PSA: The official Genopets website is https://www.genopets.me/. Be wary of clicking on similar web addresses from Google Search results.
Imagine Pokémon GO - trainer battles, collectible creatures, evolution, the whole deal. Now sprinkle in some move-to-earn from STEPN, resource management from Clash of Clans, pet rearing from Tamagotchi and voilà! That’s how you get Genopets (GENE)!
Genopets is a Solana-based mobile game that helps you monetize an active lifestyle through GameFi elements. Since we last covered the basics of Genopets in our move-to-earn article, the game’s Phase 2 Whitelist Beta has been released for early access to whitelisted members, including Genesis Genopet owners, Genesis Habitat owners, Discord DNA members, Top 1,000 Treasure Hunt players, and Top 5,000 GENE stakers. These players would be given a headstart in playing the game, one whole week before the flood gates open for more Beta players to join in.
While the full game will introduce a lot more nuance and gameplay elements, this article will focus on the features that have been made available in the current Beta phase, as well as some of the core mechanisms that Genopets will have to offer. However, if you are interested in a broader overview of Move-to-Earn, check out our previous article here.
Let’s get right to it!
Banking in your Steps for Energy
As you might already suspect, Genopets’ gameplay is powered by physical activities. Before we even get to move-to-earn, you will first need to move-to-play. The game uses your phone’s (and smartwatches in the future) pedometer to track your movements. As you go about your daily life, Steps will be tracked and accumulated which you can then “bank” to convert into Energy.
Energy is a valuable in-game resource that is used to fuel other resource production such as KI or XP to level up your Genopet. But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, so let’s pull back for now and start from the very beginning - getting a Genopet.
Our first official look at @genopets the Original Move to earn game!— Bitcoin Daily (@BitcoinxDaily) August 12, 2022
I’m pretty excited for this one!
Here’s the process on getting your first FREE #Genopet
Are you going to play Genopets?
Stay tuned for our deep dive on YouTube soon! pic.twitter.com/gr5phgdpTE
Just to make things clear from the get-go, you don’t have to buy a Genopet to start playing the game. In fact, you don’t have to spend a single cent at all since the game is free-to-play-to-earn (read that again). You will however need a Genopet to start playing the game, which can be bought from secondary marketplaces like MagicEden, or summoned for free when you first log in.
The summoning ritual itself is a brief but interesting experience. You’ll need to channel your conscience into the Genopet by answering questions such as “End or Means”, “Implicit or Explicit”, “Reactive or Proactive”. Supposedly, the resulting Genopet will then be your digital, spirit animal!
For those who don’t mind spending a little bit of SOL to get ahead of the curve, consider getting your hands on a Genesis Genopet. Owning a Genesis Genopet not only allows you instant access to the game Beta, but also starts you off at Stage 4, Level 22 instead of Stage 1, Level 1.
Remember that little snippet of Steps Banking from earlier? Notice how the Level 2 Genopet managed to convert 2,012 Steps into only 1,937 Energy? That’s because Genopets, depending on their level, have a certain degree of Step Efficiency. A higher Genopet level means that you’ll be able to earn Energy much more efficiently. That means a Genesis Genopet owner will be able to convert Steps into Energy at a much higher rate compared to a regular Genopet owner right from the get-go. Genesis Genopets owners will also be entitled to any additional rewards or benefits that the game might push out in the future.
Another thing to note is that leveling up, and ultimately selling, Genopets will be the main vehicle for free-to-play players to earn. In order to unlock other revenue streams, you’ll need to get ahold of a Habitat (see below).
Moving forward, additional Tamagotchi-esque features such as Mood, Nurture, Augments, and Battle System (not available in the current Beta) will also be implemented. We expect that more stats will also be introduced to your Genopets to reflect these new gameplay features, which will in turn scale together with the Genopets’ levels.
High-level view of Whitelist Beta Gameplay; Source: CoinGecko Research
Genopets Habitats epitomize the “earn” in play-to-earn. Owning a Habitat instantly unlocks several revenue streams for the player, the most obvious of which is KI Harvesting (i.e. KI withdrawal). Harvest allows players to convert Energy to KI and depending on the Withdrawal length you choose, the Energy <> KI conversion rate will differ. In a concept similar to the Lockdrop, the longer the withdrawal period for KI, the better the rate.
Source: Genopets Game Whitepaper
This same KI can then be sold just like any other tokens, or spent to perform other in-game economic activities such as Crystal Refinement. Refined Crystals can be sold on NFT marketplaces as an additional income source, or used to Repair your Habitats (more on this later).
Source: Genopets Game Whitepaper
All Habitats decay over time, starting from the moment the Habitat is first used. Habitats start off with a Lifespan of 90 days, which indicates the number of days remaining until the Habitat falls into Dormancy. Once a Habitat enters Dormancy, it can no longer be used until it is Restored using KI. Players can also Repair their Habitats to extend their Lifespan by 1 day, which is achieved through burning a Refined Crystal of the same type as the Habitat.
If you’re not a fan of putting in the work yourself, Habitats can also be leased out to other players to perform Harvesting (converting Energy to KI) or Alchemy (Item crafting with Refined Crystals). In return, you can earn a cut of their earnings or rental fees, both of which are determined by you as the Landlord.
It’s clear that resource management is as big a part of Genopets as its move-to-earn element. And unless you’re M2EID | SAMSAM#6 who’s apparently a full-time Ironman capable of churning out tens of thousands of steps every day (devs please🙏🏻), you’ll likely have to make some hard decisions on resource allocation.
