Play-to-earn games

It’s no secret that the gaming industry has always been huge, with millions of followers lost to the wonders of its virtual worlds. Many millions of people have enjoyed playing games like World of Warcraft, Diablo, Counterstrike, and Dota since the late ’90s and early 2000.

As blockchain technology has been introduced and adopted widely, it has altered the playing field, especially for games with tradeable objects within the game, such as the games mentioned above.

Latest update 10 June 2024
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Eventually, the gaming industry adopted the concept of decentralized games that are not controlled by one central authority.

As a result, players retained ownership of their in-game assets, as well as the ability to sell them through third-party websites. On the basis of this premise, blockchain games, also known as GameFi were founded and have flourished since were created.

As for decentralized gaming, the possibilities are vast and beyond our imagination, but at the moment, play-to-earn gaming is a promising application of blockchain technology.

What’s a Play-to-earn Game?

A new generation of gaming is on its way with play-to-earn games. A real-world reward can be earned by playing these video games. Because skins, tokens, land, weapons, or any other game reward may be worth money in real life, they can also be traded for cash. 

Play-to-earn games differ from other games in that the latter have combined gaming for fun with the economic realities of today’s world.

There was a time when gamers wouldn’t think gaming rewards had any value outside of fantasy worlds. Nowadays, play-to-earn games offer gamers the opportunity to earn a living just by playing.

Filipinos played games like Axie Infinity to earn money after unemployment shot up to 40% in 2024. It was not uncommon for players to earn more than four times their average monthly salary.

As a result of their unusually large earnings, the Philippine government demanded taxes to be paid on the earnings of its players. Getting these in-game rewards is possible in two ways through the play-to-earn gaming model.

The rewards can be earned through playing the game, winning tasks, advancing through levels, completing tasks, or buying them off from other players who have earned them organically. 

A play-to-earn game can be classified as either of two types according to the reward received:

Play-To-Earn NFT Games

NFT games that offer NFTs as rewards are referred to as play-to-earn NFT games. Weapons, skins, enhanced character features, land, and other in-game assets are represented by NFTs. There is also real-world value associated with these NFT assets.

As an example, the NFTs of the Axie monster can be sold for as much as 300 ETH in Axie’s Infinity, which is more than 340,000 dollars today and also had been worth $600,000 at one point in time previously.

Play-to-earn Crypto Games

Games with play-to-earn cryptocurrency are blockchain games that reward players with cryptocurrency tokens for completing levels. Tokens can be awarded to players in play-to-earn games in two ways.

For example, you can create a native cryptocurrency token currency for the game, such as MANA and SAND tokens, found in games such as Decentraland and SANDBOX. Crypto-related game activities are approved by smart contracts on a blockchain network used by games with native tokens.

In order to avoid this, some games take a different approach. There are already existing cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, etc., which they use. In most cases, these games have token names based on cryptocurrencies.

A great example of this would be the game Ethermon, having its name be derived from a play of the name of the famous Pokémon games combined with the name of the Ether token.

Players can earn a significant amount of crypto from these games, but it can take a while. In addition to trading these tokens for cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies, players can also exchange them for other cryptocurrencies. 

In some games, crypto and NFT rewards are combined and offered to players. An example would be Decentraland. NFTs representing virtual plots of land could be obtained, as well as MANA crypto. 


Blockchain technology powers Play-to-earn games

The play-to-earn model relies on blockchain technology, which allows a play-to-earn game to function. As players hit milestones or complete tasks, blockchain technology rewards them with cryptocurrency tokens.

As part of the reward system, Ethereum-based NFTs can also be awarded to players. Because traditional games are centralized, the gaming company owns all assets at all times and can remove them at will. 

Players are granted full ownership through NFTs

It is traditional that game assets are assigned to players based on their participation in the game or the existence of the game. A play-to-earn environment, on the other hand, places the value of gaming assets on the blockchain rather than in the hands of any developer,

This makes it possible to retain their value even if the game gets shut down or anything else which would make you lose your assets in any traditional game.

NFTs can be traded outside of the game platforms.

Traditional games sold in-game assets for money, but traditional companies didn’t offer this option back for the players to do the same. Moreover, these assets couldn’t be accessed outside the game ecosystem.

Play-to-earn games are instead based on NFT tokens, which can be sold and listed on NFT marketplaces, as well as existing as single assets on blockchains.

