSGO’s most popular teams in G2 Esports and Cloud9, with the autograph from it coming from Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham. All the stickers are Unscratched quality, making it cosmetically flawless. The one-of-a-kind rifle was sold for a whopping $61,000 in 2018 and likely stands as the single most expensive gun in CSGO today.
Though this one was publicly reported on and had its price inflated due to the stickers, it isn’t the only Souvenir Dragon Lore AWP on the market. Battle-Scarred versions of the gun still start at around $3,000, with Factory New versions starting at over $15,000.
iBUYPOWER at IEM Katowice 2014 is priciest CSGO sticker at $3,500
The iBUYPOWER CSGO team is an infamous one. It was originally known for being one of the top North American teams of its era. Then it became known for its role in an industry shaking match fixing scandal which saw Joshua “steel” Nissan, Braxton “swag” Pierce, and several other players permanently banned from Valve-sponsored tournaments.
The team was commemorated in CSGO permanently in 2014, with its logo appearing in the game in the form of Challenger Capsule stickers for majors it competed in. All of them will fetch a pretty penny, but the one from the ESL Major Series One Katowice 2014 event is much more expensive than its peers.
The ordinary version of the sticker starts at over $1,000. The holo price is even more expensive, with the holographic version starting well over $3,000.
The iBUYPOWER team isn’t alone in its Katowice Major 2014 sticker being incredibly expensive. Unopened EMS Katowice 2014 Challengers capsule will occasionally pop up on the Steam Community Marketplace and sell for prices approaching $2,000. The Legends capsule is just a bit behind, with prices starting at around $1,600.
Stattrak M4A4 Howl controversy made it an expensive CSGO skin
The M4A4 Howl originally featured a flaming wolf on the forestock of the gun with what appeared to claw marks on the butt, barrel, and magazine. The Covert rarity, neat design, and steady popularity of the M4A4 as a weapon would have made the gun an expensive one under any circumstances.
What really made this one an icon was the gun’s redesign. The rifle, and its accompanying Howling Dawn sticker, were moved from Covert to Contraband quality after allegations surfaced of the gun’s artwork being stolen. Valve implemented a patch that saw the original wolf and claw marks design replaced with a dragon and flames, and made the rifle unavailable from that point on.
As a result, there are incredibly limited quantities of the original M4A4 Howl, which has made the few that exist incredibly valuable. A Well-Worn basic version of the rifle starts at around $800, with the Stattrak bringing the price over $1,000.
The ideal version of the gun is a Factory New Stattrak. These are rare enough that it’s tough to peg an exact price, but prices are likely to start at around $4,000.
Most expensive CSGO knife is Crimson Web M9 Bayonet
A valuable knife is the biggest flex in all of Counter-Strike.
Everyone carries a knife in every single round. At one point or another, it’s going to be pulled out. That has made them the most valuable type of weapon in CSGO by a considerable margin.
The floor for knives is much higher than for any other weapon and fittingly, the ceiling stands above anything else outside exotic Souvenir items. There are several knives that carry a high four-figure price tag but standing tall above everything else is the Crimson Web M9 Bayonet.
Unlike most of the other items on this list, the knife doesn’t have a particularly impressive story behind it. It isn’t uniquely rare either, as it can still be unboxed from the amply available Chroma cases. Despite that, a Factory New Stattrak version of the knife will fetch will fetch between $10,000 and $15,000 depending on its quality.
Strangely, it’s also not especially valuable outside its absolute peak. Though prices will naturally be higher for Factory New items in comparison to Battle-Scarred, the lesser versions of this knife can be had for somewhere between $150 and $200. Few weapons have so stark a contrast in price based on wear.
Pandora’s Box is the most expensive CSGO glove cosmetic, for now
Gloves became one of the most prestigious items in CSGO almost immediately after they were introduced. Much like knives, their rarity and guaranteed screen time every round make them carry an exorbitantly high price tag.
The cheapest gloves out there cost $75, while the most expensive jump into the thousands. As of this writing, the most expensive gloves on the market are Pandora’s Box, which are available in the Glove Case and Operation Hydra Case. The gloves are rare enough that pinning down an exact price is difficult, but the Field-Tested level sells for over $1,500 on the Steam Community Marketplace.
There haven’t been enough Factory New level gloves of this variety to hit the market, but the handful that have been sold have gone for over $5,000. With how rare they are and the increased demand for them, chances are this price could be higher today.