Hearthstone Battlegrounds General Guide – All You Need to Know About the New Auto Battler Mode

Hearthstone Battlegrounds is out! The game has finally received a completely new mode. While it’s based on Hearthstone, it plays very differently. It took the recently popular “Auto Battler” genre and implemented it into our favorite card game. However, it still uses Hearthstone’s game board, some of the mechanics and minions etc. Which makes it an interesting mix between Hearthstone and other Auto Battler games, such as Auto Chess, Underlords or Teamfight Tactics.

In general, the game seems to be easier to learn and more casual, but it’s also incredibly fun to play!

Check out our Battlegrounds Heroes Tier List & Guide!

Check out our Battlegrounds Minions Guide!

Check out our Battlegrounds Tips & Tricks for New Players!

Check out our Battlegrounds Strategies / Compositions Guide!

Below, you will find all the basic information about the game.

Announcement Trailer

General Information

  • Early Access Release: November 5 (Available for BlizzCon Ticket holders and players who Pre-Order Descent of Dragons)
  • Open Beta Release: November 12
  • Number of Players:ย 8 players per game.
  • Game will be accessible through Hearthstone client in the new “Modes” section!
  • The game will require HS account, but will be otherwise free. However, Hearthstone players will get some bonuses – for opening packs of the latest set you will get access to more stats, be able to choose from more Heroes each round and will get unique Emotes!
  • Battlegrounds will have no extra rewards.ย You still can earn gold like in other formats (regular 10g per 3 wins), but there are no extra rewards.

Gameplay Information

  • 24 different Heroes with unique Hero Powers that will change the way you play the game. At the start of the game you pick one of the two (or three if you upgrade through bonuses listed above)
  • The game will also include dozens of minions to recruit – most are well known to Hearthstone players, but we also have some unique ones. Full list of minions here!
  • Instead of building a deck, you will recruit minions in Bob’s Tavern – at the start of each game and between combat rounds. As the game goes on, you will get more Coins to do more things every time you visit the Tavern. You can pay 3 Coins to Recruit a minion or 1 to Re-roll the offered minions. Coins, however, don’t last through rounds like in other Auto Battle games, so you want to spend them right away.
  • If you don’t want to recruit more minions, you can also upgrade your Tavern – once you do, you will start seeing more powerful minions. Upgrades are expensive at the start, but they get 1 Gold cheaper each turn.
  • Recruiting three minions of the same kind will upgrade it into a more powerful one (without consuming multiple board slots).
  • Between the rounds, you can also put the recruited minions onto the board and switch their places.
  • The mode will have its own ranking system. You gain or lose points depending on how well you score. In general, ending in top 4 will increase your ranking while ending 5-8 will decrease it (assuming you fight against opponents of similar ranks).

Combat Information

  • During combat rounds, your minions will attack your opponent’s roster and vice versa. You start with the left-most minion which attacks RANDOM opponent’s minion – unless he has a Taunt, which is always prioritized! Then your opponent’s left-most minions attacks your random minion and so on.
  • Minion combat happens until one player loses all of his minions. Winning player deals damage to the enemy Hero based on his Tavern level, how many minions survive and how strong they are. This damage carries over, which means that if you take 5 damage, you will start next round with 5 health less.
  • Besides Taunt, other keywords also carry through from Hearthstone – Poisonous minions will destroy anything in one hit, for example, while Divine Shield minions will block the first damage they take.
  • The game ends once there’s only one player left and everyone else has died.


And here are some extra screenshots from Hearthstone Battlegrounds!


A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

Leave a Reply


  1. JeremyHALO
    November 20, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    How do you emote in battlegrounds?

  2. Medo
    November 12, 2019 at 8:00 am

    So when is the open beta going to release. Ik itโ€™s on the 12th but what time?

  3. Remiehh
    November 10, 2019 at 4:01 am

    Whats the thing about 2 heroes or 3 heroes to choose from? Heard it was something about how many packs you have purchased from the last expansion, is this so? And in this case, any way to track how many you have purchased and this way know how many more you need to buy? Dont feel like buying packs when there is a new expansion coming up very soon.


    • Nickus89
      November 10, 2019 at 4:14 am

      That is correct. However, the new DoD is counted as the last expansion, not SoU. Buying SoU packs won’t grant you this bonus.
      As for tracking, I don’t think there is a tracker, but you can always check by yourself or on your battle.net account.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      November 11, 2019 at 2:15 pm

      There are three “cross-rewards” between Battlegrounds and regular HS. You need to get packs from latest expansion to unlock them, but Descent of Dragons is already counted as one (so right one the only way to unlock them is pre-ordering).

