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Where Infinite Fleet Fits Into Web3 Gaming
Web3 offers many options to gamers. While those options may not be as fully developed as other traditional studios in the video game industry, there are still plenty of games for players to enjoy. There are mobile games, strategy games, and FPS games. You’ve got survival horror, RTS, and trading card games to choose from, as well as RPGs, dungeon crawlers, and tons of MMOs.
When it comes to serious contenders in the MMO category, most games are far from playable. The ones that are have little to brag about aside from being playable. And just because they are playable doesn’t mean they’re good or that gameplay is anywhere near polished. Many web3 games release an alpha or beta version of the game in order to keep their community around and engaged, but that means the game is full of bugs and merely a skeleton of what it could be. It means developers push out features and mechanics far before they should since they’re being pressured by their community–who invested lots of money–and wants to see something worthwhile ASAP.
Meet Infinite Fleet. An ambitious web3 MMO sci-fi game set in a massive universe. It’s a game with solid financial stability, adheres to all financial regulations, and has clearly employed professional economists to ensure the game’s economy is as robust as possible.
But they also succumb to community pressure more often than not and release patch after patch of unfinished, unpolished content.
I’ve been a part of the Infinite Fleet community since shortly after their Security Token Offering. I’ve interacted with mods in their Discord, spoken countless times with their support personnel, and grinded as far as my single Centurion class ship will take me.
I’ve done the dirty work so you don’t have to.
Here’s everything you need to know about Infinite Fleet.
Key Info Up Front
Infinite Fleet is like a flashy World of Tanks but in space. And your tanks also turn into Gundam mech suits. And instead of fighting other nations and countries, you fight the Atrox for the survival of the human race. Also, it’s an MMO, so you interact with other players the entire time.
That’s about it.
What Is Infinite Fleet?
Infinite Fleet is aimed at being an MMO that sets the standard for space travel in the web3 community. They have different ships to purchase, which players will use to fight for humanity’s survival against the evil, predaceous Atrox aliens. All the ships also turn into mechanized anthropomorphic machines. Which is cool but doesn’t make much sense.
In Infinite Fleet, you control a fleet of ships–which is decidedly not infinite–and travel from system to system, completing missions for the sake of the human race. In each system, you’ll find either a mining rig or a space station that most of your activities will revolve around. And since humanity is at war with an alien race, most of your missions will include murdering aliens.
Who Built Infinite Fleet?
There are two major companies behind Infinite Fleet: Pixelmatic and Exordium Limited.
Pixelmatic is a team of dedicated video game developers who are in way over their heads. They’re passionate about their work, but their work is not professional or AAA quality. They do at least have a very transparent website with names and faces and previous projects, so I’ll give them points for that.
And as much as I enjoy the scrappy, humble nature of Pixelmatic, they are woefully underprepared for the complexity and size of Infinite Fleet. Take a look at their website to see what other games they’ve developed, and you’ll be surprised. They’ve only created three other games before Infinite Fleet, and they were all mobile puzzle games. One is a mobile romance puzzle game. None of them are MMOs; none are sci-fi; none are web3; none are popular, and none are professional.
I have no idea what Pixelmatic is doing wading into the frightening world of web3 gaming. They don’t belong here. It’s obvious after watching them struggle to make anything playable in Infinite Fleet.
Exordium is a far more mysterious company. They are the publisher of Infinite Fleet, and though their description says they were founded by a team of AAA video game veterans, there are no names associated with their company or website. I had to do some serious digging to find the founder of Exordium, Sonny Alves Dias. And that’s the only name associated with the company.
This makes sense. Based on how slow Infinite Fleet has been in responding to support requests or questions, it always made me feel like only a handful of people were working on the game at a time, and they probably weren’t full-time employees. It felt like maybe two days a week, Infinite Fleet gets work. What these people are doing the rest of the time, I’m unsure.
The Story Of Infinite Fleet
The United Sol Federation
Infinite Fleet takes place far in the future, in the year 2140. But the events that began the fight for humanity’s survival started long before that. In 2069, humans were in the middle of colonizing Mars. They’d figured out the weather and the rivers and how to grow food. They were doing some excavating when they discovered an ancient alien starship deep underground.
The technology from this alien starship is what allowed humans to discover warp technology. Understanding warp technology allowed humans to spread out and colonize the star system, and then our band of the Milky Way, and then the rest of the galaxy.
In 2119, a notable scientist named Charles Lee took a fleet of ships to investigate a gravitational anomaly picked up by Mars’ sensors. The anomaly occurred over 20,000 light years away from Earth’s sun, which meant the scientist and his team had to travel far. When they arrived at the anomaly, they found a fleet of Atrox ships that quickly attacked.
