Crypto Games: List of Play-to-Earn Blockchain Games

The gaming industry is growing, generating 155 billion dollars in total revenue by 2020, and the predictions for future growth show an even more significant improvement. A big part of the gaming industry’s success in recent years is its openness to growth and new ideas. The adoption of blockchain, a technology that is at best still under scrutiny by other industries, is a core example of that.¬†

It’s been five years since the first marriage between the gaming community and Bitcoin, resulting in the development of the crypto game CryptoKitties in 2017. One of the biggest trends in Blockchain technology today, next to NFTs and DeFi,¬† is blockchain gaming.¬†

But what exactly is blockchain gaming?

Crypto Games
Crypto Games
crypto games

What are Blockchain Games?

What makes blockchain games different from regular games boils down to two things ‚Äď ownership and control. To understand this, take a look at traditional video games.¬†

Traditional games are owned by gaming companies with total control over the game and its parts. In-game assets in these games are owned by the company and can be taken away by them at any given time. In a nutshell, everything about the games is controlled by its developers. Even assets that players may have paid can become worthless if the game is taken offline. They can be used within the game for as long as the company decides to keep them there.

On the other hand, blockchain games are owned by companies, but because they are deployed onto decentralized networks like Ethereum. So while a company might own a game, they do not have total control. 

Using blockchain technology as their digital ledger, these games can run entire economic ecosystems and manage player transactions, trades and purchases without a central system. They use non-fungible tokens and cryptocurrencies for in-game purchases and Since these games allow players to earn while playing, players can potentially make quite a bit of real money, depending on the game.

What’s different? Players have control over their accounts and the game assets they acquire. These assets can be bought and traded on decentralized marketplaces.

With blockchain games, players get the following:

  • Limitless creativity: Players can play a significant role in growing the game and advancing the game with new narratives and storylines.
  • Real and Complete Ownership: In blockchain games, players have complete ownership of their accounts and the in-game assets they earn in the course of the game.
  • Interoperability of assets in the Metaverse: Players can sell their game assets across the same blockchain protocol across different marketplaces.
  • Transparency: Beyond anything else, players enjoy transparency and fairness from blockchain games. Because players also have a stake in the company, they can vote in favor of or against game dynamic decisions.

Play-to-Earn Games

If you’ve been following the gaming industry closely, you’ll know that a new gaming system is making all the buzz right now. People are talking about games that pay players to play. These games are called play-to-earn, allowing players to generate income while doing something they enjoy.

What are play-to-earn games? 

Play-to-earn games are blockchain games that reward players for their time spent playing. These rewards are usually in any of the two blockchain assets: cryptocurrencies or NFTs especially in NFT gaming. Some blockchain games even offer both to players. 

How does this work? Do players just have to play and get paid? 

In traditional games, in-game assets are given to players when they reach a milestone which could be anything from winning a battle to advancing to a new level. The same runs true for play-to-earn games. Players are rewarded for completing game activities with tokens or NFTs. 

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital assets that represent digital or physical objects such as music, image, gifs, game assets, deeds to houses and cars, etc. These digital assets are uniquely created with special cryptographic codes that set them apart from others. 

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies protected by cryptography and maintained by a decentralized system. 

Remember that these game assets belong to the players entirely, meaning they can sell or trade them for regular fiat currency. Some players have earned as much as 1 thousand dollars through playing these blockchain games. 

But there’s a catch.¬†

Before most players can start earning from crypto play and earn games, they have to pay to play first. Some games require new players to own game assets before they can start playing, which could cost a fair bit of money. Don’t give up yet; some programs help newbies circumvent the system and get these avatars for less while also playing and earning.¬†

Some play-to-earn games are free to play, so you might still get the chance to have fun with this new gaming ecosystem.

How To Get Started with Blockchain Games?

Smart Contract 1. Meet the Eligibility

Before starting a game, you must check how you can become eligible to play it. For instance, if you want to play Axie Infinity, you must purchase at least three ‘Axies’. These Axies will allow you to play the game. Today, many games have an Ethereum-based blockchain ecosystem. To play these games, you have to purchase Ether. You can purchase the currency on a crypto exchange such as Binance or eToro.

Crypto Wallet bitcoin 2. Create a Cryptocurrency Wallet

You need to register with a cryptocurrency wallet to make transactions. These wallets connect with the game and allow you to convert and withdraw the native cryptocurrency of the game into other currencies. For instance, you can connect MetaMask with any GameFi game that uses an Ethereum-based blockchain.

