March 7, 2023
9 min read
When you land on CoinMarketCap's page, you immediately see Bitcoin and Ethereum leading the cryptoverse. That said, scroll down and it's an endless cryptocurrency list, more than 8,300 independent cryptocurrency tokens (if you're into numbers). That barely reflects the exponential growth and diversification the crypto marketplace has reported. To fully appreciate this growth, you can explore one token, Axie Infinity. The token is a blockchain-powered and gamified ecosystem where a player community or Lunacia can raise, battle, and trade cute NFT pets called Axies.
Let's first get to know the team behind Axie Infinity.
Sky Mavis developed and launched Axie in March 2018, a relatively unique project since player-owned economies and a core gaming experience underpin its mission. Its native Axie Infinity Shard ($AXS) token provides governance and oversees income generation for individual players. Though this is Sky Mavis" first virtual world, they"ve become industry leaders in creating gaming infrastructure on the blockchain.
All this ties into Axie Infinity's core vision and ambition to create a digital nation where people globally come together with their Axies to play, earn, live, and interact with one another.
You're thinking metaverse, right? In this respect, Axie has done more than Facebook to popularize the slightly nebulous metaverse concept. It creates a fully decentralized, digital realm where virtual players can level up and receive significant compensation for their in-game contributions.
AXS's trajectory supports the project's tangible success. Despite a recent dip at the beginning of December, AXS grew by an incredible 2,100% between July and October.
During this time, Axie also achieved a total market cap value of $7.5 billion after it airdropped 800,000 AXS tokens to early adopters to open up staking capabilities. That way, Axie gave the asset another dimension and an additional way for holders to earn.
Let's take a close look at Axie's gameplay before getting into its tokenomics and how you can earn money with it.
Before we delve into gameplay basics and the various Axie types, you must understand all 6 initial requirements and the key criteria you have to meet before playing.
Axie Infinity currently has almost 200,000 players daily. Each player has to meet 6 conditions.
You must hold an ERC-20 compatible wallet with a nominal amount of Ethereum (ETH) tokens, like Atomic Wallet. The precise ETH amount you need to play varies depending on its real-time market value but to build a team of three Axies, you'll need ETH worth around $1,000 on average.
You also need a Ronin wallet, a layer-2 sidechain wallet purposely created for Axie. It ensures all in-game Axie Infinity transactions are free from the gas fees usually levied through the Ethereum blockchain.
Once you have your wallets, you need to send your ETH holdings directly to your Ronin wallet. You can use a decentralized exchange or your ERC-20 wallet through the secure Ronin Bridge to complete the send.
At this stage, you can purchase the 3 Axies required to create an in-game team. They"re available directly through the Axie Infinity Marketplace.
After creating your in-game team, you'll need to create a secure account on the Axie marketplace. It's a simple process, starting with the relevant icon on the screen's top right-hand corner and following all listed steps.
The final step is to download the game by selecting Play Now from the screen's same top right-hand corner on the homepage. At this stage, you're good to go and can kick-start your Axie gameplay experience!
Once you"ve downloaded the game, it's time to play. Here's an overview of how to play on Axie Infinity.
Axie Infinity's basic gameplay involves raising your virtual Axies or pets team and engaging in battles. From a strategic perspective, it's similar to iconic games, like Pokémon, and turn-based card titles, like Hearthstone.
Since the blockchain powers the game, each Axie is a non-fungible token (NFT). NFTs are unique and non-interchangeable assets, making them scarce and capable of providing a tangible store of value.
You can engage in battles in two ways, Adventure Mode and the Arena. In Adventure Mode, your three-Axie team has the opportunity to battle against enemy monsters while looking to level up and train individual team members. The Arena enables different teams to compete.
The battle involves eliminating the three-Axie team you're facing as you strategically select and play cards to increase your victory chances. What's your reward? You'll climb the global, real-time leaderboard and earn Smooth Love Potions (SLPs). SLPs are integral to the game's rewards-based model since they"re the main resource you farm through the game and use to breed new Axies.
Breeding is another integral part since you can breed and create new offspring to use in battles. You can also sell these pets in the Axie Marketplace to recover the SLP and AXS it cost you. You can breed an Axie up to 7 times.
