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How to Buy Land in the Metaverse [2023]? | Step-by-Step Guide

How to buy land in the Metaverse
Kadi Arula
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This guide details a simple step-by-step process about where and how you can buy virtual land in the metaverse. We’ll also deep-dive into what metaverse land is, explain the differences between centralized vs decentralized metaverse platforms, highlight different ways to buy metaverse land, and bring out the main reasons companies are investing in metaverse land.

What is the metaverse? 

Just like we can access websites, we can enter different metaverse platforms via a web browser – VR headsets are used to create a more realistic and immersive experience. Users can purchase land or other digital assets using cryptocurrency.

Even after the crypto crash and NFT market slump in 2022, retail investors and businesses (restaurants, clothing stores, banking services) are still interested in buying metaverse land, with virtual land prices selling for thousands of dollars. Moreover, the expectation is that the metaverse will grow immensely in the future, so businesses and individual investors have started leveraging the metaverse for marketing early on.

Genesis Plaza on Decentraland metaverse platform. Source: decentraland.org

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What is virtual land in metaverse?

Top metaverse platforms to buy virtual land on

There are two different kinds of metaverse platforms to buy virtual land on; one is decentralized, meaning these are blockchain-based platforms, and the other type is centralized – jump here to find out what the main differences are before you continue reading.

Some of the leading top metaverse platforms are:

  1. Decentraland (MANA) (decentralized);
  2. The Sandbox (SAND) (decentralized);
  3. Axie Infinity (AXS) (decentralized);
  4. Roblox (RBLX) (centralized).

After you buy metaverse land, owning a digital land plot is similar to physical real estate. Virtual plots of land are programmable spaces where people can build or design their own houses, art galleries, event spaces, or virtual shops – imagination is the limit; however, what you can exactly build, depends on your chosen metaverse platform.

Recommended video: How to buy land in the metaverse (for beginners)?

Virtual land in the metaverse. Source: gamefiboost.com

Each plot of land is sold as non-fungible-tokens (NFTs) in two ways: directly on the metaverse platform like Decentraland or on an NFT marketplace like OpenSea. The NFT gives you the rights to own and develop a specific virtual area on a particular metaverse games platform.


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Why buy land in metaverse?

Buying virtual land in the metaverse may sound crazy, especially when the cheapest plot of land is going for more than $10,000. So why are people willing to pay millions of dollars to buy metaverse land? 

As metaverse development is still in its infancy, it offers attractive investment opportunities. Investors and corporate businesses are flocking to the digital world to find new ways to diversify their portfolios via virtual real estate investment that can be sold for a profit or rented out for passive income

In 2021, when Mark Zuckerberg rebranded the social media platform Facebook to Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: FB), he also announced plans to focus on the development of the metaverse, raising the widespread interest of large corporations and individual investors.

Despite the recession and bear market, and sky-high land prices, interest in metaverse land and virtual real estate hasn’t seemed to stop, with virtual real estate sales soaring in 2022 and expected to keep growing to 5.37 billion by 2026. 

Metaverse land sales forecast 2026. Source: technavio.com

Several retailers are acquiring space and are buying up virtual land in the metaverse on different platforms. Moreover, a growing number are investing early to get ahead; some of these retailers include Tommy Hilfiger, adidas, Burberry, Gucci, Nike, and Samsung, but not only clothing retailers but also large retail banks such as HSBC or JP Morgan. 

For example, large accounting firms PwC and Prager Metis have already acquired land in the Sandbox’s metaverse to offer their services and advise clients virtually. Other concepts, such as digital billboards for advertising, provide new marketing opportunities for brands and service providers.

However, one of the big questions in the metaverse land market business is which metaverse platform is the best one to buy virtual land on. There are many different ones, and not all will make it. On the safe side, companies are buying land on some of the largest top metaverse platforms, such as The Sandbox, Decentraland, or Meta’s Horizon Worlds, with the highest user count and widest audience. 

Centralized vs decentralized metaverse

On one side, there are centralized metaverse platforms such as Roblox or Niantic, or Meta-owned Horizon Worlds; others are decentralized blockchain and crypto-based metaverse platforms like The Sandbox, Decentraland, or Somnium

Currently, the most prominent metaverse platforms for buying virtual land are blockchain-based Decentraland and Sandbox on the Ethereum blockchain, run by a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) – a group of platform users. 

All purchases, for both virtual land as well as other digital assets in the game, are made in cryptocurrency in the form of NFTs, so the user has the full right and ownership of them, unlike with a centralized platform, where funds go to platform owners. 

How to buy land in the metaverse? 

