We have already explained here that NFTs are exclusive digital collectibles on the blockchain. And this makes them also suitable for use in games, as they can represent characters, consumables and other tradable items.
NFT games have become very popular in Game-Fi as a form earning money: the player can sell their in-game NFTs to other collectors and players – and even earn tokens in games with a play-to-earn system (play to win).
NFT games are mainly present on Ethereum and Binance Smart Chain (BSC). Some games offer a battle experience with collectible characters, such as CryptoBlades and Axie Infinity . Others use collectible cards, such as Sorare.
Binance also offers NFT Mystery Boxes, which offer their holders the possibility of owning NFTs of various levels of rarity. These “boxes” are included in Collections launched in partnership with several NFT games.
*)Since the CryptoKitties pioneers, NFT games developed and began to offer so-called play-to-earn models; that is, the more we play, the more we win. For example, Game-Fi blends the worlds of finance and gaming, providing players with opportunities to earn money while playing. To make a profit, we don’t necessarily need to win or find/create a rare collection valued at thousands of dollars – players can try out various game models with various themes in addition to the conventional collectible animals theme.
How do NFT games work?
The idea of NFT games is different from simply storing crypto collectibles in our wallet. An NFT game will use NFT technology in its rules, mechanisms and player interactions. For example, a game might represent our character or avatar as a unique NFT; the digital items we find within the game can also be NFTs. The idea is that the player can then swap (swap) or trade (trade) their NFTs with other players to take profit. The play-to-earn model also allows you to generate profits with NFT games, as we will see later.
So, how can we technically implement NFTs in a game environment? To swap, create and implement NFTs within a game, programmers create smart contracts that constitute the rules related to the use of NFTs.
CryptoKitties, for example, has a small number of main contracts that function as the structure of the game. The most famous is the GeneScience contract, responsible for a random mechanic for generating new cats. Initially, the game’s programmers kept their code secret and players even created tools to analyze the chances of obtaining specific characteristics present in each cat. With this information, players can optimize their chances of generating a rare race that is worth more money.
What are NFT games play-to-earn?
NFT games that follow the play-to-earn (play to win) model give users the opportunity to generate a source of income by simply playing. Typically, players receive rewards in tokens and occasionally NFTs. The more they play, the more they win. Generally, earned tokens are needed as part of a game-specific creation process or mechanics.
The token method is generally the more stable of the two, as tokens can be earned continuously during the game. Eventual distributions of NFTs as a reward are rarer. The play-to-earn model is especially popular among users in low-income countries per capita as an alternative or improvement fixed income or social support.
Axie Infinity has become one of the games play -to-earn most popular. The game requires an initial investment to purchase three “Axies” or the player can receive a free “Scholarship” from another player. After assembling the starting team and completing tasks and challenges, the player receives Smooth Love Potion (SLP), an ERC token-20 which can be traded on exchanges (trading platforms).
So-called “breeders” use SLP to create new Axies, thus creating an economy for this item. Axie Infinity has become particularly popular in the Philippines, where many users have started to live off the income generated by this play-to-earn model. Many players win between 200 to 1.000 dollars (USD) per month. Some earn even more than that, depending on the market price and the time invested.
What are in-game NFTs?
So-called in-game NFTs offer another way to generate revenue from NFT games. Instead of earning an ERC-10 fungible token like the SLP Axie Infinity or the SKILLS from CryptoBlades, we receive NFTs that represent unique collectibles. This gameplay engine is the traditional way of generating income with NFT games. The value of the items varies according to their rarity, their cosmetic appearance or their usefulness in the game.
CryptoKitties is an example of a game that only depends on the collection of NFTs within the game (hence the term “in-game”). In this case, there is no way to continue playing and earn a steady income without having the element of luck. Most of the newer NFT games offer a mix of play-to-earn and in-game NFTs models.
How do we earn money in NFT games?
The amount of money we can earn playing an NFT game depends specific game mechanics and market demand. The money we earn comes from other users who value the NFTs or cryptocurrencies obtained in the game. To “cash out” this money, it is necessary to sell our products on a market, brokerage or auction platform. In NFT games, the value is derived from the collectible nature of the NFT/token or its usefulness within the game. As a consequence, these two factors also create room for speculation.
Can I lose money in NFT games? And can I lose my NFTs?
Yes. It is possible to lose money playing NFT games. The exact amount of losses depends on the type of game, its mechanics and the value of the related NFTs. Losing money does not necessarily mean that we are being cheated or that the game is a scam. As NFTs are speculative and their value depends on people’s opinion of them, losses also depend on market forces. As with any type of crypto investment, the advice is “only spend what you can risk losing”!
Considering the value of some NFTs, it is normal for users to be afraid of losing them during a game or when interacting with the blockchain. Regardless of whether you purchased your NFTs or received them in-game, you need to keep them safe. In short, it’s possible to lose your NFTs if you’re not careful! (learn more in the full article on this topic you can find here).
Popular NFT games
There is a great variety of NFT games available, mostly on the BSC and Ethereum blockchains. Some offer more traditional video game experiences. Others rely primarily on the collection of NFTs. Here are some of them:
As mentioned above, Axie Infinity follows a similar model to the Pokémon, with collectible creatures and battles. Axie Infinity runs on Ethereum’s blockchain and provides users with an income possibility based on trading of Smooth Love Potions (SLP), Axies and Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) . Both SLP and AXS tokens are available for trading on Binance.
Sorare is a virtual football game featuring collectable and tradable NFTs from real world football players. We can create a five-player football team, using free cards for beginning players or by buying tokenized cards. We receive points to level up for each win, goals scored or other in-game activities.
Gods Unchained is an NFT trading card game on Ethereum, similar to Magic The Gathering or Hearthstone. Players build decks with different levels of power and strength to fight other players. As we win matches, we receive in-game items to use or sell. By winning ranked games we can get Flux, a resource used to create powerful NFT cards. We can consolidate profits by selling them or reinvesting in new cards to continue the process.
NFT Binance Collections.
The Binance NFT Marketplace provides NFT gaming experiences with partnerships from various Collections and NFT “Mystery Boxes”. There are several partnerships ranging from digital artists to NFT games. Each Mystery Box available for purchase contains a random Collection NFT and NFTs have different levels of rarity. We can “open” the box to reveal the NFT or sell it without opening it.
NFT games use digital collectibles and create rules for players to interact with each other’s NFTs. While some people value NFTs for their nature as collectibles, others value the utility factor.
Many NFT games function as a collectible card game, but not everyone who collects the cards intends to play. Game-Fi has now created new NFT gaming economies that have changed the way profit is made using NFTs.
Making money with NFTs is no longer just about getting lucky and collecting; now users earn money playing.