Top NFT-Based Trading Card Games (TCGs)

NFT-based games integrate traditional gaming concepts with blockchain technology, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and other decentralized financial elements. 

Gamers are loving GameFi (the intersection of gaming and NFTs, and even DeFi) for three main reasons: 

  1. True ownership: While in conventional digital games, players can buy in-game assets, those assets don’t actually belong to them. On the other hand, NFT-based games give players complete control over their assets– in-game assets like cards, lands, avatars, or swords are NFTs.
  2. Verifiable rarity and uniqueness: Non-fungibility makes it possible for creators to make 100% unique tokens, as well as programming different rarity levels for the assets. Naturally, some items in games will be scarcer or more useful than others, and their value should reflect that. Since everything happens on the blockchain, it’s easy to verify the scarcity, uniqueness, and authenticity of each asset.
  • Opportunity to earn income while playing: These games implement play-to-earn mechanisms. By participating in games, players can earn cryptocurrencies and in-game items that have real-world value. Many games have their own secondary markets for trading.

NFT-Based trading card games are getting so much attention because they’re a perfect mesh for most any game genre, from role-playing games to fighting games. One of the most popular gaming categories is card trading. 

For many people, training card games, or TCGs, revive childhood memories of collectible card games while at the same time offering a new way of generating revenue.

In play-to-earn NFT-based card trading games, each card is a non-fungible token (NFT), usually in ERC-721 standards. They enable the play-to-earn mechanism using common elements found in GameFi, such as an in-game currency and a marketplace. 

Here are the top NFT-based trading card games. 

Gods Unchained

Gods Unchained is the most popular trading card game in the blockchain universe. It runs on Ethereum and Immutable X. 

Gods Unchained is a free-to-play fantasy-themed turn-based, tactical card game; players must build their decks based on a strategy. 

By playing the game, you can earn common core cards. Those cards can’t be traded on the marketplace; at this point, they are not minted on the blockchain. It’s possible to increase the value of these common cards, by earning “flux”, a resource gained by winning the ranked games.

Gods Unchained has a process called The Forge, in which players who have earned enough flux can merge two identical core cards into one by spending flux. This process creates higher-quality cards, and since the forged cards are minted on the blockchain, they can be sold on the blockchain, sometimes for a hefty profit. 

Splinterlands

Splinterlands game runs on the Hive blockchain. 

You can test the game for free, but to start playing, you need to buy a starter set for $10.You can get new cards by buying packs from the shop or individual items from other players in the marketplace. You can also sell your assets on this marketplace. 

One of the highlights of Splinterlands is its cross-compatibility with multiple blockchains, enabling users to trade their cards on several marketplaces. 

In addition to selling your cards, you can earn in Splinterlands by getting its in-game currency DEC (Dark Energy Crystals). There are a couple of ways to acquire DEC in the game. First, by winning ranked battles, and second by destroying the cards you don’t use anymore. You can use DEC to buy assets from the game’s shop.

Another way to earn on Splinterlands is renting your cards via peakmonsters.

Sorare

Sorare is a fantasy football game built on the Ethereum blockchain. 

You can collect player cards and build teams, and as with real-world trading card games, the real value comes from the most valuable player cards. Depending on the rarity of the card, it can get quite expensive.

The Sorare play-to-earn mechanism enables users to participate in tournaments, where users can earn points and rewards based on their team’s performance.

Dark Country Game

Dark Country is a trading card game on the WAX blockchain with gothic-themed characters like zombies, ghosts, and haunted Indians.

In addition to cards, players can own heroes, items, and lands as NFT assets. Players can stake Dark Country assets on rplanet.io and collect cards on collect.social to gain the platform’s Racoon tokens. 

Dark Country has a weekly forging activity similar to Gods Unchained’s The Forge called Heroes Reforge and Staking. Players need to burn four heroes of the same type in order to receive a new hero with better quality. They can then stake this improved asset to earn rewards.

Dark Country has recently introduced land assets compatible with WAX and Flow blockchains. 

With lands, several new revenue generation options will be possible soon, such as land leasing and staking the platform’s in-game currency Shadow Dime (SDM) on lands.

