Splinterlands game guide

In our Splinterlands guide we take you through this play-to-earn NFT CCG game, and how to get DEX and SDS tokens.

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Splinterlands is known as one of the top crypto games on the market. It has an average of 3 million transactions every day and around 400,000 players worldwide battling, trading and earning. Essentially, it's like most collectible card games (CCG) – but built on a blockchain with non-fungible token (NFT) cards.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

Highlights:

  • Free to try
  • Accessible on web browser and Android
  • $10 to unlock play-to-earn features
  • Stylistic card art
  • 249 unique Monsters so far

What is Splinterlands?

Splinterlands is a play-to-earn CCG built on the Hive blockchain. The game was previously called Steem Monsters, played as a one-on-one battle between teams of monsters.

Players build collections of cards, each with different stats and abilities. These cards are then used to battle other players. At the time of writing, there are 249 unique Monsters and 40 unique Summoners – with more cards planned.

The game is completely free to try. To unlock the play-to-earn features, players purchase a $10 Summoner's Book. This Book unlocks their ability to complete daily quests, participate in season rewards and earn Dark Energy Crystals (DEC), the game's token.

DEC is worth $0.003124 as of early February 2022, according to CoinMarketCap. To buy DEC, you'll need to exchange it with a cryptocurrency like BTC or ETH in your wallet. Get some DEC from PancakeSwap, DODO on BSC, TronTrade, Cub DeFi, Tribal DEX and Uniswap.

Blockchains of Splinterlands

Splinterlands is built on the Hive blockchain. Users automatically get an account on this blockchain when they purchase the Spellbook. The blockchain supports decentralised apps, games and cryptocurrency wallets.

Players can convert some of their Splinterlands cards into ERC-721 tokens. From there, they can trade them on decentralised exchanges or NFT marketplaces like OpenSea.

Convert your DEC to Tron (TRX). To do so, you'll need a Tron wallet. After setting up your wallet, link it to your Splinterlands account to transfer your DEC.

Splinterlands is also integrated with the Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX) blockchain. Players transfer their Splinterlands assets to WAX via the Splinterlands WAX bridge. From there, players transfer assets to other players on WAX.

Playing Splinterlands: The basics to get started

Access the game from the website's main page, Splinterlands.com. It's also available on Android mobile devices.

splinterlands fig 1

Image source: Splinterlands

Select the Play Now button at the centre of the screen and log in. Log in to the game via MetaMask, Venly, Wombat or a WAX cloud wallet, or provide a username/password combination.

The game is free to play. However, you might want to purchase the Summoner's Spellbook to access play-to-earn capabilities.

Once logged in, you'll get to the game's dashboard, which allows you to access the market, game events, missions, tools and help.

On the How to Play button, toggle between:

  • How to play. This shows you stats, abilities and strategies.
  • Practice battle. This allows you to fight without affecting your ranking.
  • Ranked. This allows you to rise higher in the leagues by winning battles.
  • Challenge. Invite a friend to battle without affecting your ranking.

But how do you actually play the game?

For each match, you choose a Summoner which determines how many Monsters you can summon for battle, then you handpick your deck for the match. There's a max of 6 Monsters and 1 Summoner to use in each match.

Select the Battle button to start a match. A window appears once you're matched with another player, and you can view the elements they've used in past battles. This allows you to adjust your strategy and try to guess what Monsters and elements they might use.

There are 7 elemental affinities (Splinters), 7 stats, 4 rarities and over 60 abilities. There are 3 attack forms: melee, ranged and magic.

Monsters also have speed, armour and health stats. Understanding your cards' capabilities is key to planning your strategy.

Once you've built your deck, the match starts. The Monsters do all the fighting and you're hands off – best 2 out of 3 wins.

When it comes to play strategies, like any CCG, it'd be impossible to outline all tactics. Monster cards vary and building a decent deck could take some time. However, spending time in Practice mode can be a good place to hone your skills and develop a strategy.

