M4A4 Howl – The Infamous CSGO Contraband Skin

Dec 21 • 4 min read

Added way back in 2014 with the introduction of Steam Workshop, the M4A4 skin later dubbed Howl won a community contest and was put in one of the weapon cases that contain various CSGO skins and regularly drop for all CSGO players. Nothing special about that, however, what is special is the fact that the same M4A4 Skin, Howl quickly became notorious within the CSGO community and very rapidly achieved legendary status as well as a legendary price tag on the marked which since then has only been rising. While there are many valuable items in terms of price in CSGO which you can check out by reading our article on The Most Expensive CSGO Skin Ever Sold, the M4A4 Howl is a holy grail among them so we reckon it's time to take a closer look at it. If you are on the market for something cheaper and are interested in knives and knife skins, consider reading our article on the Cheapest CSGO Knife.

Why is the M4A4 Howl Contraband?

The M4A4 Howl skin is contraband due to the controversy behind the design of the skin and is the only skin among all Counter-Strike skins with a Contraband quality associated with it currently in 2020. During one of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Valve contests held back when the Steam workshop was put into the game, members of the Counter-Strike community were given the tools to design their own skins with Valve promising to add the skin with the most votes into CSGO.

Two artists, known as Auzzii and Sic, caught wind of the contest and decided to participate providing their own design to an M4A4 skin. The mentioned artists used an image of a wild animal to modify the M4A4 skin which was based on a dog that one of them owned and decided to name the skin the Howling Dawn. This item with an image of the red wolf became extremely popular within the community and won the contest. Valve kept their end of the bargain and added it into the game in 2014. However, not everything was for the best, and sometime later, one of the skins that we now know as Howl ended up becoming contraband and remains the only contraband skin to this day in 2020 which worked well in this case because that fact alone astronomical increased its price which puts howl among the most expensive skins in the game.

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M4A4 Howl – Why Was it Removed?

At the time of its creation, this item was decorated with a wolf decal with a custom description and originally had covert rarity, however, it turned out that Auzzii and Sic chose to use somebody else's design and try to pass it as their own. Valve did not know about this until some time later when an official DMCA complaint was issued to Valve by the original creator of the artwork. Needless to say, Valve was not happy about this, and while there may have been alternative options available, they choose to remove the item and change its rarity to contraband. While Valve removing one of their skins from the CSGO doesn't even come close to a good sign, in this particular case, things turned out differently which you can read more about further down the page.

Why is The M4A4 Howl so Expensive?

We have already touched on this question in the paragraph above, but let's get into some more details on why is the M4A4 Howl one of the most expensive skins out there. There are certainly a few reasons that may or may not affect the price of this item, but for starters, the item wasn't available for a long period of time in the game so not many players got to use it in the first place. Since it is one of the skins that were removed from the game, things took the next logical step and its rarity increased further. The contraband mark of quality did its thing next and raised its rarity and price even further. All these things combined with a controversial story caused players to share information between themselves, and the next thing we knew, this item was one of the rarest and most expensive CSGO skins ever.

How Much Does The M4A4 Howl Cost?

Trading CSGO skins is a tricky business, and as per usual with CSGO skins, there are many variables that can affect the value of certain skins such as the skin rarity such as covert, skin wear, additional skin attachments such as the StatTrak technology as well as general things such as supply and demand of skins themselves. Considering everything we just mentioned about the value of CSGO skins, as well as an interesting and controversial history that the M4A4 Howl possesses, it is safe to assume that skins in this category can be worth quite a lot of money, but how much is the M4A4 Howl actually worth, and what can you realistically expect to get out of it if you actually sold one in 2020? Let's find out.

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As of writing this article, depending on the condition of the skin, the M4A4 Howl charts are showing a constant rise in prices, at least on the official Steam Market, from around $700 all the way into the high $3000s, so the prices have constantly been rising just like we mentioned above. Currently, the prices vary depending on the market, with the field-tested M4A4 Howl is around $1800. The prices increase yet again with the minimal wear skin costing around $2300 with the factory new M4A4 Howl skin with StatTrak being available for $3600.

While we are certain that the prices will change over time, we can be sure that the value of the skin itself won't be any less than it currently is judging by what we can see from the information and examples above. However, please keep in mind that this is just an educated guess on our end and anything is possible in the world of Counter-Strike skin trading. We will follow the trades and update the information if needed.

How to Get an M4A4 Howl?

Since M4A4 Howl skin was removed by valve due to reasons mentioned in the paragraphs above, your options of getting the M4A4 Howl and skins of similar rarity are severely limited. The M4A4 skin Howl is no longer contained in any of the weapon cases that can be obtained through in-game drops or ma be purchased on Steam or any other market, which means that your only option of ever getting your hands on one of them is by purchasing the skin directly either on the Steam market or a third-party site such as the SkinCashier or any similar website.


This article will be focusing on the M4A4 Howl which is the only contraband item in CSGO and one of the most expensive CSGO skins. We will also be discussing the reasons why Valve removed the item from the game, where you can find it, what you should expect if you are looking to trade with it as well as what other similar items you should search for.