How to play with CryptoKitties? And how to make money?
CryptoKitties is a game based on digital collectable cats in the form of ERC721 non-fungible tokens (NFT) on the Ethereum blockchain. The player can buy, collect, breed and sell these virtual cats, and can also earn money from them.
The fact that NFTs are used allows the user to be the sole owner and to use them at will. Moreover, in this way it is publicly certified that each CryptoKitty is unique, cannot be replicated and cannot be transferred without the user’s explicit consent.
The value of each NFT is determined by the market, so the game developers have no power over it or the transactions of CryptoKitties.
Each virtual cat has its own distinct 256-bit genome, with its own DNA and 12 attributes, called cattributes, which can be passed on to offspring. Among these are the livery, the shape of the mouth, the shape of the eyes, the colours, the environment, whereas others are not passed on to the offspring.
The game is based on a smart contract on Ethereum and is therefore managed in a decentralized way.
How to play with CryptoKitties
To play the game, the user must first register on cryptokitties.co and connect a MetaMask wallet on which they will hold their NFTs. The next step is to purchase a CryptoKitty by paying in ETH using the MetaMask wallet.
There is a real marketplace of these NFTs on the website, which allows users to buy them to start playing as well as to resell them.
After purchasing a CryptoKitty, the relative NFT token is transferred to the user’s wallet, who in this way becomes the sole exclusive owner. At this point, it is possible to start breeding it.
To earn money it is necessary to make the CryptoKitty more attractive to the market. In fact, not all attributes are the same and some are rarer than others.
The trick is to obtain rare attributes for a kitten in order to make it more attractive to the market. The point is that kittens with the rarest attributes can also be worth hundreds of ETH, so it’s technically possible to earn a lot of money.
The first attribute to take into account is the Gen, i.e. the generation: the lower it is, the higher the value of the kitten. Every 15 minutes new kittens are generated with Gen 0, and each time they mate they generate other kittens with a higher Gen than the parent who has the higher Gen.
Pairing is precisely the action needed to generate new kittens, with new combinations of attributes partly inherited from their parents. Breeding kittens is simply about making them mate in order to generate new ones.
Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to generate kittens with rare attributes through mating, but that’s what the game is all about: finding a way to generate kittens with rarer attributes so that they’re worth more than their parents.
So, while playing the game is theoretically very easy, as all it takes is buying CryptoKitties and pairing them, it’s very difficult to earn money because kittens generated by pairing are usually worth less than their parents.
The trick, if successful, is to make the mating of two parents generate a CryptoKitty with rarer attributes so that its value is higher.
The fact is that the way attributes pass from parents to offspring is secret, but it works similarly to real-world genetics, i.e. with a higher probability that the attributes possessed by the parents will be inherited. However, this does not always happen, and it is therefore always possible for a new CryptoKitty to inherit even rare attributes.
In other words, generating valuable CryptoKitties is difficult, but the more valuable CryptoKitties are generated the more likely it is that this will happen. That’s probably why the game was a huge success.