Do I spend all my Energy to level up my Genopet now, or should I prioritize harvesting KI instead? How long should I set the waiting period for KI Harvesting to be? Should I sell my Refined Crystals, or spend them on repairing my Habitat? Just like other strategy games, players will constantly find themselves striking a balance between instant and delayed gratification in Genopets. The resources you generate and the economic decisions you make will set the foundation for Genopets’ player-created economy - think MapleStory Marketplace or Diablo III Auction House, but on-chain.
As mentioned, the full game will introduce more revenue avenues but for now, only certain features are enabled in the Beta at the time of writing:
Private Beta features highlighted in red; Source: Genopets Medium
Free-to-play Earning Sources:
- Sale of Genopets
- Sale of Genopets (only free-to-play option)
- Daily KI Harvest
- Sale of Refined Crystals
- Sale of Habitats
- Leasing Habitats to Alchemists and Harvesters
- Sale of other in-game items/resources
How Much Can you Earn?
As discussed above, there are multiple avenues to earn but the primary method is through KI harvesting. The amount of KI you get is dependent on the daily cap and amount of available daily Energy you convert.
At this point, KI has a minimum withdrawal period of 7-days and a maximum of 14-days. The maximum amount of KI you can harvest and withdraw per day is 40 KI (Genesis Habitat). 2000 Energy is required to earn the daily KI rewards. The amount of Energy you earn depends on the amount of steps you take + the level of your Genopets. You can see the base calculations below.
Source: Genopets Whitepaper
We have also prepared a table to illustrate the potential returns a Genopet player can expect to earn through KI Harvests and the sale of excess Refined Crystals (any Refined Crystals that are not needed for Repair).
In this example, a player with just a regular Habitat (rightmost column) is projected to earn ~$4.04 a day, less all the upkeep fees for Habitat repair and restoration.
Source: CoinGecko Research (download the sheet here!)
Assuming the player generates just enough Energy for the daily KI harvest cap (i.e. 30 KI) and opts for the 10D withdrawal period (1 Energy = 0.0143 KI), he/she will only need <2,500 steps daily to earn an annual ROI of ~299%. No drastic changes to your routine, no hardcore workout regimens. Just go about your daily life with a phone in your pocket (as we already do) to earn some additional, relatively passive income.
Do note that these prices are based on the existing prices of assets, i.e. Habitat and Ki during the private beta. These may well change drastically when the game officially launches to the public as more features are unlocked and more players join in. We’ll be sure to update the sheet when that happens. From an earnings potential perspective, it remains to be see if Genopets can scale the heights of STEPN where at its peak, users were raking in upwards of $40 a day - a whopping annual ROI of ~638%.
Differences vs STEPN
At a glance, Genopets’ tokenomics seem to borrow heavily from STEPN’s dual-token system. Genopets (GENE), like STEPN (GMT), is the governance and staking token. Genopets KI (KI) on the other hand is the equivalent of Green Satoshi Token (GST), an in-game utility token that will be the main driving force behind the game’s play-to-earn concept. The nuances lie in how KI is treated in-game versus GST.
Source: CoinGecko Research
On top of its token sinks, Genopets also introduces an Energy system that acts as an additional layer between Steps and KI generation. This not only adds complexity to the gameplay, but also forces players to make decisions on resource allocation. On certain days, channeling Energy elsewhere besides Harvesting KI might be a better play. Couple this with a capped, lockdrop-style KI withdrawal system, and you’re looking at a heavily filtered outflow for KI production, with many potential stoppages and redirections in between. Compare this to STEPN where the direct output of physical activities is GST, with not much else for consideration aside from the token sinks shown above. It’s still early days, but with more token sinks, together with a daily cap in KI emissions, there’s hope that the tokenomics of the project can be more sustainable.
GENE, on the other hand, is not really comparable to GMT since the utilization rates have yet to be determined.
First impression - Genopets actually feels like a game. We mentioned earlier in our Crabada article how Web3 games are more akin to DeFi with extra steps. Take away the token incentives and all you get is a bare-bones game that’s simply not that fun to play with.
In STEPN’s case, the gamification elements are few and far between. Sneaker reparation feels like a chore that impedes your earnings but somehow, the same features in Genopets feel more like strategic game decisions in resource distribution.
Genopets also borrows elements from games like Pokemon Go and Tamagotchi. The pets are a lot more interactive than a still-shot of a Sneaker, and you get a sense of achievement from watching them grow and evolve. The Genopets themselves are visual representations of your physical hardwork, and it’s very, very rewarding. With more new gameplay modes to be introduced, we’re hopeful that players can do more with the game instead of just turning on the app before you go on walks.
However, like all M2E/P2E games, the long-term success of Genopets will depend on not just the entertainment value, but the sustainability of the economy. Other M2E games like STEPN or P2E games like Axie Infinity had exponential growth because of highly lucrative but over inflationary rewards. We have seen both games experience their demise as DAU drop to all-time-lows once their respective rewards lost its value. Genopets has the second-mover advantage and will have the opportunity to learn from their competitors’ mistakes. Combined with their entertaining gameplay, the project is poised for success if the team can fine-tune their economy once the future updates kick-in.
Phase II Beta of Genopets is set to open up to more players on the waitlist starting today, with the full game being touted to release sometime later this year.
Dillon is an Operations Associate at CoinGecko with a weakness for 3-digit APYs. As an ex-consultant, he now finds joy in laughing at consulting memes unironically.