What is Axie Infinity and Should You Play?
You’re probably already aware of cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin or the Shiba Inu coin, as well as NFTs. But have you heard of earning while playing an NFT game? This is made possible with Axie Infinity, an adorable breeding/fighting game where users control monsters called ‘Axies’ for Etherium. But what is it? How does it work? How is this a thing? Find out here as we delve deeper into the Axie universe.
Authors Note: The article presented leans to the informative side and not a financial guide. Most information gathered comes from the developer’s whitepaper and roadmaps.
What is Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity is developed by Sky Mavis, a technology-focused game studio founded in early 2018. The whole Axie ordeal is inspired by Pokemon and Tamagotchi games. Axie Infinity is classified as an NFT game that allows individuals to earn currency from playing the game as they breed, raise, battle, and trade Axie creatures in the marketplace.
Axie Infinity’s mission was to function as a fun and educating way to introduce the world to blockchain technology. Many of its developers and team members met from playing Crypto kitties, which then evolved to them working on Axie to introduce the magic of Blockchain technology to players.
All art assets and Axie data can be accessed by 3rd parties, allowing the community developers to build their own tools and experiences to improve the Axie Infinity universe further. The difference between Axie and your traditional game is that Blockchain economic design rewards their players for their contribution to the ecosystem. Meaning that the more you contribute to the Axie Universe, the more rewards to reap.
How does it work?
Axie Infinity runs on blockchain technology. However, instead of mining new blocks on the chain (solving complex math problems that generate an accepted hash), Axie Infinity provides a ‘play-to-earn’ structure. Players can earn by competing in PVP battles, breeding Axies and selling them on the marketplace, or collecting rare Axies. Do note that Smooth Love Potions (SLP) are needed to breed Axies. SLPs, like any other cryptocurrency, is volatile. As of writing, it’s priced at PHP 7.53 each. You can purchase SLPs via Uniswap or Binance.
According to Axie, players can earn a governance token, AXS, representing a real slice of the Axie universe as it has governance rights and fee-sharing built into it. Since players can earn this token by playing, a Ready Player one-type quest emerges where players can actually earn part of the universe. Rewarding players based on effort and skill, and not their wins.
How do I start?
You can find the game on its official Axie Infinity website. However, you don’t just download the game and play right away. It needs accounts and wallets since it involves cryptocurrency. Below’s the step-by-step guide:
1. Download a digital wallet like MetaMask and load it with some ETH. You can acquire ETH from Coinbase, Binance, or LocalCryptos, depending on your country.
2. Download Ronin wallet.
3. Deposit ETH to Ronin using the Ronin bridge.
4. Acquire at least 3 Axies from the Axie market.
5. Login with MetaMask here and set up an email/password
6. Download the application here. Click “Play Now” in the top right.
How to play and earn in Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity is like Pokemon mixed with Hearthstone—the adorable monsters from Pokemon and the turn-based card game from Hearthstone. Meaning, players use cards to “command” what action their Axie will be doing for that turn. Each Axie has four cards which are randomized for every battle, and in order to play those cards, energy must be expended. So if you have 4 energy, you can play any card as long as it fits within your 4 energy capacity. Normally, other games would allow the players to choose which target to attack, but Axie Infinity’s battle system attacks random targets, usually hitting the target closest to that Axie.
You might be wondering, “What happens when I lose/win?”. When you lose in PVP battles, you lose Matchmaking Rating (MMR); if you win, you gain MMR and Smooth Love Potions (SLP). Not to worry though, losing will not result in a decrease of SLP—a relief right? To expound further on this, the amount of SLP gained per win will depend on your MMR. Check the list below to see how much SLP is gained for each phase of MMR.
• Under 800 – No SLP gained
• 800-999 – 1 SLP per win
• 1000-1099 – 3 SLP per win
• 1100-1299 – 7 SLP per win
• 1300-1499 – 8 SLP per win
• 1500-1799 – 9 SLP per win
• 1800-1999 – 10 SLP per win
• 2000-2199 – 11 SLP per win
• 2200+ – 12 SLP per win
Players earn through the game’s SLP which are given through daily quests or PVP matches. You might want to go straight into PVP matches because that’s where SLPs are given more frequently, but it is advised to fully max out your given Axies. Accomplishing daily quests also hands out SLP and EXP for your Axies, so a healthy balance must be given to both the PVP and PVE modes in the game.
It was previously mentioned that 3 Axies are needed to get started; the problem that keeps people from investing in Meta Axies are the prices. The Meta Axies, as of the time of writing, is one Plant Axie that acts as a tank, a Beast Axie for DPS, and a Fish Axie for debuffing. Now if you are worried about spending for this game, there is an ongoing Manager to Scholar structure that people use.
There are longstanding Axie enthusiasts that have hundreds of Axies, usually from the early days of the NFT game when Axies monsters and breeding were cheaper. An individual who owns 20 Axies cannot play them all at once, which is why they lend them to people who will actually use them—or in this case, take care of them.
This is where Managers and Scholars roll in. Managers are individuals who have the means to lend Axies to people, and those people who are lent the Axies are called Scholars. The split between the two is usually 60% for the scholar and 40% for the manager; the scholar earns more from the cut because they are the ones playing the game. As soon as the Scholars and Managers make the cut, it is up to the scholar to either sell it in the market or hoard it until the price rises. It was noted previously that breeding is possible with SLP, but scholars are not able to do this; their job is to complete daily quests, fight in PVP matches and gain SLP.
At the time of writing, there are approximately 140,000 Axies globally. The price starts at USD 1, but the most expensive Axie ever sold went for 300 ETH, which is around USD 1.5 million—cuteness does sell for quite a lot.
History has been made! I've just sold an @AxieInfinity genesis estate for 888.25 ETH (~$1.5M USD). This is the largest digital land sale ever recorded on the blockchain. Congratulations to the new owner – Flying Falcon ? #NFTs pic.twitter.com/AoGydw9Cpv
— DANNY (@seedphrase) February 8, 2021
Should I jump in on the craze?
One of the main reasons why people play this game is the potential to earn. But like any investment, there are risks involved. If you have to ask what ETH is, then you will need some studying. It may still be a game, but since you will be throwing in real money, it would be best to use funds you’re ready to lose.
So there you have it, a rundown as to what the adorable Axies Infinity is. What do you think about this pay-to-earn structure it has going on? Feel free to share your thoughts on this in the comments below.