How to Start Playing Axie Infinity?
Axie Infinity is undoubtedly the leading blockchain game in the space right now. Its play-to-earn model has become the primary source of income for many people in emerging countries. Some are earning more from the game than they could in their regular jobs.
The characters of the game, “Axies,” are NFTs that represent virtual pets, trading in a price range of $130 to $14 million. You read that right; people pay millions of dollars for a JPEG (again).
The game provides additional economic value via governance tokens AXS, game credits tokens SLP, and breeding new Axies, all of which are intertwined with the Axie Infinity virtual world.
There are over 250,000 active daily users and 6.9 million Axies minted on the platform since its launch in 2018, and the number keeps growing. If you want to start playing blockchain-related games, there’s no better place to be.
In this edition of blockchain gaming insights, I will peek into the Axie metaverse and share a newbie guide for starting out in the game.
Axie Infinity Gaming Universe
Axie Infinity is an NFT-based blockchain game built by Singapore-based gaming studio Sky Mavis. They have designed a digital pet universe to raise Axies, send them to battles, and breed new ones.
The in-game pets, Axies, are divided into classes: Aquatic, Beast, Bird, Plant, Reptile, Bug, Mech, Dusk, Dawn. Don’t worry, you don’t have to memorize that.
Out of the total of 6.9 million Axies, only 4,088 come from the first batch of these NFTs ever minted. They are called “origins.” Naturally, as the population of the Axies grows, the origins become rarer. There is also a smaller subset of 1,376 Axies with mystic body parts. The rarer an Axie is, the more it costs.
If you’re an avid NFT collector, you could choose an Axie from the rare ones mentioned above and potentially benefit by selling at a higher price later. The cheapest origins are currently going for a minimum of $10,000, and the origins with at least one mystic part for $85,000.
Not many people have that kind of money to shop for JPEGs. Fortunately, anyone can start small by extracting money from the game’s play-to-earn model. However, there’s a caveat.
You can’t just go and play Axie Infinity because of the initial required investment of at least $600-$700.
You earn between $10-$50 on a daily basis depending on the time you devote to the game. Ideally, you should earn your initial investment money back within a month. Plus, you can always sell your Axies on the marketplace.
If you are ready to immerse yourself into the world of Axies and have that initial sum to invest on hand, follow these steps before you can start playing. Let’s go over them.
Setting up an Axie Wallet
Axie Infinity runs on an Ethereum side-chain, Ronin. It was designed specifically for Axie in June 2020 as rising fees on Ethereum made gaming extremely expensive.
You need to transfer ETH from the mainnet to the Ronin chain for trading on Axie Marketplace and perform gaming actions.
Download the Ronin wallet from the link here and use the official bridge to transfer ETH from your Metamask wallet to obtain WETH on the Ronin chain.
While Ronin transactions don’t cost anything, users still have to pay fees for deposits, withdrawals of ERC-20 tokens, and using the bridge to Ethereum. If you don’t go in and out frequently, you shouldn’t be affected by the bridging costs too much.
Buying Your First Three Axies
Remember what I said about the initial investment? It’s time you make it by buying a set of three Axies, which is the minimum required to play the game.
Axies are available on the marketplace here. Connect your Ronin wallet to start trading.
When you enter the marketplace, don’t get bewildered by the millions of Axies on sale. Fight the impulse of going with the cheapest ones by learning about some of the game’s features.
As I mentioned earlier, there are nine classes of Axies (birds, reptiles, plants, etc.), among them, six are “purebred,” meaning they do not have body parts—such as eyes, ears, horn, mouth, back, and tail—from other classes.
The rest are, in a sense, flawed as they come with random body parts from two classes that bred them. They also breed unpredictably and, more often than not, yield inexpensive new ones. These constitute millions of uncommon NFTs.
The other three classes—dusk, dawn, and mech—are special ones that can be created only by breeding purebreds. They have special abilities to fight in battles. Every time you breed your purebred Axies, there is a 33% chance of getting the special ones.
Don’t worry about the breeding process now, this information only tells us to filter for purebreds at the beginning.
The six purebreds are further divided into three groups. The gaming process is built around battles. In a battle, each group deals 15% more damage to one other group and takes a 15% greater hit from another group. Think about stone, paper, scissors: stone breaks scissors, scissors cuts paper, and paper wraps stones.
Logically, obtaining one from each group should position you well in a game. However, if you look at their win rates, it makes more sense to buy Reptile and Plant from Group 3 and Aquatic as your third one.
When you’ve bought three Axies of your choosing, you’re ready to download the game’s client and play.
You also need to set up an e-mail address and password on the online marketplace to access the game. Go to My Accounts > then choose the setup option.
Setting up your email and password on Axie Infinity Marketplace
Download and Play
Download the Mavis Hub game launcher for your desktop or mobile device from the link here. Use the same email address and password you stored on the marketplace to log in and import your Axies.
Axie Infinity main screen.
Engage your Axies in Adventures and Arena battles and earn Smooth Love Portions (SLP) for winning. You can sell SLP or use them to pay for breeding. The higher your level in the game, the more the number of SLPs you get per win.
You will also earn rewards in AXS tokens—the governance token—for performing different activities in the game.
From the Axies to SLP tokens, all aspects of the game have real value attached to them. Try to grab the maximum value by winning and breeding. Good luck, have fun