Lock and Load With the Top 10 CS:GO Weapon Skins

Writer for Buff, Remi Smith
By Remi Smith
Joel Taylor, editor for Buff
Edited by Joel Taylor

Updated July 17, 2023.

Gamer playing CS:GO on laptop with colorful gaming mouse and backlighting

Whether you're a hardcore gun fanatic or someone whose never shot a bullet—real or digital—you can probably appreciate a good lookin' weapon. Even though some of us love a clean paint job when it comes to customizing our weapon's exterior, Valve (the guys behind CS:GO) have really gotten the flashier more detailed designs catching everyone's attention. In this list, we'll be rounding up some of the favorite and most-saught-after skins in 2023 (according to trading sites) that people across the globe use daily to make their gameplay a little more aesthetically pleasing in the popular first-person shooter.

» See the easiest ways to earn new CS:GO skins

The Best Rifle Skins

Rifles are definitely the most popular go-to weapon category across most ranks, with the M4a1-s, AWP, and AK-47 seeing the most action of all the firearms available.


AK-47 Nightwish CS:GO skin with bright colours and flat designs.

The Nightwish skin blends "trippy" with "voodoo" in a stunning mash-up of bright colors on black, hard lines, and spirals, topped with an awesome mono-tone illustration of a ware-wolf-looking creature. Since the AK-47 doesn't have a Hyper Beast variant, this skin has been a popular alternative to add to the collection.

  • Release Date: January 2022
  • Case: Dreams and Nightmares
  • Average Price (FN): $200
  • Average Price (BS): $17


screenshot of the AK-47 Gold Arabesque skin in-game

If you ask me, it took the CS:GO team way too long to add a Gold AK-47, but at least they did an extremely good job at it. This would be the AK skin I'd use permanently if it weren't for the price tag behind getting one.

  • Release Date: September 2021
  • Case: Souvenir Cases
  • Average Price (FN): $5,600
  • Average Price (BS): $1,200


Since the AK-47 is a terrorist-only weapon, we felt we had to include the Counter-Terrorist main weapon in this list too. Both the M4A1-S and AK have been the go-to main weapons for both sides across every Counter-Strike title, making these skins far more popular than the skins for less-used guns like shotguns or LMGs.


 Screenshot of M4A1-S Hyper Beast skin In-Game

Released in 2015, The Hyper Beast is still a massive fan favorite across multiple weapons. The skin—which features a highly detailed monster stylized in bright colors—is so popular that with a simple Google search, you can find Hyper Beast mouses and mouse-pads from SteelSeries, along with all sorts of wearable merch with the Hyper Beast decals printed all over them.

  • Release Date: April 2015
  • Case: Chroma 2 Case
  • Average Price (FN): $87
  • Average Price (BS): $10


AWP Dragon Lore CS: GO Screenshot

This is probably the most well-known skin of them all—probably best-known for its price tag, the Dragon Lore is famously ridiculously expensive, and is a dream to have in any trader's CS:GO skin collection. Though the skin isn't particularly amazing in its aesthetic value, it's certainly a showpiece worth pulling out to show off whenever you can if you are one of the fortunate players to own such a prized weapon skin.

  • Release Date: April 2015
  • Case: Chroma 2 Case
  • Average Price (FN): $10,000
  • Average Price (BS): $2,900
  • Average Price (FN Souvenir): $438,230

» Become an expert at surfing in CS:GO

The Best Pistol Skins


USP-S The Traito CS: GO skin, red and gold, screenshot.

The USP-S is the popular choice between the 2 CT pistols you spawn with and having the Traitor skin equipped is the perfect way to start the round. The skin features a stunning red-to-blue color palette with accents of gold, with delicate gloss-on-matte intricacies.

  • Release Date: May 2021
  • Case: Snakebite Case
  • Average Price (FN): $45
  • Average Price (BS): $9


Screenshot of the Glock 18 Gamma Doppler skin in CS: GO

This is the only weapon skin outside of knives that features the Doppler pattern, making it the perfect match if you have a Gamma Doppler knife. The skin comes in multiple "phases" that result in different color gradients and is a Terrorist-only default pistol.

  • Release Date: September 2021
  • Case: None—You have to trade up or purchase this item from a marketplace
  • Average Price (FN): $17.50
  • Average Price (BS): $12

» Here's all you need to know about the CS:GO skin exchange

The Best SMG Skin


CS:GO SKIN: P90 Asiimov, Screenshot

The Asiimov skins have been huge favorites to those who are drawn to its high-contrast orange, black and white. There are a bunch of Asiimov skins out for different guns, including the p90, the m4A4, AWp, p250, and AK-47, making it one of my favorite skin collections in the game.

  • Release Date: June 2014
  • Case: Breakout Case
  • Average Price (FN): $47
  • Average Price (BS): $9

» Got the skills? Here's how to monetize your CS:GO gameplay

The Best Heavy Weapon Skin

Nova - KOI

CS:GO skin: Nova Koi, Screenshot

The Nova Koi is a stand-out shotgun that balances the theme of serenity and calmness associated with the Japanese Koi fish, and the inevitable gunfire and explosions that the deadly Nova shotgun brings to the arena. Hopefully, we see more Koi skins come to the CS guns when CS2 officially launches.

  • Release Date: July 2014
  • Case: Operation Breakout Case
  • Average Price (FN): $2
  • Average Price (BS): $0.5

The Best Knife Skins


Screenshot of Butterfly Knife Doppler skin in CS: GO

in CS: GO- its practically impossible to find a knife skin for under $100, but that said, no matter what team you're on you'll always have your knife on you, so its pretty worth it... Besides, who doesn't like watching someone skillfully flip around a Butterfly Knife or Balisong Blade? Well, this knife comes with the awesome animation attached, and an incredible range of skins. There are extremely rare editions of most of the skins on a butterfly knife, but the most sought-after ones are the Doppler and Gamma Doppler Butterfly Knives with unique patterns and coloring. Different "Phases" also affect the coloring of the handles.

  • Release Date: March 2017
  • Case: Spectrum Case, Spectrum 2 Case
  • Average Price (FN): $2,000
  • Average Price (BS): $1,400


Screenshot of the Karambit Doppler skin in CS: GO

Alongside gloves, knife skins are the most beneficial skins to use which is probably why they're so damn expensive... The Karambit is one of the first knives that entered the game back in August of 2013 and is still one of the most beloved knives of CS: GO players. A particular fan-favorite is the Ruby edition of the Karambit Dopler, where the color phase shows a predominant red across the blade, but sadly it's extremely rare...

  • Release Date: January 2015
  • Case: Chroma Case, Chroma 2 Case, Chroma 3 case
  • Average Price (FN): $1,000
  • Average Price (BS): $960

Spice up Your Gameplay With the Best Skins

Cosmetic items allow players to express themselves and stand out from the crowd. Whether you prefer the colorful and stylized look of the AK-47 Nightwish or the classic and refined style of the Asiimov skins, there's a skin out there for everyone. So go ahead, deck out your weapons with some of the top skins in the game, and get ready to dominate the competition in style! While you're showing off your loadout in-game, run Buff in the background to get you even closer to your next amazing skin to show off to your friends and enemies! Check it out here.

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