Hearthstone is divided into four geographical regions: Americas, Europe, Asia and China. Each country 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.
Countries[edit | edit source]
While most countries fall clearly into one region or another, some are less obviously divided. The default Battle.net region for each country is listed below, along with some official recommendations. NB: The below list is currently incomplete.
Americas[edit | edit source]
The Americas region officially covers the two American continents as well as Australia and New Zealand. Additionally, a number of South and Southeast Asian countries play in the region.
- North America
- South America
- New Zealand
- India (recommended)
Europe[edit | edit source]
The Europe region encompasses the entirety of the continents of Europe and Africa, as well as parts of western and northern Asia.
- The Middle East
Asia[edit | edit source]
The Asia region includes most countries in East Asia, with the notable exception of Mainland China.
- South Korea
- Hong Kong
China[edit | edit source]
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)
Global Play[edit | edit source]
Each region effectively holds a separate version of the player's Hearthstone profile, with its own collection, quests, heroes and friends list. 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 currently unable to select the China region for play. This may be a permanent restriction, or may be changed in the future.
Competitive[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Tournaments
Promotions and competitions taking into account the player's standing generally do so within a single region, making choice of region a strategic decision. Some competitions may only allow players to compete in their default/geographic region, while others may allow them to choose which region to compete in, or allow them to compete in multiple regions at once.
Hearthstone World Championship[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Hearthstone World Championship
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 would instead be included in a new Asia-Pacific region, combining those countries with the regular Asia region. This change affects only eligibility for the Championships and related tournaments, and does not affect live play in any way.
Hearthstone Global Games[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Hearthstone Global Games
The Hearthstone Global Games is an official Blizzard tournament in which teams from selected nations compete against each other. Players from around the world decide who gets to be nominated onto the roster for their region's team.
As with the Hearthstone World Championship Tour, noted above, Australia and New Zealand would not be included in the Americas region, but would instead be included in a new Asia-Pacific region, combining those countries with the regular Asia region.
Cross-region play and collections[edit | edit source]
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.
Design[edit | edit source]
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.
Patch changes[edit | edit source]
- Patch 126.96.36.19944 (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.
References[edit | edit source]
- 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.
- Battle.net - Global Play. Retrieved on 2016-06-07.
- 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).