How to Play Axie Infinity: Ultimate Gameplay Guide!

Axie Infinity is a fun, tactical, turn-based, card game, where players get to earn cryptocurrency by battling their magical fantasy pets called Axies. To earn more, become a more competitive player and rank higher on the leaderboard, you'll have a lot of learning to do before scoring your first victory and earning your first Smooth Love Potion. The learning curve is quite steep and the game will seem very complicated at first glance. To some, it might even seem impossible to memorize everything we'll about to share but we assure you that it's not and that the effort put into learning how to properly play the game will pay off significantly!


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This guide has you covered from start to finish.

Ultimate Axie Infinity guide is where you'll be able to get all the information needed to kickstart your Axie Infinity journey and learn some tips and tricks. It's designed to take any new player and equip him with enough knowledge to make him a very challenging opponent to face in the Arena. We will start off with account creation and learning the basics of the game like stats, buffs, debuffs, class differences, etc. then progress to battle mechanics, breeding, tips for picking your first team, and finally finish off with two advanced skills that will catapult your earnings and ranking to the stratosphere.

If mastered, these skills have the potential of minting new top 100 players that compete for honor, glory, and season rewards in $AXS!

Additionally, at the end of this guide, we'll share a few examples of great starter teams which will be very competitive in both the PvP and PvE, making them a great choice for anyone that wants to excel at both aspects of the game.

Let's begin.

Account setup guide

  1. To begin with, you'll need two wallets, MetaMask and Ronin.

Tutorials on how to set them up can be found here:


2) Now that you've got your wallets all set up, it's time to fund them with some ETH because to start playing, you'll need to buy your first team consisting of three Axies.

You can buy ETH on your favorite crypto exchange and then transfer it to MetaMask.


3) Once you've got some ETH on MetaMask, it needs to be transferred over to Ronin.

This can be done effortlessly through Axies custom ETH <> Ronin bridge.


4) Install MavisHub by visiting Axie Infinity and clicking "Play now".


5) Finally, it's just a matter of visiting the marketplace and buying your first three Axies and you're good to go!


6) Decide which device you want to play on and start playing!

For a more detailed overview of the onboarding process visit this article.

GAMEPLAY GUIDE

We will start off with the basics.

We'll move on from there by following up with some more advanced information and finally finish off with two techniques that can turn any ordinary player into a pro! By mastering this guide, you will have an overwhelming advantage over other players. You'll have more fun playing the game, and you'll be able to earn more SLP.

What's an Axie?

Axies are fantasy collectible digital creatures that can battle, breed, and earn cryptocurrency!

Each Axie is a non-fungible token (NFT) making it unique, sought after, collectible, and tradeable both on the ethereum blockchain and Axies custom (feeless) ethereum-linked sidechain, Ronin.

Axies have different traits such as stats, body parts, classes, genetics, and abilities. These stats determine, how well they will do in battle, how much damage they can deal, how many incoming attacks they can withstand, how good they will be for breeding, as well as their overall usability in the game.

While picking Axies, players must know what they are looking to get, which stats and abilities they want their Axies to have, and exactly which genetics they want for breeding. Failing to understand and apply this knowledge will lead to buying bad Axies that will do poorly in battle, take a lot more time to finish the daily quest, and have bad genetics which results in genetically mixed up offspring.

So, not to make these costly mistakes that will cause you a great deal of headaches and lost matches/time/money, let's look into everything that makes up an Axie.

Classes

Each Axie is of a certain class which is very similar to Pokemon types. There are a total of 9 different classes Plant, Reptile, Dusk, Bird, Dawn, Aqua, Mech, Bug, and Beast. Each class is simultaneously weak and strong against certain other classes, just like the childhood favorite rock-paper-scissor game.

This is how it works.


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We'll start off at the top of the triangle.

Plant, Reptile, and Dusk Axies have an advantage over Bird, Dawn, and Aqua, dealing 15% more damage while taking 15% less damage from incoming attacks of mentioned classes. Bird, Dawn, and Aqua have the same advantage over Beast, Bug, and Mech classes, while Beast, Bug, and Mech have an advantage over Plant, Reptile, and Dusk.

