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Hearthstone (formerly known as Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft[1][2]) is a free-to-play digital collectible card game from Blizzard Entertainment. It was first announced in a presentation by Rob Pardo at the Penny Arcade Expo in March 2013,[3] and began its closed beta phase in the Americas region on August 26th, and in the Europe region on September 4th. The game entered its open beta phase on January 21st 2014, and was fully released on March 11th 2014.[4]

Hearthstone is currently available on Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems, Windows 8 devices, as well as on Android phones and tablets, and iOS devices supporting iPad Air 2 or newer, iPad 5 or newer, iPad Pro or newer, iPad mini 4 or newer, iPhone 6S or newer, and iPod Touch 7 or newer on iOS 12.0 or later.[5][6][7]

In April 2016, it was announced that the game had surpassed 50 million registered players.[8]


Red battlefield

A game of Hearthstone in progress.

Main article: Gameplay

Hearthstone is a free-to-play card game set in the Warcraft universe. Players can compete against other players or AI opponents in 1-on-1 combat, battling to destroy the enemy hero before they are themselves defeated. Players can achieve this by casting a variety of spells, placing minions and locations onto the battlefield to fight on their behalf or aid them, equipping weapons to dive directly into the fray, as well as changing their hero entirely with hero cards. Hearthstone was designed to be a quick, fun and accessible game, but also offers significant depth, strategy and complexity for more serious players.

As of patch, Hearthstone features

Icon MercWorkshop
THIS IS THE OLD WIKI. There will be outdated information. See this page in the new wiki

4597 collectible cards, with

Icon MercWorkshop
THIS IS THE OLD WIKI. There will be outdated information. See this page in the new wiki

1161 Standard format cards and

Icon MercWorkshop
THIS IS THE OLD WIKI. There will be outdated information. See this page in the new wiki

3436 Wild-only format cards, and players can build and explore their card collections through an in-game collection browser. Players can gain new cards by purchasing booster packs using either gold, an in-game currency earned from gaining experience and proceeding in the Rewards Track, Runestones, a premium currency available only with real money, or buying them directly with real money from the Battle.net online store. The game's cards, characters and locations draw from the deep history of the Warcraft universe, creating a game rich with detail and humour. Players can choose to play as any of 11 different heroes from the series' history, each representing a different class, complete with its own unique minions, spells, weapons, locations, and hero cards, as well as a signature Hero Power all its own. Battle itself takes place on one of a number of battlefields; interactive game boards depicting well-known locations from Azeroth and beyond, complete with numerous hidden bonus features for players to find.

For an in-depth exploration of the game's features, see Gameplay.

Game Modes[]

Main menu - 21.2.0

The main menu, with multiple game modes to choose from.

Main article: Game modes

Hearthstone has multiple different game modes to choose from.

The three main modes found in the game are Traditional Hearthstone, Battlegrounds, and Mercenaries, all of which contain unique gameplay that differ from each other. Traditional Hearthstone plays as a turn-based classic card game, Battlegrounds is an auto-battler, and Mercenaries is a rogue-like RPG with single-player and multiplayer elements.

The modes are smaller game modes that branch off of traditional Hearthstone. They don't feature drastically different gameplay when compared to the traditional experience, and can be found in the "Modes" tab in the main menu. These modes include Arena, Solo Adventures, Duels, and Tavern Brawl, all of which are a mix of either single-player or multiplayer.


IPad Blizzard

The starting screen for the iPad version of Hearthstone

Hearthstone is playable cross-platform. Players can play against any opponent in their region regardless of the device or platform used by each.

Basic gameplay is identical on all platforms, although there are numerous differences to the interface to address the needs of mobile and touch-screen devices. Other cosmetic differences include the use of a different starting screen (see right).

In development[]

Blue battlefield

Another game of Hearthstone in progress.

Main article: In development

This article lists features which are currently in development for Hearthstone; are planned but are not yet in development; have been confirmed as possibilities for the future; and which have been specifically stated as not planned for the game.


Main article: Patch

To catch up with the latest changes to the game, see the full list of patches.

The Hearthstone universe[]

Hearthstone is set in the Warcraft universe, with the vast majority of characters, spells, weapons and locations drawn from World of Warcraft or earlier games. Wherever possible, the developers go to great trouble to recreate the feel and personality of cards' Warcraft counterparts.

However, Hearthstone is not strictly tied to the lore of these games. In many cases Hearthstone has introduced new characters, spells and weapons, as well as reimagining existing ones.[9] The game of Hearthstone itself also deviates from existing lore in several respects, and is steadily introducing new characters and events, which are not yet confirmed as existing in the main Warcraft universe. As the game continues to expand, an ever growing body of lore emerges that is clearly and uniquely Hearthstone.

Design and development[]

Main article: Design and development of Hearthstone
See also: Hearthstone timeline


See also: Category:Blizzard employees

Hearthstone was developed by Team 5, originally a "small and nimble" group created specifically for the task. Team 5 handles all ongoing game design, with the assistance of the far larger roster of support team staff. The team is headed up by Lead Designer Ben Brode and Game Director Eric Dodds.

Community support for Hearthstone is provided by a small team of Community Managers, including Keganbe, Aratil, Daxxarri, Avarius, Molly, JesseHill and Community Team Leader Zeriyah.


