Play-to-earn games are the new normal in the world of blockchain gaming. Leveraging advanced technologies and true ownership of NFT assets, NFT-based gaming projects win over millions of players. Gamers can now make real money by playing their favorite games in the form of crypto tokens.
This year, we have seen a massive growth phase for play-to-earn games that has opened up so many new opportunities for artists, gamers, and other creatives to make money. We saw people from developing countries make use of these platforms to earn decent monthly income. For example, Axie Infinity players in the Philippines earn an average of $300-$400 every month.
All of this points towards a growing segment in the cryptocurrency space, and it is essential to know which projects have strong fundamentals and are worthwhile to spend time playing and learning. In this article, we bring you the top 10 play-to-earn games in 2021. I hope you like it!
If you are exploring the NFT space, you would have definitely come across Axie Infinity. It is currently the number one blockchain-based NFT game, where players earn real money in the form of crypto tokens by breeding Pokemon-type pets and participating in PvP battles with other players.
The NFT gaming segment took off, with Axie Infinity hitting record high numbers each month. It even surpassed top-tier NFT collectibles like NBA Top Shot when it averaged 30 Million Dollars in sales every day for thirty whole days. In the first 15 days of July, the sales volume nearly touched 300 million. The average purchase in the game went from $280 to $480 in less than one month. As a result, the price of AXS, one of two native tokens of Axie Infinity, went parabolic in a short period.
The surprising part about AXS is that- it always proved us wrong when we thought it was overvalued or another bubble waiting to pop. We started the year at 0.5 dollars, and we are currently sitting at 77 dollars. The demand for this NFT-based game grew so much that it hit 1 Billion Dollars in sales in a matter of a couple of months.
So what made all the difference for Axie Infinity?
The NFT marketplace is already super complicated to figure out for an ordinary person, so when we talk about a game built on blockchain, it sure as hell ain’t going to be easy to understand. This is where Axie Infinity came up with a better alternative to ease the onboarding process and reduce/eliminate barriers of entry. By using an Ethereum-linked sidechain- Ronin, the gameplay and experience changed forever for the players.
How to start Playing Axie Infinity?
Step 1- Go buy some ETH.
Step 2- Send it to your MetaMask account.
Step 3- Send ETH from your metamask to your Ronin wallet. ( Go create one here)
Step 4- Find the Axies you are looking for (do consider rarity and different classes) and build a strong team.
Here, it is important to mention that each Axie would cost you anywhere between 300-400 dollars, so a total of 1200 dollars would be your initial investment to play Axie Infinity.
How can you earn money playing Axie Infinity?
Here are few ways you can leverage the play-to-earn model:
- Farming SLP and exchanging for real money.
- Breeding Axies and selling them for higher value.
- Trading SLP and AXS.
Riding a real horse would be the coolest thing to ever do, but most of us don’t have the necessary tools and opportunities to fulfill that dream. Well, you can now! Though it is going to be in a digital world. With Zed Run, you can now experience horse racing using NFTs. You buy NFTs that represent the horse, and you can then use them for competing in races. If you get good at it, you might even make decent profits in the long term.
Since its launch in 2019, Zed Run not only created one of the most sustainable NFT games, but they also managed to build an incredible community that loves to collect horses and believes in the long-term vision of the company. Using the Polygon chain also benefits the users with low gas fees and a better NFT minting experience.
Source- Crypto Slams
When we talk about Zed Run’s performance history, it looks rock solid and promising. The average sales per month have been only climbing for the past couple of months, and we now hit close to $29 million in August. Even the market movement has completely shifted to buyers dominating and aggressively accumulating more good quality horses.
The amount of interest we see towards Zed Run shows how solid the fundamentals are for this NFT project and how bright the future will be for the blockchain gaming segment.
If you want to understand literally everything you need to know about Zed Run before you start playing, we suggest you first read our detailed guide here.
Axie Infinity showed incredible potential for play-to-earn NFT games, but the race to being a market leader did not end. Crypto Blades is one of the most established NFT-gaming projects, developed by Riveted Games in 2014. You can think of it as Adventure Quest Worlds. It is a classic roleplaying game in an open-world environment where players completely own digital assets.
Players of Crypto Blades make money by earning experience points or Skill Tokens. By participating in a dual with other players and defeating them, one will earn tokens. This also depends on the power of the enemy defeated—the more the power, the better the reward.
