The development of blockchain technology and the growing adoption of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are two factors that have contributed to the proliferation of play-to-earn collectible games. Play-to-earn (P2E) games allow players to gain benefits by participating in the game, such as in-game currency and items.
This creates a new dynamic where players can profit from their in-game actions, enhancing the fun and purpose of the gaming experience. Additionally, the usage of NFTs and blockchain technology in play-to-earn games gives players greater ownership and scarcity, which increases demand and can result in higher prices for exclusive in-game commodities. Play-to-earn games like Splinterlands are thus attracting a wider audience of players and investors.
This article will explain what makes Splinterlands unique, how to play it, how to earn money playing Splinterlands and the future prospects of the free-to-play NFT card game.
What is Splinterlands?
Splinterlands is an innovative digital trading card game that provides players with full ownership over their in-game assets. Utilizing Web 3.0 technology powered by the Hive blockchain, every card in Splinterlands is a unique nonfungible token that is owned by a player. Hive is a decentralized, community-driven blockchain that was forked from the Steem blockchain.
In Splinterlands, each card (e.g. Summoners and Monsters) in a player’s collection has its own stats and abilities and can use their cards in different ways. For instance, they can use cards to battle and win rewards, keep them as collectibles, trade them with other players on a marketplace, combine them to make them stronger, or even burn them to get Dark Energy Crystals (DEC), which is the official in-game currency of Splinterlands. In the future, cards will be able to be staked on land plots in order to farm additional NFTs, totems, and other benefits that will help players attain victory on the battlefield.
Splinterlands was built by its founders to provide a unique gaming experience that leverages the benefits of blockchain technology. The team behind Splinterlands believed that traditional games often lack transparency, fairness, and ownership, which can lead to a frustrating and unsatisfying gaming experience.
By building Splinterlands on the Hive blockchain, the founders were able to create a game that addresses these issues and provides openness and fairness in gameplay, removing the potential for fraud or cheating. Furthermore, the ability to earn cryptocurrency while playing adds an extra layer of excitement and motivation to the game, providing players with real-world rewards for their efforts.
How does Splinterlands work?
Players construct a deck of cards using summoner and monster cards, which they use to compete against other players online in the Splinterlands game. To begin playing Splinterlands, players can sign up for free with nothing more than an email. In order to start collecting rewards and earning NFTs from daily and season-long quests, players will need to have a Hive account.
Once a player has a Hive account, they can use their Hive login information to access the Splinterlands website. The player may access and control their game assets on the Hive blockchain within Splinterlands, eliminating the need to 3rd party markets in order to manage any of their NFTs. There are, however, plenty of community built marketplaces in order to transact cards in bulk, rent full decks, and analyze strategies and synergies between cards.
On Splinterlands, when a player buys card packs or individual cards, the transaction is documented on the Hive blockchain, ensuring the ownership and transfer of the cards are safe, open, and unchangeable. This means that players can buy, sell, and trade their digital assets with confidence, knowing that the transactions are recorded on a decentralized ledger that is maintained by a global network of nodes.
Real-time matches are performed in the game, which uses a matchmaking system to combine players of comparable skill levels. Each game will have rulesets selected at random, as well as a mana cap. The rulesets make each game unique and require the player to adapt their strategy with each game, whereas the mana cap dictates which cards the player can use. Each card has a certain amount of mana assigned to it, and the players deck for each game cannot total more than the allotted amount of mana. Once each players deck is submitted, the game plays out as an auto-battler and the player who defeats all of their opponents monster cards first, wins.
Moreover, Splinterlands rewards gamers in the form of SPS tokens for winning games, as well as NFTs, packs, potions and tokens for completing quests. Rewards are given when players triumph in battle, complete a daily task, or take part in a tournament. Players can monetize their gaming experience by trading or selling their rewards on Hive and other bridged chains.
What is SPS and DEC used for?
Splintershards (SPS) and Dark Energy Crystals (DEC), are the official currencies of Splinterlands, and are used for various purposes. Here are some of their main uses in Splinterlands:
- Purchasing cards: DEC can be used to purchase new cards from the in-game marketplace or to buy card packs from the store. The price of the cards and some car packs is denominated in DEC, so players need to have a sufficient amount of this currency to make purchases.
- Trading: DEC and SPS can be traded for other cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies on various exchanges that support it. This allows players to monetize their in-game earnings and convert them into other assets.
- Entry fees: SPS is used as an entry fee for game modes, such as tournaments for example. Players may need to pay a certain amount of SPS to participate in a tournament, and the prize pool is often paid out in SPS to the winners.
- Rewards: Players earn SPS as rewards for participating in various game modes, including daily quests, battles and tournaments. These rewards can be used to purchase additional card card packs or stake in the game.
- Staking: Players can stake their SPS to earn passive income in the form of daily rewards. The more staked SPS means faster compounding rewards. This feature is designed to incentivize players to hold onto their SPS rather than sell it immediately.
