August 19, 2023

What is P2E Gaming? TOP 7 Play-to-Earn NFT Games

What is P2E Gaming?

P2E, short for “Play-to-Earn,” refers to video games that utilize blockchain technology, allowing players to earn blockchain assets such as cryptocurrencies or NFTs based on their in-game performance. These rewards can be exchanged or sold for other cryptocurrencies or traditional currencies.

Play-to-earn games have gained considerable attention as they provide gamers with a chance to generate real income. Their popularity has significantly increased the adoption of NFTs and blockchain gaming.

Current projections by GlobeNewswire estimate the P2E gaming market to grow from $776.9 million in 2021 to $2.84 billion by 2028, highlighting its potential to impact the broader gaming industry.

How Do P2E Games Work?

P2E games largely resemble conventional games in terms of graphics, controls, and gameplay. Their distinct feature is the integration of blockchain technology. Through this, players can earn in-game assets or cryptocurrencies that possess tangible value.

These assets might include tokens, virtual land, characters, or other game elements, all potentially crafted by developers. Typically, these assets are issued as NFTs, allowing players to trade, sell, or move them without a centralized marketplace.

This NFT structure also lets developers reuse assets across different game iterations. In contrast to traditional games, where earnings are limited to specific events, P2E games enable earnings throughout gameplay, be it missions, battles, or puzzles. As with other blockchain platforms, P2E games can be accessed globally without location barriers.

Challenges in the P2E Gaming Landscape

The rapid ascent of play-to-earn (P2E) games has brought both excitement and skepticism. As the crypto realm intersects with gaming, many developers are capitalizing on the trend, eyeing innovative monetization models. This intersection, however, has sown discord among some long-time gaming enthusiasts.

A segment of the gaming community feels that intertwining economic elements with gaming could dilute the essence of relaxation and leisure, fearing games might morph into high-pressure economic arenas, reminiscent of work or gambling. Despite such reservations, industry leaders like Alexis Ohanian, Reddit’s co-founder, are bullish on P2E’s potential, envisioning it dominating a major chunk of the gaming industry in the foreseeable future. He opines that players will seek tangible returns for their invested time and anticipates P2E games to evolve in their entertainment value while providing monetization opportunities.

Play-to-Earn Tax Implications

On the fiscal front, P2E games introduce a labyrinth of tax complexities. The IRS’s current guidelines remain ambiguous, urging players to tread cautiously. Key tax considerations for players involve:

 – Owing regular income tax upon selling NFTs or in-game tokens accrued during gameplay.

– Tax implications on the crypto liquidated to buy in-game assets.

– Potential capital gains or collectibles tax when reselling purchased NFTs.

TOP 7 P2E NFT Games

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  1. Thetan Arena

Thetan Arena emerged as a standout in the P2E gaming landscape following its launch in autumn 2021. Rooted in the MOBA genre, the game thrives on the BNB blockchain. Upon registering, players can select a complimentary hero or alternatively acquire a more adept warrior from the in-game NFT marketplace.

Diverse gaming modes are available, ranging from solo battles to team formations. Challenge modes such as Tower Siege, Super Star, and Deathmatch pique interest, with THC rewards going to the dominant players. The Custom Battle mode stands out, letting players customize their battle arenas and invite others to face-off under pre-set conditions.

Thetan Arena operates with two distinct tokens: THC and THG. While THG handles in-game fees and transactions, THC is a prize for winning matches and finishing challenges. Players also amass Power Points (PP) to amplify their abilities, though these remain non-transferable outside the game’s ecosystem.

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2. World of Defish

Introduced in 2022, World of Defish has made significant ripples in the crypto gaming realm. This fishing-themed game presents a lucrative P2E platform. Fish NFTs and fishing gear, both of inherent value, can be exchanged on the in-game NFT market.

Earning in the World of Defish is multifaceted. Mining the WOD token can occur anywhere within the game map. Passive revenue streams include obtaining a percentage from fellow fishermen, acquiring lands (NFT zones), and imposing fees on those fishing within one’s domain. Equipment quality directly correlates with WOD token accumulation. Players can also deposit WOD tokens into the game’s liquidity pool for additional passive gains.

Ranked 14th among the top games, World of Defish runs on BSC and boasts over 200,000 aficionados. The developers consistently deliver innovative features such as off-chain mechanisms, guilds, stacks, and expansive tournaments, among others.

