Play-to-earn blockchain games are increasingly being looked to as the catalyst to draw more people into crypto. Developers have learned how to streamline the process to make it simpler and cheaper than ever to play games on the blockchain and earn tokens at the same time, crypto that users can then exchange for other coins or convert to money. Crypto gaming has even carved out its own niche, known as Gamefi, a hybrid of decentralized finance (DeFi), which provides the earnings feature, and gaming.
In November, close to half of crypto wallets that accessed DeFi also use their tokens for games. Gamefi seems to have momentum on its side for 2022, as the number of users flocking to crypto play-to-earn games continues to astound. DappRadar senior data analyst Pedro Herrera is cited by Bloomberg as saying that gaming decentralized apps (Dapps) are supporting 80-100 million transactions every day. We've compiled a list of some of the play-to-earn crypto games that are generating buzz and that you might want to check out.
Gods Unchained is a play-to-earn blockchain game created by Immutable, an Ethereum-based platform, that is free to play, though you can also buy cards. It's a player vs. player digital card game that lets users take ownership of their in-game assets. As a result, players can sell certain cards, including those you earn for free, in the form of NFTs to other players. An NFT of Hyperion, one of the unique gods, sold for 146 Ethereum, which at the time was worth around $62,000. Traditional gamers might find some familiarity in Gods Unchained because it is led by Chris Clay, former game director of Magic The Gathering: Arena.
— Gaming Chain (@GamesDapps) October 3, 2018
Players “tactically build a deck of 30 cards and align themselves with one of six gods to outsmart, subdue or decimate your foes,” according to a tutorial. After aligning themselves with a god, gamers choose powers that are tailored to each god that can be used strategically in the game. A mana wheel is key to reshuffling the deck or determining which cards you can play, and there's a literal bag of tricks to keep you playing.
When players level up, they earn packs as they make their way through the various levels of the game. The GODS token is an Ethereum-based cryptocurrency used to mint NFTs and purchase card packs, for example. These tokens also give holders voting rights and a say in the direction of the project.
Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn blockchain game that is credited with bringing traditional gamers into crypto for its Pokémon-like charm. It is a game universe in which players collect creatures as pets, known as Axies, which take the form of digital collectibles, or NFTs. The idea is to “battle, breed, collect, raise, and build kingdoms for their Axies.” Players use Axies to fight other creatures and earn rewards for the battles they win, which can then be used to catapult them further in the game or exchanged for money. You can't pick a fight with another creature until you have at least three Axies.
Axie Infinity is also a game in which players gain ownership of the assets they acquire during gameplay, which they can turn around and sell or trade for a potential profit. The Axie Marketplace has seen total sales volume of 77,295 ETH, or $287.8 million, in the last 30 days across 1.7 million Axie NFTs. While you can't predict what your NFT will be worth in the secondary market, the top sellers have gone for hundreds of ETH.
The Axie community is ballooning in size, with 500,000 new Axie token holders having joined in the month leading up to early December 2021. The Axie token is the native cryptocurrency of the game. Meanwhile, players have bred more than 10 million Axie creatures combined. The project is on pace to hit 3 million daily active users (DAUs).
Battle of Guardians
Battle of Guardians is a multi-player NFT game for the metaverse developed by Unreal Engine and built on the Solana blockchain. Players are constantly fighting “fierce multi-realm battles” to beat the competition and earn rewards in the form of in-game tokens — Battle of Guardians Share (BGS) and Fighting Points (FP). The highest rewards to go the God of War fighters, followed by Legendary Warriors and lastly Elite Fighters. The battles are between fighters on the same tier so it's a level playing field.
The characters include demons, guardians and humans, the attributes of which are health, damage, and intelligence. Guardians take the lead for damage points, humans lead for intelligence and while demons have the most health. There are three modes to the game:
- Story and training — Learn
- Battle arena — Compete and earn
- Bout — A winner-takes-all tournament
Battle of Guardians recently raised $4.4 million in a funding round led by Good Games Labs. Thanks to this capital, the project plans to launch a token sale in January 2022 followed by an NFT sale.
