Top Marketplaces for Buying Virtual Land

With virtual plots of land now paralleling the yield of the real world property market, people are not only investing in them more avidly but are also starting to generate a sizeable passive income. To ease your search, we have compiled a list of the best Metaverse worlds where you can purchase virtual land online. Let’s take a look.

What Is Virtual Land and How Does It Differ From a NFT?

Virtual land is a digitally created ecosystem that is similar to a digital world in a video game. Except, unlike a video game, you can have ownership of certain parts of the virtual world which are called virtual land plots. If you’re interested in buying your first virtual plot, check out our detailed guide on how to get started with that.

Anyway since these virtual spaces are hosted on a blockchain, all their files have a unique non-fungible signature attached to them, and so can basically be considered NFTs. With every piece of virtual land that you buy or sell, the transaction is processed through a smart contract. This is how the ownership rights of that particular virtual land are assigned to its new owner.

The difference is that these NFTs are a part of a larger virtual world where you can buy and sell these digital commodities. Alternatively, you can build upon or simply explore. This model adds a lot more value since you can use pieces of land to generate passive income.

Best Platforms to Buy Virtual Land

If you’re looking to make your first investment in this budding new market and acquire your first plot of virtual land, here are the best platforms you should be checking out.

1. Sandbox ($SAND)

When it comes to virtual land, Sandbox can be considered as one of the pioneers in the field. They have been in business back since the early 2000s. The platform debuted as a mobile game in 2010 and currently offers over 150,000 land plots, which can be used by designers and users to create a variety of digital experiences.

Sandbox Logo

Each land offered by Sandbox is a unique Ethereum-based NFT that can be bought either through Sandbox’s own ecosystem or major NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, Zora, etc. Sandbox also boasts a crypto token ($SAND) that can be used for in-game trades, leveling up, and purchasing land.

However, what really makes this platform so special is VoxEdit. Simply put, it is a 3D model editor and an NFT creator that allows the users to design their own NFTs in the virtual world. Furthermore, the Sandbox Game Maker is another tool that can be used to design and develop 3D games, and you can share them with your friends and the rest of the world on the robust Sandbox marketplace.

2. Decentraland ($MANA)

Decentraland is a decentralized browser-based 3D virtual experience that allows its users to explore and trade in-game assets. It is built on the Ethereum blockchain and features two types of tokens, namely $MANA and $LAND. All you have to get started is log in, create an avatar, and you can begin your exploration within the 3D virtual world of Decentraland.

Mana Decentraland

What makes Decentraland stand out from other virtual land platforms is that it is not governed by a centralized organization. Instead, all its policies are regulated by the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). Furthermore, Decentraland also has a marketplace where users can list their items for sale over a diverse P2P network.

You can use this marketplace to earn money by auctioning virtual land, similar to how real estate works in real life. All these transactions are based on the $MANA token. This is a fungible ERC-20 token used as an in-game currency in Decentraland.

3. Axie Infinity ($AXS)

Axie Infinity is a crypto game powered by the Ethereum and Ronin blockchains. If you’ve ever played a Pokemon game, you’ll find the concept of Axie Infinity very similar to it. In this game, you have to catch creatures called “Axies” and train them. Note that each Axie you catch or purchase is a unique NFT of its own that you can sell on NFT marketplaces later on.

Axie Infinity

Once you’ve caught enough Axies, you can also use your collection to challenge other players for rewards, which can then be exchanged for crypto assets. The game also offers a PvE experience called “Adventure Mode”, where you can grind against enemies to earn XP and reap passive rewards.

The digital world of Axie Infinity is known as Lunacia and you can buy virtual land pieces of this world, either through their official marketplace or from other marketplaces like OpenSea.

Axie Infinity offers four types of virtual lands – Mystic, Savannah, Arctic, and Forest. And each plot of land holds the possibility of gaining unique Lunacian land items that can be used in-game. These land types are also based on the location of these plots in the game.

Axie Infinity Map

You can also buy and stake plots of virtual land in Axie Infinity and earn rewards based on the type of land you’ve selected. The staking system on this platform works a bit differently, as any land that you hold will be locked permanently. Doing this makes the virtual land a scarce resource, thereby maintaining its value and satisfying stakeholders.

4. Cryptovoxels ($CVPA)

Similar to Axie Infinity, Cryptovoxels also draws inspiration from a popular video game. You can imagine Cryptovoxels as Minecraft with a twist of cryptocurrency and better graphics. The game is fueled by the Ethereum blockchain and allows the players to purchase, own, and trade their in-game assets such as virtual land with other players.

