Illuvium: The first AAA Crypto Game To Hit The Shelves in 2023 ?

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Written By Finn Miller

You’ve crash-landed on a distant planet. You clamber from the wreckage and dust yourself off. Surveying your surroundings, you find yourself in a breathtaking alien world. The environment is astonishing. Thinking to yourself ‘that could have gone a lot worse’, you close your eyes and begin to relax.

Suddenly, a sharp clicking noise rouses you from your slumber. Startled, you open your eyes only to come face to face with a lurid alien scorpion. What do you do?

Illuvium crypto game

What is Illuvium?

Within Web3 circles, you’ll often hear people talking about how crypto gaming is the future. From our perspective, it all makes perfect sense. We get excited about novel utilities like genuine in-game asset ownership and play-to-earn mechanics. Yet, most ‘normal’ gamers don’t actually want NFTs in their games. That could all be set to change with Illuvium.

Illuvium is an open-world, auto-battler, creature collector space odyssey. In Illuvium, players will explore a spectacular sci-fi world and collect diverse, powerful alien creatures called Illuvials. Illuvials can be battled against the in-game environment, or against other players to earn crypto rewards. Sounds familiar? Maybe, but I never earned ETH while playing Pokemon.

Your objectives in Illuvium are simple. Explore the vast and diverse overworld looking for rare and powerful Illuvials and materials. Everything collected in-game is stored on the blockchain as NFTs and can be traded with zero gas fees on the Illuvidex. Players earn $ILV, Illuvium’s native token, by completing missions in the game. Better yet, we can wager ETH on PvP battles against other Illuvium players.

Illuvium crypto game screenshot

The Illuvium world is a visual masterpiece. The vibrant universe is powered by the Unreal Engine. Illuvium’s underlying infrastructure is built on Immutable X, a layer 2 Ethereum scaling solution. The gameplay is set out to be so engaging and seamless, you’d hardly know you were playing a blockchain game. For me, that’s the biggest takeaway and the reason I’m so excited about Illuvium.

What is Illuvium: Quick Facts

  • Illuvium is an open world exploration game, with autobattler mechanics.
  • Players adventure through a dazzling alien world collecting Illuvials and in-game materials.
  • All items and Illuvials are NFTs and can be traded on the Illuvidex.
  • Illuvium is still in development, and will be playable on both PC and Mac in 2022.
  • In Illuvium, players can earn crypto rewards through play-to-earn mechanics
  • Illuvium is built on Immutable X and powered by the Unreal Engine.

Current status of Illuvium

Development on Illuvium began back in 2020. Co-Founders (and brothers) Kieran and Aaron Warwick could see that there was a gap in the Web3 gaming market. As a whole, crypto gaming is inaccessible and many ‘normal’ gamers are quickly alienated by crypto jargon, NFTs and to pay-to-win games. The Warwick brothers wanted to design a blockchain game that still offers a seamless and immersive experience. Today, Illuvium is often referred to as the first ever AAA game to launch in the crypto space.

Illuvium is in the later stages of its development, and the hype is starting to gain some momentum. Right now, there are over 300,000 Twitter followers and more than 200,000 members in the Illuvium Discord server. This makes Illuvium one of the largest blockchain games by social metrics, and the game hasn’t even launched yet.

The Illuvium team is currently accepting beta testers to trial gameplay features. According to On-chain gaming, when the first beta testing registration went live back in January there were over 60,000 eager players wanting a piece of the action. Today, over 7,000 beta testers are actively getting a first taste of Illuvium. Only Illuvium Arena is available for now, with Illuvium Zero and Illuvium Overworld not far away.

Illuvium crypto game gamemodes

Despite Illuvium initially being scheduled for launch in 2022, development has been slower than the team expected. As the saying goes, good things take time. Illuvium is an ambitious game, building out a universe of unprecedented scope in crypto gaming. Needless to say, I’d rather the team take their time than publish a rushed game. 

But enough of the history lesson, let’s get on to the fun stuff!

Illuvium Gameplay 

Illuvium screenshot
Source: Illuvium Youtube Channel

What I love about Illuvium is that there’s something for everyone. Illiuvium is a story driven RPG with a rich and profound world. It’s a visually stunning exploration adventure, where charging into unknown areas will reward players with rare materials and powerful Illuvial allies. There’s also an element of strategic team building. Winning battles isn’t a matter of mashing buttons and hoping to come out on top. You’ll need to outwit your opponents.

Source: Illuvium Youtube Channel

Battles themselves don’t take place in the Illuvium Overworld. Instead, Illuvium encounters will open a portal that transports the player to an Arena. In the Arena, players will choose which Illuvials and items they will take into battle with them. All battles are beautifully rendered in 3d and I love the dynamic, player-controlled camera angles. The question on everyone’s mind is, ‘how can I make money from this?’

