Solana has been surging again lately, rising 22% over the last month and again nearing the recent high set in December—and it has skyrocketed from the sub-$10 mark it hit in late 2022. And if you’re looking to fill your wallet with even more Solana, then why not earn more by playing games?

Numerous play-to-earn games are based on Solana, and either reward players with SOL itself or another token within the Solana ecosystem, which can be swapped for SOL at an exchange. In some of the examples below, you’ll need to purchase an NFT to enable in-game earnings—but it might be worth it if you’re planning to play a bunch.

Here are six notable play-to-earn games that you can play today to earn tokens and stack SOL, and stay tuned as we plan to expand this list with newer titles over time.

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Ev.io

What would have made the classic Quake III Arena even better? Earning cash while fragging foes, probably. Well, that’s basically what Ev.io serves up. This web-based game takes the old-school arena first-person shooter (FPS) format and adds the ability to earn cryptocurrency while you play, which only amplifies the sense of frenzied competition.

Ev.io is totally free to play, although you’ll need to buy an NFT if you want to earn the in-game “e” currency that can be cashed out for SOL. Luckily, we’ve put together a guide on how to get started with earning in the game. Also, Ev.io has given out the Solana meme token BONK, as well, so there’s been plenty of earning potential.

Stepn

Move to earn—simple enough, right? Stepn took the idea of activity tracking apps and ran with it (pun intended), pairing crypto rewards as a way to motivate players to get out there and log their jogs and jaunts. While the Stepn hype has fallen sharply from the early 2022 peak, you can still earn the GST reward tokens on Solana by playing.

You’ll need to buy NFT sneakers in the game to get started, however, but putting a little skin in the game might motivate you to up your exercise routine and ultimately rack up more SOL.

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Aurory

You’ll typically need to own NFTs to earn Solana-based AURY tokens in Aurory, a Pokémon-inspired role-playing game that runs across Solana and Ethereum scaling network Arbitrum. As a blog post explains, Aurory players earn in-game (off-chain) sub-tokens by battling their Nefties NFT creatures, which are then automatically converted to AURY tokens and awarded to players.

More recently, Aurory has advertised AURY rewards for winning matches in the Blitz player-vs-player (PVP) mode. And NFT owners can also stake their assets to earn AURY rewards, as well. There are multiple ways to earn in one of Solana’s most prominent games.

Currently, as of this writing, Aurory has launched limited-time public access to its Seekers of Tokane game experience via the Epic Games Store, timed with the launch of a special "Dracurve's Awakening" in-game event. For the event, Aurory is serving up $50,000 worth of AURY rewards—including $35,000 for NFT owners, and $15,000 for other players. The promotion, which will also dole out free NFTs, is running through February 26.

MixMob

"Race-to-earn" game MixMob mashes up racing games and card-based strategy into a unique concoction—and it's one that serves up token rewards to players. You can earn SUD tokens for playing, plus there are opportunities to wager tokens on other players' matches.

On February 1, MixMob launched an airdrop for its MXM governance token to reward NFT owners, as well as players of the game's incentivized beta. Token rewards look to be a key part of the overall MXM experience, so there's compelling reason to get involved ahead of potential future drops.

Star Atlas: SAGE Labs

While developer ATMTA gradually builds out its epic vision for the full-fledged version of sci-fi simulation Star Atlas, it launched an on-chain Solana web game called SAGE Labs that lets early players plug into the same kind of open economy with a simpler interface.

And there are sizable rewards to be claimed. Late last year, Star Atlas served up Golden Ticket tokens to players, which could be entered in drawings to win crypto tokens and NFT in-game items collectively valued at a total of $1.35 million. You’ll need some SOL or ATLAS in your Solana wallet to play since everything is handled on-chain, but the potential rewards are substantial.

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DeFi Land

Many early crypto games were derided as being DeFi apps dressed up as games, but DeFi Land embraces that vibe wholeheartedly, pairing a farming simulation experience with play-to-earn rewards—plus the ability to transact crypto tokens via DeFi protocols.

You’ll need specific NFTs to unlock the play-to-earn version of the fishing, shooting, and harvest mini-games, as well as pet NFTs to earn tokens for taking care of animals. DeFi Land serves up Solana-based GOLDY tokens for those NFT owners when they play, letting you earn back some of your investment.

On top of that, DeFi Land also lets players engage with DeFi protocols that could earn you yield for staking tokens, but be careful—it might look like a game, but you’re playing with real tokens.

Editor's note: This story was originally posted on November 28, 2023 and last updated with new information on February 15, 2024.

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