- Ethereum Required
- Metamask Required
Axie Infinity (AI) is an Ethereum-based game that features NFT collectibles and a play to earn economy.
It was originally a browser-based idle game. But the developer made a major revamp on December 19, 2019 that turned it into an active, turn-based RPG with collectible trading card and monster breeding components.
This article will go over the basic gameplay mechanics of Axie Infinity. We’ll explain axie traits and parts, stats, battles, adventures, love potions, breeding, and more.
We’ll also explain how to get started playing. And we’ll state our opinion of the game after having spent several hours playing it.
Axie Infinity gameplay
Here is a list of the major gameplay features of Axie Infinity.
Cards, decks, and axies
Like other collectible trading card games, Axie Infinity requires each player to build his own deck. However, AI puts a new twist on the idea by making each deck a product of a team of monsters controlled by the player.
Here is how decks are built in Axie Infinity.
Each player builds a collection of “axies,” NFT-backed creatures that can be bred and traded. Out of this collection, the player assembles a team of three axies to use in the current fight.
Each axie on the team contributes 2 individual copies apiece of four different cards, for a total of 8 cards contributed by each axie. Since there are 3 axies to a team, this means that each deck has a total of 24 cards.
The developer has stated that players may also add item cards to their decks. We did not find any of these in our testing. But if they exist, they should increase the size of a player’s deck above 24.
The cards that an axie contributes are determined by its parts, which are in turn determined by its genetics. Thus, in order for a player to build a competitive deck, he needs to breed or collect axies with the correct genetic traits.
A player can breed two axies with each other to produce a new, unique axie. The new axie will share some of the traits of its parents, including the cards these parents contribute to battle.
Axie genetics works similarly to living things in the real world. Some traits are dominant, while others are recessive.
An axie can only be bred a maximum of 7 times. And each time it is bred, some of the player’s small love potions are consumed. The number of small love potions required increases based on the number of times the axie has already been bred.
Small love potions (SLP)
Players can earn small love potions (SLP) by defeating enemies in PvE Adventure Mode or other players in PvP Arena.
SLP is an ERC-20 token. It is burned every time a player breeds two axies with each other.
If a player has small love potions but doesn’t want to breed his axies, he can sell his potions to other players for ETH, 0xBTC, and many other cryptocurrencies via the decentralized Uniswap Exchange.
Axie base stats
In addition to contributing cards to a deck, axies also possess base stats that aid them in battle. These stats consist of Health, Morale, Skill, and Speed.
Health: When health goes to zero, the axie “dies” or is incapacitated until the end of battle.
Morale: The higher morale is, the greater the chance for a critical strike.
Skill: Skill increases damage when an axie plays more than one card in a turn.
Speed: The higher the speed, the sooner the axie acts within a turn.
Axie parts, classes, and stat bonuses
Axies have body parts that give them stat bonuses.
Each axie has four body parts: horn, mouth, back, and tail. And each body part is a member of a class. There are six classes in total: plant, aqua, reptile, beast, bug, and bird.
Here is the list of bonuses each part class provides:
Beast: +3 morale, +1 speed
Bug: +3 morale, +1 health,
Reptile: +3 health, +1 speed
Bird: +1 morale, +3 speed
Aqua: + 3 health, +3 speed
Plant: +1 morale, + 3 health
In addition to these stat bonuses, some part classes give additional benefits to the axie when it is fighting against opponents with an opposite part class. For example, beast and bug parts will cause an axie to do 20% more damage against an opponent that has reptile or plant parts.
Axie Infinity battles
Here is how combat works in Axie Infinity.
In this description, we’ll assume that two human players are competing against each other in the arena. But the process of completing matches in PvE Adventure Mode is almost identical to this one. The only difference is that one of the competitors in Adventure Mode is computer-controlled.
Start of match
At the beginning of the match, each player draws 6 cards and gains 3 energy.
As soon as the players finish drawing cards, the command phase begins. In this phase, players can play cards from their hands.
Each card has an energy cost in the upper-left corner. Playing the card consumes this much energy.
If a player doesn’t want to play any cards, he can pass the turn and save his energy.
There is no “mana burn” in Axie Infinity. Players can save up energy to be used in later turns. However, some opponents may possess abilities that allow them to steal this energy.
The player’s energy is shown in the lower-left.
The command phase ends when both players click end turn or when 60 seconds have elapsed.
In the battle phase, axies use card abilities to damage their opponents and/or shield themselves from attack.
Each card has an attack value shown on the left side. This is the amount of damage the card will do.
Below this is the shield value of the card. This is the amount of damage the card will absorb if the axie is attacked while using it.
Some cards also have special effects that occur when they are used.
Each axie will attack its closest opponent unless an ability states that it will attack a different one.
The battle phase ends when all axies have finished using the cards that have been played.
When the battle phase of the previous turn ends, the draw phase of the new turn begins. During the draw phase of the second and every subsequent turn, each player draws 3 cards and gains 2 energy.
Winning the battle
When an axie takes damage, its health declines. When its health goes to zero, it “dies.” This means that it is out of commission for the rest of the match.