How to play Splinterlands
Splinterlands can be played on desktop or mobile devices. Although it is free to play, players can use cryptocurrencies to buy in-game items and cards. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to play Splinterlands:
Create an account
Users can create an account on the Splinterlands website. To play the game after creating an account, users need to get cards, unless they are playing with the free cards provided to all accounts. DEC, the in-game currency, can be used to buy cards, or they can purchase card packs, which contain 5 cards per pack (minimum 1 rare card per pack).
Purchase a Summoner’s Spellbook
Go to the “Shop” tab on the Splinterlands website, where users can buy a Summoner’s Spellbook using their preferred mode of payment. A Summoner’s Spellbook unlocks the ability for a player to earn rewards when playing Splinterlands and also unlocks their Hive Wallet for them to reduce the friction of having to create the wallet themselves.
Create a Hive Keychain account
After payment is confirmed for the Spellbook, users are prompted to choose a username. This username will double as their Hive Wallet address. One needs a Hive account since Splinterlands resides on the Hive blockchain. Users can download the Hive Keychain app (available on the App Store and Google Play) or add a browser extension (available for Chrome, Firefox, and Brave) to manage all transaction signatures in one click.
Connect your Hive Keychain Wallet with your Splinterlands account
The steps to set up Hive Keychain Wallet with Splinterlands account include the following:
- Users need to install the Hive Keychain extension on their web browser and click on its icon to open it.
- Set up a password which will be used to unlock the keychain and allow for one-click transaction signatures.
- The next step is to click on the “Add Account” button on the Hive Keychain window and select the “Use Keys/Pwd” button.
- Users should enter their master key that was received in their email inbox when purchasing their Spellbook and click “import keys.” All posting, active and memo and keys will be automatically imported as well.
- Once you click save, you will be all set up and will be able to manage your Hive account via the keychain.
- For more information on getting set up, please visit this Splinterlands support article.
Build your team
Users can collect cards by purchasing them on the marketplace or earning them through gameplay and quests. Once users have collected cards, they can assemble their squad by choosing which cards to put in their deck. Each card is a part of a certain splinter, which acts as an elemental power behind each summoner or monster card.
Each deck will consist of only one splinter, unless playing a dragon splinter as the user will be able to select a secondary splinter to build a deck around. There are also neutral cards that can be played with all splinters and it’s up to the selector to build a balanced team that can compete in battles.
Splinterlands offers a variety of game modes, such as ranked combat, tournaments, and challenges. Users will use their deck of cards to compete against other players in each mode.
As you play battles and complete quests, users will earn rewards such as SPS, cards, and other in-game items, which can be used to purchase more cards or trade them with other players.
Over time, users can upgrade their cards to make them stronger and more effective in battle. To level up cards, users need to burn set amounts of the same card. As cards level up, they gain increased stats and abilities, making them more competitive in higher ranked leagues.
Why are Splintershards (SPS) important?
Splintershards (SPS) are the governance token that is designed to provide more flexibility and control to the community in the decision-making process related to the development and management of the game.
SPS tokens can be used via staking, to take part in the governance process. SPS token holders will be able to vote on suggestions pertaining to the game’s future development, such as new features, card releases, and other game and economy updates. SPS tokens can be obtained by staking SPS and can be bought on external cryptocurrency exchanges or in the Splinterlands game via Transak. To buy SPS tokens on cryptocurrency exchanges, one can follow the following general steps:
- Choose a reputable cryptocurrency exchange that lists SPS tokens.
- Create an account on the exchange and complete the required verification process. This typically involves providing personal information and identification documents.
- The next step is to fund the account. This is frequently accomplished by transferring virtual currency, such as Bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH), from another wallet or exchange.
- On the trading platform of the exchange, locate the SPS token by looking for the SPS ticker symbol or using the exchange’s search function.
- The next step is to place a buy order for SPS tokens, indicating the quantity desired and the price one is willing to pay. The SPS tokens will be credited to one’s exchange wallet once the order has been filled.
- Then, transfer the SPS tokens to a wallet that accepts them. These tokens can then be used to participate in the Splinterlands’ governance process.
Is it worth investing in Splinterlands?
The game’s popularity and the value of its cards have been growing since its launch in 2019, with a thriving player and collector base. Moreover, deciding to invest in Splinterlands depends on market conditions and project performance, just like any other investment.
Related: A beginner’s guide to cryptocurrency trading strategies
Numerous factors, including game updates and general trends in the gaming and cryptocurrency sectors, can impact the value of cards and the game’s popularity. However, buying any cryptocurrency, including Splinterlands, can be risky, so one should conduct their own research and carefully assess their risk tolerance before making a purchase.
The future of P2E collectible card games
The future of play-to-earn collectible card games is uncertain, but it is expected that they may continue growing in popularity. These games give players the thrill of creating and collecting one-of-a-kind virtual cards and the chance to get real-world value from in-game objects.
Play-to-earn crypto games may also be seen as an investment, where players can acquire valuable in-game items and sell them for real money. Furthermore, advancements in blockchain technology may open the door to play-to-earn experiences that are even safer and more transparent, along with the possibility of interoperability between various games.
However, other elements, such as player interest, competition from other gaming genres and the regulatory environment, will impact how well play-to-earn collectible card games perform. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor market trends and new technological developments before making investment decisions.
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