What makes some CryptoKitties more valuable than others? Why do some kitties plummet in value while others don’t? How can you tell ahead of time?
Kitties get their value from two things: RARITY and DESIRABILITY. If a cat can maintain both over time, it’ll hold its value much better than the new hotshot cat with shiny antlers. Here are some things to think about before buying the expensive kitty in the window.
WHICH CATS ARE RARE?
Gen 0 Cats
There will only be 50,000 Gen 0 cats, and they will no longer be produced after November 2018. Other generations can be created through breeding, but Gen 0 cats cannot. They will be more scarce than higher generations.
Low-Generation Cats with Mutations
There are five tiers of cattributes. There are basic traits and then four tiers of mutations. Gen 0 cats only have basic traits (so far, at least). The other traits have to be developed through mutation and breeding. A low-generation cat with mutations is difficult to create and will thus remain rare for longer. Look at the Trait Chart to see the tiers of traits. The darker the blue, the rarer the trait in low generations. (Note: after a gene has been created through mutation, it can be passed through breeding just like basic traits.)
TRAITS ARE NOT INHERENTLY RARE. CERTAIN CATS WITH CERTAIN TRAITS ARE RARE.
Fancies, like SantaClaws, have special artwork and can only be created through breeding a perfect blend of cattributes (see my post on How to Make Fancy Cats). Fancies are harder to create so they usually stay rare for longer.
For each trait, cats have a dominant gene and three recessive genes. When all four genes match, it is a purebred cat in that trait. They’re difficult to create (especially purebreds in multiple categories), so they maintain their rarity longer. They’re also really useful because they give more predictable breeding results, and they’ll become increasingly rare as more genes are introduced into the game. (See my post on Purebred Cats.)
These are cats like Genesis or the Bug Cats. They cannot be created through breeding, so they are really rare. There will only ever be one Genesis. Period.
Founder Cats / Jaguars
There were a hundred Founder Cats that started the game. There was Kitty #1, which was Genesis, and then there were 99 jaguars (#2 – #100). These are the only Gen 0 jaguars in existence (right now, at least), so all jaguar cats have a direct ancestral link to these founder cats. (As far as I’ve heard, there haven’t even been recessive jaguar genes in other Gen 0 cats.) (Disclaimer: I don’t understand Founder Cats really well, so I’ll update when I do.)
Original Art Cats
Sometimes rarity can come in unexpected ways. For example, the developers choose to change the artwork on serpent eyes. The original artwork has a thin outline and the new artwork has a thickened upper eyelid. The first cat with the new artwork is Kitty #456709, so any cats with serpent eyes before that point will be relatively rare because they cannot be reproduced. (See a list of all the artwork changes HERE.)
WHICH CATS ARE DESIRABLE?
What makes a cat desirable is obviously very subjective, but here are some ideas.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but over time, we might start seeing trends as to what a broad audience prefers. For example, wingtip eyes seem more popular than crazy eyes. (See an informal survey on preferred cattributes HERE.)
Their special artwork and collectability factor generally make Fancy Cats more desirable. (Except that DuCat. What’s up with that guy?)
Some cats are very useful for breeding. Virgin cats have great cooldown speeds, and low-generation cats have offspring with great cooldown speeds. Cats with several rare traits are great for breeding rare traits, and purebred cats are more predictable when breeding.
Cats like the Wikileaks Cats or Kitty #19143 may be more desirable because they’re well-known and associated with something notable. Also, as the game evolves, cats may have awards linked to them, making them famous in their own right.
Early cats (cats with a low kitty #) may be more desirable for nostalgia or rarity. Other cats, such as Kitty #444444 who’s also a Gen 44, may have extra desirability just because it’s kinda cool. First-of-its-kind cats (first mainecoon, first SantaClaws) may also get extra credit. Who knows at this point.
As third-parties start developing games and interactions for the kitties, cats may become more desirable based on their ability to perform in those environments. Maybe those crazy eyes actually have a superpower?!
In short, if you’re looking to buy kitties that hold their value, don’t just dump a bunch of ETH on the latest new trait. Think about what will be scarce and desirable over time.
Or just buy a cute kitty and love it forever. That’s actually the best approach. 🙂