Cryptovovels Virtual Land

In Cryptovoxels, you can acquire plots of virtual lands with monochrome blocks. Later, you can add flavor to your digital estate by adding custom designs, images, videos, GIFs, and more. It is easy to notice the Minecraft influence in play here. Another interesting innovation that makes Cryptovoxels unique is the fact that you can make custom wearables for your avatar and mint them as NFTs on marketplaces.

It’s an entirely community-based platform where you can meet a lot of creative people online. You can also check out their artistic work in places like the Museum of Crypto Art, B20 Museum, Unique one Art Enclave, and more. All in all, it’s an easy-to-understand, fun game that will come naturally to people who have played Minecraft.

However, unlike most other virtual worlds, the land area is not limited to the Cryptovoxels Metaverse and the developers can always add more to it. It’s very similar to not having a fixed circulating supply of tokens in a cryptocurrency and the developers can mint more tokens whenever they want.

At the time of launch, there were 3,026 parcels of land in this Metaverse and at the time of writing this article, more than 8,500 parcels have already been minted. Even after not having a fixed supply, the demand for land in this virtual world has been rising steadily.

5. Earth2 ($E)

Earth2, a game created by using MapBox technology, is a geographically accurate digital grid where people can invest in virtual plots of land called tiles (accessible via their own marketplace). Each tile holds a different value depending on the location. It can range from $4 to upwards of $50, depending on the in-game country. And just like real estate in the real world, these values can get affected by demand and earning potential over time.

Earth2 Metaverse

Earth2 operates on its own currency called the $E. Even though it is not a registered cryptocurrency in the market right now, the creators of Earth2 claim that they are looking forward to launching their own token in the future. Compared to all the other Metaverse platforms on our list, Earth2 promises the most compelling imitation of the real world.

6. Somnium Space (CUBE)

Somnium Space is an open-source virtual land platform created in 2017 that delivers a VR world-builder experience. It is free to join and makes for a nice avenue to monetize your business in the virtual world. Moreover, it is built on the Ethereum blockchain and has its own currency called Somnium Cubes.

Solonium Space Metaverse

CUBE is an ERC-20 token that can be used for in-game transactions. Players can also use them as an entry charge for amusement parks and interactive arcades on their land.

Somnium Space updates its platform frequently with new features like web-based access, mobile VR, full-body avatars, and a permalink for all your acquired lands. What separates it from its competitors like Second Life is the fact that you get out-of-the-box support for your VR headsets. Meaning, that you can either access the Somnium Space world on your desktop in 2D view or connect any VR headsets for an immersive 3D experience.

You can build upon this world by using the Somnium Space builder that allows players to build almost anything they choose. The world builder is both intuitive enough to encourage new builders to try, and in-depth to allow advanced users to upload high-quality animations, complete scenes, and scripting on their virtual plot.

If you’re ready to buy some land in Somnium Space, you can check out the available listings on the OpenSea marketspace.

7. Matrix World

Matrix World is a multichain virtual world that supports both Ethereum and Flow. However, what makes it unique is that it arguably provides the best VR experience on the market. The Matrix world also supports many tools for creators, such as scene editors, automated creation from blueprints, and even programmable NFTs.

Matrix World Metaverse

For example, the platform allows users to create 3D open-world features such as buildings, NFT display portals, and even 3D dapps to connect to external apps and services. The platform itself is very extensive and receives an ongoing addition of new features and services, and certainly challenges the competitors.

Matrix world has a finite set of land pieces in its Metaverse and these lands are sold only in limited sale windows. As of now, all the land in Matrix world has been sold out in three sales where a total of 10,000 land pieces were sold.

Matrix World Map

The only way to currently buy land in Matrix world is by making an offer to the current land owners on NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and BloctoBay. You can use Matrix world’s 3D map to analyze each piece of land and also make a direct offer to the current owner. Matrix world also does not have any native token of its own and all the land sales have been executed on Ethereum or Flow blockchain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I list my virtual land for sale?

You can list your virtual land for sale on the marketplace of the platform you bought it from. Alternatively, you can also list it on third-party NFT marketplaces like Opensea, Rarible, or SuperRare.

How does one build infrastructure in a virtual land?

Setting up houses and buildings on your virtual land is very simple. Most virtual land platforms feature a very interactive UI-based builder that lets you create objects using drag and drop. You can also create your objects in other 3D modeling software and import them to your virtual land in .glb or .gltf model.

How can I earn passive income from the metaverse?

Here are a few passive income opportunities in the Metaverse:

  • Rent your virtual land
  • Use your plot to hold advertisements
  • Host virtual parties and concerts
  • Set up your own shop.

Image credit: Unsplash All screenshots by Ojash Yadav

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