How Do Play-to-Earn Games Really Work?

In terms of blockchain technology, play-to-earn games fall under GameFi, which incorporates gaming and finance. As a result of the blockchain, these games are decentralized, so they cannot be controlled by a centralized authority, unlike traditional games. 

A play-to-earn game rewards players with assets they can sell, lend, and exchange for real money. Cryptocurrencies or game assets are examples of these assets.

These in-game assets are represented by NFTs, such as avatar upgrades, weapons, skins, lands, etc. The NFTs are transferred into the player’s digital wallet when they are awarded.

In traditional games, asset ownership is somewhat different due to the fact that, although the player owns an asset, it is still controlled by the centralized authority, the game owners, who may confiscate the asset at their discretion.  

You can earn, own, lend, and sell NFTs in many Play-to-earn games

The NFTs players own in-game are sold and borrowed on external marketplaces, allowing players to lend or trade them with other gamers. These game NFTs can be used to earn money in many ways.

One of the ways to do this is by trading them. On online marketplaces like OpenSea, where players can sell their various weapons, skins, and other valuable assets that they have earned or traded.

These NFTs can be quite expensive, depending on the game’s popularity and the asset’s importance. Entropia’s Planet Calypso, for example, was sold for 6 million dollars, the highest amount ever paid for an in-game asset.

As well as improving their assets, selling them for higher prices, or earning interest, some players can also improve their assets. It is possible for players to purchase and develop virtual real estate in Sandbox, then sell them at a higher price or lease them out for a rental income. 

Play-to-earn games can also be monetized by lending game assets. The opportunity arose as a result of the high entry barrier of some play-to-earn games.

For new players to access the game environment, they must purchase NFTs, which are usually expensive. Established players are able to lend their assets to new players and earn a percentage of their rewards through lending guilds.   

Taking part in play-to-earn games and staking is another way to earn money. In some NFT games, players can lock up their NFTs in smart contracts for a set period of time to provide liquidity.

Depending on the game, these assets earn interest or rewards at predetermined intervals. The Axie Infinity staker is rewarded with AXS based on their stake amount, while in MOBOX, mystery boxes are awarded to the stakers based on their stake amount.

Additionally, some games award players with voting rights and governance responsibilities. There are a number of games with play-to-earn features you can stake your earnings on – such as Axie Infinity, Mobox, Sandbox, Polychain Monsters, and Splinterlands. 

Earn money by playing free online games

Along with NFTs, many play-to-earn games also offer cryptocurrency as a payment method. When players complete tasks, such as advancing through levels or reaching milestones in the game, these rewards are awarded.

Bitcoin is one of the general cryptocurrencies, but the gaming platform may have its own native cryptocurrency. You can earn money from these cryptocurrencies in a variety of ways.

One of the easiest ways to do this is through trading. As opposed to NFTs, which are non-fungible, cryptocurrencies are equated. A decentralized crypto exchange can convert the native currency into its Bitcoin equivalent if it’s Dogecoin or Etherium etc.

Staking is another method of earning money. During a preset period, players can stake their crypto tokens and earn rewards while providing liquidity. 


What are the best Play-to-Earn games?

How do you select the right play-to-earn game to play now that you know what play-to-earn games are all about? A play-to-earn model is used by many blockchain games, but which one is right for you depends on your preferences.

Therefore, before making a choice, you should consider things such as what rewards you wish to receive, how rewards are structured, and how those rewards can be monetized. When choosing a blockchain game, consider these four factors.

Decide if you want Coins or NFTs

Players can earn cryptocurrency or NFTs through play-to-earn games. There are some companies that distribute both. It is therefore important to know what blockchain games offer before choosing one.

The type of cryptocurrency they offer is also important to note. Native cryptocurrencies are provided by some games. It is important to note that these cryptocurrencies are not in-game assets. Decentralized exchanges list them and allow them to be traded on them.

The native cryptocurrencies are also subject to market fluctuations, like other cryptocurrencies. Depending on the game, two types of crypto tokens may be available. An example of a company that offers AXS and SLS is Axie Infinity.

Does it cost anything to play?

Investing in certain Play-to-Earn games can be an excellent way to earn money, but others require you to play-to-earn first. New players have to pay an entry fee to play these games since they are built on the pay-to-play model.

