Blockchain game development in 2024: the ultimate guide

What are blockchain games

We have prepared a great article for anyone interested in blockchain game development. 

Here we will look at various aspects of blockchain gaming, both from the user’s and developer’s point of view. We will give brief overviews of the most successful crypto games. We will consider the main differences between traditional games and crypto games. You will also learn what NFT games are and how they have changed the existing gaming industry. At the end of the article you will learn what blockchain games look like from the developer’s point of view and how to start creating your own blockchain game. Enjoy reading!

Blockchain games: what are they and why does it matter?

Blockchain technology has changed many areas of life, including the gaming industry. Blockchain games that rely on distributed registry technology have appeared and are actively developing. Even such large game developers as Electronic arts are mastering blockchain games. There are more and more vacancies and projects in such fields as blockchain game development. The emergence of meta-universes and video games on blockchain gives a whole new user experience to players. 

Blockchain games promote wider acceptance of blockchain technology, help people from different countries communicate in virtual worlds, and become an important factor in the global economy. A blockchain games market study by Allied Market Research estimates this market at over $4.8 billion. The blockchain gaming market is expected to grow by 68% by 2023.  And according to DappRadar, gaming activity on blockchain grew 20 times in 2023.

How is blockchain used in games?

Blockchain games are based on the fact that various game values can be both stored in a decentralized network and transferred between participants. Game values are stored and transferred through transactions on the blockchain. Earning money is made possible by fiat money, for which crypto tokens or digital assets with monetary value can be sold. In the world of traditional gaming, publishers often prohibit secondary sales and secondary markets for various game items and artifacts. Blockchain based projects, on the other hand, encourage the secondary market. This gives a completely different gaming experience and is a win-win situation. 

Various game items such as weapons, skins, armor, and land in virtual worlds can now be stored in user crypto wallets. Since they have monetary value, game items can even be used as collateral for loans. Various game tokens are also stored in crypto wallets. In addition to their practical value in the game, blockchain games crypto tokens also have speculative value on exchanges.

Wallets as universal player identities

Blockchain games often use wallets as universal player identities. To connect to the gameplay, it is not necessary to create separate login and password pairs for each game and store them separately. Instead, the player is connected by authorization through a wallet. Then the same wallet is used for input and output of game tokens as well as various game assets. Compared to traditional games, this is a completely new user experience. 

Now blockchain games are increasingly using wallet account abstraction. Thanks to this technology, the user does not need to interrupt the game process to sign a transaction and pay the blockchain fee.

What are NFT games?

Blockchain games in which NFTs (non fungible tokens) are the main element are called NFT games. The developers do not focus on game tokens, which are either absent or play an auxiliary role, but on NFTs. NFT games can be either primitive or extremely complex.

Blockchain technology ensures that NFTs cannot be forged, and the limited number of NFTs ensures their intrinsic value within the game. It is not uncommon for NFTs from different games to be compatible with each other, so they can be transferred from one game to another. 

NFTs (non fungible tokens) are widely used in blockchain games as gaming assets. NFTs in such games largely replace in-game currencies because they have monetary value. However, this is not the only opportunity this technology offers. NFT can carry many other game functions – for example, to signify belonging to a particular game map or to give additional bonuses to the player.

Digital ownership

Digital ownership is one of the most important benefits of blockchain games. All game items belong to the player, and this is confirmed by blockchain technology. Tokens and game items can be sold on in-game marketplaces as well as on cryptocurrency exchanges and NFT marketplaces. The world’s most famous NFT marketplace, OpenSea, has a wide range of game items from various blockchain projects. 

In a traditional game, the user cannot take back their subscription or game items, they are essentially owned by the publisher company. Digital ownership makes blockchain games more attractive than traditional games. 

Metaverse games

Metaverse games are a separate area of blockchain games. Users value them for the ability for blockchain gamers to interact with each other. Just as it happens in traditional video games, players can join clans, fight or cultivate land together, complete various quests and chat in chat rooms.  

Popular metaverse games turn various objects in their virtual worlds into game assets. 

Such game assets can be plots of virtual lands and various buildings on these lands. By upgrading their buildings and land plots, the player increases their monetary value along with the monetary value of the game as a whole, which is a win-win situation. Some blockchain game developers are already experimenting with AR and VR technologies. 