Charles Lee somehow survived and managed limp back to Mars with vital information about the attacking aliens. This information allowed humans to prepare for the coming invasion.
Which leads us to the USF. The United Sol Federation is a governing body made up of the offspring planets of Earth. Human colonists from the galaxy over have banded together to form the USF. And while the USF has plenty of responsibilities, what we focus on is its military. The military of the USF is comprised of spaceships that can all morph into fighting mech robots.
Robots In Space
Robots in space? Again, it makes no sense.
What’s more effective in combat in space? A spaceship that was designed for that very purpose? Or a robot made to look like a human with two arms and two legs?
The spaceship has propulsion all over its hull, its weak point–the bridge–is protected, it has a myriad of weapons placed all over its body, and it has superior maneuverability around the vastness of space.
A humanoid robot is limited to carrying weapons in its hands, maybe two more on its shoulders, its weak point is obviously its head, and its propulsion is confined to either a jetpack or rocket boots which makes maneuverability much less successful.
Though the trailer for the game, while something I would expect from a children’s educational title, did make the mechs seem much more powerful than their ships. But why is that? Why is that gun–which was firing from a starship a second ago–now so much stronger? Where did those missles come from? How come the ship couldn’t shoot the missles?
I digress. It’s space opera. Just roll with it. Like X-Wings with their wind resistance rudders. It makes zero sense, but we roll with it.
I’m hoping Infinite Fleet is so early in development that this all makes sense later.
Right now, there are only space battles. But maybe the development team is planning battles that take place on planets in the future. That could be the reason ships turn into robots, so they can fight on planets. But considering how slow the Infinite Fleet team is to debug aspects of the game when it’s this small, planet-side battles are a decade away at least.
The vile, evil enemy of Infinite Fleet and how the game got its name. The Atrox owned that ancient alien starship humans discovered on Mars all those years ago, and it’s thanks to the Atrox that humans have expanded as much as they have. But it seems the Atrox are not benevolent benefactors. They are murderous.
The Atrox are a species of mannequin-like beings that are far more advanced than humans. We know they operate in unison, can man their starships with only a handful of beings, and seemingly have an unending supply of ships.
Hence the name, Infinite Fleet.
The Atrox seem able to send wave after wave of ships into human territory infinitely. They relentlessly attack, like the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica. But for some odd reason, they don’t send their entire fleet. They only send waves of ships. Manageable waves of ships. They could easily overwhelm human settlements and military outposts if they simply sent a larger force, and since they’ve been sending unending waves of ships, we know their fleet is large enough to conquer human civilization.
So why don’t they conquer human civilization?
I believe that question will play into quests and the main storyline of Infinite Fleet. But again, considering how slow updates have been, those quests are a long way off.
Playing Infinite Fleet
Let us finally get down to the nuts and bolts of Infinite Fleet; the gameplay. That is the whole reason any of us are interested in this sci-fi monolith in the first place. Let me break down the core mechanics of Infinite Fleet for you, its subtleties, and what’s coming in the future.
Though it was one of the first features to be announced for the game, it has only recently been implemented into the user interface. And it’s yet to be integrated into the rest of the game. Factions are a way for you to join a team of other players within Infinite Fleet. Space is a large, desolate place, and trying to undertake its challenges alone is a recipe for death. There is safety in numbers, so joining a faction with numbers and active players is important. They’re like guilds in World of Warcraft.
Luckily, I’m already part of a guild for another web3 game. And that guild is serious about ruling the metaverse, so they have an active faction in Infinite Fleet. This has helped me get answers when the Infinite Fleet team doesn’t answer.
Missions & Bugs
Completing missions is the primary way you’ll earn experience in Infinite Fleet. You won’t get any experience for killing Atrox ships, though there will be location-based missions that involve killing Atrox ships. So you don’t get experience directly from the murder, but you do get some experience if you murder enough.
Be warned: missions are the most infected aspect of Infinite Fleet. Bugs everywhere. Here are some of the users in Discord in the past 30 days:
“I feel your pain but mine was completely random. I even had to check with support to verify if the mission is bugged.”
“I don’t like how missions are very uncertain. You have to constantly question yourself “is it a bug? is everything going as planned?”
“its probably a bug”
“New title screen, same freezing! anyone else having this?”
In other games, when the problem is resolved, you will usually see that user back in Discord to thank the mods or report that the problem is fixed. All I see is problem after problem. And this is in the general chat channel!
