Not all CS:GO skins are created equally. Seriously, they aren't. You might think that one P250 Sand Dune is the same as the others, but chances are they each have different a "condition", also known as "skin wear" or "skin quality".
A skin's condition affects the quality of the weapon, quite literally. Skins with lower conditions will have worse quality paint jobs, scratches, and generally have a more degraded look. Conditions are assigned when a skin is unboxed, and never (ever) change - you can't improve or worsen a skin's condition.
Each skin has a hidden "float value". Float values are numbers between 1 and 0 that represent how "worn" a skin is. Simply put, the closer a skin's float value is to 0, the better quality it will be. Although we say float values are hidden, there are some third party services that allow you to check what a skin's float value is via the Steam API.
So if float values dictate how worn a skin is, what are the CS:GO skin conditions and what do they mean? Luckily for you, we've listed them all and explained below!
Skins with a float value between 0 and 0.07 will be titled Factory New. Factory New skins look, as you might've guessed from the name, like they've just arrived fresh from the factory. You might notice a few very, very minor scratches, but generally each Factory New skin is as perfect as the next.
Generally, Factory New skins are most expensive condition because of their superior quality. Costs for Factory New skins, depending on the skin or knife, can be as much as (and higher than) five times the price of the next condition down (Minimal Wear).
Minimal Wear skins are the second best quality you can get, with float values between 0.07 and 0.15. Typically, Minimal Wear skins have a few scratches but many would describe these as "nothing major". We like to think that Minimal Wear skins are like items on eBay that are classed as "used" - there might be some blemishes, but everything still looks good from a slight distance.
We recommend that you inspect a few Minimal Wear skins before you make a final decision as the difference in float value can make some look a lot better than others. One Minimal Wear skin would have a float value of 0.071, whereas another could have 0.149 - that's a big difference. That said, if you want a perfect skin, in most cases you will be better off going with Factory New.
Field Tested skins have float values between 0.15 and 0.38. Even though the float value of a Field Tested skin can change how degraded it looks, in most cases, there's no disguising the fact that it's Field Tested.
Typically Field Tested skins will have quite a few scratches and in some cases, large blemishes covering 2%-10% of the body of the weapon. This can really affect the look of a skin, making it look lower quality. If you want to go for a rugged/worn inventory "theme", the Field Tested condition can turn into a positive, making those scratches and blemishes part of the design, rather than a fault.
One positive of Field Tested skins is their price. Because of the lower quality, there's lower demand. This usually brings down prices to between 50% and 90% of the price of a Minimal Wear skin, but there are some outliers (with even bigger discounts).
We'll conclude with another eBay analogy: if someone was selling a Field Tested weapon on eBay, you'd expect them to mention the damage to the weapon in the listing description - e.g. "scratches to the exterior". If you received a Field Tested weapon that hadn't been properly labeled, you'd most likely complain that the product was mislabeled.
Well Worn skins have a float value between 0.38 and 0.45. Sitting right between Field Tested and Battle Scarred, the Well Worn doesn't really have any redeeming qualities. Typically, Well Worn skins will have some serious signs of wear, including scratches, fading, and big blemishes.
Whilst you can save some money getting a Well Worn over a Field Tested condition, the savings probably aren't going to be as big as Field Tested and Minimal Wear. For this reason, we'd recommend going for Field Tested over Well Worn in most cases, if your budget allows for it.
If you're a fan of the eBay analogies thus far, you're in for a treat. If someone was selling a Well Worn skin on eBay, you'd expect them to explain the damage and if it wasn't for the fact the gun still works, mark the product as for parts and spares. Almost everyone would complain if they received a Well Worn skin from eBay that was simply marked as "used".
Battle Scarred skins have float values between 0.45 and 1. We think the name describes the quality of these skins quite well, as they definitely show a lot of scars from battle.
As the float can vary so much (i.e. a Battle Scarred skin could have a float of 0.451 or 0.999), how a Battle Scarred skin looks can really vary. Like Well Worn and Field Tested, you're going to see some major damage to the artwork on the weapon, with bigger scratches and larger blemishes the larger the float of the skin in question is.
If you can unbox or buy a Battle Scarred skin with a really high float value, you can achieve some pretty cool designs. For example, when the P2000 Imperial Dragon has a high float value, its color turns to reddish pink.