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Axie Infinity Review – Gameplay, Rewards, and Tokenomics

Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based pet universe where anyone can trade gametime for crypto and easily redeem it for fiat.

Some call it a mix between Pokémon and CryptoKitties. Others see it as the next generation’s Fortnite. And, most people play it to earn an extra buck while watching fluffy critters battle each other.

Axie Infinity embodies all these concepts but promises even more for its rapidly growing userbase. For instance, it has an extensive marketplace where players can trade in-game resources for crypto and redeem it for fiat. Also, many are making a decent income from it as we speak.

Furthermore, the developers aim to relinquish complete control over the game to its players through its governance token, AXS. So, Axie is not just a fun melee of fuzzy, cartoonish creatures. It is a rising sensation in GameFi, ready to usher in a new era of multiplayer online gaming.

In this Axie Infinity review, we look closer at one of the most exciting blockchain-based games of our time. Read on to discover how Axie works and if it’s profitable!

What is Axie Infinity?

Axie Infinity is a blockchain-based video game that uses the play-to-earn model. For example, players can gain Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies, such as AXS (Axie Infinity Shards) and SLP (Smooth Love Potion), as well as NFTs.

The game’s developer is Vietnamese studio Sky Mavis, and its concept has its roots in another popular video game, Pokémon. For example, Axie enables players to collect, breed, raise, battle, and trade “axies.” These adorable creatures are cartoonish representations of axolotls, which are also common in the Pokémon universe.

The axies are also non-fungible tokens. This means that every axie is unique and indivisible. Furthermore, an axie can have a high value and represent a potentially successful long-term investment due to its unique characteristics.

New players have to buy at least three axies to start playing the game. At the time of writing, the cheapest axies were available for about $200. This means that you may need to invest at least $600 just to enter Axie Infinity.

Nevertheless, once you access it, Axie places you in good company. The platform estimates that the average player has spent at least $400 so far. This makes its game world rich and equally rewarding. After all, as of May 2021, Axie Infinity is the most expensive NFT collection.

Players can organize axie battles by challenging other players in PVP tournaments. Additionally, they can buy virtual land in the Axie universe in the form of non-fungible tokens.

At the moment, Sky Mavis developers aim to transform Axie into a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). This means that the players will have complete control over the game’s development and direction.

Lastly, players can cash out their earnings at popular crypto exchanges once every fourteen days.

A Brief History of Axie Infinity

Sky Mavis launched Axie Infinity in 2018. However, the project did come into the spotlight for another three years. The company needed several development stages to transform the initial concept into the game we know today.

In November 2019, Sky Mavis raised $1.5M to increase the game’s development speed. More than 500 companies took part in the event, including Animoca Brands, Hashed, Pangea Blockchain Fund, and ConsenSys.

In May 2021, Sky Mavis received 7.5 million as part of a funding round that Mark Cuban led. This event was part of his attempt to popularize the use of cryptocurrencies.

In October 2021, A16z led another fund-raising round to attract $150M Series B at $3B Valuation in Sky Mavis.

According to the Axie whitepaper, the game is the no.1 Ethereum-based game. For instance, it has the most daily, weekly, and monthly players. Also, Axie Infinity has generated over 13,000 ETH in revenue so far. That translates to over $16 million as per ETH’s present-day price.

Besides being one of the most popular blockchain-based games, Axie Infinity can also take pride in its many illustrious partners. Among those who endorse the game are Binance, Kyber Network, Samsung, and Ubisoft.

Why Is Axie so Popular?

However, the idea for the game stems from the developers’ previous experience in playing CryptoKitties. The latter is one of the first and most popular crypto-based online games, where users can breed and trade NFTs.

They wanted to create a similar game with elements of Pokémon and Fortnite, another popular online multiplayer game. However, their belief is that the value that the game generates should go to those who play it.

The games we mentioned are full of assets that they “rent” to their players. Conversely, Axie allows users to own and control their assets (axies) completely. This way, they can trade them as they please without the platform’s interference. Lastly, if they lose their accounts, players still maintain the assets they bred, bought, or won.

Furthermore, Axie players can change the digital topography in Axie Infinity. Also, they can table proposals and take part in the platform’s governance mechanism via their AXS token holdings.

Thanks to these innovative concepts, Axie is increasingly popular worldwide. However, it is more than just a fun, colorful game to pass the time in developing countries. For instance, in the Philippines, players consider it their primary source of income. The same goes for those who can afford to play it in Argentina, Venezuela, or Columbia.

As of September 2021, the majority of Axie gamers were playing from the Philippines.