Managing Your Fleet
Though your fleet isn’t infinite, you can host up to five ships in your immediate fleet. And you can store many more in your shipyard. But here is where Infinite Fleet becomes literally unplayable for new gamers.
Though Infinite Fleet has its own cryptocurrency–two, actually–it is not tradable on any exchange at the moment. So the only way to purchase ships for your fleet is by going to the Infinite Fleet website and using your Paypal account to buy one.
They go for $40 and $80, respectively.
But this is how it becomes evident that Pixelmatic is overwhelmed by this undertaking. There are at least four different playable ships in the game. But you can only buy two of them right now. Those two are both Centurion class ships. You can only have one Centurion class ship in your fleet at a time.
The game was designed for you to have one Centurion class ship followed by several frigates, bombardiers, fighters, etc. But Pixelmatic sold out of those other ships months ago. So even if you wanted to dump a significant investment into Infinite Fleet to get in early, you’d only be buying Centurion class ships, and you can only command one at a time.
For perspective: players have been complaining of the intense difficulty of the game, and they have full fleets. Players have been teaming up–entire fleets joining each other–to finish early missions before they reach level 10.
So, if players with whole fleets have difficulty leveling up, how hard do you think it will be with one frickin ship?
The game is essentially unplayable. You can try to mine asteroids and hope enemy ships don’t spot you, but you can’t move quickly enough to escape them if they do. The only good thing is that there’s no penalty for dying yet.
Mining Resources, Fabricating, Leveling Up
To be sustainable in space and level up your fleet, you’ll need to mine resources when possible. Each different system you load into will have a different resource for you to mine–carbon, oxygen, etc. Those resources are mighty valuable.
All those resources you just mined will go straight into making you a stronger fleet. Upgrade your entire ship or focus on specific weapons; whatever you decide, your goal is to make your ships hardier for the darker portions of the galaxy. If you thought enemies in the first few regions were tough, the enemies in the middle regions are straight impassable.
INF & EXO
You may be wondering how Infinite Fleet even fits into web3 and crypto. We’ve finally come to it.
Though it’s not what you think.
Infinite Fleet offered an STO, a Security Token Offering, that allowed early investors to purchase a cryptocurrency called EXO which is classified as a financial security. This gave Infinite Fleet the initial capital it needed to fund its project–about $5 million. But EXO isn’t really a cryptocurrency. It can’t be traded and it has no utility. Like a security, investors stand to make money off of it, but only if Infinite Fleet does well.
Right now, it is not.
INF is meant to be Infinite Fleet’s actual cryptocurrency, used to purchase ships, make transactions on their marketplace, and mine from in-game resources. Right now, it does not exist. It is only a magic dream coin. It’s not listed on any exchanges and you can’t get it from the game. Infinite Fleet’s own website says that INF is meant to be the game’s currency, but right now the game’s currency is USF credits.
So, though you’ll find two cryptocurrencies listed on Infinite Fleet’s website, neither are real cryptocurrencies. INF will (hopefully) be one soon, and in the distant future EXO will (maybe) join it. But right now, Infinite Fleet can hardly call itself a web3 game.
The Future Of Infinite Fleet
Though the developers and support staff of Infinite Fleet are slow to respond to bugs, they are listening.
- INF has a planned rolled out before the end of the year.
- And developers are changing the fleet mechanics so players can simultaneously use more than one Centurion class ship.
- There are plans to add a decentralized marketplace to the game so players can trade resources, ships, and accessories with each other.
- And the UI gets a little more attention every time I log in to check on the game.
Though Infinite Fleet got off to a rough launch, at least a few individuals are working behind the scenes to ensure the game isn’t a complete waste.
Should You Play Infinite Fleet?
Right now? You can’t play Infinite Fleet.
Throw as much money as you want at it, you can only use one Centurion class ship at a time, and Centurion class ships are all you can buy.
However, the game is still in early development. You’d be considered an early investor even if you bought in now, and that has to count for something down the road. It isn’t such a bad idea if you want to invest in Infinite Fleet and see what the future holds. Don’t expect anything impressive or engaging for quite some time. But you can view yourself as a venture capitalist investing in an early gaming project before anyone knows about it. Look at it that way and you won’t be so disappointed when you can’t play.
Infinite Fleet is not without competition. And while I could populate this list with nothing but sci-fi MMOs, I thought I’d share a list that contains games that seek the same heart of Infinite Fleet–build your team/fleet, explore and quest, level up your team/fleet, repeat.
1. Star Atlas
Star Atlas is more ambitious than Infinite Fleet by a long shot. Their community is far more invested in the game, as well. It boasts a robust marketplace with dozens of ships for players to peruse. Ships range in class from XXS to Capital, and their price goes from a few bucks to several hundred thousand.
