Despite market volatility, leading play-to-earn (P2E) blockchain games have built communities of players who log on every day to make money playing video games.
Read on to learn about the top play-to-earn games on Ethereum (ETH) by the number of users.
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum was launched in 2015 to improve upon the design and function of the original Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain. It established itself as a distributed computing platform that executes smart contracts, which enable parties to transact with each other without the need for a central authority.
All the transaction records carried out on Ethereum are verifiable, securely distributed across the network, and immutable, making the network safe and transparent for users. Furthermore, the network allows developers to build decentralized applications (dapps), made possible by the network’s scripting language known as Solidity and by the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
The first dapps, including play-to-earn games, were built on the Ethereum network. Today, Ethereum boasts the largest number of dapps and blockchain games among all blockchain networks.
Top Ethereum games
Below, you will find the leading play-to-earn games on Ethereum measured by the number of users in the 30 days leading up to the time of writing (note that the data may have changed between then and the time of the publishing).
It may be a surprise for some that the likes of popular P2E games, such as Decentraland, Axie Infinity, and The Sandbox are not on the list. In the past month, they were not as popular as some of the newer games that have moved up the rankings.
Mirandus is a Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game set in a player-owned universe. Player-owned means that a participant in the game is able to buy resources such as land, ships, or docks all represented as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and build on or earn from them.
During gameplay, each player is represented by avatars that go on missions to fight against evil characters in the game. These avatars are known as Exemplars and can be purchased in the game’s marketplace. Exemplars come in different forms, and with different functions and varied capabilities. They include elves, dwarfs, orcs, humans, and more, all of which are represented as NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain.
As you continue playing the game, you can earn the game’s tokens and take part in its economy. The main token in the Mirandus economy, utilized for transactions within the Gala ecosystem, is GALA, which is currently used in various games created by the gaming company called Gala Games, which owns Miranda. On Mirandus, you can use GALA to purchase Exemplars, land, weapons, and any resource you may require.
Another token used for in-game purchases in Mirandus is Materium. To earn Materium, you need to have an Exemplar. The more Exemplars you own, the more Materium you earn. You can also get and collect more Materium during each mission you send your Exemplar(s) on.
Over the previous month leading to the time of writing, Mirandus had a total of 4,410 players.
Benji Bananas is a game that existed before games started being built on the blockchain. However, with the recent developments, the Benji Banana’s creator, Animoca Brands, is evolving the popular game into a play-to-earn game.
In the game, players use the main character, Benji to jump from vine to vine and collect bananas, trying not to fall or be hurt by obstacles.
As part of the transition into a P2E game on the Ethereum blockchain, current Benji Bananas players will be required to purchase ‘Benji Passes’. These passes are NFTs that would allow players to earn PRIMATE tokens, which can then be exchanged for ApeCoins (APE).
ApeCoin’s ERC-20 governance and utility tokens are built on the Ethereum network and have been made famous due to its association with the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), one of the biggest NFT collection communities currently in the market.
For players of Benji Bananas, swinging from one vine to another while collecting rewards carries the promise of earning ApeCoin which can then be used in real life.
Benji Bananas had 1,280 players in the previous month at the time of writing.
In Illuvium, players explore the fantasy, alien world of Illuvium, a distant planet on which their spaceship crashed.
The gameplay involves taking up the role of an explorer who goes on quests and fights against monsters and other players. At the same time, you recruit or capture Illuvials, the original inhabitants of Illuvium, and use them to grow your army.
The Illuvials are mythical-like creatures represented by NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. They have varying rarities, with the rarest being of the highest value. You can also merge three or more Illuvials to create new and rarer versions of the creatures.
The native token of the game is ILV, which you can earn through contests, tournaments, and by completing quests.
In the previous month, there were a total of 865 players on Illivium.
Save MoonCats from the Moon and help bring them to the Ethereum blockchain. That is the main objective of the MoonCatRescue game, which was launched in 2017.
Initially, collectors of the MoonCat characters received the characters for free from the MoonCat website. They were only required to pay for gas fees and they wouldn’t know which MoonCat they would receive as they were randomly generated. However, the players paid USD 600,000 in fees on that day alone due to the excitement of ‘rescuing’ the MoonCats.
Famed as one of the first NFT collections on Ethereum, the MoonCats are currently available on the OpenSea NFT marketplace and the game’s website, where the available MoonCats can be bought and sold in exchange for ETH.
There were 849 MoonCatRescue players in the previous month at the time of writing.
NFT Worlds brings a ‘multi-metaverse’ and crypto experience to Minecraft through 10,000 3D voxel-based, limitless worlds. This is possible because the project was built on third-party Minecraft servers with Polygon (MATIC), an Ethereum-compatible chain.
The virtual world allows Minecraft players to own virtual land by buying it off OpenSea, building on it, and earning passive income in the form of the game’s native token WRLD. This is being supported by plans to make it possible for players to ‘port’ between different worlds/spaces, which would be a lucrative thing for those who have developed their NFT Worlds well. In this way, NFT Worlds helps to bring a virtual economy to the classic Minecraft game.
At the time of writing, NFT Worlds had a total of 840 players in the previous month.