How to Play Decentraland: Understanding the VR Game
Decentraland is the first look at a fully decentralized virtual land in a virtual world. This isn’t the first time virtual reality (VR), has been introduced (hello, Oculus), but Decentraland’s concept is different. Although playing games in virtual reality isn’t entirely new, the operation of one built on a blockchain ecosystem is. How does it work, can it be trusted, and what can you do with it?
What is Decentraland
The platform is an introduction to the metaverse where users can buy land and estate parcels, build their own experience, and deal with NFTs. Decentraland has proof of concept and is built on the Ethereum blockchain. The virtual world opened to the public in early 2020, and sees its users selling land parcels, buying wearables and dealing in NFTs since.
The NFTs include the digital real estate found (LAND NFT) in the game, wearables, and other digital collectibles.
Decentraland Foundation is the organization behind Decentraland, which was founded in 2017 by Estaban Ordano and Ariel Meilich. In order for land owners to buy NFTs in the Decentraland marketplace, they would need Decentraland’s native token, MANA token, which we will cover in-depth a little later.
What’s really cool about Decentraland is that it creates a virtual world and enables users to interact with each other, participate in play-to-earn activities, play casino games, purchase and sell digital collectibles, and make in-world payments.
Another major selling point for Decentraland is its decentralized governance. The platform is run by a decentralized autonomous organization or the Decentraland DAO. The decentralized administration method sees the control fall into the hands of the DAO, where users vote on future developments and releases.
New users may need some help navigating the virtual world, and we’ll cover everything necessary to help you get started, understand how Decentraland works, what you need to play, and more.
NFTs in Decentraland
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), are the digital assets you can acquire in the game. NFTs in other marketplaces encompass various art forms such as videos, photography, artwork and pictures, where the value can rise or depreciate to make or lose money.
In the case of Decentraland, the NFTs refer to virtual land. The entire Decentraland metaverse is made up of land parcels – around 90,601 to be exact, and each one of them is an NFT. Like in real life, owners of digital real estate can build on them how they see fit to create their own unique experience or “scene.”
The lands can be combined into districts and estates, which are larger and some follow specific themes. Land co-owned by a community will need to follow the rules. You can’t go and customize and develop it without the consent of the other community members.
Players can choose to monetize their plots of land by leasing them out, renting them, or using them to sell goods to earn MANA tokens.
Wanna stay updated? Check out upcoming NFTs with NFT Drops here.
How Does Decentraland Work?
In order to be a part of Decentraland, you have to know how it works. What exactly are the tokens, how do you do transactions in Decentraland’s marketplace, and what about voting? We’ll cover all of this in detail.
LAND is the land parcel NFT on Decentraland, and it is an ERC-21 non-fungible token. Your plot of land, or land token, will have latitude and longitude coordinates within the world to specify its location. You can purchase LAND tokens via the Decentraland marketplace or OpenSea. You can buy and sell land the way you would physical properties, as the value depends on how many people join the game and the popularity, which is very similar to real-life land.
In real life, the government may choose to build more houses and develop unused lands in order to satisfy a demand, but this will not happen in Decentraland. The 90,601 plots are all you get, which maintains a sense of scarcity and can drive up the value depending on how things play out in the future.
Decentraland has a drag-and-drop builder that does not require coding knowledge to use. Whatever land content you choose to build on your plot is called a “scene”. The possibilities for what you can do with your land purchases are seemingly limitless. You can create your own abode, monetize digital lands, create avatars, and more.
Trading is also done on the Decentraland marketplace. Basically, all transactions such as land auctions and trades are done via the marketplace and OpenSea (the largest NFT marketplace on Ethereum). Before the marketplace integration happened, users were trading land NFTs without regulation and land ownership was largely unprotected.
Your avatars are your physical representation within any virtual space. Decentraland enables users to customize the avatars’ look and claim a unique username. You can change anything you want about the avatar to make it reflect your appearance as much as possible. The marketplace features customizable wears for purchase.
Your avatar is what you use to explore other land plots, interact with other users and participate in activities. In our opinion, the more the avatar looks like you, the better, because it’s how other people identify you within the game. Unless you want to be completely incognito and develop an avatar that looks nothing like you for privacy and protection.
If you have the MANA token, you’re eligible to vote on the platform’s governance and future. Aside from participating in the polls, you can create them as well to ensure a promising future for the platform. What can you vote on? Everything! Such as tokenomics, policies, and so much more. However, not everyone gets an equal vote. The type of token you hold will influence your voting power.
For example, wrapped MANA (MANA locked up (staked) in the DAO) gives you one voting power. LAND gives you 2000 units of voting influence and Estate (2 or more adjacent parcels together) gives you 2000 units as well
Decentraland Gameplay: Requirements, How to Earn, and More
Decentraland is a virtual world or metaverse that allows users to buy land, and basically create a life in the digital world. Let’s dive into a more technical aspect of Decentraland and look at the aspects it offers.
