Play-to-earn has become a defining trend in both gaming and crypt. The idea that you and I could be rewarded with real money in return for spending time doing the things we enjoy the most, like playing an online game, is certainly appealing. And without any specific entry requirements or skills needed, this economy has boomed into a massive market with millions (quickly swelling into billions) of dollars at play.
Taking inspiration from the success of the P2E model, there’s similar phenomenon now growing that aims to link gaming and crypto to health - Move-to-Earn.
Simply put, M2E apps and games track real-life movement and reward its users for the physical activities they’re engaged in. This way, your morning walk, Saturday jog or weekly sports practice can be easily monetized.
At a time when we as a society are increasingly more concerned about health and fitness, having apps that not only promote a healthier lifestyle but that also provide a monetary incentive in return for being fit can have significant value.
With that said, today we're delving deeper into what makes move to earn games the next big thing - and which apps top the best of the best.
What Is Move-to-Earn (M2E)?
The move-to-earn trend started taking off during the Covid-19 pandemic, with many of us confined to our homes or short walks around our neighborhoods. The scrambling for inventive ways of keeping active kicked off the popularity of M2E as more people strived for the extra motivation not to turn into a couch potato. It also became an unexpected way of making money while staying at home and going about routine physical activities, no matter how small.
Move-to-earn combines blockchain technology with gaming and fitness, incentivizing users to keep an active lifestyle in return for a wide array of rewards, usually tokens that might have real life financial value.
The idea of rewarding users for exercising is far from being new. After all, when Pokemon Go was launched six years ago, the game led to a global furore with players taking to the streets of cities all over the world in a bid to catch Pokemons. The game - still available and popular today - makes use of a player’s smartphone’s GPS and camera to geospatially overlay a Pokémon onto real world locations, enabling new creatures to appear as the user keeps walking through different places.
With M2E apps, the move you move, the more you earn. In addition to your regular physical activity routine, you can also take part in the fitness challenges promoted by many of these platforms.
The rewards vary from platform to platform, but generally speaking rewards come in the form of tokens and they can be exchanged for other forms of crypto or simply cashed out as fiat money. In addition, if you’re feeling generous, you can simply choose to donate your tokens towards a charity or social projects that speak to your heart.
The number of M2E games has seen a great rise in the last year, in line with other developments in emerging technology like VR, AR and blockchain. We’ll walk you through the top apps you need to know in 2022 a little later on.
How Does Move-to-Earn Work?
Getting started with a ME2 application is easy as the model is already pretty straightforward itself. Move to earn apps use a smart device like a phone, watch or wearable and its movement detection capabilities to collect behavioral data about the user. This data includes GPS-enabled features such as location and distance covered in addition to number of steps and calories burnt. The information collected about the user’s body activity is then converted by the M2E app into in-platform rewards.
Now, you might be wondering whether this is not a model that can be easily exploited by cheaters. Yes and no. Surely, there will be people who would want to try and game the system (pun intended). However, the leading M2E games and applications in the market have many protocols in place to separate legitimate users from those trying to take advantage.
Some of the most used anti-cheating measures include using machine learning and data collection to detect abnormal activity levels and token generation, while working to establish the authenticity of a user’s fitness data. Limits can also be put on the number of tokens earned during a specific time period.
Fraudulent users using bots and GPS spoofing are more than likely to get caught and banned from these apps.
How Exactly Do you Earn Crypto With Move-to-Earn?
Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can earn while staying fit. Better yet, you won’t always have to actually break a sweat for it. Here are a few strategies:
When it comes to earning crypto (and real world money) with M2E, getting physical is the way to go. After all, the whole concept revolves around physical exercise and incentivizing fitness while rewarding those making an effort to improve their health. The best move-to-earn apps reward users with utility tokens and NFTs. These earned tokens can then be traded for goods and services, sold in exchange for other cryptocurrencies or swapped for fiat money via a cryptocurrency exchange.
Some M2E apps allow their users to earn crypto by minting new NFTs, which can then be bought, sold or exchanged through dedicated marketplaces. NFT sneakers are currently the most popular digital assets users are likely to come across in a move-to-earn game or app.
The more active you are, the more rewards you’ll be getting. As such, you’re likely to find yourself owning a collection of in-game items that might have incredible value in the marketplace. Take for example the running shoes in the StepN app. Those can be worth hundreds of dollars depending on features such as rarity, efficiency and resilience. And as players of this app can choose to breed new NFT sneakers, their value has tended to rise.
While being active is key in getting rewarded with M2E, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your tokens work for you during your downtime. With staking, users are rewarded for simply holding on to their tokens. And return for allowing their idle crypto to be used for other operations on the platform, users are paid an interest. In other words, staking is very close to having a regular savings account.
Another way of monetizing your M2E experience is by simply renting your digital assets to other users. For example, you can rent your virtual sneakers and get a cut of the earnings of the person they’ve been rented to when they complete missions like fitness challenges and marathons.