The game's diverse nature and the Axie ecosystem offer different game-playing incentives. You might want to utilize in-game transactions as your primary income source as it becomes more popular. You also might be after NFTs since owning them offers social benefits within an interactive community.
That said, the game's and Axie project's core vision is to bring people from throughout the world together within a single, digital nation. This sense of union and community underpins its immense popularity in the modern age.
Axies are digital pets that you can train, breed, and even trade with other players. They fall into different classes, with each creature having its unique attributes and traits that determine the precise role they play in battle.
Since you're breeding these pets, you get to combine body parts and attributes which translate into an individual Axie's core statistics and abilities.
These gameplay elements are crucial since your team's composition and the broader traits each creature possesses will impact its performance in battle.
Axies fit neatly into 9 base classes, so we'll break these down to understand how they impact your gameplay experience.
Let's start with the base classes, similar to those found in games like Pokémon. You have 6 base classes in total:
Each type is weak or strong compared to other classes and can damage or shield itself, like the Rock, Paper, Scissors game. The total damage an Axie class imparts equals 15%.
For example, you can use a Bird to attack a Beast, with this known to deal a 15% damage bonus, but a Beast attacking a Bird will do 15% less damage. These calculations have a significant impact on the battle's outcome.
In this respect, base classes can either be attacking or defensive, which is why you need to build a balanced team composition. Aquatic Axies are great backdoor attackers since they combine speed and damage mitigation. Plant Tanks combine healing and damage mitigation elements with energy gain, making them great defenders and beneficial during extended battles.
Axie Infinity also features 3 so-called secret classes, namely Mech, Dawn, and Dusk, which brings your total base classes to 9. You'll have to breed a special combination of pure Axies to create each class. Pure Axies have their six body parts matching their class.
We'll get to body parts in a bit. For now, let's see how to breed these secret classes.
You'll find recipes for creating these secret classes, though none guarantee you'll create one even when following them to the letter. You only have a 33% chance of ending up with a secret class when breeding two base classes.
Dusk: breeding a pure Reptile with a pure Aquatic
Mech: breeding a pure Bug with a pure Beast
Dawn: breeding a pure Plant with a pure Bird
Unique colors and varied stats distinguish these base classes, assigning them unique roles in battle.
Once you have your base pets, you can add body parts that define how these pets engage in battles.
Each Axie has 6 main body parts subdivided across the 9 base classes:
The body part's role is to determine the card or ability an Axie can use in battle, except for the eyes and ears, which don't have a corresponding card. That's why body parts link back to the individual base classes.
Each main body part has sub-parts, with the Horn, Mouth, Back, and Tail having 36 sub-parts each. The Eyes and Ears have varying sub-parts since they don't play a role in battles. The Axies also have six body shapes for aesthetics, but that doesn't affect their performance.
Let's move on to Stats to see how the body parts impact Axies" performance.
Axies have 4 core statistics affecting their role in the battle, with an initial strength for each depending on its base class. Each Axie starts with 140 stats in total.
The statistics are:
Health (HP): That does exactly what it says on the tin. It refers to the exact amount of damage your Axie can sustain before being knocked out.
Morale: An Axie's morale increases its critical strike chance or ability to deliver 100% physical damage to a target. It also determines if you enter the last stand or not. Last stand is your chance to perform a few additional cards before you lose and exit the match. The higher your Morale, the more likely you'll get to enter Last Stand and continue playing.
Skill: That adds damage when your Axie plays multiple cards at once in a combination (or combo) which has a significant impact in battles.
Speed: It determines turn order with quicker Axies able to attack first. If two or more Axies happen to boast identical speed, then the one with the lower HP starts. Some Axies share more than one identical stat, so the following order determines turn–high speed, low HP, high skill, high morale, and low fighter ID.
Can you improve your stats? Here's where your Axies" class and body parts kick in. Classes define which stats you'll get with the associated body part. Each body part adds 4 stats to your Axie, each earning a maximum of 24 additional stats from the six body parts.
As you can see, these additional stat bonuses can provide a significant boost to Axies and
their potential impact in battle. That's why you should keep this in mind before you buy your first three assets.
