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Axie Infinity guide: How to play and earn

Battle, breed and collect Axies in a blockchain game where playing can earn you money.

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Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based computer game taking the nonfungible token (NFT) sector by storm. Launched in 2018 on the Ethereum blockchain, Axie Infinity is a Pokemon-inspired role-playing game (RPG) where players can battle, collect and breed pet-like creatures called "Axies."

In this guide, we look at what an Axie is, how the Axie Infinity ecosystem works, how you can earn money and how to get started.

Highlights:
  • Top crypto game
  • Built on Ethereum
  • Played on PC
  • Simple to start
  • Earning requires investment
  • Battling and breeding
  • Android and iOS apps planned

What is Axie Infinity?

Axie Infinity is a hit for its gameplay alone, and its interaction with blockchain technology marks its innovative growth. The team at Sky Mavis, the company behind Axie Infinity, utilizes the blockchain to develop an economic design where players are rewarded for gameplay. This is more commonly referred to by the Axie Team as "play-to-earn."

With a vision where work and play become one, the game has captured fans globally. Many early players amassed substantial sums through gaming rewards. According to Axie Infinity documents, the game has generated over $1.3 billion of revenue and is one of the top crypto games.

Axiebattle

The little characters, Axies, are oval-shaped pet-like creatures that can be customized and trained based on a player's preferences. Each Axie is unique and is represented by a nonfungible token (NFT). Axies are used to battle monsters in the Axie Infinity Adventure Mode or battle other players in the game's Arena. By battling Axies a player can earn in-game rewards that can be exchanged for real-world value.

To participate in the game's play-to-earn mechanisms, players are required to purchase three official NFT Axies - either from the native Axie Infinity Marketplace or from secondary marketplaces such as OpenSea. These three Axies make up a player's team within the game.

As part of the Axie Infinity Origin update, players are gifted three free starter Axies to enjoy adventure mode and player-vs-player battles. While you can't earn rewards with starter Axies, players can enjoy the game without an initial investment. This update lowers the barrier to entry for players worldwide.

Playing Axie Infinity

To begin playing Axie Infinity, players need access to a Web 3.0 digital wallet, such as MetaMask. This cryptocurrency wallet is used to create an Axie Infinity account and can be used when withdrawing rewards from the game. The steps outlined here are for the desktop version of the game, but the steps are mirrored for the mobile version:

Step 1. MetaMask wallet. Download the MetaMask cryptocurrency wallet and deposit Ether (ETH) into it. Ether is the cryptocurrency associated with the Ethereum blockchain and is required for purchasing Axies. For more details on MetaMask check out our in-depth guide here. walletStep 2. Create an Axie Infinity account. Head over to the Axie Marketplace page and click Login. Then select Login with MetaMask. Follow the prompts within your MetaMask wallet. Once the prompts are followed, your Axie Infinity account is set up. Back within the website, you will be prompted to provide a username. Choose a username personal to you.

In the following dashboard, enter a corresponding email and create a password.

dashboardStep 3. Ronin wallet. The Ronin wallet was developed by Sky Mavis for interaction with the Axie Infinity game via the Ronin sidechain. The Ronin sidechain was built specifically for blockchain games and means players can avoid the often expensive transaction fees associated with the Ethereum blockchain. Like MetaMask, the Ronin wallet is a browser extension. Download the Ronin wallet here.

Once downloaded and installed, connect the wallet to your Axie Infinity account through the dashboard.

RoninStep 4. Ronin Bridge. Transfer ETH from your MetaMask wallet to your Ronin wallet using the Ronin Bridge platform.

Note. ETH can also be purchased directly from your Ronin wallet using the Ramp Network (this is not available in all countries).

SkymavisStep 5. Buy Axie NFTs. Once you have deposited Ethereum into your Ronin wallet you can head over to the Axie Marketplace. This is the dashboard where ETH can be exchanged for Axie NFTs. Log in to the platform with your Ronin wallet. Choose your Axies and purchase them using ETH. Once purchased, you'll receive an NFT which represents ownership. The cost of each Axie depends on the value of ETH at the time of purchase. HowtobuyStep 6. Download Axie Infinity desktop application. Visit the Axie Infinity homepage and click on Play Now in the top right of the screen. Download and install the application. Step 7. Enter account details. Once the Axie Infinity gaming application is installed, you'll be asked to enter the details of your Axie Infinity account that you created earlier. Your purchased Axies should automatically appear within the game. You and your Axies are now ready to explore the Axie Infinity universe!

Axie Infinity combat

The Axie Infinity battle system works on a turn-based card game. Each Axie move is associated with a card, which requires an allotted amount of energy to play. Once energy levels are exhausted, players need to wait for their Axie to recharge before using that move again.

