Axie Infinity Review
Axie infinity Review
Blockchain gaming has become one of the most talked-about innovations in the gaming industry thanks to the influx of NFT-powered games increasingly anchoring the play-to-earn movement. At the forefront of this development is Axie Infinity, an Ethereum-based game, that provides various elements designed to help players generate income denominated in digital assets.
Due to the appeal of the income-focused nature of this gaming model, it has emerged as one of the high flyers in the blockchain industry with over 100,000 active players recorded monthly. Moreover, it has become a popular gaming choice for those living in developing countries even as over 40% of Axie players are said to be based in the Philippines.
And so, you may be asking: What is so special about Axie Infinity and how can you start playing the blockchain-based game? In this guide, we will explore everything you need to know about Axie Infinity, including its pros and cons.
What is Axie Infinity?
Launched by Vietnam-based Sky Mavis in 2018, Axie Infinity prides itself as a blockchain game anchored by a self-sufficient economy. To achieve this, the team that created it has opted for blockchain-powered gaming infrastructure such that digital assets can be fully integrated as part of the core elements of the game. With this, Axie Infinity powers a game where in-game assets are owned outrightly by players. In essence, the most appealing part of this game is the possibility of owning in-game assets which in turn unlocks the opportunity of monetizing them.
At this juncture, it is important to state that all these interesting capabilities are made possible by the emergence of non-fungible tokens, also known as NFTs. For those unfamiliar with the concept of NFT, it is a technology that brings uniqueness to the virtual world. What this means is that NFT helps resolve some of the piracy issues that might arise as a result of the lack of a means of accurately differentiating between two or more virtual assets. This is done by storing the metadata of virtual assets on blockchains. And since the data stored on blockchains are considered immutable, it is almost impossible to counterfeit NFTs. Anyone can easily track and confirm the authenticity of digital assets. As such, it is possible to own digital assets so far you have the required credentials (private keys) to claim them.
However, regardless of all the blockchain components put together to create Axie Infinity, the creators still had to incorporate a popular game theme to ensure that the game not only appeals to crypto proponents but also to everyday gamers. The game has adopted Pokemon-themed gameplay which is quite addictive. Therefore, the game is as enjoyable as it is lucrative. Notably, this can be said to be one of the core factors behind the success of Axie Infinity.
Speaking of gameplay, it is important to note that the game theme of Axie infinity centers around a pokemon-styled card-battling sequence between monster-like creatures called Axies. Here, players pit their Axies against other players’ Axies for the chance of earning rewards denominated in an ERC20 token called SLP (Smooth Love Portion). This token can in turn be exchanged for fiat currency or be used to breed more Axies. Herein lies the core workings of Axie Infinity.
Having summarized how Axie Infinity works, it is time to take a deep dive into some of the features, tools, and skills you need to master before you can start enjoying the game.
What are the key components of Axie Infinity?
As mentioned earlier, Axie infinity has incorporated Pokemon-themed gameplay which utilizes special components including, Axies, SLP, and Axie Infinity Shards (AXS). Below are what you need to know about each:
Like I noted earlier, players have to get their hands on cute monsters called Axies to battle other players or the computer. It is worth mentioning here that these Axies are NFTs. This means that each is unique and they can be sold on the open market. Another interesting thing about these monsters is that they come with different attacking and defending abilities. As expected, traits naturally determine the value of Axies. The more loaded an Axie is, the higher you will have to pay to purchase it.
Also, note that you will need to acquire 3 Axies before you can start playing. To do this, you must buy from the platform’s marketplace. At the time of writing this review, the lowest you can get an Axie is $30. And as you would expect, $30 Axies will not come with a lot of capabilities. Hence, going for the cheapest may not be the smartest thing to do. Depending on the type of firepower you need, you may have to pay northward of $300 to purchase a formidable Axie.
When you eventually get your Axies, you can decide to battle the computer to get up to speed on the technicalities involved in the game. This will also help you know what you may be up against when you battle other players. And whenever you win a duel, be it against a computer or other players, you earn SLP, an ERC20 token. The last thing you need to know about Axies is that you can breed new ones. By strategically picking the right Axies, you can breed offspring with specific traits. The traits of the offspring would determine the price they fetch in the marketplace. Later in this guide, I will highlight the different types of Axies and how their traits give them an advantage over others.
Smooth Love Porton (SLP)
Players receive rewards denominated in SLP when they win games. These native tokens anchor the reward system of Axie Infinity with some players now even using it to settle payments in the Philippines. More importantly, SLP, along with Ethereum, is the accepted payment method of the platform’s marketplace. In other words, you need to have either SLP or ETH to purchase Axies or other in-game assets.
Away from the payment utilities of SLP, it is also required to breed new Axies. Hence, you need a specific amount of SLP before you can breed Axies.
Axie infinity shards (AXS)
Note that Axie infinity runs on a decentralized economy. In essence, there are ongoing efforts to establish a community-focused governance system that will allow players to have a say on certain development and operational decisions. The goal is to get more players involved in the day-to-day running of the platform such that a single entity can't have unfettered control over Axie Infinity. To this end, the platform has issued a governance token, called Axie Infinity Shard (AXS). AXS holders automatically receive voting power to contribute to critical and basic governance activities.
