One of the most popular metaverse games in existence today, Axie Infinity has been described as a “pokémon inspired universe” that has grown from a little-known blockchain platform into an international gaming phenomenon.
The Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated the game’s adoption, with the current version now a household name in the crypto community. Amazingly, in February 2022, Axie Infinity became the first NFT series to exceed $4 billion in sales.
In this article, we’ll touch on the history of Axie Infinity, review its current gameplay features, show you how to set up the game on your cell phone and laptop, cover different ways to make money, and delve into the NFT marketplace that powers the site.
Released in 2019 by Vietnam-based developer Sky Mavis, Axie Infinity’s alpha version was immediately followed by a sale on Binance Launchpad for the game’s native ERC-20 governance token: Axie Infinity Shards (AXS). From the outset, Sky Mavis stated their intention to use AXS as a decentralization mechanism that would gradually allow the Axie Infinity community to govern its own metaverse.
Although the platform grew rapidly from its initial release, the game captured the attention of the media when it was revealed that many players were quitting their regular jobs to play Axie Infinity full-time. Amazingly, unemployed residents of the Philippines were actually able to earn thousands of dollars per month in income during Covid-19 just from playing the game.
Axie Infinity is a Play-To-Earn game, meaning that the platform uses cryptocurrency to reward players with something that has real-world, as well as virtual-world, value.
In the game, players create and breed pets called axies and compete with each other to earn rewards. Each axie character is a non-fungible token, and they are often described as “fierce” and “adorable.” Each creature is a living, digital asset that can be bought or sold at any time.
Once created, axies can be trained to fight against other players’ axies or digital monsters to earn metaverse tokens called Axie Shards (AXS) and Secret Love Potion (SLP).
It can be helpful to divide the Axie Infinity game features into four separate categories: battle, breeding, land, and the marketplace. The battle is a turn-based card game in which players aim to defeat their adversaries, with each side always made up of three axies.
Keep in mind that each axie NFT has different traits, making them suitable for various roles in the game, as well as different stats (health, morale, skill, and speed). Each of these skills has the potential to impact an axie’s success in battle and breeding. Axies can be further divided between the following classes: beast, aquatic, plant, moon, star, reptile, bug, bird, or nut.
Every axie also has three genes that determine the characteristics of their offspring. In order to control the population of axies, the game creators have set limits on the population to manage price inflation. As a result, each axie NFT can only be bred a maximum of seven times. Additionally, a fee of .002 ETH is incurred every time an Axie is bred.
The Axie Infinity battle sequences stand at the heart of the game and serve as a key way for players to level up and earn rewards. It’s important to remember that every axie class has unique strengths and weaknesses that are better suited to different opponents.
The actual Axie Infinity battle format is based on a card game with a turn-based system, in which each axie action is paired with a card that requires a certain amount of energy to play. Each player must wait for their axie to recharge when their energy levels are depleted in order to move again.
Each player begins a battle with three Energy and six Cards, and they have 60 seconds to choose a card for their turn. As turn order is determined by speed, the quickest axie will be the first to attack. If two axies have the same speed, the order of attack is decided by secondary traits ranked in the following order:
- Fighter ID
Keep in mind that when in battle, the turn order will appear at the top of your screen. The fight will only begin once you have chosen your cards, after which Shield will be immediately applied.
When axie attacks during its turn, the effects are applied. Speed buffs that alter attack order are applied the next turn. Axies will always attack the closest target unless they use an ability with an Effect to choose a different target.
Axies are often described as a mix of Tomagachi and Pokemon-like characters, and like the monsters in those games, each axie has its own set of powers.
It’s important to remember that axies are ultimately NFTs, and consequently their value fluctuates like other tokens. In the end, an axie’s worth is determined by its characteristics, such as body parts, stats, abilities, and capabilities.
Players can also level up their axies by progressing through several stages in the Adventure Mode, or by battling fellow gamers in Arena mode.
Every axie that exists is composed of unique characteristics that differentiate them from other axies. The four main categories are base classes, stats, body parts, and abilities.
