Close your eyes and imagine a world where you can play your favorite games anytime and anywhere and even make money from them. This is the future of gaming, and it's already here, thanks to blockchain-based games where online gamers are rewarded for their time and skill with real cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens.
The term crypto gaming has been around for a while, but it's only recently that more people are getting involved in this exciting new trend. Play-to-earn crypto games have built quite a hype around them in recent years, and more and more players are giving up traditional games for blockchain gaming.
The crypto gaming market is booming with so many stunning play-to-earn games that reward users with in-game assets in the form of NFTs, crypto rewards, and other digital assets.
We'll help you start your play-to-earn journey with some of the most popular crypto games, and you can also read our previous articles on how to buy NFTs and how to value and sell your non-fungible tokens.
This guide will discuss crypto gaming, how it works, and why you should be playing!
What is crypto gaming?
First, let's tackle what crypto gaming is exactly. In video games, the idea of earning in-game items and making in-game purchases is not new. However, traditional games are centralized, which means that all items you gain or purchase can be used only within the game. They have no real-world value and can't be used in other games either.
Blockchain-based gaming revolutionizes the gaming industry by using blockchain technology that allows players to use their rewards and in-game assets across different crypto gaming platforms.
Crypto gaming takes things one step further by introducing the play-to-earn model, a way of playing games and earning money at the same time. Crypto gamers now have the possibility to play their favorite games and earn the in-game currency, as well as non-fungible tokens or NFTs, and all these digital assets become their property. You have full digital ownership over your crypto gaming tokens.
Contrary to regular games, most games in the crypto world allow you to exchange any in-game digital tokens for stablecoins on either centralized or decentralized crypto exchanges. These digital assets can be sold or traded on online marketplaces or directly converted to fiat currency.
Think of the Axie Infinity gaming ecosystem, for example. In this crypto game, users can buy Axies, little in-game creatures, breed them, level them up through battles, and then sell them for higher prices. Through the battles, the crypto gamers can earn SLP and AXS, crypto gaming tokens from the Ethereum blockchain.
The fact that gamers can now earn crypto while playing games is a welcome development, as the Worldwide Asset Exchange discovered that three out of four players wished they could use their currency on other platforms.
How does crypto gaming work?
Traditional video games already offer users in-game coins and in-game purchases to enhance their gameplay. Mobile games like the world-famous Candy Crush let you pay to play, using actual money to buy spare lives, extra coins, or special combos. But all these purchases have no value outside of the scope of the mobile gaming platform.
Blockchain gaming outshines traditional gaming in this aspect. Crypto gaming projects present people with several opportunities to earn money.
Crypto enthusiasts can buy early in a project, purchasing the gaming tokens even before the NFT games are launched and waiting and hoping for others to adopt the crypto game and its native token massively.
Some crypto games earn money via in-app advertising or sales of in-game items, like weapons, avatar skins, or even virtual world real estate.
Game developers incentivize users to spend more time advancing their gameplay by rewarding them with crypto coins and non-fungible tokens that make the gaming experience much more attractive. These rewards are usually distributed for completing quests, such as collecting a certain amount of resources, winning many battles, etc.
The science behind the play-to-earn model
Crypto gaming works so well thanks to blockchain technology, as previously mentioned. Crypto tokens and other digital assets are stored on a distributed ledger atop a crypto network known as a blockchain. The distributed ledger allows in-game assets to be traded for cryptocurrency, which can be afterward transferred from in-game currency to fiat money.
In any play-to-earn game, the ownership of any assets goes directly to the token or asset holder. Players own whatever items they earn as rewards and can trade them or sell them in online marketplaces.
Another huge difference between traditional games and crypto games is the game life cycle. In the traditional gaming industry, a player has no control over what happens to the game. If the game developers or the providers decide to turn off the server, all items pertaining to that game are taken away from the player. Playing traditional online games poses the risk of losing everything you've achieved or purchased during your gameplay if the game is taken off the market.
With crypto games, this will never happen. Whether you have bought digital real estate or any in-app purchases, you won't be stripped of them if the game no longer exists.
Crypto gaming industry reward system
The emergence of blockchain games has moved the industry from pay-to-play to play-to-earn.
Players get rewarded for different actions they take in the crypto game or the game's ecosystem. They can receive crypto coins or NFTs for specific tasks:
- winning a battle between two Axies in Axies Infinity
- winning a round of word puzzles against your opponent in Wordcraft
- winning Weekend Ranked events in Gods Unchained
- shooting the best hoops in Hoopshot
- creating wearables in Decentraland
- fighting, placing wagers on fights, or staking tokens in Illuvium
- defeating incoming enemy forces in Pillars of Defense
As you can see, the actions that bring crypto rewards differ from game to game, but one thing is common, the reward system is based on the user's active involvement in the game.
But players are not the only ones that can make money on different crypto gaming platforms. Each time players buy digital gaming assets, they indirectly increase the value of the game economy. The platform wins significant money, and the game developers too.