Source: Illuvium Youtube Channel

Illuvium Play to earn Mechanics

Illuvium players can earn crypto rewards by embarking on PvE quests, completing specific tasks and by winning tournaments and events in the Illuvium metaverse. You can also wager ETH on PvP matches in the Leviathan Arena. In the Leviathan Arena, competitive players go head to head to decide who is the greatest Illuvium Ranger of all time.

Source: Illuvium Youtube Channel

Illivium is built on Immutable X, a layer 2 Ethereum Scaling solution. This means that we get all the security and decentralization benefits of Ethereum, without the sluggish transactions and expensive gas fees. Immutable X is home to other popular crypto games like Guild of Guardians and Gods Unchained.

The Illuvium economy is powered by $ILV, the games’ native token. $ILV is earned by playing the game and can be staked to earn more $ILV. It’s also required to vote in matters of Illuvium governance. This is a cool feature, because it gives players a say in the ongoing development decisions of the Illivium world. 

While Illuvium looks and feels like a regular game, it has unique NFT functionality and play-to-earn mechanics that make it even more enticing. To get a better understanding of how Illuvium works let’s dive into some key features, and how we can earn money playing Illuvium.



Illuvial NFTS are the bread and butter of Illuvium. They’re exotic, alien creatures that we can collect, train and battle with. There are over 100 different varieties of Illuvial, each with a finite supply. This is important because not only will Illuvials become rarer as players collect them in the Illuvium wilderness, Illuvials also have a unique burn mechanism. 


In order to reach their final form, you’ll need to merge three fully levelled Illuvials of the previous form. This process burns the three original NFTs and mints a new, more powerful form. This means that Ascended form Illuvials will be extremely rare, and should fetch a premium on the market.

Illuvials are deflationary. Personally, I find this approach to be a stroke of genius. One of the biggest issues with Axie Infinity was that players could breed new Axies with impunity. Axies never die, so the supply inflated and Axie NFTs lost all value. The Illuvial burn mechanism means that your Illuvials are only going to get rarer as time goes on.

Illuvial NFTs are categorized into five base affinities: Water, Fire, Earth, Air and Nature. What’s more interesting is that these affinities can merge into new combinations. For example, a Frost Illuvial is a combination of Air and Water affinities. For the purists, affinities can also double down. An Inferno Illuvial, like Rhamphyre below, is the result of a double Fire affinity.


Team building strategies aren’t limited to affinities alone. Each Illuvial falls into certain classes. These classes are: Fighter, Guardian, Rogue, Psion and Empath. Like affinities, classes can be merged to create new classes. This gives us another angle to consider when team building. As someone who loves strategic planning, I can’t wait to try all the different combinations available and craft the perfect, balanced team.


The best place to keep track of all the Illuvials and their abilities is to follow the Illuvium Twitter Page. The team is constantly dropping hints, profiles and videos to help you plan ahead.

Resource Gathering in Illuvium

Collecting and selling Illuvial NFTs isn’t the only way to make money playing Illuvium. While exploring Illuvium, you can harvest a diverse range of materials and resources from the planet itself. These materials can then be used to forge unique items, like weapons and armor, that improve your Illuvium Ranger’s abilities. 

Source: Illuvium Youtube Channel

Resources can be sold to other players on the Illuvidex, which means that resource harvesting could be a very lucrative pursuit. It’s also one of the only ways to acquire Illuvium Shards, another key NFT in the Illuvium economy.

Illuvium Shards

Shards are to Illuvium what Pokeballs are to Pokemon. In fact, the Illuvium team calls them ‘the most important item in the game’. If you want to collect an Illuvial, you’ll need a Shard. Like many elements in the game, Illuvium shards are divided into different tiers based on power and rarity. Shards can be found in Illuvium by harvesting and mining resources in the wilderness. They can also be bought from other players in the Illuvidex.

Here’s the play: I suspect that when Illuvium launches, everyone is gonna go crazy looking for Illuvials to sell on the market and make a quick profit. Trading Illuvial NFTs will be the fun and exciting part of the game. However, you won’t be able to hold an Illuvial without a powerful shard to contain it. Hunting the planet for shards might be a bit less fun, and less glamorous. This means there’ll be less people doing it could lead to a supply crunch on the Shard market. If your goal is to make money playing Illuvium, this could be a good strategy.

Illuvium Land

Virtual Real Estate is a hot commodity in crypto gaming and Illuvium is no different. Illuvium Land is split across seven unique regions on the planet. By owning this land, players can mine in-game resources. Land Owners can also farm Fuel, an ERC-20 token that can be used to accelerate Illuvium gameplay.


Land is also divided into five separate tiers. Higher tier Land plots emit Fuel at a higher rate and contain rarer resources and Illuvials. Tier 5 Land Plots come complete with esports stadiums that will host official Illuvium Tournaments. Owners of these will be able to earn money from tournament fees and sponsorship deals.

