There are eight different characters in Counter-Strike: Source, four Terrorists and four Counter-Terrorists. The trouble is that there are millions of Counter-Strike players, which makes standing out difficult. Luckily, fans have been creating new player skins since the game's release, and now there are literally thousands of accomplished efforts to choose from. Many of the new skins add advanced effects like normal maps and phong shading to make them look even better than the default skins. Whether you want to turn the Terrorists into suave, suited bank robbers, or add more convincing camo to the Counter-Terrorists, there's something for you in the Counter-Strike: Source modding community. Read on for our pick of the best Terrorist and Counter-Terrorist player skins.
Installing player skins sounds more complicated than it is. It's essentially a matter of dropping the mod file into the right place. Here's how to do it. Head into your Counter-Strike: Source player file directory, normally located here: C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\SteamApps\Counter-Strike: Source \cstrike\materials\models\player\. Within the 'player' file, create eight empty files with the following names, one for each of the terrorist and counter-terrorist models: ct_gign, ct_gsg9, ct_sas, ct_urban, t_arctic, t_guerilla, t_leet, and t_phoenix. When you download and unzip a skin, it's likely that you'll see a 'materials', 'player' or 'model' file, drag and drop these into your Counter-Strike: Source materials folder to merge the files and install the skin.
With skins like the Death Avenger, you'll get a t_arctic file, replace the t_arctic file you've created with the new one and you're away. For more details on installing player skins, check out the guide on FPS Banana .
CT Remix pack
This fantastic set of skins gives a new, unified appearance to all of the Counter-Terrorist models. The CT Remix pack is a perfect set of skins if you play regularly with friends. Different masks and gear give each model its own personality, but the highly detailed monochrome camo will give you the appearance of a crack team of killers.
Perfect for all those night-time Counter-Strike maps. Okay, so there aren't many night-time Counter-Strike maps, but black is slimming and this excellent skin comes as close as it can to making you look like a ninja assassin without breaking the modern military feel of the Counter-Strike universe. It's so cool that it needs a couple of downloads. Here's part 1 and part 2 .
When military types talk about tactical vests, they don't mean vests that hide in your underwear drawer, plotting their best route of attack. They're really talking about pockets. The more pockets a vest has, the more tactical it is, and they don't come much more tactical than they do on this Tactical Counter-Terrorist skin. There's so much detail on this skin that it looks as though you could shoot the buttons off if you wanted to.
Classic Unbreakable CT Pack
The Classic Unbreakable CT Pack comes in three distinct flavours, Desert Marine, Water Snake and Silver Flame. Each one is a finely crafted, highly detailed skin with their own unique look. Silver flame is probably the stand-out of the three, with a swirling, silver flame pattern that your victims are likely to remember long after the round has finished.
In case anyone's in danger of forgetting who the bad guys are, the Death Avenger skin replaces your typical Counter-Strike countenance with a terrifying skull mask. If you're going to run around planting bombs and teabagging the unlucky gents you just just head-shotted, you might as while do it dressed as a Bond villain. Check out Masked for Death for a similar version for the Guerilla skin.
The Casual Terrorist skin is another mod of the ever-popular Arctic Terrorist model. It's a well made, understated take on your typical Counter-Strike terrorist. The hoodie and jeans combo might seem less glamorous than the Bank Robber, but it's great if you want to hold on to Counter-Strike's sense of realism..
If the Death Avenger skin is about making you look like a Bond villain, the Bank Robber skin is about making you look like Bond himself, if Bond decided to give up his life as an international man of mystery and rob a liquor store instead. The look is borrowed directly from great heist movies like Heat, which prove that you can be a cold-blooded, sadistic murderer, but still look classy in a sharp suit. The Bank Robber skin is so detailed that you can even see the time on his Rolex. About 3:20 pm from the looks of it.
Everyone's favourite physicist has gone rogue. This alternative skin for the Leet model adds Gordon Freeman to counter-Strike: Source, as a terrorist. Where did it all go wrong, Gordon? He may be able to single-handedly thwart an alien invasion, but can he handle the pressures of a CS arena? There's only one way to find out. Download the skin and suit up to see if the One Free Man really has what it takes.
These are just a few of the thousands of Counter-Strike: Source skins available. Head over to FPS Banana for more. If you'd like to customise your character even further, check out our pick of the best Counter-Strike: Source weapon mods . Which one is your favourite, and are there any that you'd add to the list?