Hearthstone infographic - October 2014

Player numbers[]

  • In 2020, the total number of active players worldwide was 23.5 million.[10]
  • In the third quarter of 2016 Hearthstone achieved a record number of monthly active users, which had grown "a double-digit percentage" year-over-year.[11]
  • In April 2016, it was announced that the game had surpassed 50 million registered players.[8] This update showed an acceleration in the game's growth rate since November, with more than 10 million new players in less than 6 months.
    • Following the release of Whispers of the Old Gods in late April 2016, the game hit new records for the number of daily active users and hours per daily active user.[12]
  • In November 2015, it was announced that the game had 40 million registered players.[13] This marks a steady growth rate of roughly 5 million new players every 3 months, for the last year and a half.
  • In May 2015, it was announced that the game had 30 million registered players.[14]
  • In February 2015, it was announced that the game had 25 million registered players.[15]
  • In September 2014, the official Hearthstone Twitter account announced that the game had 20 million players.[16]
  • In March 2014 it was announced that the game had 10 million registered player accounts.[17]


In 2020, there were 489.43 million games played with Demon hunter across all game modes.[10]

As of August 2014:

  • The game had seen a total of 2 billion hours of play[18]
  • The quickest ever run to Legend rank took 74 games to complete[18]
  • The longest ever Play mode win streak was 24 matches[18]
  • Over 3 million players (of 20 million in total) had reached 12 wins in the Arena[18]


In 2020:

  • 291.47 million matches of Arena were played.[10]

In 2016:

Main article: Arena#2016 statistics

An official infographic states the following stats for January-September 2016:

  • Number of hours spent in Arena games: 157,872,547 hours
  • Number of turns: 6.31 billion turns


In 2020:


In 2020:

Tavern Brawl[]

In 2020:


In 2020:

  • 43.90 billion spells were cast by players across all game modes.[10]
  • 160.50 million Ashes of OutlandSkull of Gul'dan cards were played by players across all game modes.[10]
  • There were 3.27 million total viewers of community events, and 4 Inn-Vitationals were held.[10]
BlizzCon 2014 - best words

Most liked, late 2014

BlizzCon 2014 - worst words

Most disliked, late 2014

In 2016:

  • Players summoned a total of 5,829,905,234 Murlocs in 2016 (equal to nearly 80% of the human population of the earth at that time).[19][20][21]

In August/November 2014:


In a survey taken on Reddit in late 2014, the following words were used most frequently by players to describe what they liked and disliked in Hearthstone.[24] Note that the latter list is far shorter, because players focused far more heavily on a few words in their 'dislike' replies. See the images to the right for the full wordclouds.

  • Fun, play, easy, quick, simple, cards, RNG, Arena
  • RNG, decks, Zoo, bots


  • Hearthstone is played by many developers within Blizzard, on teams responsible for each of the company's different franchises. An email from then StarCraft II Game Director Dustin Browder light-heartedly complained that his team were too busy playing Hearthstone to work on StarCraft.[25]
  • Blizzard's first ever employee-only Hearthstone tournament was won by Luis Barriga, lead game designer for World of Warcraft.[26]



  • Hearthstone wallpapers and artwork can be found in the Hearthstone Press Site.
  • Class and Innkeeper Twitter icons and Facebook cover photos can be found here.



Constructed key art[]

Main game[]


Battlegrounds key art[]

Mercenaries key art[]


  1. Blizzard Watch: Hearthstone no longer Heroes of Warcraft. (2016-11-21). 
  2. BlizzPro: Hearthstone Removing Heroes of Warcraft Subtitle. (2016-11-20). 
  3. Bramblet, Matthew (March 22, 2013). "PAX East Live Stream of Blizzard Announcement - The collectible card game 'HearthStone' is unveiled by Blizzard". diablo.somepage.com. Retrieved March 22, 2013.
  4. Welcome to the Hearthstone Launch!. (2014-03-11). 
  5. Hearthstone™ Now Available on iPad®!
  6. Hearthstone® Now Available on Mobile. (2015-04-14). 
  7. Hearthstone System Requirements. (2022-05-31). 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Whispers of the Old Gods™ Takes Hold of Hearthstone® as Registered Players Top 50 Million. (2016-04-26). 
  9. Ben Brode on Twitter. (2015-08-15). 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 Blizzard Entertainment (2021-02-11). Hearthstone in 2020 stats
  12. Hearthhead.com - Thrall vs. Rexxar Cartoon, Hearthstone Earnings Report, Chinese Ladder Stats. (2016-05-05). 
  13. Gamespot.com - Hearthstone Reaches 40 Million Players, Up 10 Million. (2015-11-06). 
  14. PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2015-05-05). 
  16. @PlayHearthstone on Twitter. (2014-09-15). 
  17. Kris Graft (2014-05-06). Activision Blizzard profits are down, but Hearthstone helps drive digital
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 18.7 Fireside Chat - Mobile Development Update. (2014-10-21). 
  19. 5.8 Billion Murlocs? Terrible. Let's Improve That With More Murlocs!. (2016-12-24). 
  20. Geohive.com. Retrieved on 2017-01-05.
  21. Worldometers.info. Retrieved on 2017-01-05.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 BlizzCon 2014 - New Expansion Announced: Goblins vs Gnomes. (2014-11-07). 
  23. Ben Brode on the reception of Karazhan and why randomness is so important to Hearthstone. (2016-09-23). 
  24. Hearthstone Fireside Chat Goblins vs Gnomes (BlizzCon 2014). (2014-11-07). 
  25. File:Development - Dustin Browder.jpg
  26. http://blizzard.gamespress.com/en-CA/BlizzCon-2014-Warlords-of-Draenor-press-kit

External links[]