The Complete Guide To NFT Rarity – Should You Buy A Rare NFT?

There are plenty of factors that give NFTs value, from the underlying utility to the strength of its community. As with most artworks, cultural, sentimental, and aesthetic importance can make the value of a particular NFT extremely subjective. Nevertheless, there is one aspect of NFT valuation that is pretty objective: NFT rarity. This guide examines what NFT rarity is and how you can leverage it moving forward. Let’s go!

nft rarity guide

Table of Contents

Why Buy A Rare NFT?

Basic economics indicates that prices tend to go up when the supply is limited. Therefore, rare NFTs have a higher chance of fetching higher prices. We often see drastic price differences within a collection between common and rare editions. For instance, the Azuki floor price sits at 8.9 ETH at the time of writing, while Azukis with the rare Golden Zanbato trait have average prices of around 20 ETH. Of course, there are also instances where this theory does not apply. 

How To Find Rares In A Collection?

For starters, NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and LooksRare have built-in features that allow users to see the number of NFTs having each trait. At a glance, collectors can find traits with high rarities and filter out the common pieces.

nft rarity
Moonbirds #5569 properties. Credit: OpenSea

Besides that, collectors can use the following equation to quickly grasp the rarity of a particular piece:

1 / ([Number of Items with that Trait Value] / [Total Number of Items in Collection])

How To Analyze NFT Traits?

In essence, NFT traits are the building blocks that form the final image of an NFT, commonly seen in PFP projects. Each NFT collection contains its unique set of traits, giving some NFTs a higher rarity score than others. For a typical PFP project, traits will include the characters’ attitude, attributes, and other characteristics.

Different creators use different trait strategies to create an uneven distribution of traits, giving each NFT different rarity levels from the get go. Some of the more common trait categories include different backgrounds, clothes, accessories, body parts, etc. Apart from the monetary benefits of having rare traits, some collectors may also fancy the aesthetics of a certain trait, or traits that they can personally relate to. This can diminish the influence of rarity on the value of an NFT.

What Is A 1/1 NFT?

A 1/1 NFT is basically a unique artwork that only has one edition. In many cases, these NFTs can fetch a higher value due to their exclusive nature and limited quantity. Many NFT collections today have at least a few ‘super rare’ pieces with traits that make them stand out from the rest of the collection.

For instance, the CloneX NFT collection has several 1/1 traits such as the Tech Helmet and the Skull Helmet. Whereas the Doodles NFT collection has Purple Alien Hair, Gold Ape Head, and several other 1/1 traits. Evidently, NFTs with these 1/1 traits do have higher price tags, especially in notable NFT collections.

Aside from generative NFT collections, some creators only create one edition of a certain art, making it a 1/1 NFT. They can be paintings, abstract art, photographs, sports trading cards, etc. Since there is only 1 edition, some of the 1/1 NFTs are released through auctions instead of common NFT marketplaces, giving them a potentially higher return.

On the other hand, creators that opt for 1/1 NFTs may end up with a significantly smaller community given the limited number of owners behind it. This is especially true for new creators and projects. Many of the blue chip NFTs like World of Women and Azuki started with a large number of NFTs and were able to create a huge community. The same cannot be accomplished through 1/1 NFTs alone.

Disadvantages Of Buying Rare NFTs

Theoretically speaking, rare NFTs have a statistically higher price tag than common NFTs. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows for rare NFTs. While rarity does provide an objective side to NFT valuation, the value of an artwork still lies in the eyes of the beholder. For instance, a rare but aesthetically displeasing trait may have lesser interested bidders than a better looking commoner.

According to Jordan Suchow, a cognitive scientist at Stevens Institute of Technology, rare NFTs often skyrocket in the beginning, making them more visible, which in turn make them more common. As new collectors enter the ecosystem, they may perceive them to be common because they have seen them pop up everywhere. If so, rare NFTs may actually lose some value in the long run.

