Play to Earn: Make Money Playing Axie Infinity

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Updated May 2021: Breeding Guide, Buy Ether directly on Ronin. Also, here’s the Tagalog version of this article.

In this game, you collect monsters known as Axies and battle them with other players’ Axies. As a player, you can collect Axies, buy them, breed them, or fight with them vs other players. Future gameplay will allow utilization of these Axies in other types of gameplay.

This is part 2 of our article series that introduces ‘Play to Earn’ and why such a concept exists. Part 1 is the ‘Play to Earn’ introduction. While part 2 covers the actual “how  to” make money playing the blockchain game Axie Infinity. I recommend reading part 1 to understand the value of playing this game. We also have a guide about Axie Infinity Scholarships (Tagalog).

How to Get Started Playing Axie Infinity:

Axie Infinity is a game built on the blockchain and each Axie is a non-fungible token or NFT. As an NFT, each Axie is unique; no two of them are the same. Because of the blockchain, it is impossible to duplicate them.

Axie Infinity is the poster child of blockchain games and ‘Play to Earn’ – a new game model wherein players are rewarded by simply spending time playing the game.

The onboarding takes time. But if you have read Part 1 of this series, you know it will be worth it.

  1. Install Metamask
    1. Do not forget your password and seedphrase.
    2. Read our guide: How to install and use MetaMask.
  2. Fund your metamask with some Ether; 
    1. You can buy Ether on your favorite crypto exchange then transfer that to MetaMask. Our MetaMask article has details about this as well.
  3. Go to Axie Infinity Marketplace and register;
  4. Sync your MetaMask with your Axie Infinity Account.
    1. If MetaMask is already installed, this should pop up immediately.
  5. Bind your account to an email;
  6. Transfer funds to Ronin Wallet (Again, this appears complicated but you can see this option immediately in the dashboard. I can’t show it because I’ve already done it.)
  7. Select 3 Axies. Buy Them; (For newbies, get a “Plant”, “Beast”, and “Aqua” Axies. More on Axie classes later.)
  8. Install the Axie Infinity Community Alpha on your phone. You can also play on the desktop.
  9. If you are playing on the phone, scan the QR code you can find on the dashboard (available on desktop)
  10. Play!

Buy ETH Directly on Ronin Sidechain

Because Axie Infinity is now on its own sidechain called Ronin, it was cumbersome to go in and out since we still needed to do transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. This means #hightransactionfees. Thankfully this May 2021, the Axie team unveiled a new feature that allows players to directly buy ETH on the Ronin sidechain. Watch the video to learn more:

Things to Know:

Axies have 4 stats: 

  • Health  – If it goes to zero, the Axie gets knocked out
  • Morale  – This increases the chances for a critical strike. When Axies get knocked out by the slimmest margins, they can enter “Last Stand” where they can attack a few more times before they get totally KO’d. Morale increases the chance to enter Last Stand and the number of times they can attack in that state.
  • Skill – This adds damage when the Axie does a combo (play multiple cards at once)
  • Speed – This determines turn order, who gets to attack first.

Axies also have classes (like Pokemon Types). So each class is weaker or stronger versus another class. The class also adds bonuses:

  • Plant: 3 HP + 1 Morale
  • Aqua: 3 Speed + 1 HP
  • Reptile: 3 HP + 1 Speed
  • Beast: 3 Morale+1 Speed
  • Bug: 3 Morale + 1 HP
  • Bird: 3 Speed + 1 Morale

Take a look at the Class Triangle System here:

Battle Mechanics:

The game is turn-based. Your objective is to knock the other player’s party out. Once you select your cards (moves) then click the “Ready” Button, the battle begins. 

What is the Ideal Best Axie Team?

For your first strong Axie team, it is ideal to have a team that has 1 defender and 2 attackers. The defender has large health that can act as sponge while your attackers (which normally have low HP) can start knocking the other team’s Axies.

In the picture above, I put the defender in front, obviously. 

The ideal Axie team recommended in the community is a team that consist of 

  • 1 PLANT Axie (high HP, but low Attack power)
  • 1 BEAST Axie (High Crit and Attack, low HP)
  • 1 BIRD AXIE (High Attack and Very Fast, But has Paper HP)

The above is a very balanced team and the Axie marketplace has a lot of these types of Axies, making them ideal for beginners.

(The above picture is my Axie team, and I run a PLANT, BEAST, PLANT team setup.) 

