Neon District Guide: How to Play, Features, Pros and Cons

Neon District is a free, turn-based, play-to-earn (P2E) cyberpunk role-playing game (RPG) set in a dystopian backdrop. Players deliver pizzas or ambush other deliveries to earn rewards called “Neon.”

Quick facts

  • Neon District is a turn-based RPG
  • The game is built on the Polygon blockchain and is playable on browsers
  • Players earn “Neon” while defending their delivery or ambushing other teams

Neon District Review

What is Neon District?

Neon District

Neon District is a free-to-play cyberpunk game that features collectible NFTs on Matic and Ethereum. Players form teams of four to deliver pizzas or ambush deliveries to earn in-game currency called Neon.

You can use this Neon to upgrade your team’s characters, armor, and weapons. The more you upgrade your character, the higher your chances of winning and earning money.

History of Neon District

Neon District launched on July 1, 2021, but the P2E feature wasn’t enabled until January 2022.
The game was developed by Blockade Games and backed by blockchain venture capitalists like BlockTower and Chain Reaction.

Chris Chapman, the Executive Producer of Blockade Games, said that the team developed Neon District because they wanted to avoid exploitative pay-to-win games.

In November 2021, Blockade’s valuation was $23 million. The developers raised over $5 million – the investors included Meltem Demirors from Coinshares, Roham Gharegozlou from Dapper Labs, and others.

Currently, Neon District has over 30,000 followers on Twitter and an active community on Discord.

How does Neon District work?

The basic premise of the game is that you must successfully deliver pizzas to win and upgrade your characters.

You can either be a law-abiding citizen and deliver pizzas or play the bad guys and steal 50% of the other team’s Neon. Apart from this, you can also participate in PvP battles with your team to win.

But to get started, you’ll need to understand the various game modes, characters and other in-game items that help you win Neon. Let’s start with the characters.

Characters

You need a team of four players to start playing Neon District. Every player gets a free character and 300 free Neon to build their first team.

There are six character types to choose from, and each of them has experience points called “Juice” that you can buy with Neon or win through battles to level up.

You can also equip them with weapons and armors to improve their abilities and increase your chances of winning.

Here’s an overview of the special abilities of each class:

  • Demons: Speed and agility in combat.
  • Docs: The primary healers.
  • Geniuses: Intelligence and problem-solving abilities.
  • Ghosts: Assassins that have infiltration capabilities.
  • Heavies: These are extremely strong.
  • Jacks: Hacking abilities.

Neon District

C.A.R.D.S

Cyber Assisted Response Directives or C.A.R.D.S are what make Neon District different from other games. Each character starts with a 10-card deck that you can exchange during the leveling-up process. (When you upgrade your character, you can choose from three random level-up bonuses or a new card.)

Since there are millions of possible combinations with these cards, you can create a unique team with them.

These cards are used to inflict damage upon your enemy with special attacks or improve your team’s skills within the battle.

Neon District

Armor, weapons, and shells

You can obtain weapons and armor by purchasing loot crates and level them up with parts (XP for gear) to boost the strength and uniqueness of your teams as your progress in the game.

Upgrading an armor doesn’t give you additional C.A.R.D.S, but 10 C.A.R.D.S are added to your deck when you level up weapons.

Neon District

If you want to go beyond weapons and armors to power up your characters, shells come in handy.

These are skins that give characters a permanent ability boost when applied to them and are the only way to maximize your potential as the game evolves.

The best part is that only 45,000 Founders’ OG (original) shells exist, and every time a player gets one, it’s burned, meaning no one else can use it again.

Also, as the game releases new seasons, the Season zero shells — shells that were released in the first version of the game will become more scarce. And characters (assets) that have these shells bonded to their weapons and armor will become the rarest ones in existence.

Neon District
​​Now that we’ve understood various in-game items let’s look at the different game modes in Neon District.

Game modes

Neon District’s season one version boasts the following gameplay modes:

  • Delivering pizza (Neon pizza): You can send out your team on deliveries to earn Neon which you can use to purchase loot crates. All teams start in Tier 1 (where you won’t be ambushed) and move to Tier 2 (which is riskier and offers more Neon) after 42 shifts.
  • Ambush: If you’re looking for a bigger challenge, you can ambush other teams that are out delivering pizza to earn 50% of their unbanked Neon when you’re in Tier 2. If you’ve already sent out your team for deliveries, you’ll need to wait for them to get back until you can send them out on ambush.
  • Practice battle: This game mode doesn’t offer any reward, but if you want to play against the computer in a PvP mode, try out this mode. There’s also a private match mode, but many players have reported that the game doesn’t match them with teams

Pro tips

  • Always store your Neons in a bank when you reach Tier 2 to avoid ambushing teams from stealing them.
  • Neon District has a hit contract feature that lets you avenge your team’s loss. All you’ve got to do is go to the Delivery Agents page, click “Open Hit Contract,” and choose whether the details of the hit you’re ordering should be made public or private.
  • You can share the details with your friends through a link if you want the mission to stay a secret. But if you want to order a public hit, post the contract on the informant’s network page.
  • Create two teams — one for delivery and one for ambush. Typically, players send out their weaker teams for delivery and use the stronger ones for ambush.

Neon District NFTs

The game’s in-game assets like armors, gears, and shells are available as NFTs on the OpenSea marketplace.

Neon District cryptocurrency and tokens explained

There are two driving forces behind Neon District’s design, namely:

  • Give players equal opportunity to succeed — no more “pay to win.”
  • Keep the game interesting and challenging enough to attract new players and ensure the existing ones stick around.

