Skin (computer games)

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A skin called in computer games a custom  texture , with, for example, characters or weapons can give a different look. Usually this option is a purely visual change and does not affect the game mechanics . In some games these are prescribed for certain classes and characters, while others allow more freedom of choice or even lead to a change during the game. Skins can either be assigned at the beginning of a game or during a game, can be unlocked or can be purchased with game or real money .


Often skins can only be bought with real money or can hardly be unlocked with regular games. The sale often takes place in microtransactions and random lottery procedures such as the loot box . Some free-to-play games are therefore financed through the sale of skins and other purely visual changes. Among other things, this leads to the fact that skins are also resold by third parties and betting and gambling take place with them. They therefore often adopt their own currency in the games , which is traded with. The Californian research institute Eilers & Krejcik Gaming estimated the use in the skin betting market for the year 2016 at around 7.4 billion US dollars. Most of the time, these bets and sales are illegal.

Creation of skins

In some games, the skins can also be created with a so-called skin editor or used by other players. Character editors often make it easier for you, as they allow you to select predefined texture changes and are usually tailored to individual body parts and clothing. In addition to an in-game function, this can also be implemented as a mod or by editing and changing certain texture files, e.g. B. with a graphics program or a 3D graphics software from the developer or from third-party providers.


Well-known examples are MOBAs such as League of Legends and weapon skins in first- person shooters such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive , as well as various MMORPGs and mobile phone games . A well-known example of externally changing the skin is Minecraft . Changing the blocks and items is done using so-called texture packages.

Individual evidence

  1. Bigna Fink: Gambling on the Internet: From Gaming to Gambling . In: The daily newspaper: taz . August 16, 2016, ISSN  0931-9085 ( [accessed December 2, 2017]).