When calculating damage bonuses, the card (ability) class of the attacking Axie is compared to the Axie class of the targeted enemy Axie. This means that when a Reptile card is used to attack an Aqua, Bird, or Dawn enemy, it will deal 15% additional damage while also taking 15% less damage from attacks of said classes.

Additionally, when an Axie of a certain class uses a card of its class, it gets a 10% attack/shield bonus. For example, a Plant Axie playing a plant card will receive 10% extra attack/shield.

NOTE: These bonuses stack. So a Reptile Axie using a Reptile card against an Aqua target will do 25% more damage (10% + 15%).

Picking a good team might imply carefully combining Axies from other classes in order to be able to counter more enemy teams. For example, double Aqua build is very popular in the current meta so a lot of players decided to use Reptiles to counter them.

Stats


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  1. Stats
  2. Cards (abilities)
  3. Body parts

Axies have 4 stats: Health, Skill, Morale, and Speed

These stats are derived from Axie's class and its body parts.

HP - represents the amount of damage an Axie can take before being knocked out. If an Axie has a high enough morale stat and the attack only barely "kills" the Axie, it enters a stance known as the last stand where it can only survive for a couple of turns.

Morale - increases critical strike chance, makes entering last stand more likely and adds more last stand “ticks” - the number of turns an Axie can survive in last stand.

Skill - adds damage when an Axie plays multiple cards at once (combo). The extra damage can be calculated using this formula:

(card attack * skill )/ 500

Speed - determines which Axie strikes first. A faster Axie will always have a turn advantage by being the first to strike, making fast Axies very desirable. If two Axies have the same speed, the attack order is determined in this order:

High speed > Low HP > High Skill > High Morale > Low Fighter ID

Meaning, that if Axies have the same speed, the first that attacks is the one with lower HP, if their HP is the same, an Axie that has higher skill will attack first. If their HP is the same, then the Axie with higher morale gets the advantage, and finally, if even that's the same, then the Axie with a lower fighter ID will have the turn advantage.

Body Parts


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Axies have 6 body parts: eye, ear, horn, mouth, back, and tail

Horns, Mouths, Backs, and Tails determine which cards an Axie can use in battle while Eyes and Ears just add stats to the Axie. Each card comes from a body part — Mouth, Back, Tail, and Horn. Each Axie can have a maximum of 4 potential cards in total.

Every body part adds certain stats to the Axie depending on the class of the part:

  • Plant: 3 HP + 1 Morale
  • Beast: 3 Morale + 1 Speed
  • Aqua: 3 Speed + 1 HP
  • Bug: 3 Morale + 1 HP
  • Reptile: 3 HP + 1 Speed

To see the full breakdown of all cards and their respective body parts visit this tweet:

Understanding the in-game interface


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  1. Battling Axies / round counter
  2. Energy count
  3. Number of undealt cards
  4. Number of cards played this match
  5. Number of cards your opponent has in his hand
  6. The cards you've been dealt with
  7. Ready button

Understanding cards


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Cards contain the following information.

  • Energy cost
  • Attack power
  • Shield
  • Special effect

The Energy cost is the Energy required to use a specific card. Energy is charged each turn and the card is used as long as it does not exceed the Energy that has been accumulated. Players can use a maximum of 4 cards maximum per Axie per turn.

Attack power is expected damage to be dealt to the enemy (before increases such as combo and class advantage apply). The more attack power a card has, the more damage it will deal to an enemy Axie.

Shield reduces the amount of damage received from incoming attacks. When you select a card with a shield value, the damage reduction is applied to the Axie at the beginning of the turn. Stacking a few cards that grant a shield can increase your chances of surviving incoming attacks.

Effects are special effects that apply after using the card. Special effects can be a wide variety of things from stuns, buffs, heals, damage increases etc. It's always a good idea to consider the special effects of the cards you're about to play before you press the end turn button because they can dramatically change the outcome and make the difference between winning or losing.

A FULL LIST OF ALL CARDS IN AXIE INFINITY CAN BE FOUND HERE.

