Players battle other players by choosing ranked or practice battles. With ranked battles, players can increase their rating. There is no downside to playing ranked battles as a beginner since players with a rating below 100 do not lose ranking points. Battles take place between players of similar strength. When matched up with an opponent, both players choose a set of six monster cards and one summoner card for the battle to destroy all their opponent’s monster cards and win the battle.
Although the game is free-to-play, players need to purchase the summoner’s spellbook for $10 if they want to unlock the game in full. With the summoner’s spellbook, players get access to their account keys and unlock the ability to earn Dark Energy Crystals, which can be redeemed for real currency.
Splinterlands runs on the Hive blockchain, meaning all actions in the game are recorded on the blockchain. That means anyone can join the game by creating a Hive blockchain address, making the game permissionless. It also provides Splinterlands with a transparent record of all actions in the game, including battle results, which ensures fairness and transparency.
Players have a base set of cards and can purchase booster packs or specific cards from other players. These cards can be leveled up and used in battle against other players. In these ranked battles, players compete for Dark Energy Crystals (DEC), the in-game currency of Splinterlands.
Players can also obtain DEC by converting unused cards in their collection. DEC can be used to buy in-game items or trading cards from other players on the Splinterland market.