CS:GO Contraband Skins: The Rarest Among the Rare

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m4a4 howl closeup csgo skin

Among all the various CSGO skins rarity grades, types and variation it would be really hard to find one rarest skin. However, there may be some contenders to this title, and one of them is M4A4 | Howl, the only one of the contraband CSGO skins.

CSGO contraband skins – in depth 2019

Currently, there are 6 main rarity grades and almost every CSGO weapon skin is part of one of these categories. These categories are as follows:

  • Consumer Grade (White) skins – These are very common skins that are rather easy to drop through normal play. Common weapon skins usually cost just a few cents.
  • Industrial Grade (Light blue) skins – Slightly rarer than Consumer Grade skins but still pretty common and very cheap.
  • Mil-Spec (Blue) skins – These are the rare skins that you can still acquire quite easily from cases but they hold their prices quite well. Easy to obtain through Trade Up contracts.
  • Restricted (Purple) skins – Restricted skins are considerably hard to get and can reach quite high prices. They can reach as high as $250 in market value.
  • Classified (Pink) skins – These skins are very rare and quite expensive.
  • Covert (Red) skins –  Extremely expensive! If you got the right one and need a lot of money at once, you could pay your bills for a month by selling one of those on the more expensive end of the price spectrum. Prices reach thousands of dollars.

Other than these six categories, all CSGO knives are ultra-rare items, very hard to get and very expensive category of gold skins which is signaled by a star next to their respective finish names. However, there’s one more category – contraband skins.

What are contraband skins in CSGO?

In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Contraband is a quality given to a weapon skin after the skin gets canceled while it is already available in the game. When skin gets the Contraband quality, it is erased from the skins roster of the case it came originally, nor it can be dropped through random in-game drops. However, CSGO contraband skins that were already acquired by players will remain in their inventory, making that particular weapon skin a completely unique skin. Currently, there is only one contraband skins in CSGO – M4A4 | Howl.

Why did contraband skins become legendary?

In 2014, when CSGO Market was on the rise, numerous artists began to upload their skins designs to get some fame and money. The most popular skins were added to the game and the artist was given a portion of the value of all transactions, making it a very lucrative option.

Two of such skin artists, Auzzii and sic, have uploaded a skin for M4A4 and a sticker called the Howling Dawn that was, supposed to be inspired by the artist’s dog (In a very short time, M4A4 | Howl got over 4,5 thousand upvotes and become popular enough to be introduced into Huntsman Collection. The M4A4 | Howl received a Covert rarity and everyone was happy: Artist got the commission, players got their skin and Valve had a satisfied customer base. Everyone was happy. Everyone except CanisAlbus, the original artist behind the artwork used in Howl’s design who was informed about the fraudulent use of his artwork. After filing a DMCA takedown notice, Valve removed Howl from the cases and the skin got an original redesign by Valve team to avoid plagiarism. However, even though the M4A4 | Howl disappeared from the case, it still remained in the player’s inventories. Suddenly, M4A4 | Howl that was already in the inventories got a limited Contraband rarity and became the most expensive CSGO skin overnight shooting straight from $17 to ~$180. Currently, a Factory New M4A4 | Howl can reach thousands of dollars.

Can you still obtain contraband skins?

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It is possible to get your own contraband skin, but the methods are limited. As per its rules, you can’t get it from random drops nor cases. The only method of acquiring M4A4 | Howl is through trading. Because CSGO contraband skins get very expensive, be prepared to spend a couple of hundreds up to $4000 depending on version and wear. The good thing is that by getting M4A4 | Howl you secured virtually all CSGO contraband skins 😉

Can you sell and buy contraband skins?

If you decided you want to buy CSGO contraband skins practically every market has some. Although the supply is very limited and the prices are high, you can find numerous M4A4 | Howl pieces at the Steam Community Market and third-party websites. Likewise, if you want to sell one of your CSGO contraband skins you will find buyers everywhere. It may also be a good idea to negotiate the price in person rather than use automated systems.

Final Verdict

In this article, we discussed everything related to using CSGO contraband skins, trading them and getting a new one. We also talked about their limited supply, the story behind them and their design. Stay tuned for more articles on CSGO skins!