      At 10 packs, you get access to extra statistics (but the feature is not yet unlocked, it says that it will be available when game is out of beta). At 20 packs you get to pick from 3 instead of 3 Heroes at the start of every game. And then at 30 packs you get access to in-game stickers/emotes (I honestly never use them). Realistically the only relevant one is 20 packs – extra Hero, because you have a higher chance to get some good Hero (but honestly, even with 2 you rarely pick between two bad Heroes and you can win games even with the bad ones).

      I think that there is an in-game progress bar, but I’m not sure if it fills with every pack or just when you hit 10 pack thresholds, because I pre-ordered and it filled all at once ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Remiehh
        November 13, 2019 at 9:30 am

        You are absolutely right, it is the bonus system of Battlegrounds – just never took the time to actually read it, just thought it wasn’t implemented yet since a part said not available in beta. First thought the 0/3 was that you needed 3 wins to get a DoS pack, but I was wrong about that.

        Thanks for clarifying

  4. Nickus89
    November 8, 2019 at 2:12 am

    In my opinion, they really hit the nail with Battleground mode. It is extremely fun with a ton of attention from the community and streamers, with increased viewership. As long as they keep it fresh with new units, bosses, mixing it up a bit so it doesn’t get stale, it has potential to be quite a success.

  5. WingedNike
    November 7, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    Gotta say this mode looks pretty lame. I predict a flop.

  6. Davis The Savage
    November 4, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    Do we know yet what time the early access will be available? Like, I assume there’s going to be an update sometime the 5th that lets players access it

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      November 5, 2019 at 5:23 am

      10 AM PT (19:00 CET) is the baseline for Hearthstone updates / announcements etc. Sometimes they happen slightly earlier or later, but you get the idea!

      In other words, we should see the update ~4.5 hours from now.

  7. […] includes all the core concepts of an auto battler in a Hearthstone environment. We already have a guide that describes how the game mode works in detail, and in this article I will examine what exactly makes it different from all of its […]

  8. Nephilim99
    November 4, 2019 at 5:47 am

    How many additional GB will we need for it?

  9. Goodboy
    November 4, 2019 at 4:02 am

    Do you know if it will mandatory to download it on mobile? My phone doesn’t run hearthstone very well and I’m afraid it wouldn’t handle an extra 2 GBs

  10. IMan
    November 2, 2019 at 3:40 am

    Has everyone forgotten where the “chess” part of auto chess came from? It’s from the chess mode in the Karazhan adventure.

    • Spidermannerdlikeme
      November 2, 2019 at 10:55 am


    • JoeBar
      November 3, 2019 at 1:40 am

      So Blizzard invented Auto-Chess as you say ?

      • IMan
        November 3, 2019 at 7:33 pm

        I believe there have been “auto battlers” around for a long time, there used to be some mods in Warcraft 3 which were like that. But in terms of calling it “chess”, I think Blizzard had that idea the first. I don’t like the name “auto chess” though, since the only reason it resembled chess was the fluff that the Karazhan chessboard had. Nothing else in the sub-genre really resembles chess at all.

        • Stonekeep - Site Admin
          November 3, 2019 at 8:11 pm

          Auto Chess name doesn’t have anything to do with Karazhan or Hearthstone, though…

          Auto Chess was the name of Dota 2 mod, which started the popularity of Auto Battlers genre. It was called Auto Chess, because combat took place on arenas resembling chess board and characters fighting were the “chess pieces”.

          Again, it had nothing to do with Karazhan’s Chess encounter. There are basically no similarities between Chess encounter and Dota Auto Chess (besides both of them referencing actual Chess).

          But yes, I also remember quite similar “auto battler” W3 mods back in the day – although they never really took off the way Auto Chess did, so it’s fair to say that Auto Chess is the game that really started this genre.

          • IMan
            November 5, 2019 at 6:53 pm

            The Karazhan chess encounter was definitely an auto battler though, wasn’t it? I mean, it sure worked on a very similar principle at its core – the pieces would attack/heal automatically (except the knight), and all the player had to do was strategically position them.

