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If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard of Axie Infinity, currently hailed as the king of Play-to-Earn NFT games.
And as it paves the way for a new, fast-rising segment of online gaming —- Play-to-Earn (P2E) —— dozens of other cryptocurrency games rally behind it, drawing thousands of new players every day into the world of NFT gaming.
In this article, our goal is to show you a list of some of the best and most popular P2E games that you can play right now. But more importantly, we wanted to create a comprehensive guide for those who are new to Crypto and NFT games and want to get in on the action.
If you already have intermediate knowledge about NFT or blockchain games, you can jump straight into the list of games below.
But if you’re a complete newbie in Crypto and NFT games, we highly recommend that you start at the next section explaining the underlying mechanisms of how these games work.
How do Play-to-Earn Games Work?
Traditional games follow a closed development loop: only the developers can create a new version, see the core logic, or access the existing data (assets). All assets you can find within the game are owned by the company that made it, your interaction is limited to playing the game and owning stuff you were able to obtain.
Your ownership for those items is in-game only, so the sword/gun/armor etc., that you obtained are only of value to you when you’re playing the game.
On the other hand, games based on blockchain technology are decentralized. A crypto or NFT game concept revolves around digital goods (game assets) being distributed among players rather than sitting on a central server.
This means that the game is not 100% controlled by any central authority or company but instead runs on distributed networks/blockchain such as Ethereum. As a result, no single entity controls the interactions or transactions within the game; rather, it’s up to users who use these platforms to decide what happens in their network.
And since the asset (item/character/weapon etc.,) is actually on the blockchain, it means it’s not stuck inside the game: it’s actually on the public Ethereum blockchain.
In essence, a blockchain game mainly serves as a platform for executing contracts and transactions. The concept of play-to-earn NFT games revolves around executing transactions involving in-game collectible items (e.g., characters, weapons, monsters, cards, potions, land, etc.,) which serve as a vessel for the actual tokens (more on this later) which in turn have real-world monetary value.
Note: There are other cryptocurrencies used in blockchain games, we just used Ethereum for our example. Some blockchain games create their own tokens while others use existing ones.
What are NFTs and how do I earn from them?
NFT stands for “Non-Fungible Token”.
The ability of a good or asset to be interchanged with other goods or assets of the same type is known as fungibility.
For example, my 5 peso coin is interchangeable with your 5 peso coin. They represent the same value. Thus it can be said that traditional money is fungible.
On the other hand, if something is deemed as “non-fungible”, it means it’s unique, its properties are fixed, non-divisible, and can’t be replaced (as a whole or by its parts) even with a similar asset.
A diamond is an example of a non-fungible item. Each diamond comes in its own unique cut, shape, color, size, and grade. There’s no carbon-copy version of it. A birth certificate is non-fungible. We can’t exchange birth certificates even if we were born in the same year, on the same date, have the same gender, height, weight, and even if we look alike.
In cryptocurrency, NFTs are unique tokens created by blockchain technology that represents a one-of-a-kind good or asset. Each NFT is digitally unique; no pair of NFTs is the same. There can only be one official owner at a time, and the blockchain secures that ownership so no one can modify the ownership and record or copy/paste a new NFT into existence.
That monster/weapon/armor/character etc., that you obtained inside a crypto or blockchain game are NFT assets that are unique, 100% yours, and represent an actual (monetary) value within the blockchain platform.
Full ownership of NFT assets in a crypto game is where the earnings potential comes in.
You can buy, trade, or sell them. You can earn cryptocurrencies from using them. You can also use marketplaces to loan out your in-game assets and earn from them rather than grinding it out yourself. You can convert your earnings from one NFT token to another if you want to invest in another game that uses a different token.
Ultimately, the cryptocurrency you will earn through these methods can be converted into actual, real-world cash.
The open economy and guarantee of full NFT ownership is the core of the “Play-to-Earn” (P2E) nature of NFT games and is what makes it a very promising and attractive endeavor.