Star Atlas has a plethora of lore for players to read. There’s even a professional-quality Star Atlas graphic novel coming in the next few months.
One of the metrics I use to judge a game’s potential success is how many content creators are featuring the project in their videos and threads. If no one is making any videos, writing any blogs, or publishing any Twitter threads–guides, news, opinions, critiques–then it means the game is shallow. If there are content creators dropping videos and Medium articles and publishing their personal opinions on the game, it means there’s plenty of content for fans to dissect.
In this regard, Star Atlas is deep with content. There are several content creators who do nothing but cover Star Atlas, and they can hardly keep up with the announcements and releases.
While Star Atlas has relatively little gameplay (okay, there’s zero gameplay at the moment), what trailers, teasers, and leaks the community has seen are nothing less than epic. Developed in Unreal Engine 5, Star Atlas is not only beautiful to behold; it’s a gaming dream.
2. The Sandbox
Okay, I’ll admit The Sandbox isn’t a sci-fi game with spaceships and alien races. But it is an MMO. And since it is, well, a sandbox, players can create their own worlds within it. And those worlds can be as sci-fi as they want.
While Star Atlas has officially partnered with The Sandbox on several occasions to create pixelated adventures, there are plenty of other sci-fi-themed missions for players to undertake. Plus, this game falls into the formula I stated above: build your character, explore and adventure, level up your character, rinse and repeat.
And since The Sandbox contains so many different worlds within itself, players have more options for exploring and leveling up. The Sandbox has just as many creators generating content as Star Atlas, if not more so, and its investors are notable celebrities. The Sandbox is a great game choice for players who don’t want to be boxed into a specific genre or game type. The Sandbox is meant to be a metaverse unto itself, so players can move from a western-themed area to a cloud city in the blink of an eye.
3. Spider Tanks
Build your team, explore and quest, level up your team, and repeat.
In Spider Tanks, gamers will take control of a tank with spider legs and battle other tanks for items, resources, and cryptocurrency. It’s as if someone isolated just the combat of Infinite Fleet, built that up as much as possible, then built everything around it. The combat of Spider Tanks is fluid and clean, albeit slightly mismatched.
The world of Spider Tanks isn’t nearly as expansive as any of the games listed above, but it’s nailed the basic gaming formula so well that it’s hard not to include it. There are more drawbacks to Spider Tanks–smaller player base, purely PvP-focused, and medium amounts of customization. But of all the games I’ve explored in web3, Spider Tanks is the closest thing to a traditional video game I’ve encountered.
Question: How much does it cost to get started in Infinite Fleet?
Answer: You’re looking at around a $200 investment to explore the Infinite Fleet galaxy and not immediately die at every encounter. Alas, even if you put $200 in Infinite Fleet today, you won’t have anything playable. Just one Centurion class ship at a time.
Question: How big is the Infinite Fleet universe?
Answer: Just from this picture of the first few beginning systems, players have sixteen different settings to explore. And beyond this, there are two other star maps with other planets to populate. That actually isn’t that big of a universe compared to some other games, but I’m positive Infinite Fleet will be expanded over time.
Question: What blockchain is Infinite Fleet built on?
Answer: It isn’t built on a blockchain. So it’s a hybrid game. Its INF token is built on the Liquid blockchain, though. Liquid is a bitcoin layer-2 blockchain that processes transactions much quicker than bitcoin. It’s popular in the bitcoin community. If Infinite Fleet were actually built on chain, it would be the first video game on the Liquid network. But since only the token is on chain, Infinite Fleet only has quasi-web3 status.
The ambition of Infinite Fleet blinded its developers. They saw the promise of profits from web3 gaming and jumped in without looking back. Now, though they have yet to abandon ship like so many other projects, their attempts to sustain their game’s life are falling apart at the seams. The excuse of “it’s still in beta” can only last so long.
Infinite Fleet looks flashy and detailed. In the future, it could be a fun game with hours of engaging content.
For the moment, Infinite Fleet is just another sci-fi MMO in a solar system of sci-fi MMOs, and its competition seems far more focused. While I wouldn’t count Infinite Fleet out of the race by any means, they are clearly hobbling along. Farsite and Star Atlas, two competitors, may have their own problems to sort out, but at least they are transparent, have learned from mistakes, and produce community-driven results.
Infinite Fleet has a long way to go. It is still in beta, so expect problems. But if Infinite Fleet buckles down, hires more full-time employees, and treats their project with the seriousness their community desires, they could realize their ambition sooner rather than later.