You start with 4 abilities since each body part offers one ability, with the eyes and ears as exceptions, having zero abilities. Each ability has a card specifying its damage, shield, and cost. In total, you have more than 132 cards in the Axie Infinity Universe, distributed evenly across the six base classes.
You'll use these cards in the battles to damage opponents or defend against attacks. The game gets more complex since you can combine multiple cards to achieve a higher win rate, especially in Arena Mode.
Cards fall into the same distinction as the base classes. That's when it gets exciting since using a card similar to the Axie's class applies a 10% damage bonus, increasing your win prospects. You also can stack these bonuses, so a Beast using a Beast card against a Plant target will achieve 25% additional damage.
Understanding these cards and their various strengths and weaknesses is key, especially if you're to attack and defend in battle and build a balanced team. You have 22 cards per base class, excluding the secret classes.
Check the 6 card categories, including their core strengths and weaknesses:
You have 22 Aqua cards in total. You gain the upper hand when using them with Bug, Beast, and Mech, but they"re much weaker when pitted against Plant, Dusk, and Reptile classes. Overall, they tend to give you increased speed and health.
You'll find 22 Beast cards in play, each offering an advantage against Reptile, Dusk, and Plant classes. That said, they"re weak against Aqua, Dawn, and Bird classes, despite offering enhanced critical strike and damage potential.
The 22 Plant cards are advantageous against Bird, Dawn, and Aqua alternatives, but they"re noticeably weak against Bug, Mech, and Beast classes. These cards offer more HP and defense.
Each bird card holds a core advantage against Bug, Mech, and Beast classes but weakens when opposing Plant, Dusk, and Reptile alternatives. These 22 cards are famous for their enhanced speed and morale.
Bug cards hold an advantage against Plant, Dusk, and Reptile classes but are weak in a battle against Aqua, Dawn, and Bird. They increase your Axies" HP and Morale.
Reptile cards are advantageous against Aqua, Dawn, and Bird. These cards are weak against Beast, Mech, and Bug while providing higher HP.
Ever felt tired playing games all day? Maybe not, you turbo-charged gamer!
That said, Axies get tired from all the battles and Arena competitions, and you spend 1 energy point for every game you play. These refresh over time, but how many energy points you regain depends on how many Axies you own. You start your day with 20 energy points to spend.
For example, if you own more than 20 Axies, you'll accrue 5 energy points every two hours or 60 per day. It'll take you longer to earn 5 energy points if you own either 3 to 9 or 10 to 19 Axies, between three and six hours, respectively.
Now that you know how to play the game, let's get to the important part, earning money.
Getting paid to play is a gamer's dream. That said, you must understand how you can earn money through Axie Infinity. That's, after all, central to the game's premise and popularity. First, let's check how much money you can make playing the game.
Your remuneration revolves around earning Smooth Love Potions (SLP) tokens. You earn SLP as you complete daily tasks and can maximize your earnings as you improve your team's line-up, improve your play skills, and spend your energy in the Arena.
Realistically, how much you earn correlates to how long you play the game. That has much to do with experienced practitioners, their advanced understanding of game mechanics, and which adventure levels offer the most generous rewards.
Axies also play a role in your earnings since more Axies result in higher in-game energy levels. That allows you to earn more SLP tokens in adventure mode as you level up.
That's all good, but how much in dollar terms will you earn? Various studies suggest the average player earns between 150 and 200 SLP tokens per day, meaning a cumulative, real-time market value of around $27 in the current marketplace. As you gain experience and increase your arena win rate, you can earn up to 600 SLP per day at an equivalent value of $80 a day.
Once you earn your SLPs, you can sync them to your wallet and claim them every two weeks. Decentralized exchanges also help you swap your SLPs for Ethereum.
In theory, you have no finite limits on how much you can earn in the Axie realm. Some of Infinity's most seasoned and successful players rely on the Axies as their primary income source!
The question that remains, of course, is how you can earn revenue through SLPs? Here's a breakdown of the SLP token's 3 income streams:
In Adventure Mode, your Axies will battle Lunacian monsters and earn up to 50 SLP per day on average, down from 100 previously.
