How Do Play To Earn Games work? Explained


The play-to-earn gaming industry is booming and is rewarding participants with cash and non-fungible tokens.

The Blockchain industry has seen many innovations that have made it a point of discussion in the technology industry. However, the play-to-earn game model is unique as it enables participants to learn, earn and have fun simultaneously.

While this brings us to the question, what are play-to-earn games?

Play-to-earn games are online games that reward players with real-world assets as they complete tasks, battle other players and reach higher levels. In-game rewards include crypto tokens, virtual land, skins, weapons, and other NFTs.

How play to earn games work?

When you think of play-to-earn games, you should consider the various gaming models in the traditional gaming industry.

Play-to-earn is based on blockchain technology, and participants are rewarded for playing games. The games on play-to-earn range from horsing to football and war.

Different games have different rules of engagement. It is up to the community and the creator of a game to determine how the rules of engagement are set.

While some games enable you to earn rewards in their native cryptocurrencies, some give you the freedom to earn rewards in whatever cryptocurrencies you choose.

Similarly, some games are simply uni-gamified like Pegaxy, and some are multi-gamified like CoinFantasy.

How play to earn is different from other games?

If Play-to-earn games have a bit of semblance with traditional games, what makes them different from them?

The major difference here is decentralization, which makes the play-to-earn games community-based. In an organization, decentralization refers to distributing or delegating activities away from a central authority.

In the traditional video gaming economy, the players pay to have access to the games and might also need to pay extra to access certain features; however, for the play-to-earn game, you are paid for playing games.

Another difference is that play-to-earn games have special game currencies, which are majorly cryptocurrencies, while in the traditional world, FIAT is used to pay for games.

Play-to-earn model is based on a community approach, which means the members of the community have a say on new additions to the game, while in the traditional video gaming world, the developers have a say on what they feel the community wants.

In Play-to-Earn gaming platforms, users own NFTs. These NFTs can be minted, customized, transferred to NFT Marketplaces for sale, or converted into cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies by gamers. Navigating through play-to-earn games require NFTS, which can be avatars, land, pets, etc.

What makes play-to-earn games popular?

Cryptocurrency has been making waves for a while, especially for people looking for new ways to make money and keep their funds away from the control of a centralized authority.

The ability to earn while also making money via cryptocurrency is one of the reasons that people are getting into play-to-earn games. 

The video gaming economy has been popular right from some time. Traditional gaming like GTA, FIFA, and PES are popular; however, gamers are just playing as a hobby and investing game time without making a dime. It is called the free-to-play or play-to-play model.

Here, players have no control over the games, as the publishers decide how games are developed. On the other hand, the play-to-earn game economy enables gamers to earn NFTs, crypto, and Fiat with their passion.

Play-to-earn vs. play-and-own

The introductory part of this article focused on play-to-earn. The gaming industry is a vast one, we also have what is referred to as play-to-own.

Players in play-to-own games own digital prosperity similar to their homes, and by earning rewards, they can improve the assets’ condition. A player can liquidate the digital items he or she accumulates on the secondary market later. With the play-to-own model, players are able to thrive in both the game and the digital economy. 

Difference between play-to-earn and play-and-own


The play-to-earn gaming model has been around for a while and is more popular in the blockchain community compared to play-and-own.

The play-to-earn model is community focused i.e gamers can split rewards of games among themselves, however, the play-to-own model, is focused on a single player growing in the game and owing assets via winning games.


Play-to-earn games are heavily geared towards earning, which has undermined their entertainment value. Instead of focusing on adapting the model that engages players, the developers might focus more on the game’s economic model. 

In this play-to-own vs. play-and-earn royal rumble, the play-to-own model wins out since it requires more engaging gameplay in order to attract players.


Play-to-earn games are only in their infancy and are expected to grow in the next few years, especially with the adoption of cryptocurrency around the world. A lot of traditional gaming industries might adopt the play-to-earn model soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are play-to-earn games legit?

Play-to-earn games are very legit. However, it is important you do your due diligence before investing in any p2e game in order not to fall for scam projects. Over the years, games like axie infinity and CoinFantasy have proven to be trusted projects in the blockchain gaming ecosystem.

2. How can I earn real money by playing games?

Earning money via playing games is pretty easy and straightforward. You need to find a game that tickles your interest and do due diligence in order to ensure the game you are interested in is a solid project. 
Gamers make money from engaging in competitions and triumphing over fellow gamers. Rewards are mostly in form of the game’s native tokens and can be converted to Ethereum or FIAT.

3. What is play to earn NFT?

With a play-to-earn NFT  business model, users get to play games and earn NFT  at the same time.
Making money and entertainment are two activities that have driven mankind since the dawn of time, making it a powerful psychological model.
It is usually possible to define ownership in the crypto world and even transfer it through non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

4. Which are the most popular play-to-earn games?

With over 216,000 community members, Axie infinity is unarguably the most popular play-to-earn game in the blockchain industry. There are other models like CoinFantsy a zero-loss platform, Pegaxy, and lucky block.