Unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you might know that NFTs are a thing now. They give you proof of ownership of digital assets like JPEG or GIF files.
But the NFT artwork is just one application of the bigger picture. Cryptocurrencies and blockchains are also playing a part in revolutionizing the game-verse.
Gaming is a huge tech industry, and there is an extensive market for games featuring NFTs. The application of NFTs in this sector provides gamers with digital ownership and the ability to trade their digital assets for fiat money.
But where there is demand, there is supply. And boy, is there a lot of supply for NFT games. These projects are popping up left, right, and center. As a result, it can be difficult to parse through them and figure out which one you should invest in.
Well, no worries. We with the help of CryptoMinati Capital have prepared a list of the ten NFT games you can get started with. Some of these games are ready to play, while others are in development, yet all are worth keeping an eye on.
Best NFT Games To Invest in:
We will be separating games into three categories, as listed down below. Our best NFT games for each type are as follows:
- Idle Cyber– Best play-to-earn NFT game
- Splinterlands– Best ready-to-play NFT game
- Gods Unchained– Best free-to-play NFT game
Best Play-to-Earn NFT Games
If you’re the type of person who’s into futuristic, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi games, there’s practically no way you wouldn’t enjoy Idle Cyber. Set in the not-so-distant future – 2088, after Judge Day, what’s left of humanity is forced to build giant walls to defend themselves against bloodthirsty cyborgs that want nothing more than to take out the rest of the human race.
However, while the cyborgs are fierce and relentless, humanity wouldn’t go down without a fight. As such, you, the player, must command a team called Cyber Defense. This team comprises mutants with various abilities that help you hold the wall and protect humanity from the onslaught of cyborgs and gigantic bosses.
We’re excited just thinking about it. However, the excellence of the game doesn’t end with its enticing plot. To begin with, this NFT game has excellently designed characters with a blend of colors that makes the game as fun to look at as it is fun to play. Each unique character comes with its very own backstory, complete with unique weapon types and distinct visuals.
This Play2Earn frontier game is available for android and iOS on the Google Play Store as well as the App Store, respectively. However, if you don’t swing in either of those directions, you can play the game online using the web app on your PC.
Like any other Play2Earn game on this list, Idle Cyber has the potential to make you a reasonable amount of money. Although it hasn’t been fully released yet, the game will be developed on the Binance Smart Chain. As soon as it’s out, you can put your cyber skills to good use, successfully defend the walls and win yourself some excellent NFT assets and Idle Cyber tokens. You can later resell these for a good amount. The best part is that it’s an RPG game with PvP modes and unlimited levels. Essentially, you have infinite opportunities to earn tokens and make money on the game.
Axie Infinity is undoubtedly one of, if not the, biggest and the best NFT games around. It is a play-to-earn game, which has contributed to its success.
This game was launched back in 2018 by Sky Mavis, a technology-focused game studio. Interestingly, some developers and team members met through Crypto Kitties, another NFT based play-to-earn game. So if you see any resemblance between this game and Crypto Kitties, you’ll know why.
Axie Infinity is basically the fusion of Pokemon and Tamagotchi. Most people know Pokemon, but they may not be too familiar with Tamagotchi. So you might want to give it a go before trying this one.
But there are some features you need to know about to start earning money with this game. Essentially, Axie Infinity has two cryptocurrencies. These are the Smooth Love Potion or SLP and the AXS tokens. You can trade SLP on exchanges like Uniswap and Binance. You also need these currencies to breed your Axies (the characters in the game). Plus, you have to buy at least three Axies with fiat money when starting out with the game.
You can sell these virtual characters as NFTs on the open market. In fact, one of the most expensive Axie ever sold was worth around 300 ETH.
The other currency is AXS. These are governance tokens that grant the holder voting rights over the fate of the game. You can trade these on several exchanges, including Coinbase and Gemini.
Sorare is a fantasy soccer league NFT game. If you like DraftKings, FanDuel, or Fantasy Premier League, you’ll definitely like this one too.
Like Axie Infinity, this game requires at least some fiat money to play. You essentially buy cards to build a team that competes in tournaments. Usually, there are bi-weekly tournaments you can participate in. These give you fantasy points that can be utilized in different ways.
You can earn ETH by accumulating a threshold of fantasy points. For example, if you get 205 fantasy points, you can make 0.01 ETH, but if you can earn 250 points, your earnings double, and you get 0.02 ETH instead.
As you might have noticed, there is a difference between Sorare and traditional DFS games. In DFS games, you have to pay fiat money to enter competitions and earn valuable rewards. However, in Sorare, you do not spend money to get in on a tournament. Instead, you pay for the cards that you will use to compete.
So besides competing in tournaments, you can also trade these cards and earn cryptocurrency rewards that can then be converted into cash.
