The NFT play-to-earn industry might be at its infancy, but it’s already obvious it’s going to be a giant in the entertainment space. Many of the games that are already on the market look like something made in the late 90s or early 2000s, yet the player base keeps growing. Many may not even offer much in terms of gameplay besides clicking buttons. However, what they lack in playability, they make up for in terms of earnings.
In many third world countries, the daily profits you can make from playing NFT games are higher than the average salary. This is one the reasons for the mass adoption of play to earn games. The second is the current NFT craze in the crypto space, where money is thrown at anything. Still, play to earn games are here to stay and they can be very profitable, especially if you enter early on.
Before we begin, please understand that all the projects we’ll present here carry risks and should not be treated as an investment advice. A good way to approach this kinds of titles is to start very small and see where that takes you. Even if you get your money back relatively quickly, follow up gradually, don’t just ape in with all your savings. These kinds of projects can be profitable today and lose you money tomorrow, just like it happened with CryptoBlades. With that aside, let’s begin.
1. Block Creatures
Block Creatures is a play to earn NFT game on the Binance Smart Chain. The game is centered around collecting creatures and training them to earn an in game reward token, which then you can trade for BNB and change to fiat. All game items and characters are tradable ERC721 tokens, which you can buy and sell on their marketplace.
You can start playing by either minting a creature, or by buying a creature from the marketplace. Creatures come at different rarity levels and the rarer the creature the higher the rewards from doing the daily training. Every time you train one of your creatures, there is a 50-50 percent chance that the training will be successful and you’ll be able to mine more Moolah, the in game token, based of your creature’s level & rarity.
Training is the main mechanic for the play to earn model. It allows you to make your creatures more powerful. The higher level you creature is, the more Moolah you have a chance to earn per day. There are limits to your training sessions along with cooldowns that restrict the amount of times you can train per day.
Training a creature is simple – you just click the train button, and as long as the creature is not on cooldown, it will prompt a confirmation on the blockchain and get a training result for you. If the training is successful you’ll get the full reward your creature can gain. If not, you still get a tiny bit of experience and Moolah.
If you want to read more about the game mechanics, or the tokenomics, you can find their whitepaper here.
Current Block Creatures ROI – 2 weeks to 3 months, depending on your training luck and the minted creatures rarity.
The Moolah token had been declining steadily over the past week, so it’s now much cheaper to enter than few weeks ago.
This and Plant vs Undead are my top recommendation for new player entry from the games on the this list (my personal opinion). We are interested in following this project closer and doing a full review.
PolkaMonster is another play to earn monster collection game on the Binance Smart Chain, this time inspired by Pokemon Go.
You can mint your Polka Monster by buying and opening elemental eggs or you can buy them directly at the marketplace. They start at level one and come in different rarities. By doing tasks, your Polka will accumulate experience and evolve to level up. Mature monsters, from level 3 and up, have the ability to farm, which allows players to earn more tokens and collect NFT items.
Polka Mosnter has two tokens: $PKM and $PKK. The game started with only PKMon, but this token was soon exhausted. Most purchases and maintenance are paid in PKM while players earn rewards in PKK.
The play to earn part involves players using their Polkas to fight Org monsters. If you win the battle, you are then rewarded with the PKK token and gain experience points. Monsters with higher rarity will gain more experience. The win rate and reward levels are calculated based on rarity and level of the Polka Monster. The rarity level also determines the maximum number of fights per day.
The play to earn activities are divided into:
- Daily fights: you fight with your monsters to earn PKK, the main play to earn activity.
- Farming: you can place your Polka Monsters to the farm to participate in farming and get back PKM as a farm reward. Rare and high level Monsters will receive a higher number of tokens from farming.
- PVP Challenge: players can compete against each other to practice and earn more PKM from their opponents as well as receive ranking rewards.
- Raids/Team combat: there is a plan to have raid events against the entire Org corps held weekly.
PolkaMonster is a simple game. It’s still profitable and, unlike some other games on this list, it’s tokens are not loosing value over time.
Current PolkaMonster ROI – 2 weeks to 3 months, depending on your fight outcomes and the minted/bought creatures rarity.
3. Plant vs Undead
Plant vs Undead (PVU) is a play to earn tower defense game on the Binance Smart Chain, where your plants are your real asset. The game is inspired by Plants vs Zombies, with the addition of new blockchain technology and NFTs. In a nutshell, PVU is a tower defense game in a farming simulation skin.
What’s different from the other games is that you can start to play it for free – no initial investment is needed.
Each plant is unique in PVU and accessible through growing Seeds. Each plant can be bought and sold at the marketplace. Free-to-play players, or gardeners, can play play and earn NFTs with real value.
While slightly more complicated that the other games on this list, it’s easy to start playing. Free to play players get 1 mother tree and 6 basic plants. These starting plants are not NFTs, but are usable in all game modes. The in-game token, PVU, can be earned and used to buy seeds/plants on the marketplace.
There are several game modes:
- Each round, a player is allowed to bring one mother tree and up to eight unique plants;
- Plants positions on the land are important as it provides synergy. For example, 3 adjacent fire plants give ignite to the plants’ attack. The same goes for other elements;
- Killing Undead gives energy, which can be used to upgrade or relocate the plants.
For multiplayer, beside defending, players can summon Undead or using skills to gain advantages. The one who last longer wins the match. For single player, there is the Endless survival mode.
