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Upland vs. Decentraland

Two metaverses with two very different approaches.

A decentralized metaverse is generally defined as a virtual world that’s player-owned, has its own economy, is built on blockchain technology and uses nonfungible tokens (NFTs). Upland and Decentraland are both decentralized metaverses — a decentralized game is one that’s owned by multiple authorities instead of a large, single centralized authority.

While Upland and Decentraland are both crypto metaverse games, they’re very different. Upland is more of a real estate mogul simulator, while Decentraland focuses on creativity and world-building. They each have different objectives and operate with their own currency on separate blockchains.

Decentraland’s map is entirely fictional. Upland’s in-game map is based on the real world — its parcels are based on cities such as San Francisco, New York City and more. Additionally, Upland’s in-game currency UPX isn’t a true cryptocurrency, while Decentraland’s in-game currency is.

In terms of similarities, there aren’t many, but each metaverse requires some investment to progress.

Upland vs. Decentraland: Snapshot comparison

See how these metaverses compare in marketplace fees, wallet capabilities and more.

UplandDecentraland
Launch year20202017
Plots of land13 US cities and counting. 90,000 parcels
VR capabilities NoNo
Tokens in circulationUPX: 50,000,000,000 maximum supply. MANA: Over 1.8 billion
Crypto wallet requiredYes. Upland’s proprietary wallet.No, but a software wallet required to store digital assets.
Wallets supportedUpland Asset Wallet. Software wallets that can be integrated with browsers. Recommends MetaMask.
Marketplace fees10% community fee: 5% from seller and 5% from buyer2.5% MANA cost in all transactions

Upland breakdown

Upland is a Monopoly-inspired property-trading, play-to-earn game launched in 2020. It was developed by entrepreneurial team members Dirk Lueth, Mani Honigstein and Idan Zuckerman. Upland’s main goal is to buy and sell property that’s mapped to real-world addresses. There are over a dozen US cities and counting, such as Detroit, San Francisco, New York City, Cleveland and Chicago.

Upland is built on the EOS (Electro-Optical System) blockchain. The in-game currency isn’t a true cryptocurrency, called UPX (pronounced “up-ex”). It’s what’s used to buy and mint new properties. Players can buy UPX with USD in the game, the exchange rate set at 1:1000, so buying 1000 UPX costs approximately $1 US dollar.

Spark is another Upland currency used to develop 3D structures on owned properties. The amount of Spark used to build something determines how fast it’s built. Players will soon be able to create their own in-game businesses such as arcades, art galleries, storefronts and more.

UPX and Spark can’t be used outside of Upland, which is a bit of a bummer. Decentraland’s native currency MANA can be traded and staked outside of the game. While you can’t exchange UPX for USD, advanced players with a high Upland status can sell their owned properties for USD, which is the primary way to earn in the game. Players achieve a higher status by collecting properties and hitting a specific net worth.

Upland’s avatars are called Block Explorers and allow for customization, but you’re not viewing the game first-person — it’s an overhead view of a map and your Block Explorer roams the world randomly. Decentraland lets you customize your avatar with NFT wearables such as hats, shirts, etc., and it resembles an actual human that you can control and use to explore the world. In terms of immersive experiences, Decentraland takes the win.

Upland gives players less freedom than Decentraland to customize their gameplay, but you’ll have multiple earning opportunities, like:

  • Flipping properties.
  • Creating unique 3D structures and selling them.
  • Designing and selling your own avatar.
  • Collecting properties and completing collections to earn passive income.
  • Participating in treasure hunts and earning the in-game currencies.

Decentraland breakdown

Decentraland is one of the most popular decentralized metaverse games. Software developers Esteban Ordano and Ari Meilich began developing Decentraland in 2015, released it in 2017 and it became publicly available in 2020.

Decentraland is known as the first player-owned metaverse. The world is player-developed, requiring users’ imagination to create businesses, digital assets, art, play-to-earn games and more. Players can also buy virtual real estate called LAND, with a maximum of 90,000 parcels.

Decentraland’s native currency is an Ethereum token called MANA, and Ethereum is the game’s foundation. MANA is a true cryptocurrency — unlike UPX — and is tradable outside of the game. Within Decentraland, you play games, buy property and other digital assets like avatars, collectibles and wearables using MANA. Players create their own digital assets to sell on the Decentraland marketplace, and earn royalties from each sale.

One of the most popular play-to-earn games within Decentraland are casinos, where users can play card games and slot machines. Players can also rent out their land for special events, such as concerts or community meetings, or even earn by becoming employees of in-game businesses.

Decentraland can be a social game, offering players the option to enter the game as a guest without any initial investment. Or, you could buy LAND, decorate it, have friends visit, create your own play-to-earn game, create unique avatar wearables and much more.

There are many ways to earn in Decentraland, including:

  • Buy and sell LAND.
  • Mint avatar wearables to be sold at Decentraland’s market.
  • Design your own play-to-earn games, homes, artwork and more using the tool builder.
  • Stake MANA with third-party providers.

Upland vs. Decentraland on real estate

While Upland is a real estate mogul simulator, Decentraland also has virtual parcels up for grabs. Purchasing virtual land is how you progress in both games. However, buying plots in Decentraland isn’t required to enjoy the game, whereas Upland’s whole objective is obtaining as much property as you can.

Upland

Upland’s virtual parcels are mapped to the real world. This means you could actually purchase a parcel in Upland that’s mapped to your real-life address — or the address of a major landmark, like the Empire State Building.

Upland has thousands of parcels up for grabs and releases new cities frequently, most recently Queens, Detroit and Los Angeles. Upland plans to release the entire US at some point soon, and eventually expand on a global scale.