Buying land in the virtual world may seem daunting at first due to specific terminology as well as specific processes involved, but in reality, you have to follow a simple process to buy land in the metaverse, and in a few steps, you can be a proud owner of digital land or real estate.

Where to buy metaverse land

You can purchase virtual metaverse land in one of two ways:

  1. On an NFT marketplace;
  2. Directly on the specific metaverse platform.

You can purchase land either on an NFT marketplace like OpenSea and search for land NFTs of a specific metaverse, or alternatively, you can head straight to a specific metaverse platform, such as Decentraland Marketplace, and buy the land NFT directly.

Sandbox virtual land listings on OpenSea NFT marketplace. Source: opensea.io

Alternatively, you can head to your chosen metaverse platform, in this case, the Sandbox, and purchase virtual land NFTs from there.

NFTs land listed on the Sandbox marketplace. Source: sandbox.game

Once you have chosen the metaverse platform you are interested in buying land on, you should check for the secondary NFT marketplace like OpenSea or Binance NFT as well as their marketplace to find the best offer. 

Before proceeding with the land purchase, make sure you go through the following steps:

Step 1 – Select a metaverse platform

The first step would be to decide on which metaverse platform you want to buy land on, which depends on various factors —price, land size, and the seller. If you don’t have a specific platform in mind, doing some prior research on which suits your aim best is a solid idea. 

Just like some areas of the world like London, New York, or Tokyo are where real estate prices are the most expensive, up-and-coming areas can offer more lucrative deals; however, they come with higher risk.

For example, Roblox has seen world-renowned celebrity artists like Tai Verdes, Zara Larsson, or Lil Nas X holding virtual concerts on the platform. Decentraland has hosted virtual fashion shows featuring brands like Adidas or D&G, and even hosted a 4-day festival with Deadmau5 and Paris Hilton – all of which drive up the demand and prices. 

However, as the cheapest plot of land on these two platforms can go for more than $15,000, you should also check for other opportunities. Other growing metaverse platforms include Voxels (formerly Cryptovoxels), Axie Infinity (AXS), Aavegotchi, and Bit. Country, or Somnium.

Step 2 – Buy cryptocurrency

Most metaverse platforms and NFT marketplaces require you to purchase metaverse crypto beforehand. It means you have to first register with a digital wallet – the wallet type depends on which metaverse platform you wish to buy land. For example, Decentraland can connect to Metamask, Fortmatic, WalletConnect, or Coinbase Wallets.

For ease of use, we recommend integrating a digital wallet that can be added to your browser, as you can automatically log in and connect two separate accounts – the wallet and the platform accounts.

No matter which wallet you choose, you must buy cryptocurrency supported by your chosen metaverse platform – for example, Sandbox and Decentraland have their own digital currencies: SAND and MANA accordingly, and as they are on Ethereum blockchain, you would also need some ETH to cover the gas fees. 

You can purchase these digital currencies on crypto exchanges such as Binance or Coinbase, which also connect directly to your digital wallet. Once you have signed up with a digital crypto wallet and purchased some crypto, you can continue to the next stage and select the piece of land you wish to own.

Step 3 – Select a piece of metaverse land

Once you have selected the metaverse platform, set up your digital wallet, and purchased some crypto, the next step is to choose the plot of land to buy. 

The main things to consider before buying land in the metaverse are: 

  • Metaverse land price;
  • Size of the virtual land area;
  • The digital currency you have to pay in; 
  • Who is the seller of the land; 
  • Transaction history;
  • Utility potential (gallery, events space, shop, etc.);
  • How big is the metaverse platform; 
  • Area: is it close to a hub, shops, galleries, event spaces, etc.

Similar to the real world, where it is more expensive to buy property near landmarks, land closer to the “hubs” or shops and other public spaces tends to be more pricey in the virtual world.

For example, on Decentraland, users gather around Genesis Plaza, which is at the heart of the metaverse world and is a welcome point to meet and greet new visitors. Plots around there are generally more expensive – as if you build near high-traffic areas and busier neighborhoods, it will drive more interest.

Step 4 – Finalize your virtual land purchase

Once you have decided on the best area to buy for your needs and have deposited funds to your digital wallet, you have to head to the secondary NFT marketplace or the metaverse platform directly, link your account and your wallet and click buy. 

The NFT you purchase contains coordinates to the area you control, and shows where it is located on the metaverse map. Once the transaction is confirmed, you can see the NFT in your digital wallet and will be registered as the new owner. Depending on the aim of your purchase, you can either hold on to it as a long-term investment, flip it for profit, or build something on it.

Step-by-step process to buying land on OpenSea 

OpenSea is the first NFT marketplace in the world for buying and selling all types of digital assets, from NFTs to crypto-collectibles, including virtual land. Users can also browse for trending NFT projects and resell their existing assets on Ethereum (ETH) and Solana (SOL) blockchains. 

