How to Build NFT-Based "Play-To-Earn" Games Using Unity Engine?

July 19, 2023 11 min read
nft based p2e games with unity engine

Web 3.0 is not "just another generation of the Internet" for the gaming industry. It is a tectonic shift that empowers the users by giving them complete control through technologies such as Blockchain. The Play-to-Earn model will gain maximum traction, security and popularity with web 3.0 because now players can earn through Bitcoins and connect through the underlying Blockchain security. 

  • The P2E market is huge and commanding. It is estimated to reach $3618.4 million by 2028. 
  • The biggest reason for the excellent opportunities is because P2E targets developed countries such as the USA, France, Italy, Russia, Germany, Canada, India and Japan.  
  • With top players like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft offering advantageous games using high-quality 3D visuals, they are changing how people perceive video games.
  • There are excellent business opportunities, including trading cards, Metaverse and role-playing games for the creators in the Play-to-earn world. 

If these numbers and opportunities have made you want to dive right into creating a P2E model for your game idea, you must read this blog. 

Here, we will take you through the following:

  • The top NFT-based P2E games
  • The top 5 steps to building an NFT-based P2E game
  • Challenges in developing P2E NFT game development
  • Blockchains you can use to develop these games.

Top NFT-based Play-to-earn Games in the Market (UPCOMING GAMES)

Check out these incredible NFT-based P2E games that own the gaming world. 

upcoming nft based play to earn games in the market

1. The Sandbox

This game has become the talk of the town. It offers unique and interconnected experiences to gamers. 

In this game, the player is given land plots that vary in size. They can use the visual game builder and create things on the plot and particle effects. They need to use the plot to create the space of their dreams. This game belongs to the Metaverse genre and uses the Ethereum Blockchain. 

2. Gods Unchained

This card game uses Blockchain, rather NFT, for monetization. The game involves two players that battle against each other to reduce the other's strength. The person who brings the opponent's strength to zero is considered the winner. It is built on the Ethereum network and is a collectable genre card game. 

3. Splintersland

This card game is gaining a lot of attention from gamers. In this game, players can use their cards to create a combat lineup in sync with the rules of the match. Once you have declared the teams using the cards, they will battle it. One team has to lose for the other to win the game. It was earlier developed using Steem Blockchain. Currently, it is available on Hive Blockchain. You can also use the Ethereum tokens to trade in this P2E game.

4. Battle of Guardians

This is a multi-player, real-time advanced fighting game where two players battle over the Solana Blockchain network. You can win the tokens on the NFT-based gaming platform when you continuously beat the opponent at their game. It is a complete SciFi game where multiple realms are involved. The game has been developed for multiple platforms. 

5. Decentraland

In this game, players can create a virtual world using the available materials in the MetaVerse. Akin to Sandbox, in this game, too, the player is expected to buy and sell land. The game uses MANA tokens as currency. It is developed using the Ethereum blockchain. 

6. Legacy

This is a horse racing game that uses a simple gaming model. It is developed using the Polygon Blockchain. The gamers can trade using the PGX token in this game. You will need to race, breed or rent your own horses to earn money in this game. 

7. Aliens World

This is another SciFi adventure that uses the P2E monetization model. In this game, the player will use the aliens they find to mine and find different items. They need to capture aliens or trade them for tokens. TLM tokens are used for trading the NFT aliens in this game. 

8. Axie Infinity

In this game, gamers have to collect the collectables known as Axis. They are fantasy creatures that earn you rewards. You can swap the SLP (Smooth Love Potion) tokens for Ethereum tokens on top exchanges like Binance and UniSwap. 

7 Steps to Build NFT-based P2E (Play-To-Earn) Game

We have seen how top games, either card or fantasy genres, have evolved in the current times. Each game has gained much traction owing to its format and flexibility. If you are willing to commit to an NFT-based P2E game, here are the steps to follow for the perfect launch.

7 Steps to Build NFT-based P2E play to earn Game

Step#1: Define the Concept

You must begin to create an NFTs game by defining the genre, the game type and the concept. For instance, if we take the Aliens world game, it is a SciFi genre, and the game involves capturing and trading NFT alien tokens. Similarly, the basis of winning, trading and playing are defined in a card game. 

  1. What will be traded?
  2. How will users win or lose in the game?
  3. What will happen in the game?

A broad outline of the game is essential for you to create the scope, rules and other definitions of winning/losing. 

A few bags of NFT games involve role-playing, card games and arena/battle games. You can always research the gaming world and identify the different genres and types of games to create a unique concept. 

Step#2:  Planning for the Components

There are three major components to any Blockchain game: NFTs, tokens and smart contracts. You might have to work hard to ensure these three aspects work smoothly. 

1. The NFT:

This digital certificate ensures ownership of the particular digital file (image, document, figurine). If NFTs go up for sale, you cannot have another NFT of a similar type. For example, a signature NFT can be unique, and no one else can duplicate it. You will need to consider the standards ERC721(for copyright, ownership and royalty) and ERC1155 (to reduce network congestion and gas fees during transactions) when planning your NFTs.