Battle of Guardians early in-game footage is finally here. Watch as our characters fight fist-to-fist in this intense battle!🥊🥊#BOG provides an immersive gaming experience so YOU can go all-out in battles of skills and become the champion!🏆#NFT #P2E #Metaverse pic.twitter.com/uCUzKZhUK3
— Battle of Guardians (@BOG_Official_) December 23, 2021
Idle Cyber is an NFT defense battles play-to-earn crypto game in which the main characters are RPG heroes. You may have heard of the traditional version of this game — Cyber War: Defense and RPG. The new one is based on blockchain technology — the Binance Smart Chain — and published by BeeMob Studio. The concept is two-pronged: revenue and experience.
The setting takes place in 2088 in a post-Apocalypse world, where humans must defend themselves against cyborgs. Players defend the homeland with a Cyber Defense squad comprising mutants, whose job it is to hold the wall, destroy the cyborgs and overtake giant bosses. As players defeat the cyborgs, they earn a combination of Idle Cyber tokens (AFK, a governance token for buying NFTs, and IDLE, a second token used to buy items and gear) plus NFT assets.
Owning NFT heroes gives you the opportunity to sell them on an NFT marketplace or incorporate the characters into the game where they can fight battles and you can earn rewards.
📮WHAT WILL YOU DO IF OWN NFT HERO IN CYBER BOX
So, What to do if you own a cyber in #CyberBox
— Idle Cyber Game (@idlecyber) December 28, 2021
Illuvium is an Ethereum-based play-to-earn NFT RPG adventure game involving journeying across a broken plant, hunting and capturing creatures called Illuvials, which players grab with a shard. Gamers assemble a team for battle, which will determine their level of success in the game.
Illuvium seeks to improve the use of NFTs in gaming, saying that it is looking to create “an emotional connection between the players and their collections.” Players who capture an Illuvial are rewarded with an NFT token until there are enough to fuse together and mint a more powerful creature. This game is expected to be released in Q1 2022 in beta format. The anticipation appears to be building, based on social media sentiment.
— Illuvium (@illuviumio) December 30, 2021
Players earn a token called ILV during gameplay, which they can convert into other crypto or cash or use to vote on the direction of the project. ILV holders can also participate in staking, which is a way to earn passive income by locking up tokens with a staking pool, kind of like a bank savings account, for a period of time. Staking is a common feature in DeFi. You don't need to hold ILV to begin playing the game, but the project says that ETH is the primary currency for gameplay.
Like Axie Infinity, Splinterlands is one of the most popular play-to-earn crypto games, comparable to traditional games Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone. Splinterlands is a collectible trading card game that lets users play, trade, and earn NFT digital cards — so they're not locked inside the game. Players gain access to a set of base cards in the form of NFTs and from there can either purchase ($2 for each Booster Pack) or earn more. You level up your cards to go to the next level.
The portal shifted and warped, and dozens of creatures poured through it, their bodies thin, frail, and stretched at impossible angles. #nftart on #spt #splinterlands #sps #hive #PlayToEarn #GameFi https://t.co/P8iH9TrG7S pic.twitter.com/LboEODXqSH
— Splinterlands (@splinterlands) December 30, 2021
In this game, the battles are “fast and furious,” not taking more than a few minutes to complete. The cards are split into two categories: Summoners and Monsters. Summoners are magic users that user their power to summon monsters. The Monsters can be any person or creature that's beckoned by a Summoner to fight. Players can also harness magical primal forces, or Splinters, across fire, water, Earth, life, death and dragon.
Splinterlands is ranked as the No. 1 game in the last 24 hours, with more than 305,000 users, according to DappRadar.
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Featured Image Credit: Splinterlands