Strategy Games

Play to Earn: Making Money Mining in Alien Worlds

playtoearn alien worlds header

Play to Earn is all about blockchain gaming and the play-to-earn business model, and today we take a look at mining in the newly launched open beta for Alien Worlds. The game by the German studio Dacoco runs on the Wax blockchain, and it embraces elements from play-to-earn, DeFi and DAOs. Everybody who joins the Alien Worlds beta gets a basic human avatar and a shovel, now let’s start mining!

The current beta only introduces the concept of mining. Later on the Thunderdome will open, allowing PVP combat. In addition staking on planets isn’t fully developed yet, and hardly provides utility. In this guide we only look at mining, which is currently the core and only mechanic available for Alien Worlds.

There are different planets with different surfaces, and by mining players can discover Trilium (TLM). First players need to select a planet, and then the location where they want to mine. Future versions of the game also involve a battle mode in which players can use their minions and weapons.

Benefit of owning land

On the main screen players will first need to check their inventory. If you’ve never bought any assets, you will find the standard shovel here. Make sure it’s equipped. However, through the pre-sale earlier in December or by doing acquisitions on the secondary market, players can also get more tools. Equipping up to three tools increases the chance for bigger rewards.

Landowners get a commission on all the mining activity happening on their land. The standard rate is set to 20 percent, but some landowners are already lowering their rate to 10 percent. Owning land therefore provides passive income that fluctuates based on player activity.

Dacoco GmbH has written an extensive whitepaper that goes into the calculations behind all the data. It’s deep, but also quite easy to understand. If you want to get into Alien Worlds after reading our article, be sure to also give the technical blueprint a read.

Understanding mining in Alien Worlds

We approach Alien Worlds without having invested any money at all. Therefore we use a standard character and a shovel, and we travel to planets to find Trilium. While mining there’s a small chance to find NFTs, and some of those can be equipped to improve your chances. Based on the luck statistics of the used equipment, players have an increased chance to find digital assets like avatars, soldiers or mining tools.

Based on the stats from the used tools and the land, there’s a cooldown between mining sessions. For example, players who used very rare items will need to wait one hour, while players with only the standard shovel have to wait 90 seconds. The land and tools also influence the mining rewards and frequency. The following attributes are important: charge time, Trilium Mining Power and NFT luck.

Charge time / Mining cooldown (Item description)

When you use three tools, the two longest charge times will be combined. However, do you use two tools then the longer charge time and half of the shorter one are added together. Land used for mining also comes with a charge time multiplier, which ultimately gives you your charge time or mining cooldown.

Trilium Mining Power (Top left)

The mining power is indicated by the percentage shown on all tools used in a mining session. This number need to be multiplied by the multiplier on the land. The number will influence how much TLM a player is capable of mining.

NFT Luck (Bottom right)

Currently one of the most sought after numbers, is the one for NFT Luck. This influences the chance to find more NFTs. Each mining session players can find one or zero NFTs, nothing more. Each tool using for mining as a luck percentage. These percentages combined, multiplied by the land multiplier, create the player NFT Luck percentage.

Proof of Work reducer (Bottom left)

Mining in Alien Worlds actually is a form of cryptocurrency mining. The program makes the device that’s running the game, either your smartphone or PC, do some calculations. This is based on SHA256, similar to the encryption behind Bitcoin. The amount of computing work that need to be done, changes based on this number. Especially on smartphones this could influence your waiting time, but on a PC it takes a few seconds.

The proof of work calculation is:

sha256( concat( account_name, first_8_bytes_last_mine_tx_id, nonce ) )

if wam first 2 bytes == 0, next 4 bits must be less or equal than pow reduction

if not wam first 3 bytes 0, next 4 lte pow reduction

Just trying to score some nerd points here, as this code isn’t really something you need to know to play the game.

My mining results

Below a small test on mining in a Rocky Desert on the planet Kavian. These numbers have been calculated based on 15 mining sessions.