Safe 3. Add Currency in Your Wallet

Before playing crypto games, you should add some cryptocurrency to your chosen cryptocurrency wallet. Only a few games allow you to get started without a pre-funded crypto wallet. Once you create a cryptocurrency wallet, you have to add some native currency to the game to purchase the items.

NFT 4. Buy Starter Items

Many games are free to download, but you have to purchase the characters or a starter kit. Before Also, you can buy native crypto tokens, upgrade your items, and decks of cards.

Top Blockchain Games of the Year

Now, you’re ready to play. You’ve gotten everything together, from cryptocurrencies to a digital wallet. All that’s left for you is to pick a game to play, and this is where most new newcomers to blockchain gaming get lost.¬†

In January, according to Coindesk, there were 398 active blockchain games. That is an overwhelming amount to choose from without knowing anything about them. It’d be more overwhelming if there weren’t a well-curated list of the best crypto games in 2023.¬†

You can go through this list and pick the best games for yourself.

Axie Infinity

Axie Infinity is one early blockchain game built on the Ethereum blockchain in early 2018. The game is set in an Axie universe filled with exciting pokemon-like monsters known as Axies. These Axies are treated as pets by the player. Players are charged with collecting Axie monsters, raising, breeding, battling, and building kingdoms for them. There are many types of Axies for players to collect. Each of them is unique in appearance and body parts, unlocking new abilities for the Axies. The Axies also have genetic imprints which allow their strengths and weaknesses to be passed on to their offspring. 

Players earn these Axies or Axie body parts when they complete challenges, win battles, unlock in-depth storylines, or win bosses with complex strategies. The Axie pets can be traded on Ethereum NFT marketplaces for substantial amounts of money depending on the rarity of an Axie and the value it unlocks. For example, in March 2022, an average Axie sold for $355, although this price is subject to change. 

Players are rewarded for completing stages. For every player versus player battle that you win, you are rewarded with the Smooth Love Potion¬† (SLP), one of the native ERC-20 utility tokens. Another native ERC-20 token in Axie Infinity is the Axis Infinity Shard (AXS). This token is a governance token that can be bought and staked. Axie Infinity is not one of the free blockchain games, and for a beginner, the cost to start might be steeper than you’d expect. To play, you’ll need three Axie monsters, which can cost anywhere from $900 to $1200. The exact amount would be determined by the price of an average Axie on the market.¬†

Part of what makes Axie Infinity a fascinating game is that it is an open-ended universe, meaning players can come up with new ideas, fresh gameplay, and new universes.

Blankos Block Party

Blankos Block Party is a great blockchain game if you love a creative game that challenges you. It is also one of the few games built on a blockchain other than Bitcoin or Ethereum. The Blankos block party is a multiplayer open-world game with unrestricted movement in-game. Players have fun creating different worlds, collecting toys, and gaming. Even if you don’t want to build any worlds, you can have fun playing games that other users have built. The idea of players enjoying the benefits of user-generated content makes this game stand apart from others.¬†

The digital assets attached to this game are called Blankos. These assets are stored on the EOSIO blockchain as NFTs. The Blankos are vinyl toys collected and kept by the owner. 

In Blankos Block Party, players earn daily rewards, which they can trade for money. They also receive party passes as rewards for completing set challenges. Also, players can collect challenges. These challenges are weekly, daily or seasonal, and they can be exchanged for NFT items that you can sell and make money. 

There are different game modes in Blankos Block Party 

  • Vibes Collecting¬†
  • Platforming¬†
  • Racing¬†
  • Trials¬†
  • Shooting¬†

Blankos is one of the free-to-play blockchain games available. All you need to start is an account and a few Blankos.


Upland is a real estate metaverse game where players mint and buy real estate property. Players also involve themselves in other in-game activities like attending events, building collections, treasure hunts, etc. Upland has 13 cities, including New York and San Francisco. 

