The metaverse has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue ever since Mark Zuckerburg announced Facebook was changing its name to Meta back in October 2021. But the Facebook creator wasn’t the first person to dream up the metaverse, and he’s far from the only visionary working on it.
So far, decentralized metaverses using blockchain and non-fungible token (NFT) technology have led the push into virtual worlds. And even as the overall crypto and NFT markets have dipped in 2022, rarely a day goes by that a major brand, company, or celebrity isn’t entering or investing in a popular decentralized metaverse like The Sandbox or Decentraland.
At Rarity Sniper, we’ve written hundreds of articles about fashion brands, beverage companies, sports teams and leagues, rappers, banks, cities, and even entire countries entering the metaverse. More recently, metaverse educational courses are being offered by some of the world’s most prestigious universities.
So, with all the hype, you might be wondering how you can enter the metaverse. If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place. But before we discuss how to enter the metaverse, let’s review how we got here.
What is the metaverse?
Long before Facebook changed its name to Meta, technologists and science fiction writers were imagining and writing about worlds built for virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR). The most influential book about the metaverse is Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science-fiction novel “Snow Crash” — an action-packed futuristic tale where the protagonist, Hiro, is a pizza-delivery man in a real-life dystopian world but a hacker and the best sword fighter in the Metaverse.
Today, the metaverse can be thought of as any persistent virtual world built for augmented and virtual reality. Persistent means that when a user logs off, the metaverse continues — unlike most traditional video games where the world shuts off when you log off.
Today, metaverses are being used for gaming, shopping, socializing, seeing concerts, performing, learning, and more. Nearly everything you can do in real life can be done in the metaverse, from buying land and raising (virtual) chickens to going to the bank. And since the laws of physics don’t apply in the metaverse, there’s a whole lot more you can do as well — like say, teleporting and fighting dragons.
Decentralized metaverses run on blockchain technology, and users can purchase characters, land plots, skins, and other digital assets in the metaverse using cryptocurrency. These digital assets come in the form of NFTs, which can be verified, traded, and stored securely on the blockchain.
There is not one metaverse, but multiple metaverses with their own rules and regulations coded into the smart contracts. And there is no single owner of the metaverse — although some metaverses are centralized and others are user-owned and decentralized.
For this article, we will focus on how to enter decentralized metaverses that run on the blockchain, cryptocurrency, and NFT technology.
What You Need to Enter the Metaverse
The metaverse consists of interconnected virtual worlds that are not owned or operated by any one person or entity. This makes the metaverse accessible to anyone with a computer (or smartphone) and an internet connection.
Although a virtual reality (VR) headset or augmented reality (AR) glasses can enhance a metaverse experience, and as technology evolves, these tools will likely play a more significant role and become more common, they are not necessary to enter the metaverse.
With a stable internet connection and preferably a laptop or desktop computer, you can create an account in your chosen metaverse, make an avatar, and begin exploring virtual universes.
While you can enter many metaverses for free or as a guest, if you want to purchase digital assets like non-fungible tokens, or participate in play-to-earn (P2E) games, then you will need cryptocurrency and a crypto wallet to store the crypto. But first, let’s look at some of the most popular decentralized metaverses.
The Top Metaverses & How to Enter
Though the metaverse is still evolving, there have been several highly successful metaverses in recent years. If you pay attention to crypto and NFTs, then you’ve probably heard of some of them. At Rarity Sniper, these metaverses regularly make headlines with new partnerships, collaborations, and projects.
Here are some of the top decentralized metaverses today:
The Sandbox. Founded in 2012 by Pixowl and later acquired by Animoca Brands in 2018, The Sandbox has exploded in popularity in recent years and has over 1 million monthly active users. $SAND is the game’s main utility token that lets users buy and sell virtual land and other assets in the voxel metaverse. Users can earn money playing games designed by other users. There are some free-to-play games available on The Sandbox, and others that cost money.
Decentraland. This metaverse game makes it easy to own digital land. It is built on the Ethereum blockchain, and all assets are stored as NFTs. You can enter Decentraland as a guest, but if you want to monetize your experience or purchase something, you will need ETH or Decentraland’s native crypto $MANA.
There are also very popular decentralized gaming metaverses. The two most popular gaming metaverses, where users can earn crypto by playing play-to-earn (P2E) games include:
Roblox. This blockchain-based gaming platform lets users play games made by other developers on the platform and not formally by Roblox Corporation. The metaverse gaming site boasts it has published over 20 million games on the platform, and it’s extremely popular with teens.
Axie Infinity. Released by Sky Mavis in 2017, Axie Infinity is an Ethereum-based game that combines crypto, blockchain, and online gaming. Users can collect Axies NFTs and use these creatures to build, battle, and have adventures in an ever-expanding universe of games. It has become the leader in play-to-earn (P2E). To enter the Axie Infinity metaverse, users must set up an account and connect a digital wallet.
