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How to value Axie Infinity’s Axie NFTs

Posted by
Modesta Jurgeleviciene

Value depends on being a player or collector

Axie Infinity is a blockchain game centered around collecting, breeding, battling, and raising fantasy creatures called Axies. Axie Marketplace is the official marketplace for the Axie Infinity items. According to Google Trends data, there has been a significant increase in interest in Axie Infinity during the first three months of this year.  

Source: Google Trends

Although Axie Infinity and the Axie Marketplace were launched a while ago, it can be challenging to understand the value of Axies. Most importantly, the value is subjective and speculative depending on the buyer’s intentions. 

Those looking to participate and play the game might be most interested in battle moves and classes, while collectors looking for investment opportunities will be looking more into the rarity and aesthetic elements of the NFT.

Before we dive deeper into the valuation, it’s important to know that in this report we will only look at Axies. We will leave land valuation for the moment gameplay has been implemented. Because we focus only on Axies, it’s important to know how these NFTs are being used in the game. That’s why we’ll first explain the basic game mechanics.

Quick intro into Axie Infinity

  • Players need 3 Axies to play the game. They can either get these from the marketplace or acquire three eggs and hatch them using ETH and waiting a couple of days.
  • Each Axie is unique and has its own stats and looks. Some Axies do lots of damage, others can serve as a tank.
  • There are 9 different classes, and each Axie has 6 different body parts. These body parts also come in 6 different classes. 
  • Players need to make a team of 3 Axies. Having a tank, damage and a healer could be a good team composition.
  • By winning battles against other players or against computer opponents, players can earn Small Love Potion tokens (SLP). These battles happen turn-based.
  • Axies can breed to spawn new Axies. To perform this function, players need quite considerable amounts of SLP, no even mentioning the ETH for gas fees.
  • Axie Infinity also has its own governance token: Axie Infinity Shard tokens (AXS). This occasionally serves as a game reward but is not involved in battle gameplay itself. 

Fundamentally, the game has its own internal economy with various levels of interactions. This is one of the other key areas where Axie Infinity differentiates itself. The developers have created a play-to-earn economy and arguably this is the most exciting aspect of the game itself.

Unlike other NFT valuation reports where the items are purely collectible, Axies have true utility within the game. Some players will use their Axies to battle and earn SLP, while other players are only looking to breed Axies. This creates a small economy with ask and demand on its own. 

Table of contents

  • The Axie Marketplace generated millions
  • From the top
  • Class defines role and value
  • Breed count and maturity
  • Body types add uniqueness
  • Ability key attribute for players
  • Mystic Axies
  • In-summary

The Axie Marketplace generated millions

Axie Infinity activity is heavily correlated to Axie Marketplace activity. Once the usage of the game increases, marketplace usage follows the same pattern. Axie Infinity together with the Axie Marketplace has seen huge growth from October 2020. We spot an increase in unique active wallets from 50 to more than 300 within the marketplace and $15.2 million in transaction volume since October 2020.

2021 so far has been filled with big sales for Axie’s up to and beyond $50,000 per Axie. It is interesting to investigate which elements play the most important role in value.

From the top

Axies are very complex NFTs. First of all they could be used for multiple purposes: in-game battles, breeding and collecting. Secondly, they have various unique traits such as stats, classes, body types, parts and abilities. Axies can have different maturity levels and breed counts, the rarest ones have mystical parts. All these elements can create additional value to the NFTs.

The very starting point to talk about Axies is the stats. Each Axie has 4 stats: HP, Morale, Skill, and Speed. These stats define the strength of Axies and their abilities within the Axie Ininfity battle game. For instance, higher HP helps to increase Axie’s hit points, while speed influences the turn order as high speed Axies attack first. Moreover, more Skills adds bonus damage to combo attacks and higher Morale increases critical hit chances.

Source: Axie Infinity Marketplace

When we compare two Axies that possess similar body parts, Axie (#165322) with higher Health of 59 has 29% or $176 higher listing price than Axie (#124043) with Health of 54. On the other hand, other attributes might have an impact on price too. An Axie’s stats are dependent on two variables: it’s class and its body parts. Each class possesses different stats that might be beneficial in the battle. Some of the classes are more valuable than others.

Class defines role and value

Classes define an Axie’s role within the game. There are 9 classes in the game, which can be divided into 3 groups. Each class is different from another and it becomes extremely important for players to accurately select the class as it leads to more successful battles. As the game is built on the play-to-earn concept, winning battles is very important.

Source: Axie Wiki

Group 1 contains Plant, Reptile, and Dusk which represent the ‘tank’ or defense functions. These collectibles play a vital role in the game in terms of absorbing damage. In 2021, 35% of total Axie sales were generated in the Plant, Reptile, and Dusk group, whereas Plants were the most popular Axie in terms of all 9 classes. The group generated more than $2 million in 2021 so far.

While looking into average sales, Plants were the most valuable Axies with average sales of $332, Reptile and Dusk were $233 and $314 respectively. Although Dusk Axies are the rarest within this group, average sales are lower than the most common one – Plants. This price difference is likely because of the fact that Plants are mostly used as the frontline during battles.

