How the Axie Infinity Economy Works


A famous question in Axie Infinity is:

Can you really earn money from playing a cute pet game?

Yes, you absolutely can, because Axie Infinity is an Ethereum-based “play-to-earn” game. Investing money into NFT (Non-Fungible Token) games like Axie Infinity can be profitable. Axie Infinity has close to 1 million daily players and millions of dollars worth of transactions daily, making it a trendsetter for crypto gaming.

This guide is about how and why Axie Infinity is a “play-to-earn” game.

Ways to Make Money in Axie Infinity

Understanding the ways you can make money in Axie Infinity is crucial before investing in the game. Below are two methods of profiting from Axie Infinity: gameplay and breeding.

Gameplay

The first–and by far most common–method is to earn tradeable crypto tokens by simply playing the game. Players who profit this way spend their time: playing PvE levels, completing the daily quest, and winning PvP matches.

Smooth Love Potion
What is earned here?
Smooth Love Potions
(SLP)
 

Those are the in-game actions that produce Smooth Love Potions (SLP). SLP can be converted to other cryptocurrencies or fiat money, and this is how your earnings exit the game and become income.

You can check more on SLP on this guide about Axie Infinity’s SLP economy:

Axie Infinity: How SLP Economics Work

Breeding

Breeding is the ONLY way that new Axies can be created. So for the game to continue growing, Axies must be continually bred so that new players can buy them. This production of Axies that can be sold as NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) to another player is the other method of earning income.

To breed Axies, you need SLP, AXS (Axie Infinity Shards), and two owned Axies that serve as parents. Each time you breed an Axie, it becomes more expensive in SLP.

Breeding UI

Once you pay the price of breeding, an egg is released and is immediately viable for selling.                                                                               

What is earned here? WETH (wrapped Ethereum) from selling Axies.

You can check out this breeding guide for more info:

Axie Infinity: How To Breed Axies

AXS and SLP in Breeding

Like our domesticated animals, Axies are also bred in a virtual world. Breeding Axies cost AXS (Axie Infinity Shards) and an SLP amount (Smooth Love Potions) proportional to an Axie’s “breed count”.

AXS in Breeding

Each breed costs 1 AXS each and does not increase with breed count.

The AXS price of breeding can vary, depending on how SkyMavis monitors the economy. It used to be 4 AXS per breed count, to 2 AXS, then now to only 1 AXS per breed.

Breed Count and SLP

Breed count refers to the virginity of an Axie. Every single time that an Axie is used for breeding, its breeding count increases once.

Axies can only be bred 7 times before going barren. After being bred 7 times, an Axie can still be used to play and hold value as an NFT, but can never be bred again. The higher the breed count an Axie has, the more expensive the SLP cost of breeding is.

The SLP price of breeding is also the same as AXS. Recent updates had changes in the breeding price of SLP.

A table that represents the SLP cost per breed count:

SLP Cost

Breed Count

150

0/7

300

1/7

450

2/7

750

3/7

1200

4/7

1950

5/7

3150

6/7

A breed count of 7/7 is already considered barren.

You can check samples of these SLP and AXS breeding updates here:

https://axie.substack.com/p/-axie-arena-season-18

https://axie.substack.com/p/breedingadjustment

Crypto Tokens: Axie Infinity Shards and Smooth Love Potions

AXS (Axie Infinity Shard) and SLP (Smooth Love Potion) are Axie Infinity’s ERC 20 cryptocurrencies that play major roles in the economy. In the “play-to-earn” business model, this is what investors and players earn.

Axie Infinity Shards

AXS or “Axie Infinity Shards” are governance tokens of the Axie Infinity community. They represent “shares” in the economy. People can stake AXS and take part in governance votes if they own AXS.

AXS Token
AXS Shard

AXS decentralizes governance in Axie Infinity, making it a game that is operated by the community. The AXS staked by holders will then build up the treasury which fuels the game universe.

Competitive AXS (Leaderboard)

AXS can be earned by being a top player in Axie Infinity. Competitors in Arena mode battle for higher MMR (MatchMake Rating) thus putting them higher in the leaderboard. The game rewards the top 1000 players of a season with AXS tokens.

The current season (Season 18) boasts a prize pool of 1,000 to 225,000 mAXS. The top player of the current season’s finale is rewarded the grand prize of 225,000 mAXS (worth roughly $16,000 as of late August 2021).