Why Should You Try M2E?
One of the main reasons why move-to-earn has become one of the most talked about crypto trends of 2022 boils down to its wide appeal. What’s not to like about getting rewards for the things we already have to do anyways, from walking the dog to the daily work commute. If you’re looking for motivation to stay active, knowing you’re earning money for it can also be a great incentive. And that’s not to mention that, unlike other crypto-related ventures, M2E can be a low risk commitment that has no hidden fees or upfront payments needed to enter the blockchain world. Instead of having to choose whether to play games or go out and break a sweat, with M2E you can do both while having great fun at the same time.
How to Choose the Best Move-to-Earn App
Just like with any play to earn game (feel free to check our previous post on the topic), there are a few indicators to watch out for when choosing the best move to earn game or app.
First are foremost, you'll want to make sure your app is accurately measuring your physical activity. Not all apps record data in the same way, leading to situations of both over and under report. It goes without saying that this is less than ideal, especially when your rewards depend on it.
Let's face it - no one likes spending unnecessary time trying to figure out how to work with a new app or game. A user-friendly interface is essential in convincing new users to place their time and trust onto a platform. The best move to earn games should be simple and straightforward.
We're all looking to get straight into the juice, without spending too much time filling in our personal details and other KYC data. Some crypto apps can be a turn off by complicating their sign up process, but the good ones will have understood the benefits of making it short and sweet.
Now that we’ve enticed you this far, get to know the best move to earn games and apps worth breaking a sweat for.
The Top 10 Move-to-Earn Games You Should Try Now
Kicking off our list is one of the hottest crypto fitness apps currently available is Stepn. Launched in December 2021, this self-styled “Web 3 lifestyle app” has amassed some 3 million daily active users as of July 2022 and managed to reach a staggering $122.5 million in profit in the second quarter of 2022 alone.
Stepn is a Solana-based move to earn app that rewards users for walking, jogging and running. To get started with Stepn, players need to buy or rent a pair of NFT sneakers. These NFTs are tradable on the secondary market and they’ve managed to command impressive price tags in the past. Users of this app are rewarded in Stepn’s native cryptocurrency and its dual token economy via the Green Satoshi Token or GST.
Besides engaging in physical activity, players can try their hand at minting new sneakers, opening loot boxes (known as mystery boxes), and winning different types of NFTs as they successfully progress through the app’s different game levels. Mystery boxes can either be empty or contain Gems and Minting Scrolls that can be used to boost the value of sneakers or help mint new pairs. It also helps that Stepn has patterned with sportswear giants like Asics to boost the value of mystery boxes.
More than a fitness tracker that rewards its users, Stepn has stood out for its so-called Social-Fi features aimed at creating a vibrant community around health and fitness in the blockchain sphere.
For all these reasons (and its easy-to-use interface), Stepn comes on top when discussing the absolute best move-to-earn games out there.
Sweatcoin is already a household name in the fitness app arena, with over 100 million global users and the title of the most downloaded Health and Fitness app in the world. Under the move-to-earn model, you’re encouraged to move more and stay healthy. In return for every 1000 steps you take, you earn the app’s native coin - SWEAT.
The good news is that Sweatcoin has a sprawling in-app marketplace where you’ll be able to easily trade your tokens for a wide offer of fitness and health products, including fitness gear, electronics and gift cards from some of the 600 brand partners affiliated with the platform. The first quarter of 2022 saw tokens being swapped for $71 million of good and services through the app.
Earlier this year, Sweatcoin announced that it would be launching the Sweat token in partnership with NEAR Foundation in an effort to expand Sweat Economy. At a Token Generation Event (TGE) that will take place sometime in Q3 2022, users will be able to exchange their in-app Sweatcoins in exchange for Sweat tokens.
Its latest round of funding was backed by top blockchain investors, including Spartan Capital, Jump Capital, and Electric Capital.
Putting a spin on what other M2E games are doing, Genopets takes after Pokemon Go and Tamagochi, letting players raise their own virtual pets and enter them into battles against other users in return for GENE tokens. The more active you are, the better you’ll be able to take care of your digital animal and see them grow over time.
In order to upgrade your Genopet, you’ll need to complete daily challenges, which can range from simply taking your creature for a real world walk to fighting in PvE battles. Based on your activity, you can buy and sell Genopet NFTs in the marketplace, just as you would do with play to earn games like, say, Axie Infinity.
This move to earn app is built on the Solana blockchain and is being backed by notable investors, including more recently Samsung Next, that explained the game had “developed an innovative gaming model at the intersection of Web3 and connected fitness”. As the game evolves, there are plans to release virtual land and other interesting features that are sure to cement its reputation as one of the best move to earn games of this year.
And that's not to mention that unlike other titles on this list, Genopets requires no initial investment, meaning that you can start playing it right now and earn money without having to worry about a thing.
