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What are play-to-earn games, and how to choose the right one for you

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What are play-to-earn games, and how to choose the right one for you

The P2E concept is turning the gaming industry on its head, allowing gaming enthusiasts to combine fun with a purpose. Learn everything you need to know about play-to-earn games from this article.

What are play-to-earn games

P2E helps you make money while playing. It’s not just game developers and distributors making billions of dollars yearly. A new generation of games that leverage blockchain, cryptocurrency, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) enables players to earn money as they play.

How do play-to-earn games work

Play-to-earn (P2E) is the feature of blockchain-based games that reward players with digital assets such as cryptocurrency or NFTs for in-game achievements. These rewards can be stored in digital wallets or traded on online marketplaces for other virtual assets or fiat currency.

Benefits of play-to-earn-games

Play-to-earn games are revolutionizing the gaming industry. In these games, players possess full ownership of the virtual assets they earn, enabling them to convert their in-game achievements into financial rewards anytime. Beyond player benefits, developers also stand to profit through royalties generated from the secondary market transactions of in-game assets. These games operate on principles of decentralization, often employing governance tokens to democratize decision-making processes among players. Blockchain technology ensures transparency and accountability, allowing players to verify the legitimacy of in-game transactions. Moreover, in regions with lower living costs, play-to-earn games provide a viable avenue for individuals to supplement their income.

Challenges and criticisms

In the realm of play-to-earn gaming, challenges abound. Players face hurdles from the unpredictable nature of cryptocurrency prices to high initial investment requirements. Additionally, navigating scams, tax implications, and interoperability issues between blockchain networks adds complexity.

P2E games are based on skill and understanding. For this reason, you need to be careful and pick your games with consideration. Additionally, not all games are created equal. Some developers put their hearts and souls into their projects, while others are nothing more than cheap ripoffs of more popular games.

Which games to play to earn money?

According to DappRadar, the top 5 most popular play-to-earn games in June 2024 are:

  • Crypto Unicorns. Crypto Unicorns offers players a chance to earn CU tokens through its play-to-airdrop campaign, running on the XAI Games Layer-3 network atop the Arbitrum Layer-2 network and Ethereum.
  • Pirate Nation. Pirate Nation, a pirate strategy adventure game, allows players to conquer and plunder to earn BOOTY tokens on the blockchain, leveraging Proof Of Play and the Arbitrum ecosystem.
  • Illuvium. Illuvium, a monster-catching adventure RPG, invites players to compete for rewards in its open beta testnet, with 20,000 ILV tokens up for grabs throughout June.
  • Boomland. Boomland hosts a major play-to-airdrop campaign for its BOOM token, featuring 250 million BOOM tokens up for grabs for active participants, alongside its flagship game Hunters On-Chain and upcoming titles like Archery Club.
  • Nifty Island. Nifty Island presents Season 2 of its play-to-airdrop campaign, offering players the opportunity to earn ISLAND tokens through quests, community creations, referral campaigns, and user-generated content like weapons in a new time trial mode.

How to get started with play-to-earn games

Here, we will provide you with a few pointers on selecting the most suitable P2E games to ensure an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Choosing the right P2E games

Here are the key considerations that will help you pick the suitable P2E game for yourself:

Identify your interest

Your interest should be an essential thing to consider when picking your perfect P2E game. Some people love massive multiplayer role-playing games (MMRPG). Others prefer puzzles and party games, while others may want sports simulators. Make sure to pick a genre that tickles your fancy.

Confirm your budget 

Once you have identified the type of game you are interested in, you need to figure out how much you are willing to spend on the game.

Most P2Es need an initial investment of some kind. You would be required to acquire the game’s native cryptocurrency or an NFT. For instance, to play Silks, a P2E game based on real-world horse racing, you will need to acquire a Silk Genesis Avatar NFT, most of which are priced at around $400 apiece. Do you have this budget?

Other games do not require an initial purchase to play. However, you will eventually be required to pay to access premium play-to-earn assets or features. An excellent example of these “free-to-play-to-earn” games is God’s Unchained. The game requires no purchases to be made but instead gifts you a free set of cards with which, if you are skillful and lucky enough, you can make money off the game with zero starting cost.

