Splinterlands Review: Is this Trading Card Game Worth it?


Blockchain-based gaming is one of the most interesting innovations to enter the cryptocurrency space. These games utilize blockchain technology to give players an opportunity to make money from digital collectibles. And there are so many of these games.

This review will discuss Splinterlands, one of the biggest blockchain games around. We’ll tell you how the game works and how you can start playing it. We’ll then move on to the most interesting part, where we’ll explain how much money you could make playing the game. But let’s start at the top:

What is Splinterlands?

Splinterlands is a play-to-earn collectible card game built on Hive Blockchain technology. It was previously known as Steem Monsters before it was rebranded to Splinterlands.

The game was founded in 2018 by Mathew Rosen and Jesse Reich. The company operates from Media, Pennsylvania.

Splinterlands allows players to build a collection of cards that are supported by the NFT technology. Therefore, each card is unique, and players can trade or rent their cards to make money. Besides the cards, you can also earn in-game rewards, including tokens called Dark Energy Crystals (DEC). Moreover, you can purchase digital assets such as land, potions, skins, and dice from the Splinterlands economy.

Splinterland is free to play, but you must purchase the Summoner’s Spellbook to unlock the play-to-earn features. The Spellbook costs $10.

How does Splinterlands work?

There are more than 500 cards in Splinterlands. Each card belongs to one of seven fractions; Fire, Earth, Dragon, Water, Neutral, Death, and Life. You must build your deck wisely to boost character abilities and increase the chances of winning against your opponent.

Collecting cards with unique abilities and rarities increases your advantage against opponents. You can also invest in customizable skins and potions to improve your card’s attributes.

After picking your cards, the matchmaking system will match you to an opponent within the same bracket. But before a match begins, you will see a window showing your opponent’s elements from their past battles. These are very useful as they can help you predict the opponent’s techniques and create the appropriate counter-strategy.

You also need to understand the full capabilities of your cards to develop a winning strategy. However, there is a timer, so you’ll need to pick your cards quickly before the match starts.

Once you have your deck ready, the monsters will start battling it out on their own. There’s nothing else for you to do during the match.

In terms of game modes, Splinterlands gives you four options:

  • How To Play – This mode helps you understand how Splinterlands works. You will learn about the various card types, the seven stats in the game, and how to battle.
  • Practice – The practice mode lets you play the game for free. You can run practice battles here without damaging your ranking.
  • Ranked – This mode puts you in battles that can raise your ranking.
  • Challenge – The challenge mode is for custom matches. It lets you invite your friends for a match whose outcome doesn’t affect your ranking.

The Splinterlands network has three types of tokens;

  • Dark Energy Crystals (DEC) – DEC is the equivalent of Smooth Love Potions (SLPs) from Axie Infinity. It’s the rare reward token you earn when you defeat opponents in the game. The token can be used to purchase rare cards and other exclusive items. You can also convert it into other cryptocurrencies.
  • Credits – Credit is the in-game currency used to purchase cards and other items.
  • Splintershards – Finally, you have the Splintershards or SPS tokens. These governance tokens are used to enter special tournaments. They can also be staked to earn even more tokens.

One interesting feature about Splinterlands is the rental system. This system allows players to list their cards for rent in the marketplace. Anyone interested in the cards has to rent and pay for them with their credits or DECs.

This system provides a unique opportunity to earn passive income. You can easily list your cards for rent and get extra credits and DECs from other players without playing the game.

How To Play Splinterlands

There are three primary steps you need to complete before you can start playing the game:

Step 1: Set Up A MetaMask Wallet

Being a play-to-earn game, you need to create and link your MetaMask wallet to Splinterlands. This enables you to purchase in-game assets needed to play the game.

If you already have an account, all you need to do is link it to Splinterlands. Otherwise, you’ll have to create an account from scratch and link it to the game.

Luckily, creating a MetaMask account is pretty straightforward. First, visit the official MetaMask website. Just google “MetaMask,” and the site should appear at the very top. Next, download the browser extension and activate it. MetaMask is available for both Chrome and Firefox, but it’s advisable to use the Chrome browser when playing this game.

Once the MetaMask wallet is added to your browser, click to open it. It will guide you through the setup process. Be sure to add some funds to the wallet. Save your password and phrase safely as well.

Step 2: Set Up A Splinterlands Account

Next step, you need to create a Splinterlands account. Head over to the official Splinterlands website and click the prominent “Play Now” button on the homepage. Select “create an account” in the next menu. Proceed to enter your email address and confirm it. There’s also a section on “referral account.” This section would show the account of a Splinterland partner if you used a referral link to access the website. The partner will get a kickback but at no extra cost from you.

Click “Create Password” in the next window, then set up your password and finish up by clicking “Create.”

That’s it. You should now be logged into your Splinterlands account. The game will automatically ask if you want to play a tutorial. It’s good to play the tutorial and see how the game works.

