How To Start Playing Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity is not your normal game. It is a blockchain-powered one. Yes, just as blockchains can produce Bitcoin, so do blockchains produce games.
Because both Bitcoin and Axie Infinity run on blockchains, both are tightly tied together. Likewise, blockchain assets can generate wealth in a very short time span if you know what you are doing.
As you can earn tokens by playing Axie Infinity, you can convert them to Bitcoin, fiat currency (USD/EUR), or any number of thousands of altcoins that have high potential to rise. To understand how this all works, it’s better to just start playing and earning tokens. Practice will clear up the fog.
Basic Blockchain Requirements for Axie Infinity
To access blockchain networks, you first need a wallet. Although it is called a wallet, it is not precisely a wallet, as most people have come to understand them. In other words, it doesn’t contain content in either physical or digital form.
What crypto wallets do contain are private keys. With them, you unlock access to an online blockchain network of computers, with the wallet keeping a record of transactions. These networks can either be Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Bitcoin, Solana, Avalanche, Cardano, etc.
In the case of Axie Infinity, it is powered by Ethereum, the largest blockchain network with smart contract capability, which makes blockchain gaming and decentralized banking possible. Here is an overview of such blockchain networks.
Image credit: The Block
As you can see, Ethereum is far above others, with over $115 billion gross total value locked in various smart contracts. The most convenient way to start interacting with Ethereum is to install the MetaMask wallet, which seamlessly integrates with your internet browser.
Follow these steps to do so:
- Go here to install MetaMask.
- It should automatically detect your browser and begin the installation process. Currently, MetaMask supports Chrome, Firefox, Brave, and Edge. Whichever you have, the process is the same. For the purpose of this guide, we’ll assume it’s Chrome.
- Once you click on “Install MetaMask for Chrome,” a new tab will open, leading you to the Chrome web store. Click on “Add to Chrome.”
- Confirm the choice by clicking on “Add extension.”
- Once installed, a new tab will pop up informing you that the wallet is connecting you to Ethereum.
- Once you click on “Get Started,” you will have two choices presented.
The “Import wallet” assumes you have already had a MetaMask wallet installed previously, while the “Create a Wallet” option assumes you are new to the crypto world. Remember when we explained that a crypto wallet is not really a wallet?
These two choices exemplify why. You cannot actually lose a crypto wallet. Instead, you can only lose access to a blockchain network. While that access is represented by a crypto wallet, the access to the crypto wallet itself is represented by a seed phrase or secret recovery phrase. What does this exactly mean?
If your house burns down, along with all the computers in it, you would still have all of your crypto funds intact if you know your seed phrase. In which case, you would just use it to “Import wallet,” i.e., gain access to a blockchain network — which is the access to all your crypto funds.
This is critically important! There are hundreds of cases of people losing millions of dollars by not safeguarding their seed phrases. For instance, Stefan Thomas lost 7,002 bitcoins this way, which are now worth $4.2 billion. With that out of the way, let’s proceed to click on “Create a Wallet.”
- Click on “No Thanks” on the next prompt, asking you to improve MetaMask.
- Given the importance of safeguarding your Secret Recovery Phrase (Seed Phrase), MetaMask has prepared a video for you to watch, but you already know why it is important. Click on “Next.”
- The next screen will show you your 12-word Secret Recovery Phrase, with tips on how to safely store it. Once you have done so, click on “Next.” In the next screen, you will be asked to enter the 12 words in the order they were given.
- If you have correctly entered the 12 words in the correct order, you have successfully created your MetaMask wallet. Click on “All done.”
Now, when you go to thousands of dApps available on Ethereum, you will be able to connect to them with your MetaMask. For instance, if you go to a decentralized exchange Uniswap, you will see this in the upper-right corner.
Installing Axie Infinity
However, because Axie Infinity is a blockchain game with some weight, you will have to complete an additional step. Go to axieinfinity.com and click on “Play Now” in the upper-right corner. A new screen will pop up, downloading the Mavis Hub file, at around 49 MB.
It is a zip file, so you will first have to extract it once it is downloaded.
Once extracted, click on mavis_hub_setup.exe to launch the Hub.
Once launched, you will have to create a Mavis Hub account by creating a Ronin Wallet.
First, install Axie Infinity’s official wallet — Ronin Wallet, the same way you have installed MetaMask. Once you have gone through the entire process of setting up your password and seed phrase, go back to the Axie Infinity Marketplace login page.
Then, click on “Login with Ronin Wallet.”
After having signed the signature request, you will be asked to name your Axie Infinity account. Now comes the critical part. You are officially within the Axie Infinity Marketplace ecosystem!
In order to even start playing Axie Infinity, you will have to buy three Axies. After all, each tactical battle involves three Axies against a group of enemies as they run their turns.
As this is a blockchain game, each Axie, the ingame beast, is also an NFT — non-fungible token — which can be bought and sold on Axie Infinity Marketplace. In order to make such trades, you need funds!
Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency is ETH, which you will have to deposit in your MetaMask wallet first. Then, after you have the funds in your MetaMask wallet, you will be able to convert those ETH to WETH.
The “W” stands for “Wrapped.” For instance, WBTC is Wrapped Bitcoin. Because Bitcoin blockchain is its own network, there needs to be a bridging token between the two blockchains. Tokens with “W” represent that bridging, always equal to the value of the original token in a 1:1 ratio. This is also how stablecoins work. For example, 1 USD is equal to 1 USDT or 1 DAI. Therefore, Wrapped tokens are to cryptocurrencies what stablecoins are to fiat currencies.
Likewise, 1 WETH equals 1 ETH.
Now, once you have ETH in your MetaMask wallet, let’s say 0.034 ETH (about $150), you will be able to transfer those funds into the Axie Infinity marketplace to buy Axie NFTs.
This is the entire purpose of setting up two wallets. Ronin Wallet is for Axie Infinity NFT Marketplace, and MetaMask is a generalist wallet for the entire ecosystem of blockchains.
Unfortunately, Axies have become quite expensive since the game exploded in popularity, so you will need at least 0.0916 ETH (about $400) to purchase three Axies. If you play the game for a month, this should pay itself off.
Accordingly, to buy Axies, click “Deposit to Ronin” within the Marketplace tab.
Because you already have MetaMask installed, it will seamlessly start connecting. Just confirm it with “Next” and “Connect.” This will open up the Ronin Bridge tab. But before that, copy your Ronin Wallet address by clicking on the upper right balance of your account, within your Axie Infinity Marketplace Dashboard.
When you click on it, your Ronin address will be copied to the clipboard. Now, head over to the Ronin Bridge tab and paste the address you just copied.
Enter the sum available in your MetaMask wallet, and that’s it!
The ETH will be automatically converted into WETH, and you will be able to buy Axie NFTs currently present in the marketplace. Once you have those Axies in possession, you can start your Axie Infinity gaming journey here. Although the initial investment is steep, you will soon see that it more than pays off.
Many gamers are already using Axie Infinity as their source of income. Thankfully, Axie Infinity is fun to play, so it combines the best from both worlds!