What Is Star Atlas? Buying and Staking Ships for $ATLAS
What Is Star Atlas?
Star Atlas is a play-to-earn metaverse game based in the year 2620 on the Solana blockchain. It is currently in the early stages of development.
Star Atlas is built with real-time graphics technology using Unreal Engine 5's Nanite, which allows for cinematic quality video game visuals. The fully released version of the game has the vision to be a state-of-the-art, space-fantasy role-playing game (RPG) with a real-money economy and NFT assets. The game strategy will include politics, trade routes, and much more in a full scale 24/7 virtual ecosystem.
In its grandest vision, Star Atlas will be a fully-immersive 3D world with film quality graphics that you can experience in VR. However, these are the grandest visions of a AAA blockchain multiplayer video game that will take several years to develop. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait several years to get a taste of the game and earn rewards.
$ATLAS Token and the Star Atlas Blockchain Minigame
Star Atlas is building a minigame that will be co-developed alongside the AAA game and allows users to earn on assets while waiting for the AAA game to be released. The blockchain minigame is called SCORE, which stands for Ship Commissions on Remote Expeditions.
The first tier of SCORE (Tier-0) was released on Dec. 16, 2021. To participate in SCORE, players start by selecting a faction from either humankind's MUD territory, the alien race's ONI region, or the Ustur sector controlled by sentient androids. Players can then head to the marketplace to purchase a ship and the resources needed to successfully "stake" the ship.
The launch of Tier-0 is the first time the platform will offer its native in-game currency, $ATLAS. $ATLAS can be earned through the staking of the ships. It is also worth noting that $ATLAS is inflationary as it will match the overall growth of the in-game economy. However, the Star Atlas team has said that adjustments to the staking rewards will happen if the price of $ATLAS drastically changes in terms of $USDC value (either up or down) so that the amount of $ATLAS you earn in $USDC remains the same throughout SCORE’s lifecycle. This should ensure that the yield stakers earning rate on their ships remains somewhat protected and stable.
What Is $POLIS Token?
Another facet to the Star Atlas ecosystem is the governance token, $POLIS. $POLIS represents financial stake in the game, voting power in the DAOs where it is staked, and partial control of the team's treasury. Unlike $ATLAS, $POLIS has a fixed supply. You can buy $POLIS (and $ATLAS) on FTX. Players can also use their $ATLAS staking rewards to buy $POLIS by swapping them on Raydium.
StarAtlas.Exchange is the best site to view $POLIS and $ATLAS charts.
How to Buy a Ship on Star Atlas
After choosing a faction, head to the marketplace and start exploring the ships. Here are the steps to buy a ship once you've decided which one to purchase:
- Download a Solana browser extension wallet like Phantom or Solflare, if necessary. Star Atlas recommends Phantom, but both will work.
- Next, you will need to make sure you have enough of either $USDC or $ATLAS in your wallet to purchase the ship, as these are the only two cryptocurrencies that you can use to buy ships on Star Atlas. If you don’t have $USDC or $ATLAS in your Solana wallet, you can swap your $SOL to either of them on Raydium. (IMPORTANT: You cannot send $USDC from your Coinbase wallet to your Solana wallet. Coinbase only supports $USDC on the Ethereum network.
- Now that you have enough $USDC or $ATLAS in your wallet, you can click ‘TRADE’ on the ship that you want to buy.
- This will bring up a page with all the relevant information about the ship. Click the buy tab on the right half of your screen and select whether you are buying in $USDC or $ATLAS.
- Once you have selected the token you are purchasing with, you have two options:
- Place a bid order that is below the current lowest ask.
- Or, select the lowest listed ‘ASK SIZE.'
- Give it some time to process and the approve transaction box should pop up for you to approve the transaction.
- Again, give it some time for the transaction to go through and the ship will be in your ships inventory.
- There is one more transaction you will have to approve. Once you see the ship in your inventory, click ‘CLAIM’ and approve one more transaction in the pop-up box.
- That’s it! Your ship is purchased. Read on below to learn how to stake it for additional $ATLAS.
Here are some common issues players run into:
- Refreshing the page logs you out of your wallets connection to Star Atlas. You'll simply need to reconnect the wallet via the browser extension.
- The ship isn’t in your inventory after purchasing. Give it more time, as it can take up to a minute to process.
How to Stake a Ship on Star Atlas
Purchasing Star Atlas Resources
Before staking a newly purchase ship, head back to the marketplace to purchase resources. Resources, unlike ships, cannot be purchased in $USDC, only $ATLAS. Make sure to swap for $ATLAS before going to purchase resources.