Current Plant vs Undead – 1 day to 3 months, depending on your entry into the game. As it is free to play, you can practically start earning from day 1. However, as with the other games, this game won’t be as profitable in the future as it was at the beginning of the project.
Buying plants is expensive, as the game is currently implementing farming 2.5, which changes the rules of the game and adds additional value to owning plant NFTs. We bought one plant NTF for around $1200, and are expecting a ROI of 40 days, but I am not sure that ROI will be sustainable in the future.
However, I do think that the game will stay profitable in the near future. The ROI might increase, but I do not see a scenario where they kill their economy, like CryptoBlades, or CryptoDrakeBall.
The team is working on various game modes. They quickly discover which parts of the game are abused and change them accordingly.
It’s definitely a game that we are interested in doing a detailed review of.
Similar to Block Creatures, CryptoZoon is hosted on the Binance Smart Chain and also features tokenized digital creatures in a virtual universe.
CryptoZoon makes use of the BEP20 protocol to create its own token, ZOON, rewarded to players for winning battles. CryptoZoon NFTs are digital creatures called ZOANs. ZOANs have traits and tribes, and are of varying rarity and levels. They can grow and be trained to fight monsters.
ZOANs are initially spawned from eggs then go to reach the fully active, playable, version. Players are required to spend ZOON tokens to complete the hatching process.
CryptoZoon gameplay is centered on fighting Yaki monsters with your ZOANs. There are four elemental systems corresponding to ZOAN tribes and each ZOAN tribe has different abilities. After hatching from an egg, a ZOAN will randomly be given a Rarity level which cannot be changed. There are a total of six levels arranged in ascending rarity: Common, Uncommon, Rare, Super Rare, Epic and Legendary.
The basic play to earn model of CryptoZoon is: players play to earn ZOON tokens that can be sold for fiat or used to purchase more ZOANs (NFTs).
Players can earn ZOON by fighting Yaki monsters. When you win the battle, you earn ZOON tokens as reward. Their algorithm selects winners based on select ZOAN characteristics like rarity and evolution levels. For examples, the rarity of ZOAN determines the maximum turns to play in every 4 hour round. ZOANs which have a high level of rarity and evolution can earn more ZOON as the reward for winning battles.
There are also raids, or fights against Yaki Bosses every week, for which you need a particular ZOAN rarity in order to participate, with ZOON divided among the winners.
ZOANS need to reach at least level 3 to participate in farming. Users can stake ZOANs in the farm to get back ZOON as farming rewards. The ZOANs with a high level in rarity and evolution will receive more ZOON from farming.
Current CryptoZoon ROI – unknown.
While the game was very profitable at the start of the project, they have made some unpopular decisions lately. The DEVs caped player rewards withdrawal to 30 percent every five days. More over, they have introduced a second token as reward for winning – YAG, which is less valuable than ZOON. I am also seeing a lot of people getting banned on their Discord, for voicing any kind of negativity towards the project. While it can still be profitable, I cannot recommend for new players to enter the game as of now. If this changes in the future, I’ll update this article.
NOTE: This is a curious one, as when I started writing this article, the game was very profitable. However, in the meantime the rewards were cut and the price of their token has taken a nose dive. Since most of the text was already written, I decided to keep the game on this list. I will update this text if something changes in the future.
CryptoDrakeBall is a familiar looking (ahem) play to earn NFT card game, also on the Binance Smart Chain platform. The game revolves around using characters to train them to enter the Arena and earn DBALL tokens. NFTs may be freely traded on the marketplace for DBALL tokens, which can then be traded on exchanges or converted to fiat currency.
Currently the following options are available for the player to earn:
• Participating in Arena fights with the characters you own and winning DBALL;
• Capsuling characters or selling them on the marketplace;
Each character starts at level one, and comes with one of six different rarity levels upon capsuling. Characters with higher rarity will have higher reward paid when fighting in Arena. Each character has stamina which is 4 times the fighting maximum. One fight turn cooldown is three hours and a single character can fight 8 times per day.
With experience gained in the Arena your character increases levels. The rarity as well as the level of the character will determine the DBALL rewards for Arena victories. Fights are an on-chain transactions that takes the power values of the chosen character and chosen enemy, and compares the calculated rolls to determine if the player wins or loses.
Combat consists of the player choosing a character and selecting enemies from a random group based on your power. After the player has chosen their enemy, the contract calculates your odds of winning against the opponent. There are four options to choose enemies with different win rates and rewards:
- Option 1: 80% win rate;
- Option 2: 70% win rate;
- Option 3: 60% win rate;
- Option 4: 20% win rate.
A winning battle will pay your character experience bonus and DBALL reward to your wallet. The lower the win rate, the higher the reward. However, you should choose carefully, as a loss nets you only gas fees.
If you go to their website, you’ll notice that its not immediately clear how you can mint characters. First you’ll have to buy some DBALL from PancakeSwap, then connect your wallet to the CryptoDrakeBall app. Go to the Arena and there you can buy a capsule. After buying a capsule you can throw the capsule and that mints you a character. You can have four characters per account.
Current CryptoDrakeBall ROI – never.
While the game was very profitable for a few weeks, the rewards have been cut significantly, which together with the falling price of DBALL means that gas fees are higher than the rewards, much like CryptoBlades. There is NO incentive at the moment to play CryptoDrakeBall. Unfortunately, it is another victim of bad economy planning, low token utility and mass dumping of the token rewards by players. A clear reminder of the current volatility of this space. Players who got in early took profits, while those who joined later are in the red.