A level is a number assigned to each hero. Each player's heroes start at level 1, and levels can be gained for each hero by accumulating experience, gained by playing games, and especially by winning games. The current level cap is 60.
A hero's level has no direct effect on gameplay, does not determine matchmaking, and is not visible to opponents. However, raising each hero to a new level will often reward players with new basic cards. Above level 10, only golden versions of existing basic cards are awarded, meaning that once a hero has reached level 10, no further impact on gameplay will result from increasing their level.
As a hero reaches various levels they are awarded new cards. The card awarded depends on the hero and level reached. All cards awarded by gaining levels are soulbound, and cannot be crafted or disenchanted.
Levels up to 10 award new basic class cards, while levels after this award only golden versions of existing cards. Levels after 10 award golden basic class cards, whereas levels after 50 award golden basic neutral minion cards.
Up to level 10, reaching each even-numbered level will reward the player with a new basic card x 2 for that hero's class. These cards are not obtainable through any other means. These cards constitute half of each class' basic cards.
This makes reaching level 10 with each hero quite important to playing that class, in order to complete the selection of basic cards available to that hero. Once level 10 has been reached, that class' full selection of basic cards is available to the player.
|2||Starfire x2||Animal Companion x2||Frostbolt x2||Truesilver Champion x2||Divine Spirit x2||Assassin's Blade x2||Bloodlust x2||Corruption x2||Cleave x2|
|4||Savage Roar x2||Starving Buzzard x2||Mirror Image x2||Consecration x2||Mind Vision x2||Fan of Knives x2||Flametongue Totem x2||Mortal Coil x2||Kor'kron Elite x2|
|6||Moonfire x2||Hunter's Mark x2||Frost Nova x2||Humility x2||Holy Nova x2||Shiv x2||Totemic Might x2||Soulfire x2||Whirlwind x2|
|8||Swipe x2||Tundra Rhino x2||Water Elemental x2||Guardian of Kings x2||Shadow Word: Death x2||Vanish x2||Windspeaker x2||Sacrificial Pact x2||Shield Block x2|
|10||Ironbark Protector x2||Kill Command x2||Flamestrike x2||Blessing of Kings x2||Mind Control x2||Sprint x2||Fire Elemental x2||Dread Infernal x2||Arcanite Reaper x2|
Above level 10, reaching certain levels will award golden versions of existing basic cards. As they are soulbound, it is not possible to disenchant these cards, making the reward purely cosmetic. These rewards are the only way to gain golden versions of these cards.
Between levels 11 and 50/52, golden class-specific basic cards are awarded.
These cards are awarded one at a time, at each of the levels shown. The levels at which cards are awarded are the same for all classes, except mages and warriors. These classes award one pair fewer golden neutral minion cards, and award their last class-specific card slightly later, as shown in the table below.
- The difference in the levels at which golden cards are rewarded for mages and warriors is in order to match the precise number of basic cards available in the game to collect. With 43 basic neutral minions, and 90 class-specific basic cards, there are 133 basic cards in the game, and as soulbound cards, there is no way to obtain their golden versions except through level rewards. The pattern of rewards used for most classes offers 15 reward brackets, which would require a total of 135 rewards. In order to avoid duplicating rewards, the schedule for mages and warriors is adjusted to award one less pair of cards each.
- While hero levels are not displayed in battle, players can use the presence of certain golden cards to deduce the minimum level of the opposing player's heroes. For example, a mage who has a golden Water Elemental must be at least level 49. This also works cross-class: a player with a rogue who uses a golden Stormwind Champion must also have a paladin of at least level 59. Note that this cannot be used to deduce that the player has not reached a certain level, since players may elect to use the non-golden versions of cards even if they also have the golden versions, or may simply have not switched to the golden versions after earning them.
The game's current level cap of level 60 matches the original level cap for World of Warcraft.
As future expansions to Hearthstone will likely feature increased level caps, it is possible that these will mirror those of World of Warcraft's expansions.