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What Are NFT Games and how do they work?

What Are NFT Games and how do they work?


NFTs are unique digital collectibles on the blockchain. This feature makes them suitable to use in games as representations as characters, consumables, and other tradeable items.

NFT games have become popular in the Game-fi world as a way to earn income. You can sell your in-game NFTs to other collectors and players and even earn tokens with play-to-earn models.

From their beginnings with the CryptoKitties craze, NFT games have developed and begun to offer play-to-earn models. Game-Fi, as it's become known, mixes the worlds of finance and gaming, providing players opportunities to earn income as they play. You no longer need to only rely on winning, finding, or breeding a scarce collectible worth thousands of dollars. Players can now choose to experiment with multiple gaming models in various themes aside from collectible animals.

What are play-to-earn NFT games?

Play-to-earn NFT games give users the chance to generate an income stream through playing. Typically, a player is rewarded with tokens and occasionally NFTs, earning more the longer they play. The tokens earned are often needed as part of the game's crafting process.

The token method is usually the more stable of the two, as tokens can be earned steadily through play while NFT drops are more chance-based. Play-to-earn has been especially popular with users in low-income countries as an alternative or boost to fixed income or social security.

Axie Infinity has become one of the most well-known play-to-earn games. The game requires an initial investment to purchase three Axies, or you can receive a free Scholarship from another player. Once you have a Starter Team and begin completing tasks and challenges, you can earn Smooth Love Potion (SLP), an ERC-20 token tradeable on exchanges.

Breeders use SLP to breed new Axies, creating an economy for the item. Axie Infinity became particularly popular in the Philippines, where many users started to live off its play-to-earn model. Many players are making between $200 to $1000 (USD) per month, and some even more than that depending on the market price and time invested.

What are in-game NFTs?

In-game NFTs offer another way for you to generate an income through playing NFT games. Rather than earning a fungible ERC-20 token like SLP in Axie Infinity or SKILLS in CryptoBlades, you earn NFTs that represent collectible items. This gameplay mechanism is the traditional way of generating income with NFT games. Items will vary in their worth based on their cosmetics, rarity, or utility based in the game.

CryptoKitties is one example of a game that relies only on the collectibility of in-game NFTs. There is no way to keep playing and earn a steady income without the element of chance. Most newer NFT games offer a mixture of both play-to-earn and in-game NFTs.

How do NFT games make money?

The amount of money you can earn playing an NFT game will depend on the specific game's mechanics and market demand. The money you make will come from other users who value the NFTs or cryptocurrencies earned in the game. You will need to cash out by selling your goods on a market, exchange, or auction house. With NFT games, value is derived either from the NFT or token's collectability or in-game utility. These two factors also lead to speculation.

Popular NFT games

There's a wide range of NFT games available, with the majority on BSC and Ethereum. Some offer more traditional video game experiences, and others depend mainly on the collectibility of NFTs.

Axie Infinity

As we mentioned before, Axie Infinity follows a model similar to Pokemon with collectible creatures and battles. Axie Infinity is on the Ethereum blockchain and provides users a potential income based on trading *Small Love Potions (SLP)*, Axies, and Axie Infinity Shards (AXS).



Sorare is a fantasy football game with collectible, tradeable soccer players from real life. You create a five-player soccer team using either free cards for beginner players or purchasing tokenized cards. You can earn points to level up for every game you win, goal you score, or other events you complete.

Gods Unchained

Gods Unchained is a tradeable NFT card game on Ethereum similar to Magic The Gathering or Hearthstone. Gamers build decks with different powers and strengths to combat other players. As you win, you find in-game items to use or sell. If you win Ranked games, you can begin to earn Flux that lets you craft powerful NFT cards. You can then take your profits by selling them or reinvest in new cards and continue the process.

Closing thoughts

NFT gaming takes digital collectibles and creates rules for players to interact with each other's NFTs. While some people value NFTs for their collectibility, others want them for their utility. Many NFT games work like a trading card game, but not everyone who collects the cards intends to play. Game-fi has now created new NFT gaming economies that have changed how people can earn using NFTs.