Hearthstone is divided into four geographical regions: Americas, Europe, Asia / Asia-Pacific, and China. Each country that Hearthstone is available to play in is assigned to one of these regions. Each player by default uses their Battle.net account home region, but can choose to play Hearthstone in other regions if they wish, with the exception of China, which is administered by Chinese company NetEase rather than Blizzard Entertainment itself.
Players can choose their region through the Battle.net launcher, by selecting an option from the drop-down list above the 'Play' button, before launching the game itself. However, players' card collections and game progress are unique to each region, and it is not possible to transfer cards to other regions, meaning that players wishing to try a new region will have to start building a new collection from scratch for that region.
Official tournament regions
- Main article: Tournaments
Official Hearthstone tournaments such as Hearthstone Grandmasters and the Hearthstone Masters Tours associate particular countries with the regions "Americas", "Europe", and "Asia-Pacific". These tournaments take into account a player's country to determine whether the player is eligible to participate in the competition and which region the player will represent.
The Americas region consists of the following countries:
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Puerto Rico
- United States
The Europe region consists of the following countries:
- Czech Republic
- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- State of Qatar
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
The Asia-Pacific region consists of the following countries:
- Hong Kong (SAR)
- Macau (SAR)
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- The Philippines
Tournaments and programs in China are governed by their own special structure and rules published on their official Chinese Hearthstone website: hs.blizzard.cn/home
Blizzard Global Play allows players to connect to game servers in regions outside their own. By default, the player plays in their home region, which is determined by the country of residence registered to the player's Blizzard account.
Each region effectively holds a separate version of the player's Hearthstone profile, with its own collection, quests, heroes, and friends list. However, players cannot trade or transfer any of these details between regions. Players are able to maintain a separate profile in each region; switching regions will not delete collections and other details held in other regions.
Players from the Americas, Europe, and Asia regions are unable to select the China region for play.
Global Play regions for the Americas include:
- North America
- Latin America
- South America
- New Zealand
Global Play regions for Europe include:
- European Union
- Eastern Europe
- The Middle East
Global Play regions for Asia include:
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
The China region serves players with Battle.net accounts registered in China. Due to economic arrangements and regulations, Chinese and non-Chinese accounts cannot access each others' regions. China's special administrative regions play in the Asia region, not this one.
- China (mainland)
Cross-region play and collections
While "Global play" allows players to select which region to play in, the developers have stated that they currently have no plans to merge regions, or allow play across regions, saying "It's not really a latency issue, it's how we interface into Battle.Net, so right now, it's just not possible for us, and there's no plans for it currently." Yong Woo confirmed in November 2015 that playing cross-region matches would not be a simple feature to enable, due to the constraints of the region system.
It was stated in December 2014 that the developers had "no plans" to enable players to use their collections across regions.
When Hearthstone was designed, the setup of the "Blizzard infrastructure" forced the game to adopt a multi-region system. Additionally, if all players were in one region, weekly maintenance would inevitably fall in the prime time of some part of the world, preventing players from accessing the game.
- In 2015 it was decided that for the purposes of the Hearthstone World Championship, Australia and New Zealand would not be included in the Americas region, but instead be included in a new Asia-Pacific region, combining those countries with the regular Asia region. This change only affected eligibility for the Championships and related tournaments, and did not affect live play in any way. Moving forward, official Blizzard tournaments now recognize Australia and New Zealand as part of the Asia-Pacific region.
- Patch 184.108.40.20644 (2014-03-11): You can now connect to other regions (Americas, Europe, Korea, Taiwan) of Hearthstone regardless of the region that is set on your Battle.net account. Account progress and card collections are saved separately per region. This feature will become available once the patch is live in all regions.
- Beta Forums on Hearthpwn.com - Region Concern (NA/SEA)
- Jeff Grubb (2013-07-08). Blizzard taps NetEase to release freemium card game Hearthstone in China.
- Alex Wawro (2014-05-16). Blizzard's Chinese partner NetEase profits from Hearthstone launch.
- Blizzard Entertainment (2020-05-28). Hearthstone Tournament Player Handbook v2.3. Retrieved on 2020-08-14.
- Global Play. (2020-08-01). Battle.net. Retrieved on 2020-08-14.
- HearthPwn.com: Developer Interview with Eric Dodds and Ben Brode - Adventures, Game Design, Rewards (2014-02-05)
- Blizzcon 2015: Hearthstone Fireside Chat. Tavern Brawls and Q&A. (2015-11-07).
- Zeriyah on Twitter. (2014-12-04).