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What is Illuvium?

Blockchain-based games have gained traction over the years with widespread mainstream adoption through games like The Sandbox, Decentraland and Axie Infinity. Illuvium is a highly anticipated play-to-earn crypto role-playing game with amazing visuals and a vast alien world.   Once launched, it will be the first fully decentralized AAA blockchain-based game. AAA is a rating awarded to the highest quality video games such as Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto V. 

This article will explore the world of Illuvium and the key components that make up the game.  

What is Illuvium? 

Illuvium is an upcoming sci-fi fantasy open-world game powered by Immutable X; a Layer 2 Ethereum scaling solution. Immutable X is a popular choice for blockchain gaming as it allows for high transaction throughput, instant transactions, and zero gas fees minting for NFTs. Immutable X is also home to Gods Unchained; a popular blockchain-based trading card game.  

Illuvium is built on Unreal Engine 5, a top-of-the-line game engine that allows for extreme detail with ultra-realistic lighting and reflections. The Illuvium game world is a vast 3D open environment called the Overworld. The Overworld is split into seven regions, each riddled with different types of Illuvial and resources for the player to capture and collect.   

How to play Illuvium? 


Players explore the vast open world of Illuvium to capture creatures called Illuvials, each possessing a unique ability. When engaging in combat, Illuvium uses an auto-battler within a chessboard layout. Players position their Illuvials on their half of the board and they will battle the Illuvials on the opposite side without any interference from the player.   

Certain Illuvials with similar affinities and classes can help each other in battle, which is referred to as synergies.   


Simply playing the strongest Illuvials will only get you so far. Using a weaker Illuvial that unlocks multiple synergies can be more effective than playing a strong Illuvial with no synergies. Positioning is key, an overall weaker team of Illuvials can outperform simply with better positioning.

Illuvium gameplay also features capturing mechanics from the beloved Pokemon franchise. After defeating an Illuvium in combat, players have the opportunity to capture them using an in-game consumable called Shards. Like Pokeballs, Shards come in different rarities, with the higher tier Shards having a greater chance of capturing the Illuvial.

Illuvial classes 

Illuvials are sorted into one of five classes: Fighter, Guardian, Rogue, Psion, and Empath. These classes contribute towards synergies. For example, having three fighters in your team will grant fighters 100% extra damage and 30% piercing every 5 seconds.   

Powerful Illuvials can have evolved classes by combining two classes such as Revenant (Rogue/Empath), or Predator (Rogue/Rogue). Evolved classes have different synergies and grants an extra effect to them or their team.   

Illuvial affinities 

Like classes, Illuvials possess one of five affinities: Water, Fire, Earth, Air and Nature. Ascended Illuvials have affinities with two elements such as Magma (Fire, Earth), or Inferno (Fire, Fire).   

Illuvials from the same affinity can be played together to earn bonuses. Additionally, certain affinities are stronger/weaker against different affinities, e.g., Fire has an advantage over Air but weak against Water.  


Three identical Illuvials can be fused together to form a higher levelled Illuvial with an evolved class and/or an evolved affinity. The highest level an Illuvial can evolve to is level three. Higher-level Illuvials additionally possess better stats such as health, attack damage etc. If you’re looking to make money playing Illuvium, finding matching Illuvials is one of the best ways to do this. 

Three images representing the three stages of an illuvial creatures evolution.

Figure 2: Three stages of an Illuvial Evolution 

The Illuvium Arena 

Players can visit the arena to partake in a series of game modes. Survival is one of the game modes where the player defends against waves of enemies with their Illuvials. Players can also compete against other players with their Illuvials to ascend the ranked leaderboards in the ranked arena. Illuvium players can also directly challenge any individual in the Leviathan arena, whilst spectators wager on the outcome with in-game tokens. 

Weapons and Armour 

A player’s character also participates in battle alongside Illuvials equipped with weapons and armour in the form of NFTs. The player character’s class is dynamic as it is dependent on the weapon equipped, so it is important to equip a weapon that synergises well with the player’s Illuvials.  


