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Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based computer game that has recently taken the non-fungible token (NFT) sector by storm. Launched in 2018 on the Ethereum blockchain, Axie Infinity is a Pokemon-inspired RPG (Role Playing Game) where players can battle, collect and breed pet-like creatures called "Axies".
While Axie Infinity has been a hit on game-play alone, the game's interaction with blockchain technology has been truly innovative. The team at Sky Mavis, the company behind Axie Infinity, have utilised the blockchain to develop an economic design where players are rewarded for gameplay. This is more commonly referred to by the Axie Team as "play to earn".
With a vision where work and play can become one, the game has captured many fans globally. The platform's long term aim was to introduce a wider proportion of the population to blockchain technology. This has been a huge success, with many early players amassing substantial sums through gaming rewards.
According to Axie Infinity documents, the game has currently generated over 13,000 ETH ($16 million) of revenue and is currently the number one Ethereum-based computer game.
In this guide, we will look at what an Axie is, how the Axie Infinity ecosystem works, how you can earn money, and most importantly, how to get started.
An Axie is an oval-shaped pet-like creature that can be customised and trained based upon a player's preferences. Axies can be used to battle monsters in the Axie Infinity Adventure Mode or battle other players in the game's Arena. By battling Axies a player can earn in-game rewards, which can then be exchanged for real-world value.
Each Axie is unique and is represented by a non-fungible token (NFT). To begin playing Axie Infinity a player must first purchase 3 Axies. This will make up a player's team within the game. Axies can be acquired through the Axie Marketplace.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are Ethereum-based digital tokens that prove ownership of unique collectables. Since launching in 2017, they have been used to prove ownership of a range of different objects including digital art, music and gaming accessories, such as Axies. Unlike fiat currency or cryptocurrencies, NFTs are non-fungible as no 2 objects are the same. Each object represented has its own independent value and therefore cannot be traded directly. $1 can be swapped for $1, but one NFT cannot be swapped for another NFT. The ownership of NFTs is tracked by the Ethereum blockchain.
When first picking an Axie team it is important to remember that not all Axies are created equal. Each Axie can belong to one of 9 different classes. These classes include Dusk, Beast, Bug, Mech, Aqua, Reptile, Plant, Bird and Dawn.
Each class of Axie has specific strengths and weaknesses. Very similar to Pokemon categories, some classes will be more or less effective against others.
Further to classes, Axie's can be customised through what is known as body parts. An Axie has 6 body parts that can be personalised. These include the eyes, ears, horns, mouth, back and tail.
Each body part is associated with a specific class, which means bonus abilities can be granted by integrating certain body parts with specific classes.
That being said, any combination of body parts can be attached to any class. This allows for a vast range of configurations and ensures that all Axies are unique.
An Axie's strength, effectiveness and wellbeing are measured by its Axie stats. Stats are dependent on the class and body parts that are chosen by a player. The stats are composed of 4 readings:
All Axies have 4 different abilities. These are moves that an Axie can perform in a battle. Each move is represented by a card. The 4 abilities are determined by the combination of class and body parts that a player chooses.
Abilities range from attacking moves, which damage an opponent, to defensive moves, which help with recovery or evasion. There are 132 cards (moves) in the game.
Within the Axie Infinity universe, there are 2 main ways that players can earn money. The first is by playing the game and earning Smooth Love Potions, or SLPs. The second is by breeding and selling Axies. You can do this as the owner, or you can rent out your Axie to a Scholar via a guild.
SLPs are in-game rewards that are collected by players simply for playing. This makes them the easiest way to earn money through the game. They can be earned through completing challenges or battles. Once enough SLPs are accrued they can then be sold for real-world dollar value.
Each SLP is represented by an ERC-20 token, which enables them to be freely traded and exchanged across the Ethereum blockchain. Each token carries real-world dollar value due to their requirement for breeding Axies within the game. Players wishing to breed Axies require a certain amount of SLPs for the process. This gives SLPs intrinsic value.
Note. SLPs can only be withdrawn from the platform after 14 days. This mitigates bot-like behaviour and deters other malicious activity.
In Axie Infinity SLPs can be earned within:
As previously mentioned, breeding and subsequently selling Axies is the second way players can earn money from within the Axie Infinity ecosystem.
By breeding 2 Axies a baby Axie is created. Each time an Axie is used for breeding, a set number of SLPs are required. These SLPs are burned when used. The amount of SLPs required increases with the number of times a parent Axie has been used for breeding. An Axie can only breed a maximum of 7 times.
