Axie Infinity is one of the most popular games in the NFT space. Gaining popularity for its cute aesthetic, surprisingly deep gameplay, and the ability to “play as you earn,” Axie Infinity has established itself as the poster child of crypto gaming.
Developed by the Mavis team, the game runs on the Ethereum sidechain, Ronin.
In this complete beginners guide, we’ll explain how to get hold of your first team of Axies, understand their abilities, and start earning with a rundown on the game’s basic mechanics.
Axie Infinity is a genre-blending game, taking the best bits of Pokemon and mixing it with the card strategy of games like Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone.
However, unlike those games, Axie Infinity is based on blockchain technology with each Axie existing as a non-fungible token (NFT) that is owned cryptographically in a wallet and can be sold and traded if desired.
Gameplay involves breeding, nurturing, and battling cute monsters named Axies.
During battle, players will play ability cards that may attack an opponent, lower their stats, boost their own team, or hunker down in defense.
Playing the game rewards players with Smooth Love Potion (SLP) which are in-game rewards that can be traded or sold for real-world currencies.
SLP can be earned in 2 ways, comprising the game’s core gameplay loop:
With no timer, this is perhaps the best way for new players to get to grips with the game’s mechanics. In adventure mode, you complete quests, level up your Axies and earn up to 100 SLP a day by doing so.
In arena mode, you pit your team of 3 Axies against another opponent’s own trio. Unlike adventure mode, you are timed and the battles will be more complex, making them a much greater challenge.
Both modes rely on expending 1 “energy” a time, something earned passively through Axie ownership.
In both modes, you’ll need to know which classes are effective against each other and have a grasp of abilities and stats.
Axies are the monster pets that you use to battle with. They each have unique stats that come into play during battles.
Health: the number of hit points your Axie can take before being knocked unconscious.
Speed: this determines the attack order and the likelihood of dodging attacks.
Skill: when multiple cards are used simultaneously, skill increases the combo-bonus damage.
Morale: raises the chance of a critical hit as well as the chance of performing “last stand” moves prior to collapsing.
As well as the stats of an Axie, its body parts also affect the effectiveness in battle, with “purebred” Axies performing the strongest. Purebreds are Axies with all body parts of the same class. They are rarer and more expensive to buy.
Axies have 6 body parts: back, tail, eyes, ears, horn, and mouth.
The back, tail, horn, and mouth are body parts that determine the skill cards available for you to use in battle.
Body parts contribute the following to your Axie’s stats:
- Aquatic: 3 speed + 1 hit point
- Beast: 3 moral + 1 speed
- Bird: 3 speed + 1 hit point
- Bug: 3 moral + 1 hit point
- Plant: 3 hit point + 1 morale
- Reptile: 3 hit points + 1 speed
As can be seen, the type of body parts that makes up your Axie will play a large role in the success of your team.
There are 9 classes of Axie within the game. Each class is weak or strong against the other in varying degrees, this is known as the class advantage.
In combat, the class of an Axie will determine the damage dealt or taken. If an Axie has a class advantage against another, they will deal 15% extra damage. When an Axie has a class disadvantage, they take 15% extra damage.
For example, Aquatic Axies deal an extra 15% damage against Bug Axies but, in turn, are weak against Plant Axies, taking 15% extra damage from them.
On top of this, an Axie playing a card from its own class will gain an additional 10% extra damage.
The abilities of your Axies are represented as cards.
There are a total of 132 ability cards currently in the game, each depending on a different body part that your Axie possesses.
These abilities can be offensive, defensive, or boost and drain the stats of Axies, better known as buffs and debuffs. While the game does rely on elements of luck, knowing when to play these ability cards is where skill comes into play.
The “surprise invasion” attack, for instance, relies on the “cerastes” horn body part, something only 144 Axies have.
Buffs and debuffs are where most of the strategy of Axie Infinity comes into play, allowing players to counter more powerful teams with skillful ability use.
Buffs come in 3 self-explanatory flavors:
- Attack up
- Morale Up
- Speed Up
Debuffs come in 13 varieties and are as follows:
|Attack down||Lowers attack power by 20%|
|Chill||Prevents Axie from entering last stand|
|Fear||Prevent Axie from attacking|
|Fragile||Shield damage is doubled|
|Jinx||Axie prevented form performing critical hits|
|Lethal||Next hit is critical|
|Morale Down||Lowers morale of Axie|
|Poison||Axie loses 2 HP an action until healed|
|Sleep||Next attack dodges shield|
|Speed Down||Lowers speed by 20%|
|Stench||Axie target priority is lost|
|Stun||Axie misses on next turn|
A Good Axie Team
The key to success in playing Axie Infinity and earning SLP is developing a strong team. While a skilled player will do moderately well with any team in adventure mode, to really excel in the PVP arena involves forming a well-balanced team capable of countering other classes and abilities.
With the game still highly active, game-meta is still evolving with players constantly learning how to out strategize each other. Nevertheless, the community’s general wisdom has established three general class lineups that have (so far!) stood the test of time.
With these lineups, a team should be able to counter and press class advantage over the opposition.
Axie Infinity can be played on Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac.
For desktop users, the installer can be obtained from the official website:
For Android users, you’ll need to follow the instructions on the official website, clicking the “play now” button. The app is not currently on the Play Store so will be installed as an “untrusted” app.
iOS users will need to be part of the Apple TestFlight program to currently play Axie on their iPhone.
Of course, knowing how to play Axie Infinity is all well and good but without a team you can’t start earning SLP.
There are 2 ways to get hold of a starter team and begin playing Axie Infinity:
- Buy your own Axies
- Enroll in the scholarship program
To buy your own Axies you’ll need to follow these steps:
i. Create a MetaMask wallet and fund it with ETH.
ii. Create a Ronin wallet and use the Ronin Bridge to transfer your ETH to it.
iii. Visit the Axie Marketplace and use your Ronin wallet to login.
iv. Purchase 3 or more Axies.
The cost of Axies has increased steadily since the game’s launch, making ownership difficult for many players. Instead, some have chosen to enroll in an Axie scholarship program. This is where players will “borrow” a team from owners and share SLP in the process. Finding a scholarship program is a matter of networking, using social networks to find those willing to share their team.
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