Blockchain technology has several use cases one of them being in the gaming arena. Yep, blockchain games are a thing. There has been rapid development in this sector in the past few years and games like Axie Infinity and Decentraland have tasted massive success.
Crypto games have brought many innovations to the gaming scene and the emergence of play-to-earn games has given gamers an avenue to earn crypto gaming tokens.
Now, with this boom in cryptocurrency games, you may be faced with several questions. What are play-to-earn crypto games? Are crypto games legal? Which are the best crypto games?
To answer all these questions, we have compiled this list to help you learn more about cryptocurrency gaming and the best crypto games.
What are Crypto and NFT Games?
Crypto games are a fusion of cryptocurrency and gaming. In such games, cryptocurrencies are incorporated into the gaming experience usually via in-game purchasable items or characters. In-game virtual money is not a new concept per se but blockchain technology and cryptocurrency have introduced a fresh element in them.
Types of Cryptocurrency Games
These games use non-fungible tokens(NFTs) to represent in-game items such as weapons or skins. Each item is unique and cannot be replicated. Blockchain technology is used to facilitate the secure trading of these in-game items.
Gambling and Casino Games
Gamers use their crypto assets for betting on these games. Blockchain is leveraged to facilitate transparent transactions. Slots, dice games, and poker are some examples of crypto-based gambling games.
These are arguably the most popular types of crypto-based games. Here, players can earn tokens by playing and clearing some levels or completing certain specific tasks. Decentraland is an example of such a crypto game.
Why are Crypto Games Popular?
Cryptocurrency gaming is popular because of the new opportunities it provides to gamers. Unlike traditional video games, decentralized crypto gaming platforms let users own their in-game assets as cryptocurrency or NFTs. In other words, the digital asset becomes the property of the gamer.
Play-to-earn games where gamers can earn cryptocurrency or NFTs as a reward for playing the game are particularly popular among crypto gamers.
Most crypto game tokens such as MANA and AXS are listed on crypto exchanges and can be sold, traded, or converted to fiat like other cryptocurrencies.
Top 7 Most Popular Crypto Games
It is a play-to-earn crypto game that is set in a digital universe where players collect pets to battle with other players. These pets are called Axies and each one of them has their own set of characteristics and abilities. Axies can be bred and raised for battle and, hence, are also famous as collectible NFTs.
Players earn Smooth Love Potion(SLP) tokens by winning battles in the game. Axie Infinity’s native token is an ERC-20 token called AXS which is used as a medium of exchange in the game’s universe.
To play Axie Infinity, you need to first find an Axie capable of taking on your opponent. Each of the six pure Axie breeds comes with six body parts with different stats. You need to assess your competition here and carefully choose your pet.
In Adventure mode, you train your Axie where he battles AI Axie to increase its Experience(XP) to move on to the next level i.e. Arena mode. In this mode, you compete with players who have the same Matchmaking Rating(MMR) as you.
Succinctly, your MMR and earnings keep increasing as you defeat more players in the player-versus-player(PVP) mode. Hence, it comes down to your skill and competitiveness which determine how much you are able to earn in Axie Infinity.
When was Axie Infinity Launched?
Axie Infinity was launched in 2018.
Who Founded Axie Infinity?
It was created by Sky Mavis Studio led by Nguyen Thanh Trung.
Axie Infinity runs on which Blockchain?
Axie Infinity is a game native to Ethereum.
Which Devices Support Axie Infinity?
Axie Infinity can be played on Android, iOS, and Windows devices.
One of the most popular crypto games, Decentraland is a virtual gaming metaverse where users own the land they purchase in the form of NFTs. Here, players develop and monetize their real estate by creating structures, hosting events, or selling ad space on it.
The cryptocurrency that powers this ecosystem is known as MANA and can be earned by participating in events or completing quests on Decentraland.
There are 90, 601 individual LAND plots on Decentraland. On these lands, you can do almost anything you wish- create scenery or construct a building and turn it into an NFT with the builder tool. After creating an NFT, you can trade it in the marketplace and earn MANA.
The meat of Decentraland’s gameplay, however, lies in the real estate owned by the players. You can create gaming challenges and social experiences on these lands and monetize them. You can organize events that would fetch you cash when other players participate in them.
The most sure-shot way of earning money on Decentraland, however, is to simply buy land and then sell it at a profit.
When was Decentraland Launched?
Decentraland was launched in the year 2020.
Who is the Founder of Decentraland?
Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano are the creators of Decentraland.
Decentraland Runs on which Blockchain?
The game Decentraland is native to the Ethereum blockchain.
Which Devices Support Decentraland?
Decentraland can be accessed on Android, iOS, and Windows devices.
Splinterlands is a player-versus-player collectible card game. In this game, there are digital monsters represented as cards and known as Splinters. These cards are in the form of NFTs with unique attributes and characteristics. Splinters are used to battle with other players with the winner getting crypto tokens as a reward.
Splinterlands has two main tokens- DEC and SPS. DEC is the in-game currency that is used to purchase Splinters or NFT cards while SPS is the governance token that enables community members to participate in the game’s governance and earn rewards for their contribution.
Splinterlands’ gameplay revolves entirely around cards. It consists of two types of cards- the summoner’s card and the monster’s card. While you can own both types of cards, you cannot use them simultaneously.
If you use your summoner’s card, the player holding its corresponding monster’s card will be summoned to battle. Participating in daily quests and winning tournaments helps you increase your skill level, earn DEC, and unlock more creatures to compete with.
To earn money on Splinterlands, you can either compete in tournaments to earn DEC or sell NFTs on the game’s NFT marketplace.
When was Splinterlands Launched?
Splinterlands was founded in 2018 and is located in Pennsylvania.
Who is the Founder of Splinterlands?
Splinterlands was created by Dr. Jesse Reich and Matthew Rosen.
Splinterlands Runs on Which Blockchain?
Splinterlands runs on the Hive blockchain.
Which Devices Support Splinterlands?
Splinterlands can be used on Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows devices.
The Sandbox is a play-to-earn metaverse game that relies on and promotes user-generated content. It is basically NFT gaming where players can create and share game content and monetize it to earn crypto rewards. This game content can be anything from a building to a piece of land to some unique characters.
Players can sell these assets in The Sandbox’s native marketplace and earn SAND tokens in return. SAND is the game’s native token that is used for everything on the platform- from buying to selling to transferring assets.
Creativity rules the roost on The Sandbox. As mentioned above, you can create anything like virtual worlds, characters, buildings, and events. At least in the game, the sky is your limit.
To begin playing on The Sandbox, you need to first attach your game to a particular Sandbox plot. The plot here measures 1×1 or 96×96 in-game meters. Unlike Decentraland, you don’t necessarily have to own the piece of land and can simply rent it too.
After that, you can mint and sell NFTs to make money in the game. You will be paid in SAND i.e. The Sandbox’s in-game currency. Alternatively, you can also buy land and then either rent it or sell it at a profit to other players.
When was The Sandbox Launched?
The Sandbox was released to the public in 2012.
Who is the Founder of The Sandbox?
Sandbox was developed by the game studio Pixowl Inc.
The Sandbox Runs on Which Blockchain?
The Sandbox game is native to the Ethereum blockchain.
Which Devices Support The Sandbox?
The Sandbox can be accessed on PCs, MacOS, and iOS devices.
Illuvium is not a standalone game per se but rather an interoperable blockchain gaming universe. It is a gaming ecosystem with three games already running on the Ethereum blockchain. Broadly, players here role-play as explorers on a ruined planet called Illuvium where they have to find exotic creatures called Illuvials to build their team.
The game’s native token is called ILV and can be earned by completing quests, discovering new creatures, and winning battles. These tokens can also be staked to earn interest and enable players to participate in the Illuvium ecosystem’s governance.
In Illuvium Overworld, you end up on a ruined planet called Illuvium which is full of exotic creatures called Illuvials. These creatures have extraterrestrial powers and are represented as NFTs. The main task here is to find and capture Illuvials to build a team. There are an estimated 150+ Illuvials and these can be upgraded and evolved over time.
In the Illuvium Arena, you can use your Illuvial team to compete with other players. Winners earn fighting points which can then be converted into ILV. Illuvium Zero is a metaverse game where you can develop and manage your digital industrial complex.
When was Illuvium Launched?
The Illuvium game was launched in 2022.
Who is the Founder of Illuvium?
Illuvium was created by Kieran Warwick and Aaron Warwick.
Illuvium Runs on Which Blockchain?
The Illuvium game runs on the Ethereum blockchain.
Which Devices Support Illuvium?
Illuvium can be used on PC and MacOS devices.
My Neighbor Alice
This is a play-to-earn multiplayer game known for its laid-back approach. It is a farming-based game where players can buy land, collect and build new items, complete farm activities, and meet new friends. My Neighbor Alice has an NFT marketplace where you can buy NFTs for land, animals, and other in-game assets.
