Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) features an in-game economy that allows players to obtain virtual items through opening ‘cases’ or ‘crates’ using keys purchased in-game or from the Steam Community Market. With over 20 different cases available, each containing various weapon skins, players are often curious about which cases offer the best potential returns. This article will provide an in-depth look at the top CS:GO cases worth opening in 2023 based on skin rarity, price, and appeal.
What Are CS:GO Cases?
CS:GO cases are virtual boxes that contain a random selection of weapon skins, ranging from common low-tier skins to exceedingly rare high-tier skins. Cases must be opened using keys, which can be purchased in-game or through third-party markets. The quality of skins obtained when opening cases is determined by a rarity scale, with the rarest, high-tier items being the most desirable and valuable on the marketplace.
While most cases feature themes centered around particular weapons or collections, the wide variety ensures an element of surprise each time a case is opened. Popular and rare skins can sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars on third-party markets. This makes case opening an exciting way to potentially obtain valuable skins without paying outright.
Factors to Consider When Choosing CS:GO Cases
With so many CS:GO cases available, it’s important to weigh certain factors when deciding which cases are worth investing in for opening:
- Skin rarity – Cases that contain rare special item or ultra rare knives and gloves tend to be the most lucrative. The rarer the potential item, the higher the payoff if you do obtain it from a case opening.
- Skin demand – Popular skins from sought-after collections, such as the Rare Special AWP | Dragon Lore from the Cobblestone collection, will yield much higher returns due to market demand. Check Steam marketplace prices when determining the most valuable skins.
- Case age – Older discontinued cases can potentially yield better returns as certain skins become harder to obtain over time. Yet you also want to avoid cases that are too old and contain skins that no one wants anymore.
- Key price – Keys range from $2.50 for basic keys to $6+ for specialized keys. Consider the key cost when selecting cases balanced against potential returns.
With these factors in mind, let’s look at some of the best CS:GO cases to open in 2023.
5 Top CS:GO Cases to Open in 2023
1. Operation Broken Fang Case
- Released in late 2020, the Operation Broken Fang case contains 17 skins from the Norse and Ancient collections, including rare gloves and knives.
- The Norse collection has appealing purple, black, and gold-accented skins for various weapons.
- The case contains two Covert tier knives – the Skeleton Knife | Fade and Survival Knife | Marble Fade. Both can sell for $400+ in Factory New condition.
- Open with standard CS:GO Keys sold in-game.
2. Prisma 2 Case
- Prisma 2 arrived in mid-2020 and houses 17 colorful weapon skins spanning the Operation Shattered Web, Horizon, and Prisma II collections.
- Prisma 2 has a rare Special Gloves | Fade in the Horizon collection and the Talon Knife in Shattered Web, both exceedingly rare.
- Horizon skins such as the AWP | Lightning Strike have pink electric vibes and can fetch up to $140 for high float Factory New.
- Keys are reasonably priced at $2.50 in-game. Great potential returns compared to key price.
3. Fracture Case
- One of the newest CS:GO cases, arriving in late 2022, Fracture has 18 skins from the Havoc, Ancient, and Outsider collections.
- Contains the ultra rare Skeleton Knife | Fade ($400+) and Hand Wraps | Leather ($180+) gloves.
- Also has new pink-hued Havoc skins for the P90, Five-SeveN, and MP5-SD.
- Open with Fracture Keys, $2.50 in-game. A decent balance of affordable keys against rare skins.
4. Operation Snakebite Case
- From mid-2022, the Operation Snakebite case has colorful snakeskin-style skins.
- The Covert Snakeskin knives are available in 9 finishes, including Crimson Web and Fade. These can sell for $300+.
- Also contains the rare AWP | Medusa, one of the most coveted CS:GO skins, which can fetch up to $1800 Factory New.
- Open with Snakebite Keys purchased in-game for $2.50. Great potential given the affordable key price.
5. CS20 Case
- Released in late 2019 to celebrate CS:GO’s 20th anniversary. All skins are classic red vs. blue designs.