Currently, there are nine distinct Axie classifications. The six normal classes are included below:
There are three secret classes, which are considered “rare axies” and cost more.
As expected, different classes have unique traits that make them more or less successful than other classes. Aquatics, for example, are effective against Beast, Bug, and Mech axies, but lack effectiveness against Reptile, Plant, and Dusk axies.
Stats are unique attributes that every axie uses in combat. The four categories are listed below:
- HP: The amount of damage an axie can absorb before being knocked out.
- Speed: Determines turn order and affects how frequently an axie suffers Critical Hits from an opponent.
- Skill: Determines the damage bonus of combos by dealing with several abilities/cards.
- Morale: This determines the Critical Hit chance, the Last Stand chance, and the number of Last Stand ticks.
Overall, axies get a total of 140 stat points which are distributed across the four attributes depending on their base class.
Every axie has six body parts which are listed below:
Each bodily component adds a total of four stats, which are distributed across HP, Speed, Skill, and Morale. As Axie Infinity is a skill and strategy game, players must combine the right combination of body parts, classes, characteristics, and abilities/cards to maximize their axie’s effectiveness.
Additionally, body parts exist for every class of axie. For example, there are six different types of tails, with one for each of the classes below. Consequently, every class has different body part stats.
- Plant — 3 HP + 1 Morale
- Aqua — 3 Speed + 1 HP
- Reptile — 3 HP + 1 Speed
- Beast — 3 Morale + 1 Speed
- Bug — 3 Morale + 1 HP
- Bird — 3 Speed + 1 Morale
Lastly, axies have four different abilities or moves that they can use during battle. These are represented by Cards.
The Axie Infinity Universe contains over 132 cards. Each card has its own set of powers that do inflict damage, protect, and, apply buffs and debuffs.
Every Ability Card reveals three stats listed below:
- Energy: This is the amount of energy required to play a card. In combat mode, every player begins with three energy and gains two energy with each turn.
- Attack: The amount of damage a card can do.
- Shield: The amount of harm you can withstand.
Axie Infinity players who wish to attain a high victory rate in the Arena Mode must be familiar with the various cards and their effects.
Keep in mind that when entering a battle, each squad has three axies and four abilities – meaning that each axie has eight cards, for a total of 24 cards in a deck.
How to Set Up Axie Infinity on Your Computer
Although Axie Infinity is immensely popular around the world, the game is still in its early stages and there are a number of challenges in setting it up. At the time of writing, the game is still on its Alpha version.
Axie Infinity can be installed on both Windows PC and MacOS devices by downloading the installer from their official website at AxieInfinity.com.
It’s important to make sure that you are on the official website before downloading, and always beware of third-party sites which can lead to your data being hacked.
How to Download Axie Infinity on a Mobile Device
To install the Axie Infinity mobile app for an Android device, simply follow the steps below to download the APK file from their website:
- Go to the official website at AxieInfinity.com.
- Click “Play Now” on the upper right menu.
- Click on the “Android” button
- Confirm the prompt by clicking on “Open” or “Install”
- The Axie Infinity game client should now be installed on your device
Downloading the iOS version of Axie Infinity is a little more complicated as the Axie Infinity app is not yet published on the App Store. It is only available via a TestFlight invitation.
TestFlight is Apple’s platform that allows iOS developers to distribute the game to a limited amount of beta testers.
To play Axie Infinity on your iOS device as a beta tester, follow the steps below:
- Go to the official website at AxieInfinity.com.
- Click “Play Now” on the upper right-hand menu.
- Click on the “iOS” button.
- Apply as a TestFlight tester.
- Install the TestFlight app from the App Store once you are accepted.
- Install Axie Infinity from the TestFlight app.
It’s important to note that the beta test for Axie Infinity iOS is usually full. You can still try your luck from time to time and check the beta status using the steps above.
Otherwise, you will have to wait until the game developers are able to officially publish the game on the App Store.
It’s important to understand that Axie Infinity is built on the Ronin sidechain, which is an Ethereum sidechain developed by Sky Mavis in 2020. Sidechains are scaling solutions that help to alleviate network usability issues caused by the high traffic volume on some blockchain networks. While these issues don’t prevent transactions from being completed, they can cause high transaction fees and slower processing times.