To play Upland, players have to mint real estate and sell, but this is a privilege that they work up to. Upland has six status levels, and each requires the player to have a set amount of UPX, Upland’s native cryptocurrency. As a beginner, players are entitled to a 40,000 UPX signing bonus. If you play your cards right and sign on with a good referral link, you may be able to get more UPX as a beginner.¬†

New players to Upland are regarded as ‘visitors.’ As visitors, you must renew your ‘visas’ every week to protect your in-game assets from repossession. The good news is that you can renew your visa as often as possible without paying for it.¬†

The game statuses in Upland are:

  • Upland Visitor¬†
  • Uplander¬†
  • Pro¬†
  • Director¬†
  • Executive¬†
  • Chief Execute¬†

Upland has two tokens ‚Äď UPX and Spark. But unlike other games, these cryptocurrencies cannot be traded on any decentralized exchange. Their financial value and relevance end within the game. Players earn money by buying and selling properties and passive income from properties they own. You can also earn money by selling Upland NFT collectibles.


MOBOX is a GameFi metaverse that melds automated decentralized finance (DeFi) yield farming and gaming NFTs. The MOBOX gaming metaverse is known as the MOMOverse and runs on the Binance Smart chain. There are three major components of the MOBOX platform:

  • NFT Creator¬†
  • NFT marketplace¬†
  • Game Creator

One of the great features of MOBOX is that it runs a cross-platform that allows players to access other blockchains from a single platform. So, players and investors can connect to other metaverses by taking advantage of the interoperability of NFTs in the metaverse. Players can participate in games like yield farming, NFT farming, and blockchain gaming. 

Players earn in two ways. One is from the tokens given to players based on their activities on the platform. The other way is through earning rewards from staking MOMO NFTs and MOMO, the native cryptocurrency for MOBOX. 

MOBOX is an excellent example of a free-to-play-to-earn gaming ecosystem.


If you love multiplayer third-person shooter games, you’ll love Lightnite. Lightnite is a massive shooter game with multiplayer in minimalist low-poly cartoon designs. The player’s goal is to win challenges by shooting opponents and winning battles. While Lightnite is a game for multiple players who can form teams, there are player modes for lone wolves who work better alone.¬†

But this is not the best part. The best part is that it is free-to-play-to-earn, and players can get bitcoins for shooting opponents. Players mostly earn from trading their game assets and NFTs on the Elixir marketplace for NFTs. Players also get rewarded with the game’s native currency, Satoshi (Sats). But there’s a catch; if you get shot or looted, you’ll lose some of the Bitcoins you’ve earned.

Gods Unchained

Gods Unchained is a competitive free-to-play trading card blockchain game. If you love fantasy games like the Gathering, Hearthstone, or Magic, you’ll love Gods Unchained.¬†

What players have to do is build superior card decks and combat strategies for a chance to win in competitive arenas. Players can collect cards by winning matches or buying them from the in-game marketplace. Gods Unchained runs on a free-to-play platform, so players get 140 complimentary cards when they first join. Then they can unlock more cards by participating in tournaments and other game activities. If a player wins the weekly tournaments, they earn rewards that can be converted to cash. 

The rewards in this game include native currency for God’s Unchained, GODS, and game NFTs. The NFTs can be traded on open marketplaces. Some of the cards in Gods Unchained are so rare that they cost a lot of money to purchase. The Mythic card, Citadel of the Gods, sold for 42 ETH or $76,000.


Cryprokitties is an Ethereum blockchain game where players collect, raise, breed, and sell virtual cats. It is one of the first blockchain games to use the Ethereum blockchain soon after it was introduced in 2017.  

Each of the cats in the CryptoKitties game has a unique DNA with its attributes, weaknesses, and strengths. When two CryptoKitties are bred, their offspring Cryptokitty will also share these traits. This game is not free-to-play, so beginners have to invest some money into getting game assets or cats. The standard number of cats beginners should have is two. However, if you have one cat, you can make arrangements with another cat owner to breed with your cat. 

Players earn money for CryptoKitties by selling their cats on NFT marketplaces and breeding rare sires.


Splinterlands is another card game like Axie Infinity and Pokemon Go. It is one of the top five games in the blockchain game space, alongside epic games like Axie Infinity, Gods Unplanned, and Illuvium. It has more than 400 thousand players and records a daily average of three million transactions.

This game is built on the Hive blockchain, and it is a play-to-earn game that contains NFTs. Players in the game collect cards with different abilities and stats. There are about 300 unique cards shared between the Monsters and Summoner categories. After collecting these cards, players use them to battle other players. 

