Top 10 Best GameFi Projects to Play and Earn

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GameFi is a viable way to earn money in a crypto bear market

All round the world companies are adding gamification elements to their products, while in Web3 we have GameFi, where companies add financial layers to their games. GameFi can take many shapes and forms, in this articles we will explain what GameFi is and highlight some examples.

Playing games and earning something from that activity is only possible using blockchain technology, because assets linked to a blockchain give users ownership. This means that gamers can own in-game currencies and game items. Therefore they are also able to use these assets, trade them, give them away or do whatever they want. This is where GameFi comes into play.

What is GameFi?

The term GameFi comes from the combination of ‘games’ and ‘decentralized finance’, or DeFi. GameFi describes a blockchain application, or dapp, in the gaming sector that provides financial services or benefits to the end-user. Even though the term GameFi can be applied to technically any game in Web3, it resonates strongest with projects that gamify financial services.

For example, in GameFi projects players may need to ‘fertilize their land’ by staking crypto tokens, or they can claim their interest rewards by ‘harvesting their farm land’. Let’s take a look at some of the best examples GameFi has to offer.

DeFi Kingdoms

DeFi Kingdoms is a pixelated farming simulation game which has players trading crypto through an exchange called The Trader. In addition, players can stake their JEWEL tokens in The Gardens, and harvest the rewards. DeFi Kingdoms has become so successful, they’ve launch their own Avalanche subnet dubbed DFK Chain. However, do we only look at the game elements, then DeFi Kingdoms is a cross-chain fantasy role-playing game, players can use their Hero NFTs to boost their performance. Crafting potions, expedition adventures, more PVE experiences, tournaments, mining quests, PVP combat, pets, and much more is coming to DeFi Kingdoms.

Aavegotchi

Aavegotchi is on an interesting journey from gamified DeFi product to a full-fledged GameFi ecosystem, running on its own blockchain. Core to the Aavegotchi ecosystem are the gotchis. These pixelated ghosts serve as on-chain piggy banks, as players can deposit crypto in their gotchi to receive an interest rate. Through game activity, players can earn GHST. In addition, the ecosystem utilizes various smaller tokens such as KEK, FOMO, ALPHA and FUD. By late 2023 the Aavegotchi ecosystem is welcoming third-party games into its ecosystem, embracing game genres such as tower defense and first person arena shooters.

Splinterlands

The trading card game Splinterlands has become a lot more than just a card game. With the introduction of land, this gaming product is turning more and more into a GameFi ecosystem. Central to the ecosystem are Dark Energy Crystals (DEC) and SplinterShards (SPS). By playing the card game, gamers can earn DEC and SPS tokens. While the land gameplay requires DEC to upgrade land and enable SPS earning mechanics. Players need to stake tokens to increase the power of their land, while they also need to use tokens to upgrade their cards. Overall, the Splinterlands ecosystem is growing rapidly in complexity with various token sinks for both SPS and DEC.

Axie Infinity

In Web3 there’s no game like Axie Infinity, or as they say it ‘Axie is the next Axie’. Axie Infinity utilizes two tokens: Smooth Love Potions (SLP) and Axie Shards (AXS). Players earn SLP by winning battles and completing quests, and they need SLP to breed new Axie characters. At the same time players can earn AXS by being among the best players, which then allows them to use those tokens to for example upgrade the body parts of their axies. Gamers can earn both SLP and AXS, and then use those tokens in any way they want.

Pixels

One of the biggest Web3 games of 2023 has to be Pixels, the farming MMO on the Ronin Network. By completing quests, farming resources and trading with other players, gamers can earn BERRY tokens. Players can use BERRY to purchase in-game items, acquire certain NFTs, and so on. In early 2024 the team will introduce the PIXEL token as well, which well allow players to mint land, increase build times, acquire special items, crafting recipes, pets and so on.

Vulcan Forged / Elysium

Game studio Vulcan Forged came a long way, and launched the mainnet of their own Elysium blockchain in 2023. What’s interesting about Vulcan Forged from a GameFi perspective, is how all DeFi elements in this entire ecosystem tie into the lore and gameplay. PYR and LAVA are important here. For example, players need to use PYR to upgrade their land in VulcanVerse, which will then increase rewards in LAVA. Players also earn LAVA by playing games in their ecosystem, for example the card game Berserk. Players need to acquire daily XP amounts to maintain their stream of LAVA earnings, and they can get help by lending out NFTs to other gamers.

Alien Worlds

On the Wax blockchain there’s one project that really stands out thanks to its quality GameFi mechanics, and that’s Alien Worlds. In this space economy game players own a variety of cards that can be used for all kinds of tasks. Some cards are good for mining, allowing players to earn Trilium (TLM). However, other cards are better suited for missions or combat. Every game item and every activity is a camouflaged financial service, but presented through aliens, space ships and far-away planets. Alien Worlds is a somewhat passive game experience, where players regularly return to acquire their rewards and prepare their cards for new tasks.

Sunflower Land

In a time when yield farming became popular in the DeFi sector, it was Sunflower Land that created an entire farming simulator around these financial services. Even though Sunflower required a restart after an exploit, it’s still among the most recognizable and well-known GameFi projects on the market. In Sunflower Land every player needs to manage their own land, and they can boost their land by putting their own money behind it. Players earn SFL tokens through the game, but require the same tokens to upgrade their farm.

Star Atlas

When you think about a GameFi product, I don’t think it’s Star Atlas that comes to mind immediately. Hold my beer. Because Star Atlas launched a resource gathering game called Star Atlas SAGE Labs, or Star Atlas Golden Era. These games allow players to use their space ships and farm resources. The idea is simple, use your spaceship NFTs, send them to a location, and farm resources. They can also craft items and complete quests. Even though it’s set in space, under the hood this is a GameFi products where demand, supply, and asset management play an important role.

Planet IX

With Planet IX we have another space epos in the list, but this game taps much stronger into GameFi mechanics. Players need to acquire a piece of land, develop it, and then collaborate with corporations in the solar system to support them with terraforming. Gamers can buy PIX tokens, and stake these on their land. Land then starts to produce waste, which players can then sell, store, or use within the various corporations of Planet IX. This unlocks new assets and buildings, and the gameplay loop continues.

Closing words

GameFi is a very broad term for games that utilize the blockchain for gamified financial services. By farming, trading, buying and staking NFTs and cryptocurrencies within the setting of a game, gamers can unlock more features, bigger rewards and other potential benefits.

If you’re looking for more information about blockchain-powered games, we’ve listed some resources below. 

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