Axie Infinity: What It Is, How To Play, and How To Earn
It’s no exaggeration to say that Axie Infinity has taken the Philippines by storm. Its popularity rose so rapidly that the Philippines is now the top country for the play-to-earn online game in the world, representing 55 percent of the game’s total players to date.
The blockchain game has become so prevalent that it has even reached the keen eyes of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Bureau of Internal Revenues (BIR), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
But what exactly is Axie Infinity and is it really possible for players to earn real money by just playing casually?
What is Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity is best described by Sky Mavis as a “living, breathing organism” that enables its users to contribute to the digital economy, while also earning money for themselves. In its purest form, Axie Infinity requires players to own at least three pet monsters called Axies in order to play the game.
The pet monsters, which are considered non-fungible tokens (NFTs), have their own sets of skills based on their features or body parts. These body parts are represented by cards in the game, which the players use to either attack, defend, or strengthen their Axies.
Card draws, however, are very random, and this is where a player’s skill and in-battle decision making comes into play.
Invest: Buying from the marketplace
But unlike games that are free to play, Axie requires an initial investment from players. Each player must acquire at least three Axies in order to play the game. Players may purchase their Axies through the official marketplace using ethereum (ETH), a cryptocurrency that is widely traded globally.
All Axies sold in the marketplace are owned by players themselves. Sky Mavis gets 4.25 percent of the total sale for each Axie. Currently, a decent team could mean an initial investment of around P60,000, an amount that not everybody has the luxury of shelling out.
How to play Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity rewards players by giving them digital tokens called Smooth Love Potions (SLPs), which can then be traded into real money.
The three Axies can be used to play in both Adventure and Arena modes.
In Adventure, players must win against the environment monsters in the initial 36 levels called ruins. Players may earn up to 50 SLPs per day via the Adventure mode.
Meanwhile, the Arena mode allows players to battle against each other using their Axies. Each gives players corresponding SLPs depending on their matchmaking rating (MMR) level. Players with higher MMRs earn up to 21 SLPs per win.
Players are also rewarded for completing their daily tasks, which include winning 10 battles in Adventure mode and five battles in the Arena. In total, a player may earn at least 75 SLPs per day just by completing the daily tasks.
This mode of earning is often called farming, which is almost similar to how cryptocurrency mining rigs work. The only difference is, instead of solving complex mathematical problems, Axie players need only to play in order to earn digital tokens.
As of this writing, the price of a piece of SLP is pegged at around P5. A player who earns at least 75 SLPs per day for a month may earn up to P11,250 given this current exchange rate.
Aside from farming SLPs daily, players may also earn by breeding their pet Axies. Each Axie may be bred seven times during their lifetime before they can be considered sterile.
The offspring of the Axies may then be sold at the marketplace. Breeding, however, is not free. Axie Infinity charges breeders SLPs and Axie Infinity Shards (AXS), the governance token of the whole Axie universe, depending on how many times the Axies have been bred.
Depending on their purity, body parts, and rarity, Axies are sold between P8,000 to as much as P6 million, which was the approximate price of a rare Axie sold in late July.
Buy and sell
Some creative players also go the route of buying and selling Axies. They “snipe” for Axies with good skill sets and stats that are being sold for cheap, and then sell them for a higher price. Others also earn by trading cryptocurrencies, selling their SLPs in a decentralized exchange, and buying other cryptocurrencies that they forecast to rise in value.
As we’ve said, not everyone has the breathing room to invest in Axies. This led to the creation of a so-called “Scholarship System,” wherein “managers” purchase Axies and allow their “scholars” to play for them.
Managers and scholars first agree to certain terms such as daily quotas, percentage shares, and payout schedules, among others.
This then extends the Axie economy beyond those who can invest in it.
For a group of friends, who asked not to be named, this program has helped provide a means of livelihood for their scholars. They invested a total of P300,000 to create a scholarship program for six scholars.
Today, their six scholars are earning as much as P8,000 per month (given the current price for SLPs) for playing for as much as two hours per day.
But as they say, any investment in cryptocurrency should be money you’re willing to lose. Just like other cryptocurrencies, SLPs and AXS are very volatile; it’s not Christmas every day.
The economy is still also player-dependent and mechanisms should be put in place in order to make it more sustainable.
Jeffrey Zirlin, the co-founder of Sky Mavis, has said that Axie Infinity will be introducing more gameplay innovations and features to make the game more sustainable and become independent of the player-led economy.