Group 2 consists of Beast, Bug, and Mech Axies with the purpose to do the most damage to the opponent. Beasts are leading in terms of average sales with amounts around $372. Bug and Mech Axies have average sales of $247 and $224 respectively. Overall, Beasts are the most expensive NFTs within the platform. The reason behind that is because Beast Axie’s are usually the first choice to form a backline.

The last group of Aquatic, Bird, and Dawn represents Axie’s speed and damage within the game. In terms of the number of sales  Aquatic and Bird Axies are the most popular. While Dawn is the rarest and most expensive. The average sales of Dawn Axie’s are around $358, while Aquatic and Bird were $318 and $235 respectively.

To conclude, according to the statistics, Plant, Beast, and Aquatic Axies have the largest demand. This is mainly because these Axie’s represent good value in the game and allow players to start earning SLP tokens by winning battles. As previously mentioned, Axie Infinity is first and foremost a game and not just a hub for collecting super rare and valuable NFTs.

Breed count and maturity

Breed counts are another factor that has an impact on the value of Axie NFTs. If to compare the floor price of Beast when the breed count is 2,4 and 6, we spot that the price of Axie#84157 with a breed count of 2 is slightly higher than one with a breed count of 4 and 6. On the other hand, the difference could be because Axie#84157 has a body part of a Snail Shell which is very valued in the Axie Infinity game. Snail Shell is an automatic defense mechanism that stuns attackers when they break a shield.

Source: Axie Infinity Marketplace

Another unique factor about Axies is that, unlike other collectibles, they can be purchased at different maturity levels. There are egg, larva, petite and adult stages. The advantage of buying an egg, larva, or petite stage is that Axies would have zero breed count. Zero breed count gives the opportunity to breed Axies a maximum of 7 times. 

Overall, although there’s a slight difference, breed count and Axie maturity do not play a vital role in the value of the NFT. Elements such as body type, parts, or abilities can be far more important.

Body types add uniqueness

The body types are another important element while valuing Axies. There are 8 different body types: Normal, Big Yak, Curly, Fuzzy, Spiky, Sumo, Wet Dog, and Frosty. Normal Axies (#90142) are the most common body type while Frosty is the rarest one (#139246). As a result, the floor price of a Frosty Axie is 5 times higher than a Normal one.

Source: Axie Infinity Marketplace

Although body types do not hold any ability that could be used in the game while battling, it adds additional rarity that might be valued by different types of investors.

Ability key attribute for players

Each Axie has 6 different body parts, and there are 254 body parts within Axie Infinity. Out of those 254 body parts, 170 of them carry an ability. These can be game-changing while attacking the opponent. We spot increased interest in all damage abilities, especially if you consider bonuses from Single Combat or Nut Throw along with Nut Crack. 

In 2021, the most purchased abilities were Nut Throw along with Nut Crack and Vegetal Bite. The average sale of Nut Throw surpassed $600 in March and was the most valued ability. While in April we spot Vegetal Bite to be the most expensive ability with average sales of around $400.

Source: Cryptoslam.com

The importance of body parts with abilities is obvious. Expectedly, body parts with abilities are more valued by players than collectors as it adds real value when competing in the game.

Mystic Axies

Axie collecting becomes even more interesting as it has an exclusive edition that might attract different types of investors. The Origin badge is limited to Axies that were created during the Axie Infinity pre-sale from February 16th to April 16th, 2018. This badge cannot be replicated through breeding. Origin Axies possess special body parts called mystic parts. The total supply of Origin Axies will never exceed the amount of 4,088 unique Axies.

By no surprise, these rare Axies are commonly seen commanding top sales. 100% of the top Axie sales in 2020 and 2021 belong to the mystic/origin Axies. The largest sale so far was around $131,000 as per the chart below. 

Mystic Axies could be valued similarly to other limited edition collectibles such as CryptoPunks or Hashmasks. Although Axies could be used within the game too, these are most commonly purchased for collection or resale purposes. 

Each mystical Axie can have from 1 to – in theory – 6 mystic body parts. The more mystic parts each Axie possesses, the more rare and valuable it is. There is a 25% chance that an Axie has 1 mystic part and only 0.0127% (Quad Mystic Axie) that it will have 4. 

Overall, these Mystic Axies could be a great long-term investment. Expectedly, the growing popularity of the Axie Infinity game might create an even higher demand for Mystic Axies.

Summary

Axie Marketplace has faced impressive growth since October 2020 with sales of more than $15 million in under 6 months. Similar to other collections, rarity and aesthetics play an important role when considering valuable Axies. The rarest ones were sold for around $50,000 in 2021 and $100,000 in 2020. These rare Axies might be purchased with the goal to resell them in the future for a profit. 

Different from other collectibles such as CryptoPunks or Hashmasks, Axies can be used in-game. Creating an additional layer as players might have different preferences while looking to buy an Axie. As data suggest, Plants, Beast, and Aquatic classes, and damage abilities are the key elements to consider while purchasing Axies for gaming.

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