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Splinterlands (SPS) Review | Notum

By Notum

Oct 15, 202216 min read



Collectible card games on the blockchain have captured the world. They have a lot of fans because it is not only cool entertainment but also an opportunity to earn good money. One of the representatives of this diaspora is Splinterlands, a game with a long history, launched in 2018 and still in all the TOPs.


What Is Splinterlands?

Splinterlands is a collectible card game based on blockchain technology. Players’ cards are NFTs and belong to them, so they can withdraw them to their wallets or sell them on the exchange or the in-game marketplace, but, most importantly, no one can ban players for doing so, as would happen in a typical game when selling game values. The mechanics of Splinterlands are similar to Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone, so if you’ve played card games before, you can quickly figure it out.

Co-founders-developers Matthew Rosen and Jesse Reich launched the game in 2018 under Steem Monsters. Initially, the game operated on the Steem blockchain, but in March 2020, it switched to Steem’s fork Hive. Hive was launched after a thwarted attempt by TRON CEO Justin Sun to seize control of the project. At the same time, the game changed its name.

In the early years, the development of Splinterlands was funded by the sale of game card packages: this was enough to maintain a team of several people. But later, the project attracted strategic investments, allowing the team to expand.

In 2021 Splinterlands was at its peak of popularity and had more than 300 thousand players. The developers have big plans for further expansion of the game: they want to develop guild content, add boss battles to the game, and add more content in the form of lands and territories that players can own.


How Does Splinterlands Work?

The most exciting thing in the game is the battles. Immediately after registration, you can fight with other players, understand the mechanics, study maps and get your hand without spending a penny. To do this, a training mode is made. The battles here take place in automatic mode; the player can only choose the cards for the fight and arrange them at his discretion. Each character is unique, and the cards are divided into classes and differ in characteristics. It is crucial to understand their parameters because the cost of NFT cards depends on them.

The main task of the player is to assemble a powerful deck. The more premium cards there are, the higher the chances of winning battles. In addition, tournaments with worthy prizes are held. Each victory in the buttle brings DEC (the in-game currency), and this currency can be withdrawn from the game.

However, to fully discover Splinterlands features, you must buy a spell book (summoner). It costs $10, and it contains several cards with which you can start developing. Only the owners of such books can complete quests and participate in tournaments. The cards received at the start can be used for battles but cannot be sold or exchanged.

You can play from mobile devices and a computer. It is not difficult to understand the interface, and registration will take no more than a minute. In total, 500 types of cards have been released, they are divided into 4 levels of rarity, 7 factions, 7 characteristics, and 64 unique abilities.

Since the project runs on the blockchain, a high level of security is provided. Cards can be combined to get more powerful. In addition, since each card is an NFT, it can be sold and rented out.


Every day, players are given various tasks with a time limit. A treasure chest (potions, cards, dark crystals) is given for their completion. For example, you may be asked to win 5 times in battle, playing for the fire faction.

Those who want to open more than one chest daily must purchase a quest potion. It increases their number to 5. As practice shows, it is possible to collect bonuses of 1-2 dollars from each chest.


Prize draws are constantly held in the game, launched not by the administration but by the users themselves. In the main menu, there is a section called “Tournaments.” Navigating to it opens a list of current competitions in which you can participate. The rules are specified in the tournament, and there are usually restrictions on the rating of players. 

Card rental

If you have no time to participate in battles and have many expensive cards, rent them out to other players. You can choose to sell or rent by opening one of your cards. The more expensive the card, the higher the profit for it will be. 

Affiliate Program

Almost all NFT games have an affiliate program, and Splinterlands is no exception. The conditions are simple, and you receive 5% off all invited friends' purchases. Considering everyone needs to buy a summoner’s book at the beginning for $10, each referral brings at least $0.5.

Splinterlands Cards

The developers have come up with many types of collectible cards that the player definitely needs to figure out. Without this, it is impossible to choose them correctly, place them on the battlefield, and set the cost when selling. There are three essential classifications: classes, characteristics, and levels.

First of all, all NFTs here are divided into classes. There are 6 factions and one additional — neutral. All monsters belong to the first. Only summoner cards (not participating in the battle) belong to the second. You can determine the belonging of the card by color. All of them are shown in the image above. Dragons are yellow, fire is red, the earth is green, etc. When there are several cards of the same faction in the deck, the abilities are enhanced.

It is also crucial to understand the characteristics indicated on the card itself. Indicators determine the level, attack, speed, armor, and life. Also, on each card, there is an icon with a unique ability that will be used in battle. There are a lot of them invented, there are various poisonings, accelerators, demoralization, and much more. All of them are used passively because the fights are conducted in automatic mode.

As mentioned above, the cards are combined. You can combine two identical cards with a similar level to get a more powerful counterpart with an increased level. Each such improvement leads to obtaining a pumped card of the next level. This increases the characteristics of monsters.


Splinterlands Tokens (SPS)

The game has three types of tokens: Credits, DEC, and SPS.

Credits are a “donation” currency used to purchase goods in the store. You can buy it with cryptocurrency. It is impossible to withdraw Credits.

DEC (DARK ENERGY CRYSTALS) is the most important token of the game. It is used the same way as Credits but can be withdrawn from the game. It can be obtained by winning battles.

SPS is a governance token issued to all holders of any assets in the Splinterlands ecosystem. The SPS token is the main engine of the Splinterlands DAO. The SPS token is community-driven. The community of stakeholders has 100% power in the decision-making process. Users must deposit SPS tokens into the staking pool to get voting power. Each staked SPS token represents one vote, so the more tokens are deposited into the staking pool, the greater the user's voting power. SPS staking is locked so that stakers can unlock their tokens only after 4 weeks. Although the game functions on the Hive blockchain, BSC was chosen for the SPS governance token. The BSC blockchain was chosen because of its high popularity, low fees, fast transaction processing speed, and EVM compatibility. The maximum token supply is 3 billion units, of which less than a billion are in circulation. According to the developers, the token will be gradually released and unlocked according to the established schedule. The token distribution is as follows:

  • 400 million tokens will be distributed as airdrop;
  • 300 million tokens are sent to the treasury of the project;
  • 200 million tokens distributed on a private sale;
  • 270 million tokens will be distributed among the project team members;
  • 30 million tokens will be sent to partners and advisors of the project;
  • Players will receive 900 million tokens during the play-to-earn strategy;
  • 900 million tokens will be distributed as various rewards (to stakeholders, liquidity providers, and oracles).


Closing Thoughts

Splinterlands is one of the few games that fascinate not only with earnings but also with gameplay. It has everything you need for a great card game: a unique combat system, various strategies, and various cards and abilities.

Not every crypto game can boast of such an arsenal. Almost all players share positive impressions about the game. They manage to earn money, and some just like to spend time playing cards.