Final Thoughts: Emerging Exciting New TCG Projects

While some may argue that the game mechanics of most NFT-based games are primitive and “not quite there yet,” TCGs marry the simplicity of a trading card game with the blockchain very well. 

A few more exciting TCG projects to keep an eye on include:

  1. Skyweaver, a free-to-play Ethereum-based game in beta mode. Players have three grades of cards: base, silver, and gold. Base cards can’t be traded, but silver and gold cards can be. You earn silver cards via ranked rewards and conquest, and gold cards via conquest.
  2. Parallel,  a science-fiction-themed card game also based on the Ethereum blockchain. The team built its own NFT drop system. The project is currently raising funds by selling drops, which contain cards. These cards will have utilities once the game development is complete.
  3. Metropolis Origins, is a cyberpunk-themed card game by QXR Studios running on the WAX blockchain. It’s a sequel to game designer Graeme Devine’s adventure game Metropolis. The game released a founder NFT pack that enables owners to play the game in beta mode. 

The evolution of blockchain card games will be one to watch, as more implementations of conventional card games on the blockchain continue to emerge.  With NFTs’ programmable nature, we can expect to see the evolution of more dynamic, and potentially lucrative and competitive, playing card games in the near future. 

The Top Celebrity NFT Owners

With entrepreneurs, rappers, DJs, and professional sports players leading the way, more and more celebrities are joining in the NFT craze than ever.

Some launch their own NFT collections; some collect NFTs from other creators; some directly invest in NFT ventures. Some do all.

This guide will dive into the portfolios of the top celebrity NFT owners who have collected dazzling JPEGs from the most extravagant collections.

Let’s explore: which celebrity has the largest NFT portfolio so far? What projects are most popular? 

To explain, we compiled a celebrity NFT owner list based on DappRadar’s October and November reports.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Entrepreneur Gary Vee has been an NFT ambassador from its early days. Recently, he launched his own Veefriends NFT project that provides the owners three-year access to a multi-day conference called Veecon. Around 74% of his NFT wealth comes from his own collection. He kept 1016 Veefriends NFTs which have approximately $69M in market value.

He’s been collecting NFTs from other collections as well. As of writing, Gary Vee’s NFT portfolio is allegedly worth more than $90M. 

Some attention-grabbing pieces from his portfolio are:

  • 60 CryptoPunks. Cryptopunks is the revolutionary NFT collection launched in 2017 that started the crypto art movement. Cryptopunks collection represents one of the first examples of the non-fungibility concept on Ethereum. The most valuable editions in Vee’s collection are CryptoPunk #2424 and #2140.
  • 7 Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC). BAYC is a collection of 10,000 ape NFTs. It’s one of the most exclusive NFT collections. In recent months owning a BAYC NFT has become a status symbol in the crypto world. It serves as a digital identity that provides the owner access to exclusive membership club activities, like the collaborative graffiti board bathroom.
  • Three Meebits. It is another prominent collection by Larva Labs, the studio that made the legendary Cryptopunks.

Snoop Dogg

The famous rapper Snoop Dogg is one of the most influential NFT celebrities. He was an early promoter of Dogecoin; he partnered with the Sandbox Game on new land offerings; he collaborated with Chris Torres to launch the NyanDogg collection.

Last September, he revealed that he is actually the human behind the anonymous Cozomo de’ Medici, a popular NFT collector Twitter account that had launched in August. He said he wanted to separate his NFT business from other activities.

Here are some of the most valuable NFT assets he owns under the pseudonym Cozomo de’ Medici. The entire collection is valued at around $14M.

This is only Cozomo de’ Medici’s collection. We know that Snoop Dogg has also invested in BAYCs. He shared in a tweet that he acquired them through the NFT broker firm Moonpay.

Alexis Ohanian 

Another NFT frontrunner is Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. His NFT collection includes 6 Cryptopunks, 2 BAYCs, 10 Meebits, and many others. The most valuable NFT in the portfolio is Cryptopunk #8115.

Ohanian gifted his wife Serena Williams a look-a-like punk (Cryptopunk #2950). He wore its image as a badge on his collar while visiting the 2021 MET Gala. 

All six punks in Ohanian’s portfolio are black female punks with headbands. The entire Cryptopunks collection has 3,840 female punks.