Axie Infinity’s dual approach allows the site to incorporate the best aspects of both models. As the game is located on its own Ethereum sidechain, it can leverage the decentralization of the Ethereum blockchain while also relying on a customized network that speeds up transaction times.
However, Axie’s Infinity’s use of the Ronin Sidechain means that players must create a Ronin wallet, in addition to an Ethereum wallet, in order to access the site.
To download and install MetaMask, navigate to the wallet’s official site found here.
Once at the site, click “Download Now” and then select the platform you want to download from.
After that, follow the installation steps.
Creating a Ronin Wallet
Although many users wonder why a Ronin wallet is necessary to access the Axie Infinity marketplace, Sky Mavis has stated that the low gas fees and faster transactions improve the overall user experience. The company only started developing the Ronin sidechain in response to Ethereum network congestion in June 2020.
To download a Ronin wallet, navigate to the wallet extension on the Chrome Web Store found here.
Once on the Chrome Web Store page, click “Add to Chrome.”
Once added to Chrome, the Ronin Wallet extension will appear on the right of your webpage.
Click on “Get Started,” then click on “I’m new. Let’s get up!”
After this step, you will follow prompts to create your password, copy your security phrase (keep it somewhere safe), and confirm your security phrase.
Lastly, click on the Ronin wallet extension to check that your wallet is set up.
Getting ETH Into Your Wallet
There are two ways to get ETH into your Ronin wallet. The first involves depositing money from MetaMask using Ronin Bridge.
The second way is to buy ETH on Ronin with fiat currency (dollars) using the Ramp Network.
Creating An Account
To create an Axie Infinity account, navigate to the official marketplace found here and click “Login” at the top right of the page.
Clicking on the “Login” button will give you the option to log in with your newly created Ronin Wallet.
Click “Confirm” once the pop-up appears, and then follow the steps to complete your account verification.
After verifying your email, click “Account Settings” and then click “Attach MetaMask” to connect your MetaMask wallet.
As a final step, click ‘Next’, ‘Connect’, and ‘Sign’ when prompted on the MetaMask pop-up.
Axie Marketplace is the official marketplace for Axie Infinity Game. Through this NFT exchange, players can easily find axies, Land, and various other items that can be used in Lunacia.
Although axies can be bought and sold on other NFT marketplaces, most players prefer to use the official site for its easy-to-use interface.
Now that your account is set up, you can begin to purchase axies on the Axie marketplace.
First, navigate to the tab on the top left corresponding with the item you would like to buy. There are four options to choose from Axies, Land, Items, and Bundles.
To buy an axie, click on a picture of the character you wish to buy and then scroll down to see its complete profile. Each page will show the axie’s stats, body parts, abilities, parents, and children, as well as its current owner. To narrow down the results, you can use the filters on the left of the page to toggle between class, parts, purity, and breed count.
Once you are satisfied with a particular axie, click on the “Buy Now” button in the top right of the screen to purchase.
Currently, there are 663,522 axies available to buy, with the floor price at 0.009 ETH ($23).
The most expensive Axie ever sold was named Angel, a triple mystic, which went for 300 ETH in late 2020. Back then, the purchase price was about $130,000.
If you wish to purchase Land, navigate to the “Land” tab and filter by your preferred environment. Clicking on a picture of a land plot will show you information regarding its environment, location, sale history, and current owner.
To sell an axie (or another item), click on the Axie in your “inventory” tab that you wish to sell.
There are two ways to conduct a sale – a fixed price format or an auction format.
Fixed Price Selling
To sell an axie using a fixed price method, simply set an initial price that cannot be changed. In this format, there are no bids, and a buyer who wants to purchase your item must pay the full price listed on your profile.
Auction Price Selling
In an auction, you must set the starting price, ending price, and sale duration. For example, you can set the initial price at 0.5 ETH and the final price 0.8 ETH for one day.
If no one buys your Axie at the end of the auction, then the auction will end at the final price you have set.
