For a while now, gaming has been perceived as much more than quick entertainment and a time-wasting distraction. Today, it’s a huge industry in which massive amounts of money are made by gaming studios and top-class players alike. So the idea behind earning money for playing games isn’t really a totally new one.
But the idea behind an emerging class of games – the “play-to-earn” games is a radically new one. This is due to the technology that hosts these games, keeps them secure, and makes them profitable – the blockchain.
Since they’re developed on blockchain, these games are sometimes also called blockchain games and crypto games. They’re known as NFT games as well, since NFTs are the basis of the in-game economy and can bring players a real fortune if they’re lucky and persistent enough.
Let’s start with a brief explanation of what NFTs are and then we’ll see how they can help you make some money by playing games.
What are NFTs?
NFTs are a special type of crypto asset. They’re part of the crypto sphere, they operate on blockchain, and they can be exchanged for cryptocurrency. However, they’re conceptually a totally different thing from the digital currencies, although they use the same sort of technology.
The trick with NFTs is that they’re unique and can’t be easily exchanged one for another. They’re not convertible like cryptocurrencies, and hence the name non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Now, if you’ve ever come across some NFTs online, you probably got the impression that it’s just some sort of digital images or videos. And this actually is the most widespread application of NFTs, though it doesn’t mean that NFTs are pieces of digital art as it’s commonly misunderstood. However, there’s a crucial connection between the two.
NFTs and digital art
NFTs are digital representations of digital art and they contain a URL to a specific piece of digital art. They also contain lines of code that define the digital item’s characteristics and appearance. NFTs are digital tokens built on a blockchain using different sets of protocols compared to the ones used by cryptocurrencies.
This simply means that NFTs use the benefits of blockchain technology, such as distributed verification process, immutability, and easy trading. They prove the ownership of a piece of digital art and can be bought and sold using cryptocurrencies.
How are NFTs used in video games?
NFTs can be very useful in a new type of video game that’s built on blockchain as well. Here, NFTs are used as in-game items, just like digital art is used in any regular game. So weaponry, armor, accessories, and even entire characters are developed as NFTs.
This means, first of all, that they are unique. So you don’t just get a sword that anyone gets at a certain point of the game. You’ll often get one with unique attributes that no other weapon in the game shares. This is one of the biggest appeals of NFT games.
Secondly, these in-game items now become tradable. Players can buy them or sell them as their own assets on online marketplaces, even if the game permanently shuts down. So you actually own the items you bought or earned in the game.
Finally, a huge aspect of the recent success of NFTs in gaming is their interoperability. Namely, you can transfer in-game items such as weapons or clothes from one game to another, which most players find very appealing.
How to make money playing NFT games?
Now that we’ve explained how NFTs in video games work, let’s see how that brings profit to the players. There are several methods at their disposal.
1. Trading NFTs
The most common way to earn money by playing crypto games is the simple trading of NFTs. To play a game, you will often have to buy at least one NFT created specifically for that game. This NFT will represent your avatar or the vehicle you drive or some other necessary game element. You can later sell these, use the money to buy new ones, and then sell again, just like you would do with any other tradable goods. NFTs are traded on NFT marketplaces and paid for in cryptocurrency.
A good way to earn money using this method is by looking into games that are either growing rapidly or are expected to grow soon. This is usually what drives the prices of NFTs up – a larger demand that happens thanks to the influx of new players. Especially given that these NFTs represent unique or at least very rare in-game objects, so the supply is very limited.
Use the potential of metaverse projects
This is exactly what was happening throughout 2021 when the NFT market went through the roof. Take some metaverse games, for instance. These games provide alternative digital worlds in which you can buy real estate. The prices of the land in some of them, like Decentraland, have skyrocketed lately and are likely to continue growing in the following period.
There, you’ll have anything you’d need for a life in an alternative universe – housing, clothes, pets, vehicles, tickets for virtual public events, and a whole lot of other stuff. All these can be NFTs and all these can be bought and sold for profit.
Boost your NFT by playing a game
Some players choose to buy a character as an NFT, upgrade it by playing it (if the game allows this), and then sell it after they’ve gained experience and developed new skills. So here you need both gaming skills and the talent for trading in order to earn money.
This is somewhat similar to players in regular games selling their accounts, but with a key difference. NFTs bought in crypto games remain under the player’s ownership and can be transferred to other games, even if the original game doesn’t exist anymore.
Finally, in some games, you can even breed your NFTs to get entirely new ones. These NFTs will inherit some of the attributes of their “parent” NFTs. So if you get a bit lucky and manage to produce a rare combination of skills and attributes, the “newborn” NFT could end up being worth much more than the two NFTs used to create it.
