Pay To Play Vs. Play To Earn: What Are They?

Delving a bit into their differences, pay-to-play games typically require upfront payment to play. Major gaming technology behemoths such as PlayStation and Xbox are particularly fond of the model and currently employ it on their PlayStation Plus and Xbox Game Pass platforms. Their services are subscription-based and allow users to access exclusives along with unique gaming features and in-game rewards. While this model has worked well for mainstream tech giants, the crypto world has embraced the alternative play-to-earn model.

Conversely, Play-to-earn is a relatively new concept that incentivizes players to spend more time in a game by rewarding their efforts with tokens. Play-to-earn metaverse cryptocurrency games are particularly popular today. They are underpinned by the blockchain and rely on NFT technology to reward players. Earned tokens can be converted into fiat, while awarded or bought NFTs can be sold on marketplaces.

Is It Possible to Make Money While Playing Crypto Play-to-Earn Games?

A significant number of players who regularly play crypto play-to-earn games have a common goal: to earn money. Of course, there are numerous ways to go about this, and they range from accumulating digital items that can then be traded on secondary marketplaces to playing against other players in one-on-one battles to win prizes. A substantial number of players also monetize their time by taking advantage of NFT arbitrage opportunities and charging asset “rental” fees.

That said, most play-to-earn games have access caveats that require users to spend money to go beyond certain levels. Some games, for example, require users to buy NFT buildings where they can store items earned from extensive gaming sessions.

Play-to-earn games are in vogue right now. Among the most popular are the Alien Worlds. The metaverse game has over 700,000 active players and is built atop the WAX blockchain. The game allows players to earn rewards by mining Trillium (TLM) coins using NFT tools.

These high-quality NFT tools help to boost users’ productivity. (Zero investment is required to play the game, and cheap tools cost about $2.) To significantly increase their earnings, players can purchase land and lease it out to other players who wish to mine on it.

Farming Tales is another great play-to-earn game. It involves farming and enables players to earn tokens dubbed “SEST” for their efforts. To start playing, users have to purchase NFTs. The NFTs range from gardens to stables. Prices for different NFTs vary. A vegetable garden, for example, costs about $100. Supplementary items such as a water tower cost approximately half the price of the garden. The game is underpinned by the WAX blockchain and is ideal for idle farming fans.

Other notable play-to-earn games include MicroPets, CryptoBlades, and Splinterlands.


Both the play-to-earn and pay-to-play models have a place in the gaming world. Both offer gaming experiences that are unique to their platforms.

They serve different demographics, with the pay-to-play crowd being more inclined to arcade-type games. On the other hand, play-to-earn platforms attract players that are more GameFi (gaming–finance) inclined.

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