Check the number of games within your budget and interest

After identifying the genre you are interested in and deciding how much you are willing to spend, the next step is to check out how many P2E games fall within those parameters.

You may find that there are very few games within your budget or that there are a plethora of titles in your favorite genres.

A wider variety of games means a greater chance of finding the right fit for you, while a smaller selection means that you could end up playing a game you did not want.

Make a small list of games you might find interesting from the choices available.

Find out what others are saying about the game 

Upon making your shortlist, do a little research. Go to the games’ official websites; read their whitepapers and roadmaps; and learn about the people behind the projects. Most importantly, go to social media platforms and key in the names of the games on your list. See what people are saying about them.

Good P2E games often have great online community support, while bad games are rightly vilified. However, be careful; some P2E projects might use bots to drive up positive engagement on their social media.

Pick the games with the most positive and organic reputations from your initial list.

How accessible is the game?

Another consideration you will have to make when picking the right P2E game is accessibility. Some games are only available on the PC, while others are made specifically for mobile devices.

In the same way, some people prefer playing games on their phones, while others prefer playing on their computers. Your game choice will ultimately depend on the device you are most comfortable playing on.

Also, while some games may be available on both PC and mobile, one version may be clunkier or offer fewer features. All these must be considered.

Consider the difficulty of gameplay

Some P2E games are simple, while others are unnecessarily complex. To find the right game for you, you must consider how easy or difficult it is.

Many P2E platforms either have a playable demo you can try for free or a detailed guide on how to play the game. Use them to ascertain how well you can play the game. Remember, the better you can play, the more you stand to earn.

Remember what you want to get out of the game

Each game offers unique benefits. Most P2E games award in-game cryptocurrency and NFTs, which can be traded or sold on exchange markets or to other players. Other games also allow players to earn big-name cryptos, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Some games require you to complete simple tasks and activities to earn NFTs, while others necessitate a substantial financial commitment. Therefore, before signing up for a P2E platform, you must understand how to earn gameplay rewards. Also, know how long it takes and what you must do to earn them.

How easy is it to convert your in-game rewards into fiat?

Last but not least, even though many P2E games are built on well-known blockchains like Ethereum and Polygon, the procedure for converting in-game rewards into hard cash might not be straightforward.

Also, it may take some time to sell NFTs, and the value of in-game tokens may be prone to volatility.

Do your homework to find out how quickly you can turn your in-game crypto into fiat before you commit your time to play a game. Learning how to convert in-game digital assets can be useful in determining whether a game is a good fit for your objectives.

The future of play-to-earn games

As more people get the hang of cryptos and blockchain tech, it’s no surprise that P2E games are gaining serious traction. These games offer users a shot at real rewards while they’re playing. Sure, there are some hurdles to deal with, like figuring out all the rules and keeping everything safe and secure. But with ongoing improvements and adjustments, play-to-earn games could totally shake up the gaming world, opening up fresh ways for players to earn some cash no matter where they are in the world.

FAQs

Are play-to-earn games legit?

Yes, play-to-earn games are for real. Several games pay people to play them, and the number is growing daily with the introduction of blockchain technology in the industry. However, these games aren’t quite popular in the gaming world, as gamers believe that those who earn the largest sums in the industry spend quite the amount themselves. 

What are play-to-earn games?

A play-to-earn game is where players earn money by performing actions in the game instead of winning or losing money for real. Players often refer to these types of games as “gambling” games because they use gambling mechanics such as wagering points, jackpots, and other similar mechanisms. These games are popular among millennials who grew up during the Internet boom when people were familiar with gambling sites.

Which is the most popular P2E game?

Among the biggest trends in the P2E game niche in 2024 include Crypto Unicorns, Pirate Nation, Illuvium, Boomland, Nifty Island, and more.

Are P2E games profitable?

According to recent reports, players in the P2E gaming world have a slightly less than 50% winning rate, with a possibility to earn about $5 per hour. Top NFT gamers can make about $600 per week, while amateur gamers can earn an average of $50 at a given time.

Are there any free P2E games?

Yes, some play-to-earn games are free to play, and you can earn money from them. However, several gamers complain that it is quite a mountain to climb for you to achieve anything without spending money, which they believe boosts their chances.