When all three of the team’s axies have been killed, the battle is over. The team that still has at least one axie is the winner.
When a player wins a match, he receives small love potions as a reward. When a computer-controlled opponent wins a match, no rewards are issued.
Axie Infinity Strategy
Axie Infinity is a complex game with many possible winning strategies. But to make the game new-player friendly, the developer has released some basic tips to help players improve.
Here are a few techniques new players can use to help them get early wins.
- Place a “tank” axie on the front position of your side of the board. A “tank” axie is one that has 50 or more health and at least 2 cards with 70 or more shield.
- Place “damage-dealing” axies on two other positions. A “damage-dealing” axie is one that has at least 2 cards of 100 attack or higher.
- Plant, aquatic, and reptile cards are often the best for tanks to use.
- Cards that allow an axie to heal himself are also effective for a tank.
- Bird and beast cards are often the best for damage-dealing axies.
- Speed, skill, and morale are all important stats for damage-dealing axies, but health is not as important as these others.
Getting Started With Axie Infinity
If you’re interested in playing Axie Infinity, here are the steps to installing and playing the game.
Installing Axie Infinity
Open a browser and navigate to https://axieinfinity.com/community-alpha, or just click community alpha from the Axie Infinity homepage.
Click log in using metamask.
Enter your email address and a password into the form, and submit it.
Click the link within the verification email.
Once you click the link within the email, you will receive a connection request via Metamask.
Go back to the community alpha page and click sign in using metamask again.
Sign in with Metamask just as you did before.
You are now logged in and can download the alpha.
Click the button for your operating system. The Axie Infinity Community Alpha is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
If you’re installing on a PC, the app comes as a zipped file folder. Extract it into a new subfolder inside of a folder that you will remember.
Within the extracted folder, you should see a new subfolder called Axie Production or something like that.
From within this subfolder, click Axie Game to start the app.
You’ll see a screen where you can set your graphics resolution. Click play, enter your username and password, and click sign in. The main menu will open.
Once you have axies in your collection, you’ll be able to play the game from this menu. But for now, you’ll need to go back to the Axie Infinity website to purchase your first axie.
Axies can be purchased from other players using the official marketplace.
When the game first started, generation 0 axies were sold by the developer. But these sold out long ago. Luckily, there are still many inexpensive axies available from other players.
By default, axies are listed in the marketplace from lowest to highest price.
The lowest priced axies are currently around 0.0174 to 0.019 ETH (US$2.85 to $3.11). You’ll need three of them to form a team.
Select the axie you want to buy. This will open its information page. Click buy now.
Metamask will popup and ask you to confirm the transaction.
Your transaction should confirm soon.
Once it is confirmed, you can see your collection of axies by clicking on the axies icon from within the app.
Assembling a team
To assemble a team, click the teams icon from within the app.
Push the new teams button in the upper-right corner. The new team selection screen will load.
Enter a team name in the upper-left, and push one of the + signs to the right of it. Your axie collection will be displayed.
Choose your tank axie, and click the front spot on the grid to place him there.
Repeat these steps for the two damage-dealing axies that will round out your team.
Click save team to finish.
Playing axie infinity
To play a match, click either adventure for PvE or arena for PvP.
Adventure mode seems to be much easier for beginners. But you may want to try PvP once you’ve bred some axies that have good card combos.
Axie Infinity Review
When we first encountered Axie Infinity almost a year ago, we found its combat system to be more complex than other blockchain games we had tried. We referred to this as a “final fantasy tactics” approach to the monster breeding genre. And we saw this as a plus.
On the other hand, Axie Infinity was still a basic browser game with limited graphics. And the gameplay required no active participation from the player. Instead, players were only required to send their axies into battle with repeatable moves that were set up in advance.
Still, most blockchain games at the time were browser-based and did not require active play. So we didn’t criticize Axie Infinity on this point.
But the developer had also released almost no information on game strategy. As a result, we found the game to be very difficult to learn.
Since that time, the developer has completely revamped Axie Infinity and greatly improved it.
The new version of the game runs on a standalone app. Not only does this allow for more smooth gameplay, it also lets players enjoy AI on their mobile devices. This is a huge benefit that the game’s competitors seem to have overlooked.
The new version also requires active participation from players, making it more entertaining in general.
In addition, the developers have provided advice to new players on basic gameplay strategy. This has made the game much more accessible than it was when we first played it.
With these new additions, we’ve found Axie Infinity to be one of the best monster breeding games we’ve encountered.
Having stated that many players will enjoy this game, we should also warn that some players may still find it too simple for their tastes. Although AI is far more sophisticated than other monster breeding games, it is still not up to par with what is expected by traditional CCG players.
So if you are looking specifically for a blockchain-backed collectible trading card game, you may want to consider Gods Unchained, Splinterlands, or other games in that genre. Axie Infinity is more aimed at casual players of monster breeding and mobile games rather than hardcore players of CCGs.
Aside from this caveat, we think many players will find Axie Infinity to be an excellent game.