Earning money through playing video games is a dream of every gamer, but in the traditional industry, it’s something that only professionals achieve.
However, things move fast in the field of cryptocurrencies, and the above is now becoming possible thanks to the P2E (Play to Earn) business model.
The combination of blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) implemented in video games is giving crypto enthusiasts and gamers alike the opportunity to earn money by beating other players or just playing versus the environment.
One of the leading and most popular games in the field is Axie Infinity. In this guide, we’ll learn step by step what Axie Infinity is, its history, and how to play it.
Axie Infinity’s Tokens: AXS and SLP Explained
How to Play Axie Infinity
What is Axie Infinity?
Axie Infinity is a popular Pokemon-inspired, blockchain-based P2E game where players collect virtual creatures in the form of NFTs called Axies.
These creatures can be collected, bred, and sold at a price that depends on their rareness. Their price can range between a few dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Who is the Team Behind Axie Infinity?
The history of Axie Infinity spans back to 2017 and has to do with Trung Nguyen, a Vietnamese software developer who was thrilled with the success of the famous CryptoKitties, collectible NFT kittens stored on the Ethereum network.
Nguyen wanted to take advantage of all the benefits of blockchain technology and implement it into video games, giving players true ownership of the in-game items they collected.
Nguyen co-leads Sky Mavis, a tech-focused gaming studio. Witnessing the success of P2E games, the team decided to create a Pokemon-style game using the Ethereum blockchain. In 2021, the company raised $152 million – giving Sky Mavis a valuation of $3 billion, becoming one of the top gaming companies worldwide.
Axie Infinity’s Project Launch
Axie Infinity debuted in March 2018, hoarding capital from notable investors such as Mark Cuban, Blocktower Capital, and Libertus. But it wasn’t until October 2020 that the AXS token called the attention of the crypto community when Binance hosted the AXS initial exchange offering (IEO) on its Launchpad. Each winning lottery ticket received 2,000 AXS at the price of $0.1 per token.
Just one year later – during October 2021, after the project boomed in popularity and the token price skyrocketed, each ticket was worth roughly around $250,000, representing an increase of almost 125,000% in just one year.
Axie Infinity’s Tokens: AXS and SLP Explained
Before diving into the game itself, we need to talk about the Ronin Network and the two tokens related to the game: Axie Infinity Shard (AXS) and Small Love Potion (SLP).
So, why does Axie need two tokens, and what is the difference?
The Network: Meet the Ronin Sidechain
The Ronin wallet is a browser extension for Google Chrome and Firefox. It’s the digital wallet of Sky Mavis’ Ronin sidechain.
Ronin is designed as a whole ecosystem for the Axie Infinity metaverse. It allows a more open economy for players and enables them to escape the elevated gas fees on the Ethereum network.
Ronin is an Ethereum-linked sidechain with its own set of smart contracts where users will be able to migrate all of the in-game assets, such as Axie creatures, land, and land items, from the Ethereum blockchain to the Ronin blockchain,
You can install Ronin wallet as an extension on Chrome or Firefox. Set up your – password make sure you write down your seed phrase (remember to never share your seed phrase with anyone) – once ready, you can access your wallet at the top right bar on Chrome by clicking extensions and choosing Roning.
Important: Ronin can be integrated with a Trezor hardware wallet, and it is recommended for increased security.
SLP Token Explained
First and foremost, Small Love Potion (SLP) is the token you receive as a reward for every battle won when playing Axie. It can be used to breed your Axie creatures and sell it at a set price or auction in the Axie Infinity Marketplace. The SLP token, unlike AXS, doesn’t have a limited supply.
SLP can be traded for other tokens on Katana, the decentralized exchange on the Ronin network, launched by Axie Infinity. The DEX is designed to allow anyone within the ecosystem to trade ingame assets and other cryptocurrencies, like wETH (wrapped Ether) and USD Coin (USDC).
AXS Token Explained
AXS is an ERC-20 utility token in Axie Infinity, and it’s given to the best players from all of the 19 seasons in the game as a reward. A lot of players also choose to swap their SLP for AXS due to its limited supply. The consensus algorithm is the Proof of Authority, and Sky Mavis chooses the validators.
- AXS holders have governance rights, which allows them to vote and send governance proposals. They can stake their AXS to win rewards and access various ingame features.
- AXS is used to instigate the Community Treasury, which receives all the revenues that the game generates. By now, there are only two streams of inflow: 25% from the Axie Marketplace transactions and the AXS share of the breeding fee.
- The Treasury will eventually be governed by AXS holders as soon as the network reaches a sufficient level of decentralization, allowing token holders to change or implement new monetization strategies for the fund.
The AXS token distribution has a capped supply that can never exceed 270,000,000. The total supply of AXS tokens will be unlocked for 65 months. Below we can see the maximum possible issuance of AXS in the upcoming years.
The Axie Infinity Land
The Axie universe is called Lunacia – an open-world driven by its players and composed of several plots of land. This land is divided into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that players can buy, lease, and develop.
Lunacia is a 301×301 grid. Each square represents a tokenized plot of land. The land game is currently under development, but players and investors are already loading up to buy genesis lots. CryptoPotato reported that a plot sold for $2.3 million worth of ETH, making it the highest sum ever paid for a genesis lot of real estate in a metaverse.
How to Play Axie Infinity
Before You Start – Setting Up MetaMask
You can access Axie Infinity by setting up your MetaMask wallet and connecting it with Ronin. As we explained above, Ronin is an Ethereum-based sidechain downloadable as a Chrome/Firefox extension. Head to metamask.io and download the extension on the browser of your choice. After you install it, an orange fox will appear on the upper right side of your browser.
