How To Start Playing Splinterlands :
Complete Guide For Beginners

With over 330,000 daily users and more than 2 million transactions every day, Splinterlands is one of the most popular play-to-earn games today. If you liked playing Hearthstone or similar card games, you would love playing Splinterlands. Let’s get over everything you need to know about the game in order to start playing Splinterlands, from the basic game mechanics to how you can make money with it.


What Exactly Is “Splinterlands”?

Splinterlands is a digital card game with cards having unique stats, effects, and abilities that will help you battle other players in the competition. Players own all cards from their collections as NFTs and have complete control over their usage.

You can battle other players for rewards, hold these cards as collectibles, trade them with peers on the market, combine to level up, or even burn them to get the official in-game currency of the game called DEC or Dark Energy Crystals.

The game first came out with the name “Steem Monsters” and was launched on the Steem blockchain. However, the developers soon switched to the Hive blockchain and integrated cross-chain functionality so that cards can also be traded on the Ethereum blockchain and on Wax.

What Do You Need To Start Playing The Game?

The game is free to play. Just create your account and start playing. However, you won’t be able to access all features and earn anything from the game.

In order to access the play-to-earn features, you would need to buy their Spellbook. Otherwise, you won’t be able to earn rewards, participate in tournaments, or trade your cards or packs on the market.

But thankfully, the Spellbook comes at a very affordable price of $10, meaning you can unlock the game’s massive earning potential for very little. You can easily buy the book either with PayPal or any of the cryptocurrencies they accept.

FYI: They accept more than 20 cryptocurrencies, so you surely won’t be bothered at any step. Once you buy the Spellbook, you get to:

  • Access your unique Hive blockchain account
  • Buy packs, cards, and other stuff
  • Earn rewards, DEC, and Daily Quest
  • Participate in tournaments
  • Make transactions on the Hive blockchain
  • Transfer your assets in and out of the game

From the benefits, it’s quite clear that the $10 Spellbook gives you way more freedom than the free-to-play version. Plus, you get to make money too!


Understanding The Gameplay

The gameplay is pretty straightforward, but you need to learn the following terms to understand it better: Cards, Splinters, Stats, Abilities, & Mana.


You would have access to two types of cards – Summoners and Monsters.

  • Summoners are magic users who can use one of the six primal forces (splinters). They use this magical power to summon monsters.
  • Monsters are the creatures called upon by the Summoner to do the actual fighting in a battle.


Splinterlands has six different elements or sources of magics – these are called splinters. The six Splinterlands’ splinters are: Fire, Water, Earth, Life, Death, Dragon. Every Splinterlands’ card belongs to one of the above six splinters. When a battle takes place, it happens between cards from the same splinter. For example, it will be either all Fire cards or all Earth cards in a battle. You can’t shuffle or mix different cards within a battling team.

However, if you have used a Dragon Summoner, you can use Dragon cards with the chosen splinter for the battle.


Stats are numbers displayed on each card and reflect the core attributes of each card. These include:

  • Health: This state depends on the level of the card and can be affected by the Strengthen and Weaken abilities.
  • Attack: This state determines how much damage it can cause. Attack has three different forms: Melee, Range, and Magic Attacks. 
  • Armor: This stat is designated by the shield image and protects your card from the opponent’s attack.
  • Speed: Every Monster card has a Speed stat that may vary based on the card’s level and can be affected by the Slow and Swiftness abilities.


Abilities are different powers attributed to each card and play an instrumental role in the outcome of a battle. Hence abilities help you form a winning strategy and make the fights interesting. There are more than 60 unique 

abilities available, and each one has its own impact. For example, monsters with the ability “Opportunity” can attack from any position and target the least healthy enemy Monster. Similarly, a Monster with the “Halving” ability will cut the target’s ability to attack in half.


Mana (Cost)

Each card that you choose comes at a cost – this cost is called Mana. The more powerful the card or better the abilities, the higher the Mana cost of using that card in a battle.

The Gameplay

First of all, the players must build a team or collection of cards from the available catalog to fight a battle. Battles will have different rulesets and conditions, so you will need to pair up your Summoners and Monsters accordingly. However, to win and perform well at battles, you need to understand the battlefield layout that features two rows and six positions. The field is split in half, where your team is listed on one side, and your opponent’s on the other.

Monsters from the front row of each team fight against each other at the halfway point. When one monster dies, the next in line moves up, and the play continues until none of the monsters are left to fight. How the monsters perform depends on the stats and the abilities of their cards. These battles are quick and last around a minute only. It is not mandatory to watch the whole battles, but it’s recommended that you watch the early battles in your career to learn what’s working for your team and what’s not.

This will help you devise winning strategies by choosing and combining the best Summoners and Monsters to fight for you.

Splinterlands Playing Modes

Once you start playing, the game offers four modes, which are:

  • How to Play – This mode will let you learn the basics of the game and understand card types, abilities, stats, and the battlefield.
  • Practice – Practice mode lets you play a match against an opponent, but the results will not affect your ranking.
  • Ranked – This mode allows you to play the actual ranked matches whose results will help you rise higher in the league.
  • Challenge – The challenge mode lets you invite a friend to battle and enjoy a custom match without affecting your rank.

Useful Tips For Winning

How you create your lineup determines whether you’ll win or lose a match. Being the first card to be used, Summoner has enormous importance, and you should choose it wisely. You need to focus on your opponent’s most frequently used Summoner card. (It is shown in every match preview). Once you know the opponent’s Summoner, you have the opportunity to counter his move by deploying a Summoner with better stats and abilities. Also, you need to be mindful of your cards’ positioning. The first spot is referred to as the tank, and you would want to choose a tank with exceptional attacking qualities. Similarly, down the line, you can alternate with defense and attack-oriented cards using different attacking abilities (Melee, Range, and Magic). However, keep looking at the mana counter to ensure you don’t spend more than you should.

Making Money With Splinterlands

Now, let’s get to the point you’ve been waiting for – how to earn money from Splinterlands? Earning DEC or Dark Energy Crystals is the primary method of earning money from Splinterlands. You need to win ranked battles in order to win DEC. Your total DEC can be converted to crypto and transferred to your wallet, which you can ultimately cash out in USDT at any time. However, the amount of DEC depends on your rank.

The ranks are as follows in ascending order:

  • Novice
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Diamond
  • Champion

The higher your rank, the higher the reward. Moreover, you can also earn money by trading cards and renting them out to other players.

Final Thoughts

Splinterlands is relatively economical to start playing as compared to other play-to-earn games. Pay $10 upfront, and you’ll be good to go. Overall, the gameplay, cards, abilities, battles, and ranking system are exciting and engaging to keep you entertained. However, you might need to be patient with the learning process of strategies to win the games, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll dominate others and win amazing rewards.