13 Best Play-to-Earn Blockchain Games You Need to Try!
(This article was originally published on Udonis’ blog.)
Looking for the best play-to-earn blockchain games?
You’ll love this list!
I’ve researched and analyzed top NFT and crypto games that allow players to earn while playing. When adding games to this list, I’ve considered market capitalization, earning opportunities, and overall popularity among players.
Without further ado, here are the best play-to-earn games on the market right now.
1. The Sandbox
Even if you’re just getting into play-to-earn blockchain games, you’ve probably heard of The Sandbox — it’s on the top of our list of best play to earn blockchain games!
The Sandbox is an Ethereum-based virtual metaverse that allows players to own land, explore, create custom games and assets with VoxEdit, and monetize them. It is an open-world game with a shared map and its 3D pixelated art style is reminiscent of Roblox.
So far, The Sandbox has experienced great success and established itself as one of the top metaverse games.
Some of Sandbox’s partners include big names like Adidas, Atari, Animoca Brands, Snoop Dog, Paris Hilton, and Deadmau5. Many celebrities invested in this metaverse game and partnerships with such huge stars help The Sandbox integrate itself into popular culture.
The Sandbox Tokens
Players need a cryptocurrency wallet in order to register and play this game. It’s where players can store and manage their cryptocurrencies and tokens.
The Sandbox has several different tokens. Here’s a short explanation of the most important ones.
SAND is the game’s main token. It’s an ERC-20 token that’s used for all transactions in the game, including buying LAND and ASSETs.
LAND is a piece of digital real estate players can purchase in this metaverse and it’s a non-fungible token, meaning it’s unique and can’t be replicated. It’s also a basic unit on the map. Players who own LAND can build on it, play games, create games and other experiences, as well as rent it.
There is a limited number of LANDs (i.e., individual plots), 166,464 to be exact, which makes it a very desirable purchase. If players own multiple LANDs, they can combine them into an ESTATE.
This is a user-created token. Put simply, these are various items designed on LANDs by users (user-generated content). The main categories are Entities, Equipment, Wearables, and Art. Its purpose is to provide content for games and other experiences in The Sandbox. ASSETs can be traded on the marketplace, which allows players to profit from them.
Developer/Publisher: Sky Mavis
Genre: Metaverse, card game
Platform: Android, iOS, Windows
Axie Infinity is a close second on our list of best play-to-earn blockchain games.
Its core gameplay concept is quite similar to Pokémon, but there’s a lot more to it. To understand what Axie Infinity is all about, you first need to understand who Axies are.
Put simply, Axies are cute cartoonish creatures that players can keep as digital pets and use to battle and breed with other Axies. The most important aspect of Axies is that they’re NFTs.
Each player controls a team that consists of three Axies — this is the minimum number of NFTs you need to play the game. By battling and playing the game, players earn tokens, which can be used to breed Axies.
The main ways players can make money by playing this game are breeding and selling Axies, harvesting SLP (Smooth Love Potions), and staking AXS tokens.
You’re probably wondering how much does it cost to start Axie Infinity? Well, that number is constantly changing. As of writing this article, it’s roughly $300, according to Loaded Gamer. That’s the current price estimate for a productive team of Axies.
According to its official website, over $3.6 billion was traded on the Axie Infinity marketplace, which is an insane number. Furthermore, the website claims the game has over 2.8 million daily active players. However, according to Bloomberg, that number is significantly lower — less than 700k in May 2022.
Axie Infinity Economy
It’s also important to note that the economy in Axie Infinity is quite volatile and unpredictable. However, that’s the case with most play-to-earn game economies and is something players need to be ready for.
There was even a hack in March 2022 where assets worth $650 million were stolen from Axie Infinity. However, luckily, Sky Mavis managed to raise $150 million to pay back the players, which left most of them loyal to the game.
Developer/Publisher: Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano
Decentraland is a 3D virtual world built on Ethereum blockchain where players can explore, create, trade, and interact with one another.