Step 3: Purchase the summoner’s spellbook

Once you’re done with the tutorial, go ahead and purchase the Summoner’s Spellbook. You will see that option from the game’s main dashboard. It has a green button. Click on it, and you’ll see the various options to pay for the Spellbook. You can pay with PayPal, Crypto, or a promo code if you have one. Go ahead and complete the purchase. The Spellbook should be attached to your account a few seconds or minutes later.

Summoner’s spellbook

Step 4: Engage in battles

After getting the Spellbook, you’ll now be able to participate in all battles available in the game. You can start with the easier game modes like Practice and How To Play if you feel you’re still not ready for a competitive duel.

But once you’re ready to battle against other players, go back to the main dashboard, click “Battle” from the top menu and select “Ranked.”

Once you do that, the game will scan and find you an opponent. Next, you will enter into a new menu that allows you to edit your team before proceeding to the battle. In that menu, you’ll see the rule book showing the basic rules of the game mode. The menu also shows the mana count, elements, and a timer.

Keep an eye on that timer when creating your team. You want to choose your cards and have the team ready before the countdown hits zero.

To set up your team, click “Create Team,” then pick a summoner and monsters. Note that your mana count determines the type and number of monsters you can pick. The summoner and each monster will cost you a certain number of manas. The cumulative number of those manas should not exceed the mana count you have.

How do you know the mana cost of your cards? Each card comes with several figures representing different attributes. Let’s break them down:

  • Mana cost – Mana cost is the number at the top left of a card. That’s how many manas the card will take from your mana count if you include it in your team.
  • Attack – Attack is shown by the number right below mana cost and above the speed number. Cards have different types of attacks ranging from melee and range to magic attacks.
  • Speed – Speed stat is the last number below mana cost and above attack on the left. A card’s speed is influenced by factors like the card’s overall level.
  • Armor – Armor is found inside the shield icon on the right side of the card. When your opponent attacks a monster,  the monster loses their armor counts first before it affects their health level.
  • Health – Health level is the number inside the heart icon below the armor.
  • Card rarity – A card’s rarity level is shown using the middle icon. The rarity level is represented using different colors. Grey is for common cards, blue shows rare cards, purple represents epic cards, and gold is for legendary cards.
  • Level – Card level is represented with the number next to the star icon.
  • Experience – Experience is shown in green right below the card name and level. You can increase your card’s experience level by combining two summoners or monster cards. For example, you can combine two monster cards with one Base Card Experience level each to get one monster card with two Base Card Experience.
  • Abilities – Abilities are shown at the very bottom of the card. Every monster and summoner card has abilities. Some abilities come with the cards, while others appear as you level up. A few of the common abilities include flying, piercing, dodge, swiftness, protect, slow, and demoralize. Hover your mouse near the abilities icon to see what abilities a specific card has.

Click the green “Battle” button once you’re done creating your team. The game will wait for your opponent to finish setting up their team before the battle begins.

Understand that Splinterlands’s ranked mode gameplay is handsfree. After getting paired with an opponent and creating your team, there’s nothing else for you to do. You can only watch the battle or click the “Skip to results” button to see the final results.

Step 5: Participate in Daily Quests

One relatively easy method to rank fast and earn more rewards is to participate in quests. These quests are updated daily, so you’ll have an opportunity to make extra money playing different types of games.

Daily quests rewards

For example, one daily quest may ask you to use earth splinters to play in five ranked battles. If you win, the game rewards you with a loot chest.

How much money can you make with Splinterlands?

Splinterlands offers several opportunities of making money. First, you can earn DECs from playing the Ranked mode. And if you win two games in a row, you’ll be rewarded with bonus DECs. You can also get bonus DECs when using certain cards, e.g., Gold cards.

Second, you can sell or rent your cards. Renting is a great way to earn passive income while retaining ownership of the cards.

The other interesting way to make money is by burning cards. When you burn a card, it gets destroyed permanently, and you will earn some DECs in return.

So, how much money can you make playing Splinterlands? Unfortunately, this would depend on various factors like your skill level and the time you’re willing to commit to the game. Some players make $100 per month, while others do not come close to that figure.

In Closing

Splinterlands joins the hundreds of NFT games available on the market today. But, this game is unique in several ways. For starters, it has a free-to-play mode, unlike most other cryptocurrency games. However, you will only unlock the play-to-earn features once you buy the Summoner’s Spellbook. It only costs $10.

Splinterlands is also a decent NFT game because it presents many opportunities to make money. You can collect rare cards and flip them for a profit. You can also buy in-game assets, including land, skins, and portions. Additionally, you can earn Dark Energy Crystal tokens by completing different objectives.

On top of all that, Splinterlands has a pretty decent team developing the project. We’ll be keeping an eye on new development and updating this article as they happen.

So, take a closer look at Splinterlands if you are looking for an NFT game worth investing in. You can even set up an account and explore the free-to-play features before putting your money in it.