How Axie Infinity works
Now that you are familiar with the 3 major components of Axie Infinity, how then can you start playing the game profitably? Well, the first thing you need to do is to get a wallet where you can store all your in-game assets. The team recommends Metamask for both desktop and mobile device users. All you need to do is download the wallet on your device and connect it to your Axie Infinity account.
To create an account, go to Axie Infinity’s marketplace page and click on login. You will be asked to either log in with Metamask or sign up by submitting your email address. For those that already have a Metamask wallet, you can continue with the first option. By doing so, you only need to connect your wallet to Axie Infinity by signing where necessary on a Metamask pop-up window. When this is done, you need to set up an account by submitting your email address and creating a password. Thereafter, you need to verify the email.
The next step is the creation of a Ronin wallet. Note that Axie Infinity now exists on Ronin, one of the sidechains of Ethereum. It is worth mentioning that Ronin was created by Sky Mavis to reduce the economic impact of Ethereum’s scaling problems. With this, players do not have to pay exorbitant transaction fees to participate in the Axie Infinity ecosystem.
On your dashboard, locate the Wallet section, frown where you will click on “Install Ronin Wallet.” This will automatically navigate you to the Ronin wallet extension page on Chrome Webstore. Add Ronin to your browser and then initiate and complete the process required to set up the wallet and connect it to your existing Axie Infinity account. From here on, you can start shopping for Axies.
Irrespective of your initial capital, you must buy a minimum of 3 Axies to be eligible to play the game. The question is: What are the things to look out for when buying Axies?
The first thing that you should have at the back of your mind when window shopping for Axies is that they come in 6 basic classes, namely Aquatic, Plant, Beast, Bird, Bug, and Reptile. Apart from these normal classes, there are 3 other secret classes, including Dawn, Dusk, and Mech. Note that each class has its strengths and weaknesses, which further determines how they fare against other classes. For instance, Aquatics are more effective against Bugs, Mechs, and Beast Axies. In contrast, they are not as effective against Reptile, Plant, and Dusk Axies. Generally, the class of an Axie will to a large extent determine its traits and stats.
Speaking of stats, each Axies comes with 4 different stats: Health, Morale, Skill, and Speed. The combination of the four stats plays a vital role in the battle mechanics of each Axies. From the stat, you can tell how much damage they can dish out to other Axie and the level of damage they can take.
In addition to this, all Axies have 6 body parts: horns, back, ears, eyes, mouth, and tail. All, except the eyes and ears, influence Axie’s battle capabilities.
Once you have figured out the technicalities that link Axies to their capabilities, it becomes easier to pick the ones that help you win challenges. At this juncture, you will come to the realization that the more capital you have, the higher your chance of winning battles. That said, the outcomes of battles are not entirely determined by the type of Axies the players have at their disposal. It is one thing to have the firepower, it is another to know how to use them. Essentially, Axie Infinity is a game that requires wits. You must learn how to call your opponent’s bluff, determine the right time to attack and when to defend or forfeit a round of battle. Ultimately, you must become unpredictable.
As such, it is advisable to try your skills against the computer before going all out to challenge real players. Regardless of the opponent you are facing (that is, whether is a player VS. Computer mode or player VS. player mode), you earn SLPs with every win. Likewise, players accrue experience points as they play. You will need to reach specific experience points to become eligible to progress to a tougher level.
Other interesting components of Axie Infinity
In addition to the battling monsters tokenized as NFTs, Axie Infinity has also implemented other in-game assets that add to the thrill of the game. Some examples of such assets are plots of lands that can be purchased on the platform’s marketplace. The Axie Infinity ecosystem consists of a total of 90,601 plots of land. There is an ongoing plan to introduce land gameplay in the first half of 2022.
Notably, part of the future development plans of Axie Infinity centers around the introduction of a Lunacia SDK. With this, it will be possible for developers and players to create new game themes and experiences around Axie Infinity’s in-game assets.
What is a Scholarship in the Axie Infinity ecosystem?
Knowing fully well that the capital required to join and play Axie Infinity profitably could rise to $1,500, some interested players settle to manage others’ Axies for a cut of the profits generated from winnings. Here, Axies owners lend out a team of 3 Axies to those we call scholars. The scholars have to use the Axies to battle other players for the chance of earning SLPs and other rare in-game items. The earnings are then shared among the original owner of the Axies and the scholar.
What are the pros and cons of Axie Infinity?
Pros of Axie Infinity
It has a familiar theme
Axie infinity has adopted a pokemon card-based game theme that would appeal to mainstream gamers. This makes it easier to understand the game.
It is decentralized
With the launch of AXS, Sky Mavis had begun to introduce the infrastructure required to establish a self-sufficient economy. Unlike centralized games, Axie Infinity relies on a community-powered governance system that eliminates the concentration of power.
Axie Infinity supports a play-to-earn model
There are 2 major ways players can earn money while playing Axie Infinity. They can either breed new Axies and sell them on the marketplace or exchange their SLP-denominated rewards for fiat.
Axie Infinity’s PVP mode matches players in record time
Since Axie Infinity is currently a popular game, you do not have to wait for extended periods to match up against other players. This adds to the gaming experience of players.
The cons of Axie Infinity
It has a high entry barrier
Due to the initial investment that new players have to make to play Axie Infinity, it is not the ideal choice for those who cannot part away with a large chunk of capital