What to keep in mind: Card Descriptions, Buffs and Debuffs

If you check the card above, there’s a description: “Draw a card if target is at Last Stand” You may ask what is Last Stand (scroll up, I mentioned it). When you play Axie Infinity every day, you’ll eventually familiarize yourself with terms associated with the game. 

Also consider the buffs and debuffs applied to your Axie when they are hit by an attack. (Thanks to Axie Zone!)

Buffs:

IconBuffDescription
Attack UpNext Attack is increased by 20%. Can stack.
Speed UpThe Axie’s speed increases by 20% in the next round. Can stack.
Morale UpThe Axie’s morale increases by 20% in the next round. Can stack. (Morale increases the chance for critical hit or Last Stand)

Debuffs:

IconDebuffDescription
AromaThe Axie hit with Aroma will target the Axie that attacked it with that move in the next round.
Attack downThe next attack decreases power by 20%. Can stack.
ChillThe affected Axie won’t be able to enter Last Stand
FearThe affected Axie won’t be able to attack
FragileThe affected Axie’s shield will take double damage in the next attack
JinxThe affected Axie will not be able to land critical hits in the next round
LethalThe next attack to the affected Axie will be a critical hit
Morale DownAffected Axie’s morale decreases by 20% in the next round. Can stack.
PoisonAffected Axie loses 2 HP every action. Can stack.
SleepThe next attack will ignore shield
Speed downThe Axie’s speed decreases by 20% in the next round
StenchThe affected Axie can’t prioritize target for the next round. (I call this poop.)
StunThe next attack misses / The next incoming attack ignores shield. 

Keep in Mind: Energy

Axie Infinity Energy
Energy Table for Axie Infinity

Whenever you go play in the Arena or in Adventure mode, 1 Energy is spent. Without Energy you won’t be able to earn SLP in the Arena or EXP (experience) in Adventure mode.

The maximum amount and the refill speed of Energy will depend on how many Axies you own.

  • 3 to 9 Axies gives you 20 Energies. 5 gets refilled every 6 hours;
  • 10 to 19 Axies gives you 40 Energies. 5 gets refilled in 3 hours;
  • 20 or more Axies gives you 60 Energies. 5 gets refilled in 2 hours.

How do you earn money?

You might have probably jumped to this part of the article, and that’s okay. As mentioned, here are a couple of ways players earned while playing Axie Infinity:

Every time you win battles, you earn SLP, which can be converted to Pesos.

Update May 2021:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-21.png

Because the smart contract for SLP and SLP have changed, the community is not recommending SLP to be transferred to crypto exchanges for now, atleast until those crypto exchanges update their smart contracts for the tokens. If you did not understand any of this, ask the community the Axie Infinity FB Official Group.

  1. Go to Axie Infinity Web Dashboard
  2. Sync your SLP
  3. Transfer SLP which is on the Ronin Wallet back to Ethereum wallet (MetaMask). Make sure you have some Ether to fund the transfer
  4. Go to BloomX Facebook page and tell them you would like to encash your SLP to Pesos. (Check out this article for the step by step to convert SLP to cash.)

(Note SLP earned today can only be synced or cashed out after 12 days. The developers said this is to prevent bots.)

Selling to BloomX means you get the cash straight to your Gcash or bank account.

You can also start breeding Axies to sell to others. (More on this below.)

Let’s focus on farming SLP for now.

How much do you earn?

The best investment in Axie Infinity is time. Even if you are not a skilled player, you can still earn and of course, skill is something you can learn along the way. 

The game has daily quests. Complete them and receive 50 SLP daily:

  • Open the game once a day
  • Win 10 times in Adventure Mode
  • Win 5 times in the Arena (This is PVP)

In the lower levels of Adventure mode (from stage 1 to 10), you can receive 1 SLP to 4 SLP. You can try out harder stages depending on your Axies’ levels and they give more SLP. Completing stage 1 to 10 in Adventure mode can give  you at least 25 SLP (or more).

