According to MarketWatch, online gaming has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade, reaching an almost $207 billion valuation by 2023. Meanwhile, blockchain technology has also boomed and can host games. CoinMarketCap reported that there are over 300 active blockchain games.

Blockchain games have attracted the attention of both fans and detractors. Supporters believe it’s a revolutionary technology that will make gaming even more accessible. On the other hand, skeptics see it as a house of cards that will eventually collapse. But before choosing a side, let’s explain what Play-to-Earn (P2E) games are and give you a few examples to try out if you want to know how to earn money by playing games without investment.

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What is a Play-to-Earn game?

best Play-to-Earn games

The very name of this type of game indicates what they do: players earn rewards by playing. This is nothing new since video game tournaments like EVO have become more commonplace. The difference, however, is that the Play-to-Earn crypto games we’re talking about are based on a blockchain, and their ecosystem is decentralized.

The rewards for playing these games can be cryptocurrencies or NFTs in various forms (cards, features, etc.). These rewards can then be used within the game ecosystem, for example, to upgrade a character or sell for cryptos and then withdraw. For example, in an interview with Euronews, gamer Dominic Lumabi from the Philippines revealed that he earned between 136 and 170 euros a month playing Axie Infinity for two hours daily.

This is a new business model in which gamers enjoy playing and are rewarded for it. This model is different from previous games, such as The Sims or World of Warcraft, where players can buy game assets that have no value in the real world. In this way, the Play-to-Earn system values players’ time and skills, encouraging them to continue playing and promoting the community.

What’s the difference between a Play-to-Earn game and a metaverse?

The term metaverse essentially refers to an alternative universe that can be unique if it exists on the blockchain. It’s simply a virtual world where visitors can carry out many activities, including buying real estate, purchasing products, attending shows and concerts, and playing games. Imagine living in another life where you can do the same things as in real life.

As a result, P2E gaming can evolve into a metaverse. As you can imagine, this has become very popular as people look for alternative sources of income. Blockchain-based gaming companies have also boomed, with EveryRealM.com reporting $4 billion in investment during 2022.

The Play-2-Earn concept wasn’t born with cryptos. Long before blockchain, some games rewarded players. But the added value of blockchain is the decentralization and ownership of gaming assets. The game publisher alone does not own the game assets, but they are distributed among the players.

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The best Play-To-Earn crypto games

As we mentioned earlier, there were nearly 400 Play-to-Earn games at the start of the year. We’ll just highlight 5 games you should try.

Axie Infinity: a way to earn playing nft games

play axie-infinity

Axie Infinity, one of the most popular Play-to-Earn games on the list, boasts over eight million registered players. Of these, around one million play daily, particularly in Southeast Asia and the Philippines, where 35% of network traffic originates. This shows just how lucrative this game has become.

The game involves “Axies,” NFTs that players collect, breed, and raise. Players can then compete against other players using their Axies, or trade with each other. The player who wins a battle is rewarded with Smooth Love Potion tokens, which can be exchanged for the AXS token, the native token of the Axie Infinity network. At the time of writing, each AXS token was worth $65.20, according to CoinMarketCap.

To get started, you’ll need to purchase at least three Axies, each unique and endowed with a particular set of abilities and characteristics. You can then level up your Axies to create other unique ones or take on other players. Axies can then be exchanged for other Axies, or resold if you wish to withdraw your investment.

Decentraland

what is decentraland

Unlike Axie Infinity, Decentraland is a 3D virtual world where players are primarily involved in real estate. In Decentraland, you can buy a plot of land and develop whatever you want. Some players have created or organized games on their virtual land or even opened a store to sell digital assets.

Although the game got off to a shaky start after its 2017 ICO, which raised 86,206 Ethers (around $26 million), it has become a phenomenon. Companies such as Samsung, PwC, Adidas, and JP Morgan all own land in Decentraland. Sotherby’s organized its first virtual auction on the Decentraland platform. Land prices soared, with the cheapest plot costing $11,000 in January 2022.

If you also want to become a landowner, you’ll need to buy the network’s native token, MANA, which is worth $2.71 at the time of writing. The token’s value is quite volatile, with very few MANAs in circulation (the Decentraland Foundation owns 20% of the supply).

The Sandbox

play the sandbox

The Sandbox was an already popular mobile and PC game, but it can now be monetized since it was launched as a Play-to-Earn blockchain game. Players create avatars called ASSETS, minted (issued on the blockchain) as NFTs. ASSETS can also be other objects, such as trees, vehicles, buildings, etc. They can then be traded and sold on the platform’s marketplace using the native SAND token. This can be stored in any Ethereum wallet.

In The Sandbox, you can create your own game for free without coding knowledge. But to publish the game and make it accessible to others, you’ll need to buy LAND. This, too, is an NFT and is issued through public sales. A total of 166,464 LANDs will be available on the OpenSea secondary market.

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Zed Run

zed run nft game

It works similarly to Axie Infinity, the main difference being that players own horses rather than Axies. Horses are NFTs so that they can be mined, sold, and traded on the platform’s marketplace. It’s also possible to breed and improve existing horses with unique strengths and weaknesses.

The game aims to race against other players’ horses to win rewards. Naturally, the better your horse, the easier it will be to win races and earn rewards.

Alien Worlds

alien wolds nft

According to Business Wire, this is the second most popular blockchain game today, with a reported 7 million all-time players and over 700,000 monthly active users. It involves alien species in the form of NFTs that can be captured and traded.

In the game, players go on missions to other planets and find various items which they can then trade. The game’s native token, the Trillium (TLM), can also be staked for additional rewards or used to vote in the game’s DAO.

About the author

Lucia Schettino

Word enthusiast, writer, and travel lover, Lucia has more than 8 years of experience in cryptocurrency writing in Italian, Spanish, English and Portuguese.