UPDATED BY
Brennan Whitfield | Oct 10, 2023

Blockchain games, also called crypto games, are video games built using blockchain technology. They usually involve non-fungible tokens (NFTs) or cryptocurrency in some element of the gameplay, making many blockchain games require a connection with a crypto wallet. Some blockchain games are also play-to-earn games, meaning players can transfer in-game effort, activity and items into cryptocurrency.

Blockchain Games to Know

  • Axie Infinity
  • CryptoKitties
  • Decentraland 
  • DeFi Kingdom 
  • Gods Unchained 
  • Nine Chronicles
  • The Sandbox 
  • Splinterlands

All of that sound interesting? Here are 19 blockchain games to check out.

 

Blockchain Games to Know

ALIEN WORLDS

Alien Worlds is a near-future sci-fi exploration and territory-staking game that has players exploring space in a fourth-wall-breaking setting of intergalactic bitcoin mining communities. Players can find NFTs in their exploration, mine for Trillium and stake claims to new frontiers. Landowners have a vote in the developing governments of their new planets and can help shape the future. The game can be both competitive and collaborative, with players able to fight one another through a trading-card dynamic, but also able to work together on growing their planet’s government. Players can also “shine” their NFTs (essentially, combine them) to increase their rareness level and stats.

Game mechanics: Exploration, territory expansion and trading 

Associated blockchains: Ethereum, WAX

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AXIE INFINITY

Released in 2018, Axie Infinity is one of the oldest and most wildly popular blockchain games out there. Players can collect, fight, breed and battle others with their Axies, axolotl-inspired cute monsters that are both characters and NFTs. Each Axie comes with its own unique abilities, making for an infinite combination of Axie types and playstyles. Axie Infinity: Origins acts as the main game of the Axie franchise, whereas Axie Infinity: Homeland is a strategy adventure for Axie land plot owners.

Game mechanics: Battling, breeding and collecting

Associated blockchains: Ethereum, Ronin

 

CRYPTOBEASTS

CryptoBeasts, a Pokémon-like role-playing game, turns players loose on the pixelated fantasy world of EggLand, where there are 10,000 plots of land. Each plot of land has a single rare egg, the central NFT in the game, which also serves as the governance tokens of the game. These 10,000 rare eggs have all already been unlocked through mining, meaning new players cannot find them in-game, but they can still buy them on the secondary market. Eggs can either be held as is or hatched into CryptoBeasts, which compete in battles against other CryptoBeasts. The more eggs and CryptoBeasts a player owns, the greater the impact that player has on the governance of the world.

Game mechanics: Collecting and governing

Associated blockchain: Ethereum

 

CRYPTOKITTIES

CryptoKitties is widely hailed as the first blockchain-based game. The game is all about collecting, breeding and selling digital kitties. Every kitty is an NFT, a unique combination of “cattributes,” status, generation and more. Players collect and breed these kitties, which are governed by different genetic cattributes. Fancy, special edition and exclusive kitties don’t follow those rules and have rare attributes.

Game mechanics: Breeding and collecting

Associated blockchain: Ethereum

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CRYPTOPOP

You know those bubble (or gem or color block) mobile tapping games? The ones where you can lose hours doing nothing but tapping? Take that idea, but apply it to cryptocurrency icons and the possibility of some Ether (ETH) payout, and you’ve got CryptoPop. This mobile game, available on the Google Play Store, lets players tap on groupings of cryptocurrency icons with the goal to clear the board. The larger the groupings, the higher your score.

Game mechanics: Clear-the-board tapping

Associated blockchain: Ethereum

 

DECENTRALAND

Decentraland is an open-world metaverse game where your avatars can interact, buy territory and build stores or events. Those who buy in-game land (known as LAND) can populate their property with items or experiences for other players, as well as get a vote on governance issues within their districts. Anyone can build items using the in-game builder or those with coding skills can make their own unique items. Also, with each sale of LAND, the in-game currency MANA used in its sale is burned, reducing the fixed supply.