There are four resources that are needed to enlist and maintain staking all ships: food, fuel, ammo, and toolkits (health). These resources are needed to keep your health, fuel, ammo, and food above 0 percent or your ship will stop earning $ATLAS staking rewards.
Generally, the higher the price of the ship, the more crew, modules, and components your ship has (more on this below) and therefore, the more resources it takes to fully supply the ship.
How many of each resource do you need to buy? You can view the exact amounts when going into ‘FACTION FLEET’ and ‘SHIP ENLISTMENT’ when selecting your ship for staking. But since you will need to keep resupplying the ships on a periodic basis (every 1-7 days), you will want to buy at least double or triple the initial required amount to start off.
You will need to buy thousands of $ATLAS to get ships to supply and maintain a staked ship. Don’t be alarmed, the cost of a supply is roughly around 1/100 of a penny and your ships still earn significant yield with cost of supplies factored in. If you’re staking a ~$1,000 ship, you should probably get at least 100 $ATLAS to start off.
Once your ships are staked you can use the $ATLAS that they generate to buy more resources as needed.
Also, just like when buying a ship, it’s important to remember that you will need to approve a transaction to claim your purchased supplies in your inventory so they can be used to supply your ships.
Enlisting a Star Atlas Ship for Staking
You have your ship, and you have your resources. Now you are finally ready to enlist your ship for staking and start earning yield.
To stake your ship, head to ‘FACTION FLEET’ and ‘SHIP ENLISTMENT’ and click ‘ENLIST SHIP’ for the ship or ships you want to stake. Then select the max number of ships you have and have the recommended supply fleet switch on so that your ship gets supplied with resources and starts earning $ATLAS immediately. Then click ‘ENLIST FLEET’ and approve the transaction in the pop-up box.
You will now see your ship under ‘FACTION FLEET’ and see $ATLAS accruing in real time. You will also see the four supply status bars for each resource so you know when you'll have to resupply.
Re-supplying Star Atlas Ships and Claiming $ATLAS
Re-suppling ships and claiming $ATLAS is also done in ‘FACTION FLEET.' To re-supply, simply click ‘MANAGE FLEET’ and then ‘RE-SUPPLY ALL.' Once again, approve the transaction in the pop-up box and that's it. Your ship will again be fully supplied.
Claiming $ATLAS is also simple. Just click ‘CLAIM ATLAS’ and approve the transaction.
Here are some common issues new players might run into:
- If you can’t enlist your ship for staking make sure to claim it in inventory first.
- If you still can’t enlist your ship for staking, go to ‘FACTION FLEET’ and find out if your ship is already staked. If it is, go to ‘MANAGE FLEET,' then ‘MANAGE SHIPS,' then ‘MAX,' then ‘UPDATE.'
How to Decide What Star Atlas Ship to Buy
The quickest way to understand the economics of the SCORE TIER-0 game is to figure out which ships to buy within your budget. There are several great resources to help you make this decision.
Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP)
The very first thing to understand is VWAP. VWAP stands for Volume Weighted Average Price. This is the average price that all of the supply of a specific ship had when initially sold by the Star Atlas developers. The VWAP of a specific ship can be calculated by dividing the total amount the developers would earn if they sold all their stock (in $USDC) by the total size of that stock. From here you can figure out how big of a discount or premium you are paying for a specific ship compared to the current average retail sale price.
You don’t have to calculate all this yourself! There are several websites that will show you what ships have the lowest premiums, like Aephia. Aephia will show you the current best ask price in both $USDC and $ATLAS and then what the ask versus VWAP premium or discount is. The lower the premium or higher the discount percentage, the better deal you are getting compared to the average retail prices they were sold at. This should be the first criteria to use when determining what ship you want to buy, but not the only one.
APR Percentage and Resupply Period
The next criteria you are going to want to consider is APR percent and the resupply period. The APR percentage is simple. It’s the annual percentage rate that a specific ship will earn in $ATLAS from staking that ship. Again, you will not have to calculate this yourself. Try the Atlas Explorer. The higher the APR percentage, the better the ship is for staking.
The resupply period is how long it will take for a ship's resources to become depleted. This is only relevant to your decision to buy a specific ship when it comes to how often you want to be bothered with re-supplying your ship.
Other Factors to Consider
Other factors to consider when deciding on a ship are rarity, supply, size, type, and number of crew, modules, and components. All of these consideration do not factor into the current version of SCORE, but likely will as SCORE progresses and when the AAA game is released. It’s up to you to speculate on what will be important and sought after by future players. Aephia is once again the best resource to view all of these attributes.
Lastly, your personal preference for how the ship looks and the type of player you envision yourself being in future iterations of the game will play a role in selecting your ships as well.