Play-to-earn games are all the hype lately — but with some in-game NFTs surging in value, it may be pricing some out. Check out our list of free-to-play NFT games to get started playing.
In essence, one of the core selling points of blockchain games is the possibility of earning non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrency, and trading them on a marketplace. Platforms that incorporate such functionalities are called play-to-earn (P2E) NFT games. However, in most cases, players usually have to invest an amount before they can start earning, especially when games have reach a certain level of popularity. These blockchain games range from trading card games to role-playing games (RPG), but usually, you will need to purchase in-game assets, to begin with.For instance Axie Infinity, one of the most prominent NFT games, requires new players to buy three Axies — the platform’s in-game NFT characters — which may cost anywhere from hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on their rarity and traits. Understandably, the starting cost of such games often discourages new players since they have to sometimes spend a considerable amount of money to start earning.
Fortunately, there are those P2E NFT platforms that do not impose any upfront cost. In other words, you do not buy NFTs to kickstart the game. Think of them as free-to-play games with the added advantage of creating earning opportunities thanks to NFT and blockchain technology. As such, free P2E games are in high demand, which is why we have created a list of the top options available currently. Below are some of the game titles you should be researching if free NFT games are your preferred choice. Subscribe
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List of Free NFT Games
Gods Unchained is a trading card game based on the blockchain. All you need to do is play versus other players to climb the rankings and increase your chances of winning more quality cards. Like all NFT games, you can trade in-game assets, which in this case, are digital cards. As a new player, you will be issued a set of cards, which you can use to battle other players with similar rankings. However, note that the first sets of cards you will receive are not live on the blockchain. First, you have to win these player-versus-player matchups to earn Flux, which you can use to forge two duplicate trading cards and mint them on the Ethereum blockchain.
Importantly, gamers’ chances of winning matchups depend on the strategy utilized by the player and the special traits of his cards. Interestingly, Gods Unchained has opted for a design that establishes some level of fairness. The websites ensure that only players with similar rankings are matched together. This is different from what we have in a majority of P2E platforms, where players that can buy the rarest and most powerful cards, avatars or weapons get to win at the expense of average players.
Splinterlands is another card trading NFT platform where players with similar rankings are matched up for a shot at glory. The winner gets to earn more sets of cards which he can sell on an NFT marketplace for crypto. Unlike Gods Unchained, Splinterlands is not based on the Ethereum Blockchain. Instead, all of its cards exist on the Hive blockchain.
Since Splinterlands is free to play, all players receive base cards when they join. However, you can acquire more potent cards by purchasing booster packs or buying from a willing card seller on the platform’s marketplace. A third option is to earn and unlock cards by winning matches, daily quests or seasonal rewards. Also, it is possible to level the cards by combining multiple similar cards. To put less pressure on new players, there are no consequences for losing ranked matchups. In other words, new players do not have much at stake when they start.
Chainsmonsters is a pokemon-themed MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role-playing game) that also offers a free-to-play mode ideal for those looking for games with a low entry barrier. Although the game is still under development, the alpha product has attracted thousands of users, with graphics widely considered one of its strongest suits. There is even a plan to launch the game on Playstation and Xbox. It is worth mentioning that Chainmosters is based on Flow Blockchain. The in-game assets that players can earn and train include Chainmons, outfits and much more.
Axie Infinity Scholarship
Although the decision to add Axie Infinity may feel contradictory at first, with the cost of the owning Axies ranging in the hundreds and value of AXS reaching over $8.4 billion market cap, it is vital to note that some Axie Infinity players have found a way to evade the upfront cost of owning Axies. These players approach users with access to Axies and make a deal that will elevate them to the role of asset managers. In essence, these individuals play on behalf of Axies owners for a share of the profit. Normally, this trend entails some level of trust between the scholar and NFT owners.
Note that this practice is recognized officially by the platform. Hence, whatever risks that arise from such ventures are permanent. For the NFT owner, this arrangement provides an opportunity to earn passive income. In contrast, the scholar sees it as a strategy for making active income. Notably, the high demand for Axie Infinity has impacted the profitability of the scholarship system. There are usually more scholars vying for the attention and trust of Axies owners. More often than not, scholars are from developing countries, more specifically the Philippines.
Coin Hunt World
Coin Hunt World is a Pokémon Go-themed game where players scavenge for Bitcoin and Ethereum. Here, you need to walk across your city with the help of a digital map and search for keys. Once you collect enough keys, you can deposit them in vaults. And then, you will be required to answer a trivia question. If your answer is correct, you will be rewarded with BTC and ETH. In other words, Coin Hunt World is not the type of game that you will stay at home to play.
Another unique thing about this game is its reward system. Unlike all the other games highlighted so far, Coin Hunt World is the only one that does not distribute NFTs to players. Instead, the rewards are denominated in BTC and ETH. The only downside is that the earnings may not be as rewarding as that of an NFT-based game. Before you can make a significant amount of crypto on Coin Hunt World, you may have to expend a lot of energy and time.
The SandBox has created an Ethereum-based virtual metaverse where players can create assets, monetize them and partake in an immersive gaming experience. The idea is to promote user-generated content and gameplay by implementing a reward system that lets players retain the right to share or sell their creations (usually in-word objects) and digital real estate (also known as LANDS).
This virtual world is powered by 3 major components. The first is VoxEdit, which allows players to build and animate in-game 3D objects. Then there is the SandBox Marketplace, where you can buy and sell fungible and non-fungible assets and game items created by other players. The last component is the SandBox Game Maker, a mechanism required to build 3D games inside the virtual metaverse for free.
What Are the Benefits of Free NFT Games?
The NFT space has experienced so much growth in so little time, with the gaming sector, in particular, emerging as one of the frontiers for the present NFT movement. As mentioned in this article, the availability of a wide variety of free-to-play NFT games shows that blockchain game apps are not reserved for the rich only. The free-to-play P2E games level the playing field and expose the average individual to the fast-growing NFT game economy. With more mainstream organizations hopping on the NFT bandwagon, such as professional sports leagues, the gaming industry has already taken notice of this trend. It comes as no surprise that major game developers like Epic Games, creator of titles like Fortnite, announced their receptiveness to blockchain games, while Ubisoft, home to popular video games like Assassin’s Creed, is already planning to integrate play-to-earn features into its titles.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot summarized it best in their most recent earnings call:
“As you see, this industry is changing regularly with lots of new revolutions happening. We consider blockchain one of those revolutions. It will imply more play-to-earn that will enable more players to actually earn content, own content, and we think it’s going to grow the industry quite a lot.”
On the other hand, there are developers like Valve which banned all blockchain-based game on their gaming platform Steam.
With the industry still in its nascent stage, it would be anyone’s guess where the next levels will lead to. However, it is a frontier that we should not stop exploring. While the platforms listed above are some of the top titles in this NFT game niche, it is crucial to do your own research and arrive at well-informed decision before purchasing any in-game assets or currencies.