It is better to purchase virtual land on a third-party platform if you already know which land and on which metaverse platform you want to buy.

Step 1 – Register and sign in to your account

In the first step, you have to register your account on the OpenSea NFT platform. This is relatively easy and only takes a few simple steps to complete. 

You can connect directly to your digital wallet:

Step 2 – Search for the virtual land you want to buy

The second step is about finding the land plots that are on sale on the platform – at this stage, you should already know which metaverse platform you wish to purchase land on, in this case, Decentraland:

On there, you can see all the details: how many items are listed overall, the price, the digital currency they are sold in, and filter for “buy now”, “auction”, “new”, or “has offers” status options to choose the most suitable land for your needs. 

When you click on each listing, you can see details such as purchase history, the average price over time, and the seller, among other crucial details to analyze before buying.

Step 3 – Finalize the purchase

And we have made it to the final step – the purchase! Once you have chosen the platform, analyzed and confirmed all the details, and done your research, you can click “make an offer” or “buy”, depending on the listing type.

A step-by-step guide to buying land on Decentraland 

Decentraland is one of the largest decentralized metaverse platforms, established in 2017, where there are 90,601 individual plots of virtual land. For each piece of land, called parcels, users can use the MANA token, the platform’s digital currency, to purchase land in Decentraland.

Step 1 – Register your account

First of all, head to the Decentraland platform and create your account. 

From there, you have to connect your crypto wallet to your Decentraland account, and you are all set up to go ahead and purchase the land on the Decentraland marketplace.

Step 2 – Head to Decentraland Marketplace

Once you have registered as a user on the Decentraland platform, head to Decentraland Marketplace, provided you have already signed up with a crypto wallet such as Metamask, and if needed, connect to your wallet by using a Chrome extension: 

After which, you can connect to your wallet again (unless already connected). 

After a successful connection and sign-in, you should click “start browsing”, which takes you to the page where you can choose between various digital assets, including land: 

On that page, a map of the whole Decentraland is displayed, with available plots of land highlighted in blue. The ones in green are hubs called “Genesis Plazas”, which are the central areas of this metaverse – think of them as city centers, where plots of land are the most expensive.

Step 3 – Choose the plot of land you want to buy

The next step is identifying which plot you want to purchase. When you hover around each plot of land, highlighted in blue are the ones that are for sale, you can see its price, who is selling it, and how big the parcel is:

There you can decide on things like the price, how close it should be to the central hubs, and what kind of potential it has.

Step 4 – Complete the purchase

In the next step, once you have identified the suitable plot, you can click on the blue land that will open the further details, and the “buy” or “bid” options. 

In this case, a user named Chao is selling his plots of land for 500,000 MANA, which equals about a whopping $398,276 US dollars, which doesn’t come cheap.

Main reasons to buy virtual land in the metaverse

Reasons to buy virtual land in the metaverse don’t differ much from the real world – in 2021, a digital plot of land next to Snoopverse – Snoop Dogg’s virtual world on the Sandbox platform was sold for a whopping $450,000. 

Buying land next to celebrities or investing in virtual real estate to earn from rent is all the same in the virtual metaverse world, except that it is digital. Like in a real-life scenario, some areas and cities are more desirable and expensive, some up-and-coming and more affordable. 

We are already spending hours on end on our phones, and no matter how strange it may sound, the metaverse is likely to become a big part of our lives. If you want to profit early, you can partake in the early stages of the metaverse development – one way to invest is metaverse land. 

Even though purchasing virtual land may still seem like an odd investment, many see the potential, but the market is still highly speculative. It isn’t just the possibility of long-term gains that drives investor interest and hype – metaverse land also offers the chance to earn passive income through renting out real estate.

Here are some of the main trends and reasons to buy land in the metaverse: 

1. Make a profit 

The metaverse is forecasted to grow, so buying land on the most popular platforms is a way of investing in its long-term growth. As NFT proves its unique ownership, speculators can purchase virtual land to flip it for a profit, rent it out for a virtual store space or events venue, or create a service to be offered on the platform in exchange for money.

2. Be a part of the metaverse experience

In the real world, corporations, retail firms, or other commercial institutions invest in real estate to make a profit, but some people wish to purchase property to become homeowners. Similarly, some users might want to be part of the metaverse development – to be immersed in the virtual world, and build for fun. 

3. Earn passive income

Owning a plot of virtual land means you get the right to build anything you want on that property. You could build revenue-generating services like casinos, clubs, stores, or event spaces, where you could either hold events, rent the space out for events, or rent it out to someone else to build on it to earn passive income.

