CSGO has introduced a lot of different items since its release. While most of the items in CSGO are tradeable, a few items are no longer obtainable and cannot be traded either. This makes these items exclusive and a rare sight. It is quite likely that most players have never even seen or heard of some items that exist in CSGO. In this blog entry, we want to take a look at some of the unobtainable items and explain the history behind them.
The first item type category contains items that are currently unobtainable, though not actually that rare: Tokens. These tokens were given out during operations or majors and could be used to receive some kind of reward. There were 3 kinds of tokens released so far: Bonus EXP tokens, operation stars and souvenir tokens.
Bonus EXP tokens were given out as rewards during Operation Shattered Web and Operation Broken Fang. They can be used to receive a rank EXP bonus of 5000 points, which is 1 level. The items were not automatically used, so some users decided to keep them as memorabilia. The EXP tokens from Operation Shattered Web were actually replaced by the new design of Operation Broken Fang when it got released, so there seems to be no point in holding onto the exp tokens since they seem to lose their operation-specific design with each new operation. This means that currently, only the Operation Broken Fang exp tokens exist, which will likely get replaced with the new design once the next operation releases. This makes these items unobtainable for a while, though they are not there to keep forever.
Operation stars are also related to the operations Shattered Web and Broken Fang. These were the first two operations with the newer battle pass style, in which you were able to earn or buy operations stars to receive rewards. If you decided to buy stars, you would receive them as an in-game item that could be used during the operation to receive those stars in the operation pass. Some people bought a single star and kept it as a collectible. While these stars serve no real purpose anymore, they are a nice thing that you can proudly display on your Steam profile. They are no longer obtainable, making them relatively rare. You are still able to use the star, but it won’t grant you any items or operation progress anymore, so it is just a way to free up the inventory space taken up by the star. It is quite likely that the next CSGO operation will also have purchasable stars that will work exactly the same way, but this is only speculation for now.
Souvenir tokens are similar to the operation stars. They were used during the last few majors as a currency to receive souvenir drops. You received the tokens for completing missions in the viewer pass or you could buy them. You then used the tokens to receive a souvenir package from a match of your choice. These tokens also became unobtainable after the end of the respective major. Unlike the operations stars, these souvenir tokens can not be used, so they take up inventory space without the option to delete them, which could be annoying if you have multiple unused souvenir tokens.
2. Operation Coins
Operation coins are another item type that fits in this blog entry. During CSGO operations, players are able to purchase an operation pass that gives them access to missions, new maps, operation exclusive drops and also to the bronze coin of that specific operation. The bronze coin can be obtained by using an operation pass, even after the operation has ended. This means that all of the bronze coins are still obtainable today, though older operation passes are really expensive.
During the operation, the bronze coin can be upgraded. While in the beginning, it was as simple as playing on operation exclusive maps for a certain number of hours, nowadays players have to complete missions to earn a certain amount of operation stars. Coins can then be upgraded to silver, gold and even diamond. Older operations did not have diamond coins, those were only introduced with Operation Hydra in 2017. No matter if silver, gold or diamond, all of these coins are exclusive to players that bought the operation pass and leveled their coins during an ongoing operation. These coins are unobtainable now, so they are a nice way to show off how much of a CSGO veteran you actually are.
3. Prototype Cases, Capsules and Keys
Our next group of items is nothing the average player will ever come in contact with: Prototype cases, capsules and keys.
The prototype cases are even extremely elusive, as the concept seems to have been abandoned by Valve before it was even implemented. Noone actually seems to know what these cases were made for, as they were not given out to anyone. There seems to only be a prototype for the Operation Bravo Case that exists in the game files. It has the description “Awarded to CS:GO Steam Workshop Contributor”, so this points towards the prototype case being the first iteration of the prototype keys that were later given out to the workshop creators. The Operation Bravo Case did not contain any community-made skins though, so it doesn’t make sense why this item would exist in the first place. Maybe it was an item meant for internal testing that just remained in the game files, while the idea was scrapped and replaced with the prototype keys. The Steam Community Market still has an entry for them, but it has never been sold and there are no known cases in the inventory of any players. This makes the Prototype Operation Bravo Case truly unobtainable.
Another abandoned concept are the prototype capsules. Prototype EMS Katowice 2014 Capsules were given out to only 3 players from teams that took part in the event. These capsules can't be used or traded, so they are effectively useless and only serve as a way to show that you were part of the event. Valve has not given out any other Prototype Capsules after the Katowice 2014 event either, so these capsules are quite rare and there is no way to get your hands on one.
The third kind of prototype item category is the prototype key. They are given out to creators of workshop skins that make it into one of the community weapon cases. A prototype key looks just like a normal key, but it has a green item border in the Steam inventory. These items can’t be traded and are meant to be a token to show off that you managed to get one of your designs into the game. The keys cannot be used to open cases, though that was not always the case. It only got changed after a skin creator accidentally used his key to open a case and therefore lost his exclusive item. After that incident, Valve made these keys effectively useless, so now they are just for show. Just in case you are worried: The creator received a new prototype key from Valve, so it all worked out just fine for him.
4. Map Coins and prototype operation passes
Another item type awarded to workshop creators are the prototype map coins. These items are given out to the creators of CSGO workshop maps that were featured in the game at some point. There are always a good number of community-made maps included with CSGO operations, but there are also some in the scrimmage mode and Cache even made it into the regular map pool. As with the prototype keys, these items can’t be traded and are meant to be a way to showcase your contributions to the CSGO community. Unlike the prototype keys, these items actually have a use: They can be displayed as your active coin and therefore shown next to your name in the in-game scoreboard. Only a few people managed to get maps accepted into CSGO, which is no surprise when you look at the sheer number of maps that are available in the CSGO workshop. Obtaining one of these items would require you to create or at least be part of the creation of a high-quality workshop map that then gets accepted into the game. While this is not impossible, it would require a lot of work and even more luck to actually get it accepted, making this item type unobtainable for the majority of CSGO players. If you should get your map accepted, the coin would obviously also only be for your map, so all the old coins for other maps will stay unobtainable forever.
Up until Operation Wildfire, creators of workshop maps would also receive a prototype operation pass if their map was featured in a CSGO operation. There are no records of these prototype passes being given out after Operation Wildfire though, so it seems like Valve has abandoned this concept, making prototype operation passes a completely unobtainable item as well.
The last item type we want to take a look at is the one that requires the most skill to get: CSGO Trophies. As the name suggests, these are trophy items that are only given out to players that take part in one of the CSGO major tournaments. There are different trophies for the champions, finalists, semifinalists and quarterfinalists of each major tournament. Playing at this level would require a lot of skill, dedication and also a fair bit of luck. Most players can only dream of ever taking part in a major tournament, let alone making it to the quarterfinals. The old trophies also had a unique design for each tournament, while the newer trophies all look the same. While old trophies obviously can’t be obtained anymore, new ones will also be unobtainable for basically all of CSGO’s player base as well, making these some of the rarest and most prestigious items in the game.