Axie Infinity is an online Play to Earn (P2E) crypto game powered by non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain technology. The game combines the battle-style gameplay of Pokémon with the nurturing features of Tamagotchi. Built on the Ethereum blockchain, the decentralized, community-run economy is focused on breeding and collecting cute in-game characters, called Axies.
This beginner’s guide to Axie Infinity will explain what the game is and how it works. It will provide steps for how to get set up and explain how players can play and earn crypto tokens and generate income.
What is Axie Infinity?
Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based game that utilises NFTs and cryptocurrency. The aim of the game is to breed, battle, and trade pet monsters called Axies, to earn token rewards. The Play to Earn gaming model provides a financial incentive for players to spend time in the game. The more you play Axie Infinity, the more you can earn.
Axie Infinity’s self-contained ecosystem runs on the Ethereum sidechain Ronin: a custom-made blockchain built specifically for Axie Infinity by the game’s developers Sky Mavis. Axie Infinity’s Ronin network allows for the game’s scalability and offers users affordable transaction fees compared to Ethereum. Axie Infinity uses its own Ronin wallet and even has its own decentralized exchange (DEX) Katana, also known as the Ronin DEX. Here you can buy and swap the two in-game tokens: Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) and Smooth Love Potion (SLP), for USDC or WETH cryptocurrency.
Did You Know?
Axie Infinity is inspired by CryptoKitties, the first widely recognised blockchain game centred around breeding and collecting digital cat NFTs.
What are Axies?
Axies are cute pet monsters (Figure 1) that inhabit the Axie Infinity metaverse, Lunacia, a world made up of plots of virtual plots of land and unique Axie characters. These digital in-game assets are represented as NFTs and are owned and controlled by the game’s players. Through participating in the game, Axie Infinity players can earn in-game currency that has real-world value.
What are AXS and SLP tokens?
Axie Infinity Shards (AXS)
Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) are used as a governance token (DAO voting rights), breeding (spend 0.5 AXS per breed), staking (stake AXS token to earn yield), earning (earn AXS token through Landplay, coming in Axie Origin).
Smooth Love Potion (SLP)
Smooth Love Potion (SLP) tokens are used for in-game currency (spend in-game purchases and upgrades), rewards (earn SLP through gameplay), breeding (spend SLP to breed Axies), income (sell SLP rewarded in-game).
How does Axie Infinity work?
Axie Infinity is a strategic and competitive game that requires time and dedication to develop skills. Players battle their Axies creatures against each other to earn crypto rewards. To begin, a player will need to purchase a minimum of at least three Axies, then they will be ready to battle, breed, and sell their Axies to start earning crypto.
Axie Infinity consists of four main gameplay elements: one, battling Axies; two, winning battles for increased rank and SLP rewards; three, breeding Axies; and four, selling Axies through the marketplace for money.
Before you start playing Axie Infinity you will need to install a Ronin crypto wallet, buy AXS and SLP tokens, choose your team of Axies, create an account, and download and sync your Axies into the game. You can visit the official Getting Started with Axie Guide for more information about this process.
How to buy Axies
Visit the Axie Infinity marketplace to choose your Axie team. When it comes to selecting your Axies, it is important to spend some time researching the features to understand the utility of each one. You want to build a strong team of Axies that will fight well together to increase your chances of winning battles.
Axie Zone is a valuable resource for determining a winning team. Check out the top-ranked teams and study how they are organised before you jump in and buy your first Axies.
One downside to Axie Infinity is that it can be quite expensive to begin playing. Axies are in high demand, which means their prices have increased significantly. This creates a barrier to entry for many people that cannot afford the initial costs. This has led to the innovation of Axie Universities, where managers provide scholarships to players under a profit-sharing model and allow them to loan out teams of Axies. This gives new users the opportunity to try out the game before committing to any upfront investment.
Did You Know?
Axie Origin (Version 3 of the game) is being rolled out in 2022. With this, Axie Infinity plans to offer free Axie starter teams. This means that new players will no longer have to purchase Axies in order to play the game. A notable difference though is that the free training Axies will not be NFTs, nor will they allow players to earn SLP. But they will help solve the financial barriers and drive more widespread adoption of the game.
Each Axie is unique and has specific animal traits, which determine how they will fare against other Axies in the heat of battle. Here is a breakdown of what you need to know about the different elements of Axie gameplay, which include: stats, body parts, classes, and cards.
