What Are “Blockchain Games” and How They Work

The rise of Cryptos has led to many new ways of improving traditional digital media. And gaming was one of them, with the appearance of many crypto games over the market. Not only that, but these sorts of games opened the gate to a new form of gaming where people could earn cryptocurrency and digital assets by just playing the game.

These practices allowed game developers to integrate into the gaming landscape and find a new way to begin their new studios with the NFT games. 

Without further ado, let’s check what blockchain-based games are about and why you should take advantage of them.

What It Is “Blockchain Gaming”

Screenshot of Pegaxy, a blockchain game

Blockchain games are, essentially, video games that have blockchain technology integrated within them. This means that they can use crypto tokens, feature integration with crypto wallets, or allow NFT trades. 

Generally speaking, a blockchain game has NFTs and crypto tokens in the form of skins, playable characters, or in-game assets (like items and equipment). So, following the rules of the crypto gaming market and NFTs, any digital asset you have in these games is completely yours to do as you please. 

You can sell these assets in an NFT marketplace, whereas in most traditional games, you can’t sell your skins, or at least do so without the help of third-party software. On the other hand, game developers aren’t attached to creating monetization loops in paid games. They get a fraction of every transaction made within the in-game market. 

All of this is possible as smart contracts ease NFT distribution within games. And because all data held is public and permissionless blockchain is immutable, developers cannot change the smart contracts, which gives players more security and control. 

Can I Win Money Earning In-Game Assets

NFT weapons in Alien Worlds

Most blockchain games fall under the model referred to as “GameFi.” And before we continue, let’s clarify some concepts:

  • GameFi: It is a term that emphasizes the potential of earning money through the game. A blockchain game needs a robust blockchain foundation with minimal fees and high transaction rates. Players shouldn’t pay huge transaction fees (commonly named “gas fees”) when purchasing or selling NFTs, in-game currency, or other digital assets because they’re unusable without them.
  • Plat-To-Earn: It is the model that many blockchain games implement and the one to which blockchain gamers are most used. It compensates players for playing the game and participating in in-game activities, allowing them to buy and sell game-related commodities. A blockchain-based game gives players complete control over their digital assets, unlike traditional game models such as pay-to-play (commonly used on single-player games) or free-to-play (a model that many multiplayer games are adopting). 
  • Pay-To-Earn: With this model, players have to make an initial investment or purchase of an in-game asset (usually in the form of an NFT). Then, the strategy is similar to the previous one, where you can earn items that can develop value over time, with the promise of profits as an incentive for players to stick to such games.

With these crucial concepts already in place, we can continue on how one can earn an income with blockchain games. The tokens earned in these games can have real-world value, and you can exchange them not only for other NFTs but also for cryptocurrencies like Ethereum. 

It allows gamers to earn currencies and creates a brand-new digital economy that rewards gamers for playing, which is a potentially lucrative way to generate income. There are several examples of this sort of case that we will be looking at in a bit.

What Are The Risks of Playing Games Over The Blockchain

Hacker stealing data from a notebook to his cellphone

Many blockchain games aren’t prepared for the volume of transactions that these new economies within their games create. It isn’t rare that some transfers take longer than expected to complete. So, if you lack patience, you may have a potential setback depending on which game you choose. But this is one of a few obstacles that blockchain games confront.

Environmental Impact

While they are working on it, most popular blockchains still require a lot of electric power to run properly, reaching levels equal to or more than some entire countries. With that said, their data-intensive mining protocols would lead to increasing amounts of “gas fees” to pay for each transaction. 

Ethereum, the most popular blockchain, suffers from this issue as it is built with a system called “proof of work,” which requires a lot of energy to solve complex puzzles to verify every transaction. All of this results in being very energy inefficient, and its creator Vitálik Buterin is working on a solution for the future. 

Scammers and Hackers

Then we have the “scam” problem. Being a young industry in the “Internet Era,” there are many people that will take advantage of others promoting false blockchain games, where gamers will dive and buy their assets before their release to find out that they were willingly gifting their money to thieves. Blockchain doesn’t comply with financial standards, leaving the ground free from any sort of fraud. So, double-check everything if you want to play a new blockchain game, even more, if it requires a prior investment.

The hacking against Axie Infinity was covered in many US news networks

Another risk similar to scammers is the “hacking” issue. It isn’t only against the players, where their wallets can be hacked, and they lose their money. If you take some security measures like using VPN, being aware of where you are navigating on the Internet, and not clicking on suspicious links that people may send you (to say some), you will be safe from people stealing your wallet. Hackers are aiming at the developers themselves. There were cases of popular blockchain games that got hacked and lost millions, like what happened to Axie Infinity, resulting in a market crash over their token for the moment. As developers tighten the security levels for their games, so are the hackers implementing better methods to breach them.

Market Fluctuations

Lastly, there is a problem that the whole cryptocurrency landscape suffers from, which is “market fluctuations.” As it might happen with certain crypto being at a high price in the market and suddenly crashing down and becoming worthless, some blockchain games can suffer the same. 

However, some games limit how often a player can withdraw their tokens to reduce the risk of market fluctuation but also adds the risk that players won’t be able to withdraw their tokens in time to mitigate potential losses due to these limitations. 

Which Are The Best Blockchain Games

While blockchain gaming is in its infancy, with only a few years around the market, mainstream gaming companies like EA, Ubisoft, Konami, and Square Enix are already looking to dive into this landscape, supporting from the outside and even experimenting with their own NFTs. 

Keep in mind that all of them have their own game rules, game store, and different game mechanics. There isn’t a guideline more than implementing blockchain technology, so if none of these games get your attention, perhaps there is one that matches your “gaming taste.”