Winning in the lower ranks in Arena mode (PvP) can give you atleast 3 to 7 SLP. In higher rankings, you can get more. Winning 5 times in the Arena can give you atleast 35 SLP

Axie Infinity QuestAve. SLP earned
1) Daily Log-in
2) Win 10 battles in Adventure Mode25 to 100 SLP
3) Win 5x in the Arena (PVP)atleast 35 SLP in lower rankings
Reward for finishing the three daily quests50 SLP
Average SLP Earned Per Day100 to 200 SLP

Average SLP Earnings in Axie Infinity Arena depending on your ranking:

RankSLP
Under 800No SLP gained
800 to 9991 SLP per win
1000 to 19993 SLP per win
1200 to 12997 SLP per win
1300 to 15998 SLP per win
1600 to 17999 SLP per win
1800 to 199910 SLP per win
2000 to 219911 SLP per win
2200+12 SLP per win

If you complete the 3 daily quests, you will receive 50 SLP as a reward.

Which means completing the daily quests per day can give  you 110 SLP per day. (If you’re Axie’s level in adventure mode is high, you can easily earn up to 100 SLP in 10 games, giving you a minimum of 150 SLP per day including the daily bonus.)

Let’s say you get 100 SLP per day. 

Let’s look at the price of SLP at the time this article was written:

In Philippine Pesos, that’s Php 4 per 1 SLP.

If I play Axie Infinity today and received 100 SLP as a reward, that’s Php 400.

I would like to remind you that’s more than the average minimum salary in the Philippines

Update: May 2021 (SLP has been rebranded to “Smooth Love Potion”. SLP are needed to breed new Axies, so that’s why…) 

Also, This is the price of SLP (May 2021):

That’s almost Php 12 per 1 SLP. Therefore, 100 SLP x 12 = Php 1,200 earnings per day. 

That’s WAY beyond the average minimum salary in the Philippines.

Crazy! But what’s the catch?

Just like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the price of SLP is volatile. Today it’s Php 4, next week it might be Php 2 or Php 11, who knows. The tip here is to time your cash out on days when SLP is priced higher. If you want the cash out to be on the same date every month, that’s also okay.

Also, and this is more important: SLP earned today can’t be cashed out until after 12 days. It’s a complicated story, but that’s how the Axie Infinity team tries to make sure the SLP economy is balanced.

Do YOU REALLY earn money?

An article from Coindesk by Leah Callon-Butler revealed that many Filipinos that were jobless during the lockdown were earning close to $300 – $400 in a month playing Axie Infinity. This might mean nothing in the west but in the Philippines, that’s more than the minimum basic salary per month. 

Take a look at the graph below from a previous BitPinas article where we look at the earning one can have in a 2 to 4-hour play of Axie Infinity compared to how much a minimum wage worker can earn in a 4-hour part time job.

Not bad for two to four hours of play.

At the price of $0.27 per 1 SLP, players today can earn just as much as during the early to mid 2020:

Data for Minimum Daily Wage is from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)

Note the above doesn’t count transaction and transfer fees. Consider it as gross income.

Go to Twitter and find the hashtag #salamataxie and you’ll find a number of Filipinos thanking Axie Infinity for the things they were able to buy because of proceeds from playing the game.

What are Axie Infinity Scholarships?

If you actually went through the Axie Infinity marketplace, you’ll notice the price of each Axie is way beyond the price of one video game. It wasn’t the case before. My initial three Axies cost me Php 3,500 in total.

Ever since the Coindesk article was published, Axie Infinity went through a lot of changes, with new tokens like $AXS and the upcoming land gameplay. There are now more players and the demand for Axies continue to rise. This contributed to the increase in price of Axies you see today.

This is when Axie Infinity Scholarships started to take shape. In ‘Scholarships’, new players are loaned 3-Axie teams, get trained on the basics and advance gameplay of Axie Infinity, and tips to win battles (therefore tips to obtain more SLPs.)

Because a competitive Axie team today can set you back at $400 or more, many new players see the risk in starting to play the game. As Peter Ing of BlockchainSpace said, “asking anyone to pay $145 is quite an ask for those who do not understand its value or simply want to try farming on a trial basis.” You can check out more about Axie Scholarships in this article written by Peter.

With that, Axie Scholarships takes the risk by investing on buying three Axies that the player will use. The player will then use it to play and earn SLPs. Most of Scholarship arrangements is that a portion of the SLP earnings go to the player and the other portion goes to who owns the Axies. For example, in scholarships provided by Yield Guild Games (YGG), 70% of earnings go to the player, 20% go to the manager, and 10% goes to YGG.

Axie Infinity scholarships are ultimately part of the overarching Axie Community, said Peter Ing. “With the emergence of landplay in the future it won’t be long till we see micro communities turn into clans or guilds with a common purpose. Something as simple as language focus of a scholarship program could unify communities,” Peter added.

