Do you love playing video games? Now think of how much you’ll love them when you find out that you can get paid for playing games. Play-to-Earn (P2E) is a new concept in the blockchain gaming industry that’s attracting both investors and gamers alike.
The rise of NFTs, the metaverse, and other concepts, has severely boosted the adoption rate of P2E games. With their digital economies, these games reward you for actively playing either by giving you cryptocurrency or non-fungible tokens. The P2E genre has proven itself to be a fun and relaxing way of earning money online.
Today’s article walks you through the concept of Play-to-Earn games and how they work. You will also get to explore the top 5 best play-to-earn crypto games with NFTs in 2023.
Play-to-Earn is a model for blockchain-based video games that financially rewards players. Such games usually involve battling other players, completing quests, upgrading characters, or combining new characters to make a better one. These activities either contribute to boosting your character’s value on the market, or reward you with a digital currency.
For example, Axie Infinity is a popular P2E game in which you collect cute pets called Axies. These pets are represented on the blockchain as NFTs – who derive their value from character traits and other properties.
Axie Infinity’s gameplay boils down to:
You additionally earn two other types of cryptocurrencies – SLP and AXS – for playing the game and winning battles. All in all, you’re being rewarded to play a game that’s basically the blockchain version of a modern day Pokemon game.
Some of these games are completely free to play. However, most popular P2E games require an upfront investment in order to play. You might have to buy a character, a land parcel, or another in-game item to start playing.
The tokens you receive as rewards derive their value from factors such as network activity, the number of active players, speculation, and so on. On the other hand, the value of NFTs in P2E games depends on rarity, which traits are currently important for gameplay mechanics, and other factors that play a crucial role in the game.
Not all P2E games are as fun as they seem. In fact, earning money by playing these games usually involves spending countless hours of your free time. The rewards you seem might sometimes not be worth the time. And due to volatility, your NFTs and crypto might lose value overnight – but just as quickly rise in value.
There’s one big question surrounding P2E crypto games: are they worth the hassle? While earning money for playing games might sound attractive, you must not forget the fact that you’re still dedicating hours to something that might not even be fun or provide significant rewards.
For example, Axie Infinity players have earned up to $500 in crypto rewards per month at the game’s peak. The game amassed huge popularity in 3rd-world countries such as the Philippines. The players there have gone as far as to quit their jobs and pursue playing Axie Infinity as a way of making a living instead.
Is $500 per month good enough for P2E to be worth it? The answer is obviously different depending on who you ask. The average western person will think of it as chump change. The same sum will be two, three, or four times larger than the national salary for citizens of a less developed region.
To summarize, whether P2E games are worth the time depends on how much time you need to dedicate to the game, how much you earn, and how these earnings compare to your overall portfolio. If the sum is not adequate, you might be better off doing something else. But hey, if you’re simply looking for beer money, P2E games are the real deal.
The following section gives you a brief overview of the top 5 play-to-earn crypto games with NFTs in 2023. Note that I haven’t ranked the games in any particular order, and that the rewards you receive varies from game to game. Also keep in mind that rewards are volatile and change each month.
The Sandbox (SAND) is a blockchain-based virtual game encapsulating the metaverse concept where players can create, share, and monetize their own gaming experiences. The game is built on the Ethereum blockchain and utilizes non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to represent digital assets such as land, assets, and characters.
In The Sandbox, players can purchase and own virtual land, which they can then use to create their own gaming experiences. They can also create and sell their own in-game assets, such as buildings and characters, on the game's marketplace. This allows players to earn cryptocurrency, in the form of the game's own cryptocurrency, SAND, for their creations.
The game also has a social aspect to it, where players can interact and collaborate with other players to create shared gaming experiences. Additionally, players can also participate in events and competitions to earn rewards and recognition.
The Sandbox aims to provide a fully decentralized gaming platform where players can have full ownership and control over their creations, and monetize them through the use of NFTs and cryptocurrency. The game's use of blockchain technology also allows for transparency and fairness in all in-game transactions and interactions.
Players can use SAND for a variety of in-game purposes, whether it be purchasing a plot of land, NFT assets, or playing a game created by another user. Every action in the game is tied to spending SAND. In other words, you need to pay to play, but you’re also paid back in SAND with play-to-earn features.
Additionally, creating games and custom experiences requires spending SAND tokens. So does customizing LAND you own within the metaverse.
Decentraland (MANA) is a virtual reality platform powered by the Ethereum blockchain enabling anyone to build and share metaverse experiences. Players can create worlds, explore attractions constructed by others, and earn money in a digital realm limited only by imagination.
Whereas the traditional video game market has long excluded players from owning the content they play or influencing game design, Decentraland seeks to do the opposite. Players can own in-game items and earn money for playing thanks to a combination of blockchain technology and P2E gaming mechanics.
