As the SocialFi trend slightly fizzles, with many friendtech keys tanking in price last week, Web3 is now abuzz with a new entrant on the scene: frenpet.
This little app by @CaduVeloso and @surfcoderepeat, which has been around since September but exploded in popularity since Coinbase Wallet tweeted about it last week, lets you mint a cute little pixel art pet, which, like the Tamagotchi virtual pet toy first released in 1996, you have to feed and keep alive.
With frenpet, there is some additional functionality: you need to clean up your pet’s poops, which are also adorable, with a darling little sponge making a yucky face—and you can also bonk (this means fight) other pets. What you don’t need to do, which is the case on nearly every other one of these privy-wallet-powered progressive web apps, is create content and woo a coterie of holders to buy and keep your key.
There is still a social—and a financial—aspect to the Base-powered frenpet: your pet is earning ETH the whole time, and you buy petfood (and poop sponges!) with $FP, a token on Base in its own right that had an all-time high of nearly two dollars last night, but has fallen as low as $.50 today and is now climbing again. The only way you can get $FP in-game is by swapping for (Base) ETH or by referring your friends to frenpet, where you get ten percent of every $FP they spend.
Furthermore, the app is most definitely in beta, and shows it: right now, you can’t mint a pet, although you can buy one on secondary markets, and the app suffers from lag, meaning when you scroll down the leaderboard looking for a pet to bonk, that pet may have already been attacked and is in its hour-long cool-down period.
That said, the app and its pets are adorable, with a winsome monochrome pixel art design, loads of little accessories, like a little kitty for your pet to show off on its home screen, some simple microgames, and future functionality to come, like a house and garden for your pet. This could prove lucrative for $FP speculators, as semi-idle games with a creative aspect, such as Animal Crossing, are extremely popular.
If you want your own bouncing baby pet blob that slowly evolves into its own little catlike self, here’s how to get involved.
Go to the frenpet website on your phone and add the site to your home screen, then tap on that as if it were any other app on your phone. It will ask for an invite code—head to the raucous frenpet telegram if you want to grab a fresh one or check around on X.
Then, it will spin up a wallet for you—you’ll want to export the private key and keep a record of it—and ask you to fund it with a bit of Base ETH. (You can bridge normal ETH to Base on the official bridge.)
Now, it’s time to swap some ETH for $FP, the native token of the game. It costs 100 $FP to mint your own pet, but you can also buy one on secondary—right now, they’re less than .01 ETH. As of this writing, minting is closed while the technical team works on solving the lag, indexing problems, and other issues with the game, so secondary is the only option for now.
Either way, you’ll want some $FP for the care and feeding of your pet! Once you’ve got your pet, you can name it, kit it out with the array of custom attire and accessories for sale, and, most importantly, prowl the leaderboard to find other pets to bonk.
The fight mechanism is simple. You are allowed to bonk any pet with a higher level than yours, and by sending a transaction, the random number generator will do its magic, and you’ll either win or lose. If you win, you get a few of the points held by your opponent.
How else do you get points? By taking care of your pet! Each pet comes with a little timer next to an ominous pixel skull, which denotes its upcoming time of death. To stave off the Grim Reaper, you need to feed your pet and make sure it doesn’t sit too long in its own turds by showering it. All of these cost $FP, and extend your pet’s life while giving it points towards levelling up. Some foods, like tea or an apple, cost only a few $FP and give long life-clocks but few points, and some, like an expensive beer, give loads of points but shorten the clock to a few hours. Plan accordingly, with your strategy—and budget—in mind.
What’s the point of all this? Well, it’s fun—I was delighted when my pet, which began as an amorphous blob, began to evolve over time and as it leveled up. It sprouted eyes, then ears, and will mature into a recognizable being as it levels up. There are also rewards: as your pet gets higher in level, it earns ETH, which you can cash in at any time by resetting your pet’s level to zero. Users like pranksy and rhynotic have earned thousands on the app.
If you are in a particularly degen mood, you can also gamble: there’s a dice minigame where you have to ante up a pot of $FP and a no-cost spin the wheel that you can do once a day. More features are coming, say the devs, but their priority is making sure everything works. “We are working on fixing the backend to open minting back up. Unfortunately, this took more time than we hoped for. We have some cool stuff planned, but the stability of the app is right now the most important thing,” they said in a Telegram announcement.
VulcanAuth founder Rhynotic, one of the top players of the game, is still bullish despite the technical troubles. “[The $FP price] is up 20x this week; it makes sense for it to cool down a bit anyway. The project launched three months ago, and you could only buy $5 of tokens at the time per wallet. They’ve been adding features since, and the market just caught up too fast for them to scale,” he told nft now.
He also has some strategy advice for the novice. “Do your daily spin; it’s free and up to 2000 free points. If you want to get high up in the rank, id spam beers for 1000 points each and then switch to a tea for the 3-day cooldown. And, it’s always worth trying to bonk the highest person on the leaderboard as its 60/40 win odds—and you win .5% of their points, risking losing .5% of yours, so good risk to reward ratio,” he said.
His strategy is to focus on being at the top of the leaderboard rather than farming rewards with multiple pets. “Currently, you get rewards proportional to your level, so it doesn’t matter if you have 10 level 1 pet versus 1 level 10 pet. But I expect this to change in the future—which is why I’m taking a bet on being #1,” he said.
“I think what makes it popular are the tokenomics,” the app’s designer and front end developer, CaduVeloso, told nft now. “With its large volume, all parts of the system work well. The idea is that speculators trading the token bring money to players, while they have a safe token to trade. They can stop worrying too much about the token price (since the rewards are in eth), and in any case they have rewards,” he said.
Cadu has been delighted by the app’s growth. “When we started this project in August, friendtech was new. [surfcoderepeat and I] had already created 2 Tamagotchi-style games in the past, and we saw the opportunity to create a 100% mobile game. The Privy team reached out to us to help implement the tech, as it was invite only at that time,” he said.
Despite the challenges posed by the app’s—and token’s—recent quick growth, Cadu is excited for the future development of the game. “In the first months, we were adding a new feature every few days—we are planning the farm-gaming now. Adam hasn’t explained the idea to me yet, but we want more ways for people to earn points. We will keep building as long as we have players,” he said.
Meanwhile, the community is enjoying frenpet—making art about it (best thus far is this hilarious send-up by Toad Swiback), farming rewards, and, of course, complaining on social media. When Mint reopens and features begin rolling out, we will learn whether frenpet will triumph—or get bonked.