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Play to Earn : How games integrate cryptocurrencies ?

With the rise of crypto finance, crypto games have become very popular, they are also called Play to earn. These games that evolve in the ecosystem of blockchains and in which the rewards are cryptos and NFTs. We will discuss their specificities, their operation but also the best play to earn games in 2023.


Mis à jour le 11/27/2023 à 16:03

play to earn

What is a Play to Earn game ?

Traditional video games offer gameplay and rewards that are valuable in-game but worthless outside of it. Conversely, the new “Play to Earn” (P2E) games allow you to play and win real money. Or rather, they allow you to earn cryptocurrency and NFTs which can then be converted into real money.

This new kind of game uses blockchain technology to host the game and bring real value to its elements. Indeed, in most games, characters, accessories or lands are tokenized.

The elements of the game are therefore tokens on the blockchain. It is therefore possible to export them from the game, to exchange them on marketplaces. Play to Earn games are actually sometimes metaverses. Fully tokenized worlds in which everything is on blockchain.

Today, the Play to Earn game movement is still in its infancy and most players see it as an opportunity to be an early adopter and create value in anticipation of a time when these games will become the norm.

Some games are already growing hugely with many investors already buying virtual land. This is the case for example of The Sandbox which is probably the most popular P2E game in 2023.

Other games have, for now, only a profit motive for the players. By playing, they collect cryptos (which are generally a token that the game has developed itself), then they exchange these tokens for Bitcoin, Ethereum or even stablecoins and build up crypto investment capital.

How do these blockchain games work ?

Located halfway between gaming and cryptography, P2E platforms are articulated around the development of their own token and smart contracts hosted on a blockchain.

The Ethereum blockchain was the first to allow the development of Play to Earn games with the arrival of smart contracts.

The operating principle of these games is to play a game that allows you to accumulate rewards presented in the form of cryptocurrencies or NFTs (non-fungible tokens). They are therefore digital assets which, in the game, make it possible to give more power to the players

NFTs can be weapons (sword, arrow, gun, hammer, etc.), characters, accessories, lands or even other assets present in the game.

Since these non-fungible tokens are unique, they have great value in the eyes of players. They can thus use it to improve their game and evolve within it, but they can also see a speculative interest in it.

They can thus keep their NFTs in order to exchange them when they increase in value.

What are the different types of Play to Earn ?

There are several different types of games. They are mainly differentiated by their accessibility and the medium on which they can be played.

Here are the different types of Play to Earn games in 2023 :

  • Paid Play to Earn
  • Free Play to Ear
  • Mobile Play to Earn (iOs/Android)

There is no paid P2E as such. That is to say, unlike traditional video games, there is no “entry fee”, a price to pay just to have the right to play the game.

On the other hand, a more frequent practice in P2E is to impose the purchase of certain NFTs in order to be able to start playing. These tokens will be used directly to play and it is therefore a kind of investment.

This can still be a hindrance for players who want to start playing a particular game.

Here are some paid Play to Earn :

  • Surf Invaders : you have to buy a pack of NFTs containing lives and a surfer to start playing
  • Axie Infinity : to start playing, you have to buy 3 Axie. These are the characters of the game and it takes 3 of them to start the game
  • Stepn : Move to Earn requires the purchase of a pair of virtual shoes to play. The problem is that a pair costs at least several hundred euros

Free Play to Earn

Unlike paid games, free Play to Earn games do not require any purchase (even a derisory one) to start playing. This is obviously very advantageous for accessibility to the game.

Most P2E are free in 2023 to make it easier to access the game and attract more players.

Here are some free Play to Earn :

  • The Sandbox
  • Gods Unchained
  • DeFi Kingdoms

So you can create an account in minutes and start playing straight away.

Mobile Play to Earn

Some P2E games also offer a mobile version of their game. The aim is also to facilitate access to the game at a time when many people exclusively use their phones to play games.

Here are some examples of Play to Earn Android and iOS games :

  • Axie Infinity which offers a mobile version of its famous game
  • Reward Hunter
  • Farmers World
  • Monsta Infinite
  • Stepn

These mobile Play to Earn games are available on iOs and Android.

How to play a Play to Earn?

There is no universal way to play. They are full-fledged games that play in unique ways. Each game offers its own gameplay and concept.

Right now, some of the biggest Play to Earn games are picking up the paw of high-profile video games. We can cite Animal Farm, Hearthstone, Minecraft, Flappy Bird which all have a similar Play to Earn crypto.

The particularity of these games, due to their presence on the blockchain, is that you must already be connected and an informed user of the blockchain ecosystem.

In practice, this means that :

  • You must have a browser wallet because you will always need to link a wallet to connect to Play to Earn
  • At best, being registered on an exchange platform (as Binance) which will allow you to buy tokens that will be used in the game, or to exchange the tokens you earn in the game against others or against fiat currency (“real” money).

For the wallet, you can simply download a known wallet such as Metamask or XDEFI which will allow you to connect to most games since many are on the Ethereum blockchain. However, some games may require the opening of a specific wallet or simply compatible with the blockchain on which they are.

What are the 7 best Play to earn ?

Do you want to embark on the Play to Earn adventure to try to win cryptos and NFTs? Or just start playing what will probably be the future of video games?

We have put together a list of the best Play to Earn that currently exist and on which it can be (very) interesting to place yourself quickly.

Here is our 2023 selection of the 7 best Play to Earn to start with :

  • Axie Infinity : the most popular game today in this field. It is a game comparable to Pokemon in which you have to build a team of creatures and fight with other users. Creatures are Axie and are NFTs that can be traded and sold
  • Alien Worlds : a game essentially of mining which consists in mining tokens on lands on virtual planets. A game in space on which the player can mine and stake cryptos
  • The Sandbox : The Sandbox offers the best known metaverse today. It’s a Minecraft-like open world where players can buy land and create their own gameplay. Many companies and many artists are investing in The Sandbox today
  • Gods Unchained : a Hearthstone-like card game in which players compete with cards
  • Surfs Invaders : a game in which we advance on an infinite world. The character is a surfer who must avoid obstacles and accumulate as many points as possible
  • DeFi Kingdoms : an MMORG in which you control a character who can have a job and fight monsters
  • Stepn : probably the best known move to earn at the moment. The game is so successful that they had to limit the number of daily memberships. It is a game that combines sport and blockchain since users accumulate and earn cryptocurrency by walking or running

⚠️ This article is published for informational purposes and should not be considered as investment advice. Crypto-currency trading involves risk and it is important not to invest more than you can afford to lose.

InvestX is not responsible for the quality of the products or services presented on this page and shall not be held liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused as a result of using any goods or services highlighted in this article. Investments related to crypto-assets are risky by nature, readers should do their own research before taking any action and only invest within the limits of their financial capabilities. This article does not constitute investment advice.



Web editor for many years and SEO specialist, Thomas became an editor for InvestX when the site was launched. Passionate about the field of crypto and Web3, Thomas has made it his mission to deliver maximum value and introduce readers to the world of blockchains, considered for him as the world of tomorrow.

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