In conclusion, Axie provides economic opportunities beyond what governments and companies have to offer in some countries. And, as more people play it for the money, the game has the potential to expand exponentially in the years to come.

So, Can You Make Money with Axie?

When you play Axie, you can earn assets in the form of NFTs. Also, you gain rewards in Axie Infinity Shards and Sooth Love Potion, the platform’s two native tokens. Then, you can exchange your income on crypto exchanges for fiat currencies.

Nevertheless, Axie Infinity has developed into a large marketplace for non-fungible tokens. Therefore, you can breed unique characters and sell them for a potentially substantial profit.

So, in theory, you can make money playing Axie. However, it’s tricky. As the game became more popular, the cost of entering it was higher. In other words, those who were in the game from the beginning have the best chance of making a fortune. Newcomers have to spend some to make some. And, for many, the initial costs, north of $500, may be prohibitive.

Axie Infinity Gameplay

Contrary to traditional online video games, Axie uses blockchain technology to reward players. Simply put, the more they play, users contribute to the ecosystem’s expansion. In return, they can get digital rewards and quickly convert them into fiat. In other words, play to earn.

  • Some of how Axie players can earn rewards include:
  • Competing in PVP battles to win leaderboard prizes.
  • Playing the PVE Adventure mode in the Axie universe.
  • Breeding Axies and selling them on the marketplace.
  • Collecting and speculating on rare Axies, such as Mystics and Origins.
  • Farming for the love potions necessary to breed Axies.
  • Selling love potions on exchanges, such as Uniswap and Binance.

Axie Infinity has an innovative design representing a rapidly expanding open-source digital pet universe. The gaming experience can only increase and diversify as this limitless space develops. However, it has only a few ways in which gamers can play and accrue value to the network.

PVP Battles

Axie’s Battle mode is similar to games like “Final Fantasy Tactics” and “Idle Heroes,” which takes its inspiration. In the beginning, battling was “idle.” However, following further development brought the present real-time card battle.

The developers expect Axie to go through several development stages. In this time, it should take different forms, similar to how Pokémon changed coats over the years. Also, more variations of the battle mode should follow in the future.

At the moment, the idea is to make the Axie Battle system a good fit for both competitive gameplay and Esports. After all, Sky Mavis cannot afford to ignore the emerging multi-billion market of electronic sports.

You can find out more about how to engage in battles on Axie here.

Breeding

Similar to CryptoKitties, Axie players can bread axies to create new specimens. The game avoids hyperinflation by setting a maximum amount of times an Axie can breed before it becomes sterile.

Users can breed axies by paying AXS and Smooth Love Potion (SLP) tokens. The cost of breeding depends on how many times the Axies have bred before. However, it also depends on other economic factors that vary at every stage of the game’s development.

If you wonder how to breed axies, you will discover that it is easier than you’d expect.

For instance, to breed axies, you need to go to the page for one of your Axies. Click on the inventory and select “Breed.” Next, choose another axie to pair it with, and voilà! Now, all you have to do is wait for the maturation process.

All Axies require 5 days to reach maturity. After that, you can morph your egg into an adult Axie and see the Axie’s genes.

Genetics plays a critical role in Axie Infinity. Depending on their genes, axies can have different appearances and body sizes. If you already have a few axies ready to breed, you can anticipate some of their offspring’s details. To do so, you can use this calculator here.

Smooth Love Potion (SLP) Tokens

The SLP tokens have a particular role in the Axie Infinity universe. Firstly, the game does not sell SLP to the players directly. Also, the game does not provide liquidity for SLP. Lastly, you can only buy them from exchanges, such as Binance, Mandala Exchange, OKEx, or FTX.

At the time of writing, SLP was trading at around $0.08.

Nevertheless, the best way to get your hands on Smooth Love Potion tokens is by playing the game. For instance, you can earn SLP by playing the Player versus Environment (PVE) Adventure Mode. Also, you can gain them by battling in the PVP arena. After acquiring these tokens, you can sync them to your wallet.

PVE Adventure

If you are not ready for the PVP battle, you can always venture into the Axie universe. There, the game will pit you against enemies that the compute controls. Every new enemy you face is an improvement of the one you previously defeated. Therefore, you advance level by level until you meet your match.

Every win in the PVE Adventure mode brings you experience points. Sometimes, you may have to replay earlier levels to earn enough experience points to face more formidable opponents. Simply put, if you have played at least one mobile PVE game before, you will quickly understand this one.

The downside is that you have limited energy points you can use every day. For instance, you only get 20 points you can spend either in the Adventure more or in the Battle Arena. In the latter one, playing one match costs you one energy point.