EquipmentAvg. TLM EarningsCooldown
Standard shovel2.31452:01 min
Standard shovel + capacitator5.473:50 min

Having a standard capacitator, which costs like 3 WAX on the open market, gives users a bigger chance to find NFTs and brings in a 150% bigger yield. However, the downside of using these low levels items is that mining itself becomes an active endeavor. With more valuable items earnings increase significantly and the cooldown as well. This would make it easier to manage, as players would only need to activate their mining tools for example once every hour.

Investing into a better future

While mining I quickly realized that this was a demanding effort. I would often forget about the mining or sometimes obsess a bit too much. On top of that the profits are very minimal. But what if you would invest 30 dollars (so the earnings of two basic months) into Alien Worlds. I did that.

I didn’t look at the charge time, but made sure the luck numbers were as high as possible. Now I have three rare items that give me a total luck of 22 percent and a mining power of 37. However, my charge time or cooldown is well over 2.5 hours. That would mean I need to check my profile only five or six times per day, instead of six to eight times per hour.

EquipmentAvg. TLM EarningsCooldown
See image above852 hours 21 min
Explosives <–> standard capacitator2320-30 min (depending on land)

Upon improving my tools my charge time skyrocketed, and yes I earned more TLM. But measured in terms of TLM/minute the increase wasn’t that miraculous. However, things improved after swapping the large explosives for an ordinary capacitator. Suddenly I’d have a theoretical average of 90 TLM per hour. However, RNG was clearly more in my favor. Almost two out of three mining sessions got me an NFT, even though I’m still waiting for a rare one.

Low charge time and high luck seems to be a combination useful for NFT farming. However, if you’re aiming for TLM, it’s probably better to go for a low charge time and lots of mining power.

Above everything it’s useful to experiment. What works best for your personal life style, and with your current equipment. When you earn more NFTs, tactics might change. If you’re super busy, you might want to swap cards to a setup with long cooldowns. However, if you’re sitting down for some mining, you obviously want to switch to cards with a short charge time.

Play to Earn – Alien Worlds overview

I have been actively mining for a couple of days, while also sleeping, eating and working. However, the browser tab with the Alien Worlds mining beta was one click away from me all the time. I never paid a dime for Alien Worlds during the first day. In 24 hours I managed to obtain almost 300 TLM and two common NFTs.

TLM is a tokenized currency and stored on the Wax blockchain. Players can sell all TLM they’ve earned immediately on the Alcor exchange, while NFTs can be sold on Atomichub. At the moment of writing one TLM is worth 0.039 WAX. This translates to 0.0016 cent per TLM.

Without paying anything, based on a full time working week, we’d find an average of let’s say 10 NFTs. That’s 30 WAX. In addition there’s 1500 TLM from mining, which equals 58 WAX. That’s means a total of 88 WAX per week while multitasking and doing your actual desk job. That’s 352 WAX per month, or 14 dollars.

If we would invest 30 dollars, we’re able to earn 80 TLM per hour. That’s 640 TLM per day and 3200 TLM per week. Totals 12800 TLM per month, which equals 499 WAX. But only if your timing is perfect and you never forget to mine. For example, we keep a 50 percent NFT finding rate, which would mean at the very least eight NFTs per day. The cheapest are worth something like 3 WAX, totals at 480 WAX. Obviously, if you’d have the luck to find something very rare, your earnings go up. Making our monthly earnings approximately 979 WAX, or 39 dollars.

15-39 dollars per month

Special thanks to Veilvi and CryptozNewb for their contribution to this article in the Play to Earn Community Discord Server.

Robert Hoogendoorn avatar
Robert Hoogendoorn is a gamer and blockchain enthusiast. He got in touch with crypto in 2014, but the fire really lit in 2017. Professionally he's a content optimization expert and worked for press agencies and video production companies, always with a focus on the video games & tech industry. He's a content manager and creator at heart, started the Play to Earn Online Magazine in early 2020.