Splinterlands is a free-to-play game, but if you’d like to play-to-earn, you’ll need to purchase the Summoners book for about $10. This asset allows players to complete the daily quests and participate in in-game activities that offer rewards. The expected reward for players of Splinterland is the native token, Dark Energy Crystals (DEC). Players get rewarded with DEC after they complete tasks.¬†

The play-to-earn feature allows players to earn money by selling and renting out cards. Players can also burn a card to get DECs. Other than the two cards in the game, other NFT assets in Splinterlands include dice, potions, and land. These assets can be sold on game and open NFT marketplaces.


The SandBox is a virtual gaming platform in a digital universe, where users can play and create the metaverse and monetize their gaming experience. The entire game is built on Ethereum Blockchain and all in-game items and lands are NFTs. This method to manage in-game items guarantees that SandBox belongs to the users.

The NFT that the users purchase moves in their wallets instead of the project servers. The notable partners of the projects are Adidas, Attari, and Samsung. The SandBox also collaborates with Snoop Dogg, Richie Haughton, and DeadMau5.

SandBox players can interact with their assets. Players can install any items on their land and upgrade them for catalysts tokens and gems. Also, you can sell the tokens and gems in the marketplace. You can monetize the project’s gameplay, charge trespassing fees on the land, and trade in in-game items.

Also, you can use the votes for platform updates and purchase gems and catalysts tokens used to improve items’ stats. All digital assets in the SandBox universe can be divided into two broad categories, items, and lands.

The land is the map element that shapes the world of the SandBox universe. Lands have similar features as objects are unique information that determines the ownership characteristic and its location on the map.

Players can travel between lands using special portals. In the future, developers plan to create special roads, and the users will be able to travel the land viewing the features of each land. You can divide the lands in the SandBox metaverse into several types, such as common parcels, estates, and premium lands.


Illuvium is an RPG, auto-battler blockchain game. Players mine, harvest, and fight Illuvials to their heart’s content. Then, they can assemble a team and play against bigger opponents.

The Illuvium token is ILV, with governance perks, liquidity mining, and vault distribution. Illuvium isn’t a free-to-play game entirely. Beginners can start playing as soon as they want without paying anything. However, if you’d like to earn and sell NFTs, you can go for the paid experience.

Star Atlas

Star Atlas is a multiplayer game set in a space-themed metaverse built on the Solana blockchain. 

The game’s storyline depicts a struggle for dominance between three factions – MUD, Ustur, and ONI, governed by humans, sentient androids, and aliens. Players are allowed to choose one faction and cannot change their factions unless they use another wallet. Players then purchase NFT spaceships, crews, and components, exploring space while collecting assets and fighting off other factions.¬†

Star Atlas is not a free-to-play game. Instead, new players are required to buy a spaceship from the game’s marketplace.¬†

There are two tokens, POLIS and ATLAS. POLIS is a governance token, while ATLAS is a reward token. Players get rewarded for completing activities and by picking assets. Since all assets in this game are NFTs, and players have total control, they can be sold by players on NFT marketplaces.

Why Should You Try Crypto Games?

In three words? For the money. 

Gamers have spent a substantial time playing games and having fun. Before crypto games that paid gamers to play and have fun, gamers did it for free. But for the gaming corporations that own those games, it wasn’t exactly free. More logged-in hours by players meant more ad views, more chances of players purchasing game assets, and more conversations around this game. All of these ended in more money for these companies.¬†

The tide has changed with the emergence of crypto games that pay gamers to play. Now, gamers realize that they can have fun and make money simultaneously. Now, more hours logged in would pay off in more than a sensory overload and earning bragging rights over fellow gamers. Instead, they would pay in actual money. 

So, why try out crypto games? 

Try them out because they drive a fairer bargain and can compensate you for the time spent playing. Start playing crypto games, be more than just another gamer, and be a part-owner and decision-maker. 

Blockchain games have opened a whole new world for gamers, and if you love playing games, you should walk right through and explore the novelty of play-to-earn blockchain games.

Here are some additional benefits of playing crypto games:

  • Joining communities

Like the traditional gaming world, crypto gaming has a huge and passionate following. Many blockchain games have an enormous following that communicates in-game and on Twitter and Discord.

  • Play and Earn & NFT Ownership

Of course, the main reason is that play-to-earn offers you a real-world currency or NFTs in return for your investment of time. It’s the reason that blockchain games aren’t just about gaming, but creating an economy within that world.

