Understanding how gas works is crucial to have an edge over others when sniping listings
What is Gas?
Every transaction on the Ethereum network requires a set amount of gas to execute. Gas fees are usually denoted in gwei (10^-9 ETH), and are in part paid to validators and in part burned by the network. There are three terms that are important to understand: Base Fee, Max Priority Fee and Max Fee.
When a block is produced on Ethereum, a number of pending transactions are selected to be permanently added to the blockchain. To be included, a transaction must at least offer the base fee required for that block. The base fee fluctuates over time based on demand, and it's the value that everyone usually refers to when talking about the current "gas price". You can use websites like Blocknative to see the current base fee for the next block on Ethereum.
Base fee tracker on Blocknative
Max Fee and Max Priority Fee
Max Fee and Max Priority Fee are gas values that you can set for each transaction before sending them to the pending transaction pool. These can both be configured in MetaMask (or your crypto wallet of choice), or within SuperSea itself for the Quick Buy feature.
SuperSea Quick Buy gas settings
To have your transaction included in the next block, your Max Fee needs exceed the Base Fee. The Max Priority Fee (also called miner's tip) will also need to be above 0 to incentivize a validator to include your transaction, since this is the fee they get to keep for processing the transaction. The final fee that you end up paying will be the Base Fee plus the Max Priority Fee. If this is less than your Max Fee, then anything that wasn't used below that value will be refunded.
On top of showing the current base fee, Blocknative also shows you recommended settings for Max Fee and Max Priority Fee for being included in the next block. However, simply getting included in the next block isn't always enough when trying to buy highly competed listings, as we will discuss in the next section.
Recommended gas settings on Blocknative
Sniping & Priority Fees
While it's often enough to set a priority fee of 1 to be included in the next block, it's not unusual for multiple transactions that are trying to buy the same marketplace listing to be competing on the same block. The only thing that matters in those cases is which of the included transactions ended up setting the highest priority fee. The transaction with the highest priority fee will be processed first, and the rest of them will fail since the same listing can't be sold twice.
To understand what kind of priority fee you should be setting, it helps to look for pending transactions (see Pending Transaction Tracking) and what they're using as their priority fees. If you're quick enough, you might even be able to outbid the priority fee of a current pending transaction within the same block to outsnipe it. More on this in Transaction Timing.
Even if you're not out to outbid pending transactions, it's good to look at them to gain an understanding of the priority fee levels that buyer's are currently setting for the listings you're watching. Use this knowledge to set a priority fee preset that will most likely be higher than what everyone else are currently using.
In addition to looking at current pending transactions, you can also take a closer look at the gas bids people used after a listing has been sold. Visit our Sniped website for a detailed breakdown of purchase attempts for any sale on OpenSea.