Prices vary for these parcels, and largely depend on real-world market conditions and the size of the parcel. Once players achieve Uplander status (10,000 UPX net worth) they can sell owned parcels for USD instead of only UPX.

The game’s main objective is land ownership. By collecting properties — that fill the criteria of specific collections — players can earn passive income, so players are highly motivated to sell and buy.

Decentraland

Decentraland has 90,000 parcels in total, aptly named LAND, ERC-721 tokens. While most are up for grabs for the players, some plots are reserved for special in-game events.

The value of LAND depends on its size, location and ownership history. Prices for these parcels are all over the map — pun intended. A property can be valued anywhere from 30,000 MANA ($69,600) to well over one million MANA ($2,320,000).

There’s a unique feature in Decentraland that other metaverses lack: the ability to take out a mortgage on virtual property.

While browsing LAND for sale on the Decentraland market, players have the option to request a mortgage, which is paid in MANA. Just like a real-life mortgage, users will pay interest, are required to have a down payment and pay in scheduled installments. Once the player pays the full amount, they can officially claim the LAND parcel.

Upland vs. Decentraland on NFTs

Decentraland lets players create almost any type of digital asset they can in-game, thanks to its editing and creation tools. In Upland, though, creating your own NFTs is limited to unique Block Explorer avatars, or 3D structures to place on owned land.

Upland

The NFTs in Upland are:

  • Virtual property
  • Avatars
  • 3D structures
  • Legit, 3D interactive collectibles

Creating and minting your own unique NFTs in the game isn’t an option. The most creative power you have is minting a new Block Explorer — which you can only do once you achieve a net worth of 10 million UPX, aka Director status. You can customize your property with 3D structures, but it’s limited to what Upland has available — buildings are prefabs at the time of writing.

Decentraland

Decentraland’s NFTs are:

  • LAND
  • Art and collectibles
  • Avatars
  • Avatar wearables (shoes, hats, shirts, etc.)

Players can create their own NFT collectibles to be sold on the Decentraland market, including clothing and art — a major plus over Upland. Decentraland also implements royalties on these items, so users can continually earn from subsequent sales of their NFTs.

Decentraland’s builder tool also lets users create “scenes” like parks, homes, forests, beaches and more, to place on your LAND.

Plus, users can explore your LAND and scenes in first-person, using their avatar. In Upland, you simply see buildings situated on a map, similar to a Monopoly board set with hotels and house pieces — not very immersive or impressive.

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Trading Fees Taker fee - 0.03-0.4%
Maker fee - 0-0.2%

Compare marketplaces to buy metaverse NFTs

Name Product Categories Blockchains Payment methods Platform Genre
Gala Entertainment
Gala Entertainment
Gaming
Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, GALA
Cryptocurrency
Browser
Blockchain games
Blockchain gaming platforms where you can earn Gala and NFTs through playing.
Splinterlands
Splinterlands
Collectibles, Gaming, Trading cards
Hive
Cryptocurrency, PayPal
Browser, mobile
Trading card game (TCG)
Splinterlands is a digital, play-to-earn, collectible card game built on hive blockchain technology.
SoRare
SoRare
Sports, Collectibles, Gaming, Trading cards
Ethereum
Credit card, Debit card, Cryptocurrency, Bank transfer
Browser
Trading card and fantasy sports app
A fantasy football game with collectible NFT cards, officially supported by the biggest soccer leagues in the world.
Binance NFT Marketplace
Sports, Collectibles, Art, Gaming, Music, Trading cards, Domain names, Metaverse (Virtual Worlds), Memes, DeFi, Mixed
Ethereum
Credit card, Debit card, Cryptocurrency, Bank transfer
Browser
NFT marketplace
A peer-to-peer marketplace supported by one of the worlds largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. Not currently available to U.S. residents.
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Upland vs. Decentraland: Marketplace fees

Both metaveres have marketplace fees, which is how most metaverses earn income.

In Decentraland, there’s a 2.5% MANA marketplace fee on every transaction that goes to the DAO to keep things running smoothly.

Upland charges 10%, with 5% paid by the buyer and 5% paid by the seller. A 10% marketplace fee is rather steep in our opinion, especially when the name of the game is buying and selling property — so it’s a fee you’ll likely encounter often.

Upland vs. Decentraland: Who backs them?

Upland is owned and operated by Uplandme, Inc., based out of Silicon Valley. Upland keeps things running by collecting marketplace fees, partnerships with other companies and selling unique, branded Upland collectibles called Legits.

Decentraland is owned by the Decentraland Foundation, a community of players. Similarly, to Upland and most other metaverses, Decentraland keeps things going by collecting marketplace fees, but also earns by selling the token MANA.

Bottom line

These two metaverses are wildly different. Upland is geared towards players who enjoy real estate simulators and want to collect properties to earn passive income. Decentraland is for players that enjoy creating, exploring and freedom in gameplay.

Decentraland has major advantages over Upland in terms of immersive levels and its in-game currency. Upland’s main currency, UPX, isn’t tradeable outside the game, but Decentraland’s MANA is — players can also stake earned MANA to earn more income outside the game. Players can earn USD directly in Upland, but they must get at least 10,000 UPX in net worth to unlock this feature.

Decentraland is working on VR support, supposedly with Oculus, and royalties are in the works for newly created NFT wearables as well. Upland mentions nothing of earning royalties from secondary sales, or for minted properties, Block Explorers or 3D structures.

In terms of gameplay, Upland is arguably easier to pick up and start playing. Users are given UPX at sign up, allowing them to start collecting properties right away. In Decentraland, users can only progress by purchasing LAND, which can be pricey for choice parcels.

We recommend trying out each game before investing to see if it suits your preferences. Upland offers extra UPX at signup with a referral link, and Decentraland lets players explore for free without an investment — test runs that are low-risk for both games.

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