  • Instant Transaction

Unlike fiat transactions, cryptocurrency payments are quick. It might take minutes and even seconds to send and receive money. That is why many gambling sites include cryptocurrency in their payment options.

  • Low Transaction Fees

Crypto games use cryptocurrencies for transactions. Unlike fiat currencies, these currencies are cost-effective due to low transaction fees. Also, many cryptocurrency transactions won’t charge a commission. All you need to pay is low transaction fees.

On the other hand, payment channels such as credit cards and e-wallets require high fees per transaction. Since crypto games use cryptocurrency for transactions, you can save a significant fee on each transaction.

  • Secure Transactions

Since cryptocurrency transactions use blockchain technology, it is one of the safest transaction options. You can send and receive digital assets without worrying about thieves and hackers. Blockchain technology prevents hacking and stealing of keys. Whenever you make a transaction it creates an entry in the entire blockchain. However, hackers can’t create duplicate keys for a transaction.

Types of Crypto Games

When it comes to crypto games, most people have a preconceived idea of what crypto games are. You wouldn’t be wrong if you think of Axie Infinity and Splinterlands when you hear crypt games. But then, you wouldn’t be entirely right either. There are four main types of crypto games.

NFT Games

NFT games are blockchain games where players are rewarded with non-fungible tokens, which they can sell for fiat currency on any NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible. Examples of NFT games include SandBox and Decentraland.

Crypto Games

A crypto game is a blockchain game where the players get rewarded with cryptocurrency tokens when they complete game activities and challenges. These tokens can be exchanged for fiat currency on decentralized exchanges like Metamask. Examples of crypto games include CryptoKitties and Gods Unchained.

Provably Fair Games

Crypto Gambling games are blockchain betting game systems designed with blockchain technology to prevent manipulation and cheating. With this gambling system, all bets are stored and recorded on a public ledger and linked to different nodes in the blockchain. These games are also called provably fair casinos, and they ensure that the casino doesn’t cheat the player because all the records are transparent and verifiable.

Crypto Casino Games

Crypto Casino games are online casinos that allow players to place bets using cryptocurrencies. Players have to wait for hours sometimes to fund their betting accounts through traditional methods like bank transfer and direct deposit. However, players can fund their wallets in minutes with cryptocurrencies. All it takes is approximately 10 minutes, which is the time required for a Bitcoin transaction to go through.

Bottom Line

Blockchain technology has refined so many industries, and the gaming industry is one of them. With the influence of Blockchain games, the gaming industry is set to grow exponentially to a projected worth of 260 billion dollars.

Blockchain games have gained popularity and would maintain a positive trajectory based on reliable predictions. Old gamers are excited about the opportunity to be paid to play games, while new gamers on the scene want to pursue professional gaming under this platform.

Blockchain gaming, for all of its great offerings, has not been completely adopted by the gaming industry in general. However, the future is optimistic because blockchain gaming is here to stay, and for players who have gotten used to being rewarded for their time, there’s no going back.


Can you earn money from blockchain games?

You can earn money from blockchain play-to-earn games by converting in-game assets, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies to fiat by exchanging them on a marketplace.

Is it free to play Blockchain Games?

It is not always free to play Blockchain games. Some blockchain games are free to play, but others require players to purchase assets before they can start playing.

What Crypto games are play-to-earn?

There are many play-to-earn crypto games. The best five play-to-earn crypto games are Axie Infinity, Gods Unchained, Splinterlands, SandBox, and MOBOX.

What is the best Crypto for Gaming?

The best cryptocurrencies for blockchain gaming are SAND from SandBox, MANA from Decentraland, and AXS from Axie Infinity.

What blockchain Games are on iOS and Android?

Many blockchain games have mobile versions for iOS and Android. Some of the best mobile blockchain games include MOBOX and Axie Infinity.

What is the best Crypto Game?

There are so many great Crypto games, and choosing one as the best is as difficult as it is subjective. However, some of the most popular crypto games are ‚Äď Axie Infinity, Decentraland, SandBox, and MOBOX.

Julien Ross
Written by Julien Ross verified symbol Crypto Enthusiast
25 Articles

Julien is a digital experience writer and storyteller building bridges between his new love for the crypto space and his passions for remote work, travel, and entrepreneurship. He is the owner and operator of Content by Design and Blockheads! Creative.

More about this author
author reviewed shield

Reviewed and Fact Checked by Vlad Hategan , NFT Gaming Specialist