MTG Arena Mobile Begins Early Access on Android Phones


by in Magic: The Gathering Arena | Jan, 29th 2021

This is something we’ve been waiting for for months now! MTG Arena’s early access for mobile has begun if you are on an Android device. Sadly, iOS is going to have to wait a while longer. This is surprising, given that there is one major iOS OS, and every Android device is different. As a Samsung owner, I’m wildly glad we got a hold of it now. Thankfully, it keeps your entire collection and is also fully cross-platform, so you aren’t just playing other mobile players.

With Kaldheim being available now, you can also look at some fun MTG Arena decks that utilize the latest expansion! 

Most MTG Arena Features Are Available


One of the things I love about this is playing MTG Arena anywhere I go, through my Android in early access. Since it’s cross-platform, the PC, macOS, and Android users can all get defeated by me, no matter where I travel! However, it is available on select Android devices. Tablets are coming and other Android devices and the App Store later on in the year. Here are the tech specs your phone needs to meet:

Specs

  • Android Version: 6.0 (Marshmallow) or Newer
  • RAM: 4GB or More
  • Graphics API: OpenGL ES 3.0
  • Texture Compression: ETC2
  • Chipsets: Kirin 970, Snapdragon 845, or Exynos 9810

If you want to see the complete list of supported devices, Wizards has you covered. A few features aren’t in MTG Arena’s early access on Android. Social Features (Messaging, Friends List) won’t be available yet. Sideboarding during the draft is also an issue. You aren’t able to sideboard during the drafting portion of Draft Events (Premier, Quick, Traditional). All the cards you draft will appear as part of your mainboard list until the draft is complete and you begin the deck building process.

This will be changed later on, don’t worry. Code Redemption is only available in the client or on the Wizards web site. So if you’re only playing through the mobile app, you can at least go into the website and use your codes (PLAYKALDHEIM, for example). 

Wizards of the Coast point out that they aimed at players who can meet the planned recommended specs, which does admittedly require a newer/high-end device. This is going to change. The MTG Arena devs said this in a recent blog post: “Mobiles devices that exceed our recommend specs will work as well, and we’re aiming to lower some of these requirements (e.g., “minimum specs”) alongside additional performance improvements when we fully release on Android, tablets, and iOS later this year.”

We can look forward to some features in the early access edition of MTG Arena on Android. Players can physically tap the screen to tap lands for mana via the touch screen, and there are other gesture controls to make the game easier on a smaller screen. This will still be the full MTG Arena gameplay experience. All the current cards are there, deck building, formats, events, the mastery system, etc. It’s fascinating to see this finally. I have it installed on my phone right now and plan to give it a whirl while I’m not at my desk to see what I think.

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