What are play-to-earn NFT games?

Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that has applications in many industries including the gaming industry. By integrating blockchain-based NFTs into the traditional gaming industry, a new space called GameFi has emerged. Gaming enthusiasts can generate income by monetizing their game time and skills apart from playing for entertainment. By combining finance and gaming, NFT-based games are becoming popular as a source of income. 

According to Statista, Alien Worlds, Axie Infinity, and Splinterlands are the top 3 NFT games having a large user base as of October 2021 and most games witnessed a growth in their user base. Axie Infinity has become the national topic in the Philippines during the pandemic as most of the players have earned a living by playing the game. The players can not only control the in-game assets but also sell or trade them to make profits. 

What are play-to-earn NFT games?

Play-to-earn NFT games give users the opportunity to generate an income through participating and winning the game. Mostly, players earn rewards in the form of tokens and occasionally they get NFTs. Tokens are earned easily and steadily through playing whereas NFTs are chance-based. Play-to-earn games have become more popular in low-income developing countries as an alternative source of income. As the name suggests, play-to-earn games allow users to earn income by playing the NFT game. 

How do play-to-earn NFT games work?

An NFT game includes blockchain technology in its rules, game mechanisms, and player interactions. For instance, a game can represent a unique character or avatar, digital items, rewards as an NFT. Developers create smart contracts to make up the rules for creating, trading, and implementing NFTs in the games. Players can earn rewards in the form of tokens and NFTs which will help them make profits by selling. 

Top play-to-earn NFT games 

A majority of NFT games are built on Binance Smart Chain and Ethereum networks. While some games provide a traditional gaming experience, other games mainly focus on the collectibility of NFTs. Some of the top play-to-earn NFT games are discussed below. 

Axie Infinity 

Axie Infinity is a popular NFT game that is similar to Pokeman with collectible creatures and battles. It is hailed as the ideal model for all the play-to-earn NFT games that are built on the Ethereum network. Players breed, collect, battle, and raise animals that are known as “Axies”. Each Axie is an NFT with different strengths and attributes. 

To start playing the game, users need to purchase a minimum of 3 Axies. Players can earn SLP (Smooth Love Potion) tokens by raising, breeding, and battling Axies. Axie Infinity provides users a potential income by allowing them to trade SLP tokens and AXS (Axie Infinity Shards) tokens on open marketplaces. 

Gods Unchained 

Gods Unchained is an Ethereum-based online strategy trading card game built on the play-to-earn model. This game works similar to “Magic: The Gathering Arena” and “Hearthstone”. The game describes itself as a trading card game that “pays to play”. The native tokens are known as GODS that can be used for payments throughout the game. 

The trading cards used in the game are NFTs having real-world value based on the GODS token. As the players win, they can find in-game assets to use inside the game or to earn by selling them. If players win ranked games, the game allows players to earn Flux that is used to craft powerful NFT cards. Players can reinvest them or sell them to earn profits. 

Crypto Blades 

Crypto Blades NFT-crafting game runs on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). The platform allows players to engage in battle and earn rewards in the form of SKILL tokens. Players use strong weapons to combat their opponents and earn SKILL tokens. If they earn more SKILL tokens, their weapons become more powerful. 

SKILL tokens can be sold, gambled, or used to create weapons with different powers, mint characters which will help players to level up in the game. As the game is built on BSC, users need to have a certain quantity of BNB coins to pay the transaction fees. 


Sorare is a blockchain-based fantasy soccer game that will reward the participants for setting up the team, taking part in virtual tournaments, and trading virtual collectible cards. It is a virtual football game with collectible and tradeable soccer players from real life. Users can start playing by using either free cards for beginner players or purchasing tokenized cards. 

The player’s cards are rare and tokenized on the Ethereum blockchain. They can sell the cards and earn income but the cards offer a fantasy experience of the Sorare game. Players will earn points when they win a game, score a goal, or for completing other events. 


Splinterlands is a collectible card game built on the Hive blockchain where players can trade digital assets to gain in-game rewards. It was previously known as “Steem Monsters” as the players fight against monsters to get in-game rewards. Players can also build their card collection and also participate in skill-based battles with other players. 

When players win ranked battles, they can level up their game. The native token of the game, DEC (Dark Energy Crystals) is given as a reward for the winners of ranked battles. One of the unique features of Splinterlands is it has its own blockchain network which results in more in-game stability and frequent upgrades to the game. 

Even though crypto trading is the popular trend to earn passive income using cryptocurrencies, other methods like lending, staking, yield farming are also proven to be reliable to generate passive income. Meanwhile, NFT games are emerging with full force by allowing players to earn rewards in the form of tokens apart from providing an immersive gaming experience. 


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