Energy explained

Players have two types of energy in Axie Infinity. They are both called "Energy" but they are used for two completely different purposes. One is used to enter battles, and the other is used in the actual battle.


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The amount of energy used to enter a game that players get per day is based on the number of Axies they hold in their wallet. Starting at 20 energy per day for 3 Axies, up to 60 per day for 20 Axies. Players can enter both mods of the game with or without energy but spending energy results in bonus rewards.

In Adventure mode (PvE) players earn SLP (up to 100 per day) with or without expending energy but if they use it, apart from SLP, they earn XP.

Entering the Arena (PvP) without energy will only yield a change in ranking while by using energy to enter the Arena, players earn additional SLP rewards.

The in-game energy starts at 3 and replenishes 2 energy per turn.

Battle mechanics

The Axie battle system is a turn-based card game where to score a victory, players must eliminate all enemy Axies. Each turn, players must think carefully to strategically play the right cards in the right order to maximize their chance of victory. As you enter a match, you'll be greeted with a draw of 6 cards to chose from. Carefully read and select the right cards, place them in the right order to get combos/chain effects, and when you're ready, click the "End turn" button to see your Axies battle.

Take a look at these two infographics to get a better understanding of battle mechanics


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Chains, Combos, and Effects are extremely useful tools players have at their disposal. Learn and apply this knowledge to successfully beat more enemies.


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Axies have a chance to score "Critical Strikes" (2x damage), "Misses" (fail to hit an enemy character) when stunned or feared, and after using certain abilities Axies get to score "Counter Strikes" which return damage to the attacking enemy Axie.

For a video explanation of gameplay basics and battle mechanics check out this video.

Advanced Mechanics

To preserve the length of this article, please check this guide for a detailed overview of the math that goes into calculating the damage and shield your Axies will gain after using their abilities.

Buffs and debuffs

Have a significant influence on the game as they can make Axies miss their next attack, add more damage, reduce enemy damage, put enemies to sleep, apply poison, etc; So learning all the buffs and debuffs and applying this knowledge is a very important element of the game.


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Buffs


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Debuffs

Study and memorize this list before entering your first matchup, or have it saved somewhere for future reference, because not knowing what certain buffs and debuffs do, can result in lost games and a lot of frustration as it will cause you to lose in certain situations when you think you've already got the win in the bag.

NOTE:

  • Some abilities like Refresh, have the ability to clear your teammates of debuffs
  • Stun can be lethal as it not only makes your Axie miss the first strike of the next turn but also makes the next enemy attack ignore shield. Take great caution while playing against Axies that have stun abilities.
  • Stuns can be removed by any 0 attack ability such as:


Axie Infinity Ultimate Gameplay Guide - Stun Clearing Cards. png.png

To remove a stun effect, play any 0 attack card at the beginning of the turn. This will clear the stun and allow you to attack an enemy without missing your first blow.

Picking the right Axies

First, we'll start off with a “defender” Axie:

  • Is great at absorbing damage

  • Has high HP stat (50+)

  • Has at least 2 high shield cards (70+)

  • Heals and energy steals/gains are very useful cards to have on defender Axies

These are examples of Axies that make for great tanks:

Dusk


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A great mix of damage and utility with Dual Grip to rip through enemy Axies that have a shield up, Carrot to shield and regain energy, Slippery Shield for a massive boost in defense and finally Forest Spirit for a health recovering ability. This tank will match up well against many teams, and can even be used as a second tank, aka support.

Plant


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Very popular tank in the recent meta. It is slower than most other tanks which gives him the advantage while stealing energy with Vegetal Bite. He has another energy recovering ability Disguise, which is very useful as it gains 1 energy. This tank also has Shroom's Grace for a little shield and a big 120 HP heal, and to finish off it has Spicy Surprise, quite a useful card to deal additional damage while disabling opponents' mouth cards next turn.

Tips

  • Almost all plant class cards are good tank cards but that doesn't mean other classes can't be good tanks as well.

  • Reptiles can also be quite tanky if bred specifically for this purpose (Snake Jar, Snail Shell).

  • Self-healing cards such as Shiitake can make a tank more resilient, making it last more turns which can make a big difference in whether you lose or win a certain matchup.