While traditional and Free-to-Play (F2P) games provide you with value through the enjoyment of playing the game, P2E aims to provide the same but with the added benefit of earning money.
How to Play Crypto and NFT Games
Now that you know what blockchain-based games are you’re probably wondering:
“Well, how do I get started? What will I need? What are the steps?”.
In this section, we’ll cover some of the concepts and general steps for setting up the tools and accounts you need and how to swap cryptocurrencies so you can purchase the game token you need.
Note: This is not financial advice and you should always do your own diligence when it comes to investing your money. As a personal rule, I only invest money that I can afford to lose since cryptocurrencies are highly volatile in nature. As members of the NFT gaming community always like to say, “DYOR” (Do Your Own Research).
The following is a list of services/websites that you will need to use for each Play-to-Earn game. Included are the steps to guide you on how to create an account for Binance and MetaMask.
Binance is an online exchange where cryptocurrencies can be traded. Creating an account on Binance is the first step since this is where you will purchase the crypto coins you will use to fund the NFT games.
This is also where you can “cash-out” your earnings by exchanging crypto-currencies you earned in the games back to peso and have it transferred over to your bank or mobile wallet (e.g GCash, Coins.PH., etc.,)
How to create a Binance account
Here are the steps for creating an account in Binance.
Step 1: Register by clicking “Register Now” on the Binance website.
Step 2: Enter your email or mobile number on the next page.
Step 3: In order to buy and trade currencies, you’ll need to verify your account. To complete this, click the Profile icon on the right-hand corner and select “Identification”.
Step 4: You’ll be asked to provide your basic account information, ID, and to upload a selfie/portrait.
Step 5: Once done you can purchase BNB (Binance coin) or USDT which you can then convert to the game’s native token via PancakeSwap or ApeSwap.
How to buy cryptocurrencies on Binance
When buying cryptocurrency, you have the following options:
- Via credit or debit card
- Choose the option “Buy crypto with your credit card” if you are on the Binance welcome screen. Alternatively, on Binance’s home page, select “Credit/Debit Card” under “Buy Crypto”.
- Choose the currency in which you will be paying and the coin you wish to buy. Click “Buy” to proceed with entering your card information.
- Bank transfer or GCash
- From the Home page, click “Buy Crypto” -> P2P Trading.
- Click under “Fiat” and change it to PHP (Philippine Peso). Click the BNB button to make sure you’ll be buying BNB cryptocurrency. Click the “Buy BNB” button on the right to place the purchase order for the BNB.
- Note: NFT players who regularly purchase BNB recommend buying USDT (Tether) first and then convert it to BNB. The reason is you’ll end up maximizing your peso more since the fees will be lower compared to the first method above (Peso to BNB).
For a more in-depth guide on how to buy cryptocurrency in Binance, watch the following video:
Meta Mask is a crypto wallet that you can use to store your cryptocurrencies and tokens. After purchasing cryptocurrency in Binance, you’ll need to transfer it to your Meta Mask account.
Like a real-life wallet, you can use it to store your cryptocurrency. You can use its contents to buy, sell, swap, or transfer crypto funds and tokens.
You will need to connect your Meta Mask wallet to the game’s website so you can make transactions within the game. For this, you’ll need to install the official MetaMask browser extension so you can easily connect it to each NFT game you want to play.
The installation process is fairly quick and should only take you a few minutes. Once the MetaMask extension is installed in your browser, the next step is to create a wallet.
Step 1: Click “Get Started”
Step 2: Select “Create a Wallet”.
Step 3: Select “I Agree” on the next page.
Step 4: Create a password.
Step 5: You will be provided with a “Secret Backup Phrase” that’s made up of 12 random words. This is your master key to your MetaMask wallet.
Step 6: On the next page, you will be asked to verify your account by selecting the words in your Secret Backup Phrase. Once done, your MetaMask wallet is ready for use.
The next step is to transfer BNB from Binance to MetaMask so you’ll have funds in your MM wallet. Watch the video below for a step-by-step tutorial on how to do this.