Ember Sword is an MMORPG due for gradual gameplay-focused alpha releases from 2022 onwards. Although it has not been fully released yet, you can see what the gameplay will look like.
The game is from So Couch studios and will be a free-to-play, community-driven game with a real economy. The team has over ten years of experience in the industry, so you can expect the best.
The two types of digital assets involved in this game include LAND and cosmetic items. Firstly, LAND is part of the Ember Sword metaverse. You can use it to earn real-world revenue by providing services to other players through it. For example, if it makes up a digital in-game marketplace, you could earn a commission from that.
Secondly, the cosmetic items should be classic equipment and attributes. You could give these to your characters to make them stronger. And the stronger your character is, the better it will do in completing quests or PvP matches.
You can also sell your items for PIXEL tokens. These tokens can be traded on various crypto exchanges. Since this is an MMORPG, it will take some time to get fully up and running. But you should be able to play it in 2022 while the rest of the game gets fleshed out.
Best Ready-To-Play NFT Games
Like Gods Unchained, Splinterlands is a trading card game based on a blockchain using NFTs. However, there are some crucial differences between this game and other NFT-based card trading games. The first difference you might notice is that it is not based on Ethereum. Instead, the underlying blockchain is Hive.
But do not worry, because Splinterlands is cross-compatible with other blockchains, including Ethereum.
When you join Splinterlands, you will have to buy a ‘Summoner’s Spellbook’ with fiat currency. This purchase is necessary if you want to earn rewards and access Splinterlands’ functionalities.
The reason behind this initial purchase is to make the game’s currency more worthy and lucrative. Rather than having an infinite supply for anyone who signs up, setting a price for joining gives value to the currency. It also makes trading the in-game currency (the DEC tokens) and cards more worthwhile.
After the initial purchase, you can start earning with Splinterlands. You could even trade the cards and the Dark Energy Crystals on multiple platforms. Once you sell them for a particular cryptocurrency like Ethereum, you can easily convert that into fiat money.
Sandbox is another popular NFT game. You can think of it as the Minecraft of the NFT world. It can be much more fun than simple trading card games like Gods Unchained. Basically, it is based on Voxel and allows users to create objects using VoxEdit.
There are a couple of ways you can earn money with Sandbox. First, there is SAND, the primary utility token of the game. You can trade SAND on supporting crypto exchanges.
Secondly, there is LAND. This is a part of the Sandbox metaverse and much more valuable than other in-game items. Each LAND token is an NFT whose ownership is secured on the blockchain. The total exchange value of LAND NFTs has gone up to millions of dollars per month.
Thirdly, there are ASSETS. These are objects that the players/creators make using VoxEdit. Once an object is created, it is uploaded onto an IPFS network. This decentralizes the storage of the object and allows the object to become an ASSET. You can trade these on the primary Sandbox market.
Lastly, there are GAMES, which are exactly what they sound like. You can create your own little mini-games using Sandbox’s game-maker and sell them as NFTs.
Decentraland is the first and biggest multiplayer role-playing metaverse NFT game around. It made headlines back in 2018 when people started reporting huge gains from trading LAND on it. These are a sort of capital appreciation gain, except the capital is digital.
Decentraland is a metaverse. This means you can go to different places inside the game. And similar to the world, the places you go to are built on LAND. What adds even more value here is that the platform has a finite amount of this asset.
You can buy LAND as an NFT using MANA, the primary cryptocurrency associated with this game. Once you have the asset, you may develop it by making it a part of an estate or something valuable overall.
Besides LAND and Estates, you can also take part in digital casinos inside the game. Similar to actual casinos, you can play games like BlackJack and Roulette to earn DG. DG is another cryptocurrency associated with Decentraland. The more of this currency you have, the more voting rights you get when deciding what your LAND will be used for.
Best Free-to-Play NFT Games
Gods Unchained is one of the biggest card games using NFTs and the blockchain. It is a free-to-play and a play-to-win sort of game. However, earning money with it may not be as straightforward. So let’s go through a brief overview of how it works.
When you join the game, you are gifted a set of 140 cards. However, because these cards are not NFTs, you cannot trade them on the open market. Instead, you can use these cards to play and win more cards. You will also earn cards as rewards for leveling up as you play.
Once you have two identical cards, you can fuse them. This is where the money is because these fused, “higher quality” cards are listed on the blockchain. These are NFTs that you own and can trade. Depending on the type of card you have, or its rarity, you can sell it for cryptocurrency and convert it into fiat money.
For fusing the cards, however, you either need ‘Flux’ or the GODS token. Flux is an in-game resource you earn by winning ranked matches, while GODS are the game’s tokens. You can also use these to fuse cards, which will be minted directly on Immutable X.
- Neon District
Neon District is a cyberpunk-themed RPG by Blockade Games, a game development studio focused on blockchain-based games. They have a couple of games, but Neon is the main one.
