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What are NFT Games? A Look at the Popular Play-To-Earn Games

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

Decoding popular NFT games and and how you can earn by playing them.


XanPool - what are NFT Games? A look at the popular play-to-earn games

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have significantly transformed several different industries through their applications. NFTs are one of the remarkable applications of blockchain technology that have the potential to change the gaming industry.

Game developers are adopting blockchain technology to provide an alluring gaming experience to the players. Innovative NFT gaming projects are emerging with unique models to earn tokens or items by engaging in the game. In this article, we understand the concept of NFT games and what is play-to-earn.

NFT games

NFT games are a blend of traditional gaming designs and unconventional game mechanisms with the help of blockchain. The players have more control over the in-game items like skins, characters, weapons, virtual labs, etc. Blockchain technology made it possible to treat in-game items as NFTs. In addition to controlling the in-game assets, players can also trade them for other items or sell them to gain profits.

Game developers maintain the rarity and uniqueness of digital items by adopting NFT token standards. They create smart contracts (self-executing codes) to create the rules for the NFTs. Players can swap the digital items with the items of other players. They can even earn profits by trading them on exchanges.

Play-to-earn NFT games

The Play-to-earn model of NFT games allows the players to generate income by playing. Gamers can monetize their game time and earn rewards in the form of tokens and NFTs. They can sell the tokens earned on in-game marketplaces or crypto exchanges. The users play NFT games to earn tokens and NFTs.

In the NFT gaming space, certain gaming platforms have gained popularity in recent years due to their widespread adoption by gaming fanatics. Players have the chance to play their favorite games as well as engage with the profitable NFT market. The most famous NFT games are:

Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is the top play-to-earn NFT game in the community.

  • The game is a bit similar to the Pokemon game series and it has its own blockchain twist to give an immersive experience to the gamers.

  • Fun fact: This is not just a game but a way to live for the people in the Philippines. Most of the players in the Philippines earn enough to make a living with the help of Axie Infinity.

Axie Infinity is an Ethereum-based game.

  • To start playing the Axie Infinity game, players need to purchase 3 Axies which are NFT-based digital pets used to battle other players in the game. Besides buying, players can also breed and collect the Axies. Each individual Axie has its genetic imprint. The strengths and weaknesses of the Axies are passed down to their offspring.

Axies or digital pets are tradable on the Ethereum NFT marketplaces.

  • The price of each Axie depends on its rarity and uniqueness. Every battle or adventure the players win, they get Smooth Love Potion (SLP) as a reward. SLP is the platform’s native ERC-20 utility token.

  • When a player wants to breed an Axie, he needs to pay a certain amount of SLPs or they can even purchase the Axie. The platform has another native token called Axis Infinity Shard (AXS) and it works as a governance token. All the in-game earnings can be sold on marketplaces to generate income.


Splinterlands is an NFT-based tradable card game.

  • Players will receive rewards when they win card matchups. Players need to purchase a starter pack of cards to start playing Spinterlands. They need to register a Steem account and disclose their cards on the game.

  • In certain cases, players can be lucky enough to get a rare card in the first set of purchased cards. If there are multiple cards of the same type, players can combine them to increase their power or they can trade them in exchange for cryptocurrencies.

  • Players can proceed to fight battles with other players or participate in quests. If they win, they will earn more cards. It depends on the outcome of battles.

Gods Unchained

Gods Unchained is a free-to-play game that is designed by integrating NFTs into familiar card trading games.

  • Players collect cards by purchasing from other players or by winning player versus player (PvP) matchups. The winner will be decided by the quality of the cards and the gaming skill of players.

  • Players having gaming skills and strategies have a high chance of winning. The more battles a player wins, the more experience points he will earn. Players move to the next level or receive a new pack of cards when their experience bar is filled.

  • Each card on the Gods Unchained game is backed by an ERC-721 token. So, the players can trade them on the native marketplace of the game or in an open market. If players choose to sell on the native marketplace, they will receive native tokens called GODS as payment.

The Sandbox 3D

Sandbox is a voxel-based metaverse game. A voxel is a unit used to define a point in 3-dimensional space.

  • Sandbox is one of the most active NFT gaming platforms and it is completely different from a lot of 2D games.

  • Players can build, manipulate and monetize voxel assets. Sandbox is like a blockchain iteration of popular gaming titles like Minecraft and Roblox. Sandbox platform offers tools to the players which help them to create and animate the objects. These objects can be sold on the marketplaces.

  • Users can even create and play custom games on the platform. SAND is the native ERC-20 token on the metaverse of the Sandbox game. Players can purchase other digital items on the platform with SAND tokens. Another native token of the platform is LAND. It is one of the most valuable assets in the Sandbox game.

NFT Games Monetization Trend

NFT games are not only entertaining for players but also highly rewarding. Gaming developers are exploring different ways to provide an alluring gaming experience by integrating blockchain technology with traditional gaming. Play-to-earn blockchain games have the ability to disrupt traditional gaming by allowing players to monetize their gaming time.

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