Popular crypto games to play
You're ready to play games and earn money, right? It's time to look at some of the top blockchain games available out there ( or upcoming) that you could try out this year:
The more words you guess, the more you advance in the gameplay, reaching your end goal: to win the round against your opponent.
One of the most popular blockchain games, Axie Infinity, revolves around NFT collectibles called Axies. These creatures can be bought, sold, or traded. Players can breed, raise, and use them for battles against other gamers.
SLP, or Smooth Love Potion, is a resource needed to breed the creatures, and it can be earned through completing quests. AXS tokens give governance rights within the game. Users can buy in-game money or sell Axies to get AXS.
Above Axie Infinity (Copyright © Axie Infinity)
Pillars of Defense
The game rewards fast thinking and fast shooting with crypto tokens and Win Realm NFTs.
More than just a crypto gaming platform, Decentraland is a virtual world project structured as a decentralized autonomous organization. Players can buy and own in-game digital real estate and have complete control over governance issues.
Above Decentraland(Copyright © Decentraland.org)
Are you into basketball? Hoopshot is a play-to-earn crypto game that rewards the cleanest hoops. You can play against other users of your same level and skill set and win, slam dunk after slam dunk.
Both crypto rewards and non-fungible tokens will be available for the best players of this upcoming mobile eSports basketball game.
In The Sandbox, players can own NFT real-estate as virtual plots of land. They can also populate their pieces of land with in-game items, called Games and Assets, creating an interactive experience throughout the digital world.
Above The Sandbox (Copyright © The Sandbox)
Another crypto gaming newcomer, Winball, will launch on Win.app soon. Gamers will be able to play a p2e version of the classic Pinball, where you have to hit different objects on the screen many times before they reach the upper part of your mobile screen.
Opponents play against each other, and the one with the highest score wins the round and takes the prize pool. So, get your digital wallets ready for awesome crypto rewards and NFTs.
Wait, what? Did anybody shout Bingo?! Well, no, this blockchain game doesn't involve shouting Bingo, but the rest of the game mechanics are similar to the real deal.
Gamers compete against other users in this mobile eSports version of Bingo and win digital collectibles, from crypto rewards to NFTs.
Let's answer some crypto gaming FAQs
In this section, we'll try to answer any questions crypto investors might have about crypto gaming and the way it works:
Q: What is NFT gaming?
A: NFT gaming is a crypto gaming branch involving non-fungible tokens. NFTs can be used in games as collectible items. They can be avatars, skins, plots of virtual land, weapons, etc. Players can also gain access to rare NFT collections that they can trade or sell on NFT marketplaces for a higher price than the common collectibles.
Most people use the terms NFT gaming and crypto gaming interchangeably. However similar they are, the two concepts have some differences also. The key difference is that crypto gaming transactions use cryptocurrency coins, while in NFT gaming, native tokens are used to generate or gather NFTs.
Q: What is GameFi?
A: GameFi refers to another type of blockchain gaming that combines decentralized finance, also known as DeFi, with games. DeFi is a type of financial technology based on a secure ledger, similar to cryptocurrencies. It removes third parties, like banks and other institutions, from in-game financial transactions.
MOBOX is an example of a GameFi platform, combining NFT collectibles with yield farming. Yield farming is a way through which a crypto investor can earn interest on his cryptocurrencies, similar to how a savings account accumulates interest in a bank.
Q: Is it worth playing crypto games?
A: This is a subjective question, as each person can have a different perception. From our point of view, crypto games are definitely worth your time, as they combine fun with earning a passive income. If you are going to play games anyway, why not play p2e games that reward you with cryptocurrencies and NFTs?
Q: How do crypto games earn money?
A: We've seen how players can make some income with games that run on blockchain technology. Game developers can also earn every time a user plays their game or buys in-game assets.
The crypto gaming platforms themselves make money by onboarding as many players as possible and having them spend their time and their crypto in the ecosystem.
If we look closer to home at the Win.app reward system, the wins are split between the players, the developers, and the platform itself. Players participate in eSports tournaments where the winner takes a percentage of the total entry fee prize pool. The remaining amount is split equally between the game creators and the Win platform.
Q: Are there any crypto gaming risks?
A: Crypto games are not entirely without risks, but then again, what is?
One of the significant risks has to do with the supply and demand dynamics connected to the game's popularity. If users stop playing any particular game, demand for the in-game currency can dry up, making the tokens lose value massively.
Another inadvertent risk comes from the high volatility of the crypto market. The market's volatility can directly impact the value of your in-game assets.
Crypto gaming is taking the spotlight from traditional video games and will probably become center stage in the upcoming years. As more money is getting invested in this sector, there’s no doubt that crypto gaming has all the chances to become an industry of its own.
Several studios are jumping at the opportunity to develop crypto games in an attempt to capitalize on the latest trend.
With how things are going, it’s only a matter of time before everybody you know is either playing p2e games or trading on the blockchain.
Let’s stay in touch: