One of the most popular metaverse games in existence today, Axie Infinity has grown over the past few years 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, 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.
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.
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).
Secret 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What You Need to Get Started
Those who want to buy and sell items on the Axie Marketplace will need an Axie account, an Ethereum wallet to store tokens, and a Ronin wallet. As MetaMask is the most popular wallet to store Ethereum today, it remains the top choice for most Axie Infinity players.
Lastly, anyone who wishes to enter into gameplay battles must acquire at least 3 axies from the Axie Infinity Marketplace.
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 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.
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).
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 it environment, location, sale history, and current owner.
Keep in mind that Land is the most expensive item to buy, with the floor price for a plot currently at 2 ETH (5,121.12).
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 at 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.