Stats for each Axie vary depending on two factors: body parts and class. Currently, in Axie Version 2, there are four stats:
- Health = Hit Points (HP) means how much damage your Axie can endure before being killed
- Morale = increases the chance of a critical strike
- Skill = adds damage when an Axie does a combo play (multiple cards at once)
- Speed = determines the order of battle. Faster Axies go first.
Axie Origin will see the game stats simplified, and as a result, Axies will only have hit points (HP).
Body parts determine the different moves your Axie can make in battle. There are six body parts for Axies: eyes, ears, horns, mouth, back, and tail.
There are nine different classes (or species) of Axies that fit into three groups. Each class is weak and strong against the other, organised in a “rock, paper, scissor” fashion (see Figure 2).
- Reptile, Plant, and Dusk beat Aquatic, Bird, and Dawn.
- Aquatic, Bird, and Dawn beat Beast, Bug, and Mech.
- Beast, Bug, and Mech beat Reptile, Plant, and Dusk.
Axie battle mechanics work on a turn-based card system. To maximise the chance of victory, players must strategically select which cards to apply in battle and decide what order to play them. The end goal is to defeat your opponent’s team and get token rewards.
Each player starts the match by drawing six random cards. An additional three more cards are drawn in sequential turns before each round of fighting starts. Axies will execute their attacks immediately as cards are played. Playing a card with the same class as the Axie you are battling will increase its attack/shield power and give you a higher chance of winning.
A great way to practice and learn the game before you start battling against other players is to play in Adventure Mode first as there are no time limits. Note: You can only earn SLP winning battles in Arena Mode.
Selecting your team
Your team of Axies will typically be made up of one Tank and two Attackers. For example, Plants are commonly chosen as Tanks because of their high Health rating, or Hit Point (HP), which makes them well-suited defenders. The Tank is positioned in front of your two Attackers and shields them from enemy strikes during battle. Beasts are commonly chosen Attackers because they can deal a high amount of damage to your opponents.
There are two battle modes in the Axie Infinity game:
- Adventure Mode- PvE (Player-vs-Environment)
- Arena Mode- PvP (Player-vs-Player).
To breed Axies you will need both AXS and SLP. Axies can be bred a total number of seven times and will cost 0.5 AXS tokens each. The amount of SLP tokens paid for breeding will depend on the breed count of both Axie parents. The more an Axie has been bred, the more valuable it becomes, and so do its children. Breeding is a fun way to earn crypto by selling newly bred Axies on the marketplace.
Axie Infinity marketplace
The Axie marketplace can be used for buying a selling Axies. First, a player must connect their Ronin wallet to their Axie Infinity account and navigate to the inventory tab. Then they select which of their Axies they want to sell and choose either fixed-price or auction, then enter an amount in ETH.
Axie Infinity has the second-largest NFT marketplace by trading volume after OpenSea. The highest price fetched for an Axie NFT was for a Triple Mystic Axie named “Angel” which sold for 300 ETH in late 2020 for $130,000 USD. Angel is currently listed for 1580 ETH, which is over $4 million at the time of writing.
Why is Axie Infinity so popular?
Axie Infinity has drawn a huge amount of attention to a new ecosystem developing around the Play to Earn movement, where players are rewarded for playing games. With over 2.5 million daily active users, Axie is the biggest blockchain game ever. The game’s popularity has attracted new users to both crypto and the gaming industry. Playing Axie offers players a way to monetise their time and develop real skills while having fun.
In the Philippines, where most Axie Infinity players are based, the game has had a positive impact. Some people, who play the game a lot, are able to make more than the average wage of their country.
How to earn money playing Axie Infinity
Crypto games like Axie Infinity utilise a Play to Earn model that combines gaming with crypto. As more and more players enter the Axie ecosystem, the earning potential somewhat diminishes which poses a challenge for the P2E model’s sustainability. To keep up with the fast speed to which the game has scaled, Axie developers are continuing to innovate and adapt the gameplay; tweak tokenomics, and apply new systems for how rewards are distributed among players.
How to buy AXS and SLP
You can buy AXS and SLP from centralized cryptocurrency exchanges like Swyftx. Swyftx allows you to buy, sell and trade hundreds of cryptocurrencies with low fees. Alternatively, you can purchase them on Axie Infinity’s Ronin DEX (decentralized exchange), Katana.
Axie Infinity is a crypto game where you battle, breed, and trade creatures called Axies. The game relies on NFTs, which can represent unique Axies or virtual land. This guide has given an overview of the Axie ecosystem and provided steps on how to get set up and start playing the game. It has explained the different elements of the game and how they work and covered how to play and earn rewards.