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How to access Hearthstone Battlegrounds early - release date, Early Access, Open Beta and more

The mode is mur-locked until the 12th.

Hearthstone’s take on the auto-battler genre pioneered by the likes of Dota Underlords and Teamfight Tactics is a slightly unique one. It’ll take all the classic Hearthstone mechanics we all know and mash them into the auto-chess style of gameplay, leading to you building up a vast collection of minions and bonuses to defeat your enemies. There’s a full breakdown on the Hearthstone website if you need it.

How do I access Hearthstone Battlegrounds early?

Hearthstone Battlegrounds goes into an Early Access phase for a week, starting on November 5th 2019. It’ll launch at 10am PDT / 1pm ET / 6pm GMT.

You can only play Hearthstone Battlegrounds if you’ve purchased the Descent of Dragons expansion bundle, or if you’re a BlizzCon Attendee or Virtual Ticket holder.

When does Hearthstone Battlegrounds release?

At 10am PDT / 1pm ET / 6pm GMT on November 12th, the Open Beta will release, and everyone will be able to take part in the Battlegrounds.

How will Hearthstone Battlegrounds play?

24 unique Heroes can be used, each with the ability to use their own Hero Power that’ll shape your gameplan going forward. The Heroes are long-time favourites of the Hearthstone universe, including the ever-present Patches the Pirate, who deals damage to enemy minion at the start of combat, as well as The Curator, who begins the game with a 1/1 Amalgam with all minion types, an effect that could really snowball in the right hands.

Each round, you’ll go to Bartender Bob’s tavern and construct your deck with Gold between these rounds. You’ll be recruiting based on your Hero and the general state of the game. For example, Millificent Manastorm gives all Mechs in the tavern +1/+1, meaning you’ll be keen to get these mechanical monsters on your side as much as possible.

The Tavern has tiers, and the higher your tier ranking, the better the minions on offer. This presents an interesting trade-off between ranking up your minions and board state and investing in the future of your game. You can also, in the same manner as the likes of Teamfight Tactics, combine minions into a bigger, stronger version.

Do I have to purchase packs to access Battlegrounds?

In short: no. Hearthstone Battlegrounds is free for all Hearthstone players. However, if you’ve acquired packs from the most recent expansion, whether that be from Quests, Gold, Events, Purchases or any other means, you’ll gain extra stuff.

  • 10 packs: Detailed stats about your performance in the battlegrounds will become available in the queue screen.
  • 20 packs: You’ll be able to choose from 3 Heroes at the start of each match, rather than the previous two.
  • 30 packs: Special Battlegrounds emotes become available, visible to all 7 of your opponents.

A full list of cards and Heroes available in Hearthstone Battlegrounds is available on the game’s website, and keep an eye out for our guides on the best decisions and strategies to go for when the game mode releases!

We've gone and put together a Hearthstone Battlegrounds Tier List to help you out for when you're struggling with which Hero to pick, so check that out if you've got Early Access (or set researching for when the beta opens up)!

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About the Author
James Law avatar

James Law

Former Guides Writer

James was part of Rock Paper Shotgun's guides team from 2020-2021, bringing his expert knowledge about FPS games, Hearthstone, Path Of Exile and more from his time at Metabomb. He's also a dab hand at Hitman 3, and making his own jam - things which may or may not be related to one another.