Play-to-Earn Crypto Games: Money Maker or Pyramid Scheme?

The prospect of earning money for doing something as entertaining as gaming might sound too good to be true. Read more and learn how to do it!

Play-to-Earn Crypto Games. Money Maker or Pyramid Scheme?

It’s hard to switch on your phone without seeing or hearing something about the metaverse and how it’s about to change everything. And play-to-earn crypto games are one of the latest innovations. The prospect of earning money for doing something as entertaining as gaming might sound too good to be true, and some would argue it (almost) is. But these new crypto games are certainly worth checking out.

Play-to-earn crypto games pull various tried-and-test aspects of gaming together for a perfect experience. (Source: Unsplash)
Play-to-earn crypto games pull various tried-and-test aspects of gaming together for a perfect experience. (Source: Unsplash)

As long as gaming has existed, it’s never been unpopular. That popularity boomed during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 when we were left with little else to do, which helped to promote the emergence of a new niche: Play-to-earn crypto games. Although the area hasn’t quite hit the mainstream to the point where even your uncle has started crypto gaming, it’s already a multi-billion dollar market.

If you’re still struggling to believe gaming could be profitable and a hot investment trend, let us explain. Let’s look at what exactly play-to-earn games are and identify some of the best projects around.

Play-to-earn crypto games

We’ve already mentioned the term a few times, but what actually are play-to-earn crypto games? There are two essential elements: The crypto side and the play-to-earn side.

In a nutshell, play-to-earn just means that you have the chance to make money online through gameplay. To some extent, this concept has always been around — most games (whether Roblox or Runescape) have their own in-game “currency” that players can earn by participating in activities. For instance, Runescape players mine ore and sell it, then use the proceeds to buy new armor.

But earning money that you can redeem for fiat currency and use in the real world? That’s a fairly new concept outside of gambling.

Play-to-earn games and crypto

What really makes play-to-earn crypto games special isn’t just that you can make money from them — it’s their links with the blockchain world. Crypto games use their own crypto tokens as in-game currencies. So, when the game becomes more popular and attracts more people, the cryptocurrency increases in value (especially when gamers trade items).

Then there’s the NFT factor. Often, in-game items take the form of NFTs. As a result, they don’t solely exist in-game — ownership is stated on a public ledger, and you can trade them on NFT marketplaces in return for money or tokens.

These NFTs have all kinds of potential applications. For instance, in the popular NFT project Decentraland, the team aims to create a virtual real estate market and sell plots of land as NFTs.

Growth of crypto games

If you need some more convincing that play-to-earn crypto games are worth caring about, how about knowing that the market is estimated to surpass $200 billion by 2024?

Why play a regular game when you could try crypto gaming and earn money in the process? (Source: Unsplash)
Why play a regular game when you could try crypto gaming and earn money in the process? (Source: Unsplash)

Now that we’ve got your attention let’s look at where all that money comes from. You might be thinking that it’s nice of developers to allow players to earn through their games, but this isn’t an act of charity. Developers make money from the transaction fees within their games, which players have to front to purchase in-game currencies or items.

Also, as a game’s native currency rises in value, the developers benefit (since they typically hold lots of that token). As such, players will also make money by encouraging others to join and add value.

If you think this sounds like a bit of a pyramid scheme, you’re not the only one to be concerned. If everyone stopped playing a game, its token price would plummet. Also, if players use bots for gaming on their behalf or manipulate prices, this could ruin everything.

Also, beware that these new P2E games probably won’t make you a millionaire. You need to be good at gaming, which takes a lot of time and practice. Only a small portion of players will ever be successful—but will you be among their ranks?

The best new crypto games + some classics

Okay, we can probably agree that’s enough hype-building for now. Let’s give you a taster of what play-to-earn crypto games have to offer by running through some of the top new blockchain games mixed with some of the older but most popular games.

Alien Worlds - Innovative Metaverse game

Alien Worlds Crypto Game
Alien Worlds

The most popular play-to-earn game available right now is Alien Worlds. You can join the space-based Alien Worlds economy simulation, have some fun and profit from the game token (Trilium) and NFT-based Social Metaverse to your advantage.

