Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is popular because of its classic gaming mechanics, fun tactical gameplay, and… It also has some of the rarest items in gaming history!
With the introduction of skins back in August 2013, the CS:GO market added multiple different skins and collections that are traded on a daily basis.
So you may have pondered the question… “what are the rarest skins you can get in CS:GO?”
In this article, we will share with you our list of the 5 rarest CS:GO skins ever, and what makes them so rare!
Let’s dive in!
The 5 Rarest CS:GO Skins of 2021
- StatTrak™ M4A4 | Howl
- Souvenir AWP | Dragon Lore
- StatTrak™ AK47 | Case Hardened – Blue Gem
- Karambit | Case Hardened – Blue Gem
- Glock | Fade (110% Fade) – Absolute Max Fade
CS:GO Skin Terminology
Before we show you our top 5 list, we first need to explain something called float value (also known as ‘Wear’ Rating).
When you start looking into rare CS:GO skins, you will notice that there are 5 different types of exterior quality, which are:
- Factory New (FN) – The highest quality
- Minimal Wear (MW)
- Field-Tested (FT)
- Well-Worn (WW)
- Battle-Scarred (BS) – The lowest quality
Depending on where the skin stacks up in terms of the exterior quality, the skin is appointed a float value.
Float Value (AKA Wear Rating)
The float value is basically a decimal number indicating the exterior quality, with the highest at 1 and the lowest at 0.00.
Each exterior quality ranges certain decimal points, so the lower the float value, the higher the quality.
This means you can get a skin on the low-end of Minimal Wear where it starts to look Field-Tested, or on the high-end of Minimal Wear where it looks almost Factory New.
Here’s a picture describing what we mean:
The lower the float value, the higher the quality is. In this case, this Glock Fade has a float value of 0.0004.
If you were to have the same skin but with a float value of 0.0003 or less, then yours would be of higher quality than this, which would mean you can sell it for more.
For some skins, like the Case Hardened or Doppler skin pattern, the Pattern Index is more important than the float value.
Each skin has a certain ‘pattern index’ applied to them, with some patterns being rarer than others.
Here’s an example of a rare Karambit Case Hardened skin known as a ‘Blue Gem’.
For certain guns, specific pattern indexes rank higher than others, which would affect the pricing and the rarity.
Now that you understand what float values are, let’s move on to the first of the good stuffs!
StatTrak™ M4A4 | Howl (Factory New)
When the M4A4 Howl was first introduced, it was quite a popular design that was of ‘Covert’ rarity (Red).
This meant it was rare, but not impossible to find. If you had a lot of cases to open, you would eventually come across the Howl, no doubt.
The M4A4 Howl’s artwork was created by non-artists Auzzii and sic who uploaded a skin and a sticker called “Howling Dawn.”
The skin had gotten 4,500 positive ratings and, due to their positive feedback, eventually ended up as a skin in CS:GO’s next update.
However, in June 2014, a DeviantArt user by the name of CanisAlbus had found out about Auzzii’s submission and realized that it was a complete rip-off of his artwork.
As a result, CanisAlbus sought legal action for copyright against the piece, and Valve received a DMCA notice to take down the Howl from their list and replaced it with different artwork.
If you would like to know more about the story, here’s the original post by CanisAlbus.
Copies of the original M4A4 Howl that existed in players’ inventories weren’t taken away, and thus the item rarity was changed from ‘Covert’ to ‘Contraband’.
There is only 1 skin that is classified as Contraband, and that is the M4A4 Howl, making it the only skin that can no longer be produced, thus making it the rarest skin in CS:GO!
The only way to obtain the M4A4 Howl now is to trade it through the Steam Marketplace, or from other players.
Thus obtaining a StatTrak™ M4A4 Howl of Factory New quality would be getting the highest quality of the rarest gun in the game.
As of the time of this writing, this gun goes for about $2,000 and has a seller on the Steam Market.
Souvenir AWP | Dragon Lore (Factory New)
If you have played CS:GO for a while, chances are you’ve come across someone who’s played with the aesthetic AWP Dragon Lore.
The Dragon Lore is considered the rarest drop in the game and is speculated to have a 1-2% drop rate for a regular Dragon Lore.