Each Axie class has strengths and weaknesses that come into play when battling. A player must decide which Axie, and which move, is best suited for an opponent. Each card played holds either an attack or defensive value.

However, because of the Axie Infinity: Origins update, all players now choose moves sequentially. Axie attacks are immediately executed as soon as a card is played. In addition to adding sequential moves, critical hits were replaced for Axie "rage." As battles ensue, each Axie collects "rage" points, which are accumulated and then used against opponent Axies at the optimum moment.

What is Axie Infinity's token?

Axie Infinity uses two tokens: AXS and SLP.

Axie Infinity Shards, or AXS, are the native governance tokens for the Axie Infinity platform. Introduced in November 2020, they allow each token holder to vote on decisions such as the development of the platform or distribution of funds. Axie Infinity is geared to become a fully decentralized organization that is governed by only players of the game.

The AXS token is also crucial for the Community Treasury. The Community Treasury collects 100% of transaction fees that take place on the platform. By staking AXS tokens and supporting the ecosystem, AXS token holders can earn a share of the transaction fees collected. It incentivizes community support and further grows the Axie Infinity ecosystem.

Smooth Love Potions, or SLP, are in-game rewards collected by players simply for completing challenges or battles. This makes it the easiest way to earn money through the game. Once enough SLPs are accrued they can be sold for real-world dollar value. SLP is also used for breeding new Axies.

Both SLP and AXS are ERC-20 (Ethereum-based) tokens, which enables them to be freely traded and exchanged across the Ethereum blockchain. However, while SLPs have an unlimited supply that constantly fluctuates depending on the number of players, the circulating supply of AXS is capped at 270 million.

How to buy Axie Infinity tokens

According to the Axie website, AXS be earned in-game, however, true play-to-earn potential is not yet widely available. It can be purchased on crypto exchanges, such as Cryto.com and Gemini. For a more detailed explanation on buying this token, read our guide on how to buy AXS.

SLP is awarded for playing the game. However, you can also purchase SLP on multiple crypto exchanges — check out our guide on how to buy SLP for step-by-step instructions.

Unfortunately, at this time no major exchanges in the US offer this coin. However, you may be able to purchase it with another cryptocurrency, just be sure you're following all legal restrictions and requirements.

Consider buying a different cryptocurrency after comparing popular exchanges.

How does play-to-earn work with Axie Infinity?

Within the Axie Infinity universe, there are two primary ways that players can earn money. The first is by playing the game and earning Smooth Love Potions, or SLPs. The second is by breeding and selling Axies.

SLP can be earned these ways:

  • Adventure Mode. Players are rewarded with SLPs by battling monsters in adventure mode. Axies also gain experience points (EXP) required to level up. An Axie's level determines how many SLPs are won at the end of each battle. A maximum of 100 SLPs can be earned in Adventure mode each day.
  • Arena. The Arena is a multi-player platform where players can battle each other. SLPs are earned by beating an opponent. Each player must increase their matchmaking ranking (MMR) to earn more SLPs for each victory. Players can earn an unlimited number of SLPs in Arena mode.
  • Daily Quests. These are challenges built into the platform that incentivize players to continue playing the game. They include winning a set number of battles per day or logging on to the game once per day for a set period.

Breeding Axies

Breeding and subsequently selling Axies is one of the primary ways to earn within the game.

By breeding two Axies a baby Axie is created. Each time an Axie is used for breeding, a set number of SLPs are required. These SLPs are burned when used. The amount of SLPs required increases with the number of times a parent Axie has been used for breeding. An Axie can breed a maximum of seven times.

Each new Axie produced is given a brand new set of stats and abilities. This can make them valuable collectibles. New Axies can remain within a player's team or can be sold to other players.

Note: SLPs can only be withdrawn from the platform after 14 days. This mitigates bot-like behavior and deters other malicious activity.

What are the Axie Infinity NFTs?

NFTs are Ethereum-based digital tokens that prove ownership of unique collectibles. NFTs are used to prove ownership of a range of different assets including digital art, music and gaming accessories, such as Axies.

Unlike fiat currency or cryptocurrencies, NFTs are unexchangeable as no two tokens represent the same asset. Each asset has an independent value and, therefore, cannot be traded directly. The ownership of Axie NFTs is tracked by the Ethereum blockchain.

Axie classes

Not all Axies are created equal. Each Axie belongs to one of nine classes: Dusk, Beast, Bug, Mech, Aqua, Reptile, Plant, Bird, and Dawn. Each class includes specific strengths and weaknesses, similar to Pokemon categories. Some classes are more or less effective against others, so players should be choosy when putting together an Axie team.

Axie body parts

Axies have six customizable body parts including eyes, ears, horns, mouth, back and tail. Each body part is associated with a specific class, which means bonus abilities are granted by integrating certain body parts with specific classes. That being said, any combination of body parts can be attached to any class. This allows for a vast range of configurations and ensures that all Axies are unique.

