Saturday, July 24, 2021
Mining on the Switch
I never mined Bitcoin. Of course, I wished I had done so back in 2009. But in 2021 it is definitively too late, in most western countries you can’t even get the cost of electricity back from mining Bitcoin. And I don’t like the 129 TWh of electricity wasted on Bitcoin globally per year now, as it unnecessarily contributes quite a high amount of CO2 to global warming. Having said that, my Switch is currently lying next to me, running, consuming electricity, in order to “mine” monstie xp and resources in Monster Hunter Stories 2.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 has a game mechanic introduced in area 3 where you can send your monsters on “monstie expeditions”. You can send up to 6 monsters on expeditions that net you different amounts of experience points for them, plus random resources and even some rare items. These expeditions have different lengths, with the longest being half an hour. But, unlike mobile games, time only passes when the game is running. You can’t start an expedition in the evening before going to bed, turn off your Switch, and get your rewards next morning. The expeditions are intended to run in the background while you are playing.
Having played a lot of mobile games where you get rewards from letting time pass, it was immediately obvious to me that I could abuse the system by letting it run when I am not playing. A Switch uses a lot less electricity than a Bitcoin mining rig. I just need to collect the rewards and start the next expedition every half hour. Besides the resources, I also like to use the xp on the monsties that I plan to sacrifice to the Rite of Channeling. A hatched egg gives a level 1 monstie with few genes; send that monster out to a few expeditions, and more genes unlock, giving you more options to pick a gene to transfer to another monster.
At the same time, this “mining” doesn’t increase the level of my main hero, and I don’t use it to make overly powerful monsters for combat. Having already restarted the game once because I had overleveled, I am careful to avoid becoming too powerful for the story content. I am mainly using the mining for genes, so I need to grind fewer monster dens for eggs. The method is certainly not working as intended, but it works for me.