He also invested in the Cool Cats project with 7 NFTs. Cool Cats is a collection of randomly generated NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. Owners are free to do anything with them under a non-exclusive license.

In addition, Ohanian minted 13 pairs of NFT sneakers and 4 Daypacks from the 10KFT collection. The 10KFT NFT collection allows NFT owners to create customized sneaker designs featuring their NFTs. But only a few exclusive NFT collections are accepted, such as BAYC, Cool Cats, and CrypToadz.

Steve Aoki

The most precious piece of DJ Steve Aoki’ NFT collection is BAYC #118, followed by Cryptopunk #8705. He has 794 NFTs in total. Other notable items from the collections are:

  • Swaggy Sea Lion from Gary Vee’s Veefriends collection.
  • Three M1 Mutant Serum NFTs, which had been airdropped to all BAYC owners. Its market value is around 9ETH.
  • Cool Cat #3350.
  • 5 CloneX NFTs. CloneX is an NFT collection co-created by the famous Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami and RTFKT. RTFKT is a leading brand that delivers next-gen gaming sneakers and collectibles. It’s been acquired by Nike very recently.

Marshmello

Another celebrity who invested in Cryptopunks, BAYC, and Veefriends collections is DJ Marshmello. His portfolio has 120 NFTs with around $1M market value, including 11 NFTs from the Cryptoadz collection by Gremplin.

The most valuable three NFTs from his collection are:

  • Cryptopunk #8274
  • BAYC #4808
  • BAYC #9231

Post Malone

Among the top NFT celebrity owners, musician Post Malone might be the only one who doesn’t have any Cryptopunks. Instead, he has two BAYCs, #9039 and #961, totally valued at more than $532K. He also invested in the Wolf Game, Swampverse, and Sisters collections.  

Jay-Z

Rapper Jay Z owns the Cryptopunk #6095 and one Portrait and one Sneaker from the RTFKT Cryptopunks project. RTFKT Cryptopunks project functions in a similar vein as the 10KFT NFT collection in that it’s only open to punk owners. 10,000 unique sneakers were created via the corresponding punk from the original Cryptopunks project.

Beeple

The artist Beeple is one of the most valuable crypto art creators today. He made the headlines in 2021 after he sold the Everydays: The First 5000 Days collection for $69M in an auction at Christie’s. 

His NFT portfolio, which consists of works other than his own, isn’t modest either. He gave back to the NFT ecosystem by investing more than $400M in various artists on the Rarible platform. Additionally, he’s some pieces from the Veefriends, Cryptocubes, and Meebits collections.

Mark Cuban

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban also collected a large number of NFT artworks from the Rarible platform. His NFT portfolio is worth around $467M, with BAYC # 1597 and FEWO Crypto Brick being the most precious pieces. The latter is a collaboration between the RTFKT studios and the well-known NFT artist Fewocious.

Other notable celebrity NFT collectors include the NBA star Stephen Curry and the Rapper Ja Rule. The most valuable asset in Curry’s portfolio is the #7990 BAYC. Ja Rule has the #3512 from the Mutant Ape Yacht Club collection.

Final Thoughts: Celebrities Are Loving NFTs

The influx of multifaceted musicians, entrepreneurs, artists, and professional sports players into the NFT space has been welcomed by open arms by all NFT holders. 

Many NFT-holding celebrities tend to acquire pieces from iconic NFT collections such as the BAYC, Cool Cats, and Crypto Punks, but we’re also seeing many celebrities invest in individual artists’ works. In recent months, owning a BAYC or Punk evolved from being something that just crypto people collected to a status symbol for celebrities and athletes. 

We’re eager to follow the celebrity movement into NFTs and explore what’s next on the horizon. 

What Is Art Blocks? An Exploration into Generative Art

Art Blocks is an Ethereum-based platform that offers distinctive, programmable, and on-demand generative non-fungible tokens (NFT) art to collectors globally. It’s also the first blockchain-based platform to provide on-demand generative art output. It accomplishes this through NFT drops, a process in which a user mints an NFT but has no idea what they’ll get as an end product.

