Splinterlands: Pioneering Play-to-Earn Card Gaming
Splinterlands is one of the hottest games in the play-to-earn market in 2022. It combines the engaging elements of card-based collectibles like Magic the Gathering with the earning potential of blockchain gaming. Players wage battles against one another to lead their factions to victory.
Unlike many other blockchain games, Splinterlands can be played both on mobile or a desktop browser. This means players can engage in battles anytime, anywhere.
Growth of a play-to-earn pioneer
Established in 2018, Splinterlands was one of the first blockchain-based play-to-earn games released. This has given the developers years to fine tune the game’s features and mechanics to deliver an amazing playing experience.
This experience has helped grow a huge base of over 500,000 daily players fighting it out in more than 10 million battles per day. The Splinterlands marketplace is also highly active, resulting in hundreds of thousands of trades a day.
“We are continuously blown away by the amount of growth that we have seen in the community” said Liam Labistour, Director of Growth. “People are the value, especially when it comes to GameFi. The Splinterlands community have been phenomenal to interact with and we couldn’t be happier with the adoption that we have received.”
This community engagement was reflected in the success of Splinterfest, a Splinterlands-dedicated version of Comicon held in Las Vegas on October 8-9, 2022. Hundreds of community members turned out connect with founders, employees and other players via an in-person town hall, creative panels, meet-and-greets, musical performances and live tournaments.
How to earn with Splinterlands
Players can battle, stake, trade or lease card-based monster NFTs for real profits. There are two tokens that can be earned: Splintershards (SPS), the game’s governance token, and Dark Energy Crystal (DEC), the main in-game currency of Splinterlands.
Players can earn SPS for winning “Modern” or “Wild” battles. The amount earned is determined by a range of factors including:
- League of play – the higher the league, the more rewards
- The player’s ranked rating
- The player’s “Energy Capture Rate”, which diminishes with each battle and regenerates at a rate of 25% every 24 hours
- Whether the win is part of a win streak
- … and various other factors.
The SPS earning rate starts relatively low, but increases as you win battles and your rank increases. This adds an element of excitement and competitiveness to each battle because every showdown matters.
Players can also earn SPS through staking, with the amount of the earnings being proportional to the player’s share of the staking pool.
DEC can be earned by renting out cards to other players when they’re not in use. This provides an avenue to earn passive income from digital assets to complement battle income.
As per the illustration below from the game’s website, Splinterlands truly democratises earning through gameplay – providing anyone, anywhere the ability to earn income at any time.
To play the game, players first make a one-off payment to obtain the Summoner’s Spellbook. This gives them access to the Splinterlands ecosystem where they can choose a Summoner that will help them battle their monsters against their opponents.
Each NFT-based playing card represents a monster with its own unique stats and abilities. These include strength, attack damage, speed, and health. The abilities determine the chance of success in battle, controlling how much mana must be used, what order the monsters attack in, the chance of dodging an incoming attack and how much damage each monster can take. All these abilities feed into the strategies that players can use to maximise their chances of success.
Players can customise their decks and playing strategies based on the cards they own. As mentioned above, players can also rent other people’s cards or lease out their own when they’re not using them. Renting cards provides a great option to round out the makeup of your deck as you fine tune your battle strategies. And leasing cards to other players provides the option to earn passive income from your digital assets.
The strategic elements of the game make it easy to play but hard to master. This makes for engaging and addictive gameplay, leading to a rewarding game with great long term playability. Once players become skilled and begin entering and winning tournaments, the game can be very lucrative.
“Entertainment value has always been front and center with Splinterlands. Along with creating an engaging experience for the community, Splinterlands has also pushed for a seamless on ramp experience, which we have deemed “frictionless crypto.” This is the idea that new members can make and account and be playing seamlessly, within minutes, with no prior blockchain experience. Web3 can be an intimidating space to jump into and with the steps that we are taking, we hope to make it more accessible to a larger aggregate of people.”
– Liam Labistour, Director of Growth, Splinterlands
The team behind Splinterlands has a robust roadmap ahead, with plans to continue expanding the Splinterlands gameplay and ecosystem. These include land expansion, battles 2.0 (a visual revamp of the game) and non-card markets that allow people to sell non-card NFTs in the Splinterlands website store.
Based on the success of Splinterfest 2022, the community is certainly keen to see a Splinterfest 2023 event launched. In the meantime, weekly town halls are held every Monday on the project’s Discord channel.
Splinterlands is a prime example of a web3 game geared towards exciting gameplay, strong customisation options and complex strategies. Best of all, the large number of daily players and the health of the community and marketplace make for great earning potential to reward the game’s participants.