2. Crypto Wallets (Tokens for Transaction):

This is an integral part of your NFT gaming. Most players will be transacting using these tokens. Defining the wallet is crucial as it will help you know which tokens will be used for transactions. In the case of Ethereum, both players will need wallets that work on this Blockchain. There are several wallets, and each has its pros and cons. You can consider them before choosing the appropriate one. 

3. Smart Contract:

This is an important part of gaming via NFT. You will create contracts for what happens when player 1 wins and when the second player wins. It will also define how the player will exchange the tokens, NFTs and other gaming assets. 

Step#3: Choosing the Platform

Once you plan the components, you can choose the platform that best fits NFT game development. This includes mobile, gaming consoles and, of course, desktops. Based on your research and findings, you must have curated and created the persona of the ideal user. This will help you plan the platform.

At the same time, it is important for you to choose the Blockchain for your game. The Blockchain network plays a pivotal role in designing the security and planning for data privacy. You might need to compare the networks with their mechanism, transaction speed and deposit time to identify the best-fit Blockchain technology for your game.

Step#4: Design the Game Concept for NFT

You are involving NFT assets, and it is important for every P2E game to ensure the growth of assets. This will help improve the flow of tokens and enhance the revenue through these games. You should define the most valuable items, attach the tokens for the same, and ensure they remain valuable throughout the game. You can create NFC collectables through scarcities and extra currencies. you might need to define every NFT collectable and ensure there are rules around the transaction. 

Step#5: UI/UX Design

Whether you are developing the game for the consoles or mobile, UI/UX should be your priority. It should be easy to use and interactive. Creating a winning and immersive gaming experience can help attain success. To create a successful UI/UX for NFT game development, you should describe the different scenarios. You should create the collectables within the game. Identify when and how the NFTs would be passed and the interaction at that time. Lastly, define the game architecture as the skeleton of creating the ideal design. 

Step#6: Build and Test the Game

Once your design is ready, you should begin developing the P2E game. Ensure you have finely coded the interaction between the front, backend and the crypto wallets for secure transactions. You will, during development, need to integrate the smart contracts you defined during the planning stage. 

  • Enable Unity content in a web browser by selecting WebGL in the Unity engine's main menu
  • This will translate the Unity content to JS programs supported by HTML5 and suitable APIs for streamlined unity game development
  • You can use the Unity game engine to build the game's 2D and 3D versions using the asset store. 
  • Create the web3.0 authentication via Meta Mask

Note: Always begin your Play-to-earn game development on the Unity engine by creating a 2D game. 

Once you have created the game, you should test it in-depth to remove the bugs that might exist.

Make sure to complete smart contract, unit and functional testing before going with beta and alpha testing. 

Step#7: Launch the Game

Once you are satisfied with the response your gaming not platform has garnered, it is time to launch the same. However, only a few people would know of the new game that you have created. It is time to smartly promote your game. You might want to use social media, gaming forums and other channels to ensure more people are aware of the game. 

How do NFT Games Work?

In an NFT-based P2E game, you will need users to purchase the NFT collectables for transactions within the game. These collectables form the premise of the gaming application. 

  1. The first step is to collect the NFTs you will use in the game. There are NFT markets like OpenSea and Rarible where people can purchase NFTs. They will need to see the existing crypto wallets to complete the transaction. 
  2. Register for the game. You will need to create your profile, integrate the crypto wallets and make them capable of transactions.
  3. Start playing the game and transacting using the tokens and collectables. Make sure to read the game rules thoroughly to determine your best defence and game object. 

The Blockchain Used for NFT Game Development

We had discussed how you need to choose the Blockchain for game development during the planning stage. Here are all the Blockchains that you can use for P2E game development. 

  1. Ethereum
  2. Polygon
  3. Binance Smart Chain
  4. Solana
  5. Algorand
  6. Tezos
  7. Cardano
  8. Polkadot

Top 3 Challenges in developing P2E NFT games

1. Repetitive Gameplay

One of the biggest challenges most designers face is ensuring no repetitive gameplay. Most NFT P2E games seem similar to each other. This can lead to boredom if nothing keeps the user engaged. As a designer or game concept developer, you must identify how to differentiate your game from others. You will need to ensure longer game durations for better engagement.

2. High Entry Barriers

You need to purchase tokens to get into the game. This means you will need to invest a lot of money before you can play a Blockchain-based game. That could be considered a barrier as most people won't wish to purchase tokens or invest heavily in new games. 

3. Updates Can Lead to Imbalances

An update in the Metaverse can lead to updated NFT tokens. This means your NFT might be valued slightly lower, or there would be better NFTs in the economy. This can cause imbalance and lead to more issues in designing the game. 


The NFT P2E gaming segment is evolving fast. Many investors are considering this domain for their new concept game development. If you have an excellent concept and believe in having a defined budget for game development, this is the chance to dive straight in.

Make sure to follow the steps mentioned in this blog for streamlined app development. Partnering with the right mobile devices game development company can help in multiple ways. Expert App Devs is an experienced indie game application development company with expertise in Unity game development. If you are looking for a top best end-to-end NFT marketplace development company in the USA, connect with our team via the contact us form. 

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Jignen Pandya-img

Jignen Pandya

Vice President at Expert App Devs

Responsible for creating a sales funnel, attracting top-of-the-funnel customers, and converting the target market.

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