Its native token ALICE, supported by both Binance and eToro, is used for making purchases for the items in the marketplace.
Broadly, My Neighbor Alice is about owning land and doing farm-related tasks. Land is the most precious item here with about 100,000 units of land being spread across Snowflake Island, Medieval plains, The Town or the Lummestad, Nature’s Rest, Sandy coast, and Submerged Islands.
You complete tasks such as bee-keeping, fishing, and construction to make your plot of land as farm-like as possible. You can buy in-game items with the ALICE token in the marketplace. Land NFTs are the most sought-after NFTs and you can also sell them in the marketplace to make a profit.
When was My Neighbor Alice Launched?
The My Neighbor Alice game was launched in 2022.
Who is the Founder of My Neighbor Alice?
My Neighbor Alice was developed by the Swedish studio Antler Interactive.
My Neighbor Alice Runs on Which Blockchain?
My Neighbor Alice uses the Chromia blockchain.
Which Devices Support My Neighbor Alice?
My Neighbor Alice can be accessed on PC and MacOS devices.
Battle of Guardians
Battle of Guardians is a player-versus-player real-time fighting game. It is a competitive, skill-based game where players have to beat their opponents to earn rewards. These are multi-dimensional and multi-realm battles that are highly competitive and players can even earn rewards with real-world value.
Battle of Guardians has a mythological and fantastical setting with three types of characters- Guardians, Humans, and Demons. Each of them has unique traits with Humans being more technologically advanced(intelligence), Guardians being super powerful(damage) and Demons possessing large health pools(health points).
You have to battle as either one of the characters to earn the in-game currency and governance token called BGS. Your BGS earnings depend on your skill level or tier. The three tiers are Elite Fighter, Legendary Warrior, and God of War with the God of War being the highest tier with the most earning potential.
Like other player-versus-player games, you have to win battles and complete quests to earn BGS. You can also sell characters or in-game NFTs in the game’s marketplace to earn profit.
However, something unique about Battle of Guardians is that it allows players to rent out characters to other players and then take a cut of the profits from their earnings.
When was Battle of Guardians Launched?
The Battle of Guardians game was launched in 2023.
Who is the Founder of Battle of Guardians?
Battle of Guardians was founded by Alexander Halim, Orlando Nandito, and Wilsen Tiomajaya.
Battle of Guardians Runs on Which Blockchain?
Battle of Guardians runs on Solana and the Binance Smart Chain.
Which Devices Support Battle of Guardians?
Battle of Guardians is a PC and MacOS device game. The game is not available on Android and iOS devices.
Risks of Cryptocurrency Gaming
As cryptocurrency gaming is still an emerging use case, there are several risks associated with it that you should be aware of.
The primary use of gaming coins is for transactions in a particular crypto game. Outside this ecosystem, they may face liquidity risk and you might not be able to easily sell or trade your tokens. Plus, not all gaming platforms accept them as a payment option further restricting their utility.
While all cryptocurrencies are volatile, the risk is amplified in the case of gaming tokens whose demand is tied to the popularity of their native game. As long as the game is trending and has an active user base, there is demand for its particular token.
However, if players abandon a game and move on to the next big thing, demand for the aforementioned game’s token may dry up as it has limited utility.
Rug Pull Schemes
Rug pull schemes are a common phenomenon in the crypto gaming scene. Developers fundraise money that they claim will be used for developing a game that they have no intention of creating. They take off with the users’ money leaving them in a lurch as it is very difficult to trace or track these “developers.”
Gaming coins are generally kept in digital wallets which comes with its own host of problems. Online wallets are vulnerable to hacks and security breaches. Plus, just because a crypto game has been built on a secure blockchain, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the game’s engine or marketplace is secure too. Hackers take advantage of these vulnerabilities and steal players’ money.
The Bottom Line
Crypto gaming presents new opportunities for creators and players alike. It has changed the way players interact with games, virtual worlds, and even other players. Gaming tokens enable players to actually own their in-game assets and earn crypto income with play-to-earn games.
Still, cryptocurrency games are in an experimental phase where they are faced with many limitations and risks. Scams and hacks are a major problem for crypto gaming and gaming tokens suffer from various issues such as liquidity and speculation risk.
As decentralized gaming technology evolves, it may overcome some of these challenges but as of now, no one knows what the future holds for the crypto gaming industry.