Increased Hive Power (staked HIVE) allows users' votes to carry greater weight and allows greater resources for transacting on the blockchain.
All blockchains require an energy cost of some sort for users to be able to transact. On Ethereum this is called Gas. On WAX, resources come in the form of RAM (space, must be purchased) and CPU (time, comes from staked WAX). On the Tron blockchain, the two required resources are Energy and Bandwidth, which can both be gained from either staking or spending TRX.
On the Hive blockchain, resources come from staked HIVE, or HIVE Power. Because the majority of Splinterlands consists of blockchain transactions, a small amount of Resource Credits are required to play.
Resource Credits recharge at a set rate of 10% per day, so depending on the amount of staked HIVE in a player's account and their frequency of play, it is possible to run out of sufficient resources, but only temporarily.
With the blockchain account creation that comes with the purchase of the Summoner's Spellbook, Splinterlands provides enough delegated HIVE Power to play the game. This is part of the reason for the $10 cost of creating the account. If players run out of Resource Credits to play, they can go to the Splinterlands Discord community and place a message in the #rc-issues-request channel.
HIVE can be powered up (staked) instantly through a HIVE wallet or the Keychain Extension. When powered up, your HIVE becomes locked in and converts to HIVE Power, which increases your voting power and resource credits on the blockchain.
HIVE Power can be powered down in the same wallets where it can be powered up. No matter the amount of HIVE being powered down, it is always evenly distributed into 13 equal parts and converted once per week for 13 weeks.
So if you schedule a power down of 1300 HIVE Power, after one week you will receive the first installment of 100 HIVE. You will continue to receive 100 HIVE every week until the power down is complete.