Pancake Swap / ApeSwap
Compared to Binance, which is a centralized exchange (CEX), you don’t have to create an account in DEX, simply connect your MetaMask wallet so you can easily swap your Binance token (BNB) to the NFT coin you need.
This is because games require you to purchase their own coins/currencies so you can buy stuff that you’ll need to play the game.
For example, in Axie Infinity, you’ll need Smooth Love Potions (SLP). In Crypto Blades, you’ll need the Skill (SKILL) token. You can’t buy characters/weapons/monsters in the game using your BNB.
You have to convert it to the game’s native token first. Hence the need for services like PancakeSwap and ApeSwap.
CoinGecko / Coin Market Cap
This is helpful because the coins/tokens you need are not listed in MetaMask by default. You need to add the coin’s/token’s address in MetaMask first so you can receive it and use it in transactions.
Top Play-to-Earn Crypto & NFT Games for Filipinos
The following games were chosen based on activity (balance, users, volume) within the last 30 days as listed in DappRadar NFT games daily rankings.
We also considered the game’s popularity within the Play-to-Earn communities in platforms such as Discord, Telegram, and Reddit as well as the amount of YouTube coverage being done on a specific game.
Note: Current estimates for initial investment and earnings are based on the market price at the time of this writing (August 2021) and may change in the future.
Currently hailed as the poster child of play-to-earn games, Axe Infinity allows players to collect, breed, raise, and battle token-based animals called Axies.
Each Axie is an NFT with different attributes and strengths. They can be entered into 3V3 battles, with the winner earning Small Love Potions (SLP). The SLP is the cryptocurrency you can earn from breeding, raising, and fighting with your Axies.
Axie Infinity allows its players to earn money in several ways:
- SLP can be exchanged to other cryptocurrencies and be swapped to real money.
- Breed Axies and selling them to other players
- Buying land plots (an in-game asset) that you can also sell for a higher price (as an NFT)1.
Initial investment (minimum): Php40,000 – Php60,000
Potential earnings: Php2,000 to Php20,000 per month per team (75 SLP daily @Php10/SLP – Aug/2021 pricing)
Current SLP Price: https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/smooth-love-potion/
How to start playing Axie Infinity:
- Follow the steps above for setting up your Binance account, Metamask, and how to buy cryptocurrencies.
- Set up your Ronin wallet. This will serve as your storage for the tokens you will earn in the game. Watch the first part of the video below for a step-by-step guide on how to set up Ronin.
- Visit the Axie Affinity website and connect your Metamask wallet. You will also be asked to link your Ronin wallet. Complete both steps accordingly.
- Download the Axie game app. It supports versions for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS.
- Launch the game and start by purchasing your first few Axies.
CryptoBlades (CB) is a blockchain-based NFT crafting game that runs on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). Players use powerful weapons to defeat opponents, collect SKILL tokens, and level up characters.
You can use the SKILL tokens you earn for getting more characters, upgrading, and forging weapons. The more powerful your weapons, the more skill tokens you gain.
Like other play-to-earn cryptocurrencies, you can swap your SKILL token to other coins or change it back to real-world cash. Future development plans include PVP and raids.
- Initial investment (minimum): 1 team (4 characters) with a 4-star weapon: Php6,000 – Php8,000 depending on SKILL price.
- Potential earnings: Varies depending on BNB and SKILL price, number of wins, level of team, and weapon. See below for an example estimate based on a level 31 team with a 4-star weapon and corresponding BNB and SKILL price.
- Website: https://www.cryptoblades.io/
- Whitepaper: https://www.cryptoblades.io/CryptoBlades_Whitepaper.pdf
How to start playing Crypto Blades:
- Follow the steps above for setting up your Binance account and Metamask, and how to buy cryptocurrencies.
- Swap your tokens to SKILL via Pancakeswap or ApeSwap.
- Visit the Crypto Blades website. Connect your Metamask wallet to the game.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Farm”.
- Start by minting your first character(s) and weapon. Once done, you’re ready to battle and earn SKILL tokens.