            It isn’t the same exact game as Auto Chess but it has the same core mechanics as Auto Chess. In fact, I realised that there are a few other games which work on the same principle, including some of Starcraft 2’s most popular arcade mods. The players simply place their units which would go and battle on their own.

            In any case, none of these are really similar to chess. Just having a board and units isn’t enough to qualify a game to be chess-like. The Karazhan chess game and Auto Chess are more similar to each other than either of them are to actual chess.

  11. MJT3ll3r
    November 2, 2019 at 12:11 am

    And what is the “hs client exactly”?
    Is it the screen where you press play or the screen where you choose between arena, brawl, …
    In other words, will it be mobile as well?

    • IMan
      November 2, 2019 at 3:38 am

      Although that’s not what “hs client” means, this mode will be available to play exactly where you’re thinking: the menu screen.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      November 2, 2019 at 6:55 am

      By “in HS client” I mean that it won’t be a separate game, you will first have to launch Hearthstone and then pick the mode. There will be now a new button called “Modes”, which will have two – Aren and Battlegrounds (Tavern Brawl will still be a separate button in main menu). Which might also suggest that they plan to add more modes in the future (something I would love to see).

      And I don’t see any reasons why it shouldn’t be available on mobile ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Nidnam1252
    November 1, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    I’m so looking forward to this… I hope they will support this format in tournaments, like standard format in HS.

    I love “Auto Chess” games, they have actually been around for a long time (they were just called something different)

    I remember playing several Tower Defense mods in Warcraft III (15 years ago) that were basically what Auto-Chess is today.

    Legion TD stands out most in my mind…. it was EXACTLY what Auto-Chess is and could be played with 2-12 players on a map…. you weren’t limited to 8 players every game.

    • Tiny108
      November 1, 2019 at 11:43 pm

      Iโ€™m so looking forward to this, like you. I love auto chess and HS so this mode make me happy.

  13. OldManSanns
    November 1, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    This sounds really interesting–I’m still unclear how its all going to work, though. It sounds like my minions are going to auto-fight the opponents’ until one side is clear, then we’ll both go to Bob’s Tavern afterwards and all our minions will be fully restored. Does that mean we get (re)play every minion we can before start of combat until we run out of either cards or board space? And how exactly will battlecries work? E.g., if I get an accumulating +2/+2 every time I start Pogo Hopper that sounds ridiculously overpowered, but if I don’t get a new 1/1 cat every time I start Alley Cat that sounds very underwhelming. …Can’t wait to hear how this all sorts out.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      November 1, 2019 at 4:50 pm

      I’ll try to gather some more information soon, but I’m SUPER busy right now. We’ve got way more card reveals than I’ve expected, and also a completely new mode ๐Ÿ˜€

      • OldManSanns
        November 1, 2019 at 11:28 pm

        I learned a little watching streams. Battlecries occur once when you play (ie, in Bob’s Tavern) and are permanent. Eg, Alley cat gives you 2 immediate bodies for your team and each can be sold back for 1G/ea, so she’s actually a great opener but useless later on. “At start/end of turn” also applies to Bob’s Tavern, assuming you’ve played the minion: eg, opening with a Micro Machine is just a 1/2 the first match, but then 2/2 the next match, then 3/2, etc. You could then play a Looper to battlecry: +2/+0, sell the Looper, buy a 2nd Looper, rinse – repeat. A lot of the battlecries seem to lend themselves to that Play-And-Sell strategy. Conversely, deathrattles and “whenever something dies” effects are strictly temporary and revert at the end of the match. “Whenever you summon” apply both in the tavern and to the “temporary minions” summoned during combat.

        It promises to be extremely strategic and fun– I’m excited!

        • Stonekeep - Site Admin
          November 2, 2019 at 6:57 am

          Thanks for explaining – I’ve only caught a glimpse of the game, because I was so busy yesterday with other things. But I’ll definitely play the hell out of it on Tuesday!

          We’ll also have more Battlegrounds content coming soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Nerose
    November 1, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    Is this a separate game entirely?

    • OldManSanns
      November 1, 2019 at 3:45 pm

      >>Game will be accessible through Hearthstone client in the new โ€œModesโ€ section

      • Nerose
        November 1, 2019 at 4:12 pm

        Thband! Thank you

      • MJT3ll3r
        November 2, 2019 at 12:10 am

        And what is the “hs client exactly”?
        Is it the screen where you press play or the screen where you choose between arena, brawl, …
        In other words, will it be mobile as well?