- Contained over a dozen community-made skins and 5 knives, including the rare Classic Knife.
- While key prices are now $6+, the Classic Knife and red/blue color variants of guns like the AK-47, M4A4, and USP-S have appeal.
- Overall a legacy case with collectible value given the special anniversary skins.
Other Notable CS:GO Case Options
Beyond the top options above, here are some other decent CS:GO cases for openings:
- Operation Riptide Case – Open for the ultra rare Survival Knife | Marble Fade.
- Danger Zone Case – Chance to get the rare Specialist Gloves | Fade or AUG | Hot Rod.
- Clutch Case – Has the popular Driver Gloves | Crimson Weave in Well-Worn quality.
- Spectrum Case – One of the few with a Chance Knife, available in multiple colors.
- Horizon Case – Contains the AWP | Fever Dream which can sell for $80+ Factory New.
While no case provides guarantees of getting rare skins, these all offer reasonable odds and valuable potential rewards.
Keys, Odds, and Return Potential
Before mass opening any CS:GO cases, you should familiarize yourself with the key costs and odds of obtaining skins at different rarity levels:
- Basic keys usually cost around $2.50 depending on market fluctuations. Special keys can range from $2.50 up to $6 per key.
- The odds of getting the extremely rare Covert knife are less than 1% per case opened.
- Mil-Spec and Restricted tier skins make up the majority of case openings, selling for less than $1 to $30 on average.
- A good case opening strategy is to buy at least 25 keys for mass openings to increase your chances.
- Expected return on investment per case opened is around $0.70 to $1 based on key prices and average skin values.
The appeal of cases is the small chance at getting an ultra rare item valued in the thousands. Yet it’s recommended to set a firm budget when opening cases, as returns are not guaranteed.
Tips for Effective Case Opening
Here are some tips to make the most of your case openings:
- Research the weapon skins in the case thoroughly so you know the rarity and potential values.
- Buy keys in bulk for mass openings rather than single keys to improve odds.
- Prioritize newer cases since they have fresh in-demand skins compared to old cases.
- Sell any returns on the Steam Community Market or third-party sites like SkinBaron right away, as prices drop over time.
- Use key trading sites like CS.Money that take unwanted skins in exchange for keys to reduce costs.
- Consider selling new case skins within the first 1-2 weeks, as prices tend to peak upon release.
- Have fun opening cases, but set a reasonable budget limit beforehand and avoid excessive spending.
Frequently Asked Questions About CS:GO Case Opening
What are the best CS:GO cases for expensive knives?
The Fracture, Snakebite, and Broken Fang cases offer the best shot at expensive special knives like the Skeleton Knife Fade or Talon Knife Fade.
What case has the AWP Dragon Lore skin?
The ultra rare AWP Dragon Lore only drops from Cobblestone Collection packages that are no longer available. It does not come from standard case openings.
Are older CS:GO weapon cases worth opening?
It’s generally better to open newer 2022-2023 cases as they have skins that are in high demand. Prices also decay over time on old skins.
Is it illegal to open CS:GO cases for real money?
No, opening CS:GO cases does not currently violate gambling or lottery laws. The items obtained cannot be converted directly back into real cash.
Can you make profit opening CS:GO cases?
It is possible but difficult. The average return is below the key price, so obtaining a rare knife or skin is needed to profit. Set a budget and expect to lose money overall.
CS:GO case opening provides an exciting way to obtain cosmetic weapon skins and potentially snag an extremely valuable knife. While high returns are not guaranteed, selecting the right cases based on skin rarity, appeal, and key prices can help maximize your chances and fun factor. With the Fracture, Prisma 2, Snakebite, and Broken Fang cases looking most promising for 2023 openings, you’re sure to see exciting outcomes from investing in keys and openings.
Stick to a budget, as the average returns often do not surpass key prices paid. Yet that possibility of unboxing a coveted knife worth hundreds makes case opening a thrilling part of the CS:GO experience.