Decentraland vs Sandbox: Which Metaverse is The Best?

21 September 2022

Liubomyr Sirskyi

Content Manager

Metaverse is a unique and revolutionary trend that takes the digital entertainment industry to the next level. The meaning of metaverse is simple: you can play games, make virtual friends, purchase virtual land, and build your dream estate here. 

Despite the high market competition, Sandbox and Decentraland are top 3D worlds that fight for a place in the sun. Let’s find out more about their key features and compare them.

What is Decentraland?

Decentraland is the largest virtual world of all time. About 7,000 people live in an Ethereum-based metaverse as owners of more than 100,000 virtual objects. The universe is decentralised and belongs to its users; thus, digital real estate holders can make decisions by collective voting through smart contracts.

Decentraland was launched in 2017 by Ari Meilich and Esteban Ordano. This metaverse online started as a 2D map with pixels representing free land for purchase. As for now, it is a full-fledged three-dimensional world with all its inhabitants, houses, roads, and designer accessories.

There are two types of tokens in the game called MANA and LAND. The first is the internal metaverse currency, while LAND coins are pieces of the virtual ground. Users can spend MANA to purchase LAND tokens, in addition to accessories, avatars, unique names, and other things.

What is Sandbox?

The Sandbox is a metaverse where inhabitants can build their worlds and create and monetise objects, games and experiences. The virtual world’s territory consists of 166,000 pieces of land.

The universe was born from a mobile game where users could create their worlds and artwork. It was developed by the Pixowl studio and later acquired by Animoca Brands. The original game was hugely popular, with over 40 million downloads and a million users playing Sandbox every month.

Gradually, the developers’ team began experimenting with the blockchain, so the usual game turned into a metaverse. The same possibilities remain here: everyone can make their games within the game, build their worlds with houses, roads and public areas, and experiment with avatars and artworks. But now, everyone can confirm the ownership of all objects with the help of NFT; thus, everything created is the user’s property.

The internal currency is called $SAND. Metaverse inhabitants should hold it to play games, upgrade their character, buy pieces of land and trade various items on the internal marketplace. To get $SAND, you can play games, participate in contests, or buy a token on the Binance exchange.  

Metaverse is the product of a love of blockchain technology, the gaming industry and NFT. And non-fungible tokens hold the top place in this triangle since all operations are tied to them. Learn more about NFT technology from our comprehensive guide

Sandbox vs Decentraland: The Ultimate Comparison

After we learned the general information about these two metaverses, let’s compare and contrast them in eight aspects. 

The Working Principle

When talking about metaverse differences, one of the essential things is the way of working. At first glance, both of them implemented the same principle. But when you dig deeper into this, there are many distinctions uncovered. 

Decentraland comprises 90,601 digital pieces of land that come together as individual parcels or land allotments. You can also find districts that involve lots with similar designs and areas under secured community ownership. You can use three types of tokens in this metaverse, MANA, LAND, and WEAR. 

As for Sandbox, this virtual world involves 166,464 parcels and allows to group lots into estates. One user can own one piece of land, while two or more people can control entire districts. You can also find SAND, GAMES, LAND, and ASSET token on the Sandbox. 


This factor also affects the ​​metaverse comparison and the final choice of a particular platform. In terms of maturity, the clear winner is Decentraland, which announced the 3D metaverse as its main product in 2020. In addition, the blockchain-based platform offered the first fully functional proof of concept (POC)*. At the same time, Sandbox offers only an Alpha version of the product, which was launched in 2021.

*Proof of concept (POC) is a form of testing a method or idea to prove its feasibility.


Comparing the two most popular metaverses, we cannot ignore their support from other companies. Thus, Decentraland cooperates with such investment companies as Kosmos Ventures, Genesis One Capital and Digital Currency Group. George Burke, the Chief Marketing Officer at FounderPool and angel investor, also invested in the metaverse.

Sandbox is also financially backed by renowned global businesses. The most prominent backers are SoftBank, Andreessen Horowitz, Uber and Slack. As for angel investors, we will mention Adrian Cheng, CEO & Executive Vice-Chairman of New World Development, who provided an undisclosed amount of financing.  

Buying Land

This feature is common for both Decentraland and Sandbox. However, the opportunities for buying virtual property are different, directly affecting the metaverse experience. Therefore, you can purchase land on Sandbox through the internal marketplace and the OpenSea NFT platform. As for Decentraland, parcel acquisition is possible only in the internal MANA store.


The lack of scalability concerns not only Decentraland and Sandbox but also other Ethereum-based platforms. The reason lies in the token instability and high gas commissions. Therefore, the widespread adoption of these three-dimensional metaverses can be challenging due to capacity limitations.


It is another vital criterion for comparing Sandbox vs Decentraland. Both virtual worlds have a rapid pace of development since they brought gaming, NFT, and social media together. But Sandbox overtakes its biggest competitor by using more energy-saving solutions. As for now, this metaverse migrated to the Polygon, a Layer 2* solution that increases the scalability of the Ethereum blockchain and reduces transaction costs. Thus, the digital platform uses about 100 times lesser energy than the classic Ethereum technology. 

*Layer 2 (L2) solution is the infrastructure software project, application or technology deployed on top of the underlying blockchain.


The collaborators’ list is another crucial highlight for defining the best metaverse among Decentraland and Sandbox. Partnering with big and trustworthy projects can gain more traction for the large-scale adoption of virtual worlds. Decentraland has been associated with Cyberpunk, Atari, Samsung, and the South Korean Government. In contrast, Sandbox has begun partnering with Gucci, Ubisoft, CryptoKitties, Snoop Dog, Deadmau5, and many other big names. 

Future Plans

The development prospects are also crucial in terms of defining the differences between Sandbox and Decentraland. The first platform focuses on the mobile version launch and integration with game consoles (first of all, Xbox and PS). Besides, this 3D digital world plans to make over 5000 games available by December 2023. 

In contrast, Decentraland has no particular development plan. However, the metaverse’s team has set some valuable points in their 2022 Manifesto. The platform plans to introduce new collaborations with celebrities and renowned brands alongside protocol and SDK enhancements.


Decentraland and Sandbox are comprehensive metaverses, but the user’s choice depends on the unique preferences. Decentraland is an excellent choice for those who want to deal with virtual land, while Sandbox may fit the desire of people to create a fully functional digital platform. In any case, the interest in these three-dimensional worlds is growing exponentially as well as the entire metaverse trend. At Rocketech, we implement advanced approaches to create profitable software for your business. Our dedicated teams will do their best to develop a digital solution that fits your needs and requirements. And if you want to expand your customer base and raise profits, contact us now!

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