SLP rewards in Adventure Mode vary and scale depending on the level's difficulty, with up to 36 levels available in total. Here's a breakdown of the rewards you can expect within these levels:
Levels 1-4: 1 SLP Token
Levels 5-9: 2 SLP Tokens
Levels 10-14: 4 SLP Tokens
Levels 15-16: 6 SLP Tokens
Levels 17-20: 6-10 SLP Tokens
Levels 21-36: 10-20 SLP Tokens
If you manage to defeat the two Axie Infinity bosses at Level 21 and 36, you'll earn the maximum reward, ranging between 200 and 300 SLP tokens. You can only claim these rewards once, and they"re equal to $40, according to current market value.
Make no mistake; Arena Mode is arguably the single most lucrative way to earn SLP through standard gameplay. Though, as you can imagine, it's also the most challenging since you're competing directly with rival players. You earn up to 12 SLP tokens per triumph, as long as your Matchmaking Rating (MMR) is higher than 2200. MMR determines your in-game skill level and standardizes comparison with other players on the leaderboard.
The more Arena games you play, the more SLPs you earn. That circles back to how many energy points you have.
In theory, for example, if you spend 60 energy points on 60 matches at the highest gameplay level, you can earn up to 720 SLP in one day or close to $100 in real money!
Lastly, we'll come to Axie Infinity's Daily Quests, which reward you with 25 SLP tokens once you complete them.
Interestingly, the daily quests available in Axie Infinity don't change. They reset and reboot at midnight every day. The daily quests include these 3 actions:
These test your daily commitment but represent an excellent and relatively straightforward way to earn SPL tokens as you engage in regular gameplay that can unlock additional rewards!
When you hear the word breed, you might directly think, pug, german shepherd, or terrier. In Lunacia, Axies have distinct numbers since each is unique. Where do new Axies come from? Just like real-world pets and creatures, you can breed Axies to create brand-new offspring to use in battle, drive future breeding, or sell them directly in the Axie economy.
The latter can raise significant sums in direct sales. That said, breeding isn't a cheap process.
Every time you breed Axies you pay an AXS, but you also have to pay SLPs. The total SLP tokens you need varies depending on how many times you"ve bred the parent Axies. Refer to the table below for details:
This process becomes increasingly expensive over time, and it's up to you to decide if it's viable based on your potential returns and how you intend to use your new Axies.
Once you breed new Axies, you're able to sell them for a fixed price or at an Axie Infinity marketplace auction. Simply enter your inventory and click on the asset you want to sell.
Lunacia's grid is divided into plots that Axie Infinity plans to sell. Axie offered 25% of Lunacia's plots for sale in its first land sale. According to Axie Infinity, plots will record a minimum 10% rise in prices in future sales.
Lands are subdivided into 4 categories depicting rarity, savannah, forest, arctic, and mystic. The highlight is in the game's center, called Genesis Land, which is extremely rare.
What if you don't have enough money to buy land or play Axie Infinity?
The scholarship program helps you play and earn even if you don't have enough money to start playing. The community created this mechanism to allow players to enter. That enables a scholarship manager to lend you 3 Axies.
Once you start playing and earning SLPs, you'll split your gains based on a pre-determined ratio. The manager usually gets 40% while you get 60%. That said, scholarships are in high demand, which gives managers bargaining power to claim as much as 60% SLPs.
Now that you"ve downloaded the game and know how to play and earn money. Let's start buying your first Axies. You can browse the Axie Infinity Marketplace to buy your first 3, paying attention to the asset category, the filter panel, and the listings.
The filter panel is important since you can filter your listing to display the Axies you have in mind and the Axie criteria you"ve set. The panel includes three categories, base class, body parts, and statistics. That way, you create an ideally balanced team with the necessary skills to optimize your chances of success.
Once you"ve found your team, you'll need to buy them using your hard-earned crypto holdings. Each purchase will set you back anywhere between 0.035 ETH ($130) and ETH ($1.1 million). Jaw-dropping as it might be, the most expensive Axie ever sold in late 2020 cost $1.1 million worth of ETH. Back to reality, most purchases are considerably lower than this!
Once you have the three Axies, you can start playing on the native apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS.
When downloading an iOS app onto your iPhone, though, you'll have to request a formal invitation here.
