Splinterlands is a hot ticket in blockchain games. For months, it’s been breaking records in the top charts. At the moment of writing, the monthly transactions exceeded 72M, and the number of unique wallet addresses interacting with the game’s smart contract is over 500K per month.
Splinterlands is an NFT trading card game. Players can hold their cards as collectibles, use them in battles, trade them in the marketplace, merge them to create more valuable NFT cards, and burn them to earn DEC (Dark Energy Crystals), the game’s native currency.
In this guide, we provide in-depth explanations as to how to play the game, how the Splinterland cards work, and what kind of play-to-earn opportunities exist.
Starter Pack for Splinterlands: Summoner’s Spellbook
For starters, Splinterlands run on the Hive blockchain. To benefit from all game features, you must first purchase a starter pack which is known as “Summoner’s Spellbook.” When you buy it, an account on the Hive blockchain is created for you.
You can try the game for free. However, without the starter pack, you won’t earn any rewards. Summoners Spellbook unlocks the following features:
- You can participate in tournaments
- Earn DEC when winning battles
- Complete daily and seasonal quests to gain rewards
- Carry out transactions on the Hive blockchain
Summoners, Monsters, and Splinters
There’re two types of character cards in Splinterland: monsters and summoners.
- Summoners are magicians who use their powers to call the monsters to battles.
- Monsters can be any person or creature the summoners challenge to battle. They do the actual fighting.
There’re six factions that show the sources of magic in Splinterland. Each card (monsters and summoners) belongs to one of the Splinters. They are fire, water, earth, life, death, and dragon.
Summoners call to battle the creatures from the same faction. For example, a summoner from the Earth Splinter can invite monsters that live in the mountains and forests.
Building a Card Collection
- All first-time players start with the same set of starter collections.
- You can purchase booster packs to start building your collection. These packs include at least one rare Splinterland card.
- You can buy individual cards from Splinterland’s marketplace.
- It’s possible to rent cards from peakmonsters.com. You can also delegate cards from your collection to other players via peakmonsters.
- Another way to acquire Splinterland cards is to join the daily quests. The team distributes “Loot Chests” at the end of each season. In addition to cards, Loot Chest may also include DEC tokens, land plots, booster packs, and potions.
Splinterlands game has the cards at the heart of its ecosystem. That’s why they’re the most important component. If you like to succeed in this game, you must have a good understanding of how they work. So, let’s dive deeper into them.
The game has hundreds of unique playing cards. They come with four rarity tiers: common, rare, epic, and legendary. Here are the chances of cards with different rarities in booster packs and loot chests:
- Common Cards: 75.2% of the time, whether in booster packs or loot chests
- Rare Cards: Each booster pack is guaranteed to have at least one rare or better card. The chance of opening a rare card in a loot chest is 20%.
- Epic Cards: 4% chance, both in booster packs and loot chests.
- Legendary Cards: 0.8% chance, both in booster packs and loot chests. It can be increased to 1.6% in booster packs by using a special game material, “legendary potion.”
There’re also different editions:
- Alpha edition cards: they started in 2018 with the launch of the Splinterlands game. There’re 300,000 Alpha cards in total. As they’re the first editions, they’re very valuable. It’s possible to convert them to the Beta cards.
- Beta cards: There’re 900,000 cards in this edition. This edition includes the same summoners and monsters from the Alpha set. Additionally, there’re new epic and legendary summoner cards.
- Untamed edition: this set includes 1.5 million cards from 71 brand new types of summoner and monster cards.
- Promo edition: this set introduced the concept of Essence Orb packs. There’re 200,000 cards divided into 24 new card types.
- Azmare Dice: this includes special editions of booster packs that you can only purchase with DEC tokens. There’re a total of 300,000 cards divided into 20 new card types.
How to combine Splinterlands Cards
You can merge cards of the same type into one in order to level up. You can understand if a card is a combined card or not by looking at its BCX value. BCX (Base Card Experience) is 1 for the not yet combined cards. Every card you receive directly from a loot chest or a booster pack has 1 BCX.
To level up the cards to 2, you must combine two same cards with 1 BCX. However, the process leveling up process doesn’t work linearly. It depends on the rarity and the editions of the cards. Each card has a STATS page that indicates how many cards you must combine in order to reach a certain level for that specific card.
STATS of Cards
The statistics page also indicates the card’s health, speed, attack, armor, abilities, splinter, and mana cost.
- Health points indicate how many hits a card can take before falling in a battle.
- Speed determines the hit/miss ratio.
- There’re three kinds of attacks. Melee attacks are only for close range. Range and Magic attacks can be set from any position on the battlefield. Generally speaking, attack stats determine how much damage a card deals when it lands on an attack.
- The armor is protection against Range and Melee attacks.
- Abilities are special skills or powers that cards use during battles. There’re dozens of different abilities. However, some of them are only available if a card levels up. Some abilities are not only available for the individual card but also for your entire team. See below for more details about the abilities. Splinter shows which of the six main factions the card belongs to. See above for further information.