Just like in The Sandbox, players can buy LAND, build on these parcels, and of course, monetize it. LAND can be purchased with MANA, Decentraland’s ERC20 cryptocurrency token. The number of LAND parcels is, of course, limited. There are a total of 90,601 LANDs in Decentraland.
MANA can also be used to purchase avatars, and wearables. It can also be traded with other users in exchange for goods and services. There are a total of 2.19 billion MANA tokens. This is a relatively small pool, which makes the currency quite unpredictable.
On Decentraland’s Marketplace, players can make a profit by selling LAND, wearables, and unique names. Other ways to earn money in Decentraland is to create play-to-earn mini-games or work as a freelancer for other people. If you’re interested in the latter, head on over to Decentraland’s Discord and browse the #hiring channel.
Players who own MANA and LAND can vote in Decentraland’s DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). In other words, by participating in the vote, they can make certain changes to the game or issue grants.
Just like other popular metaverse games, Decentraland also attracted the attention of celebrities and brands. Many popular brands like Adidas, Atari, and Samsung own “properties” in this virtual world. Moreover, it hosted a Metaverse Fashion Week and held concerts by Grimes and Deadmau5.
Developer/Publisher: Gala Games
Genre: Various genres
Platform: Browser, Mac, PC
Gala is not a game, but rather a blockchain gaming platform with the mission of “making blockchain games you’ll actually want to play”.
Gala Games’ approach is to put the fun first, use simple mechanics in games so that even casual players can enjoy them, and make blockchain invisible in games. That way, you don’t have to be a blockchain pro to play and enjoy these games. Furthermore, you’ll find a variety of games — from simple match-3 puzzles to 4x strategies.
Here are some of the games on the Gala Network. Many of them are still in development, while some are in beta or pending node vote.
- GRIT (Battle Royale) by Team Grit
- Battlestar Galactica (4x strategy) by Revolving Games
- Town Crush (Match-3) by Gala Games
- Spider Tanks (PvP brawler) by Ndream
- Town Star (Simulation) by Gala Games
Furthermore, everything players earn in a game is owned by them. More specifically, all items are verifiable assets players can trade with other people.
The Gala Games Network relies on players (more than 16,000 of them), who run Gala Nodes from their computers. With this decentralized approach, players are not only owners of in-game items, but also have a say in how the Gala ecosystem evolves and helps secure the network. Additionally, node operators get extra perks — GALA tokens, in-game coins, and limited edition NFTs.
Thus, owning and operating a Node is one of the best ways to support this project. However, keep in mind that you must run Nodes for a minimum of 6 hours per day in order to qualify for token rewards.
Gala Games’ discord server is very active and currently has more than 175 thousand members. According to Gala, they engage and listen to their Discord community as well as take their input when designing new games.
Platform: Browser, Windows, Mac
Cosmic Universe is a play-to-earn, open-world fantasy MMORPG worldbuilder game on the Harmony blockchain. With its unique integration of blockchain gaming into traditional MMORPG gameplay, it has earned its spot on the list of best play-to-earn blockchain games.
In this metaverse adventure, players can explore magical areas, harvest resources, complete quests, own land, build, engage in PvP competitions, trade, and much more.
Furthermore, players can choose from seven different races, each of which has a special magic ability as well as a pet companion. However, the first playable race in the demo is the Wizards, Elves will be the second one. Crypton is the homeworld planet and it consists of seven islands. The first one released is Cosmic Island — the largest land map.
Both the characters and the land in Cosmic Universe are NFTs and players have full ownership of them. That means players can sell and trade them as well as all other in-game assets. Moreover, each land NFT a player owns gets them staking rewards, as well as additional rewards from resources other players harvest on their land.
According to Cosmic Universe’s whitepaper, “Integrating exclusive character and land NFT collections, Cosmic Universe focuses heavily on buying and developing land, harvesting and mining resources, acquiring skills and magic, and questing, all while developing increasingly advanced plots and settlements.”
Cosmic Universe has two main tokens — MAGIC and COSMIC, which makes it a dual-token economy. The former is a governance token while the latter is to trade NFTs. The way players can earn cryptocurrency and in-game assets in Cosmic Universe is through skilled gameplay and contributions to the ecosystem.
According to the developers, “There will never be a requirement to pay to advance in the game.” So besides one character and a recommended land NFT, all other purchases will be optional.
Genre: Metaverse, RPG
Platform: Browser, Mac, Windows
Illuvium is a decentralized open-world role-playing game on the Ethereum blockchain, currently in beta. Its goal is to give players an AAA blockchain gaming experience, which is no easy feat. According to its website, “What makes Illuvium unique is that stakers receive regular distributions and can vote on everything from tokenomics related issues to the features in the game itself. With Illuvium, the power to define the project into the future is purposefully left to those who stake in the protocol.”
Players take on the role of a Hunter and their job is to explore and capture mysterious beasts called Illuvials. Once players assemble a team of Illuvials, they can join the auto battler.
Some are very easy to find, while others are extremely rare. There are over 100 Illuvials players can search for in this world and each one of them has unique abilities. These creatures can work in teams and fight in the Battle Arena, but their power depends on synergy.
Furthermore, Illuvials can be leveled up and if players collect three fully leveled beasts, they can fuse them into an even more powerful one.
As you might expect, Illuvials are NFTs that players get to keep in their wallets, alongside other in-game items like weapons and armor.
Illuvium uses ILV and sILV tokens, both of which are ERC-20 tokens. The former is used for staking, farming, and governance while the latter can only be used for in-game purchases.
It’s important to note that players don’t need to purchase ILV to play the game. However, they can earn ILV tokens as rewards through playing the game, winning competitions and tournaments, or completing PvE quests.
Illuvium’s online marketplace is called IlluviDEX where players can trade various game assets.
7. Alien Worlds
Alien Worlds is a decentralized metaverse on the Ethereum, WAX, and BSC blockchains. It was released in December 2020 by Dacoco.
In this metaverse, players can mine Trillium (the game’s currency), own land, complete quests, explore planets, and more. Most importantly, this game has many earning opportunities, which is what makes it so popular.
When players start the game, they get a basic shovel which can then be used to get resources from various planets. However, as you might expect from a free starter shovel, its mining power is not very big. The goal is to acquire better equipment in order to have more success at mining, i.e., mine more Trillium. Players can find better tools while mining or by completing missions.
During interplanetary missions, players complete various tasks and quests. That increases their chances of getting a valuable NFT reward.
The main NFTs in Alien Worlds are land, avatars, artifacts, tools, weapons, minions, and missions, and they’re depicted as trading cards.
Land in Alien Worlds
One of the reasons this game became so popular is because land in the game holds huge value. Every one of the land plots is held by a different player and a portion of the Trillium a player mines goes straight to the landowner. Furthermore, the land owner can set that commission. Land ownership is represented by owning a land NFT card.
When players mine on the land that is not sold yet, i.e., belongs to the Federation, the default commission is 20%. There are twenty types of land, each one with unique attributes.
Trillium players get through mining, or other means, can be used on multiple different things. For example, for purchasing various items and participating in questions. However, players can also stake it to participate in the governance system, it can be staked to a planet, and used to increase the Shine of NFTs.
Genre: Card game, strategy
Platform: Android, iOS, browser
Blockchain: BNB Chain
Splinterlands is another of the best play-to-earn blockchain games often found in the top lists of crypto games with the most active players.
Put simply, this is a digital collectible card game with rapid one-on-one battles, similar to Magic: The Gathering Arena or Hearthstone. However, unlike in other digital card games, in Splinterlands, players own their cards. The goal of the game is to build up collections of cards with various statistics and use them to battle other players.
According to its website, “Each battle has a different combination of combat rules, total Mana cap, and playable Splinters.” Because of that, strategy is another essential element of this game. The strategy lies in deck creation and this is where all decision-making power is, as battles are automated and players don’t control the cards during fights.
Furthermore, Splinterlands provides players with multiple earning opportunities.
Players can try the game for free. However, they need to pay $10 to join ranked battles — and this is the way players can earn money in this game.