The SKILL token is slowly gaining more momentum in the last few weeks and is looking to make some big moves soon. Two things that stand out with Crypto Blades are price growth and daily volume. The price went from $5 to $55 after hitting an all-time high of $155. In terms of daily volume, it went from $300k to $12 million in less than two months.
Now let us discuss some important game elements of Crypto Blades.
There are mainly two utilities of SKILL tokens- health, Sinks, and Faucets. Game health of integrity is integrated into a contract, so it always makes sure to payout enough SKILL tokens to reward the players. When it comes to the flow of tokens, we can take a hard look at sinks and faucets present in the game. They directly control the flow, so the activities related to sinks consume the tokens. We currently have five sinks- Recruit Character, Forge Weapon, Marketplace Tax, Reforge Weapon, Early Withdrawal Tax.
Elements & Characters
Like any other open-world roleplaying game, the players can choose which element they want to represent. The four in-game elements can interact with other players, given they understand which has more advantage in a duel. Similarly, players can mint different characters with a starting weapon. The first character can be minted for 4.6 SKILL, and each player can have four characters.
NFT projects like Crypto Blades bring a new meaning to blockchain gaming, so it will have a bright future if the company keeps adding more active users for mass adoption. The game also has a positive impact on players, so it can become one of the most interactive blockchain games in the near future.
Ever played Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh!? I bet you had a good time. Well, how about taking it to the next level? Enter Splinterlands. Imagine having your trading cards on a blockchain, giving you full ownership and rights to sell, trade, and swap with any player on the planet using a peer-to-peer market.
Unlike traditional games, Splinterlands is not a slow, carefully controlled trading card game. Its mechanism is fast and efficient. In this way, players do not have to assess each and every move of the opponent to win a game. The battle takes place automatically after the players create teams from their respective card collections.
In 2018, the NFT-based trading card game was known as Steam Monsters, and since then, it has managed to attract over 100,000 active players who participated in more than 60 million matches. The automatic and fast-paced battles are won over many players, as there is always a chance to win or gain experience.
How to earn by Playing Splinterlands?
Here are few ways you can try right away and earn a profit by playing Splinterlands:
- Earn Dark Energy Crystals (DEC)– You can profit by winning battles and converting your DEC to other cryptocurrencies. Farming your earned DEC is another simple yet effective way of earning a profit.
- Participate in many tournaments- It is easier to play ranked matches and earn DEC, but the real bread and butter can be earned playing tournaments. If you are lucky enough, you can even get surprise prizes and loot boxes.
- Sell your Trading cards as NFTs- Use your true ownership and flip it for a high value in the open market. Check the rarity of your trading cards and sell them on the marketplace to get massive gains on your investment.
- Generate passive income from renting your NFTs- Splinterlands allows players to rent their trading cards and earn a small percentage as rent. Your ownership remains the same, but you still are generating more value.
- Earn SPS Tokens- You can be a part of the voting system if you have SPS tokens. The game provides you with daily tokens over the next few months. It will allocate 7.5 million tokens per month, reducing by 1% each month.
X World Games
X World Games is an NFT trading ecosystem with a built-in play-to-earn model for collectors. The ecosystem consists of many mini-games with unique trading cards that have different stats and abilities. Currently, the company launched only one game called Dream Card. Players can collect different cute characters and sell them for higher value as NFTs.
The X World universe is still far away from reality, but we are seeing exceptional growth in user adoption, especially from traditional game players. According to daap, the gaming platform added more than 150k users in the last ninety days and almost doubled in volume. The number of transactions also skyrocketed over the last couple of months.
How to participate in X World Games?
Step 1- Download and install CHK extension.
Step 2- Create an account on Binance (cheaper fees)
Step 3- Buy BNB/XWG to fight on X World Games
To play the game, you first need to activate the extension and connect the Dream Card interface. If you have at least one NFT card, you can continue fighting activities. If you do not have any cards, you need to first purchase them from the marketplace. The game also allows players to stake their trading cards. It can be done by choosing “Expedition” and selecting the card to be staked. The rewards are given in the form of XWG tokens.
War Riders is a strategy game played online with multiple players that provides players rewards in cryptocurrency. By creating customized vehicles, players can create their own set of war machines and battle opponents for in-game currency, Benzene (BZN). The BZN token follows a burning mechanism that limits the supply, so it is finite.
