- Trade & play officially licensed NFT cards
- Runs on Ethereum blockchain
- Fantasy soccer game
- Earn crypto through tournaments and trading
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Trading cards and NFTs are a great match, but blockchain trading card games (TCGs) take it a step further. Skyweaver is an online TCG that offers opportunities to earn while playing. This free-to-play (F2P) game lets you mint cards and sell them on the Marketplace to earn.
And you read that correctly: It's actually free to play.
Skyweaver is an online, blockchain TCG. The cards themselves are nonfungible tokens (NFTs). Players use the cards to battle other players in turn-based combat. It's a singleton game — meaning the cards are varied — so you don't have to collect multiples of cards like you would need to do in Pokémon TCG.
The developer behind Skyweaver is Horizon Blockchain Games, which raised over $3.75 million in funding, led by Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
Horizon has been taking its time with this game, starting its development in 2019. Skyweaver released slowly, starting with a private beta in 2021. In February 2022, the Open Beta launched so everyone can play.
There have already been over 2.2 million matches since the open launch, according to a Skyweaver press release.
Skyweaver is completely free to play, and you unlock 500+ base cards by leveling up. There were no card pre-sales, stopping users from jumping in and buying everything up.
The cards are unique with three grade types and various attributes, making gameplay dynamic and interesting. And it's not an autobattler!Image source: Skyweaver.net
It's simple to start playing:
When you first start, you only have access to the Strength prism and its hero, Ada. Prisms are essentially the card types. Once you choose a prism — or up to two for a combo deck — you can use cards associated with the prism in a match. The five prisms are:
As you gain levels, you unlock more heroes and more prisms to match your ideal play style. However, the Strength prism is optimized for beginner players, focusing on dealing damage and combat with less emphasis on strategy. And as a newbie, you can only get cards if you go to the Marketplace and buy some up front. However, as you play the game, you can unlock cards for free.
Skyweaver has three NFT card grades: Base, Silver and Gold.
Cards have different traits, spells, enchants, elements and effects that can impact the gameplay.Image source: Skyweaver Market
There are many ways to play, and you can even play against friends in private matches.
For each game mode, choose between two game types:
If you choose the Discovery type, you're only matched to players also playing Discovery, so you'll each play with a randomized deck. Once you collect some cards, you can try out Constructed mode to handpick your deck for a more customized playstyle.
Beginners can benefit a lot from playing Discovery mode. You can experiment with different cards, learn how the game works and earn your own cards before having any cards in your arsenal.
The in-game currency of Skyweaver is USDC, a stablecoin backed by the US dollar. It's an ERC-20 token.
Skyweaver also uses ERC-1155 tokens, coauthored by Horizon, to create other fungible and semi-fungible currencies. You create the cards using these tokens.
The stablecoin USDC is available on multiple cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Coinbase, Binance, Crypto.com, Uniswap and Gemini, just to name a few.
To buy a coin from a cryptocurrency exchange, you typically need an account, complete know your consumer (KYC) requirements and then verify your identity. Next, you deposit funds, purchase the crypto and place the cryptocurrency into your digital wallet to be used on blockchain applications like Skyweaver.
It looks like NULL may not be available to purchase on an exchange in the US.
You can still purchase NULL by using a decentralized exchange (DEX) instead. Decentralized exchanges are web applications that run on blockchains like Ethereum and allow users to trade any asset directly with one another.
Decentralized exchanges (DEX) are unregulated and run using autonomous pieces of code known as smart contracts. To use a DEX you must interact with the blockchain directly, which is not recommended for novice users. Please learn about decentralized exchanges first if you're unfamiliar.
You can follow the same process when you want to sell your tokens, or come back to this page to see if they can now be traded on an exchange in the US.
How you earn in Skyweaver is simple: Play to get your cards, then sell your cards on the Market.
Base cards can't be sold but earned Silver and Gold cards can.
The NFT assets on Skyweaver are simple: They're the cards that you can play, collect and trade.