An entry fee could be anything from the purchase of new assets, as in Axie Infinity, to just paying a fee to play the game. Take into account how much the entry fee is for play-to-earn games before selecting one, as they can cost as much as 1000 dollars in some cases.

It’s possible to play many great blockchain games for free and earn rewards after playing them if you can’t afford the entry fee. A good example of one of these is Sandbox.

Cashing out is easy

The most popular play-to-earn games often do not focus on cashing out rewards because, even though rewards can be converted into cash, cashing out can be complicated and not worth it depending on the platform.

In addition, these games require players to consider the process of cashing out the crypto coin rewards. In games where users can receive popular coins such as Bitcoin and Ether, cashing out delays and rules are more prevalent.

Despite their smaller size and lower value, they offer other important benefits that native cryptocurrencies do not.

Players’ earnings can also be affected by crypto volatility, which ultimately affects the price of cashing out. A common problem with in-game cryptocurrencies is that their value fluctuates constantly, making it difficult for gamers to earn a sustainable income.

Choosing the best Play-to-earn game

As soon as you’ve determined what type of reward you need, it’s time to look for games that fit those parameters. In the end, it all comes down to research.

There are currently over 400 blockchain games available to choose from, and the industry continues to deliver more advanced games by the day. You need to know how and where to search if you want to find the best game for you.

In your search, you will want to use various keywords associated with the parameters you’re considering to be a great fit for you. Here are a few keywords to use: 

  • Play-to-earn games with NFTs and Cryptocurrency rewards
  • Play-to-earn games with coin rewards
  • Free play-to-earn games
  • Play-to-earn games with fair cashout policies

Play-to-earn game types

In the same way that there’s a wide range of traditional games, there are also a variety of blockchain-based earning games. Here are some of the most popular categories which we’ll take a look at.

Earning by playing cards

The gaming industry has always been a big fan of card games. They have stood the test of time despite different innovations in gaming. There are many types of card games, including physical assets, and board games, with blockchain games, now being the most popular type.

Blockchain-based play-to-earn gaming has transformed card games into a new type of game. Cards are used to complete tasks, battle with other players, and build powerful decks of cards in play-to-earn games.

The cards are usually non-fungible tokens that can be obtained either through in-game rewards or purchased. There are many card games that can be played to earn money, including: 

  • Berserk 

  • Splinterlands 

  • Gods Unchained

  •  Skyweaver 

  • Sorare 

Play-to-earn real estate games

A real estate play-to-earn game involves purchasing plots of land on the blockchain. Play-to-earn games in real estate have a strong connection to the multiverse. Like in the real world, players of these games can invest in land in these game multiverses and develop it.

Land can also be sold, developed, and leased for rent for income. There are several popular real estate play-to-earn games on the market, including – 

  • DecentWorld

  • Decentraland

  • Sandbox

Play-to-earn racing games

Racing play-to-earn games are one of the latest blockchain video game types that simulate kart & arcade races just like any other racing game. Games such as these have high stakes and numerous rewards to win.

It’s as simple as when a player wins a race or is placed high in the top three, he or she earns rewards. Some of the most popular play-to-earn games for racers are: 

  • Astro Hounds 

  • RARI Racing 

  • ZEN Run

Play-to-earn adventure games

A play-to-earn adventure game involves players traveling to a fantasy world to complete tasks, fight battles, and conquer places. Here are some of the best adventure games that you can play to earn money – 

  • Crypto Pirates
  • Coin Hunt World
  • Undead Blocks 

Move-to-earn games

Blockchain-based play-to-earn games that reward players for exercising are known as move-to-earn games. As players move around and go about their daily activities, they are rewarded.

The goal of move-to-earn games is to make you move around in order to perform in-game activities. Rewards are earned through the passive play of the game.

For people who love walking and being outdoors, this game model would be perfect for them. As you play, your movements are recorded and rewarded. The rewards are sometimes earned only after completing a workout task. 

In the majority of move-to-earn games, players must purchase NFTs before playing. In terms of move-to-earn games, these five are the most popular: 


  • Dotmoovs (Moovs) 

  • Sweatcoin (SWEAT)

  • Genopets (GENE) 


The benefits of Play-to-earn games

NFT or Cryptocurrency earnings 

One of the most obvious advantages is earning cryptocurrency and NFTs. Players can earn both cryptocurrencies and NFTs when they participate in play-to-earn games.