Every time a player wins a ranked battle, they get rewarded with Dark Energy Crystals, which have a real-world value.
Players can also trade, sell, and even lease their cards, which is another way of earning in Splinterlands. According to its website, “The cards in your collection are compatible with 3rd party marketplace platforms such as Open Sea, PeakMonsters, Monster Market, and elsewhere.”
Genre: RPG, strategy
Platform: Browser, Android, iOS
Blockchain: BNB Chain
Wizardia is an AAA-quality play-to-earn online role-playing strategy game with unique NFTs at its core. It’s built on three gameplay pillars: innovative turn-based combat, player-decision driven game evolution, and upgrade-based character progression. Each player can take part in and specialize in different game modes such as PvP and PvE battles, base-building and exploration, spellcraft, and research of crafting recipes.
Combat in Wizardia is a turn-based confrontation between two teams of three Wizards that cast their Abilities to deplete the foes’ energy and win the battle. Depending on the game mode and the strength of the team, the matchmaking algorithm selects an opponent for the player.
There will be several game modes available in Wizardia, ranging from simple PvE and PvP duels to Weekly Challenge Series and winner-take-all tournaments.
Challenger Fights (PvE) mode allows players to battle an AI-controlled opponent at their own pace. An opportunity to practice before competing for greater rewards in PvP.
Duel Fights (PvP) is a real-time battle mode between two players with significant rewards and the option of wagering $WZRD tokens.
Weekly Challenge Series (PvE) is a game-wide mode where the player’s goal is to win the most challenging battles during the week. Rewards are distributed game-wide, with all players competing for the same prize pool.
Arena Tournament (PvP) is a play-off format PvP tournament with entry fees and a hefty $WZRD and NFT prize pool. Players must qualify for the tournament via five random PvP battles.
Final Destruction (PvP) is a world-wide tournament streamed across the globe with a seven-figure prize pool. Best players with Wizardia’s strongest Wizards will battle it out to become forever remembered as the Season’s strongest sorcerers. However, this is an all-or-nothing affair, with the winner racking up a six-digit US dollar reward and all defeated players losing the majority of their possessions as well as everything they wagered to enter the tournament.
$WZRD is the cross-chain utility token that also acts as in-game currency and can be spent as well as earned or exchanged by every player inside and outside of the game. $WZRD can currently be bought and traded on gate.io and Pancake Swap.
Two types of valuable NFTs have been announced so far, with more under development: Arena Genesis NFTs — offer owners a royalty share from Arena battle transactions — and Wizard NFTs — player-controlled characters with unique art and in-game capabilities.
Earning in the Game
Arena Genesis NFTs allow holders to earn without even playing the game. Pre-launch, they receive staking rewards and post-launch (Q2/Q3 2022), they receive a royalty cut from transactions in our battle Arena.
When the full game launches in Q2/3, players will be able to earn:
- Rewards for fighting in the Arena
- Fees for renting out Wizards NFTs
- Proceeds from selling NFTs
- Passive income through holding Genesis NFTs
Developer/Publisher: Antler Interactive
Genre: Metaverse, simulation
My Neighbor Alice is a delightful and colorful farm and building simulation game launched in 2021. Many call it blockchain’s Animal Crossing. It certainly deserves a spot on this list of best play-to-earn blockchain games. Here’s why.
In this game, players can buy and own virtual land, build, collect items, and hang out with other players. Each player has their own customizable avatar.
It is suitable for all kinds of different players — blockchain gaming beginners, crypto enthusiasts, as well as those who just want to play the game. In other words, each player decides how involved they want to be in the blockchain element of this game. This is a smart approach, as it allows the developers to reach a very wide audience.
The land in My Neighbor Alice is an NFT that can be purchased and has value, as are other game items. Furthermore, players can trade in-game items in the game’s marketplace and other NFT marketplaces.
All this is powered by the ALICE token — a currency native to the game. It can be used for multiple different things — to purchase in-game items, to participate in in-game events, to participate in the governance system, and to earn staking rewards.