4. Advertising

As some parts of the metaverse platforms are increasingly popular for user traffic, it’s a new opportunity for advertisers to promote products and services to the platform users. Landowners can sell their space for advertising purposes to brands wanting to sell their services on digital billboards in high-traffic parcel areas, in popular neighborhoods, or at virtual events – in virtual versions or real-life Times Square. 

5. Provide services

Virtual land owners can also be companies that wish to extend their services and physical world presence in the digital world. On top of advertising and marketing opportunities, they can choose to purchase land and build digital versions of their shops or other businesses in the metaverse. 

For example, according to Analytics Insight, restaurants are increasingly jumping on the metaverse land bandwagon and leveraging it to their benefit. Other use cases for services in the metaverse are shopping, educational services, financial services, events hosting, therapy sessions, or virtual tourism, among other real-life operations that the digital world could enhance. 

How much is land in the metaverse?

In 2017, when Decentraland had its first metaverse land auction, Decentraland land prices were selling for around a mere $20 per parcel. However, things have changed rapidly, with prices reaching a whopping $6000 at the end of 2021, and by mid-2022, metaverse land plot prices (on Decentraland) had more than doubled, with some plots of land going for around $15,000 per parcel of land.

As of January 2023, Decentraland land prices have increased even further. Although the cheapest Decentraland land parcel was selling for around $1270, the more expensive side was going for a sky-high $31,758 per parcel, close to the Central Plaza. You can check Decentraland land prices here on the Decentraland marketplace.

A brief history of the metaverse

While metaverse might seem like a new concept, the idea of a virtual world and metaverse term isn’t. Technically, it’s been around since 1970, when a computer-generated virtual tour of Aspen, Colorado, called Aspen Movie map, was created. 

Then, in 1838, the first concept of a single 3D image by scientist Charles Wheatstone surfaced, which led to the creation of technology that uses depth illusion to create an image.

And in fact, the term “metaverse” comes from Neil Stevenson’s novel 1982, Snow Crash. In his book, he describes a virtual place where the characters of the book could escape reality. So this is where Meta, formerly known as Facebook, got its name.

In the early 1990s, the global video gaming and entertainment company Sega headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, came out with the first VR arcade machine with a VR motion simulator. 

Fast-forward three decades later, in 2010, entrepreneur Palmer Luckey built the first revolutionary VR headset called Oculus Rift VR, and in 2014, Facebook acquired the company in a $2 billion deal. 

A few years later, in 2021, Facebook changed its name to Meta (FB) and announced its plans to focus on shaping the future of the metaverse – the concept as we know it now was born and started gaining traction, however, is currently faced with a high level of suspicion from investors.

Meta’s November 2022 layoffs of nearly 10,000 employees and huge sums of money going into the development of the metaverse have gotten people to question its shift away from its core business, social media, which has had a negative effect on the Meta stock.

In conclusion

Digital real estate seems to work similarly to the demand and supply of physical property, where supply and demand and scarcity drive property prices up or down. Metaverses also offer only limited plots of land, which means unique investment opportunities are present. 

However, digital assets such as virtual land are still highly speculative and come with heightened risks for both beginners and seasoned investors, which is why it is crucial to do research before purchasing metaverse real estate. 

FAQs about buying land in the metaverse

What is virtual land in the metaverse?

Virtual lands are digital images and programmable spaces on different metaverse platforms, where users can build and design their houses, virtual NFT art galleries, stores, or virtual event spaces, and much more. Virtual land is especially popular on two of the largest blockchain-based platforms Decentraland and the Sandbox. 

How to buy land in the metaverse?

Each piece of virtual land is sold as a non-fungible-tokens (NFTs); each token gives you the rights to own and develop a specific area on a particular metaverse platform. 

Where to buy land in the metaverse?

In most cases, you can buy metaverse land on an NFT marketplace like OpenSea by searching for land NFTs of a specific metaverse platform, or alternatively, you can head straight to a specific metaverse platform, such as Decentraland Marketplace.

Why do investors buy land in the metaverse?

Corporations and individual investors buy digital land for various reasons: to provide products or services virtually in the metaverse, sell their land for profit, or rent it out to earn passive income. For example, businesses can sell their products by building virtual shops, offering services in virtual casinos or banks, or hosting live events to attract new audiences. 

How much is land in the metaverse?

As of January 2023, Decentraland land is still selling at high prices. Whereas the cheapest Decentraland land parcel was selling for around $1270, some of the more desired land plots (close to the Central Plaza) were going for a sky-high $31,758 per parcel — you can check the current prices on the Decentraland marketplace.

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