There was a time when a computer game was just that – a game. But, since the introduction of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) the face of gaming has been elevated to new heights, allowing gamers to interact with a virtual world based on blockchain technology. The result? Real earning potential through NFT games.
This paradigm shift in the industry allows gamers more control over virtual assets and incredible profit possibilities, making the entire experience that much more exciting. Better yet, you don’t have to be a famous streamer like PewDiePie or Mr. Beast to make it big…you simply have to play the game.
- What is an NFT Game?
- What is a blockchain? – A Quick Refresher
- How Do NFT Games Work?
- The Bigger Impact of NFT Games
- The Four Most Popular NFT Games On The Market
- Getting Started on Axie Infinity – Start Earning Now!
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is an NFT Game?
With cryptocurrency booking and art selling at its peak, you’ve probably heard about NFT’s from everyone (and probably even their grandmother’s uber driver). These fun little images with traceable histories and ownership have real-world value. But WTF is an NFT game?
For those of you who may not know what an NFT game is, or how in the world they work, let us explain! Simply put, an NFT game is a computer game launched on a blockchain, powered by virtual assets based in cryptocurrency. Now, that might sound like quite the mouthful, so let’s break it down.
What is a blockchain? – A Quick Refresher
Blockchains have 4 distinct features:
- How the data is stored
- Where the data is stored
- Who stores the data
- When the data is stored
A blockchain is a type of database that stores sets of data in blocks. When one block is filled, it’s chained to the previous block, so the data appears as sets in chronological order that forms a chain – see what they did there?
Now, when it comes to data storage, a typical data centre contains hundreds of servers in a warehouse, like the ones Google and Amazon use.
*Photo from AWS Public Sector Blog
Where blockchain differs, is that it offers the unique ability to store blocks of data in computers all over the place in a decentralized manner – so instead of needing a warehouse or large room to hold your server, you can access a single node on the blockchain.
The important thing to understand about decentralization is that each node on the blockchain has a full record of all the transactions on that chain. What’s a node, you ask? A node on a blockchain is any server or computer participating in the network. If one node has an error (or if someone tries to tamper with the data) the other blocks on the chain can be used to cross-reference the data, and pinpoint exactly where the error occurred. Because data is stored in this decentralized manner, it makes it virtually impossible to meddle with information in the system and is part of the reason why it’s so popular among the cryptocurrency community.
The other reason is that because there is no central server, nodes can be operated by individuals or small groups versus a large company, giving more power to the users.
There are, of course, some exceptions such as the Black Swan event that incurred a 51% attack.
How Do NFT Games Work?
Now, you may be thinking, how does this apply to gaming? Most games today do offer some sort of in-game exchange of assets. For example, in Call of Duty you’re allowed to buy loot crates to level up your weapons, upgrade characters, etc. In GTA you can buy in-game shark-cards that allow you to fast track your progress to buy properties, nightclubs, weapons, cars, clothing, and more. But, all of these assets are forever locked away in the game, making it impossible to transfer them to another game or trade them in for cold hard cash. Enter NFT gaming!
Blockchain technology has largely been used as a tamper-proof way of online accounting. When it comes to gaming, companies have launched transaction-based games on various blockchain systems in the form of an entertaining virtual world. The beauty of it all is that the user doesn’t have to understand the intricacies of the cryptocurrency market to play – they simply launch the game and join in on the action. As users progress through these digital realms they are gaining virtual assets with real-world value, and are able to cash out their winnings through cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance.
How do you earn playing NFT games?
When you start playing an NFT game you can earn cryptocurrencies by completing certain tasks or acquiring different items. You can then use your crypto to purchase in-game assets, or add them to your wallet and trade them on cryptocurrency exchanges which gives you, the player, the option to cash out your earnings. As you progress through the game you can also earn NFTs which are unique assets that can’t be duplicated – think of them as a one-of-a-kind trading card of sorts. You can use them in gameplay, but you can also trade them for other items on NFT marketplaces or sell them for cryptocurrency which you can cash out at any point. Depending on the rarity of your NFTs, there can be some significant earning potential!
The Bigger Impact of NFT Games
The fact is, most people playing these games are unfamiliar with the idea of cryptocurrency, and many have no idea what blockchain is or how it works. The draw is that people can make real, feasible income under the guise of playing a game without the player having to be a professional (or famous on YouTube or Twitch). In a 2021 interview with Jeff Zirlin from Axie Infinity, he explained that this type of game has had a significant impact on individuals in developing countries that may otherwise be unable to earn an income (especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic). Players aren’t just teens, they’re people of all ages – parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles – who’ve found a way to earn money for everyday items like food and diapers in an otherwise struggling economy.
Considering the bigger impact, this type of gaming could be a real life-changer for people. Instead of gaming in the traditional sense, users have the option to have fun, unwind and earn income at the same time. For individuals where the income potential is low, or perhaps where the ability to get a job is hindered in some way, NFT gaming gives people who may not thrive in the 9-5 working environment an opportunity to make a living. Not to mention, this type of gaming opens up the previously niche and secluded world of crypto to the general population through interactive gameplay. Essentially, these games are user-friendly interfaces that display transactions on a blockchain in a fun, immersive way, which allows people to participate in the world of cryptocurrency without having to have extensive knowledge outside of simply playing a game.