The multiplayer game also has a utility token called WAX. It helps players create virtual marketplaces for their vehicles. When players earn BZN tokens, they can upgrade different parts of the war vehicle. It can create a certain value in the open market, which will allow the player to make decent profits by just playing the game for a couple of hours every day.
Neon District is another roleplaying NFT-based game with different adventures and battles. It takes advantage of the latest developments in blockchain and creates a sci-fi world for players to reach new levels and earn in-game items. As a play-to-earn game, players can exchange the NFT items for other cryptocurrencies.
The play-to-earn experience is open for all and fully free-to-play. Your characters, weapons, equipment, and armor need to be upgraded to get more return value. By engaging in more battles, it is possible to get rare assets. You can exchange them in an open market or equip your characters.
Revv Racing is a unique NFT game developed by Animoca brands with real-life play-to-earn economy. The ERC-20 utility token- REVV is the main currency for different brands under the Animoca umbrella. The racing platform is a lot similar to F1 Delta Time, with the same in-game currency and functionality of the game.
As REVV is a cross-title token, it can be used in any motorsport games created by Animoca brands. Players also can transfer their tokens to Polygon to avoid high gas fees. The bridge between Polygon and Ethereum will make it easier to transfer the tokens back to the original Eth chain.
The cars in the game can be minted, upgraded, and sold on the marketplace as NFTs. By having true ownership of their in-game assets, players will not only get an immersive motorsport racing experience, but they also can make decent profits by leveraging blockchain capabilities.
The token allocation keeps changing as Animoca continues to add more games to the REVV ecosystem. With racing games garnering more attention in the real world, we can expect the same to replicate in a virtual world created by blockchain NFT technology. The future of motorsport belongs to games like Revv Racing which has multiple ways to provide value to the players.
Illuvium is the first blockchain-based game to have high video graphics in line with other AAA titles. The open-world game is built on Ethereum, leveraging Defi to provide a special gaming experience for all hardcore fans. Illuvium has 100+ creatures known as Illuvials, and players can use them to form a team and battle with other players.
The native token ILV has many use cases within the ecosystem. It can be used to participate in the governance voting system and share in the Illuvium vault. The creatures come with a wide variety of characteristics that makes them more rare and desirable. Two important elements you should look at are- class and affinity.
Though Illuvium is still yet to be released, many of us think it will stand out in the NFT gaming segment. The enriched gameplay and experience are likely going to attract many traditional gamers. The company has multiple products launched till now, and the integration will only get better with game maturation.
By partnering with Immutable X (IMX), players can do transactions and buy in-game assets for no gas fee. The IlluviDEX and Yield farming are two features that can be extremely beneficial for the players.
Dotmoovs is a mobile-first sports game that uses blockchain technology to provide value in the form of in-game tokens to all participating players. By using NFTs, sports players can pick new challenges without physical limitations. As a result, sports challenges will now be available to everyone playing Dotmooves.
Sports mining is also provided to the users. It helps them earn extra crypto by participating in a sport and completing new challenges. Tournaments can also award big prizes. The AI-driven referees judge the challenges, so it eliminates frauds and other bad practices.
The platform is going to be a collection of sports with different challenges. Currently, we have freestyle football as the first sport. We see top footballers collaborate and create new challenges for the users. This is an exciting project to watch out for. As the company brings more all-world athletes to their network, the platform will grow exponentially.
The NFT space took off when no one was looking, but now we see interest from all directions. It is all because play-to-earn games proved to be valuable with Axie Infinity’s recent success. We saw people buying homes and paying off their debt by just playing the game all day long. It is safe to say that NFT gaming will not end with just one game. This is still the beginning for NFTs, and we have a long way to go. Games like Revv Racing will attract motorsport fans, opening many opportunities for traditional gamers and big-name brands. Splinterland may become the mainstream trading card game, and Crypto Blades can add more active users with more gameplay advancements. The NFT gaming segment just has too many possibilities right now, and the best way to get started is with a play-to-earn game.
Born and brought up in India, Karthikeya Gutta is a crypto journalist and freelance contributor for ItsBlockchain. He covers various aspects of the industry with in-depth analysis and research. His passion towards blockchain and crypto ecosystem is mainly because he believes it can really change the world and help millions of people.
Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Join our mailing list to receive Cryptocurrency investing and trading recommendations to your mailbox.
You have Successfully Subscribed!
Subscribe to get notified on latest posts.