Generative art isn’t an entirely novel concept, but the Art Blocks team largely pioneers its blockchain-based adaptation. Generative art’s influence on the non-fungible token (NFT) industry has been swift, generating substantial interest among creators and collectors alike. 

The project’s series of colorful “Squiggles” generated over $850 million in sales in 2021, making it the world’s fourth-best-selling non-fungible tokens (NFT) project up to date.

The following Art Blocks guide goes over the project, how it works, and what sets it apart from other popular generative art blocks. If you’re new to the NFT space, don’t get thrown off by some of the terms throughout– you’re picking a very exciting place to start! 

What Are Art Blocks and How Does It Work?

Before diving into what Art Blocks is, you should have a good understanding of the power of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 

An NFT is a blockchain-verified deed of ownership to a single digital asset, such as a video file, picture, artwork, or something entirely different. These tokens representing one-of-a-kind digital collectibles are created and stored on blockchains such as Ethereum. In contrast, the actual image or video file formats are hosted elsewhere to not pack the blockchain with too much data. 

So, what exactly is Art Blocks and where does this project fit into the NFT movement? 

Art Blocks is a platform for curating programmable artworks, which are  saved and traded as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. It’s a generative art system that enables collectors to create tokens without knowing exactly what they’ll get beforehand. The artist creates a piece of code that is inserted into the platform and generates random combinations of the variables. The script is kept on the blockchain, and most works are created with p5.js,  a JavaScript framework that supports creative coding.

The Art Blocks platform enables artists to submit an algorithm that creates one-of-a-kind art pieces in a given style. Artists can also establish a mint price and a limit (cap) on the number of pieces in every single collection. If a user likes a certain piece of artwork, they can mint one for themself. 

First, a seed, or random hexadecimal string is created. 

Then, while remaining consistent with the aesthetic of the artwork collection, each element in the seed defines an attribute of the artwork. For example, based on the color property of their randomly generated hexadecimal string, one person could get a red rendition of the artwork, while someone else would get more blue tones. 

The final product might also be a static photograph, a 3D model, or an interactive experience in many formats.

This element of surprise adds to the NFT minting process and ensures that every single collector has a fair chance of minting a unique piece.

To mint a piece generated by Art blocks, users will need to install MetaMask and connect both together. 

The artwork is stored on the Ethereum (ETH) network via standard ERC-721 compliant non-fungible tokens after being generated. This standard enables users to instantaneously access NFTs on marketplace sites like OpenSea, where they may resell their art pieces to other NFT collectors.

Art Blocks receives 10 percent of the mint price as a fee, and the artist keeps the remainder for the original sale. Art Blocks also deducts a 2.5 percent charge from secondary purchases on NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, while artists receive a 5 percent royalty. Artists tend to love this feature since it allows them to receive ongoing royalties from their work, which is unusual in the traditional art world.

The Types of Art Blocks Projects

Art block projects may be divided into three categories: Curated, Playground, and Factory.

Curated:

Art Blocks Curated is the highest level for generative art NFTs and also the Art Blocks product suite’s most meticulously curated offering. 

Collaborators or individual artists submit work, which is then reviewed and approved by the Art Block curation board before going online. These inventive releases by reputable artists tend to demonstrate artistic and technical range interwoven with the artist’s individual creativity. 

Playground: 

The Playground collection is essential for artists who have already had a curated release or drop and wish to showcase their talents even further. Art Blocks doesn’t really vet individual projects, but the artists are well-vetted, so you know they’re of great quality. The term ‘Playground’ refers to the area where artists can explore and express their ideas.

Factory:

Curated projects take about two years to finish due to the huge increase in the number of applicants. As a result, the Art Blocks development team created the Factory area, allowing novice designers to participate in drops. The team still selects and distributes artworks on a regular basis, but they are usually only inspected to verify that they are working and not blatant duplicates of other artworks. 

Artists maintain the responsibility and final say on marketing their own pieces since Art Blocks doesn’t strongly promote these releases as much asides from the platform general brand promotion. So, it is up to the artists to personally promote their works.

A Brief History on Art Blocks

Art Blocks was launched in November 2020 by Erick Calderon, nicknamed Snowfro. 

