Gaming has been a multi-billion dollar industry even before blockchain’s disruption. However, now, with the advent of blockchain games, the financial value of the industry is through the roof.
However, unlike traditional games where only the creators and developers make money, crypto games allow players to earn as well. Crypto games ride on several models facilitating a new industry reality. These models include; play-to-earn, yield farming, tournaments, etc.
Since there are different ways to make money in crypto games, they have become trendy. As of now, there are over 1550 blockchain games out there, amongst which you can easily find one that interests you. Hence, this article explores everything you need to know to start making money playing crypto games.
What are crypto games?
Crypto games are gaming applications that use blockchain technology as an underlying infrastructure. In these games, players play, collect, and own in-game assets like characters, utilities, and resources, which they can either use in other games or exchange for money.
Thanks to blockchain features like immutability, decentralization, interoperability, etc., crypto games offer innovative gameplay experiences. Fundamentally, game developers can use blockchain technology for games in two ways:
- Building the entire game on the blockchain, or
- Only using cryptos for in-game currency.
If the entire crypto game is built on the blockchain, interactions and game data are verified and stored on decentralized nodes as new blocks. But, if it’s the second case, players will get to interact with NFTs – Non-Fungible Tokens, while the application itself is centralized.
Even though there are numerous crypto games in existence, they work similarly.
How do crypto games work?
Gaming is the new major use case for blockchain technology. The best crypto games adeptly combine the known gameplay prowess of traditional games with the borderless money culture of cryptocurrency. This combination results in the modern economy panning out in blockchain gaming.
Firstly, when a player participates in a crypto game, they can win in-game items like XP, skins, cars, weapons, etc. Of course, these are all digital items like traditional games use. But since blockchain enables all computers on the network to access the same information, players can own these assets.
Specifically, ownership of in-game assets is possible thanks to NFTs. NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital assets that can be transferred from one blockchain user to another. So, crypto games feature assets that are NFTs, and when players win them during gameplay, they are transferred to the user’s wallet.
When players become owners of such assets, they can use them in another game (if one wallet address is connected to both games) or sell them for real-world money. In some cases, gamers can decide to exchange their assets for cryptos, which they can then use to purchase other game assets.
Secondly, beyond in-game assets, gamers can win crypto rewards. Crypto rewards are mainly the native cryptocurrency of specific games. If players get such rewards, they can use them to purchase assets or exchange them for real money.
There’s more to the economic model of crypto games, which we’ll look in detail at in the next section.
Different crypto gaming models
The past few years have seen the development of different gaming models based on blockchain technology. We’ll define these models in the context of how they help players make money from crypto gaming.
Play-to-earn games are arguably the top crypto games. In games that use this model, players are rewarded with in-game assets, which are NFTs. Players can also get in-game tokens. The assets – NFTs and tokens – can then be sold for money or exchanged for cryptocurrencies.
Ethereum and BNB Smart Chain host the most NFT games with varying gameplay. For instance, players can participate in battles like Axie Infinity or play collectible games like Sorare.
These games are no different from traditional games, involving rules, mechanisms, strategy, player interactions, etc. The only difference is that NFT games are created on smart contracts that govern gameplay rules. So, upon playing and excelling according to the rules, players earn appropriate rewards that they’ll own.
Games like CoinFantasy offer a tournament/contest structure for players to earn rewards. Fantasy games mainly employ the tournament model. Players get to enter contests with selections based on real-world athletes or entities.
For instance, in CoinFantasy, players select a line-up of cryptos they feel will perform well in a trading period and enter contests with another player. The goal is to build the best portfolio and be the player with the most points to win the prize allotted for the contest.
NFT-based yield farming in blockchain games is on a steady rise. Games like Zookeeper, MOBOX, and Bunicorn are innovating exciting gameplay. The gameplay in yield farming games combines DeFi, gaming, and NFTs.
In these games, players put their tokens or NFTs in liquidity pools, which generates returns – NFTs or tokens – of higher monetary value. Staking assets in yield farms, rather than leaving them idly in wallets, has become a popular way for players to earn extra crypto-based income.
The breeding model was initiated by CryptoKitties and has since been popularized by Axie Infinity. The model involves minting new tokens or assets, which are circulated in-game.
For instance, in CryptoKitties, players can pair male and female characters, create new kitties, and sell them on a marketplace. The features the new kitties inherit from their parents influence their market value.
Some years ago, this would have sounded absurd and impossible. But thanks to blockchain, players can mint new assets to be sold for money.
Virtual Real Estate
The concept of metaverse duly represents virtual reality built on blockchain technology. In the metaverse, virtual real estate assets (NFTs) can be owned, purchased, and sold at will. The attributes of these assets determine their value.
For instance, if a celebrity buys a house in the metaverse, the value of surrounding properties will go up – just like in the real world.
Popular metaverse games include Decentraland, The Sandbox, Upland, etc. Each metaverse also has its own in-game tokens, contributing to its economy.
What makes crypto games popular?
Crypto games are popular thanks to the financial incentive they offer players. In recent times, since players have earned sizable income from crypto games, they are quitting white-collar jobs to invest more time in the blockchain-powered ecosystem.
Furthermore, blockchain games promote ownership, which can pass as investment assets in the current world. Since the global crypto market has high earning potential, users now pull out money that’d otherwise sit in a savings account to participate in crypto games.
Lastly, top gaming companies are investing heavily in crypto gaming research and development. Hence, it’s only natural that the media and consumer worlds pay closer attention.
Though blockchain gaming isn’t a free money source, it has proven to be a way to help 36% of the world that are gamers to earn more from what they love. Through crypto games, it’s now easy to make money online. With the industry predicted to hit a $39.7 valuation by 2025, it’s only fitting to start making money playing crypto games.