A good example of a metaverse game would be Decentraland, which is based on the Ethereum blockchain. Decentraland players can sell or buy a plot of land in the virtual world as an NFT and equip it to their liking. Some players create art galleries and concert halls on their plots and rent their plots to other players. And the most expensive plot in Decentraland was sold for 618,000 MANA tokens. That was $2,420,000 at the time of the transaction. 

The main benefits of blockchain games

The benefits of blockchain games are not only that game assets can be stored in your wallet, freely bought, sold and transferred. Several games with similar themes using the same blockchain can interact with each other. It is not uncommon for game assets from one blockchain game to be used in another game. Polygon already has many examples of such interaction between games. 

With the full transparency that blockchain technology provides, players can be confident that neither the developers nor other players can cheat the system. This increases trust and makes blockchain games more attractive than traditional games.  

In many blockchain games, players’ tokens, NFTs and other assets give them the right to participate in the further development of the project, make suggestions and put them to a vote. With greater community participation, blockchain games are more dynamic than traditional games.

Play to earn

Play to earn is a direction of blockchain based games and nft games, for users of which the first priority is the ability to withdraw fiat money, and gameplay and other features of the game are secondary. The main problem with Play to earn is that when profitability drops, players immediately leave the game in search of a more profitable alternative. 

That’s why blockchain games that emphasize earning money quickly gain popularity and just as quickly go out of fashion. However, Play to earn, that is, the ability to convert game items into real money, allows many people to earn online. To succeed in a field like Play to earn, players need to keep up with the latest trends and constantly try and test new games. 

Technical limitations in blockchain games

Blockchain games have various Technical Limitations that do not allow them to fully compete with traditional games. The first limitation is the need to pay fees with gas every time a blockchain entry is made. Blockchain game developers solve this problem by using L2 solutions and reducing the number of necessary synchronizations with the blockchain. 

The second is the high cost of storing data in a distributed network. Blockchain games can circumvent this limitation by reducing the degree of decentralization and storing only the most necessary data on the blockchain. 

Blockchain games are also hampered by the low speed and bandwidth of most blockchains. As blockchain technology continues to evolve and improve, the gaming industry is successfully addressing this problem. 

Security of blockchain gaming

There are many examples of blockchain games suffering from hacks. The most notable example was the Axie infinity game blockchain hack. The amount of losses exceeded 600 million dollars. This led to a significant decline in the popularity of the game.

Hacks are dangerous not only because the affected players have to compensate for losses. Security problems undermine player confidence and cause user churn. Also, a hacked game becomes less interesting for investors.  

Blockchain gaming: how to secure your digital value

All assets in blockchain games are stored on user wallets. Therefore, the general rules of cryptocurrency security are valid for their safety. Never disclose your seed phrase, as it is the key to all assets. If possible, use two-factor authentication to protect your assets in the game. 

Storing large sums of money in digital assets is best done with a hardware wallet. This small device will secure your game items or tokens. 

Popular blockchain game Axie Infinity: explained

Among play to earn games Axie Infinity occupies a special place. Gaming assets in this game are actively sold and bought on various NFT trading platforms. The action of the Axie Infinity game takes place in a virtual land, where players are engaged in breeding and crossbreeding of funny creatures called Axies. They can also buy and sell virtual plots in the game. The most expensive plots are worth up to 500,000 – 600,000 USD.  

Axie Infinity uses an internal currency called AXE. It can be bought and sold on many cryptocurrency exchanges, both centralized and decentralized. Axies, land and other assets can be stored in your wallet along with AXE tokens. This has been a revolution in blockchain games and many games have started copying this business model to some extent.  

Tokens as digital items and currency

New game tokens are often sold through initial game offerings (IGOs) and initial coin offerings (ICOs). The role of tokens in blockchain games is not limited to game currency. A primary or secondary game token can be used for voting in an in-game DAO. In addition, game tokens can be transferred to a cryptocurrency exchange and immediately converted into another cryptocurrency or fiat money. This makes Play to earn (P2E) possible. 

Cross-chain interoperability

A new stage of blockchain games development will be cross-chain interoperability. It will allow, for example, to transfer in-game items from the Ethereum network to the Solana network or vice versa. This will make it possible to connect previously isolated blockchain ecosystems. The technology behind blockchain bridges will be used for this purpose.  