So, now that you’ve got a basic understanding of how an NFT game works, let’s get into…
The Four Most Popular NFT Games On The Market
1) Axie Infinity
Axie infinity’s popularity has skyrocketed recently, mainly due to the fact that it has the most expensive NFT collection available. With over 1.8 million users, the game itself is run on the Ethereum blockchain and has a Pokémon-esque influence where the main goal is to gather, breed, and battle NFT-based creatures called Axies. You can also gather and trade assets like Small Love Potion (SLP) and Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) which are available for trade on the crypto market through Binance.
What started as a fun, accessible, and educational way to introduce blockchain technology to the world has now developed into a virtual universe wherein “work and play become one”. Being that so many of Axie’s players have never used crypto before, it has become a truly valuable tool in teaching people about the potential of blockchain through the facade of cute animals. Who wouldn’t want to live in a world where your work is quite literally as fun as playing a game!
2) Gods Unchained
If the virtual pet approach of Axie Infinity hasn’t piqued your interest, perhaps the card-based play of Gods Unchained is more suited to your style. In this free-to-play tactical card game, the ultimate goal is to outsmart other players to increase your rank and be able to access more prestigious packs of cards. When playing against other people, you also have the chance to earn different prizes and eventually can forge your own more valuable cards.
As with any kind of NFT game, you are the one true owner of your in-game assets, meaning that as you build up your deck and forge higher valued cards, you can then sell them for in-game tokens with real-world value on the cryptocurrency market. But, even in gameplay, it’s not just the highest value card that wins – your skills are fundamentally your greatest weapon. While many play-to-earn games also require the purchase of NFT assets to start, a huge benefit of Gods Unchained is that as a new player, you are provided with a “Welcome Set” of cards for free. So, no matter your current financial situation, you can start playing (and earning) immediately.
3) The Sandbox 3D
If you’re into metaverse-style gaming with a unique element of design, then The Sandbox 3D is a great go-to! Akin to games like Minecraft, Sandbox allows users the freedom and creativity to construct and animate voxel (3-D) objects in the game. Of course, these objects can be used and traded through the in-game marketplace. On top of this, there is an element of virtual real estate noted by highly sought-after LAND tokens. Being an owner of LAND not only designates you as the owner of a piece of The Sandbox, but it also gives you the ability to design that area in any way you see fit. Users can even develop their own games within the Sandbox to play themselves. For the creative gamer with a drive to innovate, the Sandbox world is your oyster!
We couldn’t round out our list of popular NFT games without mentioning Splinterlands, the collectible card game similar to the previously mentioned Gods Unchained. In this 1-versus-1 card battle, you are rewarded for winning against other players and also for joining multi-player missions. You can use these rewards to purchase new packs of cards or cards from other players, and as you gain cards you can choose to keep, sell, or level up your arsenal to improve battle outcomes or increase the card value on the market.
To start, Splinterlands is free to play. However, to earn rewards and play for assets with real-world value, the user has to purchase a $10 “Summoner’s Spellbook” which grants you access to your own account with earning potential and a pack of cards, which really isn’t much in comparison with other popular NFT games. If you’re lucky, you might end up with a rare or valuable item right off the bat. But for others, you may have to jump right into battles to reap the rewards.
Getting Started on Axie Infinity – Start Earning Now!
You can begin earning on games like Axie infinity right away, but if the process seems a little daunting don’t worry, here’s how to get started!
- Create a wallet.
Because this game is crypto-based, you’ll have to start by creating a digital wallet. This is the place where you’ll store your game assets, like Axies and tokens. For Axie Infinity, your digital wallet is called Ronin, and can be downloaded as an extension for Chrome or Firefox. Once you’ve created a wallet, you can purchase assets like ETH (Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency) directly online through Ronin which will later be used to acquire your Axies.
But, if you’re in a location that doesn’t have this feature yet, you’ll actually need to start this process with another digital wallet through which you can load ETH and then transfer it to Ronin. For this, you can use a wallet like MetaMask and simply click “add funds” to use ApplePay or your debit card to load ETH into your wallet. From here, you can use Ronin Bridge to easily transfer ETH into your Ronin wallet.
- Make your first deposit.
To play the game, you have to own 3 Axies, so naturally your next step will be to purchase your Axies on the Axie Official Marketplace.
You may notice that the cost of Axies aren’t necessarily cheap, with average prices around $355, but you can purchase them for as low as around $125. If that’s a little steep for your budget, you can join the Axie Discord Community to apply for scholarships, in which case you’re able to rent Axies for gameplay without having to fully purchase them.
- Create your account for game play.
Next you’ll have to create a game account on Axie Official Marketplace, this will allow you to log into both the Marketplace and the game launcher.
- It’s time to PLAY!
You’ve created your wallet, purchased your adorable Axies, created your game account and now it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for…game time. Head over to the Axie Infinity website and click “Play Now” in the top right corner to download the game for Windows or MacOS.
If you’re getting stuck somewhere in this process, simply click on the “Getting Started” button located in the center of the screen for a quick start guide that will walk you through step-by-step. It’s time to start playing (and earning) – Enjoy!
While the world is still up for debate on the long-term value of non-fungible tokens, there’s no denying that they have given the gaming industry an incredibly unique twist that won’t be leaving us anytime soon. These games have opened a window into the world of cryptocurrency that would likely be left alone by the general public otherwise, and have been used as an invaluable resource to help people understand blockchain technology. Whether you’re gaming for fun or fortune, NFT games have already changed the way the world views gaming, and it’s just getting started!