Different knives are some of the most coveted items in CSGO. Some players end up spending hundreds, or potentially thousands, on particularly rare and good-looking knives, but why?
Knives are so expensive in CSGO because of how rare they are. There is a .25% chance to pull a knife from any crate. With keys being $2.50, that means that players need to spend an average of $1000 to get a knife naturally. That knife then has a chance to be in bad condition, or in the case of fades or gems, a bad pattern, further decreasing the probability of pulling a good one, driving up how much you need to spend.
That’s a very basic summary of why knives are so expensive in CSGO, but we should probably dive a little deeper into the economics and logic of the outrageous prices you typically see on the skins marketplace.
Supply, Demand, and Usage
CSGO has its own in-game economy that is fascinatingly similar to a lot of real-life markets. Like those real markets, it’s subject to the law of supply and demand. Let’s talk about demand first.
Out of all the potential weapons, you could buy skins for, knives are easily the highest. This isn’t because of how good they look or how rare they are. Instead, it’s because of how much everyone uses them. You have access to your knife every round on both sides. Contrary to that, you only have access to an AK while you’re playing on T side. The same thing for both the M4A1 and M4A4. Even then, you’re not always going to be able to afford one.
Your knife doesn’t need to be bought and is the same for both teams when you have a skin. In other words, you get access to the skin in over 50% more rounds than any other weapon in the game.
This is why the demand for knives is so much higher than skins on other weapons. The other factor that drives up the price is supply. We’ve already talked about this, but it’s important to drive home just how rare a good-quality knife is. If we take the numbers into consideration and say that pulling a knife from a box costs you $1000, we establish a baseline.
However, that $1000 then needs to be looked at as a chance to pull a knife in good condition. More often than not, you’re going to be getting something that’s battle scared or well worn.
In fact, the chances for a factor new knife is around 15%. That means that you’ll pull roughly seven knives before you get one in prime condition. In other words, $7000. Then, if you’re going for a fade or gem knife, you have to factor in patterns, but that’s a whole other beast to tackle.
These are Inflated RNG Numbers
Needless to say, most knives do not go for anything remotely close to that price, even if they are field-tested.
That’s because the people selling those knives got extremely lucky, rather than buying an extraordinary number of cases.
They want to turn the knife around for a quick profit, which drives the market value of knives down to a manageable level that allows them to sell quickly.