Next, we'll show you some powerful, high damage, attacker Axies:

Beast


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This beast is an absolute unit! An all-time favorite of many competitive players, this beast has a lot of utility with energy recovery while dealing insane amounts of damage. Ivory Stab combined with Single Combat regain 1 energy per critical strike so if you get to combine two of Ivory Stabs with two Single Combats, you'll rip through the enemy Axie with the guaranteed critical strikes while recovering a minimum of 4 energy.

Bird


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The classic backdoor bird is another popular choice. It has the ability to apply debuffs to enemy Axies and even redirect attacks to itself in case of emergency. This bird allows players to Dark Swoop around the tank and to go straight for the fastest enemy Axie. Backdoors are a very powerful, tactical advantage players can get while using certain abilities. While the backdoor capability is extremely useful to have, because it deals only 25 damage, this bird won't be able to score a kill in a single turn. Not even while attacking an unshielded enemy.

Reptile


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Our current favorite tanky, damage-dealing Axie and the inspiration for our logo, is the backdoor reptile. It has Chomp to apply a stun, Jar Barrage to save you from incoming damage and Surprise Invasion to deal bonus damage to faster Axies. With this combination of abilities, this reptile is a perfect counter for faster Axies such as Birds, Dusk, Mech, Aqua. While dealing a lot of damage, because of the Jar Barrage this Axie is incredibly tanky and can survive a lot of attacks, making it a perfect midliner.

It can also circumvent enemy Axies with Tri Spikes which allows it to attack the lowest shielded target.

In general, “attacker” Axies:

  • Sacrifice survivability (HP & shield) for damage output
  • Should have at least 3 damage dealing cards with at least two of them dealing a good amount of damage (100+)
  • Should have added utility (backdoor capability, increased damage, regenerate or steal energy, fear, stun,etc.)
Tips
  • High-speed stat can be useful on damage dealing Axies as Speed determines turn advantage, allowing faster Axies to attack an opponent Axie before it can strike back.

  • Skill adds damage on combos. The more Skill an Axie has, the more damage it will deal on combos.

  • Bird & Beast cards are almost always good damage dealing cards but you need to be careful to pick the right movesets that are synergetic with your other Axies.

  • Morale increases the chance to score critical strikes, dealing 100% more damage on an attack. This makes high morale Axies (generally Beast Axies) great fits for the damage-dealing role.

  • Buffs or debuffs, as well as stuns, are always a good tool to have in battle. Oftentimes Axies with stun will score a win with that one clutch stun that saved the game. The same can be said for Axies that increase their damage/speed or decrease that of enemy Axies.

Examples of great starter teams


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Plant - Reptile - Beast

With the double heal on the tank, backdoor and damage deny on the reptile, a high-damage beast with energy destroy and recover, this team is a very good choice for any player that wants to play a competitive team.


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Plant - Aqua - Aqua

The dreaded double Aqua - a team composition we've had a lot of trouble facing in the arena, before finally deciding to pivot to Reptiles. It has a classic tank in the front with a massive shield, both energy gain and steal ability, and a good attack card to finish him off. In the midline we got a high-damage Aqua with energy gain and a monster double-heal Aqua in the back, also with energy recovery and insane potential to survive many turns under high damage with its healing abilities.


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Plant - Reptile - Bird

Last but definitely not least, we've got a monster double backdoor team. It has a high-damage, debuffing, backdoor bird to snipe easy, unshielded targets as a backliner. A tanky backdoor reptile with Surprise Invasion to counter Aquas in the middle, and a classic tank in the front.

Any of the above examples will make for great teams to play both PvP and PvE quite competitively.

If this was not enough inspiration to pick your first team visit Axie.zone leaderboard section which lists all the top pro players and their most used teams.

For assistance in Axie selection feel free to contact us over at our discord channel.

Team composition and placement

Although there are a lot of variations and different playstyles, most teams consist of 1 “defender" (tank) and 2 “attacker” Axies. Another popular team composition is 1 tank in the front, 1 support as a midliner, and 1 damage dealing Axie in the back.