You have the real-time layer, which is where players can interact with each other and communicate in real-time. Then you have the land content layer, in-game content provide in a decentralized way, and the consensus layer, which is a smart contract-based layer that is used to follow real estate packages and the purchases.
Decentraland’s Token: MANA
As said, to take part in any transaction on the virtual platform, you need MANA, the native token. MANA is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain. MANA is a proof of stake token, which means you can earn residual income from the MANA you earn if you stake (lock up tokens, similar to loaning) in stake pools. MANA is purchasable on crypto exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase because of its ERC-20 nature. MANA is one of those tokens that have a limited supply, so its value will hold better.
Although Decentraland’s NFTs are available on the OpenSea marketplace (with Polygon for lower gas fees), Decentraland has its own native one. You can find wearables to customize your avatars, LAND and estates available to buy. The marketplace enables P2P (player to player) transactions, so the control over price settings and negotiations falls to the buyer and seller.
The marketplace supports auctions or set prices, which are NFTs listed for a fixed price. What’s really helpful when you’re trying to buy virtual real estate is the atlas view function on the marketplace, which displays all the available and sold properties.
You can do so much on the marketplace. Besides purchasing and selling virtual assets, you can also transfer ownership, name your digital properties and even give other players permission to make changes to your land.
What You Need to Play Decentraland
You need to make sure you have the proper software and hardware in order to accommodate your adventure on Decentraland. What you need to have a seamless digital experience are:
- A Gen 2 or higher CPU
- An up-to-date browser
- 8GB RAM at the very least
- A MetaMask wallet (for Ethereum transactions)
- Updated graphics drivers on your operating system
- Vulkan and WebGL support
- Graphics: AMD equivalent or better or NVIDIA GT 730
- An internet download speed of at least 10mb
How to Play Decentraland
In order to start playing and funding your virtual life, you need to get a MetaMask Wallet, fund it with Ethereum, create your account on Decentraland, link your wallet, and you’re good to go!
• #1: Open a Metamask Wallet
You have to use Chrome or FireFox to get Metamask. Head over to their website, hit the download button, and install MetaMask. Then add the MetaMask extension to your browser on the store listing page. The wallet will be available to access via the extension on your browser toolbar when you’re done.
• #2: Transfer Ethereum to Your Account
The next step is to fund your account with Ethereum in order to purchase MANA.
Click your MetaMask extension, head to the dashboard and select MetaMask Mainnet.
Copy your account address under the ETH section of the dashboard by mousing-over it.
Go to the crypto exchange of your choice, log in, and click the “Buy Crypto” button.
Enter the amount you want to purchase, then make sure to change the receive option to ETH and hit continue.
Confirm everything on the next page, hit continue, then review your order details once more before clicking confirm again.
Then from the top menu, head to wallet to check if the funds are listed and whether the transaction has been successful. If you do see it, click “withdraw”. Now is where you have the space to paste your account address we copied earlier. After you have pasted your account address, enter the amount you want to send and then click “withdraw”.
• #3: Create a Decentraland Account
Now onto using your funds in Decentraland. Head over to the website and click “start to explore”. You will then have the option of either joining using your wallet or playing as a guest user. After creating your account, you will be led to the Genesis Plaza, where you sign in to access your avatar.
Genesis Plaza is also where avatar customization happens. You can change your appearance here and set a name for your avatar. You can claim an avatar name by using a Decentraland wallet and paying 100 MANA before it’s taken.
Once you’re satisfied with your avatar, you can start playing!
How to Earn From Decentraland
There are several ways you can earn money while participating in the ultimate metaverse experience of Decentraland.
• Play Games
Users can create digital real estate with stores and games on them. We have seen some with fully-functional casinos! There are also sports-betting activities and other crypto games. Use your land to host gaming communities and ads as well, which can lead to real money.
Put money into the virtual world to earn passive income. More specifically, invest in LAND and estates. Estates are land parcels that have merged together. You typically need estates to house large establishments like the casinos mentioned above. People’s activities on your land can also lead to real-world money.
• Is Decentraland free to play?
Yes, Decentraland is free to play – to some extent. You can play as a guest and explore what the digital platform has to offer. However, if you want to make land parcel purchases and acquire other digital assets within the in-game marketplace, then you need MANA.
• How much are Decentraland land prices?
Decentraland land prices range from $15,000 to over $2 million in USD. There are only 90,601 plots of land available and there will not be anymore, which is why what exists is so valuable and the prices will only go up as the metaverse surges in popularity.
Decentraland serves as a platform where individuals can meet in the digital world, make real-world friends, and participate in activities and build on their unique plots. The DAO-governed game has a lot of potential for future growth and it has already advanced by a lot since its public introduction in 2020.