By gamifying day to day simple activities, the main objective of Walken is to promote healthy habits while letting players earn rewards for the effort and time they’re putting in. Walken centers around NFT in-game characters called CAThletes that are used to connect real-like physical and sports activities to the online game.
The higher the number of steps, the higher the chances of converting them into more WLKN tokens. WLKN are both for rewards and a governance token that can also be used to trade in-game NFTs in the marketplace. More importantly, you’ll need these tokens to upgrade your CAThletes and purchase accessories that will put you ahead of the competition when it comes to challenges and tasks that you’ll need to complete.
Keep an eye out also for the exclusive events hosted by the platform. Lastly, In-game tokens, WLKN, can either be reinvested into the game or cashed out.
Dotmoovs is a move-to-earn NFT game built on the Ethereum blockchain that lets users complete workouts and other physical activities while allowing you to earn MOOV tokens. Dotmoovs leverages cutting-edge artificial Intelligence, blockchain, and decentralized finance (Defi) to enable the best gameplay possible for its users.
Unlike other apps, Dotmoovs even allows its users to use augmented reality to complete workouts in real world locations. When it comes to challenges, AI is deployed to judge and score the capabilities of each competitor, such as speed, accuracy and rhythm. To play this M2E game, you’ll need just your smartphone and enable the camera functionality. Done that? Great. Now you’re ready to dance and football competitions, and win prizes to name just a few of the options available.
Winners can earn tokens and earns extra points that can be exchanged for in-game assets, from new avatars to upgrades. And to weed out any cheating, Dootmoovs once more deploys AI technology to monitor and detect fraud with next-gen algorithms.
Step App is another move-to-earn fitness app that will reward you for keeping up with your fitness goals and entering a friendly competition with friends, family and other players around the world. Sneaks are the NFTs that players will need to be equipped with before entering the game and starting earning money.
Besides this piece of workout gear, users can also choose to purchase add-ons like new skins. Users earn incentives by engaging in a wide range of fitness activities and, in return, get KCAL tokens, which is the in-game cryptocurrency. Thanks to having over 100 partners, Step has a marketplace filled with great offers.
The best part of this app comes from its PvP challenges that will surely led to plenty of fun when competing against others.
When it comes to move to earn projects, Wirtual is another great app that promotes an active lifestyle while delivering enticing crypto rewards. Launched in 2020 and based on the BNB Smart Chain blockchain ecosystem, this crypto game creates its own challenges in running, walking, swimming, cycling, dancing, and working out where users can compete in speed and distance, while also entering competitions as a group.
By earning $WIRTUAL tokens through exercise, users can exchange their prized coins for purchases and discounts in the app’s store. To play Wirtual, you’ll start off by choosing your avatar, that you can upgrade with in-game purchases like special "powers", privileges and even limited edition clothes as you keep staying active.
Wirtual claims to have over 120,000 registered users across 179 countries.
As part of the wider Calo Metaverse, Calo is a ME2 lifestyle and fitness platform that brings together the best out of GameFi and SocialFi to promote workout and sports activities.
In Single Mode, players are equipped with NFT Sneakers and they can earn FIT and CALO tokens. To get started, you’ll need to keep moving and stack up stamina, which one stamina being equal to 5 minutes of motion. In the challenge mode, players register for weekly and monthly challenges about 24 hours before the start of the challenge.
There’s also a Minting Sneaker feature, allowing players to breed new sneakers. But there are plenty more features that make Calo a really great choice when it comes to M2E games, so make sure to check their ‘How to Play’ section for the full breakdown.
Defit (short for Decentralized Fitness) bills itself as a “pioneer project in the move to earn segment building a powerful Web3 digital fitness marketplace”. This M2E platform is in reality a multi-chain cryptocurrency fitness game, operating on the Polygon (MATIC) and Ethereum blockchains.
The app and it native DEFIT token have been vetted by the Blockchain Consilium, adding yet another seal if approval to what already is a great move to earn platform. Defit is fairly simple to use as all you’ll need is to keep moving, sync your wearables, complete activities and challenges and start earning DEFIT tokens. However, according to the project’s roadmap, there are some ambitious plan ahead that you ought to really check out.
The Defit mobile app is available for downloads on both IOS and Android stores, and users are able to easily connect their favorite virtual wallet and sync multiple fitness trackers.
MoveZ is a move-to-earn application based on a common everyday activity: moving. Users can earn in-app currency, $BURNZ, by simply jogging, walking, running, and swimming indoors and outdoors. With the tokens, you’ll be able to trade in the marketplace and cash them out for profit or opt for a donation to a charity organization supported by MoveZ.
Once fully launched, developers say that this M2E app will automatically generate local and personalized challenges (based on past performance and other user-generated data), that users can complete to earn additional rewards and perks.
In addition to the reward token $BURNZ, this app also has the $MOVEZ governance token. Interested in getting to know more? Check out the project’s litepaper.