A few other notable metaverses include:
Somnium Space. A virtual universe that hosts events and is available in 2D or 3D on any device.
Cryptovoxels. A user-owned VR world built on Ethereum. The public in this game owns land in the form of NFTs and can trade digital assets to earn a living.
In years to come, we will likely see more metaverses being created and more competition from centralized companies like Facebook and Google — both of which are heavily invested in Web3 and the metaverse. Only time will tell which metaverses persist and continue to capture people’s interest.
Crypto Wallet to Enter the Metaverse
No matter which metaverse you choose, if you want to participate to the max, you will eventually need a crypto wallet. Just like in real life, you can go out and walk around for free, but if you want to eat out at a restaurant or see a show, you need money and a wallet to hold it — in the metaverse, you’ll need crypto and a crypto wallet for storage.
Here are some of the most common crypto wallets:
- Wallet Connect
Once you download a crypto wallet, it’s time to load it with cryptocurrency. You can purchase crypto with a debit or credit card, or by transferring it from another crypto wallet if you already hold cryptocurrency.
You will want to purchase the cryptocurrency that functions in the metaverse you wish to enter. Some metaverses have their own native cryptocurrency. For example, The Sandbox has $SAND and Decentraland uses $MANA. But since both these metaverses run on the Ethereum blockchain, you should have some ETH in your crypto wallet as well if you plan on spending a lot of time in either virtual world.
Entering the Decentraland Metaverse
One of the best ways to learn how to enter the metaverse is by signing up and giving it a try. Metaverses like Decentraland let you explore as a guest for free, so there’s nothing to lose if you decide that the metaverse isn’t for you.
To get started, you can visit Decentraland.org and click “Start Exploring” in the upper right-hand corner. If you don’t want to download the program, click “Explore on Web.” Then click “Play as Guest.” Now you’re almost ready.
The next step before you start exploring the metaverse is to choose and customize your avatar. Like choosing a video game character, Decentraland lets you decide the type of body, head, top, bottom, shoes, accessories, and skins for your avatar. Once you’ve created your avatar, it’s time to start exploring Decentraland. That’s it: You have entered the metaverse.
Exploring the metaverse as a guest can give you a better idea of what the metaverse is and if it’s a place you want to spend time in. And once you decide which metaverse is your favorite, it could be time to get a crypto wallet and invest in purchasing crypto so that you can participate more fully.
What should I do when I enter the metaverse?
What you do in the metaverse is up to you. But there are several ways to earn money in the metaverse in the form of cryptocurrency, as well as fun things you can do to bring people together. Here are some things you can do in the metaverse:
- Open a business
- Buy virtual land and build a house
- Run an art gallery or museum
- Take an educational course
- Socialize with friends
- Go to a concert or fashion show
- Earn in crypto by playing play-to-earn games.
The metaverse can be a great way to invest or launch your business in Web3. Or it can just be a way to learn more about what’s going on with these new technologies and spaces. No matter your reason, if you do decide to enter the metaverse, you won’t be alone. Before we head out, let’s look at some of the big names that have entered the metaverse.
Who else is entering the metaverse?
At Rarity Sniper, not a day goes by that we aren’t writing about a big-name institution investing in the metaverse. Here are some of the most interesting headlines from recent months:
- Puma & Manchester City Launch Metaverse Kit on Roblox
- Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” is Coming to The Sandbox
- South Korea’s #1 Bank KEB Hana Enters the Sandbox
- Tony Hawk to Launch Skatepark in The Sandbox
- Netflix Launches Web3 Gray Man Game in Decentraland
- Jim Jones & Migos Debut a Music Video in Decentraland
- Gucci Opens Metaverse Experience on Roblox
- Charli XCX & Samsung to Perform Metaverse Concert in Roblox
As you can see, there’s no shortage of activity going on in the metaverse, especially in Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Roblox. As time goes on, we only expect there will be more businesses and experiences arriving to the metaverse.
Final Thoughts on Entering the Metaverse
If the metaverse becomes as big as some people hope, then we’ll all probably enter it sooner or later. But for those who can’t wait, exploring virtual worlds now as they evolve in real-time is exciting, and there are many opportunities that exist or are unfolding in the metaverse as we speak.
One of the best things about the metaverse is that all you need is a computer or smartphone and a working internet connection to enter. And once inside, each person — or avatar, can decide what to do with their time, how long to stay, and whether to invest in the metaverse.
But it’s clear the metaverse is growing every day. And at Rarity Sniper, we don’t think having a look around to see what’s going on is a bad idea.