Land is a virtual space that generates resources which can be used in the Illuvium game and sold on the marketplace. Fuel is one of these resources, and it allows players to traverse the Overworld. Players can also extract resources that can be used to craft items or sold on the marketplace. Land comes in five different tiers, with each tier providing a greater production boost and additional resources.    

All 100,000 plots of LAND were sold out in the initial land sales for a combined $72 million USD. Land can be purchased from other players on the NFT marketplace. 

Did You Know?

Tier five plots feature legendary Arenas, which are used to host official Illuvium eSports events. Owners have naming rights to their stadium, collect tournament fees, and create sponsorship deals.

Illuvium Free to play vs paid version 

Once launched there will be both a free-to-play version and premium subscription that costs to play.   

With the free version, players can familiarise themselves with the game and explore certain regions of the world without having to spend money.   

Players can obtain free shards which can only be used for collecting starting level Illuvials. Once players have discovered the Obelisk, a structure that enables travel between regions, they can purchase fuel to travel to different regions of the Overworld that has higher tier Illuvials.  

Illuvium Zero 

Illuvium Zero is a mobile and PC city-building game similar to Farmville and Clash of Clans, where players can manage their Land by building deposits and extracting resources. There is a Free to Play version of the game for players that don’t own any Land, but they won’t earn NFTs which could be sold on the marketplace.  

concept art featuring a top down view of illuvium buildings on the illuvium zero game

Figure 3 Illuvium Zero Concept Illustration 


IlluviDex is the decentralized NFT marketplace governed by the Illuvium DAO, where users can buy and sell in-game assets, which include captured Illuvials, resources, cosmetics and more. Users will need to create a crypto wallet such as Metamask in order to interact with IlluviDex. 

Screenshot of a plot of land on sale on Illuvidex.

Figure 4: LAND for sale on IlluviDex  

Governance and the Illuvium DAO 

A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), is a blockchain-based organization, which in the case of Illuvium is run by the Illuvinati Council. The council consists of five members who are elected in by Illuvium (ILV) token holders through delegation. Council members are responsible for voting on proposals within a public forum. Proposals come in two different types ICCPs and IIPs which can be submitted by fellow council members or anyone in the community.  


Illuvium Configuration Change Proposals (ICCPs) intends to modify the system configuration. Areas of change include marketplace fees, balance changes and Illuvial capture mechanics. 


Illuvium Improvement Proposals (IIPs) are design documents on improvements to the game. These improvements may include new content, expansions, and character sets. 

When will Illuvium be released? 

The Illuvium game has been in the works since 2020 and was announced at the start of 2021. The game was initially set to release at the start of 2022 but was delayed due to a variety of reasons. It was last heard to release in 2022 on PC and Mac however there is still no official Illuvium release date confirmed. 


To experience the game at its best, players will require a high-end PC to run the game smoothly on the highest setting.

What are Illuvium (ILV) tokens? 

ILV is the native utility token of the Illuvium ecosystem. The token can be used to earn staking rewards through yield farming and staking on the Illuvium DeFi application. All in-game rewards are given to ILV holders who are staking their tokens on the network. 

Users have the option to be paid out in Escrowed Illuvium (sILV2), a token that is pegged to the price of ILV, which can only be used for in-game purchases. sILV2 can be used for in-game activities such as enhancements and travel.  

Screenshot taken from the Illuvium DeFi application.

Figure 5 Illuvium DeFi Application 

How to buy Illuvium (ILV) 

You can buy Illuvium (ILV) from most big cryptocurrency exchanges. Swyftx is a popular crypto exchange in Australia and New Zealand where users can buy ILV tokens with low fees and store it in their personal crypto wallet.  


Illuvium is touted to be a game changer in the blockchain and gaming industry. The graphics, animation, and gameplay experience will be on a whole new level compared to existing blockchain games and has the potential to rival some of the biggest blockbusters. It will be interesting to see what a fully-fledged AAA blockchain game will do to the crypto and gaming space. 

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