Published January, 2022
Decentraland is one of the most popular metaverse games, where users can make money by playing games and selling property. Players can buy and sell digital real estate, create digital art and play casino games while interacting with other users in the virtual world.
Decentraland is a "decentralized virtual world" where plots of lands can be bought and sold using cryptocurrency.
The platform shot to fame when Metaverse Group, the NFT-based metaverse real estate company, bought a plot on the game for $2.43m in November 2021.
Through a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), landowners in the game can control policies and determine how the world behaves - in other words, this online game is a virtual world where users make the rules.
The game is built on the Ethereum blockchain, and when it first launched in 2017, parcels of digital land sold for about $20.
The MANA tokens - the main currency in the game, sold for $0.02.
As of January 2022, the price of 1 MANA has shot to $2.79 (£2.05).
Decentraland recently partnered up with Polygon to use its blockchain to solve issues around scalability, speed, and transaction costs, addressing some of the main complaints of users.
Dubbed a layer 2 solution (L2), it allows tokens to operate on a blockchain that's separate from, but still linked to, a mainchain, as explained in the blog announcement.
How does Decentraland work?
Decentraland is a 3D virtual world where players can purchase, trade, and create digital real estate, art, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
To progress in Decentraland, you need two main tokens - MANA and LAND.
MANA is the transactional coin used for buying things in the game.
With MANA, you can buy everything you want, including LAND lots, wearables (clothes), and collectibles.
LAND are the game’s real estate lots.
You can buy LAND tokens using MANA and build whatever you can afford on them, including stores, art galleries and casinos.
Decentraland is a browser-based game, meaning you can only play on PC or Mac running Chrome or Firefox.
It is not yet available on mobile or any existing headsets but there are plans to make this happen, according to the FAQ page on its website.
You don't need a wallet to play Decentraland, but having one helps to enjoy the full experience.
If you don't have a wallet, your info will only be locally stored and while you'll be able to engage in the experience with your avatar, you'll be cut off from daily rewards, taking part in events, and logging in from a different device.
Decentraland recommends MetaMask.
How to earn money in Decentraland?
As Decentraland is not just an online game, but a whole virtual universe, there are tons of different opportunities to make money.
You can work for a company and receive salary, work as a freelancer for other clients (players), or create art and clothing and sell them for profit.
But here are some of the most common ways to make money in Decentraland.
Buy and sell LAND
Just like IRL real estate, investing in LAND and selling them once their value increases is one of the most common ways to earn in Decentraland.
Land in Decentraland comes in parcels of 16m by 16m as NFTs, meaning they are unique and irreproducible.
Players can purchase their LAND parcels at the in-game marketplace or in third-party exchanges such as OpenSea.
The cheapest parcel of LAND is around 5,000 MANA, or approximately $14,000.
And like in the real world, LAND located near frequently visited destinations like Crypto Valley and Vegas City cost more than others.
Decentraland has a fixed quantity of 90,000 properties, meaning their value will only go up as more users invest in land.
If you own adjacent parcels, you can also combine them into “Estates", increasing their value even more.
Buy and hold MANA
MANA tokens serve as a means of exchange in Decentraland.
You can get them in exchange for Bitcoins or Ethereum on trading platforms like Binance, Coinbase, and Gemini.
Apart from using it to buy things in the game, there’s always the option to buy and hold MANA - as with every cryptocurrency, its value might fluctuate in time.
In October 2021, when Facebook rebranded to Meta, token prices of Metaverse-related cryptocurrencies skyrocketed, including the MANA token.
Create Clothes and Sell Wearables
Just like in real life, you can design and sell clothes and wearables on Decentraland to earn money.
Apart from having 3D design experience, you will also have to invest 500 MANA for each piece.
Marketing your designs properly and creating hype around them can guarantee more customers - you can even use social platforms like Discord and Reddit to let people know what you're selling.
Decentraland offers the opportunity to design and play mini-games and win NFTs and wearables.
You can then sell these assets for a profit.
In the Decentraland casinos, you can also play popular casino games and earn MANA, NFTs and wearables.
The casino games include the classics - Slot, Poker, Roulette and Blackjack.
Work as a Freelancer
Just like in the real world, in Decentraland you can offer your services as a freelancer and get employed by other players.
Job opportunities include 3D modelling, creating wearables, coding, making videos and art, and marketing.
Work for Decentral Games
Decentral Games is hiring inside the metaverse - you can work as a host in a virtual casino and get paid a fixed rate of $200 per month, and get promoted once you get enough experience.
A casino host’s responsibilities include interacting with the players and running games and other events.
How to play Decentraland?
For the best gameplay experience, you would first need to get a MetaMask wallet, which is a browser extension.
Decentraland gives you two options - to log in with your wallet, or play as a guest.
Claim a unique name
As you first log in, you will be asked to create a username.
You can pay to claim a name, or choose to get one for free.
You can also buy a name from the ones listed in the marketplace - names include things like "CRonaldo", "Omicron" and "GoogleCEO".
Once you have the name, you can also re-sell it.
Some players have already claimed names belonging to real-world celebrities.
Explore the world
There are many different controls you have to learn in order to navigate the world.
Pressing C on the keyboard brings up the control panel, which shows the various buttons you need.
Once you learn how to move around, you can teleport in different areas, in order to explore the world of Decentraland.
There are many quests to do when you join the game.
You can join a treasure hunt, or chat to other players and find out if anyone has a quest for you.
In exchange, you can get NFTs and wearables.
To find more quests, head to the Genesis Plaza and hit the rocket icon in the bottom right hand corner of the window and follow the instructions.
Play games, attend events, buy and sell land and NFTs
Decentraland offers many play-to-earn games, but you could also buy land with MANA and create your own games, shops, galleries and museums.
You can also attend live events where you can connect with the community and make virtual friends.
If you would like to sell assets, the Decentraland in-built marketplace is the place to go.
To sell, you need to follow these steps:
Click on the "My Assets" tab
Go to "Sell"
Choose a price for your item and set an expiration date for the offer
Go to "List For Sale" and re-type the price to confirm
Decentraland offers a roster of exciting experiences and opportunities to make money.
However, it is not the best when it comes to gameplay - it tends to be sluggish and has long loading times.
So if you're looking for good video games, check the best games for 2021.