The metaverse is one of the most exciting emerging technologies today. It promises to revolutionize how we interact virtually by creating immersive shared virtual worlds. While the full potential of the metaverse is still being developed, there are already many impressive metaverse platforms available to explore and engage with.
In this comprehensive guide, we will take a deep dive into 14 of the top metaverse platforms that you can join right now in 2023. For each metaverse, we will overview its key features, strengths and target users so you can decide which virtual worlds are best suited for you.
What is the Metaverse?
Before jumping into the top metaverses, let‘s first get clear on what exactly the metaverse is.
The metaverse refers to interconnected and immersive 3D virtual worlds where users can explore, socialize, play and work. Metaverses integrate technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), blockchain, digital assets, and more to create persistent online universes.
Within a metaverse, users are represented by customizable avatars. The metaverse economy runs on crypto tokens and digital assets like NFTs. Land and other virtual properties can be bought and sold. Users can build virtual homes, create games, host events and monetize their creations.
The key promise of the metaverse is enhancing how we connect by making virtual interactions feel more like face-to-face engagement. Major tech companies like Meta, Microsoft and Apple are all investing heavily in building out the metaverse infrastructure and ecosystem.
Now let‘s overview 14 leading metaverse platforms that you can join today.
1. The Sandbox
The Sandbox is one of the most popular blockchain-based metaverses. It is an Ethereum-powered virtual gaming world where users can build, own, and monetize their gaming experiences using the SAND utility token.
- Create and trade NFT assets like avatars, wearables, games, lands, etc.
- Develop games and earn from gameplay with the Game Maker tool
- Buy land and build anything you can imagine using VoxEdit
- Explore worlds created by the community
- Over 200 partners including Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, Care Bears and more
The Sandbox empowers users to truly own their creations in the open metaverse. With strong creation tools and a highly engaged community, it‘s ideal for creators seeking to monetize their ideas and gamers who enjoy constructing new worlds.
Decentraland is a pioneering 3D virtual world browser-based metaverse powered by the Ethereum blockchain. Users can interact with the world and other players, play games, build scenes and applications, and buy plots of virtual land.
- Buy parcels of land that you fully own as NFTs
- Wide variety of scenes and interactive games created by the community
- Builder tool to construct anything you imagine on your land
- Host events, build scenes, display NFT artworks, and more on your land
- Trade wearables, avatars, names, and other goods in the marketplace
Decentraland offers one of the most open and established metaverse environments. With its many community-made scenes, interactive applications, virtual events and more, it‘s ideal for those wanting to actively participate in a thriving virtual world.
3. Axie Infinity
Axie Infinity stormed onto the scene as one of the first blockchain-based games to gain serious traction. It‘s a Pokemon-inspired metaverse where players collect, breed, raise, battle and trade token-based creatures called Axies.
- Collect and breed cute digital pets called Axies
- Strengthen your Axies and use them to fight other players
- Daily quests and challenges to complete
- Earn rewards and NFT items through skilled gameplay
- Buy and sell Axies on the marketplace
- Scholarship program lets new players access Axies to start playing
Axie Infinity pioneered an innovative play-to-earn model that rewards players with crypto and NFTs for their engagement. The vibrant artwork and strategic battles make it perfect for fans of monster battlers like Pokémon.
CryptoVoxels is a virtual world on the Ethereum blockchain focused on creatives and cryptoculture. Players can buy land and build stores to sell their NFT artworks, avatar wearables, and other digital creations.
- Virtual plots of land are traded as NFTs on the marketplace
- Build art galleries, studios, shops, games and other scenes on your land
- Customize your avatar with hats, masks, hairstyles and other accessories
- Host events, parties, conferences, art shows, and more on your land
- Integrated with other metaverses through the Xverse interoperability standard
With its focus on NFT digital art and avatar fashion, CryptoVoxels is ideal for artists, collectors, designers and other creatives in the blockchain space looking to showcase and sell their works.
Somnium Space is an open and persistent VR-based metaverse built on blockchain. Players can explore stunning virtual worlds in VR, buy land to build on, and create and import NFTs.
- Fully interactive VR experience using headsets like Oculus and Vive
- Import and showcase NFTs from other platforms
- Buy land parcels as NFTs and build 3D creations
- Avatar system with ability to upload actual selfies to create realistic avatars
- In-world voice chat for natural conversations with others
- Virtual events and hangout spaces to meet people from around the world
For people who want a truly immersive social VR experience, Somnium Space is a top choice. The blockchain integration also makes it easy to bring external digital goods into the worlds.
6. The Sandbox
The Sandbox is a leading blockchain-based virtual world where users can create voxel assets, build games, buy land, and monetize their gaming experiences. It runs on the Ethereum blockchain and uses SAND, its native utility token.
- VoxEdit – Create voxel NFT assets like characters, props, environments
- Game Maker – Build and script blockchain games with no coding required
- Marketplace – Trade assets and LAND (virtual real estate) as NFTs
- 800+ partners including Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, and Atari
- F2P gaming experiences, competitions, virtual concerts and more
With its powerful creation tools and play-to-earn model, The Sandbox empowers creators to build, own and monetize immersive voxel worlds and game experiences.