Snowfro claims to have got the notion for an Art Blocks sort of project after a personal encounter in 2017 when claiming Cryptopunks. Snowfro managed to manipulate the system and carefully acquire the rarest accessible assets at the moment, which were the zombies, due to his technical expertise and understanding of how smart contracts functioned. 

He sought to use generative art to build a system that allowed no one to foresee or alter the precise type of asset they would get. At the same time, Snowfro also wished to encrypt the asset’s properties within the code, believing that this would give each iteration more legitimacy. 

He was intrigued by this idea of provenance combined with the variety of generative output.

The uniqueness of his ideas appears to appeal to the general public. In 2021, its first calendar year, Art Blocks has already exceeded $100 million sales volume from over 9,000 traders around the world.

Its popularity skyrocketed in March 2021. Several things may have led to this exponential expansion, including the publication of the Fidenza collection by famous developer Tyler Hobb, as well as community growth and market interest around other NFT projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club.

Final Thought: What Sets Art Blocks Apart from Other NFT Collectible Projects?

Art Blocks is unique among other NFTs because of its surprise element, and it has attracted some substantial price tags. It has a distinct advantage over other NFTs due to its use of algorithms for generative art. It integrates collectors into the creation process, allowing them to mint a one-of-a-kind interpretation of their preferred artist’s concept.

Art Blocks has become a valuable target for NFT investors, especially as the system gains momentum and the curated collections gather more interest. The platform has a ton of potential for collectors, traders, and artists alike. 

Top NFT-Based Games: Play-to-Earn Meets the Blockchain

Backed by blockchain technology, NFT-based games incorporate player-owned economies, providing gamers monetary incentives to play.  

Most of these games offer much more than just one single gameplay. They’re actually social metaverses where players are encouraged to actively participate in future game development. These economies are built around games’ native currencies. 

The following guide goes over the most popular NFT-based games. 

As you’ll learn, the explosive growth behind NFT-based games is due to the increasingly more robust and versatile functionality of the games. 

 Axie Infinity: Battle, Collect, and Breed Axie Characters

The Pokémon-style blockchain game Axie Infinity became very popular because players can actually make a notable income simply just by playing it. Around 50% of its users come from the Philippines and Venezuela where, due to pandemic-related lockdowns, many people were forced to find alternative income sources. Today, Axie Infinity’s total market cap is around $6.2B, and its price gravitates under $100. 

Axies are fantasy pets that players can battle, collect, and breed, and each Axie is an NFT. The entirety of the game’s play-to-earn model is based on these three aspects. You can earn in-game tokens by winning battles, collecting and selling Axies. Players can create new Axies by breeding the existing ones; because these newly born (“minted”) Axies are also NFTs, the player can sell and trade them in the Axie Infinity marketplace.

AXS is the in-game token that can be bought and sold on third-party exchanges, such as Binance and Coinbase. It’s also a governance token, meaning its owners can influence the game policies.

The disadvantage of Axie Infinity is that at least three Axies are required to start playing. This initial investment can cost more than $1,500, depending on market prices. As a remedy, there are Axie Infinity scholarships programs where Axie owners, who are called managers, loan their Axies to scholars who actually play the game. 

Axie Infinity plans to launch a free-to-play version that will allow players to familiarize themselves with the game by removing what may be too high an entry barrier for some. 

Alien Worlds: Mine the Land to Receive Trillium (TLM)

With more than a million monthly users, Alien Worlds is the number one game on the Wax blockchain. It’s a social metaverse that consists of seven planets, and it uses an in-game currency called Trillium (TLM).

Players can enjoy play-to-earn opportunities while exploring these planets. The gameplay revolves around mining TLM. There are several types of NFTs in Alien Worlds. Owners of Land NFTs can mine the land themselves or receive commissions by letting others mine their Land. A player starts with selecting a Land in one of the seven planets.

To mine the Land, you need Tool NFTs. After mining, you receive a share from the planet’s TLM pool. Another type of in-game NFT is Mission NFTs, which players get by going on missions. These NFTS have utilities in the games created by the members of the community. 

The TLM token comes with governance rights; holders can cast a vote in elections for council candidates and submit proposals on how to distribute the incentives.

