While many have managed to make a fortune on the NFT, and others still do not know what it is, the market for non-fungible tokens has calmed down after the boom in 2021 and has carved its niche. The subsidence of the hype contributed to the fact that only the most persistent and interested people remained in the game. And this is more than enough for it to continue to bloom: in mid-2022, the NFT market is worth $3 billion and has the potential to grow to $13 billion by 2027.

Since you are here, chances are you know what NFT is and how powerful it can be in the right hands. And this applies not only to large-scale blockchain games or metaverse projects but also to individual NFTs sold on marketplaces. We have already described in detail how to create your first NFT. Now let’s take a closer look at the cost of creating an NFT.

NFT Minting Costs: What You Have to Pay

What is Minting?

Minting is the process of creating a digital token and then recording it on the blockchain.

Sounds intimidating, but it’s actually not that hard. You simply take the file you want to turn into NFT (picture, music, tickets, video, books, etc.) and place it on the blockchain following the step-by-step instructions of your chosen marketplace.

NFT marketplace is a dedicated trading platform designed specifically for non-fungible tokens.

2 Key Elements for Creating an NFT

The list of things you need to create an NFT is limited to two positions:

  1. Your file to be converted to NFT.
  2. Crypto wallet with a small amount of currency.

Creating a crypto wallet is easier and faster than making a cup of coffee. It is enough to go to the wallet website, for example, one of the most popular is MetaMask, and fill out a short registration form. It will take no more than 5 minutes.

Main Costs Associated With NFTs

Regarding our question on how much does it cost to create NFT art, we can distinguish the following types of spending.

Gas Fees

The gas fee is the fee for making a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain.

Why is it charged? It is charged as compensation for the resources that were spent verifying the transaction and adding a new element − your NFT − to the blockchain.

You have probably heard that gas prices fluctuate constantly. They depend on:

  • transaction complexity;
  • network load;
  • transaction speed.

If you want your transaction to go faster, you have to pay more. If you want to make a transaction during the network’s peak period, you have to pay more. And finally, if your file is more complex than a 50 kB pixel abstract image, then you have to pay more.

The average gas fee is around $70 on the Ethereum blockchain. But, as you’ve already understood, at certain moments it can change and reach hundreds of dollars. And if you plan to mint a lot of NFTs and think about how much does it cost to create an NFT collection, remember that each NFT in your collection will be minted and paid separately.

Account Fees

An account fee is a fee that your chosen marketplace may ask you to pay to create and initialize your account.

For example, on OpenSea, this fee usually ranges from $70 to $300.

Some marketplaces give you the opportunity to register for free. For example, Rarible does not charge any registration fees.

Sales Fees

Also known as a marketplace fee, a sales fee is the fee a marketplace charges you for using its platform and selling your NFTs.

It varies depending on the website and is charged at the time of each transaction. For example, OpenSea charges 2.5% on each NFT transaction, while Rarible charges 1% on the buyer side and 1% on the seller side on each transaction.

Blockchain: A Key Factor in the Cost of Creating an NFT

When we talk about how much does it cost to create an NFT, it is important to remember that different blockchains result in different NFT minting costs. Even though Ethereum is the most popular blockchain, it is not the only option. Moreover, the cost of generating and transferring assets in this network is quite high due to expensive transactions, so people turn to other blockchains: Solana, Polkadot, BNB Chain, etc.

As we’ve already said, the fee for a transaction in the blockchain depends on its current load. With high demand, the price of gas rises. Many take advantage of daily fluctuations in activity among those wishing to mint NFTs: sometimes it is cheaper to mint early in the morning on certain days of the week. This needs to be checked and tested separately for each specific day, but it really works and can help save a lot.

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Marketplaces like OpenSea or Rarible usually give you several blockchain options to choose from. For example, OpenSea supports Ethereum, Solana, Klatyn, and Polygon, while Rarible offers Ethereum, Polygon, Solana, and Flow.

Below you can see a table of the most famous blockchains and the marketplaces that support them.