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3. Splinterlands

Having debuted in 2018, Splinterlands quickly ascended the P2E gaming ranks. Its engaging gameplay, rich narrative, and plethora of earning prospects make it a favorite. Players collect cards and build teams to challenge rivals, vying for tradeable cards.

The gameplay echoes familiar titles like Dota Auto Chess or Magic the Gathering. To get onboard, players must register on the official site and purchase the Summoner’s Spellbook for $10. This book unveils daily tasks, chances to earn tokens, and seasonal perks. New players receive foundational cards, which are exclusively for in-game use.

Battle success hinges on card ratings. Splinterlands’ economy revolves around three tokens: Credits, DEC, and SPS. Players seeking enhanced cards can explore the NFT marketplace or consider renting options.

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4. Decentraland

Decentraland provides a captivating metaverse for those eager to live an alternate life and secure crypto rewards. Players can immerse themselves in everyday activities or venture into entrepreneurship within the digital realm. Whether it’s opening a bakery or trading goods, real monetary gains are achievable.

Powered by the Ethereum blockchain, Decentraland facilitates a robust platform to design and experience digital content on virtual land plots. Players have an extensive toolkit at their disposal for land customization. Transactions within this universe use the MANA token, facilitating purchases, in-metaverse gaming, traveling, and myriad other activities, all of which enhance the digital living experience.

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5. The Sandbox

Emerging from the origins of the renowned game by Pixowl in 2012, The Sandbox’s blockchain adaptation offers fertile ground for VR NFT creativity and application within its economic sphere. This rendition empowers gamers to architect their metaversal experiences and schemes, setting the stage for monetization avenues in novel ways.

The game’s internal currency is the SAND token, which rewards player engagement. As a universal in-game currency, SAND facilitates transactions concerning in-game assets. If a player crafts distinct NFTs that attract other users, these can be traded for SAND. VoxEdit, the in-house creation tool, serves as both a 3D voxel modeler and NFT minter, breathing life into various voxel-based entities, such as humans, fauna, and vehicles. Engaging in campaigns and contests within the game further offers SAND earning prospects.

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6. Silks

Silks caters to equestrian enthusiasts and racing aficionados, delivering a metaverse counterpart to real-world horse racing and breeding ventures. This game is celebrated for seamlessly merging reality with a metaverse dedicated to the equestrian domain.

Immersion in Silks offers players the full spectrum of professional equestrian experiences. From meticulous breeding to rigorous training, players can cultivate their unique digital steeds and compete using these prized NFTs. The prowess of one’s horse could potentially translate to significant returns.

A unique facet of Silks is the tangible link between digital equine NFTs and authentic, pedigreed horses. Triumphs in real-world races reflect on the NFT owner in the form of STT token rewards. Players are granted the liberty to host contests on the Silks blockchain, negotiate horse trades on the NFT platform, and even engage in Bitcoin staking to accrue STT through horse nurturing.

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7. Gods Unchained

Gods Unchained carves its niche in the NFT P2E domain, with its foundation on the Ethereum blockchain. The game immerses players in compelling deity battles, adopting the trading card format — a proven template in the contemporary P2E arena — echoing the likes of Splinterlands and Hearthstone.

Within Gods Unchained, the cards players wield are genuine NFTs, available for purchase, trade, or listing on the internal marketplace. Each card’s uniqueness equips its holder with distinct strategic advantages during clashes. Newly registered players are gifted three introductory card packs and can vie for superior cards during in-game encounters.

Cards in the game are categorized into four rarity tiers, each possessing a varied worth. These cards, when listed on the NFT marketplace, can be priced anywhere from $0.1 to an astonishing $50,000. This price range paves the way for players to elevate their in-game stature, amplifying their competitive edge in the quest for coveted rewards.


In the digital realm, the NFT P2E arena is surging at an unprecedented pace, witnessing a flood of enthusiasts joining its ranks daily. The unforeseen onset of COVID-19 and ensuing societal restrictions played an unexpected role in propelling P2E gaming into the limelight, as countless individuals found themselves confined within their homes, seeking alternative sources of income and entertainment. Yet, while this gaming niche is making waves, conventional mobile and desktop gaming remain the dominant forces in the world’s top entertainment sector. As the global gaming market gears up to possibly leap from a staggering $200 billion to an astounding $400+ billion by the end of this decade, there’s no doubt P2E titles will be pivotal in driving this expansion.

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