Splinterlands: More than a Game—Part of an Ecosystem.


On the one month anniversary of beginning to play Splinterlands, I wanted to share some thoughts on how I have come to see the game and how it fits into the HIVE ecosystem. And also to look ahead to an attempt to play differently.

I Prefer Play To Win.

I’m a game player. I like to play games. I like to solve puzzles. I find more enjoyment in working a puzzle and solving it, than I do in simply advancing past the puzzle—even if there is prestige related to the advancement. I would rather be at the bottom of the leaderboard figuring out how to advance than simply sitting atop it. That’s just me, and it boils down to the ageless question: is it the journey or the destination that matters most? There is merit to both answers. I’m a journey-guy, but I don’t have a problem with the destination-folk.


As you might guess, I’m not big on “pay to win” games. They just don’t fit my journey-guy style.

Splinterlands Is A Pay-To-Win Game—And It Needs To Be.

Still, I do like Splinterlands, even though it has a very strong pay-to-win tilt. But let’s be real, it has to. “Play to earn” and “pay to win” are flipsides of the same coin. For there to be play-to-earn, there must be pay-for-something. One person’s “pay” provides the other person’s “earnings.” How else could it possibly work? And from the standpoint of playing a game, what other pay-to-something motivates as well as pay-to-win?


Splinterlands Is Part Of An Ecosystem—Choose How You Pay.

Now here is where things get interesting in my opinion.

More than just a game, Splinterlands is part of the HIVE ecosystem. The relationship between Splinterlands and HIVE is totally symbiotic. HIVE is a blockchain devoted to social interaction. Splinterlands is a game that naturally spurs social interaction, but it requires a blockchain infrastructure. The two work together. HIVE gets the increased social interaction which it needs to thrive, and Splinterlands gets the blockchain that it needs to thrive.

Going beyond being devoted to social interaction, HIVE actually rewards it. And since Splinterlands and HIVE are part of the same ecosystem, transferring the rewards given by HIVE into Splinterlands and using them to pay for Splinterlands assets is fairly trivial—but nevertheless beyond the scope of this post.


My point here is that participating in the HIVE ecosystem in general provides an alternate method of “paying to win” in Splinterlands. And I will add—a method that appeals more to my journey-guy nature than just reaching for my wallet.

Yes, Splinterlands is a pay-to-win game, and yes, engaging in the HIVE ecosystem is part of my pay-to-win strategy. I very much doubt I am alone on this count.

Going It Alone—How Far Can I Go In Splinterlands Solely Playing To Win?

As I have continued my HIVE/Splinterlands journey, one question has continuously nagged at me. The nagging has become more persistent ever since DEC rewards were ended for Bronze-III players. The question is, exactly how difficult is it to progress through Spinterlands relying on nothing more than the $10 spellbook. No other outside investments. No HIVE ecosystem symbiosis. Just playing the game.

I can see a path ahead for a player who is so strongly intent on “play to win.” Credits can be used to rent cards. So, play, save, rent/buy, advance should be possible. But how hard would it be? A puzzle.


So, I have decided to take the plunge. I plan to set up an alt account and use it ONLY to play Splinterlands without paying any more to win—in any form. I will share my progress, but using this, my original account, and the alt account in no way will benefit from the postings. That account is going it alone. If you care to follow along, I will use the tag #tpbjustplay on all future related posts.

Wish me luck. I think it is clear we can choose how we pay to win in Splinterlands. Now I will see if I can not pay at all… well, no more than $10.


I love to see these types of challenges. Please post updates on how your limited budget account goes.