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The 5 Types of NFT Drops: Mastering the NFT Launch Mechanics

By October 22, 2022NFTs

Types of NFT Drops and Releases - AIO BotOnce you’ve really decided to become a part of the non-fungible token industry, you start to notice a few things. For starters, the world of non-fungible tokens has so many different ways of selling NFTs. In other words, there are a few different types of NFT drops used to release a digital collection or artwork. 

Now, that doesn’t necessarily have to be something out of the ordinary! In the sneaker industry, the most common types of releases include sneaker calendars, sneaker raffles, and lots of auctions. But, for NFTs, it goes a lot more than that! In fact, there are 5 different methods for releasing any type of NFT collection in the game. FIVE! 

Each of the 5 types of NFT drops has its own advantages and disadvantages. And, since there isn’t one agreed-upon method for releasing a collection, you have to know them all. This way you’ll know exactly what each drop looks like and come prepared. Also, make sure you join our free NFT hub by clicking on the button below. It has everything you need to kickstart your journey into creating, collecting, and trading NFTs. And SO much more! Check it out!


First, we’re going, to begin with, a basic definition of NFT drops. What are NFT drops?

An NFT drop is essentially a release of a non-fungible token project or artwork. It has the exact date, time, price, and place of the NFT release. It also includes the conditions of the release which differ according to the types of NFT drops. Naturally, the cheapest NFTs you could buy are those you get on the drop!

Benefits of NFT drops include:

That’s basically everything there is to NFT drops. Now, we have to get into the actual releases and all the different types available to the public. However, you should note that the types of releases all come down to the founder or the creator. In other words, the types of NFT drops all depend on how the creators want their NFTs to be sold!

  • FCFS Public Mint
  • Whitelist Public Mint
  • Open Editions
  • Free mint
  • NFT Auctions

#1 FCFS Public Mint

The first type of NFT drops is the FCFS Public Mint. This is the simplest form of NFT release BUT it is also the most chaotic of them all. FCFS are the first-come, first-served public minting sessions. You get a pre-determined date and time with a fixed minting price (between 0.08 ETH to 0.2 ETH). Once the minting begins, it’s a literal ruthless, every-man-for-himself type of competition. 

Some NFT projects limit the number of NFTs a single wallet owner can mint during the FCFS Public Mint. This is to level out the playing field and give other users a chance. However, other projects use a free for all situation. But, every collection has a certain number of NFTs like the 10,000 CryptoPunk collection


  • Simple and easy to use
  • User-friendly
  • Accessible
  • Fair method of minting NFTs
  • Urgency and scarcity bring FOMO
  • Can sell out quickly
  • Can lead to gas wars
  • Prone to attract NFT bots

Types of NFT Drops 2 - AIO Bot#2 Whitelist + Public Mint

Next, there’s the Whitelist + Public Mint – a type of NFT drops that is similar to the FCFS method. Aka, the pre-sale method. In fact, this method has become pretty common for the purpose of driving hype and demand. In a nutshell, the collection uses whitelists to give people access to a super exclusive drop.

The whitelist public mint usually takes place around 24 to 72 hours before the public sale. So, basically, it is a whitelist sale followed by an FCFS public mint. This gives the whitelist users a chance at copping more exclusive and rare NFTs. Learn more about joining an NFT whitelist here!

Also, another form similar to this would be the Token-Gated Presale Mint which is limited to the project’s token holders. In other words, if you’re a member of the NFT project, you get to be a part of the presale mint!


  • Presale prices are lower
  • No gas wars
  • Higher chances at minting more rare NFTs
  • You need to be ON the whitelist to participate

#3 Open Editions

Also, more types of NFT drops include the Open Editions release – aka, the limitless drop! This type of release allows you to mint an unlimited number of NFTs in a limited time window. And, the time window in particular happens to be VERY small – around 5 to 10 minutes. 


  • Everyone that wants an NFT can get one
  • No limit to how many NFTs you can mint
  • Easy to launch using Web3 technologies

NFT_Drops 2 - AIO Bot

#4 Free Mint

And then, there are Free Mint NFT drops which are, obviously, FREE NFTs. This also makes them a SUPER popular type of NFT release since there is NO COST other than the gas fee. So, not technically completely free. But, nothing really is free on the blockchain! Often creators use this method to drive demand, and hype and earn revenue from NFT royalties. The most controversial collection to ever pull a free mint was by far GoblinTown with their creepy, cool creatures.

Best examples of free-to-mint NFT drops:


  • Makes it more financially accessible to own NFTs
  • Gives people an incentive to join a new NFT project
  • The #1 catalyst for “free mint scams” and other NFT rug pulls
  • Attracts NFT bots

Types of NFT Drops 1 - AIO Bot

#5 NFT Auctions

Finally, the final methods in our list of types of NFT drops are NFT Auctions which include 4 different auctions: 

  • Smart Batch Auction
  • English Auctions
  • Dutch Auctions
  • Nounish Auctions
Smart Batch Auction
  • These NFT drops include users submitting bids to smart contracts with a set purchasing price and amount of tokens within a bidding period
  • When the bidding period ends, a clearing price is calculated
  • Those who bid above the clearing price receive the NFT and are refunded the difference
  • Those who bid below are refunded in full
English Auctions
  • English Auction NFT drops are reserved for super rare, 1-of-1 single-edition NFTs!
  • Users submit their bids within a set time period
  • When the bidding period ends, the highest bidder takes the NFT
Dutch Auctions
  • For Dutch Auction NFT drops, the collections start out with an initial mint price
  • The set mint price gradually drops periodically (like 0.2 ETH every 30 minutes)
  • When the time ends or all NFTs are sold, the auction ends
  • In short, starts at the ceiling price, and ends at a floor price
Nounish Auction
  • For Nounish Auction NFT drops – pioneered by NounsDAO – the creators generate and auction a new NFT daily. Forever.
  • A new method for NFT releases that a lot of NFT projects are using as well!


  • Solves issues of gas was and network congestion
  • Possible inefficient smart contracts
  • Doesn’t always work in mitigating gas wars 
  • Favors users with a bigger crypto budget or NFT whales 

And so, that sums it up for the most commonly used NFT drops in the industry. So, all you need now is the basic beginner’s guide moving forward. Therefore, make sure to check out the one and only NFT guide you will ever need: NFTs for Dummies!