At face value, Axie Infinity seems like the ideal game and one that can combine fun and a sense of community with a rewarding and diverse pay-to-earn model.
It's not all peachy and rosy, though, as the game isn't free to access or play. Paying real cash also creates inherent risks if you're participating over an extended period.
You also face the broad cryptocurrency risk since you use cryptocurrency to pay for your Axies and earn AXS. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and just taking a look at their performance over the past 12 months proves it. Though most assets have appreciated, the market has endured several bull and bear runs, underpinning huge price fluctuations.
If the market crashes and you're holding ETH before or while playing Axie Infinity, this can quickly depreciate. The value of AXS tokens can also decline accordingly but, AXS share drops will have a lesser impact due to the asset's lower value.
As with any crypto endeavor, you should only spend or commit money to Axie Infinity that you can afford to lose. We also recommend starting small and scaling your efforts in line with success and experience over time.
Axie may reach between $500 and $700 in 2025 as some experts expect. This seems an enticing prospect, though you might debate if this project will be able to continue growing in its current form. If Axie can sustain a new content release, it could be a very lucrative investment. The question becomes how can Axie pull this off?
Axie needs software developers to expand the ecosystem. Yet retaining developers could be a change due to many competing crypto projects in the space. At present, many Ethereum and other layer-1 developers are moving to Solana. That's due to its ecosystem to cultivate and implement decentralized apps (dApps). As dApps and commerce grow, so do the user base and investors.
The better the benefits and access to a user base the more desirable a project is. This project may stall and the token price crash without developers. That said, the Axie team could keep users through sustained growth and gain their own developers who are game-orientated.
One key note is that the game's industry has grown over the past decade thanks to University courses and better-defined business workflows. These software developers may decide to onboard with Axie due to the crossover between conventional games and play-to-earn blockchain games. This could create new or expansive content, but only time will tell!
That's our comprehensive guide to Axie Infinity, its gameplay, and the unique play-to-earn model that underpins the platform and the broader user experience!
It doesn't take two to note this unique blockchain project's blazing trail. Other game studios might follow in the crypto space as Axie Infinity gains traction as a viable metaverse where people can interact, enjoy themselves, procure land, and even generate a viable income source.
Of course, you can't neglect the risks associated with getting involved, and you'll need to understand the blockchain gaming space before committing. That said, it's an exciting entity and one that we'll watch with interest in the months ahead.
You'll have to think long and hard and consider Axie Infinity's cost implications before making a financial commitment. You'll also want to keep your eyes on real-time and future market trends.
Axie Infinity is essentially a blockchain and NFT-inspired game built on the Ethereum network. The game adopts a play-to-earn model where you accrue tokens and redeem them for real money. From a visual and gameplay perspective, it borrows heavily from Pokémon.
You have multiple ways to earn money while playing Axie Infinity. They mostly revolve around Adventure and Arena gameplay and winning SLP tokens. You can swap SLP tokens for ETH or sell them through decentralized exchanges. An alternative money-making aspect is breeding new Axies. At a cost, you can breed new pets and sell these through the marketplace.
Yes! You'll need to spend an initial sum, averaging $1,000, to buy three Axies and build your team; that's a sizable sum! Certain types of gameplay such as breeding can also cost you a predetermined amount of SLP tokens.
As the guide dictates, you'll initially need an ERC-20 compatible wallet with the requisite ETH tokens to buy your Axies. You'll also need to download the appropriate wallet to suit your chosen device. We recommend familiarizing yourself with the marketplace.
People often confuse AXS with SLP tokens. Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) effectively serve as the game's governance token. That means, if you hold AXS you get to have a say in how the metaverse develops. You also use them to make in-game purchases, or you can stake them to reinforce the blockchain's security and potentially earn money. You must understand the distinction between the two since SLPs have a more critical role in gameplay versus governance.
Discover what Axie Infinity is all about from their official website.
Explore Axie Infinity's Ronin blockchain.
Subscribe to Axie Infinity's official newsletter through this link: The Lunacian.
Follow @AxieInfinity on Twitter, for its latest updates.
Interact with other players on an Axie Infinity Discord server.
Discuss Axie Infinity and its metaverse with other Lunacia members on r/AxieInfinity/.
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