Published 22nd September 2021
Axie Infinity: A Complete Guide
Axie Infinity is a market leader in the NFT space. The play-to-earn game is by far the most used and is creating thousands of dollars a month for its top players.
Axie Infinity is a Play to Earn Game
Axie Infinity is the current market leader for play to earn games. The gameplay is addictive, and the Axies are a cute addition to anyone’s NFT collection. This has caused its meteoric rise. In the last month (from 23rd September 2021) the marketplace has seen the transfer of over 1.7 million Axies worth $523 million.
Despite this, it’s still in its early stages of development. Many aspects of the game haven’t been fully developed yet, and data from Yahoo Finance and DappRadar suggests its total volume has risen by $1 billion between the start of August and mid-September. This is an NFT project with functionality, iconic and unique artwork, as well as a connected community on Discord, Telegram and Twitter.
(Update: As of February 2022, Axie Infinity has recorded close to $4billion in total from NFT sales)
Axie Infinity is a Pokemon-style battle game where players put together teams of three Axies. These are then set against other teams to destroy their opposition and earn the game’s native token SLP.
It Utilises NFTs and the Digital Ledger
Each Axie is stored on the blockchain in the form of an NFT. This guarantees that you are the one true owner of your Axie. Because of this decentralised ownership, Axis can be sold on their marketplace through peer-to-peer trading.
Players can generate profit by breeding Axies and selling them. The game requires a slightly larger investment to play compared with typical pay-to-play games, however, the potential to make a profit through a game is attracting over 1 million daily active players. The marketplace is constantly being updated with listings and purchases happening all day.
Axie will eventually move to a DAO through their native governance token, AXS. The Sky Mavis team who created the game believe they will no longer hold a majority of the governance token by October 2023. This gives us just over two years to HODL to as many AXS as possible!
How to Play
There are two ways to play the Axie game, in the Arena as PVP (Player vs Player) and in the Adventure mode as PVE (Player vs Environment). You are limited to 20 energy a day. Each game in the PVP arena costs 1 energy. Each win in the PVE adventure mode costs one energy, but a loss doesn’t cost anything.
In the gameplay of each battle, you are allowed a maximum of 10 energy. Axies have four cards that represent a special ability. Most cards cost 1 energy but there are some that are free. Each Axie can play four cards at a time, as long as you have enough energy stored. You start the game with three energies and each round you gain two, so it’s up to you if you want to save your energy or play your cards.
Players have to be tactical with their energy. You don’t want to use it all unless you know you will deal some heavy damage. On the other hand, you don’t want to be too conservative and receive some heavy damage yourself.
You should consider your team when buying your axies. It is best to have a front liner with solid defensive stats, these are known in the game as Tanks. After that, you need a mid-liner that can take damage, with special abilities that can inflict debuffs and give out damage. Lastly, for a back-liner, you need something heavy hitting that can give out lots of damage.
My mid-liner is a Reptile. In this video, you can see I play three cards that have their own special abilities. The first one targets the Axie with the least shield, the second one reduced the damage I take by 15% and the third inflicts the stun debuff which means that Axies next card played will have no effect.
PVP Arena Matches
One of the game’s current modes is player vs player battles. Your team of Axies competes against other players, who could be based anywhere in the world. The games are skill matched, so you will only ever face someone with a similar skill level to you.
The more games you win the higher your overall score goes, and the further you climb in the charts. The game has different seasons where top players can earn rewards. The current season, Season 18, has $200,000 worth of AXS up for grabs for the top 1,000 players.
You also earn SLP by beating teams in PVP battles. One YouTuber called AxieOnTheMoon is in the top 10 players around the world. He has many videos on his channel outlining tactics for battles and the pros and cons of facing different Axies. He is a good source of information to study that will sharpen your Axie sword and improve your gameplay.
PVE Adventure Mode
The idea behind this PVE game mode is for your Axies to protect the land of Lunacia from wild monsters controlled by the computer called Chimera. These start out as easy to beat but get progressively more difficult.
Axie rewards you in SLP for completing three daily quests; complete 10 PVE adventure rounds, 5 arena matches and daily check-ins. As a beginner, this can be time-consuming as the later PVE matches can be very difficult. You can probably earn the same amount of SLP if you solely focus on the PVP arenas as they will always match you against someone with a similar skill level. Axie will soon introduce weekly quests and special events to earn SLP.
Axie Infinity Has Its Own Market Place
The marketplace hosts the trade of Axies, Land and Items. Land and items are still in their early stages of development. Players can pay for a plot of land in the Axie universe, Lunacia. Items make the players time battling and exploring easier.
However, the most developed section of the marketplace is the Axie monsters. Every player needs three Axies to play. They average at around $250-$350, so players will need around $700-$1000 to start.
When purchasing your Axies it’s always important to check Axie Zone for the most special builds. Axies are built up of four parts that have different abilities. Axies deal 15% more damage if all four parts are from the same category. The most powerful Axies have different parts of the Axie that work together.
For example, we purchased two of the RIMP beasts, created by a combination of the cards Ronin and Imp. The Ronin part guarantees a critical strike, whilst the Imp part generates one energy per critical strike. This means the beast can deal a lot of damage whilst generating energy.
Watch this video to see our RIMP in action. The attack dealt total damage of 392 while gaining us one energy, the other card in the three-card combo, Piercing Sound, also destroyed one of my opponent’s energy.