The Sandbox Game: Create Your Own NFT Game Assets and Experiences

Sandbox is a voxel-based project, similar to Minecraft. A voxel is a 3D pixel. Users can design and launch their own NFT assets and game experiences in the Sandbox metaverse using the intuitive tools provided by Sandbox which are Voxedit and Game Maker.

Voxedit is a voxel art generation program. It’s even possible to create Minecraft assets using it. Asset creators don’t have to use Voxedit for Sandbox assets, other voxel art programs also work. But they need to export assets created in other programs to Voxedit to turn them into NFTs. It’ll be possible to upload these NFT assets to the Marketplace.  Learning VoxEdit 9: Importing and Exporting Different Formats

Game Maker is the platform Sandbox uses to launch and play the game experiences. Players integrate the assets they created in Voxedit into Game Maker. These experiences can be built on LANDs owned by players, which are digital pieces of real estate in the Sandbox metaverse.  

Platform’s native currency is SAND, which functions as both a utility and a governance token.  It’s possible to stake SAND tokens on LANDs. SAND is also used to buy and sell NFT assets from the Sandbox marketplace.

Mines of Dalarnia: Discover the Rarest Resources

Mines of Dalarnia is a free-to-play action-adventure game. The Dalarnia universe consists of minerals, rare relics, and artifacts. A player’s success depends on their ability to mine these in-game items.

The gameplay resembles the concepts of NFT scarcity and bitcoin mining. The stronger your skills, the rarer resources you can acquire. Dig deeper to collect rarer minerals, use minerals to upgrade the equipment of your character. To do that, travel through four different mine types with increasing difficulty.

By participating in Mines of Dalarnia competitions, it’s possible to earn in-game currency DAR that you can stake for rewards or use to buy and rent in-game assets from the game’s marketplace. The Mines of Dalarnia team also plans to build governance functionality into the DAR token, so players can vote on the game’s developmental direction.  

Blockchain Monster Hunt: Catch the Monster in the Block

Blockchain Monster Hunt is a multichain hunting game where valuable NFT monsters are born in blocks. You can either catch the monsters in the game or buy them from the Marketplace. To earn Blockchain Monster Coin (BCMC) tokens, you need to battle the monsters you possess

Players must command catch and battle mechanisms to succeed. There are some rules to take into consideration while playing. For example, you’re allowed to catch only one monster from the same block, but you get multiple tries to do so. 

Blockchain Monster Hunt’s play-to-earn model is based mainly on the BCMC token’s utility; BCMC carries in-game benefits like increasing the hunt’s success rate and helping prevent monsters from dying, and token holder benefits like voting rights on proposals for the game development, staking, and farming.

Cryptoblades: Defeat your Enemies and Earn SKILL

Cryptoblades is an NFT role-playing game launched on Binance Smart Chain.

By leveraging in-game currency SKILL and using characters and weapons, players enter into combat. Character and weapon NFTS can be traded in the game’s native marketplace. Players need SKILL tokens to recruit their first character.

SKILL can be swapped on ApeSwap when pairing with BNB.

Players earn character experience and SKILL tokens when defeating enemies in combat. Experience allows the related character to level up. Weapons can be forged to increase their combat power. Skill reward depends on the power of the enemy defeated. 

Outside of in-game token benefits, SKILL can also be staked. 

Town Star: Build Your Farm 

Town Star is a farming-style-strategy game where players with limited resources and space produce goods to sell to nearby cities so as to make money and grow their farms. Whoever develops the necessary skills to manage the limited resources can play more strategically, and as a result, rise on the leaderboard.

Town Star’s buildings and characters are NFTs with several utilities. They give the players unique benefits while they’re growing their farms. For example, some character NFTs help finish certain tasks very fast and some resource NFTs provide crop supply continuously.

These NFTs are also the way to reach more play-to-earn rewards throughout the game. Players receive TOWN tokens, which are tradable on third-party exchanges, such as Okex and Bitrue, with a 24-hour trading volume of $1.8M.

Final Thoughts: Ready Player One

Town Star and other NFT gaming ecosystems enable earning rewards while having a good time. Perhaps their greatest benefit for the crypto ecosystem is that they help increase cryptocurrency and blockchain literacy, gamifying an experience that facilitates widespread blockchain adoption.

