How to Play Hearthstone Against Friends
Hearthstone is one of the most popular online card games, with millions of players testing their strategy and skill in various game modes. However, there’s something better than playing against strangers online. You may not know, but Hearthstone also allows you to challenge your friends in Duels or engage in Battlegrounds parties you can all enjoy together! With so many options available, it’s no wonder Hearthstone has surged in popularity over the recent years.
In this article, we’ll explain how you can start a Hearthstone match against a friend, or have a party in the Battlegrounds mode.
How to Play Against Friends in Hearthstone
Hearthstone has a few different game modes in which you can invite your friends to join you in a duel: Standard, Wild, and the Tavern Brawl. The first two are available year-round, but Tavern Brawls are changing game modes with a limited duration. Initially, the Brawls were limited to three days a week, but have grown to become a staple, with a new game mode each Wednesday that lasts for an entire week at a time.
Inviting a friend to play against you is easy. Here’s what you need to do:
- Open Hearthstone.
- Open the “Social” tab on the bottom left. On mobile, the button is on the top left. It’s indicated by a portrait with a number next to it. The number indicates how many of your Battle.net friends are currently online.
- Pick the friend you want to play with from the list.
- Click (or tap) on the button right to their name. The icon will look like two clashing swords.
- You can select between the currently available gameplay modes: Standard, Wild, and Tavern Brawl (if one is ongoing).
- Your friend will receive a notification announcing your challenge. They can either accept or decline.
- When your friend accepts the Duel invitation, both of you will be taken to the deck selection screen. If you were in the process of deck editing, your changes will be saved.
- You can only select a deck that is legal in the format. In Tavern Brawls, the deck selection may not exist at all, depending on the event, or you will need to construct a different one on the spot.
- Once both players select their decks, the duel can begin!
Friendly Duels don’t have a turn limit. You can use this opportunity to practice a newly-built deck or teach someone how to play the game without running out of time.
Even though you may know the person you’re playing against, they’re free to choose their deck at the start of each challenge. When both players know the other’s strategy, the Duels can become a complicated game of rock-paper-scissors if you both decide to play decks that have an advantage against the opponents. Duels can have a higher strategic element compared to playing on the ladder against strangers.
Do note that you can finish some daily quests via Duels, and some quests specifically reward playing one. However, you won’t gain ranks on the ladder for winning a friendly game, no matter how competitive your gameplay is.
How to Play Against Friends in Hearthstone Battlegrounds
Hearthstone Battlegrounds has risen as one of the most popular ways to play Hearthstone. Its fame is, at least in part, due to similar game modes existing in other games, such as DOTA2 (where it was known as AutoChess). One additional factor that severely enhances players’ enjoyment compared to regular card modes is the lack of deck-building requirements. Unlike in other modes, you don’t have to spend time (and money) building a top-tier deck. Battlegrounds puts all players on an even footing.
It’s no wonder that this made the mode even more attractive to players who want to enjoy matches with their online friends. In 2020, Blizzard updated Battlegrounds to allow players to join together in a party.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Open Hearthstone’s social panel (click on the “Friends” icon on the bottom).
- Select the friend from the list you want to invite, then click on the “invite” icon to the right of their name.
- From the menu, select the icon that corresponds to Battlegrounds.
- You can repeat this process for up to seven friends.
- Each player will get an invitation to join your Battlegrounds party. Once one of them accepts, all players will join the Battlegrounds party screen.
- If you’re in a Battlegrounds party, the invite button on the friend list automatically invites them to the party without giving you a choice for other game modes. If you’re the party leader, you can remove players from the party by clicking the “kick” button on the friend list next to their name (it replaces the invite button).
- Parties of up to four players can queue up and play in the ranked Battlegrounds ladder, which will progress them higher up the ladder, depending on their performance.
- Once your party hits five or more players, the game will become a custom match and you won’t play with any external players. Note that this allows you to play in an odd-person Battlegrounds game, which may not lead to optimal gameplay due to the inherent game mechanics.
- Once everyone has joined the Battlegrounds party, press “Play” to start the match.
- If you die during a Battlegrounds party match, you’ll go back to the party screen. From there, you can click on the “eye” icon next to a party member’s name to act as a spectator.
- In an odd-person game, one player will fight against Kel’Thuzad, an NPC hero, who copies the last board of the person most recently eliminated from the game. At the start of the match, Kel’Thuzad starts with the weakest available warband. He can still damage a player and can pose a threat later in the game.
Can You Play Hearthstone Battlegrounds With a Friend?
Playing in a group in Battlegrounds ranked mode can lead to gameplay patterns that give the partied players an inherent advantage over solo players in the same match:
- If the party members communicate during the match, they can access all the information on the current board states and better predict the available minion pool.
- Party members can team up and mitigate health loss if they are pitted against each other.
- More players can gang up on the leading player, giving them a better chance of victory once players start getting eliminated from the game.
- According to official statistics, over 75% of ranked Battlegrounds matches are played solo, but groups can have up to 4.5% higher win rate (based on the number of players) over average players.
How Do You Recruit Friends in Hearthstone?
To facilitate more people joining Hearthstone together, Blizzard has implemented a recruitment system that benefits both the recruiter and the players they successfully invite into the game.
Here’s how you recruit a friend:
• Open the “Social” tab, then click on the “Recruit” button on the bottom. The icon represents a handshake.
• The Recruitment menu will open. Click on the “Recruit Friends” button.
• The link will be copied to your clipboard and will match your current region.
• Alternatively, you can use the official website that lists your recruitment link. You can change the link to apply for other regions, but you won’t be able to play with them if you’re in a different region. You’ll still receive the recruitment bonus.
• You can send the link to your friends through whatever means you wish (we recommend social media and emails).
• Once your friend clicks the link, their browser will open a registration page to get them started on their Hearthstone journey.
• When the friend logs into the game for the first time, they’ll receive a Classic pack.
Here are some additional benefits and notes about the recruitment model and what it offers.
• You’ll gain a small bonus for the first five players your recruit into the game. The first one is an alternate Shaman hero; Morgl the Oracle, while the other four rewards are a Classic pack each.
• Since you get no benefits after the 5th referral, it can be more beneficial for your other friends to recruit additional group members.
• You can recruit a player who is already playing Hearthstone but is below level 20. Both of you will receive the appropriate rewards.
Your recruitment menu will show the top five recruits, listing their total level.
Why Can’t I Play My Friend in Hearthstone?
If you’re unable to play a duel or in Battlegrounds with a friend, there are a few possible solutions:
• Ensure all players have the latest game update: Mobile players often need to manually install the latest Hearthstone patch, whereas PC players download the update automatically when they launch the Battle.net app.
• Wait for the mobile to update: Mobile patches are pushed to live servers several hours, or even an entire day later than updates for the PC. During this time, players can’t play if they have a different game version. Mobile players who are still playing on the old version can play with other mobile users that have the same version of the game.
• Set the profile status to Online: The Battle.net app can sometimes put your profile’s status to “Away” or “Offline”, which prevents you from receiving match or party invitations. If you can invite other players, but they can’t invite you back, check your Battle.net app and make changes if necessary.
• Wait for them to finish a game: You can’t invite players while they’re in the middle of ta match. If the issue persists after all players have finished their matches, restart the game.
Hearthstone With Friends
Hearthstone is a great way to spend some free time and train your strategic mind for new challenges. Playing with friends gives a new spin to the game, giving all party members additional benefits and a better gaming experience. When playing with friends, the fun never ends!
What game modes do you play with friends in Hearthstone? Let us know in the comment section below.