NFT Study #1: Create NFT Project With Rarity


from BAYC.

The most important thing you can do to enhance your NFT collection is to add rarity factors. In the marketplace, the rarest NFTs in your collection will be the most valuable.

But how many of your NFTs need to be common, and how many of them need to be rare or super rare? Well, there is no one answer to this question. But I can show you how Top NFT collections are designing their rarity.

Let’s first explore what an NFT is. NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token, which means each token has its own properties, similar to those on baseball cards or action figures that you own. You can also compare it to real-world objects like houses or cars instead of comparing it to existing digital assets.

Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) ranks second among PFP projects only behind CryptoPunks. It has 10,000 NFTs with 362,343 ETH as total volume. 

I listed down the top 4 insights that can help you design your own successful NFT project with the best rarity possible.


1. Actual collection size & Possible collection size

Bored Ape NFTs were generated from 171 different images (traits). 8 traits for the background layer, 19 traits for the fur layer… 

With this number of images, you can generate 1,314,733,728 unique NFTs. But the BAYC team decided to pick just 10,000 NFTs.

From the author.

If we calculate the ratio between the actual and possible collection size, we get 0.00076%, which is a very small number.

Of course, you can design 40 images only (4 layers with 10 traits each) in order to generate 10,000 NFTs (that means your actual-possible ratio is equal to 100%). But that will make your NFTs more similar, which will affect the beauty of the art and the value of your collection as well.

So, aim always for actual-possible collection size to be less than 1%.


2. One common trait for each layer

Bored Ape NFTs collection has a simple rarity distribution between traits. All traits within a layer have approximately the same number of appearances (impressions), except for one trait (sometimes two) which has a lot more impressions (less rare).

Layers/impressions chart for BAYC from ZootChain.

You can see this clearly with the Mouth, Hat, and Clothes layers. All traits of the Clothes layers, for example, fall in the range between 42 and 412 impressions. But there is one last trait (No clothes) that has 1,886 impressions.

Making at least one trait very common will remarkably increase the gaps between the NFTs.

Notice the Background layer. All its traits have almost the same impressions (1,170–1,291). That means the BAYC team did not want the Background layer to affect the rarity of an NFT.


3. Number of traits for each layer

Layers/impressions chart for BAYC from ZootChain.

By looking at the same picture, we can notice that all the layers have a different number of traits. We can put them into three groups:

  1. The Earring (7 traits) and Background (8 traits) layers.
  2. The Fur (19 traits) and Eyes (23 traits) layers.
  3. The Mouth (33 traits), Hat (37 traits), and Clothes (44 traits) layers.

 The traits from the third group will have more rarity scores than the others. So, focus on designing more traits for your most important layers.


4. Rarity score distribution

Rarity distribution for BAYC NFTs from ZootChain.

This chart represents the NFTs on the X-axis and their corresponding rarity scores on the Y-axis.

This is the general curve we should expect. Not only in BAYC, but also in all top NFTs projects.

The graph is similar to the exponential growth graph. That’s the type of distribution you should aim for when setting rarity. You should have a large number of common NFTs in your collection, while a few NFTs are very rare.


All these analyses were done by NFT Generator software. The software helps you build your 10,000 NFTs collection easily, and provides great rarity analysis for your project.

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