When did color swaps become skins?

Color swaps have historically (in video games) just been some minimal effort appearance change where a “skin” has been some full change to the outside appearance of your toon/avatar beyond a color swap.

However 2k decided to market color swaps as skins lately in Evolve and Bborn because they seem more substantive or something? Because they want to charge for real actual skins?

Giving a token color swap effort a “name” doesn’t make it a skin either.

I guess it all breaks down to semantics and the execs coming up with ideas to make things seem more valuable. Is it really working though? Evolve and Bborn both lost players hella quick. Seems like players are MASSIVELY addicted to unlocking big things like other characters but quickly drop off when there is nothing but color swaps. Even Street Fighter doesn’t call color swaps a new costume or skin.

Tons of fighting games have up to 20 color swaps per fighter without any extra charge or grind.

Does 2k do this solely for money or are they so completely crushed for dev time that they are struggling to find compelling things to make grind-able?


I have to make a snarky face every time this game tells me I earned a new skin, because I already know it will be a hideous bland color my last character earned as well.


aren’t they all unlocked in the same order too? Like the color progress is identical for all of them?

Indeed, the level-related color-skins are all unlocked on the same level/tier for each char.

A good many of the BL2/TPS skins that drop in game are also just colour swaps, although some of them have different patterns/logos as well. I figure, as long as I’m not paying extra for it, I don’t really care. Some folks are a little obsessive about getting all the skins, though.

Think they put more effort into creating the names for the pallete swap ‘skins’ than the skins themselves. Some of the skin names are really funny/fitting.

Some - not all - of the new colors/skins actually do have different textures for the model. Kleese is probably the most obvious example, but WF also got a pretty big skin texture revamp.

I agree the new skins are overpriced though, and frankly I’m disappointed with the base-game skins as well. The base color set for most characters is pretty good, then all the subsequent skins tend to be very monochromatic and make the underlying model look less interesting than it is. Caldarius is a particularly egregious example, since he’s mostly flat shiny surfaces anyway. His new skin is awful IMO, looks like a toy. (The base colors aren’t awful, but the decals are just blegh.)

I definitely see your point, but so long as more complex skins ARE being offered, I actually enjoy unlocking the different shades.

Honestly. Even in BL2, I maybe used 4 of the non-texture change skins on my characters, and most of them were because they were some combination of my favorite colors.

That being said, I genuinely got a quick pang of joy every time I’d get a new skin, even if I knew I’d NEVER wear it.

I’d do a quick “Yeaaah”, when I picked up a Bandit Technical skin even fully well knowing it was some awkward shade of maroon that looked about as appealing as a raccoon’s dinner.

I enjoyed the process of the hunt, and games like Borderlands/Battleborn are the kind of thing that I’d get on to wind down, with no real intent of doing much, this little “accomplishments” are actually welcome.

I would agree that I would be peeved IF there were no real snazzy skins, but there are, so I don’t mind going through the processes just to unlock them.

Plus it lets you gauge your opponent. You see a gaggle with their default skins on, and you feel awfully confident, but you see the Planeteers or Power Rangers down there, and you may think twice about your move.


I think the thing with the tier 1 skins that makes them unappealing is that they just kind of tint everything. If they only affected certain portions of the outfits, they’d look a lot better IMO.


Some of them (like Whiskey Foxtrot’s yellow/orange one) actually subvert that and look really good imo.

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There is only ONE Bandit Technical skin. You know which one!

Back on BB: some of the newer skins do actually look cool; will be interesting to see what comes out down the road on this. I’m going to be honest though, I’m not paying cash/platinum for any of them.


Only one skin worthy of the Technical. And it does not share power.

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Personally I think WF has one of the most horrible color swaps in the game. Comparing them to Mikos for example… On Miko they actually look interesting, while WF loses all his outfits detail :stuck_out_tongue:

In the end, This is purely a taste matter, but I’d still wish the color swaps had more effort put into them and there was at least more to choose from.
I’m also kind of bummed that they managed to pick some of my least favorite colors for them, at least in Borderlands there are a ton of options so at least one should appeal to your tastes. I actually liked the vehicle skins too, the very brightly colored ones.
Though the heads was where it was at…

I’m the kind of guy who will buy a game because it has cool Character Creation. That’s why I bought Fallout 4 so soon after release. I crave customization and I just wish BB had a little more of it.

Kinda wish they’d add more color pallets into the mix, as far as re-colors are concerned. The re-textured skins look cool. Can’t wait to see the re-models

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Good point, Miko’s look pretty good for the most part. It doesn’t seem like the same care went into every character where those base skins are concerned. I don’t mean that to be insulting but I would love to see them go back and tweak those base skins to only apply the color to specific regions and make them actually look cool.