If you have never used MetaMask before (or any digital wallet), then there are important safety measures you need to be aware of. Beware of phishing scams, and always make sure you double-check the correct website URL.
Now that you have MetaMask register on the platform and connect your MetaMask wallet. First, go to Axie Marketplace and click on the top right Login button.
You’ll be redirected to the login page where you can register using MetaMask or just email and password. Click on Metamask, and a pop-up will appear. Connect your wallet and sign the request (this process is for free).
After completing the procedure, your account will be live, but you need to set it up by filling your email, username, password and later verify it through a code sent to your email.
Downloading and Setting Up Ronin
Your account is now live, but to play the game, you have to download it for iOS, Android, Mac, or Windows.
- Head to axieinfinity.com and click on “Getting Started.”
2. Create your Ronin wallet and add it as an extension for your browser or mobile device.
3. Buy your first Axies and set your team up – you’ll use them throughout the game in Adventure and Arena mode. On the screen of the third step, you’ll see a link to the Axie Infinity Marketplace. Click on it.
- Head over to “Marketplace” at the upper left side.
- You’ll be heading to the auctions site. Here you’ll see all of the Axies currently up for sale.
- Before you buy any Axies, you need to understand the basics of each creature.
You will set your triangle according to the nine classes of Axies – Reptile, Plant, Dusk, Aquatic, Bird, Dawn, Beast, and Bug. Each Axie has six different traits, and each sums up four points to its base statistic. All Axies can reach a maximum of 165 points of total stats. These stats are:
- HP (Health Points): increases the health points of your Axie.
- Speed: determines the speed of your Axie when it’s time to attack and also affects the attack order – the fastest Axie is the first to attack on each round until it’s defeated.
- Skill: the more skillful, the more damage your Axie inflicts – it also generates an additional shield when you play your cards in a combo or chained.
- Morale: increases the chances of inflicting a critical hit on your opponent, the amount of damage of these critical hits, and the amount of bars in Land Stand – a temporary lifeline extension.
Depending on your Axie’s Morale, when your Axie is at 0 HP, it might enter in Last Stand mode – with 1 to 5 bars shown above it. So if you have three red bars during Last Stand, you can execute three cards against your opponent. Your Axie will still die after that.
As shown above, an Axie is composed of six body parts – mouth, eyes, back, tail, forehead, and ears. Only four of the six parts – mouth, forehead, back, and tail – will affect the results of your available cards, as shown on the right side of the image above.
You will use and prepare these cards in a combination, or use them individually against your opponents when it is your turn to attack.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what Axies are and how they’re composed, you’re ready to download the game and start playing. We’ll be using the PC version for this guide.
Playing Axie Infinity
To the right side of the main menu, you’ll find the Adventure and Arena mode, the leaderboards, battle log, your friend list, and settings.
At the top left side, your name is displayed, next to daily quests and the amount of energy you have. Energy is important – you use it to join an Adventure/Arena battle. You also need it to earn EXP (experience points) in Aventure and rewards in Arena. The maximum energy depends on the number of Axies you own. Energy is refilled daily at midnight UTC time.
Below, you have Axies. There you can see your Axies’ stats, like level, HP, speed, skills, morale, and their different parts – remember we explained above how the different parts of the Axie affect your available cards for that specific creature. Also, the # refers to the Axie’s ID.
The overall gameplay consists of the modes Adventure and Arena. In Adventure, you’re on a quest to fight and win against various monsters spread out in 36 levels called Ruins – doing so earns about 50 SLP per day.
One way to gain SLP is by Farming, which basically means getting rewards for completing daily tasks, like winning 10 battles in Adventure mode and winning 5 battles in Arena mode. You can receive up to 25 SLP per day for completing these objectives.
Both modes consist of opponents taking turns to plan and perform their attacks. Below you have a row of cards that you will use to make a combo and attack your opponent. After you line up your card combo, hit “End Turn” to perform your attack. There are several strategies you can plan and different Axies to line up in your team.
After you complete your daily quests, you can claim your SLP on the Quests section.
On the other hand, in the Arena mode, you’re fighting against other players’ Axies, and each player receives SLP depending on their MMR (Matchmaking Rating).
The player with the highest MMR takes the bigger cut, up to 21 SLPs per win. In the main menu, head over to Arena mode – you will be matched with an online player to start the battle.
If you win, you’ll earn between 15 to 20 trophies, but you’ll lose the same amount if you get defeated.
What is Breeding Axies and How to Earn Money From It?
The other way to earn is by breeding Axies. Every creature has unique traits that separate them from the others.
The process of breeding, however, is not free. Axie will charge you SLP and AXS for it – fees vary depending on how many times the Axie has been bred – there’s a limit of seven times before it goes sterile.
To know how much it will cost you to breed your Axie, you can head to Axie.tech and select the number of breeds to calculate the total cost.
Of course, the value of your Axies will depend on the level of their traits, like purity, body parts, and rarity. Some Axies are sold for thousands to even tens of thousands of dollars. The most expensive Axie sold for 300 ETH in October, which at that time was roughly $250,000
You can put your Axies up for sale on the Axie Marketplace. You’ll need to connect your Ronin wallet to your account first.
With its success, Axie Infinity has proven players can earn while playing and having fun. It has become the most popular P2E Metaverse/NFT game in crypto history, hoarding millions of monthly active players. The use of blockchain technology brings transparency and security to the community and combined with NFTs, it promises a vibrant ecosystem where gaming and DLT come hand in hand.
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