- Mana cost is what you must pay when you draft a card in a battle. Powerful cards cost more, so this cost has a decisive effect on how you build your teams.
Remember that there are two types of Splinterlands cards: Monsters and Summoners. While health, speed, attack, and armor stats are relevant only for Monsters, the other three are available for both types.
Abilities play a central role in the winning strategy because each ability brings a unique contribution to the outcome of the battle. Below, we summarize some of the abilities Splinterland cards deploy:
Camouflage hides the monster from enemies unless it’s in the first position. Demoralize reduces the enemy’s melee attacks. Thanks to Double Strike, a monster can attack two times each round. Halving cut the enemy’s attack in half. Heal restores some parts of the monster’s health. Immunity makes the monster immune to negative status effects. Knock Out doubles the damage caused by attacking a stunned enemy. Magic Reflect returns a reduced magic attack back to the attacker. Recharge causes the monster to attack every other round but, in turn, creates 3x damage. Slow reduces the speed of all enemy monsters. True Strike guarantees the monster’s attack hits.
Splinterlands battles are not turn-based. Instead, they rely on drafting. That’s why the battles of this game are fast-paced; they only take a few minutes.
When you enter a battle game, you’re matched with an opponent. Then, the first thing you do is to assemble a team of 6 cards from your collection. Every battle has its own set of rules and conditions; you should choose the cards strategically. After an opponent is found for you, the countdown starts to build the teams.
On the left-hand side of the drafting page, you’ll see two main parts: your summoners and your monsters. In the main area of the page, you can see all playable summoners in your collection. You should pick a summoner to start the team-building process. One by one, pick other summoners and monsters to construct your team. The screen will also show you the total cost (Mana) that your team cards’ must obey. Once you’re done, click “battle” to submit your team, and the battle starts.
In the battle, the monsters with the highest health points take their turns first. When the health points of two monsters are the same, their attack type decides on the order: first magic, then ranged, and melee as last.
In summary, the attack order depends on the following variables:
- Attack Type: magic, ranged, melee, or no attack
- Monster Level
- Random if all of the above are the same for two monsters.
All monsters start with 100% attack accuracy, meaning that when they attack, they hit. Some abilities determine whether an attack hits or misses. These abilities are blind, dodge, flying, and speed differential. Blind reduces attack accuracy by 15%, dodge reduces attack accuracy by 25%, flying reduces attack accuracy by 25%, and speed differential reduces accuracy by 10%.
By joining more battles, you can start to see what card combinations result in the best outcomes for you.
Guilds of Splinterlands
You can join forces with other players to get more benefits from the gameplay. They include DEC bonuses and discounts on various Splinterlands purchases. Together with your Guild members, you can create buildings such as a hall, quest lodge, arena, and barracks.
There’s also the opportunity to participate in big tournaments that are special to guilds. These are known as Brawls. Guilds can earn Crown coins by winning the battles in Brawls.
Brawls are tier-based. In each tournament, there are five tiers. Each tier has a different assortment of frays. Higher tiers have more frays. A brawl in a specific tier can only take place if at least two guilds select that tier. If your guild is the only guild in that tier, then you will automatically participate in a brawl in one level lower tier.
The road to rewards
Splinterlands provides its fans with many ways of earning rewards. You can earn by joining ranked battles, daily quests, and seasonal events. Splinterlands’ primary play-to-earn currency is DEC. The daily reward pool is 1 million DEC per day.
Ranked Battles Rewards: You earn both ranking points and DEC tokens for each ranked battle. The DEC capture rate decreases with every battle won. The team organizes Leagues where DEC rewards are higher than regular battles.
There’s also the path of a winning streak. It assures you to earn more DEC if you win three or more battles one after the other without a break. Furthermore, you can earn 10% more DEC for every Alpha card you use in a battle.
The ranking points won in the ranked battles depend on the rank of your opponent and your winning streak.
Daily Quests Rewards: By completing daily quests, you can earn Loot Chest once in every 24-hour period. There’re various types of daily quests depending on the factions of the splinters. For instance, to complete an earth quest, you must win 5 ranked battles with the earth splinter. Similarly, to complete a water quest, you must win 5 ranked battles with the water splinter.
There’s a special bonus material known as the quest potion that you can use to increase the number of Loot Chests earned from Daily Quests by 5. However, you can use the potion only once per daily quest.
Seasonal Rewards: Each Splinterlands season takes around 12-16 days. At the end of each season, players gain Loot Chests and Booster Packs. There are five leagues called bronze, silver, gold, diamond, and champion.
Splinterlands completed many milestones in the past. The following will be the steps of the game development in the future:
- Ability to view the land deed on a map
- Convert land claim to deem
- Trade land deems
- Minimum viable product for non-card assets marketplace
- New user interface
- New character art and card design
- Release of the shop
- Topography resources
- Introducing the rarities of land deeds
We’re excited to publicly announce our roadmap for the next year of development! So many amazing things coming this year and we can’t wait to bring them all to life:#splinterlands #sps #PlayToEarn #GameFi pic.twitter.com/d3NMEEyBbs
— Splinterlands (@splinterlands) April 7, 2022