Over 400 blockchain games were released in 2021, paving the way for a highly competitive industry filled with unique “Play to Earn” mechanisms to incentivize players.
Many of these blockchain-based games allow players to generate income directly by fulfilling in-game objectives; since the games run on the blockchain, they’re capable of using NFTs, in-game currencies (which are essentially tokens that can be traded and sold on open markets), as well as “renting” and “staking” functions.
Most crypto games reward for completing missions, trading goods, and renting out characters to generate income.
But what exactly goes on behind the scenes for play to earn crypto games?
Better yet, which play to earn games are worth your time and money– keep in mind that most NFT games require some initial holding of an NFT or token native to that ecosystem.
We’ll explore all of this in our play to earn crypto game guide.
What Are Play to Earn Crypto Games?
Play-to-earn (better known as P2E) crypto games are an innovative spin on traditional video gaming; they allow players to earn in-game cryptocurrencies by winning battles, completing quests, and renting out or selling their assets. Most games will allow their in-game currency to be exchanged with more popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum through a decentralized exchange.
In general, P2E games allow players to get started for free, however, some require an initial investment (for example, to buy a character or plot of land). These investments tend to be relatively low-cost for the earning potential they offer, but they are an inherently risky asset.
With each P2E game being unique, some have gained popularity faster than others.
Our list of the best lay to earn crypto games available in 2022 takes into consideration:
- The game’s popularity
- The token’s inherent value in the ecosystem and broader market
- The difficulty in earning meaningful rewards
1. Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity is one of the most popular P2E games currently available. It provides gamers with two in-game currencies: Smooth Love Potion (SLP), which is popular due to its ability to be turned into fiat currency, and the Axie Infinity Token (AXS) which is the primary in-game currency.
Gameplay includes two unique modes: a traditional adventure mode in which players must complete missions and quests as well as a battle mode, which allows players to test out their characters in PvP gameplay. During PVP players have the chance to earn AXS whilst also being ranked on the in-game leaderboard.
Alternatively, players can also choose a more passive option of farming. In Axie Infinity players can farm form, which creates SLP. SLP can then be sold in-game or for cash. They can also trade in Axies themselves, which have become increasingly profitable as the popularity of Axie Infinity has increased.
2. Plant vs. Undead
Plants vs. Undead is the perfect game for more passive gamers. Its main focus is on farming, in which the player must produce light energy (the in-game currency, LE) to progress through the game. LE can be converted into PVU tokens, which can then be traded with the most popular cryptocurrencies in decentralized exchanges. Players also have the option to earn plant NFTs, which are valued based on their rarity.
Despite its emphasis on farming, combat is still an important factor in the game. Players must defend their farms from the undead using different defense plants, however, this is not the main focus. Instead, the majority of the time players will be maintaining their farm, completing unique quests, and harvesting a range of different seeds. They just need to be ready for when the undead attack!
No list of P2E games would be complete without Decentraland. Decentraland is a metaverse-like world that provides users with the opportunity to bring their imagination to life. MANA is the main currency in the game and can be used to buy things in the metaverse such as land, virtual heroes and character upgrades. Alternatively, MANA can also be used to learn real-life skills. Some users teach skills such as languages and instruments for MANA, with prices being set by the player.
The options available on Decentraland really are limitless and players are only just realizing its potential. More expensive plots of land are selling for over $3.5m and celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and Paris Hilton have even purchased their own plots, dramatically increasing the price of plots around them. Although the game is still in its early days, it has huge potential to become the main metaverse of P2E gaming.
4. The Sandbox
The Sandbox is a new P2E game challenging Decentraland. It has quickly become a popular 3D virtual reality crypto game, with its own spin on the traditional Decentraland concept. The in-game currency is SAND, which can be used to buy and sell digital land. Currently, the number of plots available is limited to 166,464, which has increased the demand for plots and the value of those already owned.
Similar to the hit classic Minecraft, the graphics and interface are in block forms. The gameplay itself involves completing in-game tasks to earn objects and trade land. With a range of ways to earn, players can choose their own unique way to monetize their gameplay which creates a level of freedom not available in most P2E alternatives.
As well as being the in-game currency, SAND is also used as a governance token. It provides holders with the opportunity to vote on the future of the platform. This creates a democratic approach to development, in which the dev team can work in alignment with the demands of their players.
Pegaxy is a relatively new game in the P2E market. It’s a PVP horse racing game that provides players with several different methods to earn whilst they play. Each race includes 12 unique horses running. Those that place in the top 3 will earn in-game currency in the form of VIS tokens. The winner of each race is decided through a random number generator, however, this is set to change with a ‘version 2’ update coming later this year. The update will consider factors such as stadium conditions, the attributes of each horse, the food they’ve eaten and the clothing they have on for the race, all of which will determine the overall outcome.
Players also have the opportunity to earn passive income by renting out their horses for a set period of time. Both players must agree to a price and time period before any transaction is made. Once the transaction has been made, the purchaser will be able to use the horse for any races for the agreed period of time.
Pegaxy is an easy way for new P2E gamers to get involved in the DeFi world. It’s easy to play and uses a simple interface that’s easy to use and understand. The game is set to evolve throughout 2022 with a focus on strategy and skill, helping players take their gameplay (and earnings) to the next level.
Final Thoughts: Are Play to Earn Crypto Games The Future Of Gaming?
With the current gaming market worth over $198.40 billion and expected to reach $339.95 billion by 2027, P2E gaming has the potential to disrupt one of the fastest-growing industries on the planet. Gaming itself is already a popular hobby without the incentive to earn an income.
By combining this with huge earning potential, we may see many traditional gamers move into the P2E market. Although this isn’t a guarantee, as P2E games become more developed it’s likely that many gamers will see greater opportunities within this market.
However, the assets earned tend to have volatile prices and their store of value has yet to be determined. Further, crypto games that require some sort of “buy-in” must also be properly risk assessed– don’t buy or play with anything you can’t afford to lose.