CryptoFighters — The First Play to Earn NFT

Adam McBride
4 min readSep 6, 2021

CryptoFighters was launched on January 22, 2018, so it’s early from a gaming perspective on Ethereum, and that it’s likely to be the first play-to-earn game adds weight to its historical significance.

Original contract:

Total Supply: 4,954



Play to Earn

CryptoFighters claim as the first play-to-earn on Ethereum stems from the fact that users could battle their team— comprised of a mix of their NFTs — against another user's team, and the winner of the battle would earn a freshly minted NFT character.

It is different from what we would call a play-to-earn game today which often involves a token of some sort. But what they were doing in 2018 was taking the first step in the direction of today’s modern play-to-earn games.

And for that reason alone it is a historically significant NFT project.

IMPORTANT: The CryptoFighters team recently turned off battle mode in the game to prevent additional NFTs from being created. Capping the total supply at 4,954 NFTs.

The Rarities

When viewing the NFTs on Opensea you will notice a rather large and complex grouping of rarities.

I am going to work top-down from what I feel are the rarest to the least rare to give you a general overview of how to value the collection. This is in no way exhaustive or financial advice, as I very well may be wrong. It’s just the way I currently look at it.

Death Knights

Within the Opensea rarities these guys, unfortunately, get completely buried, but in my view are not only the coolest fighters but with only 15 of them in total they are also the rarest. You can see them here.

Early Mints

If you select any of the fighters and then replace the digits at the end of the URL you can view the first fighters that were produced. With the first 15 or so being the ultra rares.

I randomly picked this fighter and will replace the number ‘4721’ with the number ‘1’.

Resulting in the first fighter ever minted.

Note: You will see that the vast majority of the early mints are owned by the CryptoFigher team. I have expressed to them that this is a problem for overall market dynamics, they agreed, and have begun listing their holdings for sale.


If you don’t have a bunch of ETH to purchase one of the Death Knights or Early Mints the next best filter IMO is to look for the generation of the fighter.

To do that select the down arrow on the filter named ‘Generation’

And then change the numbers in the two boxes to match to search by generation (0, 1, 2, 3, or 4).

In this case, I am filtering for generation 0 which shows that there is 1,771 generation 0 fighters.


Now that the developers have turned off gameplay I think one of the highly valued traits will be battles fought and won.

To filter for this select either the ‘Battles Fought’ or the ‘Battles Won’ dropdown arrows and use the sliders to narrow down your search.

As you can see from my simple filter here the number of generation 0 fighters that won at least 89 battles are only 6 fighters, rare indeed.

More Details

There are so many more details to this project that I couldn’t fit into this article but you can hear them directly from one of the founders (Elie) who was nice enough to come on my podcast. Find it wherever you listen:

Apple Podcasts