Counter-Strike 2 Skins: What Was Changed + CS 2 Skins Appearance

by eZstah


While the Counter-Strike community actively discusses the logic of the CS2 release after a short beta period with so many bags in the game, we’ve found the topic about skins also pretty interesting. The delay in the overall game development was also linked to Counter-Strike 2 skins, which should look better and be smoothly transferred to the new version.

And while inventories settled in the renewed game without extra issues, the difference between CS:GO and CS 2 skins deserves separate discussion. With the new light rendering in CS2, most gamers agree that skins look better thanks to the Source 2 engine and overall detailing, but it’s not fully true. So, let’s review this issue with particular examples.

Does CS 2 Have the Same Skins As CS:GO?

Skins in CS 2 will look pretty much the same as in the Global Offensive game version. So, none should worry about their AK-47 | Legion of Anubis, AWP | Dragon Lore, or Butterfly Knife | Gamma Doppler — all settled in the inventory and will continue to bring joy.

We got some improved skins in CS 2 thanks to a renewed detailing, which creates a fresh appearance with the new light processing and overall better brightness. Since weapon shapes were also improved, paintings under new light started looking more natural, and those are the changes everyone expected from Valve.

Do CS 2 Skins Look Better Than CS:GO Skins?

Of course! Or why did we expect the renewed shooter for years? Valve just couldn’t ignore their main source of revenue from the game!

However, with all the lags, bags, and massive community vulnerability, the question ‘Do skins look better in CS 2?’ appears. While we admitted better shapes and brightness because of new light processing, let’s look at the in-game screenshots directly after pressing the inspect button:

CS:GO in the above screenshot, CS2 below

With many advantages on the CS2 skin appearance side, CS:GO’s version has better contrast, which makes colors and outlines look quite better. To make the comparison of CS:GO skins in Counter-Strike 2 even more objective, let’s look at the appearance of both versions in the main menu to exclude potential light impact:

CS:GO in the above screenshot, CS2 below

As we can see, color contrast is still better on the Global Offensive version, especially the winnable looking black parts that make other colors shine better. At the same time, there is no ideal black under the sunshine, which makes CS2 skins look more natural. Another important factor is the shape of all the small curves, which create an impression of real 3D compared to a more flat view in CS:GO.

So, the intermediate verdict: the new game engine made all upgraded skins in CS 2 look more natural, although the basic CS:GO color settings bring better contrast for the same skin look. Still, let’s look at other skins to be sure we are right.

10 Examples of Skin Appearances in CS 2

USP-S | Kill Confirmed

CS:GO in the above screenshot, CS2 below

Like the great mural, but on the pistol, USP-S with Kill Confirmed skin looks a bit better in the CS:GO version, to be fair. Probably, that is the outcome of the better contrast that the older game version delivers.

P2000 | Imperial Dragon

CS:GO in the above screenshot, CS2 below

When we look at the popular Imperial Dragon skin for the P2000 pistol, we can see an advantage of the newer version. New detailing affected the visual side on the expected level, and that is the gun many want to use in action. This will surely be among the skins that got better in CS 2, and even the contrast of the Source engine cannot help.

Desert Eagle | Ocean Drive

CS:GO in the above screenshot, CS2 below

If we look at the bright colors of the Ocean Drive skin on the Desert Eagle pistol, CS:GO looks advantageous once again. Can we have such colors in real life, like in the upper picture? No, but that is the answer for the lower screen as well, although they are a bit more achievable and, therefore, more realistic. But we are talking about a computer game, aren’t we?

Desert Eagle | Bronze Deco

CS:GO in the above screenshot, CS2 below

Finally, it is a noticeably great instance for comparison, where not only colors matter. Bronze Deco Deagle is among the changed skins in CS 2 that delivers a great 3D effect, especially on its handle. The overall color balance and light reflection also favor the CS2 version, although that is a pretty cheap skin, and developers weren’t focused on its redrawing too much.

XM1014 | XOXO

CS:GO in the above screenshot, CS2 below

Not the most popular guns always require a special approach to skins, and XM1014 is one of the best instances. With acid pink color dominating both skin versions, too much light seems to make it a bit blurred on the CS2 variant, although it remains great.

MP7 | Neon Ply

CS:GO in the above screenshot, CS2 below

Another case of the skin that looks slightly better in CS:GO because of contrast. Darker and brighter colors on the MP7 with Neon Ply painting don’t have a definite shape, while frequent interchange always favors an approach with better contrast.

FAMAS | Commemoration

CS:GO in the above screenshot, CS2 below

If we look at the gold FAMAS Commemoration skin, the natural question will quickly arise: are skins improved in CS 2? And while we admitted a better work with shape and 3D effect on the CS2 skins, here is a total advantage on the Global Offensive side. Yes, it doesn’t look natural in the upper image, but who cares if you can easily read everything on the rifle butt instead of squinting?

AK-47 | Asiimov

CS:GO in the above screenshot, CS2 below

A pure-skin classic, Asiimov, looks better on the AK-47 from the older game version. However, it’s understandable enough — clear shapes and plenty of black for ideal contrast with white and orange. The renewed look in CS2 looks like the owner forgot to clear it from the dust.

AWP | Hyper Beast

CS:GO in the above screenshot, CS2 below

Similar to the previous skin, Hyper Beast AWP looks better with the contrasting approach used in CS:GO. Probably, Valve will pay attention to such cases and will fix the issue or simply say that the CS2 version is better under the sun or lamp light, but now that is the instance of a downgrade, unfortunately.

Bayonet | Marble Fade

CS:GO in the above screenshot, CS2 below

The last item in our comparison list will be the Bayonet knife pained with the Marble Fade skin. The situation is quite controversial: colors look better on the older version because of the better contrast. At the same time, the edge shines and reflects light better in the CS2 version. There is no clear favorite here, to be honest, so at least the owners of the most expensive knife skins with Fade or Doppler variants shouldn’t worry about deterioration.

While the renewed Counter-Strike delivered massive goods, especially on the visual side of the game, skins received a doubtful upgrade. Many have been guessing how skins would change in CS 2, but only a few could assume that some would look worse than in the game with the older engine. Of course, nothing critical happened, and all the skins now look more natural, but the lack of contrast in the in-game paintings cannot be an advantage. Actually, most players expect Valve will pay attention to this fact and probably fix it with some of the upcoming updates.



Will there be new skins in CS 2?

Of course, there will be plenty of new skins with upcoming Operations in CS2, but this will take some time as Valve is now focused on adding maps and fixing bugs.

Will prices for skins increase with the release of CS 2?

Since the appearance of some skins became better in CS2, there probably will be a slight price increase, but only for the limited amount of skins. Simultaneously, some skins can drop a few dollars because they look not as great in CS2 as in CS:GO.

Will my CS:GO inventory be preserved in the new CS 2?

Yes, absolutely, and without any changes. Saving all CS:GO skins in CS2 was one of the main transfer targets for Valve.

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