Examples of Axie Infinity Scholarships:

Axie Infinity Breeding Guide

Axies can be bred to give birth to new Axies. In choosing 2 Axies to breed, make sure that they are not siblings or parent<>child combinations. Props to the developers for making Axie breeding an ethical undertaking.

There are requirements as well to ensure the Axie population is controlled:

  1. You can’t breed between siblings or parents<>children (explained above).
  2. Each Axie can only breed up to 7 times.
  3. Breeding costs 2 AXS and SLP. AXS is the governance token of the game.

How many SLPs? The SLP cost to breed an Axie depends on how many times the parent Axies have bred before. Take a look at the graphic below: 

For example, two Axies that have not been bred once before requires 300 SLP to breed a new Axie. See the picture below. Breeding these two “virgin” Axies will require 300 SLP plus 2 AXS.

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What will you do with the new Axie? You can sell it, use it in battles, or use it to breed new Axies. Breeding is just one of the ways to earn money in Axie Infinity. If you don’t like breeding, you can always play in Adventure mode or in the Arena.

Is This Legit?

Because Axie Infinity’s SLP are cryptocurrencies, it is important to note that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) does not, in any way, endorse virtual currencies as legal tender, store of value, or investment vehicle. In a previous interview with BitPinas, the BSP said they view virtual currencies, in particular the technology behind it (blockchain), as having potential to transform the provision of financial services. Conversely, the BSP wants consumers to understand the risk posted by virtual currencies.

(You can also sell your SLP to BloomX, a locally-licensed crypto exchange in the Philippines.)

Is This Easy Money? The Risks of Playing Axie Infinity

The lowest priced Axies as of May 7, 2021.

Just like in traditional games, the player has to spend time, work hard or smart, in order to earn their reward. For example, completing all the quests in an RPG may reward you with a powerful sword near the end of the game.

It just so happens that in Axie Infinity, the reward is cryptocurrency, earned everytime you win battles.

But just like in anything that involved crypto, there’s always risks to consider.

  1. The prices of Axies today are way higher than it was before, a testament of the demand for this blockchain game. Before you proceed with purchasing Axies, you have to make it work for you by playing it every day. It’s only after weeks or months before you can start seeing the fruits of your work.
  2. Picking the right Axies with the right synergies is the only way to ensure that you can win in Arena constantly. You still have to be skilled and have to make the right decisions when playing. If you don’t win, you don’t earn.
  3. Cryptocurrencies are volatile. The price of 1 SLP today may be Php 10 pesos, but no one knows how much it will be tomorrow or in the next month, or in the next few years.
  4. Speaking of which, it just so happens that we are in an incredible bull run where we see prices of just about every crypto increase. However, that’s not the case when it’s bear market time. Crypto prices might fall, companies might cease to exists. Axie Infinity could work but it may also not work. At the end of the day, it’s a bet on Sky Mavis, the developers, the community of players, and the entire crypto ecosystem. Things may be good now, but we don’t know after 1 year or so.

What’s With This Focus in Earning Money?

Because why not? Thanks to the immutable nature of the blockchain, this is the first time that players can get rewarded for the time they invest in playing a game. In the past, no matter how much time and investment you put in an MMO or a mobile game, you need to resort to real-money trading (or even sell your entire account) just to have returns.

With Axie Infinity and ‘Play to Earn’ games, the player creates value that can be sold legitimately, without fear of violating some terms and conditions. Every Axie can be sold and resold. In many ‘Free to Play’ games, players just put money in and when they stop playing, the money spent can never be recouped.

  • Players can earn through in-game currencies that can be spent in and outside the game
  • These in-game currencies and in-game items (like Axies) appreciate in value, making them act like investment, tradeable in and out the game
  • Players can participate in the game’s economy, the game developer and the community interact in a way that allows for the game to grow and get sustained.

Simply put, gamers can play and earn money and have fun at the same time.

Axie Communities and Resources

This article is published on BitPinas: Play to Earn: Make Money Playing Axie Infinity

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Michael Mislos

A business ad graduate from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Mike is the website manager of Bitpinas.com. He is responsible for almost every content you see on the site, from topic/news selection to editing of articles. Mike believes correct information about blockchain and cryptocurrency can empower people to make accurate decisions about the industry, which, in turn, should deter bad actors from taking advantage of crypto & blockchain. [Telegram @mikemislos]