To make matters worse, NFTs can be extremely illiquid in some cases. This phenomenon may not be apparent in blue chip NFT collections, but owners in other collections may have a hard time getting rid of their digital assets when they want to, even if they hold a rare edition.

Even for blue chips, NFT snipers tend to go for the super rare traits like the Alien CryptoPunks. Whereas sellers may have to settle for lower prices when it comes to those with mid-tier rarity levels. For instance, the Ape CryptoPunks (0.24%) have a lower price compared to the Alien CryptoPunks at 0.09% rarity.

Do check out this guide to learn more about spotting good NFT projects.

Best NFT Rarity Research Tools

There are plenty of NFT rarity research tools available today, making it much easier to spot gems in the NFT market. Although many of them are quite reliable, it is still best to cross examine between multiple sites before making a purchase. Here are a few of the best NFT rarity research tools available, listed in no particular order.

Rarity Sniper 

This specialised platform tracks NFT collections on Ethereum, Solana, and others. In the beginning, the founders used a simpler version to spot underpriced NFTs and flip them for a profit. This is often possible as some owners may not be aware of the rarity of their editions, leading them to let go at a lower price. The platform and its community grew rapidly, having more than a million unique visitors in just the first month.

Aside from checking the rarity, users can also see the current price on OpenSea. This feature allows research to be done on the platform itself. Rarity Sniper also covers NFT news, and all things web3 as they move towards being one of the more reliable media brands in the space.

Trait Sniper

Trait Sniper has evolved from being just a rarity checking platform into a holistic NFT trading platform. It provides the overview of a project, rarity, project details, reveal alerts, access to the alpha group, and the ability to buy directly on the site.

So far, they have already established solid partnerships with LooksRare, X2Y2, OKX, Moby, and many more veterans in the space. Advanced traders have the option to upgrade to a higher tier for more useful features. They even released their own NFT collection, featuring 3,333 NFTs that gives lifetime access to all the tools on the platform.


This platform launched in April 2021, starting with only a few NFT collections such as CryptoPunks, BAYC, and others. Currently, it is well-known in the NFT world as one of the most accurate Rarity calculation websites. They believe that rarity is the most important aspect of determining an NFT’s value and aim to answer one simple question: how rare is this NFT? 

The main goal is to provide an easy to understand platform where users can obtain sensible rankings of any NFT in the market. In a nutshell, the site calculates the rarity score of each single trait, then combines the rarities of all the traits of a single NFT to give the overall rarity score. On top of that, the platform also identifies important traits that are not coded into the basic trait data. This includes traits specific to a collection which collectors may find valuable.

Notable Rares Sold In NFT Projects

Some of the rare NFTs have absolutely skyrocketed in the past, especially during the NFT bull run. Beeple‘s ‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days’ sold for $69.3 million, bulldozing its way into the mainstream media. The artist’s ‘Crossroads’ also sold for $6.6 million on the secondary market. Besides that, Paris Hilton’s ‘Iconic Crypto Queen’ auction closed at $1.1 million on Nifty Gateway.

Aside from 1/1 NFTs, several generative NFTs with rare traits have also made NFT headlines in the past year. The BAYC NFT collection has a super rare Solid Gold Fur trait with only 0.46% chance of landing one. As such, BAYC #6388 and #4580 managed to sell for a whopping 869.69 WETH and 666 ETH respectively.


We hope this article has provided some insight and tips on how to invest in a rare NFT. Always do your due diligence and research thoroughly before investing in a project. It is also recommended to double-check the authenticity of these collections if you are planning on making a big purchase.


None of the information contained here constitutes an offer (or solicitation of an offer) to buy or sell any currency, NFTs, products or financial instrument, to make any investment, or to participate in any particular trading strategy.

Any expression of opinion (which may be subject to change without notice) is personal to the author and the author makes no guarantee of any sort regarding accuracy or completeness of any information or analysis supplied.

The authors of are not responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained here. The contents of these publications should not be construed as an express or implied promise, guarantee or implication by that users of the website will profit or that losses in connection therewith can or will be limited, from reliance on any information set out here.