To achieve this, the game is decoupling “scarcity” and “utility” by making power ups inversely proportional to the rarity of the item.

Gears (armors and weapons) have five levels of rarity, namely: Common, Uncommon, Rare, Ultra-Rare, and Legendary.

When you upgrade them, you get three power ups pulled from a random pool that have various degrees of power and are influenced by attributes like class, rarity, weapon type, etc.,

Now, here’s where things get interesting. Neon District’s token model is such that common items have chances of getting the highest power ups, meaning you can convert a weak gear into the strongest one.

Add different characters to the mix, and the token model becomes more balanced out. For example, if a player focuses on building a team that primarily relies on characters that deal heavy damage, it’s less likely that they’ll get a healer’s gear in their crates. You can get more information on how this works here.

Neon District price

You can start Neon District without any initial investment.

How to play Neon District

When it comes to playing in the “Delivery” and “Ambush” mode, the game automatically shows the result of your delivery, and you can watch the replay later. So, we’ll focus on how you can play the game in PvP mode in this section.

Playing Neon District in PvP (Practice battle) mode is similar to traditional turn-based games. Each player has four characters, and it’s one player’s turn to take action at any given time.

Here’s how it goes:

There’s a coin toss to decide who goes first. Then, the characters’ are organized from front to back (Skip to the Getting started section to check out how to arrange your teams.)

Neon District

During your turn, you can either choose an action that includes attacking the other team or boosting the skills of your team.

Neon District

Whenever an attack is made, each player loses “energy” called “Ticks.” There are infinite Ticks for each player, but the higher the tick, the longer the cooldown time until the next turn.

These also determine the turn order, and the character with the lowest tick goes first. If there’s a tie, the character who battled earlier goes into battle first.

A character remains in battle if their health is above 0, and the first team to knock out all opponents while having at least one player standing wins.

How to install Neon District

Since the game is playable on browsers, you don’t have to install it anywhere.

How to earn money on Neon District

The best way to earn money on Neon District is to earn Neon and use it to upgrade your character and armors.

You can then sell these characters on NFT marketplaces by going to Advanced Settings and enabling “Wallet Manager” to transfer in-game assets into your wallets.

Neon District

Pros and cons of Neon District

Pros

  • Feels like a “game” rather than an NFT-selling stint
  • Truly free
  • Easy to play

Cons

  • Glitches sometimes
  • Diminishing returns in the long-run
  • Low play volume

Pros explained

Here’s why you shouldn’t be missing out on Neon District:

Feels like a “game” rather than an NFT-selling stint

As mentioned earlier, the game has a “pay-for-convenience” model rather than a “pay-to-win” one, so players can level up and compete fairly against each other.

Truly free

Unlike other “free games” out there that ask you to make a “small investment” for gas fees, you only need an email address to start playing Neon District.

Easy to play

Players who are unfamiliar with the NFTs and tokenomics will also find the game appealing as the gameplay is addictive, and the signup process is easy.

Cons explained

Here’s why you might have second thoughts:

Glitches

As is the case with most NFT games out there, Neon District might lag and glitch, especially if you’ve got a poor internet connection.

Diminishing returns in the long run

As you level up, the quests get harder, and the game gets more competitive. Players have to spend more hours playing to earn Neon and get more profits.

Low player volume

Since the game is just starting out and doesn’t have diverse game modes, there are not many players you can compete against.

Getting started

Create an account: Go to Neon District’s official website, add your credentials and verify your email to create a new account.

Neon District

Connect your wallet: Enable “Wallet Manager” from Advanced settings and click “Connect New wallet” in the Wallet tab.

Neon District

Buy Neon: Click the “Buy Neon” button, choose the amount of Neon you want to purchase and check out with your credit card or Web3 Wallet.

Neon District

Buy equipment: Choose the “Get Gear” option.

Neon District

Then, choose the number of boxes and click “Buy Boxes” on the top-right corner.

Neon District

Buy characters: Newbies get to claim freebies – one character, 5 Juice, and 300 Neon. To start playing, you need to buy three more characters and create a squad (which is covered by your Neon.)

To buy more characters, choose the “Get characters” option.

Neon District

Then, select your character.

Neon District

To buy another character, click “Buy Another” after the success message from your previous purchase.

Neon District

Equip your character: Choose the “Level Up” option from your character dashboard.

Neon District

Then, choose the character you want to equip.

Neon District

Next, click the “Equip Button” on top.

Neon District

Lastly, choose your equipment.

Neon District

Your character is now fitted with a gear.

Neon District

Create your team: Choose “Team Setup” from the “Battle” tab.

Neon District

Click the characters on the left tab and choose the slot number to slot them. The first one will be the frontmost character while playing the game.

Neon District

Click “Save” to save your team and start playing.

Neon District

Start playing: To start playing in delivery mode, go to “Delivery Agents” from the “Neon” tab and choose “Start new shift.”

Neon District

To engage in a PvP battle, go to the “Battle” tab and choose between “Practice Match” and “Private Match.”

Neon District

FAQs

Where can I play Neon District?

You can play Neon District on their official website: https://portal.neondistrict.io/

Where can I buy Neon District?

Neon District doesn’t need to be bought to start playing.

When is the Neon District release date?

Neon District was released on July 1, 2021, by Blockade Games.

Neon District Game Info

  • Genre: Role Playing
  • Free to Play: Free
  • Platform(s): Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS
  • Blockchain(s): Polygon
  • Token(s): Neon
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Mrig is a senior writer who contributes regularly to PlaytoEarn website. She helps blockchain, web3, and crypto companies with content. You’ll often find her hunched over a laptop, trying to sort an overstuffed content calendar.