The battlefield

The battlefield has 2 rows:

  • The front row. This is closest to the enemy. Monsters attack opponents from this row unless they have special abilities. Melee and magic attacks hit the front row.
  • The back row. This has back-up monsters. When the enemy kills a monster in the front row, the next-in-line back-row monster jumps to the front to fill the position. Ranged and magic attacks can hit the back row.

Events and tournaments

View events and tournaments from the game's main menu. Each tournament has its own entry fees and winner prizes. Clicking on an event tab shows all its information, including the date of the event, competition rules, entry fees and rewards.

How does play-to-earn work within Splinterlands?

Play to earn in Splinterlands works in 4 ways:

  • Tournaments: Earn DEC rewards each time you win a battle if you're playing in ranked mode. If you win 2 games in a row, you get bonus DECs.
  • Receiving gifts: Earn gifts by finishing your daily quest. Additionally, you get season rewards every 15 days when a season comes to an end. Other players can also send you gifts directly.
  • Card flipping: Buying, selling and then renting packs and cards can give you an income.
  • Burning cards: Burn cards for DEC rewards. Burning a card removes it from existence.

Remember: To unlock these play-to-earn features, you'll need to purchase the $10 Summoner's Spellbook.

Splinterlands guilds

Guilds are teams that combine forces to achieve better performance in battles and the earning of rewards.

Splinterlands rewards optimisation; players may capitalise on that and form guilds to increase their chances of winning DEC bonuses and discounts.

Where to buy and sell Splinterlands NFTs

To buy and sell the Splinterlands NFT cards, you have a few options. First, there's the proprietary market at Splinterlands.com. Arguably, this is the safest place to start building your collection.

splinterlands fig 1

Image source: Splinterlands

You can also buy and sell cards on PeakMonsters.com, MonsterMarket.io, CardAuctionz.com, OpenSea and AtomicHub.

With any NFT you buy, make sure what you're buying is legitimate. One way to avoid counterfeit cards is buying directly from the site's marketplace, or using third-party marketplace links on the site itself – which Splinterlands features.

Buying other items

Buy the Summoner's book at the site's shop for $10 using a gift card/promo code, PayPal, credit cards or cryptocurrency.

Land

Purchase land from the lands tab in the shop menu. Land in Splinterlands varies in value depending on its geography, rarity and magic. With land, you can oversee construction projects on the parcels or use existing character cards as labour for production on the land.

Potions

Potions are used to optimise pack openings. For instance, the alchemy potion doubles your chances of opening a gold foil card from a booster pack. Potions can be purchased on the Splinterlands marketplace. Each card in a pack must have a potion.

Dice

Dice are 1 of the 6 card editions in Splinterlands. The others are Alpha, Beta, Promo, Reward and Untamed. Dice can be purchased in the game as well as on external markets.

Splinterlands roadmap

Splinterlands' roadmap for Q1 of 2022 announces the launch of SPS DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation) and the launch of SPS Oracles.

The Splintershards token (SPS) is a governance token that trades on the Binance Smart Chain. Players use it to make decisions on the platform's future.

The platform introduced the token in July 2021. Purchase the token on Gate.io, LBank, BKEX, PancakeSwap and AOFEX.

SPS Oracles will be users or entities elected by the SPS token holders that "will be responsible for running software that will relay relevant information about game transactions on the Hive blockchain to the SPS token smart contracts on BSC and vice versa and will receive SPS token rewards for doing so properly", according to Splinterlands' whitepaper.

Other updates for 2022 include:

  • SPS Ranked Battle rewards
  • SPS Guild Brawl rewards
  • In-game governance
  • SPS Land Expansion rewards

Bottom line

Splinterlands is already one of the most popular play-to-earn crypto games on the market. However, many cards are pricey – some of the best cards are hundreds of dollars which means some of the more invested players may have more of an in-game advantage. However, cards can come as cheap as $0.03 at Splinterlands' market. And if you start raking up wins, you can earn crypto and buy better cards simply by playing.

CCGs aren't for everyone, but since this CCG is all online, it may be a little easier to start collecting and playing compared to traditional card games. It's also an autobattler, so aside from getting good at building a deck, very little skill is required. And, you open opportunities to earn crypto with spending only $10.

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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