Game mechanics: Building, collecting and governing

Associated blockchain: Ethereum

 

DEFI KINGDOMS

In the pixelated fantasy realm of DeFi Kingdoms, players can play to earn as fantasy heroes in a medieval-esque backdrop. There are adventures and quests to go on, lands to explore, other players to battle and heroes to upgrade. Heroes and their buffs are NFTs that can be bought and sold in the in-game marketplace. Land can also be purchased and built on. Stake in the game confers voting rights, allowing players to guide the future of the game.

Game mechanics: Crafting and trading

Associated blockchain: Harmony

 

Farmers World

Self-described as the first farming game to function on an NFT platform, Farmers World is a farming simulation game where players can mine materials, grow crops and raise livestock. Tools, farm animals and buildings are represented as NFTs, whereas in-game resources like wood (FWW), food (FWF) and gold (FWG) are represented as crypto tokens. These NFTs and tokens may be bought, sold or received from other farmers on crypto exchanges, and are used to craft in-game tools or expand a player’s farm to increase asset value and earn rewards. 

Game mechanics: Breeding, crafting, farming and mining

Associated blockchain: WAX

 

GODS UNCHAINED

In Gods Unchained, players start with a deck of fantasy cards and can begin playing competitively with other players. Players win cards and FLUX, the in-game currency and token that can be used to upgrade cards. While common cards are not NFTs, higher-level cards won through gameplay are and can be bought and sold to other players.

Game mechanics: Card battling and trading 

Associated blockchain: Ethereum

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Illuvium

Players of Illuvium Overworld are placed in a 3D, open-world environment where they explore alien landscapes, capture Illuvial creatures and participate in PVP battles with competing players. Illuvials, along with other assets like in-game land and Illuvitars, are depicted as NFTs and are able to be bought, sold and traded on IlluviDEX, the Illuvium Marketplace. Additionally, purchased Illuvium Land plots can be used to extract Fuel, an in-game currency that can then be sold for ETH. Illuvium Overworld is available to be played through its beta registration.

Game mechanics: Battling, collecting and exploration

Associated blockchain: Ethereum, Immutable X

 

MOBOX

The MOBOX metaverse — the MOMOverse — is a mobile- and browser-based game platform that hosts a number of interconnected individual play-to-earn minigames that run the gamut from battling to farming to adventure missions. Within the metaverse, players can harvest resources, build NFT items and interact with other players. Some of Mobox’s minigames include Dragonverse, MODragon, MOMO Farmer and ChainZ Arena.

Game mechanics: Battling, collecting and farming

Associated blockchain: Binance Smart Chain

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NINE CHRONICLES

In Nine Chronicles, players enter into a fantasy world where they can travel, level up and craft and sell items to earn Nine Chronicles Gold ($NCG), the in-game currency and governance token. The RPG features adventure quests, arena battles, crafting and trading, boss battles and reward collection from NCG staking. Nine Chronicles can be installed for Windows PC systems, and has a mobile version in development

Game mechanics: Arena battling, crafting, governing, mining and trading  

Associated blockchain: Ethereum

 

PEGAXY

Pegaxy lets players compete with their elementally-themed mechanical race horses called Pegas and run them in automated player-versus-player races against opponents. Players can purchase or rent a Pega from the Pegaxy marketplace and run a Pega in a race for free, unlike many blockchain games with a competition element. If your Pega is in the top three of its race, players will earn VIS, the in-game currency token. Players can also breed Pega for resale or profit.

Game mechanics: Breeding and horse racing

Associated blockchain: Ethereum

 

Tamadoge

Meme coin project Tamadoge hosts an ecosystem of crypto tokens, NFTs as well as the play-to-earn game collections Tamadoge Arcade and Tamadoge Arena. In these arcade-style games, players compete weekly to get the highest score possible for a prize pool of TAMA tokens. The top-ranking players on the Tamadoge leaderboards by the end of the prize week receive the most amount of TAMA from the pool. To play, users must buy and exchange TAMA tokens for each play credit.

