The Effects of Weapon Skins in a First-Person Shooter on Game Experience and Player Performance

The Effects of Weapon Skins in a First-Person Shooter on Game Experience and Player Performance
David Halbhuber
Maximilian Huber
Niels Henze


Many video games offer players the possibility to purchase skins that change the appearance of game elements to make them more appealing [1, 2]. This usually affects game objects such as champions, weapons or map elements, but can also involve more complex elements like animations. Some skins only change the paint job of the interface, while others also change the model. Sounds, too, can be changed through skins. Although they change the appearance of the game, they have no influence on the game mechanics.

While they do not affect the game directly, skins can still give players an advantage, which is why some are banned in pro play [3,4]. There are several reasons for this:

  • The animations are different, so it is harder to identify what the opponent is doing and thus react to it in time.
  • The skin is very hard to obtain, so it is rare to play against it during practice. Therefore, to avoid playing against it for the first time in the pro match, the skin is banned.

In video games, different colors used can affect player behavior [5]. In shooter games, skins for the weapons are very common. So far, there is no research if and how weapon skins can impact user experience and performance.

Zielsetzung der Arbeit

Investigating if and how weapon skins impact game experience and player performance by conducting a user study.

Konkrete Aufgaben

• Literature research • Creating a video game • Search and modify weapon skins • Conduct a user study • Evaluate the data • Write the scientific paper

Erwartete Vorkenntnisse

• Programming in unity and c# • Research and write literature • Data analysis

Weiterführende Quellen

[1] Reza, A., Nedd, A., Chu, S., Castillo, A., Khan, Z., & Gardner, D. L. (2020). I like the Way the Skin Looks”: Player Perspectives on Aesthetic Appeal and Self-Representation with Video Game “Skins. iConference 2020 Proceedings.

[2] Reza, A., Chu, S., Khan, Z., Nedd, A., Castillo, A., & Gardner, D. (2019). Skins for sale: Linking player identity, representation, and purchasing practices. In Information in Contemporary Society: 14th International Conference, iConference 2019, Washington, DC, USA, March 31–April 3, 2019, Proceedings 14 (pp. 124-131). Springer International Publishing.



[5] Joosten, E., Van Lankveld, G., & Spronck, P. (2010). Colors and emotions in video games. In 11th International Conference on Intelligent Games and Simulation GAME-ON (pp. 61-65). sn.