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Game mode

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Game modes are the ways in which players can do battle in Hearthstone.

Game modes affect several secondary play factors such as matchmaking, rewards, and deck selection. Each game mode follows the basic rules of play.

Single-player[edit | edit source]

Tutorial[edit | edit source]

Main article: Tutorial

The tutorial is the initial experience designed to introduce players to Hearthstone. It is composed of six 'missions' — battles against special computer heroes — and must be completed before the player can play any other game mode offered in Hearthstone. The gameplay during the tutorials is heavily directed and limited, featuring special dialogue and instructions for the player.

The tutorial is considered a minor game mode, as it can only be played once.

Adventure mode[edit | edit source]

Adventure mode refers to the entire single-player experience provided by Hearthstone, consisting of the three game modes: Practice mode, Adventures, and Missions. In Adventure mode, players do battle against computer-controlled opponents.

Starting with the Knights of the Frozen Throne, single-player Adventures were released as free content in the form of Missions. The last non-free "Adventure" was from One Night in Karazhan.

Practice mode[edit | edit source]

Main article: Practice mode

The first game mode encountered by new players following the tutorial is Practice mode. Practice mode allows players to do battle against a selection of nine computer opponents, representing the nine regular playable classes.

Players can choose one of two difficulty settings to play against opponents: Basic and Expert.

  • Basic opponents offer players a chance to learn the basics of the game and to explore a new class.
  • Expert opponents offer a stiffer challenge, giving players the chance to try their hand against decks featuring higher rarity cards and synergistic plays.

Each opponent's difficulty setting features its own unique deck, so there are in total 18 unique possible decks to face off against. Practice mode is the place for new players to unlock basic cards, and the perfect place to level up heroes and to practice battling in, until they are ready for Play mode and Arena matches. Players are also rewarded 100 gold for defeating all expert heroes.

Adventures[edit | edit source]

Main article: Adventure

Adventures refer to the non-free single-player adventure game modes released starting with the Curse of Naxxramas adventure set and ending with the One Night in Karazhan adventure set.

There are a total of four non-free adventures:

Adventures are single-player experiences in which the player does battle against special computer-controlled bosses, featuring unique hero powers and special cards. Any adventure that was in Standard format was available for purchase with either in-game gold or real money.

Players must unlock wings of the adventure to discover new bosses and tackle Class Challenges using specially-prepared decks. Adventures can be played in two difficulty modes, in either Normal or Heroic mode.

Adventures offer rewards in the form of unique cards not obtainable through other types of play. Additionally, defeating all bosses within an adventure in Heroic mode will award a unique card back.

In early 2017, Blizzard announced that Adventure card sets would be discontinued with the upcoming Year of the Mammoth, and that future expansions, beginning with the second expansion of 2017, would instead feature free, optional, single-player Missions to help develop an expansion's lore and narrative.

Missions[edit | edit source]

Main article: Mission

Missions refer to the free single-player adventure game modes released following the announcement of the change from non-free adventure content to free single-player content. Missions were officially released following the debut of Knights of the Frozen Throne in August 2017.

Missions are similar to Adventures in that they feature heroes, cards, art, and music that are in keeping with a specific theme and identity. Missions do not have different difficulty modes, but are instead intended to be challenging overall.

Missions do not reward unique cards, but rather card packs from their respective expansions, as well as special card backs.

Multiplayer[edit | edit source]

Play mode[edit | edit source]

Main article: Play mode

Play mode matches players against other human players of similar skill level. Players can choose to play Casual 'friendly' games, or take part in Ranked play, earning ranks and special rewards to reflect their skill and standing within the community.

Play mode represents the most typical mode of Hearthstone play, with no cost to enter and competitive matches featuring a consistent set of playable cards and effects. Play mode offers rewards in the completion of daily quests, as well as rewarding players with 10 gold for every 3 victories. Participation in Ranked play also rewards special card backs and golden heroes.

Arena[edit | edit source]

Main article: Arena

In Arena, players draft a deck from a random selection of cards before using it to do battle in a series of games. Access to the Arena is purchased with gold or real money.

Upon entering the Arena the player is given a random selection of 3 classes to choose one. Once a class has been chosen, the player is provided with 30 selections, each of 3 possible cards. The player chooses a single card from each selection to slowly build a full deck. Unlike decks in Play Mode, which are limited to 2 of each card, decks made in Arena may feature any number of the same card.

Once a deck is constructed, the player is placed in a series of matched games using that deck, although the games do not have to be played all at once. Once the player has won 12 games, or lost 3, the Arena run ends, and the player is offered a reward determined by their standing. Players who do well can reap handsome rewards, but failing to achieve a good run can turn the Arena into an expensive gamble.

A successful run in Arena can offer substantial rewards, including gold, Arcane Dust, and card packs, but can be costly and difficult to achieve.

As in any game mode, the strength of the deck constructed is a large part of achieving victory, but Arena's randomised offerings of cards during the drafting process presents a unique challenge to players in anticipating cards that will be offered. While Arena decks are less predictable than Play mode, Arena is still limited to the regular set of playable cards and effects, without any of the special rules or additions that are found in Adventures, Missions, or Tavern Brawls.

With its random selection of heroes, the Arena is locked for players until they have unlocked every class.

Tavern Brawl[edit | edit source]

Main article: Tavern Brawl

Tavern Brawl is a weekly game mode featuring special matches with unique rules, with new Tavern Brawls available every week.

Each Tavern Brawl presents a limited time opportunity to face other players in special matches with unique rules. These might be requiring players to use special premade decks, to build decks according to specific guidelines, or even offering buffs to certain minion types. Once the game mode is released, each week will see a new Tavern Brawl, each with its own special rules. Each Tavern Brawl is only available for a short period, after which the mode will close for at least 2 days.

An intentionally "fun" game mode, Tavern Brawls offer unique limited time experiences, with far less of a competitive focus than other game modes, and are intended to be highly accessible, even for players without extensive card collections. However, Tavern Brawls are not unlocked until the player reaches level 20 with at least one class.

Friendly Challenge[edit | edit source]

Main article: Friendly Challenge

Players can choose to issue a Friendly Challenge, inviting players on their friends list to a duel. Friendly Challenges can be regular Standard or Wild format matches, or take place in the latest Tavern Brawl.

A player can issue a Friendly Challenge to any friend not already in a match, who may choose to accept or decline the challenge. Players can choose which deck to use, although their opponent will be none the wiser until battle begins.

Starting in June 2017, these unranked matches became eligible for completing regular daily quests. Friendly Challenges will not award gold for wins, but do award experience.

Spectator mode[edit | edit source]

Main article: Spectator mode

Spectator mode is an observational mode that allows the player to spectate a live match being undertaken by one or two other players. The spectator can see the player's cards and all minions on the battlefield, and can mouse over all interface elements as if in control of the game. However, Spectator mode is purely observational and does not allow the player to affect the match in progress, besides chatting with the person that is playing.

In development[edit | edit source]


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