  1. The tank should always be placed in the front position of your team so that it's the first Axie to take incoming attacks. After all, that's his job as a tank, to soak up as much damage while you use your other Axies to annihilate the enemy team.

  2. After the tank comes either a support as a midliner or one of the two attackers. Most commonly, the midliner is a little more tanky than the backliner as it's the second Axie to start taking incoming hits after the tank dies.

  3. The last Axie is usually the highest damage dealer which is paper-thin when it comes to taking damage but explosive when it comes to dealing damage.

Optimal Axie placement


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By placing your Axies in this order and at these exact positions, you'll be able to clear both PvP and PvE more efficiently and reliably. The reason we place our Axies in these positions is because of how Axies determine their targets. Axies will always strike the first target they come across unless when there are two enemies at the same exact distance. In that case, there is a 50% chance to attack either one of the two opponents.

Not being able to determine which enemy you will strike is a very unreliable, and hard way to play so we counter this by placing our two attacking Axies in the same row. This way, we can be sure that our Axies will always attack the same enemy in the case they are split like this.

As you can see, in both cases the tank Axie will have a 50/50 chance to attack either one of the two enemy Axies but our damage dealing Axies will always attack the same enemy, making this the optimal Axie placement strategy.

Breeding

In a process called breeding, two Axies can be used to create new Axies. When bred, they will create an egg that will hatch after a couple of days of incubation. When hatched, this Axie can be used in battle, to breed another Axie, stored for collecting purposes, to increase your energy count and be able to enter more battles, or it can be sold on the marketplace.


To start breeding visit your inventory, click on an Axie, and select breed in the top right corner.

Breeding requires both Smooth Love Potions ($SLP) and $AXS in order to maintain population growth under control and establish a well-balanced ecosystem. When an Axie is used for breeding, its breed count goes up by 1, making the next breed a little more expensive. Each Axie can be bred a maximum of 7 times. Below is a breakdown of breeding costs per Axie based on their current breed count.

SLP breeding costs per breed count


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We'll release a detailed breeding guide shortly and update this guide with more in-depth information about breeding and genetics.

Earning Smooth Love Potion

SLP is earned by spending energy to enter an Arena match (PvP) against other players, or in the Adventure mode (PvE) where you get to battle non-player-characters (NPC's). The maximum amount of SLP players can earn in the Arena is limited only by their win-rate and energy count, while the daily maximum is capped to 100 SLP in the Adventure mode.

Arena


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SLP gained per win in the Arena is determined by your ranking (mmr).

The higher your mmr is, the more SLP you'll earn per win.

Here is a breakdown of SLP per win per mmr:

  • Under 800 –> No SLP gained
  • 800 - 999 –> 1 SLP
  • 1000 - 1099 –> 3 SLP
  • 1100 - 1299 –> 7 SLP
  • 1300 - 1499 –> 8 SLP
  • 1500 - 1799 –> 9 SLP
  • 1800 - 1999 –> 10 SLP
  • 2000 - 2199 –> 11 SLP
  • 2200+ –> 12 SLP

NOTE: No daily SLP cap.

Arena tip

One way to easily maximize earnings in the Arena is to find your mmr sweet spot. What's a mmr sweet spot? Well, let's say that the maximum mmr you can achieve with a certain team is 2300 mmr (12 SLP per win) but while at such a high ranking, your win rate is very low, let's say 20%. So after 10 games with a 20% win rate, you'd get on average two wins or 24 SLP.

The sweet spot is the mmr where you can maintain a high winrate (>50%) while gaining the most SLP.

Your sweet spot might be at 1600 mmr (9 SLP per win) which is a lot less than 12 SLP per win for playing at 2300 but by playing at 1600 you get to face less challenging opponents and thus win more often while maintaining a much higher win-rate (>50%). After 10 games in your sweet spot, you'd win at least 5 times x 9 SLP = 45 SLP. That's 2 times more SLP for playing in the sweet spot than you would've gotten by trying to maximize ranking instead of winning potential!

So don't go rushing into the arena to try and get to the highest possible ranking because the higher you climb up the leaderboard, the fewer games you'll be able to win.

Find that sweet spot and farm wins instead of losses!