Revenue Distribution

At this point, there’s no doubt in my mind that Illuvium is going to be huge. But not everyone has time to play consistently to earn through playing Illuvium. If you’re interested in Illuvium as an investment, not a game, then this one’s for you. By staking Illuvium, holders are exposed to Illuvium’s innovative Revenue Distribution model.

When official Illuvium NFTs like Land are sold from the team, part of this revenue flows through to the Illuvium DAO vault. The vault converts ETH spent ingame into $ILV, which is distributed to $ILV stakers.

How to start playing Illuvium

Depending on how much information is out there already, write out how people can get started playing the game.

If reading this guide makes you want to dive right in and start playing Illuvium today then I have some bad news. Illuvium is still in its beta testing phase and development has been slower than expected. A concrete launch date hasn’t been announced, yet all is not lost.


Eager players can get a taste of what to expect by registering to be a beta tester. To register, head to and put your name forward. If you’re accepted, you’ll get to enjoy trialling different teams and strategies in the Illuvium Arena.

How to invest in Illuvium

Disclaimer: Neither myself nor Versopedia are financial advisors in any way, shape or form. We recommend you conduct your own thorough research before investing in any project we mention. 

At the time of writing, there are two ways that you can invest in Illuvium. The easiest and most accessible method is to buy $ILV. $ILV is the native token of the Illuvium Universe, and investors can also stake $ILV to earn passive income. $ILV is available to buy on the following cryptocurrency exchanges:

  • Binance
  • Kucoin
  • MEXC
  • OKX

Another option is to buy Illuvium NFTs off the Immutable X Marketplace. The only Illuvium NFTs available right now are Illuvium Land Plots. As more Illivium NFTs, like Illuvials, become available they’ll be listed here as well. It’s important to note that the Illuvidex and Immutable Marketplace are different frontends of the same application.

The cheapest available plots were sold in a dutch auction starting at 2 ETH. While the game is still in development, Illuvium land has no utility. As a result, the floor price of the NFTs has dropped somewhat to around 0.3 ETH. When the game launches these are expected to be extremely valuable for players, so they could see some volatility.


Alternatives to Illuvium

Crypto gaming is a disruptive and revolutionary step forward for gaming industry. New games are popping up all over the place, which is great for growing and maturing the space. What are some alternatives to Illuvium?

Axie Infinity

That’s right, you guessed it. The most popular play-to-earn crypto game we’ve ever seen. Like Axie Infinity, the objective of Illuvium is to collect rare and powerful NFT creatures and battle them to earn crypto rewards. 

This might be an unpopular opinion, but I think Illuvium has far greater potential. First of all, I feel like there’s a lot more to do in Illuvium. Instead of just battling and breeding Axies, Illuvium has a whole 3d openworld to explore and a story to fulfil.

From an investment perspective, Illuvials should be a lot more valuable than Axies overtime. Axie breeding overinflated the Axie supply and meant their value has plummeted. Because of the Illuvial burn mechanic, Illuvials will only get scarcer and harder to find overtime. The first generation of Illuvial NFTs will be treasured by players and collectors.



Mirandus is a profound and rich open world adventure. Like Illuvium, it features a vast and diverse world that players can explore. I admit, Mirandus is more medieval fantasy than sci-fi, but the premise is similar. Mirandus boasts a complex and deep in-game economy that provides some incredible play-to-earn incentives.

One of the key differences between the two is that Mirandus doesn’t really have a story. In Illuvium, your ship crash lands on a mysterious planet. The game gives you frequent PvE tasks and rewards with $ILV. On the other hand in Mirandus, you have no instructions. There are no quests. Your sole objective is to acquire $MTRM, the game’s native token.

I’m not here to say which is better or worse. That’s a matter of personal opinion. I can say, however, that I expect both games to lead the blockchain gaming market in terms of adoption and earning potential. If you’d like to learn more about Mirandus, be sure to check out our detailed guide.

Final Thoughts

All things considered, Illuvium promises to be nothing short of extraordinary. For the first time ever, we’re seeing a crypto game that looks and feels like a regular RPG. For this reason, there are many in the industry who anticipate that Illuvium could help onboard the masses into crypto gaming.

The gameplay and stunning graphics appeal to the wider gaming population. While the play-to-earn mechanics and NFT integration provide plenty of speculative interest for investors. The design of the Illuvials is outstanding, and I can’t wait to see all the leaks as new Illuvials are announced. Building your team and battling against others looks exciting. The fact that I can also earn money, and my Illuvials could increase in value is an added bonus.

So when I scramble out of my wrecked spaceship and confront the monstrous scorpion before me, I know exactly what to do. It’s time to start my collection.

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Finn Miller
From the moment he first created a crypto wallet, Finn has been obsessed with Decentralized Finance, NFTs and unearthing the possibilities of the Web3 world. While primarily writing content that de-mystifies blockchain tech, Finn also works an advisor for new projects in the space.

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