However, Decentraland is more than just another play-to-earn game – it's addressable audience goes far beyond that of Axie Infinity. Instead, Decentraland is building what might be the first-ever full-scale digital analog to the physical world.
Decentraland is one of the most exciting projects to come out of the metaverse trend. Created back in 2015, Decentraland was originally just a bunch of pixels. But today, the project is a fully interactive 3D world filled with people living second lives in detailed virtual spaces.
Decentraland boasts everything from virtual casinos and rollercoasters to actual music festivals, art exhibits in galleries, and cafes. Recently, Decentraland had virtual land sales in excess of $2 million, proving just how large some investors are betting on the success of second life-like metaverse spaces.
To do anything in Decentraland, you always need to keep a bit of the platform’s native MANA token in your wallet. Presuming things play out as predicted by Neal Stephenson’s classic metaverse novel Snow Crash, today’s digital land and MANA speculators may very well be the land barons of tomorrow.
Axie Infinity (AXS) is a blockchain-based game that allows players to own, breed, and battle fantasy creatures called Axies. The game is built on the Ethereum blockchain. All Axies and in-game items are stored on the Ethereum blockchain as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Created by Trung Nguyen and Aleksander Larsen of blockchain game lab Sky Mavis, the premise of Axie Infinity is to endow players with an open digital universe whose economy they own and control. The idea is an ambitious one — games traditionally give the player nothing but a good time. But with 2 million players and counting, the Axie Infinity concept is clearly working.
Players can earn cryptocurrency, called SLP, by participating in various in-game activities such as breeding and battling. They can also earn SLP by staking their Axies, which allows them to earn a return on their investment.
The game is also designed to be highly customizable, with players able to create their own unique Axies by mixing and matching different traits or character properties. Additionally, players can develop and expand their own in-game land, which can be used to grow food for their Axies and can also be used to generate SLP.
Overall, Axie Infinity offers a fun and engaging gaming experience that allows players to earn cryptocurrency and own unique digital assets. The game's use of blockchain technology also allows for a high level of transparency and fair play, as all in-game transactions are recorded on the Ethereum blockchain.
Illuvium (ILV) is a blockchain-based fantasy adventure game where players can explore, battle and collect creatures called Illuvials, and trade them with other players. The game is built on the Ethereum blockchain and utilizes NFTs to represent Illuvials and other in-game assets.
In Illuvium, players can explore a fantasy world and battle against creatures to collect unique Illuvials. Each Illuvial is a unique, one-of-a-kind digital asset that is owned by the player. Players can also trade Illuvials with other players using the game's built-in marketplace.
Players can earn cryptocurrency, in the form of the game's own cryptocurrency, ILV, by participating in various in-game activities such as battling and trading Illuvials. They can also earn ILV by staking their Illuvials, which allows them to earn a return on their investment.
Illuvium offers a fun and engaging gaming experience that allows players to own, collect and trade unique digital assets.
My Neighbor Alice (ALICE) is a blockchain-based virtual world game where players can build and customize their own homes, socialize with other players, and earn cryptocurrency through various in-game activities. The game is built on Ethereum and utilizes NFT to represent digital assets such as land, assets, and characters.
In My Neighbor Alice, players can purchase and own virtual land, which they can then use to build and customize their own homes. They can also interact with other players by visiting each other's homes, and participate in social activities such as fishing and gardening.
Players can earn cryptocurrency, in the form of the game's own cryptocurrency, ALICE, by participating in in-game activities such as farming, fishing, and trading with other players. They can also earn ALICE by renting out their land and houses to other players.
My Neighbor Alice offers a fun and engaging virtual world experience that allows players to own and control their own digital assets, and earn cryptocurrency through various in-game activities. The game's use of blockchain technology also allows for transparency and fairness in all in-game transactions and interactions.
Decentralization is here to give power back to the gamers. Combining crypto and NFTs, you can also reward gamers by paying them for their time. A new genre of blockchain games called Play-to-Earn is here to provide passive income to players in a way that’s fun.
P2E games have attracted a lot of attention in the past two years. Talks of VR worlds, metaverses, and NFTs have all contributed to the rise of P2E. Moreover, the popularity of games such as Axie Infinity, Sandbox, and others, have massively increased the adoption of this model of earning passive income.
Whether it pays to play P2E games largely depends on how much money you can make. What’s also important is how much time you need to contribute to the game in order to make any tangible money. You surely won’t waste your time playing games all day just to receive $100 in crypto at the end of the month.
P2E games are in the gutter right now as players have largely left their once-favorite games following the most recent crypto collapse. However, there’s no telling when the bull run will be back again. And once it’s back, the P2E genre will once again stand in the spotlight and be more profitable than ever.
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