Splinterlands has been the most popular play-to-earn game in 2021, consistently getting over 300,000 active players daily according to DappRadar. Unlike many others, it is easy to join and requires very little investment for those that want to become dedicated to playing and earning consistently.
What Is Splinterlands? #
Splinterlands is a card trading game similar to Magic the Gathering or Hearthstone but with slightly different battle mechanics. Instead of actively participating in every turn, players set up their team before the battle begins and only watch the outcome after the match starts.
Rather than being proactive, Splinterlands requires players to strategize based on their opponents match history. Some elements will counter others, so players are always required to adapt their play style and come up with different strategies for different elements and summoners.
A detailed gameplay guide can be found on the Splinterlands wiki page.
Creating An Account #
Splinterlands runs on top of the Hive blockchain and there are two ways of joining the game. One way allows for an account creation via email with various limitations for in-game actions while the other includes creating a Hive account that you can then use for any game or dapp on that blockchain, including Splinterlands.
Email account creation is fairly simple and no different than any other online game. Go to splinterlands.com and click on the “Play Now” button.
From there select “Create account” and follow the instructions.
The account creation process will require you to provide a working email and set up a password for your account. When you are done with the process you will be greeted with a message explaining that your username is temporary, and rewards are disabled until you purchase a Spellbook. To acquire one, you will need $10 in crypto and once you purchase it you will be able to complete daily quests and earn season rewards.
Basically, if you don’t own a Spellbook you will be able to play but not to earn.
Creating a Splinterlands account through Hive is always better if you are planning to commit to the game. A Hive account could be compared to an ETH address that allows you to interact with every dapp on the ETH network.
With a Hive account you can play Splinterlands and many other games with the same username which removes the need to create a new one for every new game that gets launched on Hive.
The easiest way to get a Hive account is through BlockTrades. An email registration for Block Trades is required so be sure to create one before using this service.
Once you have created a BlockTrades account go to the Hive account creation tab and follow the steps provided on the page.
Select your desired Hive username, save the password that you are provided with, repeat it in step 2 and finally save everything by downloading the backup.
The fourth and final step will require a payment of about $10 in your desired crypto currency.
Dogecoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin, Monero and many others are accepted. This payment is for covering the processing fees but also for providing your account with some Hive power that is needed for participation in the network.
Get the deposit address, send the funds and your transaction should show up in the “processing” tab shortly.
When the whole process is complete you will get all of the required keys and passwords for your new account. To easily manage it users can use Keychain which serves as a Metamask wallet extension for the Hive blockchain.
With it you will be able to log in and out every dapp and game on the Hive blockchain with no need of creating a new account ever again.
It is worth mentioning that even with a Hive account you will still need to purchase a Spellbook before you can start earning with Splinterlands.
Playing The Game #
Once you have your account ready to go the Splinterlands interface will be filled with opportunities to earn cards and in-game currencies.
The Shop is used for purchasing the Spellbook and new packs once a new expansion becomes available for sale. Occasionally the shop will contain skins, special offers and other features.
In the “Open” tab users can open their unopened packs and add potions of their choice before the opening. Splinterlands has alchemy and legendary potions that increase your chance of winning a gold or legendary card.
Card Market and Card Inventory are useful for battle preparations. Cards can be rented and sold in Splinterlands so new players can use the best cards in the game as long as they can pay the daily rental price. Opening the inventory will give you access to all playable and owned cards.
Battle and Events tabs can be used for ranked play, normal play or even participating in online events that can range from Bronze-only tournaments to events that have $10k+ prize pools daily. The more powerful your card power is, the higher your rank can be.
Guilds are also available. Joining a guild makes the beginner experience easier because you can interact with other players and ask for advice. Guilds also offer access to exclusive events and tournaments.
In-Game Economy #
Every player can complete two daily quests every 24 hours. These quest rewards can contain cards, potions, credits or in-game currency.
The main currencies in Splinterlands are DEC, which users earn by winning ranked games, and SPS which is used for in-game purchases and staking. Game credits are also considered as a currency and they can be purchased via PayPal or Crypto.
Seasons last for two weeks of 15 days and when they end your ranked position will determine your season rewards. Bronze 3 will reward you with 5 chests, Bronze 2 with 7 and so on. The higher your rank the better the rewards.
Cards are owned by the players and can be rented out if you don’t want to sell them right away.
Rented cards count toward the total card power so even if you rent cards for a day you will be able to reach higher ranks, if you are able to beat your opponents along the way.
Splinterlands does fall in the play-to-earn game category but players will need to invest a few dollars before they actually start earning. That is why every new player should get familiar with the game first and if they like the concept they may consider dropping a few dollars into the game.
Season rewards can be very profitable for those that manage to reach higher ranks. Any cards or currency acquired at the end of the season can be exchanged for crypto at any given moment.
Those that are looking to monetize their gaming experience should definitely give Splinterlands a try and see why it is the most played blockchain game in 2021.