Season Payouts
Season 18 prize pool

mAXS is stored in a player’s inventory and can be claimed into AXS. 1,000 mAXS is equivalent to 1 AXS, making the grand prize to be 225 AXS.

Smooth Love Potions

SLP or “Smooth Love Potions” are tradeable crypto tokens that are earned by playing the game. This is the main token that players of all types can use to earn profits.

SLP
SLP

The traditional uses of SLP are breeding and crypto trading. Non-breeders can either trade SLP for Ethereum or sell them for fiat money on exchanges.

How Do You Earn Smooth Love Potions?

SLP is produced from three different game mechanics. These are the adventure mode, arena mode, and the daily quest. A player’s ability to earn is limited by their daily energy.

Adventure mode rewards a player with SLP for each Player vs. Environment (PvE) level that they clear. In this game mode, a player is not required to have daily energy to earn SLP. However, adventure mode caps the SLP you earn to 50 SLPper day.

Adventure Mode Level Selection
Adventure mode in Axie Infinity

You can check out more on adventure mode in theses guides:

How to Earn SLP in Adventure Mode

A Player’s Guide To Axie Adventure

Daily energy is only consumed in adventure mode in exchange for Axie EXP (experience points). EXP levels up Axies, enabling them to clear higher levels. SLP rewards are proportional to the level that you are clearing (higher levels = more SLP).

Arena mode rewards a player with SLP for each player vs. player (PvP) match that they win. The amount of SLP earned per match won depends on your current MMR.

You can read more about PvP in arena mode in this guide:

The Art of Axie: A Comprehensive Guide To Battles And PVP

MMR
MatchMaker Rating (MMR)

Daily energy is required to earn SLP in arena mode. Winning a PvP match without energy will reward no SLP. But a player can still play arena matches without energy to increase MMR.

          Arena button without daily energy

Daily Quest rewards a player with SLP after completing daily tasks.

These tasks include:

  • Checking in daily (pressing a button on the daily quest tab)
  • Clearing 10 Adventure mode levels
  • Winning 5 Arena mode matches
Axie Infinity
A completed daily quest.

Finishing all the daily tasks rewards the player with 25 SLP.

How Do I Get Paid? Converting SLP to Fiat Money

2 weeks after a player’s first day in Axie Infinity, the game permits them to claim the SLP they earned. Claimed SLP tokens are stored in the Ronin wallet and ready for withdrawal.

With great Smooth Love Potions, comes great money.

After claiming the SLP, it is then transported to the player’s Ronin wallet, then later on to cryptocurrency exchanges.

P2P

Peer-to-peer (P2P) is a feature that most cryptocurrency exchange platforms have. This allows buyers and sellers to interact and perform transactions using fiat money.

SLP can be sold for fiat money through P2P. Axie Infinity players also have the option of trading SLP for ETH first then selling it through P2P.

Coinbase and Binance are two large exchange platforms with P2P options for converting various cryptocurrencies.          

Binance P2P
Source: https://p2p.binance.com/en

Commonly, the most versatile method of using P2P is selling USDT tokens. Because of USDT’s stability and high liquidity, players convert SLP to this token and sell it through P2P.

If you need help selling your SLP, check out these guides:

How To Convert SLP to Fiat Money

How to Convert SLP to USD

Is Axie Infinity Really Play-to-Earn?

Axie Infinity has 2 cryptocurrencies that can be converted to fiat money, namely SLP (Smooth Love Potion) and AXS (Axie Infinity Shards). These can be produced in-game and sold by players on exchange platforms, making a legitimate income.

Axie Infinity has 3 ways to earn an income:

  • Breeding Axies then selling them for WETH (Wrapped Ethereum). Consumes SLP and AXS upon breeding.
  • Playing the game to earn SLP, which is converted to fiat money.
  • Being a top competitor of the game. Rewards players with AXS.

In conclusion, Axie Infinity lives up to its “play-to-earn” model. With cryptocurrency involved and viable methods of producing tokens, investors and casual players can earn an income by playing the game. That is why people should be knowledgeable on how to make money in Axie Infinity before playing the game.

If there’s anything I missed, please feel free to comment down below! I’m open to suggestions and some intellectual insights on the topic above!

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