Axie Infinity

Screenshot of Axie Inifnity gameplay

The most popular and probably, the best blockchain game around the market. It is the one that put blockchain gaming in front of everyone, and since its release, many have tried to replicate its success, but Axie Infinity has kept its number-one spot. 

Axie Infinity, which utilizes the Ronin blockchain, is a turn-based card game similar to Pokémon, with the difference that the combat is between two teams of three monsters (named Axies), and there is different positioning on the field that will influence your strategy. Each Axie has different body parts that will influence their base stats, and each corresponds to a specific card that will be added to your deck.

To play the game, a player must have at least three Axies (which are the NFTs of the game) that can be purchased in its marketplace. Then, by winning games, you can earn Smooth Love Potions, which you can trade for other cryptocurrencies. And if you reach a high ranking, you can even earn AXS, a more expensive cryptocurrency.

Axie Infinity developed a big community worldwide, giving everyone a chance in hop-in. Not only a big spender will have their shot at the game, but if you can’t afford this sort of investment, you can reach out to some community members and ask for scholarships, where a player will give you a team to “farm” SLP, and you will keep a portion of what you make.

Banner for Axiecon in Barcelona, where the World Cup was disputed

Axie Infinity suffered from a big hack months ago, where it lost over $600 million dollars, and its value tanked. Yet, many people have stayed, and it is even becoming an Esport. This year, the World Cup was celebrated in Barcelona, Spain, with many former professional TCG (Trading Card Game) and CCG (Collectible Card Game) players getting in.

Gala Games

Screenshot of Town Blockchain Games

The developers at Gala Games are thinking big toward an ambitious future for their blockchain games. With their first game, they unexpectedly listed their GALA token, and, in over a week, its prices got a great increase from $0.02 to $0.80 (the price may change depending on when you are looking at it). 

Since then, they have launched many games, preparing a multiverse over its ecosystem. Now the project is not only a developer studio but also a publisher and an NFT marketplace. And while some blockchain games are built with eyes on profitability, Gala Games expressed that their focus is more on their games and that the blockchain should remain “invisible.” 

They started with the Ethereum blockchain as well as Enjin, but they switched to using the BEP-20 asset from the Binance Smart Chain as they reduced the cost of their gas fees.

The Walking Dead: Empires in-game screenshot

What about their games? There are plenty to choose from, covering different genres from city simulators like Town Star, PvP brawlers with Spider Tanks (which promises to be a Web3 Esport game), card games like Legends Reborn, and even games from popular media franchises such as The Walking Dead and Battlestar Galactica. 

Alien Worlds

Alien Worlds promotional image

Alien Worlds is a WAX blockchain-based game that is truly play-to-earn, as you can begin without any prior funds to start earning some income. 

It is an intriguing game as it has many phases around the gameplay. You have to capture aliens to mine the main currency of the game, Trilium, which you will use for, well, everything. 

From there, the developers continued adding more to Alien Worlds, from an arena to battle between players to a planetary council where people have to vote for their favorite candidate from all the players (or even try to run the election by themselves). The one elected can decide how the treasury will be distributed among everyone living in the same planet, among other things.


Decentraland in-game image

Are you getting ready to jump into the Metaverse? You should check Decentraland. This could be a predecessor to Zuckerberg’s idea, as it shares many of the core concepts and features that Metaverse promises.

Decentraland is an Ethereum-based program where people around the world can share a virtual environment and enjoy this virtual world. Its players can explore and play games in this landscape, as well as buy and sell digital real estate. 

They can also use in-world payments, interactive apps, and peer-to-peer communication, thanks to the constant evolution and progress of the project. 

Gods Unchained

Gods Unchained in-game screenshot

If you like card games, you’ll definitely love Gods Unchained. It mixes game mechanics from Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering but without falling on being “just another copy” of these games.

It is an NFT game that allows users to trade cards and use them in their own deck. A simple concept that was missing during the transition from physical card games toward digital card games. Most of the digital TCGs just became CCGs. With Gods Unchained, you can trade cards for a set price over its in-game marketplace.

But the most interesting part about it is that you craft free cards by just playing the game and doing some daily missions. And this can happen without investing money.

The GODS token is the native currency of the game, which is the ERC-20 token. It requires a wallet that supports the Ethereum blockchain, such as Metamask.

How Can I Play These Games

Image of the Metamask wallet app

Like it happens with crypto and Non-Fungible Tokens in general, the set-up process for blockchain games is similar to those. 

You will need a crypto wallet to interact with the game’s token and also supports the blockchain used. So, the most relevant ones will be your best option (like Metamask). 

Open an account on a centralized exchange such as Binance, Coinbase, OpenSea, or any other that you trust. We recommend purchasing relevant cryptocurrencies that could be required to make in-game purchases and sending them to your crypto wallet. 

Now, all that remains is to create an in-game account, connect your wallet to the website and buy game assets, if required. You can start playing!

Most of the games are developed for desktop computers, and few have a good mobile port (Axie Infinity being the best example). 


Blockchain gaming has expanded economies at a mass scale within the gaming industry, learning and following the formula of already successful games such as World of Warcraft, Second Life, Runescape, and many other MMOs that brought the rules of real-world trading to their ecosystem. With blockchain gaming, those economies are more robust and easier to create and develop. 

Its decentralized model allows players to transfer NFTs and other assets consistently across multiple platforms when connected to a blockchain. It is highly beneficial for gamers all over the world. 

They can generate income with the play-to-earn games, as we checked with the top blockchain games, by simply playing the game (even more if you become very good at it) or by just trading. And also, developers can generate revenue through these micro-economies in an industry where they can create any world they want. It opens opportunities for everyone.  

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