As an RPG, you have characters that make up your team of 1-4 members. Each member is a character listed as an NFT and has a deck of cards that gives them additional attributes.
This brings us to the second type of asset in the game, Gears. Gears give your characters weapons, armor, and additional equipment. The better gear your character has, the more valuable that character becomes. The third digital asset in the Neon District is Shells. These are the equivalent of skins you see in games like PUBG, COD, and Fortnite. All three of these assets are NFTs that you can sell on marketplaces.
The main utility currency in this game is called Neon. You earn Neon either by delivering pizza to the hungry or by ambushing other players’ pizza runs. The more of these you have, the more upgrades you can afford for your character. You can also use it to buy weapon crates.
Remember, the more upgrades your character has, the more it will be worth. And since weapon crates contain a tradable NFT resource, they can earn you money as well.
- Axie Infinity — Scholar Program
Apparently, Axie Infinity is such a popular game that we have to mention it twice. But we will not be going through the details again. Instead, the program relevant here is Axie Infinity’s Manager-Scholar program.
When you start playing Axie Infinity, you have to buy at least three Axies. The Axies you begin with may not be worth much, but you still need to buy them with your money.
An alternative to buying new Axies is taking existing Axies from other players. The players who lend you the existing Axies are called Managers. And when you accept a leased Axie, you become a Scholar. This is what makes up the Manager-Scholar Program.
Though this program does save you money at first, there are some drawbacks to it as well. For starters, existing leased Axies cannot be bred to create new ones. On the other hand, when you own Axies, you can breed new ones using the existing ones. These new Axies could then be sold as NFTs, unlike leased ones.
Another thing you should know about this program is that the Manager takes a cut from your earnings as payment for the leased assets. If you are unsure about this game generally, starting with the Manager-Scholar program and then moving to have your own Axies might be a good idea.
Types of the NFT Games:
As you saw above, we have divided the best NFT games on this list into three categories. Let’s briefly go over what these categories are all about.
- Play to Earn Games
These games let you earn money via gameplay — it’s that simple. You earn valuable digital assets as you play and level up. The rarer these assets are, the more money they can make you when you sell them as NFTs on the digital market.
Some of these games require initial purchases. For example, Axie Infinity requires you to buy at least three Axies to start playing. The same goes for Splinterlands and Battle Racers. Others, like Gods Unchained, may not require any initial purchases and yet still allow you to earn money off of them.
If you are a serious gamer or want to invest in digital assets, this is the type of game you should play.
- Ready-to-Play Games
Some of the games on this list are not fully released yet. Ember Sword, for example, is still releasing early Alphas to test its engine, but the gameplay-focused alphas are not available yet. However, you can earn in-game coins and go through transactions in these games.
- Free-to-Play Games
These games do not require any initial purchase or investment to start playing, so they are basically the opposite of pay-to-earn games.
Some games have both modes. For example, you could play Battle Racers for free. Rather than buying a cart for ETH and getting the parts you need for a car, you could simply get a non-NFT car. However, you will not be making any money in such a mode.
And then we have games like Gods Unchained. When you join the game, you do not have to make an initial purchase to start playing. Instead, you’re given a deck of cards. As you play and earn more cards, you can fuse existing identical ones into tradable NFT cards.
Free-to-play games could work for teenagers and people simply looking to have fun.
The Future Of Tech and NFT Games:
The future is going to be more about VR than about screens. A testament to this opinion is Facebook’s name changing to Meta. Mark Zuckerberg has already expressed his predictions about the rise of virtual reality and the metaverse.
Rather than having our eyes stuck on our phones, we might be in a Ready Player One kind of scenario pretty soon. Not everyone may feel good about the nature of the upcoming tech revolution, but it looks like it will be arriving anyway.
The future of the best NFT games could be intertwined with the rise of the virtual world. You can already see the potential for this in games like Decentraland. Other MMORPGs also have the potential to start moving into the VR sphere soon.
If you are a gamer or have ever known one, you’ll know how engaging and immersive a game can be. Adding VR to that equation will take things to the next level.
NFT games and NFTs, in general, could have a significant role to play in the metaverse. This is because they provide you with absolute ownership of your digital assets. If you own something online, having it registered on the blockchain as an NFT would be the best way to ensure complete control over it.
But it will probably not end there. The application of AI and VR is likely to expand into other areas of life. For example, surgeons use VR headsets and haptic gloves during training to ‘experience’ what an actual surgery would be like.
The potential applications are endless. Using an avatar, you could be at a virtual party with your friends one minute and relaxing on a virtual beach the other. Overall, productivity and people’s well-being could improve dramatically as we step into the metaverse.
NFT Games: Pros and Cons
- Absolute Ownership and Security
The most significant advantage of NFTs is the nature of control you have over it. Once something is registered on the blockchain, it can not be tampered with. Since the information is spread all over the globe, fiddling with one copy would just not work.