Contrary to conventional online games, players own their assets, and the blockchain allows for asset authenticity to be proven. Besides utility, in-game currencies offer governance rights, which enables community members to vote on proposals and decide on the game’s future. 

By combining the benefits of tokenization and a fun gaming environment, these early GameFi iterations may serve as landmark innovations for games to come. 

Axie Infinity: Pokémon Inspired Blockchain Game Explained

Axie Infinity is a community-driven blockchain-based digital pet game that enables players to earn money while playing the game. Think of Axie as a hybrid between Pokemon, Tamagotchi, and CryptoKitties.

It is one of the most popular NFT token-based games, with over 19,000 monthly active on-chain users. One of the most notable characteristics of Axie Infinity and other NFT-based games is that users are able to bridge the in-game economy with real-world currency.

Over 25,000 ETH (over $45M) has been traded in the in-house marketplace, with the most expensive Axie being sold for 300 ETH ($540,000.)

About Axie Infinity:

Axie Infinity is a product of Sky Mavis, a game study based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The Sky Mavis and Axie Infinity team includes:

Trung Nguyen, Founder of Sky Mavis and Axie Infinity. He is a serial entrepreneur behind an E-commerce delivery startup called Loship.

Alexander L. Larsen is the Co-Founder of Sky Mavis and Axie Infinity game and is the current Chief Operating Officer of the venture.  He is the business head behind the venture and handles the day-to-day operation of the company.  He comes with a background in e-sport development and is a gamer, gaming competition organizer, and video journalist.

Viet Anh Ho is the Chief Technology Officer at Sky Mavis.  He was previously a full-stack developer and an intern at both Google and Paypal.

  • Tu Doan, art director and game director of Axie Infinity. He is a competitive Pokemon player and created the entire suite of Axie game characters. He also worked on Loship with Trung.
  • Duy Trinh, Lead Animator Axie Infinity. He’s a graduate of a professional Hollywood Animation Studio and works as a freelancer.
  • Quy Dau, Primary Software Engineer. He won the 2016 React Hackathon. He started his first company at the age of 21.
  • Nam Nguyen, Chief Graphic Artist and Designer. 

Launched in 2018, Axie Infinity has quickly grown alongside the rising popularity of NFTs and blockchain-based gaming. 

The Cast of Axie Characters:

Axie Infinity is a decentralized game ecosystem built on the Ethereum blockchain, featuring a cast of digital characters. Per the game’s narrative, Axies are creatures that “love to battle, build, and hunt for treasure.” 

Dubbed a “digital nation,” Axie Infinity presents a landscape in which users can collect, battle, or breed their characters. 

The Axie secondary marketplace

Users can also build a collection of Axies and use them in a wide variety of games within the Axie Infinity world, called the “Terrarium.” 

Axies gain experience points and level up by completing daily activities or through battle with other Axies. They come with specific traits that help determine battle outcomes; some characteristics make them more competitive than others. 

There are over 500 body parts that can be acquired and traded, and each body part enables Axies to perform specific battle moves or receive an overall combat advantage. 

There are four stats that determine a battle outcome: Health (HP), Skill, Speed, and Morale.

  1. Health (HP): How much of a beating your Axie can withstand before it’s knocked down.
  2. Skill: A skill stat determines the amount of damage you do; you can do more damage if you use multiple cards on your opponent during battle.
  3. Speed: Speed is critical because it determines the attack order in a battle. The faster the Axie, the quicker the attack. Speed also comes in handy in defense; faster speeds mean your Axie has a greater chance of avoiding a critical or lethal strike. 
    1. If two battling Axies have the same speed, attack order is determined by the following stat priority: High speed > Low HP > High Skill > High Morale > Low Fighter ID.
  4. Morale: The morale score of Axie decides whether an Axie gets to make a critical strike on an opposing Axie.  It also determines when an Axies is losing whether the losing Axie gets to make a last stand.

The above stats are influenced by an Axies’ class and body parts

Axie Classes:

Axie classes are reminiscent of Pokemon types– each class has certain advantages and disadvantages in combat. Think Rock, Paper, Scissors. There are six common classes in Axies and three secret classes. 