Games can help those who cannot afford cryptocurrencies start their collection, even if they are unable to buy them on their own. 

Socially connecting people

The play-to-earn nature of NFT games fosters socialization. Socialization and connection are encouraged by play-to-earn games in the metaverse, just as they are on social media platforms.

Players from around the world can connect through games like Decentraland and Sandbox. New social bonds and an ecosystem that’s socially inclusive would benefit the gaming community. 

Gaming market growth 

Participation and inclusion are key components of the gaming market. Playing games will only allow it to grow if more people participate in them. It is therefore even more crucial for GameFi’s ecosystem to grow if more people participate.

It means more interaction with the ecosystem of the game and increased value for the native currency if you have more players. The growth of the gaming market is subsequently boosted by these factors.

Increase your income 

In a similar way to traditional gaming, good players can become professional gamers. The main advantage of play-to-earn is that it relies on crypto and NFTs and creates more incentives since it does not require the involvement of middlemen or sponsors.

The Philippines, for example, has a stable gaming industry that pays a steady income to its citizens which has a very high rate of professional P2E gamers playing for a living, even earning multiple times higher salaries than the average person living there.

DeFi and Blockchain’s growth

Despite its potential, blockchain is still a long way off from being accepted completely. As blockchain gaming features like GameFi & other blockchain features are adopted by industries at their own pace, the majority of industries are adopting it at the same time as well.

As society’s trust in blockchain and DeFi grows, play-to-earn games play a key role in that process by being part of more areas in society and people’s everyday life, normalizing the usage of various blockchain-related products and services.

NFTs from Play-to-earn games

A play-to-earn game NFT is a reward a player receives when they play a P2E game. Trading, lending, and selling of NFTs for fiat currency are all possible. Cryptocurrencies and NFTs can both be earned in some P2E games. There are a number of great play-to-earn games with NFTs, such as – 

  • SandBox
  • Gods Unchained
  • Axie Infinity
  • Splinterlands
  • Decentraland 

Cryptocurrencies in Play-to-earn games

The term “play-to-earn game cryptocurrency” refers to cryptocurrencies that players can earn by playing P2E games. A cryptocurrency coin could be a native coin from the game or another coin that is more popular, such as Bitcoin or Dogecoin.

You can exchange cryptocurrencies for your local fiat currency and use them in your daily life. It is common for P2E games that offer cryptocurrency rewards to also offer NFT rewards. Cryptocurrencies for play-to-earn games include the following: 

  • Decentraland

  • Star Atlas 

  • Spider Tanks 

  • Axie Infinity

What is the best way to find existing and upcoming games?

A number of websites curate and track a directory of existing and new play-to-earn games. You can always visit them to learn about the newest games. Here are some websites where you can find play-to-earn games: 

  • DappRadar
  • CoinMarketCap
  • Finder
  • KryptoGambling

Is your in-game content really yours?

This question is essential in traditional video games because of their realities. While players in traditional games own assets in-game, they can have those assets taken away by game developers, as many players have experienced such disappointment before.

A play-to-earn game runs on blockchain technology, which makes them very different from traditional games in many various ways.

The user owns all in-game assets once they have earned them, regardless of whether they are cryptocurrencies or NFTs. In order to play, players must have crypto wallets that can store their in-game assets and pay for the entry fees, if required.

Cryptocurrencies earned from play-to-earn games are automatically stored in players’ wallets, which they can access at any time. A wallet’s private key is required to do any other transaction on the asset, including selling, revoking, or lending, once the asset is in the wallet.

On decentralized crypto exchanges, blockchain games use cryptocurrencies, while open marketplaces sell NFTs. The ability to trade, sell, or lend in-game assets proves that the player owns the assets when playing play-to-earn games.

What is the process for cashing out your coins?

Coins can be cashed out in a few easy steps. To begin with, you need to find a decentralized exchange that offers play-to-earn cryptocurrencies. You can then exchange your play-to-earn crypto tokens for other more popular cryptocurrency tokens, such as Ethereum.

Alternatively, you can exchange USDT for fiat currency via an exchange pair. You might need to convert twice to accomplish this. We begin by converting to a more stable cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, and then we proceed to a second conversion into USDT. 

