Play to Earn vs Play to Own: Which Is the Best Strategy for Gamers?

Have you ever wanted to be rewarded for the games you play? The rise of blockchain is now making the unthinkable possible. Several strategies to earn rewards from games have gained popularity in the gaming industry. Two such strategies that have gained immense popularity are “Play to Earn” and “Play to Own.” In this article, we will explore the differences between these two approaches and help you decide which one is the best fit for you.

What is Play to Earn?

Play to Earn is a gaming concept that allows players to earn real-world rewards by playing games. These rewards can include in-game assets, virtual tokens, or even tangible items that hold value outside the gaming environment. The key idea behind Play to Earn is to transform the time and effort spent in gaming into a form of income generation.

In Play to Earn games, players often complete specific tasks or challenges within the game to earn rewards. These rewards can then be sold or traded on online marketplaces, allowing players to earn real rewards from their skills. The concept has gained traction due to the growing interest in crypto tokens and the desire for players to have more control over their in-game assets.

Read more: What is Crypto Gaming

What is Play to Own?

Play to Own, on the other hand, focuses on the ownership aspect of gaming. In traditional gaming, players invest their time and money into acquiring in-game assets or virtual items. However, these items remain within the confines of the game’s ecosystem. Play to Own games – powered by blockchain technology – enable players to truly own their in-game assets.

By leveraging blockchain’s decentralized nature, Play to Own games use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to represent unique and indivisible digital assets. These NFTs can be bought, sold, and traded outside the game environment, giving players full control and ownership of their possessions. This ownership offers players a sense of rarity and scarcity, as NFTs are often limited in quantity.

Play to Earn vs Play to Own: Comparison

Comparison FactorsPlay to Earn (P2E)Play to Own (P2O)
FocusIncome generation through gaming skillsOwnership and control of in-game assets
RewardsReal-world rewards, in-game assets, virtual currenciesVerifiable digital assets represented by NFTs
MonetizationRewards can be sold or traded for real-world currencyNFTs can be bought, sold, and traded outside the game
TokenomicsRelies on native cryptocurrency or tokens within the gameLeverages blockchain technology and NFTs for asset ownership
Game MechanicsTasks or challenges completed for earning rewardsVerifiable ownership and scarcity of digital assets
Income PotentialPotential to generate income through gameplay and rewardsPotential for asset value appreciation and sales
Player PreferencesIdeal for gamers who want to earn money while playingIdeal for collectors and those interested in digital ownership
Investment OpportunitiesInvesting in P2E gaming projects, cryptocurrencies, or platformsInvesting in blockchain gaming projects and NFT marketplaces

While both P2E and P2O involve earning rewards and owning in-game assets, they differ in their core focus. Play to Earn emphasizes earning an income through gaming, while Play to Own prioritizes ownership and control over virtual assets.

Play to Earn games often require players to invest time and effort to achieve specific goals or complete tasks, which in turn provide them with rewards that hold value. These rewards can be traded or sold for real-world currency, providing players with a potential income stream. Play to Earn games create a direct link between gaming skills and financial gain.

Read more: Ways To Earn Passive Income Through Crypto

On the other hand, Play to Own games centre around the idea of ownership and scarcity. By utilizing blockchain technology, players can own unique and verifiable in-game assets represented by NFTs. These assets can be bought, sold, or showcased outside the game, allowing players to truly own and control their virtual possessions. Play to Own games tap into the growing interest in collectables and the desire for digital ownership.

Read more: Play to Earn vs Move to Earn

Play to Earn vs Play to Own: Differences in Tokenomics and Game Mechanics

The differences between Play to Earn and Play to Own can also be seen in their underlying tokenomics and game mechanics. Play to Earn games often rely on a native cryptocurrency or token within the game ecosystem. These tokens can be earned through gameplay or purchased, and their value may fluctuate based on market demand and other factors. Players can then convert these tokens into real-world currency or trade them for other assets.

On the other hand, Play to Own games leverage blockchain technology to create verifiable digital assets represented by NFTs. These assets are often unique and indivisible, ensuring their scarcity and value. The ownership of these assets is recorded on the blockchain, providing transparency and security. Players can freely transfer, trade, or sell their NFTs on various blockchain marketplaces.

Play to Earn vs Play to Own: Which one is better?

Determining whether Play to Earn or Play to Own is better depends on individual preferences and goals. If you enjoy competitive gaming and want to monetize your skills, Play to Earn games offer the opportunity to earn real-world rewards. It can be an appealing option for those looking to make money while doing something they love.

On the other hand, if you have a keen interest in collectables and digital ownership, Play to Own games provide a unique experience. Owning scarce and verifiable digital assets can be exciting, and the possibility that their value appreciates over time makes it an attractive proposition for collectors.

Ultimately, the choice between Play to Earn and Play to Own comes down to personal preference and goals. It’s worth exploring both options to determine which strategy aligns better with your interests and aspirations.


The gaming industry continues to evolve, and innovative concepts like Play to Earn and Play to Own are reshaping how players interact with games. Play to Earn allows gamers to monetize their skills and time spent playing, while Play to Own focuses on ownership and the rarity of virtual assets. Both strategies offer unique benefits and opportunities for players.

The rise of Play to Earn and Play to Own reflects a broader trend in the gaming industry toward greater player empowerment and ownership. As blockchain technology continues to advance, we can expect more innovative games and concepts that blend the virtual and real worlds.

Disclaimer: Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Each investor must do his/her own research or seek independent advice if necessary before initiating any transactions in crypto products and NFTs. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author, and not to ZebPay or the author’s employer or other groups or individuals. ZebPay shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions, or losses incurred by the investors. ZebPay has not received any compensation in cash or kind for the above article and the article is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information.

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