5 Tips for Buying NFTs with MetaMask Mobile
As you continue buying more NFTs, there will be times where you aren’t at your laptop or desktop computer, but have to act quickly to purchase something. While some find it hard to believe, you can in fact attempt to live a normal life by leaving your house while buying NFTs by using the MetaMask mobile app.
Some features of mobile wallets are trickier to use than desktop versions. No worries about missing out — we will share the best mobile wallet tips to get your NFT fix on-the-go.
1. Installing MetaMask Mobile
For this example, we will use MetaMask, one of the most common Ethereum wallet browser extensions. They also have a mobile app for iOS and Android. However, these steps are similar for other Ethereum wallets.
Normally, there is a simple sync feature to mobile by scanning a QR code. However, at the time of this posting in February 2022, this feature is currently disabled likely due to security purposes.
MetaMask currently instead instructs the following, by using your MetaMask wallet seed phrase (what is referred to as the “secret recovery phrase” below). As a reminder, never share this phrase with anyone or save it to the cloud, notes app, etc.:
“The ‘Sync with extension’ feature is temporarily disabled. If you want to use your extension wallet on MetaMask mobile, then on your mobile app: go back to the wallet setup options and select the ‘Import with Secret Recovery Phrase’ option. Use your extension wallet’s secret phrase to then import your wallet into mobile.”
Once you’ve taken these steps, you will be able to access your MetaMask on your phone, with the same password you use on desktop.
If and when the QR code sync feature is enabled again, it previously worked like this:
- Go to http://metamask.io on your phone browser to install the official MetaMask app
- Open the app and select “Sync with MetaMask extension”
- Log into your MetaMask chrome extension (on your laptop or desktop) and go to Settings > Advanced > Sync with Mobile
- Scan the QR code that appears with your mobile MetaMask app to sync your wallets. Do not share this QR code with anyone or they will get access to your wallet and potentially steal your assets!
2. Using MetaMask Mobile for NFTs
Once it is set up, your mobile wallet will be synced with your laptop/desktop wallet. This means that your same Ethereum and tokens will be available to spend or sell in your MetaMask mobile wallet.
In order to use the wallet across Web3 enabled sites, you can’t use your normal phone browser. You need to use the Browser within the MetaMask mobile app. In order to do this, use the sandwich menu in the upper left, go to “Browser,” and use the MetaMask wallet connection option when available on the website.
The same goes for minting a new NFT — you can connect via the MetaMask mobile browser in the same way. As always, beware of which websites you connect and attempt to mint from, as there is risk in all types of NFT transactions.
3. Custom Gas Fees for MetaMask Mobile
One of the more common interactions that many make on MetaMask is to ramp up their gas fees higher, in order to have better chances of success whenm minting an NFT. You can also do this on mobile.
Click on the blue text that contains the estimated gas fee, which will allow you to move from Medium to High transaction speed. Going into the Advanced settings will let you customize fees more precisely.
Check out MetaMask’s article about using advanced gas controls for specifics and screenshots.
4. Security Tips for MetaMask Mobile
While using MetaMask mobile is convenient and fun, it also presents new security risks. Here are a few tips to consider.
- Be careful who you give access to your phone to. The app is password locked by the same password you use on desktop, but remember that anyone who can access it can access your crypto and NFTs, just like your regular laptop or desktop browser extension wallet.
- Don’t connect to open wireless networks without a mobile VPN. At NFT NYC, many chose to not use MetaMask Mobile on wireless networks, because it seemed like a prime area for hackers to target. Use caution and utilize a mobile VPN like ExpressVPN, and only connect to secure wireless networks.
- Only use a hot wallet without high value assets in it. To reduce risk, place your high value assets in a cold wallet, not connected to the internet, like a Ledger or Trezor.
- Disconnect your wallet from websites you aren’t using. It’s important to disconnect from websites after you’re done using them. MetaMask has a guide on how to do this on mobile. You can also use a site like revoke.cash to revoke permissions for marketplaces and other sites.
5. Miscellaneous Tips for MetaMask Mobile
While many features on MetaMask Mobile are intuitive, there are some things that may be useful which aren’t very apparent. Here a few of them:
- Custom tokens may not migrate over to your token list in MetaMask Mobile. If this happens, no worries, you just need to add them back in the list on mobile. Your tokens are still safe, even if they aren’t listed.
- Custom networks like Polygon or Harmony may also be missing on your mobile app. Follow the directions from MetaMask to get them back, so you can switch networks on the go.
- NFTs that show up in the NFT tab are a bit confusing on MetaMask Mobile, because you’ll notice that you probably don’t own many of them anymore! However, it is an interesting walk down memory lane… even though for some of them, you likely don’t want to remember.
- Copying your public wallet address is as easy as tapping on the shortened address under it. This is something that may come in handy if you need to grab your public address on the go, to enter whitelist raffles or for other use.
Summary of MetaMask Mobile
While it may seem complicated at first, many NFT collectors eventually install a mobile wallet to simplify buying NFTs from anywhere. There are many similarities to the browser extension wallet, but also some differences that you should be aware of.
By using the browser in the MetaMask Mobile app, it allows you to connect to a variety of NFT marketplaces and minting pages for new projects. But although the app is password protected, it’s crucial to protect access to the app and your phone, and to leave your high-value NFTs and tokens out of your mobile wallet.
The good news — and the bad news, perhaps — is that now you will never have an excuse to miss an NFT drop. Welcome to the dark side.