Canceling a Transaction
There may come a time when you wish to cancel a sale after you have already listed an axie. In that case, simply click on the sale listing and click the “Cancel Selling” button.
You will receive a prompt in Ronin to cancel the transaction. Click “Confirm” to complete the cancellation.
Smooth Love Potion (SLP)
While AXS is a governance token, SLP is a type of digital money directly involved with gameplay that allows players to breed new Axies.
Each SLP is represented as an ERC-20 token, allowing it to be freely sold and swapped on the Ethereum blockchain. As they are required for breeding Axies in the game, SLP is a key part of gameplay and is highly valued by players.
Although a huge part of the game, SLP cannot be bought in the marketplace. The most common way to obtain potions is to receive them as a prize after winning a game in Axie Infinity. However, SLP may also be bought from Zipmex, Uniswap, and other exchanges if a player is willing to spend money and bypass battles.
The current price of one SLP token is $0.022.
Lunacia, the Axie homeland, is divided into 90,601 tokenized plots of land which act as bases of operation and homes for players and their axies. These land plots are also represented as non-fungible tokens and can be freely traded by players.
Land plots act as homes for your axies, and can be upgraded with items sold on the Axie marketplace, as well as with ingredients that can be found when playing the game. Landholders also have the added perk of getting first rights to any resources that spawn on their land.
Currently, the cheapest plot of land on Axie Infinity costs 4.5 ETH ($13,982), however, earlier in 2021 a piece of in-game real estate sold for a whopping $1.5 million.
Axie Infinity Shards, or AXS, are the Axie Infinity platform’s native governance tokens. Although they can technically be earned in-game, their play-to-earn potential is not yet widely available and they are far more likely to be acquired on crypto exchanges.
One of the key differences between AXS tokens and SLP is that while SLP has an infinite supply that changes based on the number of players, AXS has a circulating supply cap of 270 million.
AXS tokens also allow each token holder to vote on choices like platform development and fund distribution. Ultimately, the game’s long-term goal is to become a decentralized platform managed solely by its player base.
The AXS token is also essential to the Community Treasury. The Community Treasury receives 100% of all transaction fees collected on the site. AXS token holders can receive a part of the transaction fees earned by staking AXS tokens and supporting the ecosystem.
How to Earn Money in Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity is a user-controlled metaverse game, which means that capital controls are eliminated. This allows users to own their digital assets, like non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and trade them with other players in-game. These assets can also be transferred to other digital experiences, creating an entirely new blockchain economic design that can be converted to real-world currency.
The blockchain technology that powers the game ultimately allows for a play-to-earn experience where players can earn money and then transfer their assets outside the site.
Smooth Love Potion (SLP)
Earning love potions is one of the top ways that players earn money when playing Axie Infinity. As SLP is a cryptocurrency that can be traded outside the site and exchanged for fiat money, acquiring SLP through challenges and battles can prove lucrative.
On average, active players are able to earn 100-200 SLP per day. However, it’s important to note that SLPs can only be withdrawn after 14 days – a rule that helps to balance the game’s digital economy.
Additionally, the price of SLP can be volatile. In the past, the token has fluctuated as low as $0.03 and as high as $0.36, which means that you will have to time your exchanges into cash in order to get the most bang for your buck.
Included below are the ways that SLP can be acquired when playing Axie Infinity:
- Adventure Mode: Battling other creatures in adventure mode will earn players SLPs, and will give each axie the experience points (EXP) needed to level up. The level of an axie determines how many SLPs are won at the end of each combat. Each player can win a maximum of 100 SLPs in Adventure mode each day. Below are the various levels and the corresponding SLP given to the victor in an adventure mode victory.
- Level 1 – 4: 1 SLP per win
- Level 5 – 9: 2 SLP per win
- Level 10 – 14: 4 SLP per win
- Level 15 – 16: 6 SLP per win
- Level 17 – 20: 5-10 SLP per win
- Level 21 – 36: 10-20 SLP per win
- Arena: Another option to acquire SLPs is through the Arena – a multi-player setting that allows gamers to compete against each other in PvP battles. Each victory earns a player SLPs, as well as boosts their matchmaking ranking (MMR). Arena mode is an excellent choice for determined gamers as players can acquire an unlimited amount of SLPs.