Now, you can play for as long as you want, even if you run out of energy. Unfortunately, you won’t get any experience points for it. On the other hand, you can still earn SLP tokens, which you can later convert to fiat money.

Most players choose to play the Adventure mode until they reach the daily cap of 50 SLPs. From then on, they move to the Battle Arena until they spend all their energy points.

Land in Axie

Axie Infinity is more than a venue for battles between Pokémon-like creatures. It is a rapidly expanding universe with exciting features that give it depth and grandeur. One such feature is Lunacia, the homeland of the Axies everywhere.

Sky Mavis had the brilliant idea to divide this land into tokenized plots, which represent the homes of axies. For instance, you have a plot of land for every axie you have. Furthermore, you can upgrade plots by using various resources and ingredients in the game.

From there on, you can venture with your axie in and around the map. There, you can interact with resource nodes and encounter AXS tokens or other resources.

Throughout the game, resources will spawn across all the nodes in Lunacia. And, you can go gather them. However, that’s easier said than done. Lunacia is under attack from aggressive monsters, Chimera, which you have to fight in real-time battles.

Nevertheless, the game gets easier when you group with other players to defeat more powerful Chimeras. Also, you can use resources, items, and blueprints to upgrade your axies and their land plots.

The World of Lunacia

Lunacia consists of 90,601 plots of land. Every land plot is a non-fungible token (NFT), which players can trade freely among them. The company sees land gameplay as a continuously developing feature. Therefore, it will release it in phases.

A future phase should transform Lunacia into a virtual world where users can generate their own content. Players will develop games by using the Lunacia SDK and host them on the land plots they own.

Lunacia SDK

Upon its release, Lunacia SDK will be a map editor. Players can use Axie Infinity art assets to create games and other experiences. Every game creation will become an NFT, which players can trade forward. Also, they can host them on land plots to allow other players to use them.

This ambitious project reveals Axie’s final goal to gradually decentralize game creation in a blockchain-based universe. The process should enable the Axie universe to scale and host user-generated content from hundreds of millions of users.

How to Start Playing Axie

You don’t have to be a crypto geek to start playing Axie right away. Moreover, you don’t have to be a nerd for video games either. However, you need to have some cash to buy some Ethereum. Since the cheapest axies sell for about $200 now, you should start with at least $600 worth of ETH. Use popular and secure crypto exchanges, such as Coinbase or Binance, for this purchase.

Next, follow these steps:

  1. Download a digital crypto wallet like MetaMask.
  2. Deposit the ETH into your wallet.
  3. Download Ronin wallet, which is an Axie Infinity extension feature.
  4. Deposit ETH to Ronin using the Ronin Bridge.
  5. Acquire at least 3 Axies from the Axie market.
  6. Login with MetaMask here and set up an email/password.
  7. Download the application here. Click “Play Now” in the top right.

Axie Infinity warns new players that the game doesn’t use a mobile crypto wallet. The company has not authorized any such application so far. Therefore, the mobile wallets that claim to work with Axie are fake and may scam people out of their axies.

Governance in Axie Infinity

From 2021, players can gain AXS, a governance token that stands for a fundamental component of the Axie game universe. Also, it gives them governance rights with fee-sharing built into it.

To make things even more exciting, Axie provides a “Ready-Player-One” type of quest. Upon completing it, players gain parts of the Axie universe. On the other hand, the reward deriving from these quests depend on each player’s effort and skills.

Through AXS, Axie should steadily develop into a community-owned Decentralized Organization. This will happen as more tokens reach players and stakers.

The company predicts that by October 2023, it will no longer hold a majority vote within the Axie universe. Until then, the Sky Mavis team will vote with the locked features Play-to-Earn and Staking rewards allocations. This way, hostile actors won’t disrupt the ecosystem during the early and critical development stages.

Axie Tokenomics

Axie Infinity takes pride in supporting a 100% player-owned, real money economy. Its developers believe in the game’s growth through user-generated content and efficient playtime. Instead of charging players for items and copies, they only take small fees from the trades between players.

The game’s trademark creatures, axies, evolve and multiply thanks to in-game resources, such as SLP and AXS tokens. We already covered Smooth Lotion Potions above. Now, let’s take a closer look at AXS tokens.

Axie Infinity Shards – $AXS

Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) are ERC-20 governance tokens for the Axie Universe. The developers created them on the Ethereum blockchain, where they also built the game.

AXS holders can stake their tokens and win rewards in return. Also, they can access different in-game features. Above all, they have governing roles in Axie Infinity.