2. Farming cryptocurrency
Earning the native coins of a game
Another popular way of making money in play-to-earn games is farming. In the world of gaming, farming denotes any excessively repetitive action that helps the player obtain experience points, in-game currency, or other quantifiable benefits.
As a reward for this kind of activity, players usually get a certain number of crypto coins that are native to the game. Or they get NFTs that can be used in the game or sold on the marketplace for crypto coins.
Most games (though not all) don’t reward players in BTC, ETH, or other major cryptocurrencies. And for less popular and less valuable currencies, the fact that they’re used and spent in the game helps the coin circulate and gain exposure.
For instance, in Axie Infinity, one of the most popular play-to-earn games, there are two native coins – AXS and SLP. One of these, SLP, is mostly earned through PvP battling and the amount you’ll earn depends on your rating. SLP has real-world value, which means it can be traded on the cryptocurrency market, but it can also be used to pay for breeding new NFT-based creatures in the game.
Farming in crypto games as a daily job?
Farming in crypto games has become quite big in some parts of the world. The most skillful players can earn a solid monthly income just by farming the game’s coin. Regardless of their relative volatility, these coins ensure a stable source of income for some.
Most of these crypto games demand some sort of initial investment. So naturally, there are players who want to generate income by farming, but they can’t afford to buy an NFT to start playing.
So in some games, some players managed to earn enough money to buy dozens of these NFTs, and they can lend their NFTs to the less wealthy players who’d like to farm. Of course, the owner gets a percentage of their earnings as compensation.
3. Rewards for the best players
There are crypto games where players are rewarded for their exceptional long-term performance. So it’s not just about winning individual battles, it’s also about being truly consistent. That’s why game studios often provide bonuses in cryptocurrency for the best players on a weekly or monthly basis.
Our new game, Solchicks, offers just that – prizes for the top-placed players on the weekly leaderboards. Discover more about Solchicks and join our community!
4. Crypto staking
Another method that can help you make money on NFT games is staking. Staking means basically locking your crypto assets in a certain game or, more generally, on a certain crypto platform. Some games let you lock both your NFTs and cryptocurrencies, while some simply don’t support this option.
The longer you decide to keep your crypto assets in a certain game, the more money you’ll get over time. It’s basically what banks do with time deposits, and for very similar reasons.
It’s very important for game studios and investors that players decide not to withdraw their money in the near future. This increases the liquidity of the native coin used in the game and this means more stability for the cryptocurrency in question. Also, staking plays a huge role in blockchains that use proof-of-stake technology to validate transactions and keep the network secure.
So those were the most common ways of making money by playing play-to-earn games. The world of crypto gaming has already grown a lot in the last couple of years and is getting larger and more complex by the day.
Of course, there’s an element of risk here as well. You’re not guaranteed you’ll get rich – as a matter of fact, you usually have no idea how much money you’ll be able to make. It really depends on the game, its business model, your skill level, and your trading capabilities. In any event, some gamers have already made tons of money thanks to smart investments and good timing. So why wouldn’t you?
What are blockchain games?
Blockchain games are video games developed using blockchain technology. On the surface, they don’t necessarily differ much from a regular video game, but the way they work does.
Thanks to the blockchain technology that offers a secure and decentralized way of transacting crypto assets, players can trade their in-game items and use several different ways to make money. This fact also makes for a more interesting gaming experience, as it largely affects the in-game economy and the relationships that players build between themselves.
How to invest in crypto games?
This largely depends on the game. But most crypto game players choose to invest in buying NFTs and then sell them later for a larger price.
There is a number of factors that decide whether a price of an in-game NFT will rise or fall. The most successful tactic is discovering relatively new games with big potential, while they still haven’t attracted a lot of players. If you buy an NFT early on, its price will inevitably rise together with the expansion of the game.
The other common way to increase your in-game NFT’s value is by simply playing the game and improving the attributes of your NFT. As you keep upgrading your avatar or an in-game item, players will be eager to pay more for it.
How do crypto games make money?
There are several different ways that NFT gaming studios make money. First of all, they charge for NFTs that you often have to buy to start playing the game. In some games, there are all sorts of in-game stuff you can purchase, from accessories for your hero to voting rights in the game’s universe. Or, for instance, you can pay to create (“breed”) new creatures using the ones you already own.
The crypto gaming world is so large and divergent that it offers numerous chances for game developers to get creative with how the in-game economy will work and how they and the players will make money from the game. Also, the game studio profits from the fact that the native coin of the game gets acquired and moved around, which automatically raises its price.
What games to play to earn money?
Well, we definitely encourage you to start with Solchicks!
And after you’re done with that, you can try Decentraland, Axie Infinity, Cryptokitties, Sandbox, Splinterland, Farmers World, or you can simply check our article about the best play-to-earn games.