It’s also important to check the axie.zone breeding simulator and download the Freaks Axie web extension. The extension tells you the purity of your Axie. The closer the Axie to 100%, the more predictable its breeding process will be. If you are purchasing two Axies that you plan to breed, make sure you check the breeding simulator to see how compatible they are.
There are 6 main categories of Axie. All the Axies are cute and fun to own and all have positive and negative attributes.
Beasts are great for offensive attributes as they have high speed and high morale. They can deal an extra 15% damage against Plant, and Reptile.
However, they can be quite fragile and have low HP (hit points), meaning they are best as back liners.
The Bird category of Axie has the highest speed in the game and can inflict some serious damage as well as dealing 15% more on Beast and Bug Axies.
Because of their very low HP, they can be taken out easily if outsmarted or if they don’t act quick enough. Birds should be played at the back, with players taking advantage of the special ability cards.
Reptiles are another all-around class as they have high HP, decent speed and morale. They can also inflict debuffs on other Axies.
These Axies are a good all-rounder, proving useful in most battle situations due to their extra 15% damage against Aquatic and Bird Axies, making them perfect mid-liners.
These have large defensive attributes but lack the offensive. They are widely used as a front line Axie because they have high HP and special cards that add shields.
They can also deal decent consistent damage, holding 15% more damage against the Aquatic, Bird classes.
Aquatic Axies have high speed and high HP, meaning they are an all-rounder that can attack and defend. They are the most expensive Axie group on average and are a widely used Axie by players of all experiences.
Bug Axies have high morale and are specialists in debuffing other targets. This means dishing out poison, fear and stun to other Axies. This means they are great supporters to boost your team.
However, they are quite average throughout the other attributes. Bugs can bring a lot to the team if you use their debuffs tactically.
There are also three side Axies made up of genes from the main Axie types. Breeders can create these by combining two Axie types, however, there is only a 33% success rate and could result in breeders having a really weak main type Axie.
One of the secret Axie types is Dawn, a combination of Bird and Plant Axies and has an advantage against Beast/Bug types. Another is Mech, a combination of Beast and Bug Axies. They have the advantage of more damage against Reptile/Plant types. Lastly, Dusk is made up of genes from both Aquatic and Reptile Axies which deals more damage against Aquatic and Bird types.
These secret Axies were bred to have specialist powers, which is broken down in the Axie Infinity Medium.
The Game’s Economy is Built on Two Tokens
There are two tokens available in the Axie metaverse, AXS and SLP.
AXS is the governance token. AXS holders can claim rewards by staking their tokens, playing the game, and participating in key governance votes. For example, the top 1000 players in Season 18 will win their prize in AXS tokens.
The number of AXS tokens required for a successful breeding process has just been halved from two to one, so it’s important to make sure you are stacked with these if you want to make any profit from the game.
AXS is available to purchase on centralised exchanges such as Coinbase, or can be swapped for other cryptocurrencies using DEX platforms like UniSwap. Today it is valued at $59.45.
SLP is what is gained through the game’s battle modes. A win in the arena will give you either 6 or 9 SLP. SLP stands for Smooth Love Potion and is what you use to breed Axie. SLP is currently valued at $0.07.
This graph from the whitepaper breaks down how much SLP is needed for breeding. The more times an Axie breeds, the more SLP is required to breed them. This is why Axies with a lower breed count are often seen as more valuable, something to bear in mind when purchasing your Axies.
How to Breed Your Axies and Sell Them
Step 1: Collect SLP
This is the part of the game that requires skill and perseverance. We made the mistake of buying two Axies that had been bred 3 times before, meaning we needed 750 SLP for each Axie, a total of 1,500 SLP. To avoid this issue, make sure the breed count on your Axies is as close to zero as possible.
However, our Axies were good in the arena and managed to secure us a high win percentage. We collected over 1,500 SLP just before our first month playing Axie. As long as you stick to playing 20 PVP matches a day, it is achievable to build huge amounts of SLP.
Step 2: Acquire AXS
The next step is to acquire some AXS. You can choose to purchase these with Fiat currency straight from centralised exchange platforms or swap some of your cryptocurrency for the token on Decentralised Exchange Platforms.
Each time you breed it will cost an AXS token, so invest in as many as you can afford. This may fluctuate as the price is openly traded so can be volatile. Once you have SLP and AXS they will be stored in your Axie inventory.
Step 3: Check the Axie breeding simulator
The Axie breeding simulator is a perfect tool for calculating whether your Axies are worth breeding. They are not 100% accurate, so it’s best to try and do around 10 to see on average how many of your potential Axie children have the attributes you want. Make sure you pick Axies that are the same categories and have the highest purity possible, this is something to consider before you buy any Axies.
Step 4: Breed
Once you have settled on two Axies that you want to breed, the breeding process is an easy three-step process. Firstly, select the first Axie you want to breed, click Breed, and then finally select the other Axie you want to breed. This then tells you the SLP and AXS required to create your new Axie. Once you accept that cost, you will receive an egg that hatches after 5 days.
Once your new Axie hatches you have the option to put it on the marketplace using a fixed price or an auction. Alternatively, you can keep the Axie to help out in PVP battles. Both have their advantages and will help you progress in the game.
This guide should give you a good starting point to getting your head around the battle and breeding game modes of Axie. This game is still in the early stages of development so keep your eye on the direction this game goes in. With the potential to make people thousands from engaging in addictive gameplay, it is sure to be groundbreaking.
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