Axie stats

An Axie's strength, effectiveness and wellbeing are measured by its Axie stats. Stats are dependent on the class and body parts chosen by a player. The stats are composed of four readings:

  • Health. This represents hit points (HP), which determine the amount of damage that an Axie can take before it is knocked out.
  • Skill. The higher the skill level the more damage that an Axie can inflict on an opponent. This is amplified by combo moves.
  • Speed. The speed of an Axie determines how often it can attack opponents. The quicker an Axie is, the more likely an Axie will launch the first attack.
  • Morale. The level of morale determines how likely an Axie is to land a critical hit against an opponent. When in a critical condition themselves, it also determines how many "last chance" moves are granted.

Axie abilities

All Axies have four abilities. These are moves that an Axie can perform in a battle. Each move is represented by a card. The four abilities are determined by the combination of class and body parts that a player chooses.

Abilities range from attacking moves, which damage an opponent, to defensive moves, which help with recovery or evasion. Although there were originally only 132 cards (moves) in the game, developers continually add new abilities to increase the variety of Axie Infinity gameplay.

Axie Power-Ups

Axie power-ups, better known as runes and charms, provide Axies with enhanced abilities within the game. Runes provide Axies with passive powers, while charms are digital wearables that amplify an Axie's strengths and abilities.

Runes and charms must be purchased with Moonshards, which are earned from winning battles within the game. These in-game accessories are composed of both NFT-based and non-NFT-based versions. While non-NFT runes and charms only require Moonshards, NFT-based runes and charms also require SLP tokens.

Rune and charms are updated for every season of the Axie Infinity game and, therefore, must be continuously collected by players.

How to buy Axie Infinity NFTs

You can either purchase Axies directly from Axie Infinity or purchase them on secondary marketplaces.

To buy Axies directly, you need to have a Ronin wallet and some ETH. Follow these steps to buy Axies:

  1. Go to the market. Head to AxieInfinity.com and select Marketplace from the main navigation bar. Once the marketplace loads, select Login on the bottom left and connect your Ronin wallet.
  2. Sort through the listings. You can sort listings by class, body parts, breed count, purity and more.
  3. Select and buy. Select the Axie you want to buy, and if you're happy with the price and stats, select the Buy now button on the top-right. Confirm the transaction.

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How to sell Axie Infinity NFTs

To sell your Axie Infinity NFTs, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your Ronin wallet. Head to the Axie Infinity marketplace by selecting Marketplace on the Axie site. Select Login on the bottom left to connect your Ronin wallet.
  2. Inventory. Select Inventory to view your owned Axies, then select the Axie you want to sell.
  3. Choose sale method. You can sell your Axie with a fixed price or at an auction. Auctions have a start price and end price, either increasing or decreasing over time, and you can set the duration of the auction.
  4. Confirm listing. Once you're happy with the listing, select Confirm.

Few notes: You can cancel your listing at any time, and Axie Infinity takes a 4.25% fee from sellers. This fee goes toward the Axie Community Treasury.

About Axie Infinity developers

Axie Infinity was created by Vietnamese developer Sky Mavis, and the game was launched in 2018.

According to Sky Maxis' site, the developer believes that "fun, beautiful games will become a source of income for anyone, anywhere."

The game made headlines for becoming the number one blockchain game in May 2021, and peaked in November 2021.

Trung Nguyen is the co-founder and current CEO. If you visit Sky Mavis' site, you can view the primary team, see their faces, and be redirected to their LinkedIn profiles. It's usually a good sign to have a transparent developer, and given that Axie Infinity is regarded as one of the top crypto games of all time, it's nice to see some real faces behind the phenomenon.

Axie Infinity roadmap

Axie Infinity has been out for a few years, but there are still some updates in the works for 2022, including:

  • AXS ecosystem
  • Release of Andriod and iOS app
  • Land gameplay
  • Lunacia SDK Alpha (metaverse)

The official roadmap states that Axie's endgame is to create a single application for players to interact with the whole ecosystem and features, including a social network, PvP, metaverse land gameplay and more.

Bottom line

Axie Infinity is an innovative game that captures the best features from RPG classics and combines them with a blockchain-based economic ecosystem. The possibility of playing to earn captures many adoring fans. Not only can the game prove lucrative, but it is also a useful educational tool for those new to NFTs and blockchain technology.

The supply and demand for the game's utility token, SLP, is both neat and inventive. With the recent development of the accompanying AXS governance token and the constant move towards decentralization, this is an exciting gaming platform that holds plenty of potential for the future.

Interested in cryptocurrency? Learn more about the basics with our beginner's guide to Bitcoin, dive deeper by learning about Ethereum and see what blockchain can do with our simple guide to DeFi.

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