The main goal of the VR crypto game is to mine the game token while fulfilling objectives, engaging in player combat, and expanding your virtual territory. The seven planets in the game contain land, which can be mined for your own benefit or rented out for mining by others. Stakeholders of the game token have the ability to vote in weekly elections, treasury distributions, and other actions that have an impact on the destiny of each planet, each of which has its own DAO.

So if this sounds appealing to you, definitely give one of the biggest blockchain games a try.

Axie Infinity - The P2E OG Game

Axie Infinity Crypto Game
Axie Infinity

If you’ve ever spent five minutes researching crypto gaming before now, you’ve almost certainly come across Axie Infinity. The value of its core cryptocurrency, AXS, increased in price by an astonishing 18,000% in 2021.

But there’s more to the project than just the hype about Axie Infinity investing. The game has become popular for all the right reasons and is regarded as one of the top P2E games. It follows in the footsteps of Pokemon by giving gamers a chance to select monsters and use them in bottles, with the opportunity to earn if they win. Plus, the crypto twist is that each monster is also a collectable NFT.

You can find this play-to-earn crypto game on Android and iOS, too, so almost all mobile games are covered.

Splinterlands - One of the best crypto card games

Splinterlands Crypto Game

Collectables like trading cards have become popular as NFTs, and Splinterlands capitalized on this by creating a whole game around them. Splinterlands players trade cards within the game—but the trading cards fall into splinters (factions) and are used to fight monsters. The winners then earn rewards. As simple as that.

Metalands - One of the best Metaverse games

Metalands Crypto Game

If the buzz around many recent projects linked to the metaverse is anything to go by, Metalands should be a runaway success purely by having “meta” in its name. Yet Metalands is more than just a project trying to cash in on the hype, it’s one of the best metaverse games in crypto.

Metalands is a PvPvE progressive-world (the year is 4545, and the Sun is gone) survival shooter game where players battle with each other while at the same time also contending with the environment. Or, more simply put. The concept for Metalands is a first-person shooter game in the metaverse. Users can earn in-game tokens, and in-game items take the form of NFTs. Need we say more?

Farmers World - Farmville in the crypto world

Who would have expected a game about farming to be one of the most promising new crypto P2E games?
Farmers World Crypto Game

If you’re old like us, you might remember Farmville on Facebook or any of the farming-related predecessors that came before it. Surprise, surprise, this age-old concept has popped up again in the metaverse. In Farmers World, players harvest crops and develop their farms while competing against other farmers (and fighting them if necessary).

As they farm, they also have the chance to grow and earn NFTs.

DuckDice - crypto dice/casino game with faucets

Duck Dice Crypto Game
Duck Dice

DuckDice is one of the older and most popular crypto dice games. It’s been live since 2016 and offers an interesting twist on the classic dice game. It also offers one of the highest faucets in crypto casino games, paying them out each month. A record-high withdrawal from the crypto faucet has been around 200K in USD.

Great gameplay and quick withdrawals are both presents on DuckDice. You can place 10,000 bets using their flash bets in a matter of seconds.

Plant vs Undead - Leader in the tower defense genre

Plant vs Undead Crypto Game
Plant vs Undead

The tower defense genre is a staple in gaming, and Plant vs Undead has transferred that over to the blockchain. Essentially, players use seeds to grow plants, and then some zombies are thrown in. Players must use their plants to prevent a zombie attack.

None of this is particularly new, but Plant vs Undead has stuck to the motto, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The crypto aspect is that users earn in-game tokens (the cryptocurrency PVU) over time and use them to buy the most powerful plants.


Video games have always been seen only from the standpoint of a way of entertainment. Games may be more than just methods to unwind after school or work, as the blockchain phenomenon is gradually demonstrating. Games may also provide income. And while this is currently popular and beneficial mainly for 3rd world countries, combined with the entertainment part, a growing number of people from developing and developed countries try P2E games, too.

Transitioning from Free-to-play to even Play-to-earn, crypto games are becoming more and more popular. Whether you are looking for blockchain games for iPhone, Android, PC, or a VR headset, nowadays, you get more and more high-quality blockchain game options.

The games we have selected in this article are excellent examples of how they can be used to make money and be a great way to have some fun. They not only give gamers the opportunity to boost their income and enjoy themselves while doing so, but they also highlight another crucial application for the emerging blockchain technology.

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