Magic: The Gathering Arena hits Android early access this month


Yes! Magic: The Gathering Arena is coming to Android this month. No! My Pixel 1 won't run it.

Specifically, MTG Arena arrives in early access on Android on 28th January. Sadly, there doesn't appear to be an equivalent iOS release. However, the game will eventually be released in full for iOS, alongside Android, "later this year".

If your Android device can handle the game, you're free to join in. Doing so is no more complicated than downloading the app from the Google Play store. Google has an Android early access walkthrough if you need a pointer.

I suppose it will look a bit like this.

Your device will need to be pretty new, though. Think Pixel 3 or Galaxy S9 (compared to my Pixel 1, they're cutting edge). There's a full list of known supported devices on the MTG Arena website, and some techy specs if you understand that kind of thing.

MTG Arena is a wonderful conversion of, and companion to, the long-running Magic card game. It's particularly brilliant in how it serves as tutor, breezily teaching you how to play an often complex game. It also allows you to import decks and cards from real-life.

I got sucked into MTG Arena last year and really enjoyed it. I particularly love how the game builds lots of new decks to try, and so introduces lots of mechanics you otherwise wouldn't bother with. It always seems to ensure there's something new to play with and think about.

Quite how MTG Arena will squish onto smaller screens, I don't know. The card descriptions are already quite small on a PC screen, and when the board fills up, there can be a lot going on. We'll see!

This was one ridiculous game of Magic Arena I witnessed last year. In essence, the occasionally very stubborn lady who lives with me simply wouldn't give up, even though she was clearly beaten, which led to the calculations in the game going wild.

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer  |  Clert

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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