Lastly, a crypto card can be used. The use of crypto cards eliminates the need to exchange the native currency of your game. Withdraw dollars from your local ATM or pay for services at a POS using the card instead, and the card automatically completes the transaction.

As easy as cashing in your NFT rewards, cashing out is just as straightforward. To exchange them for cryptocurrency, you only need an NFT marketplace such as Rarible or OpenSea.

How much does it cost to get started?

Let’s say you’re interested in playing play-to-earn games. If you’re a new player, you might wonder what it costs to get started, if there is an average amount, and if there are any other options. 

It is not mandatory for players to invest money to start a play-to-earn game, since some are free, while others require them to purchase an NFT before playing. It is called pay-to-play-to-earn games if they fall under the second category. 

There is a possibility of earning income from these games, but you must invest upfront. Depending on the game, you will need to spend a certain amount on entry fees. Taking Axie Infinity as an example, players must own three Axie monsters to be able to properly play.

There is an average cost of $200 for an Axie monster. In order to get three good Axie monsters, one would have to spend between $600 and $1000. Axie Infinity has a high entry price because it is a very popular game. 

Depending on the game you’re playing, how popular it is, and how much the entry fee costs, you’d probably spend less at most other games, but you also might not earn as much.

Where can I Play play-to-earn games?

It is possible to play play-to-earn games on your device by downloading them. The majority of play-to-earn games are played on desktops, whether they are Windows or Mac systems. However, more and more games are being developed for mobile devices. 

Mobile phones and tablets can be used to download them, but not all games are compatible, so it’s better to keep a computer handy.

Mobile Play-to-earn Games for Android and iOS

Considering how much time people spend on their mobile devices, blockchain P2E games should be available on them. The majority of NFT games are, however, only available on laptops and desktops.

It is expected that more mobile P2E games will be released in the future since big brands in the GameFi industry are releasing mobile versions of their games. For now, these are the most popular Android and iOS play-to-earn games:

  • Axie Infinity 

  • CryptoKitties 

  • Sorare 

  • SandBox 

  • Illuvium

  • Gods Unchained 

New and improved upcoming Play-to-earn Games

There has been an explosion of GameFi movements in recent years. In addition to the hundreds of P2E games already existing, hundreds of new games are being developed, for mobile as well as desktop computers.

If you haven’t found a play-to-earn game that you like yet, new ones are constantly coming out, so you can get in on them early. Here are the five most anticipated play-to-earn games of 2024.

  • Chosen Ones: An Auto-Battler P2E Game 

  • Silks: An NFT Metaverse P2E Horse Racing game 

  • Guild of Guardians: A free P2E role-playing game 

  • Phantom Galaxies: A Mecha Starfighter Battle P2E Game

  • RaceFi: An AI/ML Integrated P2E Racing Game on Solana 

Our final thoughts

In play-to-earn gaming, the average income is close to $1600 a week. In this case, the value would depend on the value of the cryptocurrencies at the time of the exchange and is not fixed. For players who play as a hobby on the side, this amounts to a huge sum of money for just playing games. 

There are a lot of lucrative play-to-earn games out there one can earn money on, but in the end, a player’s total earnings will be reflected by how much time a player spent playing the game. So, by playing more hours a week, players are more likely to complete more tasks and earn more money.

You will need to be able to devote long hours to playing play-to-earn games if you want to make a lot of money from these games. But there’s nothing wrong with just playing a bit here and there as a hobby, having a good time while you earn a tidy sum as a reward.


Which are the most popular Play-to-earn games?

There are multiple play-to-earn games in the market, but based on popularity and public opinion, SandBox, Decentraland, Illuvium, and Axie Infinity stand out among the other games.

How can I make money playing games?

Players can earn money by playing play-to-earn games. You can exchange your earnings for local currency by using cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

Are play-to-earn games legal?

In terms of legitimacy and legality, play-to-earn games are the best. The law does not prohibit you from playing games where you earn money.

The earnings from these games may, however, be subject to tax laws in some countries, so make sure you check what restrictions your country might have.

Why should I play any play-to-earn game?

In-game assets are rewarded for players’ activities in play-to-earn games. In this case, the assets are either cryptocurrencies or NFTs.

It is possible to trade, sell, or lend these assets in exchange for money in fiat currency. This makes you able to make a living as a professional P2E player, or just earn an extra income on the side as a hobby.