Common Classes: Aquatic, Beast, Bird, Bug, Plant, Reptile.

Secret classes:

  • A “Mech” is a hybrid offspring of a purebred Beast with a purebred Bug Axie.
  • A “Dawn” is a hybrid offspring of a purebred Plant with a purebred Bird.
  • A “Dusk” which is a hybrid offspring of a purebred Reptile with a purebred Aquatic

Axie Advantage and Disadvantage Breakdown: 

Each class has an advantage over two other classes. Similarly, it has a disadvantage against two classes. 

Aquatic class:

  • Advantage: Bugs and Beast Axies. 
  • Disadvantage: Plant and the Reptile Axies.

Beast class: 

  • Advantage: Plant and Reptile Axies
  • Disadvantage: Aquatic and the Bird Axies.

Bird class 

  • Advantage: Bug and Beast Axies
  • Disadvantage: Plant and the Reptile Axies.

Bug class: 

  • Advantage: Plant and Reptile Axies
  • Disadvantage: Aquatic and the Bird Axies.

Plant class: 

  • Advantage: Aquatic and the Bird Axies
  • Disadvantage: Beast and the Bug Axies.

Reptile class: 

  • Advantage: Aquatic and Bird Axies
  • Disadvantage: Beast and Bug Axies.

Axie Body Parts:

Each Axie has six body parts: horns, back, tail, eyes, ears, and mouth. Each body part has the ability to play a role during battle.  Each ability is represented by a card. Only horns, mouths, backs, and tails determine what kinds of cards an Axie can use in battle.

A body part’s “class” also improves the four stats listed above: Health, Skill, Speed, and Morale. 

Axies have around 500 different body parts options, each of which look different and provide relatively unique advantages. 

The Battle is the Game Plan:

There are two ways an Axie can battle: PvE (E stands for environment) in an adventure or in 3v3 (3-on-3) battle against other Axies in an arena.

The goal for each sort of battle is to learn experience (EXP.) 

PvE adventures: For example, one PvE battle takes place in the Lunacia Ruins in the Axie Terrarium. During the PvE, an Axie will face 36 levels of monsters. Successfully navigating each level gives the Axie some experience, allowing it to perform better in the next. The Axie will have to defeat three waves of monsters (on average) in each level to advance to the next stage.

Axies can earn anywhere between 50 EXP points to over 1200 EXP points per level. The EXP varies per level and doesn’t necessarily increase or decrease: for example, Level 30 pays 1209 in EXP points, and Level 36 pays 820 points to clear.

Here is a breakdown of how many EXP points are gained for winning each level:

3v3 (3-on-3) Battles: two teams of 3 Axies each face each other in a 3×3 battlefield. 

The battle strategy generally determines the victor. An excellent plan considers the specific suitable Axies in each team, placement on the battlefield, what moves are utilized, and the order of those moves. 

The Axie with the fastest speed gets to attack first, followed by the opposing side. Each team then takes turns until all three members of one team are defeated.

The victorious party’s members each earn 60 EXPs and the defeated get 20 EXPs each. If all three opposing Axies have been defeated, their rewarded EXPs go to the winning team.

Axie Infinity & the Blockchain: How Does Axie Infinity Work?

Axie Infinity leverages the blockchain to reward and incentivize players for engagement, as well as to provide access to a secondary market in which users can sell their Axies and other in-game objects. Axis and their body parts NFTs, specifically ERC9721 tokens. The Small Love Potion (SLP) is an item used to feed Axies is an ERC-20 token. 

A token introduced at the end of 2020, the Axie Infinity Shard (AXS) is an ERC-20 token that acts as both a governance token, as well as an in-game currency that can be bought, traded, or earned by playing the game. 

Final Thoughts

 One of the most significant driving forces of Axie Infinity’s growth is its community, as dozens of reviews attest.

The community is mostly on Discord, which serves as a chat interface uniting the thousands of monthly users. As one of the most popular blockchain-based games to date, Axie Infinity has earned a first-mover advantage and dozens of long-time users.  If you’re interested in playing Axie Infinity or researching it further, check it out at https://axieinfinity.com/.