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What Are Play-to-earn Games & The Best Tokens For Them

What are Play-to-Earn Games & the best Tokens for Them
Author: Rakshita Jain

People of all age groups widely use online games to unwind after a long stressful day. Online gaming has been a source of leisure for some people, a stress buster for others, and a hobby for a few. But it is not often expected to be the source of earning yet.

Play-to-Earn games have come into play to remove this limitation from gaming. The name "Play-to-Earn" gives a good clue about these games. But there is still a lot to learn in the ropes of P2E (Play to Earn) games, and this blog is the right place for it.

What are Play-to-Earn games?

P2E (Play-to-Earn) games are video games where the player can earn crypto rewards with real value by simply playing these games. These games combine entertainment with income to bring profit for players and their efforts. The rewards differ with each game, depending on its working, requirements, and consensus mechanism. However, in most of them, the players are rewarded with in-game cryptocurrencies, NFTs, or both. Since all these rewards have real-world value, Players can sell these digital assets (NFTs and native cryptocurrencies) that they get as a reward anytime to earn money.

For example, The Sandbox is a popular game working on the P2E model. It has 166,464 LAND tokens, which the players can buy through the native token of the Sandbox, which is SAND. Sandbox players need to participate in the events, activities, and competitions organized on it to win its SAND and other digital assets.

All P2E games are decentralized, meaning no single authority, organization, or person can change its rules or control anything inside it. Instead, these games give the players the power of their governance and decision-making.

How do Play-to-Earn games work?

All Play-to-Earn games work on the idea of playing games and earning rewards. Some existing cryptocurrencies, the native crypto tokens of the game, or some NFTs are given rewards for in-game activities like task completion, goal achievement, winning contests, or progressing through some levels. The players can cash out these rewards on a crypto exchange or an NFT marketplace.

Now, let's quickly understand the rewards generally given in Play-to-Earn games.

Native Cryptocurrency

P2E games may have cryptocurrency or tokens to reward players for completing different tasks. These tokens work like other cryptocurrencies in the crypto market and have real-world value. The best example to understand it is Axie Infinity, which rewards its players with two types of native tokens, AXS and SLP. Once winning these tokens, players can sell or lend them as per market scenario and personal preference. Other native tokens examples are SAND from The Sandbox and MANA from Decentraland.

Other Cryptocurrencies

Some P2E games do not offer any native token as a reward. Instead, they give other cryptocurrencies, like Cardano, Ethereum, Bitcoin, etc., as rewards.

Such games generally have either "crypto" or the name of the crypto they give as their name prefix. Crypto Dragons, Crypto Kitties, Bitcoin Tycoon, and Bitcoin Pop are examples of these Play-to-Earn.

Non-Fungible Tokens

P2E games like Alien Worlds, God Unchained, and Zed Run offer NFTs as game rewards. These NFTs can be some in-game weapons, points, special characters, virtual assets, outfits, etc. Players of such games are NFT enthusiasts who collect these NFT rewards and sell them in popular NFT marketplaces at the market price. Since blockchain secures every NFT generated and distributed in Play-to-Earn games, the chances of duplicity do not exist. This quality of P2E NFTs gives them their market value.

One important thing to note is that while some are free to play, some charge a fee from players to start playing and earning. For example, The Sandbox is free-to-play, whereas Axie Infinity requires users to buy at least three Axie NFTs through Ethereum to begin the gameplay.

Which are the best Play-to-Earn Games?

No best or worst exists in Play-to Earn games, as the best depends on personal preferences and capabilities. However, some popular games have gained the most love from the gaming community and critics.

Here are the top 3 of them:

Axie Infinity

It is a trade-and-battle game inspired by the Pokemon series. It is based on Ethereum-minted NFTs called "Axies".The players purchase these cute monster NFTs and put them in battle against each other. An immense range of Axies exists to choose and customize for various uses inside the game. The winning player earns "Smooth Love Potion" tokens that are swappable for the utility token of the game, named the Axie Infinity Shard token. This game provides vast opportunities to earn for players, but it also requires a large upfront amount to begin. Before the crypto bear market came this year, the highest players on Axie Infinity hit 2.78 Million in January 2022.

The Sandbox game is a virtual world made on the Ethereum blockchain, where players can build, trade, and monetize their gaming experience. The players of this game can buy SAND (the native token) and use it as the platform currency to buy other things in the game. Players can purchase LAND (a digital piece of land in Sandbox world) and ASSET (digital assets to decorate LAND) through the SAND tokens. This way, the game players decorate their digital real estate pieces and build experiences on them to share with other players. The Players can also sell their creations on The Sandbox marketplaces.

This game tests the player's creativity, survival skills, and strategy-building abilities. The more a player builds in The Sandbox, the higher he achieves the game levels.


Decentraland is a virtual reality platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. The native token of Decentraland, MANA, is the platform currency of Decentraland, which can be used to buy its virtual goods and services. Players of Decentraland use this token to purchase virtual land slots called LAND. The players then can create content on these LAND and monetize it by selling on the marketplace of Decentraland.

To get started on this P2E gaming platform, a player must have an Ethereum wallet where they can store MANA tokens.

These are the top three and the most famous Play-to-Earn Games in the decentralized world. Some other popular games are Zeb Run, Alien Worlds, God unchained, Splinterlands, etc.


Play-to-Earn games have made it possible to make money through gaming. These games reward players with crypto assets that have some fiat value for performing different tasks in the game. Since P2E games work on a decentralized infrastructure, users can make big decisions on these platforms together. Though decentralized gaming can be a source to make sound money while playing entertaining games, it is only some people's cup of tea to do it.

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