NFTs on Skyweaver follow Ethereum's ERC-1155 standard for both fungible and nonfungible tokens. This token standard is slightly more efficient to trade and incurs smaller fees than the default ERC-721.
ERC-1155 allows for creating various NFT types under a single contract, and reduces the gas costs when using the Ethereum blockchain. To know more about NFTs and how they function, check out Finder's detailed guide.
Through the use of NFT technology, you own the cards you hold. The Skyweaver developers can't claim or move your assets since you're the only one who can access them. This also means that you can trade them as you wish with virtually no restrictions.
Playing the game and unlocking cards is how you mint the NFT cards. The card designs are clean — cute, dark, intense, colorful — and they're extremely varied. Also, we got Avatar: The Last Airbender vibes from a few, like this guy Cloud Kid!
Access the Market by selecting Cards on the homepage of Skyweaver's site. The Market isn't on the Skyweaver servers and exists on the Ethereum ecosystem. There, you can browse the cards for sale and sort them by mana, price, prism, card type, grade and more.
We browsed the available cards in early March, and many are relatively affordable — often floating around the $1.50 to $3 USDC price range. For comparison, the cards required in Splinterlands vary in price, as low as $0.03 up to $18,000 a piece at the time of writing.
However, to buy specific cards in Skyweaver, you must unlock the base hero of that specific prism. For example, to buy a Heart card, you need the hero Bouran and so on. This means when you first start with the hero Ada, you're limited to buying Strength cards until you level up.Image source: Skyweaver.net
Sell Skyweaver cards in the game's own Skyweaver Market powered by Niftyswap. The Skyweaver Market also automatically provides you with a fair market value for your cards, so less guesswork for you.
However, you don't have to sell your cards on the Skyweaver Market. You can trade, sell, buy and gift your ERC cards wherever you'd like. Another option is using secondary marketplaces such as OpenSea or RareBits.
With Skyweaver, you can immediately start playing for free-to-earn cards and sell them. Skyweaver also provides players with decks in Discovery, so they can start playing right away without having to buy anything. This is a huge plus to gamers who are hesitant to jump into crypto TCGs, because it essentially removes the pay-to-play aspect that makes many gamers shy away.
By comparison, Splinterlands requires a $10 spellbook purchase to unlock the play-to-earn features — and you have to buy your cards, which widely vary in price. And Axie Infinity is more expensive, possibly costing players hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get only a few Axies required to play.
It's also one of the few online TCGs that's not an auto battler. Many TCGs out right now are, like Splinterlands — so gameplay can get stale quickly when you're not actually playing.
Horizon Blockchain Games is the developer behind Skyweaver. The company was founded by Peter Kieltyka, who is also the active CEO.
We visited Horizon.io, and were able to see the faces behind the company, including the other co-founders: Ian Ha, William Hua, Daniel Racca, and Michael Sanders.
The lead game developer of Horizon is Tom Dysinski, who has years of experience as an artist, animator and graphic designer. Dysinski previously worked for WGames as a lead technical artist. WGames is a development company that focuses on mobile games.
Overall, we're impressed with the team behind Skyweaver. There's abundant information on the team, which is rare for many blockchain games that prefer anonymity over transparency.
Skyweaver publicizes a monthly "State of the Game" press release to cover the latest news and updates. We haven't seen one for February or March just yet, but there have been multiple announcements pertaining to bug fixes and other patches.
Skyweaver is still in beta, but it's an Open Beta so everyone can play. Horizon continues to release updates as the beta progresses, and issues sometimes surface. There's no news on when this Soft Launch will end, but it's only been a few months and there have already been 88 patches on the game — so we may not see a full launch until summer.
With its simple user interface and F2P structure Skyweaver is a TCG with more pros than cons — and to be frank, we couldn't really find any drawbacks. The biggest con could be the learning curve of adapting to a new TCG, but trying the game out doesn't cost you a dime, making it risk-free to give it a go. Just don't expect huge cash returns.
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