Platform: Android, iOS, browser
League of Kingdoms is a play-to-earn MMO strategy game available on multiple platforms. In it, players use different tactics to overpower other kingdoms and establish dominance. By joining alliances, they can expand their territory more quickly and even take part in democratic voting. Furthermore, players can own land where the game takes place, which adds an additional layer to already interesting strategy gameplay.
LAND is digital real estate in League of Kingdoms — it’s a non-fungible token powered by Ethereum blockchain technology. There are 65,536 parcels of land and all of them are NFTs.
This is also the way players can earn in the game. When you own LAND, you can monetize it. The more prosperous the land is; the more dividends it pays. Furthermore, “your ownership stake of the game grows as the game scales no matter how many new continents are added”, according to developers.
There are two more tokens in League of Kingdoms — LOKA and DST.
LOKA is this game’s governance token and it can be used to unlock NFTs, buy items and skins, vote, and stake. It’s available on Binance, Huobi, Kucoin, and gate.io.
DST is a Dragon Soul Token that players can earn by adopting a DRAGO. The play-to-earn loop, in this case, is: breed your DRAGO, use it during battle, and earn DST.
12. Zed Run
Developer/Publisher: Virtually Human Studio
Genre: Racing, sports
Blockchain: Ethereum, Polygon
Zed Run is a play-to-earn horse racing game. Think of it as The Kentucky Derby, but in the metaverse.
As you might guess, the horses are NFTs and players can own them. However, they’re not your typical NFTs. The developers call them “breathing NFTs” because each horse has its own unique DNA and a bloodline. Furthermore, you can breed horses, which pass their genes. The horses drop as limited edition NFTs, which is why blockchain enthusiasts are quick to purchase them.
According to the company, “If your racehorse(s) are highly sought after, due to rarity or proven winning track records, etc., your racehorse(s) are going to be in high demand when it comes to breeding.”
There are cheap horses, which are suitable for beginners. However, there are also premium horses — some have been sold for $100,000. This gives you a taste of the game’s earning potential.
When it comes to races, they’re streamed on the game’s website and its Twitch channel. There are multiple live racing events every hour, 24/7, so there’s plenty of action. Furthermore, there are no limits as to how many times you can race a horse and enter a buy-in-race, which usually costs a couple of dollars.
13. Gods Unchained
Genre: Card game
Gods Unchained is a trading card game released in March 2021 and it’s the last game on our list of play-to-earn-blockchain games. The core gameplay is simple — compete in epic duels, collect valuable cards, trade them, and build the perfect deck. This project was led by Chris Clay, former director of Magic: The Gathering Arena.
Powered by Ethereum technology, the developers’ goal was to give players full ownership of all in-game items. That means players can do whatever they want with their cards — use them, sell them, trade them, etc. Furthermore, a big emphasis is put on the fact that Gods Unchained is not in any shape or form a pay-to-win game, but rather a true free-to-play as well as a play-to-earn game.
GODS tokens are the essence of Gods Unchained economy and can be used for various in-game purchases, crafting NFTs, and earning rewards for holding the tokens. This is also a governance token — it gives voting rights to players and thus enables them to have a say in how the game evolves.
When it comes to the play-to-earn aspect of this game, players earn GODS tokens just by playing. The tokens can then be used to purchase or craft NFTs and finally, NFTs can be traded for ETH or to expand game decks. This is the basic play-to-earn loop in Gods Unchained.
The process of crafting NFTs in this game is quite simple. Players can fuse two regular cards which are identical to create a Meteorite version of that card. In this process, the asset is minted onto Immutable X, which creates an NFT card that has real world value.
This technology was in fact one of the main inspirations for the game, according to the developers. “We’re obsessed with the Ethereum network’s ability to store digital assets as well as host its own currency (known as ETH). It’s one of the main reasons we started Gods Unchained to begin with. This opens gaming up to so many possibilities that can bring the medium forward in leaps and bounds.”
Wrapping Up Top Play-to-Earn Blockchain Games
This is the end of our list of top play-to-earn blockchain games. Which one did you find the most interesting? Have you tried any of these crypto games? Let me know in the comments!