Unlike other blockchain-based video games, Sky Mavis, the game’s developer, only holds 20% of all AXS tokens. This means that it doesn’t have the necessary voting majority to impose a decision despite the users’ preferences.

In early 2021, Axie launched the Community Treasury, which receives revenues that Axie Infinity generates. Additionally, it stores a portion of staking rewards. AXS stakers will govern the Treasury as soon as the network reaches sufficient decentralization.

The Treasury receives inflows from:

  • 25% of all Axie NFT marketplace transactions.
  • The AXS portion of the breeding fee.

Depending on the project’s development, the Treasury should increase its inflow streams. The company eyes cosmetic sales, tournament entry fees, licensing fees, and others for this purpose.

Axie Infinity worked closely with Delphi Digital to develop AXS tokens and a staking guide for holders.

The project will unlock the total supply of AXS tokens for 65 months, starting from the public sale. Also, the initial circulating supply will be up to 59,985,000 AXS, which is 22.22% of the total supply. Lastly, the entire supply will never exceed 270,000,000 AXS units.

AXS Distribution

  • The Play-to-Earn mechanism will receive 54 million AXS, 20% of the total supply, during Q1 and Q2 2021.
  • Staking Rewards will receive 78.3 million AXS, 29% of the total supply, starting with Q1 and Q2 2021.
  • The Ecosystem Fund will receive 21.6 million AXS, 8% of the total supply. Some of it will be unlocked and the rest locked.
  • Sky Mavis, the core team, will receive 56.7 million AXS, 21% of the total supply. Some of it will be unlocked and the rest locked.
  • The Project Advisors will receive 18.9 million AXS, 7% of the total supply. Some of it will be unlocked and the rest locked.
  • The Public Sale event will receive 29.7 million AXS, 11% of the total supply, unlocked.
  • The Private Sale event will receive 10.8 million AXS, 4% of the total supply. Some of it will be unlocked and the rest locked.

At the time of writing, AXS was trading for roughly $123. It had a circulating supply of over 60 million units and a market cap of $7,553,945,173.

The Axie Team

Sky Mavis is a game studio company that has focused on technology since its inception in2018. It has more than 40 full-time employees, and its headquarters are in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Some of the leading members of the Axie Infinity Team include:

Trung Thanh Nguyen – CEO

Trung was CTO of Lozi.vn, an early Vietnamese e-commerce startup that raised around $10 million in funding. In the past, he also worked at Trusting Social and Anduin Transactions before founding Axie Infinity. Lastly, Trung also represented Vietnam in the ACM-ICPC World Final 2014 in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

Aleksander Leonard Larsen – COO

Aleksander also serves on the board of directors in the Blockchain Game Alliance and holds the secretary position. He has worked in the Asia Pacific region since early 2018. As an active content creator and competitive gamer, Aleksander ranked as one of the top 200 players in Europe in DotA 2. Also, he has represented the Norwegian national team in Warcraft 3 and DotA in the past.

Tu Doan – Art Director and Game Designer

Tu runs the art team in Vietnam and designed the original Axies. Now, he is leading the art direction team and devises many of the game’s design concepts. In the past, he also worked at Lozi.vn.

Andy Ho – CTO

Andy leads the engineering team. Also, he is responsible for the company’s technical strategy and engineering operations. He worked as a software engineer at Anduin Transactions and intern at Google and PayPal.

Jeffrey Zirlin – Growth Lead

Jeffrey is one of Axie’s co-founders and the present responsible for the growth and community development. He also leads the token design and works closely with the product creation team.

Conclusion – Axie Infinity Review

Axie Infinity started as a fun and accessible way to blockchain technology for everyone. While the game has plenty of Pokémon and CryptoKitties features, the ecosystem around it has much more to offer. Also, it is approachable even to those who rarely play video games.

In Axie Infinity, anyone can have the joy of owning a pet, even if it’s digital. Many can make friends or find business partners. Others can learn more about blockchain, tokens, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies. Above all, everyone can have fun, rest, and relax in an animation-rich and exciting environment.

On the other side, some players may not even be in it for fun and games. As most gamers in the Philippines proved, you can gain a decent income playing this game for long enough every day.

And, the play-to-earn system is just one of the many promising features this game has. According to the developers, players will soon get almost complete control over the game’s evolution. Thanks to the AXS-based governance system, they can decide where the game will head in the future.

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Nevertheless, Axie Infinity is not all milk and honey. New players have to pay a hefty price, above $600, just to join in the fun. Also, the game runs on top of Ethereum, a network that faces congestion and scalability issues. This means that the game may suffer the same problems if Ethereum 2.0 doesn’t roll out soon enough.

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