In the future, game items, NFTs and tokens will be easily and seamlessly transferred from one blockchain to another. And for games on multiple blockchains, a single wallet ID will be sufficient. In this way, all blockchains together will create a unified gaming environment.  

Limitations and challenges of blockchain gaming projects

Blockchain games have not yet gained popularity due to a number of limitations. Many new users are deterred by the need to create a cryptocurrency wallet and make cryptocurrency transactions. Modern blockchain gaming tries to make the process of funding a cryptocurrency account as convenient and comfortable for the player as possible. 

When the network is congested, the cost of gas and thus transaction fees increases. This makes the game less profitable or not profitable at all, which discourages users. The speed of the blockchain also prevents blockchain games from matching the speed of traditional games. In many cases, the user interface and usability of blockchain games also loses out to traditional games. As technology advances, these gaming issues are gradually being addressed.  

Blockchain’s nearest future in the gaming industry

As technology advances, more and more new genres of blockchain games are emerging. This is F1 Delta Time car simulator, where cars, their drivers and rare spare parts are represented in the form of NFT. This is Alien Worlds, where the action takes place in space. Alien Worlds is a blockchain game that supports three networks at once – Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain and WAX.

Blockchains designed specifically for gaming projects are emerging. For example, Immutable X (IMX), an L2 solution for Ethereum. In this network, transactions with NFTs and tokens are possible without paying gas fees. At the same time, transactions in the Immutable X network are executed almost instantly. One of the most popular blockchain games today, Gods Unchained, is based on the Immutable X blockchain.

Blockchain and Layer-2 scalability

Layer-2 solutions have given a real second wind to blockchain games. Layer-2 solutions are add-ons for the Ethereum network that significantly increase the speed and reduce the cost of transactions. Both speed and cost of transactions are vital to blockchain games. 

Layer-2 solutions such as Matic (Polygon), Immunable X, Arbitrum and Optimism are currently popular. And while Polygon and Immunable X already have quite a few games, Arbitrum and Optimism are just starting to appear. 

What are the top 10 blockchain games in 2024? 

To find the most popular blockchain games at the moment, just go to the Dappradar website and select the games section. At the time of writing, the top 10 blockchain games are as follows:


  1. MotoDEX. The game supports eight networks at once – Ethereum, Polygon, Near, Aurora, Nebula, SKALE, Base, EOS. It is a motorcycle racing simulator with vivid graphics and a huge variety of NFTs. 
  2. Sweat Economy. A game on Ethereum and Near networks. A SWEAT token is earned while walking. 
  3. Tricknot Blitz. A game on the Flow blockchain. A billiards game where you can compete with other players. 
  4. PlayEmber. A mobile game on Ethereum and Near blockchains.
  5. Hot Game. A way to earn HOT tokens for using Near wallet in Telegram messenger. 
  6. Hypercomic play. A Korean-origin mobile game on the latest zkSync Era blockchain. 
  7. 5TARS. A project on the Nebula and SKALE networks. Soccer simulator. 
  8. Anichess. Chess in the Polygon network.
  9. Pixels. Farm in Ronin and Ethereum networks. 
  10. Solitaire blitz. Mobile card game in Flow network. 

Tokens as a medium for player governance

Decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) is widely used in blockchain games. Thanks to DAO players can vote for certain decisions that affect the further development of the game. Often the votes of DAO participants directly or indirectly take into account the number of tokens in the crypto game. This both stimulates players to participate in the development of the project, and limits the number of tokens that enter the free market. 

Get started with blockchain game development

When creating blockchain games, you can’t do without smart contracts, thanks to which various game items interact with each other and with players. Both specialized programming languages such as Fifth and solidity and general-purpose programming languages such as C++ and Java are used to write smart contracts. It is equally important for the blockchain game developer to ensure that the player is connected using a cryptocurrency wallet, which will be his unique identifier.    

Fortunately, there are now ready modules to create DEX, a system of user identification via wallet or DAO for player participation in further game development.   

Game development process relies on tools such as SDKs for writing program code, as well as frameworks and software libraries. The specific choice of tools depends on the blockchain that is chosen as the basis for the game. We hope this article has given you a detailed answer to the question of what blockchain games are.

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