Adventure mode

In the Adventure mode, SLP drop is randomized but there is a basic rule of thumb saying: the higher the level you're entering, the more SLP you're going to get per win.


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Here is a rough estimate as to the kind of drops you can expect per win.

  • Level 1 - 4 –> 1 SLP
  • Level 5 - 9 –> 2 SLP
  • Level 10 - 14 –> 4 - 6 SLP
  • Level 15 - 16 –> 6 - 10 SLP
  • Level 17 - 20 –> 6 - 14 SLP
  • Level 21 - 36 –> 10 - 20 SLP

Note: Max 100 SLP per day.

Defeating certain bosses in Adventure mode earns you a big one-time SLP reward.

  • Completing Level 21 – 200 SLP
  • Completing Level 36 – 300 SLP

Players also get a daily quest for another 50 SLP per day.

To complete it they must:


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Daily quest

So, in total, even the worst player should be able to earn at least 150 SLP per day or 4500 SLP per month. Use your time wisely and only enter Adventure mode levels which you are sure that you can win and which yield the most SLP. Test out harder levels when you don't have any energy. That way you can figure out if you can move on to a higher level to farm more SLP while not wasting any precious energy.

SLP can be traded at:

Adventure mode tips

New players should first start off by leveling up their Axies as fast as possible because by reaching higher levels, they have a much easier time farming their daily 100 SLP in the Adventure mode. This will increase the amount of SLP they get per win while making clearing levels much faster and easier.

At first it can take up to 4h to acquire the daily SLP cap in the Adventure mode but by leveling up your Axies, this can be reduced to 1h per day.

Furthermore, new players shouldn't spend energy to enter the Arena mode for the first month of playing. Energy is a valuable resource that shouldn't be wasted on lost matches because every energy wasted translates into unearned SLP and minimized earning potential. Instead of losing energy in the Arena, for the entire first month, new players should only use energy to enter the PvE mode to level up their Axies while entering the Arena after they've fully depleted their energy levels.

This way, players get to maximize their energy potential by mastering the PvP aspect while they're out of energy. They won't get any SLP per win but won't risk losing any energy and will acquire valuable experience, knowledge and skill.

Gameplay tips

  1. Analyze your opponent at the beginning of every battle
    Players should start every battle by carefully inspecting their opponents' abilities and stats to know what to expect after clicking the ready button. Once they know their opponents' stats and abilities, players can compare them to those of their Axies to determine attack order. Not knowing the correct attack order is like trying to win at darts with a blindfold on. It just won't happen! Being able to determine attack order is of vital importance because it opens up the door for massive tactical advantage.

  2. Skip turns
    Another vital tool is skipping turns to regain enough energy for the next turn when players get to unleash a deadly multi-card combo that rips through their opponent in a single turn. Turns are most commonly skipped when players are certain that the enemy can't kill their Axie in a given turn. To be able to know that the enemy can't kill their Axies, players must count enemy energy. This is something we'll cover in a future article and link here.

  3. Manage your energy
    Maintaining a high energy count throughout the game is quite important as it allows for playing more cards in the later part of the match. With a lot of energy at their disposal (6+) , players get to enjoy increased confidence and a higher chance to beat their opponents. To maintain high energy, players should skip turns, and use Axies that have energy gain or steal abilities. Below are some examples of such abilities.


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That's all there is to the basics of the game

This guide is already long enough, so to finish it off we'll write a few more segments as separate articles and then link them here later on.

We'll write an:

  • in-depth breeding guide
  • leveling and SLP farming guide
  • card positioning guide
  • additional tips and tricks for both PvP and PvE part of the game

And finally, to turn you into a pro Axie player, we'll share two techniques that pros use in order to be able to anticipate, successfully predict and counter their opponents' next move.

Until then, go through this information a couple of times to make sure you've understood and learned everything because by knowing this guide by heart you'll greatly increase your chances of winning. As an added benefit, the scholarship applicants will have a significant advantage of getting a spot in our scholarship program by presenting this knowledge.

Useful tools and more information can be found here:

Got any questions about Axie Infinity or our project?

Join our discord
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