- Daily Quests: These are various challenges that can range from anything like winning a certain number of battles per day or logging in to the game once every week for a certain amount of time. Daily Quests are a good idea for beginners as they allow new players to become familiar with the game without entering high-risk battles.
- Farming: As discussed earlier in this article, every player can only keep three axies on their squad. However, for those who obtain more than three axies, the option exists to give these to other members of your community and allow them to use your team to farm SLPs for you.
While flipping axies is another excellent way to earn money, it’s slightly more complicated and is consequently less popular among players. What makes this process difficult is that a potential buyer must be familiar with the dozens of different trait combinations in order to find an axie that’s undervalued.
Below are some factors to keep in mind when searching for an axie, in addition to the characteristics, discussed earlier in the article:
Probably the most important factor to consider when buying an axie, a beginner on a tight budget must choose carefully when making purchases. Browsing through similar listings and determining the floor price for certain classes and traits is always a good practice before buying. And keep in mind that the more money you spend, the higher the likelihood of receiving a higher-quality axie.
Purity is another trait that merits strong consideration. When buying an axie, it’s always important to search for the highest purity axie possible. An axie that is less pure, or has jumbled characteristics, not only has reduced stats and capabilities but also has a lower resale value as their offspring will also have less desirable traits.
An axie’s purity is measured on a scale from 1 to 6, with 6 being the purest. If an axie has only one body part that matches its class, it is one-sixth pure. If it has all of the identical body parts of its class, its purity rating is a 6/6.
Every axie has two life stages: as an egg and as an adult. Buying eggs is somewhat risky as an axie’s full traits are not revealed until they are born. Adults are battle-ready axies, so it’s usually a good idea to purchase these first so you can immediately jump into combat and earn rewards.
No guide to flipping axies would be complete without mentioning breed count – a metric that measures how many times an axie has bred in the past.
As all axies can breed a maximum of seven times, players should select those with 0 breeds should they want to breed later. However, those with larger breed counts are less expensive, meaning that buyers must weigh the cost between more offspring and a cheaper price.
As mentioned previously, players can breed axies to give birth to a new axie with a brand new set of stats and abilities. Overall, two axies are required to produce one egg.
Each axie has three genes in each body part, which allows for distinctions between characters. Although axie genes can be determined up to a point, there is always an amount of luck as certain trait combinations are outside the control of the breeder.
The amount of SLPs consumed depends on how many times the parent axies have bred in the past. Below is a chart that details the cost for each breed count:
- Breed Count: 0/7, SLP Cost: 150
- Breed Count: 1/7, SLP Cost: 300
- Breed Count: 2/7, SLP Cost: 450
- Breed Count: 3/7, SLP Cost: 750
- Breed Count: 4/7, SLP Cost: 1200
- Breed Count: 5/7, SLP Cost: 1950
- Breed Count: 6/7, SLP Cost: 3150
As shown in the chart, the higher the breed count/number, the higher the SLP cost. This practice regulates the economy and prevents the possible hyperinflation of supply which could lead to lower SLP prices.
Another way to earn income in Axie Infinity is through the buying and selling of lands. As land plots in Lunacia function like real-world real estate, they can be freely exchanged on the market. Axie Infinity players can buy a plot of land, wait for it to appreciate, and then sell it for ETH.
Axie Infinity Scholarships
A little-known feature is, Scholarships are common in the Axie Infinity universe and allow new players to get involved in the game for free.
In the scholarship system, new players start playing for free by borrowing axies from lenders, who are referred to as ‘managers’ in the game. Although new players can receive free axies, they must give a percentage of their revenues to their managers.
The system usually benefits both the manager and the scholar. Scholars gain experience and rewards, while managers gain profits. Scholarships typically involve a 50/50, 60/40, or 70/30 split in which the management takes a part of the SLPs farmed by the scholar.