Unlike knives or gloves, you can’t obtain this skin by opening 100’s of cases, rather, you need to keep playing the game until it randomly drops at the end of a match.
What makes the Souvenir Dragon Lore special is that Souvenir cases are only dropped during Valve-sponsored CS:GO tournaments. That already makes such cases difficult to get (and farm), but its miniscule drop rate per box makes it exponentially harder!
To receive a Souvenir case, you’ll need to connect your Twitch account to your Steam account and watch the tournament live through Twitch or GOTV.
To obtain a Dragon Lore which is simultaneously a Souvenir (rare due to the limited amount of drops distributed) as well as one that is Factory New AND a Souvenir, you could estimate that the drop rate for this would be next to none!
If you do end up getting a Souvenir AWP Dragon Lore from a Souvenir case, then you have just made yourself a whooping $60,000! In fact, a Souvenir AWP Dragon Lore was purchased on opskins.com for $61,052.63! That’s insane!
StatTrak™ AK47 | Case Hardened (Factory New) – Blue Gem
The term ‘Blue Gem’ refers to the rarest pattern type that you can get from the skin pattern known as ‘Case Hardened’. Case Hardened was first introduced as an AK47 skin and has a blend of different colors such as Silver, Gold, Purple, and Blue.
The rarest skin color pattern is having the AK predominantly covered in blue. Case Hardened skins that have that feature are known as ‘Blue Gems’.
The thing about Case Hardened skins is that determining the rarity of the skin pattern isn’t as easy as appointing it with a float value. You will need to manually measure how much blue the skin has, and what sort of pattern it is. This process can be tedious and only hardcore traders would go to such lengths to appraise the skin.
The chances of obtaining a Blue Gem AK47 with a high ranking pattern index are less than 1%, similar to a Dragon Lore. To get one that is also of Factory New quality and has StatTrak™ on it would also mean a significantly lowered drop rate!
AK47 Blue Gems go for $1,000’s of dollars depending on where you want to buy them from!
Karambit | Case Hardened – Blue Gem
Similar to the AK47, a Karambit can also qualify as a Blue Gem should enough of the blue be featured on the knife.
Knives are already at the top in terms of rarity and having the lowest drop rates, and to get a Karambit which is Case Hardened and also a Blue Gem would be extremely difficult.
Ideally, you can spam open the CS:GO Weapon Case and try to get different AK47 Case Hardened patterns. With a Karambit, it’s much more difficult.
You would need to open thousands of cases to try and get a Rare Special Item which appears at less than 1%, and yet, is not necessarily a Blue Gem! We can only imagine how low the drop rate is for that gem of a weapon!
The good news is that these types of Karambits go for about $500 – $11,303 depending on how rare the pattern index is. Hey, at least it’s much cheaper an AK47 version!
Glock | Fade (110% Fade) – Absolute Max Fade
The Glock Fade is a relatively rare drop that can only be obtained through random map drops (like the Dragon Lore). Whilst the Glock Fade itself isn’t extremely rare, getting what’s known as an ‘Absolute Max Fade’ can be the difference $100’s – $1,000’s of dollars in price!
An Absolute Max Fade has the purple go up to the very end of the side lever, with no pink grooves at the back of the gun.
Due to the rare nature of the drops, just like getting a specific pattern index to obtain a Blue Gem, getting a 110% Absolute Max Fade would be like winning the lottery!
The Glock Fades can go anywhere from $1,000 – $1,500, depending on how low your float value is.
By now you should have an insight into some of the rarest skins that exist on the market as of 2021.
Considering how rare it is to come across these weapons, and getting into the heat of the battle, we could have come across someone holding one of these precious and probably didn’t notice it!
Don’t underestimate that supposedly ordinary Case Hardened skin — it might actually be a gun worth $1,000’s of dollars in real life!
The whole CS:GO skin feature truly makes skins worth more than just their aesthetic values, and while you might not have a Howl, Fade, or Blue Gem, it doesn’t mean that nothing else is valuable too!
If you’ve been opening cases, whether from map drops or weapon cases, take a quick gander at your inventory and do your research to see if it’s rarer than you think. You might be surprised!
If you have any of the rare skins here on this list, comment down below with a picture of it and a story of how you were able to obtain such rarities!
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