Each new Axie produced is given a brand new set of stats and abilities. This can make them valuable collectables. New Axies can remain within a player's team or they can be sold to other players. Remember, each Axie is represented by an NFT and therefore can be traded and exchanged across the Ethereum blockchain.
The Axie Infinity battle system works on a turn-based card game. As mentioned previously, each Axie move is associated with a card, which requires an allotted amount of energy to play. Once energy levels have been exhausted a player will need to wait for their Axie to recharge before using that move again.
Each Axie class has strengths and weaknesses that come into play when battling. A player must decide which Axie, and which move, is best suited for an opponent.
Axie Infinity Shards, or AXS, are the native governance tokens for the Axie Infinity platform. Introduced in November 2020, they allow each token holder to vote on decisions such as the development of the platform or distribution of funds. It is the future intention of Axie Infinity to become a fully decentralised organisation that is governed by only players of the game.
The AXS token is also crucial for the Community Treasury. The Community Treasury collects 100% of all transaction fees that take place on the platform. By staking AXS tokens and supporting the ecosystem, AXS token holders can earn a share of the transaction fees collected. It incentivises community support and further grows the Axie Infinity ecosystem.
According to the Axie website, AXS can also be earned in-game, however, true play-to-earn potential is not yet widely available.
Like Smooth Love Potions (SLPs), AXSs are ERC-20 (Ethereum-based) tokens. However, while SLPs have an unlimited supply which will constantly fluctuate depending on the number of players, the circulating supply of AXS is capped at 270 million.
To begin playing Axie Infinity a player will need access to a Web 3.0 digital wallet, such as MetaMask. This cryptocurrency wallet will be used to initially create an Axie Infinity account, and can subsequently be used when withdrawing rewards from the game.
The steps outlined here will be for the desktop version of the game, but the steps will be mirrored for the mobile version.
The following steps outline how to get started:
Download the MetaMask cryptocurrency wallet and deposit some Ether (ETH) into it. Ether is the cryptocurrency associated with the Ethereum blockchain and will be required for purchasing Axies. For more details on MetaMask check out our in-depth guide here.
Head over to the Axie Marketplace page and click "Login". Then select "Login with MetaMask". Follow the prompts within your MetaMask wallet. Once the prompts are followed, your Axie Infinity account will be set up. Back within the website, you will be prompted to provide a username. Choose a username personal to you.
In the middle of the following dashboard, you will need to enter a corresponding email and create a password.
The Ronin wallet was developed by Sky Mavis for interaction with the Axie Infinity game via the Ronin sidechain. The Ronin sidechain was built specifically for blockchain games and means players can avoid the often expensive transaction fees associated with the Ethereum blockchain. Like MetaMask, the Ronin wallet is a browser extension. Download the Ronin wallet here.
Once downloaded and installed, connect the wallet to your Axie Infinity account through the dashboard.
Transfer ETH from your MetaMask wallet to your Ronin wallet using the Ronin Bridge platform.
Note. ETH can also be purchased directly from your Ronin wallet using the Ramp Network (this is not available in all countries).
Once you have deposited Ethereum into your Ronin wallet you can head over to the Axie Marketplace. This is the dashboard where ETH can be exchanged for Axie NFTs. Log in to the platform with your Ronin wallet. Choose your Axies and purchase them using ETH. Once purchased, you will receive an NFT which will represent ownership. The cost of each Axie will depend upon the value of ETH at the time of purchase.
Next, you will need to download and install the Axie Infinity desktop application. Visit the Axie Infinity homepage and click on "Play Now" in the top right of the screen. Download and install the application.
Once the Axie Infinity gaming application is installed, you will be asked to enter the details of your Axie Infinity account that you created earlier. The Axies that you purchased with your Ronin wallet should automatically appear within the game. You and your Axies are now ready to explore the Axie Infinity universe!
Axie Infinity is a truly innovative game that manages to capture the best features from RPG classics and combine them with a blockchain-based economic ecosystem. The possibility of playing to earn is a notion that has captured many adoring fans. Not only can the game prove lucrative, it is also a useful educational tool for those new to NFTs and blockchain technology.
The supply and demand for the game's utility token, SLP, is both neat and inventive. With the recent development of the accompanying AXS governance token and the constant move towards decentralisation, this is certainly an exciting gaming platform that holds plenty of potential for the future.
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