Play to earn games: What are the they and how to get started


PLAY to earn games are gaining in popularity thanks to their online rewards which have a money value.

The rewards come in the form blockchain technologies such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Axie Infinity is the most popular pay-to-play game.

What are play-to-earn games?

Play-to-earn games are video game that harnesses crypto to reward players with something that has value in the real – as well as virtual – world.

These rewards tend to be NFTs, cryptographically unique tokens that can be used to prove ownership of content such as music or images.

You can find out more about the complicated world of NFTs here.

The NFT will represent an in-game asset, such as a virtual tool or weapon to be used as part of the game.



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Once players have won them, they can either be traded for other assets within the game or sold for actual money on an NFT marketplace.

Axie Infinity

The most popular play-to-earn game is Axie Infinity, a monster-battling game launched in 2018.

In the online strategy game, cartoon creatures called Axies represent NFTs.

In countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia, people are playing Axie Infinity to support their families.


Splinterlands, a game that sees players trading cards that depict fighters and represent NFTs, has also proved a bit hit.

Players earn money from tournaments, rankings and by completing quests.

The game uses Dark Energy Crystals as currency in the game and enables players to buy items in the game shop.

Alien Worlds

In Alien Worlds, another popular play-to-earn game, NFT-backed assets include land, tools, weapons and avatars.

There’s more information on how to get started in the game here.


This decentralized 3D virtual reality platform is powered by Ethereum blockchain.

In it, players can explore and create virtual structures, in a 3D virtual world.


Illuvium is a decentralised game studio combining the worlds of cryptocurrency and gaming.

It’s an open-world RPG based on the Ethereum blockchain where can you mine, harvest, capture, and fight NFT’s (non-fungible tokens), known in the game as ‘Illuvials’.

The Sandbox

The Sandbox is a community-driven multiplayer game, in which players can build their own worlds and earn crypto.

The game is made up of 166,464 parcels of land which can be bought, and features a world of user-generated landscapes, buildings, and characters and objects.

More NFT games attracting plenty of players

  • League of Kingdoms
  • Gods Unchained
  • Zed Run
  • Sorare
  • Town Star

How can I make money from play-to-earn games?

In order to make money from play-to-earn games, you need to sell the NFTs you earn on an NFT marketplace.

Some of these games, such as Axie Infinity, make buying NFTs from an NFT marketplace a requirement to play the game.

The financial rewards will depends to some degree on your gaming skill, but it’s also important to remember that making money through NFTs requires extreme caution.

Cryptocurrencies have proved extremely volatile.

In January 2022, Britain’s richest Crypto trader lost $800million (£591m) in one day as the market collapsed.

Those who use invest in them are also vulnerable to scams.

One example of a common NFT scam is the “rug pull”, when developers of an NFT project abandon it part-way through and disappear with the investors’ money.

Sudden hype around a project and spike in coin prices can point to a rug pull, while projects that lock their pooled liquidity for a fixed period tend to be safer.

How to get started in play-to-earn games

Before you start playing, you need to understand the above and the risks that play-to-earn games bring.

Once you full understand this, you can start by finding the game suitable for you.

First, decide the reason why you are going to play such a game.

Is it for NFTs, for coins or for both?

Before you start to play a game, make sure that you understand the way in which you will be earning money.

To convert NFTs into money, you need to sell them which can be rather difficult.

On the other hand, coins are easier to convert.

These ‘virtual coins’ or money will be turned into cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum.

In some games, you will not need to pay money to get started but you will find along the way that you need to pay something to enter premium features or play-to-earn aspects.

It is safe to invest what you can afford.

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If you are just getting started and are still getting used to the phenomenon of cryptocurrency, it’s best to start with a small investment rather than risk losing a lot of money.

Remember, with cryptocurrency, there is not guarantee that you will earn your money back.

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