- Perpetual Revenue
It is possible to earn revenue off of NFT asset resales. This means when somebody buys an asset from you and then resells it, you could get a cut of that. However, this is a potential application of NFTs and not something seen often in NFT game assets at the moment.
- Passive Income
Like any other capital asset, some NFT assets can provide passive income. For example, in Decentraland, if your land is part of an estate and that estate generates value in the game, you can earn a commission off of it.
- Capital Appreciation
If you plan to hold your in-game assets and the game takes off, you could be in for a lot of money. So if you get in on something good early, you can ride your digital assets to the moon. Of course, there is some luck involved here, but hey, everybody has a chance.
- Decentralized Control
If you are a crypto geek, you might know the story of Vitalik Buterin’s inspiration for Ethereum. Vitalik used to play World of Warcraft and the game-maker, Blizzard, nerfed one of his warlock’s spells. The message he took from that was the horror of centralized control.
Today, most of the best NFT games you find are built on the blockchain he developed. NFT games based on Ethereum can have more of a decentralized structure than traditional games.
- Lack of Public Knowledge
One of the biggest hurdles to the growth of NFT games and NFTs, in general, is the absence of public knowledge about them. As a result, they are a niche product for tech-savvy folks, few and far between.
FAQs About NFT Games
- How Do I Get Involved in the Best NFT Games?
NFTs are a relatively new concept. Like cryptocurrencies, you have to read up on them to get the hang of the scene. After that, getting into the best NFT games is not all that hard. While each game has its mechanics, the basics of how NFTs are supposed to work remain the same.
The first thing you need to do after learning about NFTs is to get a cryptocurrency wallet. These wallets can either be software or hardware-based. For software-based wallets, we would recommend MetaMask. For hardware wallets, something from Ledger should work well. When you are just starting out, you should get along fine with a simple Metamask wallet.
Finally, you have to deposit some cryptocurrency in your wallet. This is the equivalent of having cash in your actual wallet. For the best NFT games, the cryptocurrency you will mainly be concerned with is Ethereum or ETH. You can buy ETH on virtually any cryptocurrency exchange platform.
- Are the Best NFT Games Secure?
As we mentioned above, one of the most significant advantages of NFT games is their security. If you are not crypto-literate, NFTs are tokens registered on a blockchain. You can think of the blockchain as a super-secure digital store of data. There are multiple copies of the information on this blockchain, so if anybody tries to get smart, the blockchain is smarter. By verifying each action with the other copies, any attempts at tampering with the data can be detected and nullified.
The blockchain NFT games typically use is Ethereum. Ethereum allows users to make smart contracts. These are immutable programs written on the blockchain. So once the program is written, it will execute as per the written program. No central authority or third party can invade the integrity of the contract or the system in general. In short, the top 10 NFT games listed in this article are entirely secure.
- What are DAOs in NFT games?
DAO stands for “Decentralized Autonomous Organization.” This is a concept of highly decentralized governance. What happens here is that everybody gets a vote. Sounds like democracy, huh? Well, there is no central power or government to act as a vessel of power for the people here.
DAOs are in line with what blockchains, like Ethereum, are set out to do. The goal of these big blockchain projects was to decentralize the systems. Whether the financial system or the internet, these blockchains aim to take the central power away. And that is what DOAs are for in the best NFT games.
- What are IDOs in NFT Games?
IDOs are the latest crypto versions of IPOs. IDO stands for Initial DEX Offering. A DEX or decentralized exchange is the place to go when small projects or NFT games want to launch their own tokens.
It all started with ICOs, then came IEOs, and now we have IDOs. The system has a couple of advantages over the previous ones.
Firstly, the projects do not pay any hefty fees to a central exchange. Secondly, there is a limit on the number of coins someone can buy. This prevents the big whales from coming in and swooping away all of the investment opportunities from the rest of the community. And lastly, the money raised by IDOs is instantly available to the project.
Conclusion: Are NFT Games Worth Your Time & Money?
NFT games are a great way to make money online. The games follow the same models that traditional games do; only these can make you actual money.
Some of the games listed here may require more investment than others. For example, buying land in Decentraland may cost a lot more than buying your first Axies in Axie Infinity.
On the other hand, some games are entirely free to play and yet allow you to mint and make money with NFTs. Gods Unchained, one of our best NFT games, is a good example of this.
Your best bet might be to keep an eye on upcoming games and HODL their digital assets. If you have money to invest, up-and-coming NFT projects and games can be highly profitable.
Whatever you choose to do, one thing is for sure. NFT games are going to grow in the coming years. As we move into the age of the metaverse, games, in general, will evolve into a more immersive world. And the blockchain will have a part to play in many more spheres of our life, including gaming.