With the ongoing pandemic, people try to keep themselves busy by playing games on top of the usual work grind and house chores. There are games that let you relax while letting you earn money in the process. Yes, you read that right: we are not talking about your typical free-to-play or pay-to-win kind of game, but one that follows a play-to-earn model. This is essentially why Axie Infinity has become very popular with Filipinos, with over 150,000 users actively playing it. But before you get excited with your Axie Infinity journey in the Philippines, we prepared an in-depth guide to understand the whole game–including the complexities that a lot of people may not understand.
What is Axie Infinity?
It is a video game made by Vietnamese studio Sky Mavis that makes use of Pokemon-like monsters (called Axies) to engage in battles or through breeding and earn Ethereum-based cryptocurrencies–in the form of SLP (Smooth Love Potion) and AXS (Axie Infinity Shards) in the process.
Because of the game’s cryptocurrency nature, each Axie is an NFT (Non-Fungible Token) that has varying market values depending on several variables–the skills it has, its breed, and its aesthetics are among some of the key factors in determining an Axie’s value.
*If you want to know what NFTs are, we wrote an explainer in this article.
There are different ways one can play Axie. One is through breeding Axies and selling them in the marketplace, and the other is by doing quests and engaging in PvP battles against other users. The latter involves putting your raised Axies to the test.
What do you need before starting your journey?
What we found while making this Axie Infinity Guide for the Philippines is that unlike your typical game where you just make an account and start your journey, you will need several things before you get started with Axie. Since cryptocurrency is involved, you will need to have two Crypto wallets: one for storing Etherium, and another storing Axie-related currencies. There’s plenty of choices for the former, though for the latter you’d want to use Ronin Wallet.
Ronin Wallet is a Chrome extension, which means you’ll also need a Chrome web browser to start things off. Playing the game can be either through a PC or any Android device–and this is where things get interesting.
Unlike other cryptocurrencies where you will need a powerful GPU (ie. Bitcoin) or a large and fast SSD (ie. Chia) to mine, Axie does is not heavy on hardware resources. This is exactly why it is accessible to most Filipinos: even those with budget phones or tablets can use their device to play Axie Infinity.
There’s a slight hitch though when it comes to converting currencies that you’ll need to play the game, specifically, the time involved. The conversion time from ETH to SLP will vary on a daily basis. Based on the experience of most Axie players I’ve talked to for this explainer, it can range from a few minutes to several hours depending on the server traffic. Usually, server traffic is very high every 15th and 30th day of the month because these are the days when Managers pay Scholars–more on that later.
Once your digital wallet is loaded with the needed Etherium, you will need to buy at least 3 Axies (specifically two attacker Axies and a defender Axie) from the Axie Market to officially form an Axie team.
After dealing with those prerequisites, that is the only time when you can go ahead and download Axie Infinity and create your account to start your journey.
How much does it cost to start playing Axie?
If you are going to start playing Axie Infinity, the initial cost is very, very expensive. A colleague of mine, who started playing Axie at a time when the initial investment was around Php 25,000, shared that current prices for a new player to start their Axie journey as of press time is upwards of Php 70,000. Specifically, a team of a 4/7 breed count of Axies will net you around Php 85,000. That’s more than triple in its initial value, making it intimidating for aspiring users to play Axie.
This is where the Manager and Scholar roles play an important factor in understanding Axie. Managers are those who have multiple Axie teams but do not have the time to manage all of them, while Scholars are those who offer their services to manage Axies. The idea with the Manager-Scholar relationship is that the former “rents” their Axies to the latter, while the latter plays them to earn SLPs.
The normal arrangement between Managers and Scholars is a 60/40 revenue from the token wons during battles, and the contract between the two may vary depending on what is agreed upon.
Why is it popular especially in the Philippines?
The short answer is simple: it is a platform where you can earn money while playing a game.
The long answer? It is a complex game where players can opt for different roles–manager (one that curates a number of Axies), scholar (one that “plays” an Axie of several Axies of a manager), breeder (one that breeds Axies and sells them) for them to earn.
Aside from the joy of breeding, Axie Infinity does provide an opportunity for the common Filipino to understand the workings of the crypto economy while playing at the same time–even if they choose the Scholar role due to the exorbitant prices of Axies as of this writing.
Media outlets have covered several success stories involving Axie scholars. With the income scholars earn from playing Axie, they manage to buy various items from baby essentials like milk and diapers to even several houses for their families.
How do you raise Axies?
Being best described as a fusion between Pokemon and Hearthstone, there are many variables involved on every Axie. In a nutshell, a defender Axie is divided into Plant, Aquatic, or Reptile, while an attacker Axie is divided into Beast, Reptile, and Bug.
Every Axie can have 4 abilities out of the 130 abilities currently available in the game. There are many ways one would desire to build their Axie–it all boils down to their intended build and purpose for that Axie.
Aside from “building” an Axie, one can also breed them. This involves two Axies, a certain amount of SLPs and AXS tokens, and time. Like with anything that deals with breeding, the resulting offspring may vary depending on the genetics of the two Axie parents.
For this current Axie Infinity Guide for the Philippines that we did, we found that the game limits you to just 150 SLPs per day. Earning this crucial currency can be done in three ways: through Daily Quests, through adventures (PVE), and through the Arena (PVP).
One can earn up to 50 SLPs with daily quests, which comprises of 1) doing the daily check-in, 2) completing 10 adventure mode levels, and 3) winning 5 arena matches. The other 100 SLP is earned through Adventure mode, where a higher level means that you can earn more SLP in the process.
All of your accumulated SLPs can be claimed every 14 days, hence, the “pay out”. Once users claim their SLPs, they can use them for either breeding Axies or converting them to Etherium and utilize them as real-life money.
What are its limitations?
As much as the idea of breeding Axies and earning SLPs is fun, Axie Infinity currently has set parameters that limit the things you can do or earn. For breeding, each Axie can only be bred up to 7 times, with each breeding being more expensive until you reached the Axie’s 7th breeding. Breeding takes around 3-5 days depending on the Axie being bred, and the whole process consumes SLPs and physical money.
As for SLPs, we mentioned previously that one can only get up to 150 SLPs per day, and that you can only claim SLPs once every two weeks or every 14 days. AXS tokens, on the other hand, are earned by selling Axies in the marketplace or as a reward when you progress through the game.
Being a game that is getting a bigger player base by the day, take note that while making this Axie Infinity guide for the Philippines, we did notice that Axie’s servers do run into issues once in a while. These issues can cause players to either fail to log in properly to their accounts to being banned accidentally. It is a constant issue that Sky Mavis acknowledges in their social media channels, and they do make an effort to improve their servers to accommodate everyone globally.
Want to go deeper in your Axie Infinity journey? Check out our comprehensive Axie Philippines cash-in and cash-out guide here.