Splinterlands is a digital collectible card game based upon blockchain technology and inspired by popular games such as Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone.
Players build a collection of cards and battle other players in skill-based matches. Players start with a base set of cards. They can then purchase booster packs or rent specific cards from other players.
These can be leveled up and used in the battle against other players in ranked battles. Ranked battles reward winners with Dark Energy Crystals (DEC), which is the NFT token currency of the game.
How to play Splinterlands
- Follow the steps above for setting up your Binance account and Metamask, and how to buy cryptocurrencies.
- Visit the Splinterlands website (see link below). Connect your Metamask wallet to the game.
- Purchase the Spellbook. It can be paid in cryptocurrencies or via PayPal.
- Start playing the missions or battle with other players.
My DeFi Pet
My DeFi Pet shares a lot of similarities with Axie Infinity in terms of core gameplay as it involves collecting, breeding, evolving, and battling with other pets.
At the time of this writing, you can purchase eggs and hatch them into pets then grow them on your farm. You’ll need to purchase a farm for growing crops that you can feed your pets. You’ll also need to buy cages where your pets can stay and earn you silver coins (which you’ll need to purchase crops).
You can breed and evolve them once your pets meet the required levels. The game’s roadmap includes PVP and a marketplace where you can buy and sell pets.
Initial investment: Php1,000 to buy 3 MyDefi Pet tokens as one egg costs 3 tokens (based on current token prices).
Potential earnings: TBD – the game hasn’t introduced the main P2E gameplay at the time of this writing.
Up and coming P2E NFT Games to watch out for:
Tips for Researching NFT and Crypto Games
With the current heightened interest in NFT games, it’s inevitable that opportunistic minds will capitalize on all the hype that both new and old players are feeling right now.
Almost every week, you’ll hear about a new blockchain game being developed, and all the noise and hoopla could give you a serious case of FOMO.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the world of crypto is highly volatile in nature. And even if blockchain technology is transparent, the game could turn out to be a rug pull2 and a quick money-making scheme from the developers.
That’s why it’s important to do your due diligence especially since money is involved. As always, do your own research to reduce the risk. To help you with this, we’ve made a short checklist of things you should check out when researching a certain game.
1. Check the whitepaper
Each game should have a whitepaper that’s accessible on their website or social media channels.
A game’s whitepaper essentially serves as its main document for reference on what the game is about, its developers, roadmap, game mechanics, tokenomics, and pretty much everything else that anyone will want to know about the game.
Do note that having a whitepaper doesn’t automatically mean that the game is legit. You have to do your due diligence in checking if what you’re reading makes sense and is realistic.
2. Background check Founders/Developers
Research the profile of the creators of the game. Check their LinkedIn, Telegram, Medium, etc., pages and see if everything checks out.
As with the whitepaper, having developer profiles in these channels doesn’t automatically qualify the legitimacy of the game. But it does add a layer of security and points in our vote of confidence if they are transparent in providing their personal background.
Especially if it shows that they have previous experience in creating games or in blockchain technology.
3. Check feedback on communities
Join their Discord, Telegram, and Reddit pages to check for user activity. The developers should ideally be providing updates to the players consistently and give support as needed.
Gauge the level of interest and overall sentiment of the users in these channels. If something seems fishy, someone will eventually start a conversation about it.
4. Game Quality
Assess the game in terms of its overall quality.
How is the gameplay? The design, the graphics? Are the core mechanics solid? How many developers do they have working on the game? Does it make sense from a play-to-earn standpoint?
In general, if a game looks sloppy in these key areas, it could mean that not much effort and thought was put into the game which is a potential red flag.
Especially if the game frequently encounters plenty of bugs and errors, or if the server is not stable (long downtime).
How are the game’s supply and demand mechanics implemented? This is important because it’s an indicator of a blockchain game’s sustainability. Do not be swayed by “easy money” mechanics during the initial release of the game.
An imbalance in the burn rate and minting of tokens would eventually lead to a highly skewed economy that cannot support itself in the long run.