What is Axie Infinity?

A beginner’s guide to the hit NFT-based Pokémon-style game — and its native cryptocurrency AXS


Axie Infinity is a crypto-meets-Pokémon game in which players raise, battle, and trade cute NFT pets called Axies. It features two native cryptocurrencies: Axie Infinity Shards (AXS), which can be bought and sold on exchanges like Coinbase, and Small Love Potion (SLP), which is awarded to players for spending time in the game.

In the summer of 2021, Axie Infinity — a crypto-meets-Pokémon game in which players raise, battle, and trade cute NFT pets called Axies — has regularly been the biggest crypto app on the Ethereum blockchain.   

Axie Infinity revolves around breeding, raising, and battling cute creatures called Axies. Axies and virtual real estate are sold via an in-game marketplace in the form of NFTs. (Learn more about NFTs.)  Most transactions happen on a speedy, bespoke sidechain called Ronin, which developer Sky Mavis designed to have lower fees than the main Ethereum blockchain. 

How does Axie Infinity work?

Axie Infinity describes itself as a “play to earn” game, where players can sell items (including the Axies they breed, in-game real estate, and accessories like flowers or barrels) via the game’s NFT marketplace while also collecting tokens the game generates. There are two special cryptocurrencies used in the game: 

  • The main token, Axie Infinity Shards (AXS), can be bought and sold on exchanges like Coinbase. You need some AXS to play the game, but you can also trade AXS like Bitcoin or Dogecoin or any other major crypto. AXS will also serve as a governance token, which allows holders to have a say in the future of the game.

  • A second token, called Small Love Potion (SLP), is awarded to players for spending time in the game. You can win some for beating an opponent’s Axie or for completing in-game quests. The more you play, the more SLP you can rack up. (While this asset is currently unavailable on Coinbase, you can buy and sell SLP via DEXs like Uniswap or SushiSwap.) 

Vietnamese developer Sky Mavis launched Axie Infinity in 2018. As of August 2021, the game had around 1 million daily players.

What is AXS’s current price?

Check AXS’s current price — you can also see the latest headlines about Axie Infinity.

How do you start playing Axie Infinity?

To play, you’ll need an Ethereum-compatible crypto wallet and some ETH. You can buy some ETH from an exchange like Coinbase and send it to Coinbase Wallet (which is separate from the main Coinbase app; you can download it via Apple’s App Store or Google Play) or Metamask. (You can also download this Chrome extension to connect Coinbase Wallet to a web browser if you’d rather play on a computer.)

  • To start playing, you need to buy at least three Axies from the game’s marketplace. Sky Mavis takes a 4.25% cut of all the Axies, virtual real-estate, and other items users sell each other. “Rare” Axies with desirable traits cost more. 

  • Players can also “breed” new Axies, which costs some of the game’s two native cryptocurrencies: Axie Infinity Shards (AXS) and Small Love Potion (SLP).  

  • You can earn SLP by successfully battling other players and completing quests.


What are some risks related to Axie Infinity?

Axie Infinity represents a new model for crypto-based gaming. Because prices of AXS and SLP may be correlated to the popularity of the game, they might fall if players migrate to a competitor or lose interest.

Do you need to play Axie Infinity to buy AXS?

No, you can buy and sell AXS via exchanges like Coinbase.


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