Game mechanics: Arcade, defense and platforming 

Associated blockchain: Ethereum

 

THE SANDBOX

The Sandbox looks something like Minecraft and The Sims, allowing players to build voxel-art NFTs that they can use in the game or sell to others. You can also build your own games within the ecosystem for other players to play. Building requires LAND, NFTs that represent the limited physical space within the ecosystem. LAND is populated with ASSETs and used to create digital experiences like games or art galleries, plus can be combined to form ESTATES.

Game mechanics: Building and trading

Associated blockchain: Ethereum

 

Game of SILKS

Bringing the fantasy football dynamic to thoroughbred horse racing, Game of Silks is a horse racing game where players own a digital, NFT version of real-world racehorses, and earn prizes based on their real-life performance. Players speculate on in-game land, develop that land into farms and stables and own horses and their rewards (individually or through shared ownership). Horses, stables, land and racing silks (the colorful uniforms worn by jockeys) all represent different types of NFTs within the game that can be traded. 

Game mechanics: Breeding, horse racing and trading

Associated blockchain: Ethereum

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SPLINTERLANDS

A digital tactical card game, Splinterlands combines familiar dynamics: Players collect their cards, build their deck and battle against other players. Each card is a unique NFT that has different stats and abilities. Cards can be collected, sold, rented or combined together to level up. The game takes the classic battling trading card concept and applies it online, while still allowing players to own and trade their cards.

Game mechanics: Card battling, collecting and trading 

Associated blockchain: Hive (but cross-compatible with others, including Ethereum, Tron and WAX)

 

UPLAND

The Upland metaverse — available online via browser and on mobile — has turned real addresses across the globe into NFTs in its digital world. Players can buy, own, build on, trade and collect these locations in a llama-populated version of familiar cities like San Francisco or New York City. Owned properties generate a passive income of the in-game currency UPX overtime, and players can list and sell their properties for U.S. dollars via the partner platform Tilia Pay.

Game mechanics: Building, collecting and trading 

Associated blockchain: EOS

 

WOMBAT DUNGEON MASTER

In this odd twist on the standard dungeon crawl, rather than explore a dungeon themselves, Wombat Dungeon Master has players send out their team of wombat adventurers to find the NFT treasures they have hidden in dungeons. Players can stake their own existing NFTs held on either the EOS or WAX blockchains. The wombats go out and try to find that treasure and return with it. Wombats can be upgraded with items found in the dungeons or via item creation within the game. The goal of the player is for their wombat adventurers to get as many points (via loot finds) as possible. 

Game mechanics: Collecting and exploration

Associated blockchains: EOS, WAX

 

How Do Blockchain Games Work?

Blockchain games utilize a handful of blockchain and Web3 technologies to operate user governance or dictate gameplay. These technologies in particular are often found in blockchain games.

 

NFTs

Characters, cards, creatures or items used in blockchain games tend to be represented as NFTs. This makes them unique on the blockchain, ownable by a single person at a time and transferable inside and outside of the game. In games that feature land or similar limited-availability dynamics, these assets are generally NFTs.

 

Utility Tokens

Almost all blockchain games include a utility token that generally acts as the in-game currency or energy that drives activity in the game. These utility tokens can be fungible or non-fungible with some games “burning” them — removing them from the pool available — when they are used for transactions. With few exceptions, these in-game tokens cannot be bought with standard fiat currency, but must be purchased with crypto or earned in-game.

 

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)

Many blockchain games feature a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, which functions as a player-owned governance over the game. Blockchain games with this dynamic generally have a (usually non-fungible) governance token in addition to the in-game utility token that gives their holders the ability to vote or otherwise contribute to the way the game — or subsets of it — are run. In games with land NFTs, land often functions as a governance token, meaning these games return players to a time when only landowners could vote.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are blockchain-based games?

Blockchain-based games, or blockchain games, are video games built using blockchain technology. Assets like cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are often used as part of the gameplay in blockchain games.

How do blockchain games work?

Blockchain games work by employing various blockchain technologies like NFTs, utility tokens and DAO structures. Depending on the technologies used, these help determine the gameplay mechanics and user governance system of a blockchain game.

What is the most popular game on the blockchain?

Axie Infinity, Decentraland and The Sandbox are some of the most popular games on the blockchain.

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