Decentraland is a 3D virtual world browser-based metaverse running on Ethereum. Users can buy LAND (virtual real estate), explore interactive scenes, play games, and host events.
- MANA cryptocurrency used for purchases in world
- SDK to build scenes, applications, and more
- Trade wearables, names, avatars in the marketplace
- Avatar system to customize your look
- Host conferences, parties, roadshows, and other events in-world
- DAO governance structure for proposals and voting
As one of the first highly-trafficked metaverses, Decentraland offers a wide range of community-made experiences. It‘s great for those wanting to actively participate in a blossoming open virtual world.
8. Star Atlas
Star Atlas is an immersive space-based metaverse combining space exploration, territorial conquest, political domination, and more. It features Unreal Engine 5 graphics and real-time global persistence.
- Explore the vast procedurally generated Metaverse in spaceships
- Mine for resources, craft items and upgrade your ships
- Conquer territories across the Metaverse map
- Form alliances with factions through governance tokens
- Play-to-earn model with five ways to earn rewards
- Stunning triple-A quality graphics built with Unreal Engine 5
For sci-fi fans, Star Atlas offers an incredibly immersive and expansive space exploration metaverse. The political gameplay creates deep long-term engagement potential.
Illuvium is an open-world RPG adventure game with stunning visuals built on the Ethereum blockchain. Players capture and train creatures called Illuvials and battle against others.
- Roam through rich 3D landscapes catching unique Illuvials
- Turn-based battles against wild Illuvials and other tamers
- Each Illuvial has unique stats, appearances and abilities
- Auto Battler mode for hands-off battling
- Crafting system to make consumables that aid in capturing and healing Illuvials
- Play-to-earn model with ILV token rewards
For fans of exploration RPGs like Genshin Impact fused with Pokémon, Illuvium hits the sweet spot with its lush open world and compelling capturing gameplay loop.
Otherside is an upcoming metaverse RPG game from Yuga Labs, the creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection. It promises a beautifully crafted and story-rich world to explore.
- Currently in development by Yuga Labs and veteran game developers
- Integrates Bored Ape Yacht Club characters as playable avatars
- Land/realm system based on Otherdeed NFT deeds
- Dynamic fantasy setting with regions ranging from paradise to dystopian
- Play-to-earn model planned using its own token
While Otherside is still very early and unreleased, its backing by the hype-masters at Yuga Labs secures its place as one of the most anticipated metaverses on the horizon today.
Bloktopia is a metaverse focused on learning about blockchain technology and crypto. It features crypto information resources, NFT galleries, playable arcade games, and more.
- Crypto tutorials, news, podcasts, research, and other learning content
- Collectible NFTs representing Bloktopia land and famous cryptos
- Retro-style arcade games supporting crypto wagers
- Upcoming goal to be an accredited crypto university
- Earning model via real estate ads, crypto casinos, education courses
Bloktopia aims to be a hub of blockchain learning and crypto gaming. It‘s great for those wanting to dive deeper into understanding cryptocurrencies and the tech.
12. The Nemesis
The Nemesis is a metaverse that merges real-world zombie survival with virtual reality. Players try to survive and rebuild civilization in an apocalyptic setting.
- Seamless bridging from virtual worlds to real life events
- Worldwide events like ‘Fight for Survival Weekend‘ happening in parallel
- Scavenger hunts, training camps, missions and other activities
- Strong emphasis on community, with survivors banding together
- ZNMS token utilized within the ecosystem
The Nemesis offers a unique metaverse experience that breaks the boundary between virtual and real. Its interactive real-world events make for deeply engaging zombie survival roleplay.
CEEK is a metaverse focused on celebrity engagement, live performances, VR experiences, and blockchain collectibles. It features avatars of famous artists and virtual worlds themed around musicians.
- Officially licensed avatars of superstar artists and athletes
- Virtual worlds for major musicians like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry
- Exclusive VR performances and behind-the-scenes content
- NFT drops and limited-edition digital collectibles
- VR headset compatibility for immersive concerts and events
- CEEK token utilized for purchases within the metaverse
For pop culture fans, CEEK provides unparalleled access to celebrities through VR and NFTs. It‘s a great metaverse for followers who want deeper engagement with their favorite artists.
Spatial is a WebXR platform for creating 3D/AR/VR spaces to gather with others online. It makes communication in virtual reality feel natural and intuitive.
- Browser-based WebXR for easy access without any app install
- VR support with all major headsets including Oculus Quest
- Video chat with people represented as real-time 3D avatars
- Import 3D models to visualize concepts together
- Collaborate via digital whiteboards and photos
- Develop worlds and apps using the Unity SDK
For easy-access VR communication, Spatial is a top contender. The avatars make conversations feel more natural than standard 2D video chat.
The metaverse platforms overviewed above give just a glimpse into the expansive virtual worlds already available today. Each metaverse has unique strengths and appeals to different interests, from gaming to social interaction to creativity.
There is still much evolution and innovation to come in the metaverse space. But these 14 platforms offer a solid foundation to start exploring and get a feel for what engaging in virtual worlds is like.
As these metaverses scale up over time, the opportunities for entertainment, creativity, collaboration and more will grow exponentially. The foundations are being laid today for the open, interconnected metaverse of the future spanning many worlds.