BlockchainAboutMarketplaces
EthereumHuge demand, high security and privacy, availability on all marketplacesOpenSea, Rarible, Foundation
PolygonLow commission, secure transactions with Ethereum currencies, high speedOpenSea, Rarible, NFTrade
SolanaHigh speed, minimum commission, low environmental impactOpenSea, Rarible, Solanart
FlowHigh scalability, faster transactions, increased bandwidthRarible, NBA Top Shot, NFL ALL DAY
TezosLow fees, high performance, faster transactions with less processing powerHic et Nunc, Kalamint, OneOf

Regular Minting: Get Your Wallet Ready

The traditional NFT minting involves its immediate placement on the blockchain. To do this, you must pay a gas fee and a network commission. NFT marketplaces offer a quick and understandable minting procedure even for beginners. As for the cost, it can be different with a huge range of variations − from several tens to several hundred dollars.

Lazy Minting: NFT for Free?

Both in the first and in the second case, you might be interested in the so-called lazy minting feature. It is available, for example, in the OpenSea Collection Manager and on the Rarible marketplace.

Lazy minting is the creation of NFTs without any gas fees − those are passed on to the buyer at the time of purchase.

Its advantage lies in reducing the number of unnecessary Ethereum transactions associated with unpurchased NFTs. With lazy minting, your NFT is only tied to the blockchain at the time of purchase, and the gas fee is passed on to the buyer.

Off-chain NFTs are visually no different from other tokens. Having opted for such NFTs, buyers pay their price and gas fees, after which the token is placed on-chain and becomes the property of buyers.

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Important note. If you create an NFT for the first time on the marketplace like OpenSea, you will need to pay a listing fee to confirm your account. So there are still some expenses to be made.

Prices for the Creation of NFT-Based Projects

In addition to single assets, NFTs can be the basis for larger gaming and commercial projects. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples that are an abstract average of the projects we’ve completed and break down their costs.

Full-Cycle AAA Metaverse Development

Full-cycle development involves the involvement of a huge number of specialists. In this case, to create a full-fledged metaverse, the team consisted of such specialists:

  1. Developers (Unreal, backend, frontend, technical artists, level designers, DevOps).
  2. UI/UX designers.
  3. Game designers.
  4. QA engineers.
  5. Art director.
  6. Concept artists (characters, environment).
  7. 3D character artists.
  8. 3D environment artists.
  9. Sound designers.
  10. VFX designers.
  11. Game producer.

The duration of work was estimated at 12 months. At different stages of work, a different number of specialists were involved in the project. For example, if 1 QA engineer worked on the project in the first month, then there were already 3 of them in the last months to ensure the ideal quality of the product approaching the release.

Look at an approximate breakdown of the work of specialists on the AAA metaverse.


1-month costTotal cost, USD
Game development$ 121,800$ 1,658,160
UX/UI design$ 13,440$ 111,720
Game design$ 7,560$ 181,440
QA$ 5,880$ 164,640
Art (concept, characters, environment)$ 57,690$ 1,324,680
VFX$ 15,120$ 294,840
Management$ 5,880$ 70,560
Total
$ 3,806,040
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2D Art for the NFT Game

How much does it cost to make NFT art for a 2D game? Creating 2D art for an NFT-based game is no different from creating art for a regular non-blockchain game. Therefore, the pipeline remains classic, from concept art to the final versions of all the necessary characters, assets, and backgrounds. The stages of work were as follows:

  1. Moodboard.
  2. BnW draft (2-3 options per 1 asset)
  3. Color draft (2-3 options per 1 asset)
  4. Render.
  5. Final PSDs preparing.

You can see a breakdown of the estimated cost to create individual assets and all art in general for this project. Work on the art for this play-to earn game lasted about 3 months.

Work partsSpecificationCost, USD
Character bodyBasic model
Fur colors
Eyes
Mouth
$ 595
$ 1,260
$ 3,675
$ 7,350
Character clothes and accessoriesEyewear
Hat
Clothes
$ 3,360
$ 7,000
$ 12,600
Background and effects5 background options$ 210
ManagementPSD final preparing
Feedback implementation
Art direction
Art producing
$ 280
$ 3,633
$ 3,996
$ 4,396
Total
$ 48,355
NFT collection of 2D avatars for Guild of Guardians

Learn more about the specifics of working on 2D art for an NFT game in our case study on avatars for the famous blockchain mobile RPG

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Final Words

When answering the question “how much does it cost to make an NFT”, we must remember that there is no specific figure or formula. The minting fee will depend on the website chosen and the gas fee. Some websites offer free placement under certain conditions, while others charge up to $300 for your pleasure of seeing your NFT minted.

Keeping the fees in mind and analyzing the prospects for profiting from your NFTs, you may well benefit from your NFT activities.

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