The best way to play Magic the Gathering online

Troy Zaher


One of the oldest and most successful games that is still mainstream is Magic the Gathering. If you’re a fan of gaming in any capacity, you’ve definitely heard of this game. It can be a bit daunting to get involved in the community of this game since many people have been playing it for decades. Not only that, but managing physical copies of cards can be a bit overwhelming for some as well. Thankfully, there is a way to bring this game to a digital format, and make it an easier experience overall. Wizards of the Coast has two main ways to play this game online, each with their own benefits:

Magic the Gathering: Online

Magic Online

This game is more of a pure recreation of real-life Magic the Gathering. The gameplay is customizable in a way that is similar to paper Magic, and you play with “physical” cards with an aesthetically similar approach to the paper version of the game. There are a large variety of tournament and casual types of play, allowing for a dynamic feel to the game. This is definitely the best choice if you prefer to play non-Standard or draft games, as Standard and drafts is what Arena is primarily centered around.

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Magic the Gathering: Arena

Magic Arena

Fans of Hearthstone, Shadowverse, and other online CCGs will find Arena to be a much more appealing option. While Magic Online recreates the feel of Magic in its entirety, Arena focuses more on automation similar to games like Hearthstone.

The game feels more like a uniquely created digital card game, rather than a recreation of a paper card game. Cards that automatically happen will do so without you needing to remember them, unlike in Magic Online. Arena is also focused around Standard play and working as its own card format, rather than Magic Online. Online features cards from long before its release, as it’s intended to preserve Magic’s card history, while Arena will only have cards that are released since its creation.

Both games feature an in-game economy with a standard concept of playing more or paying more to unlock new and better cards. If you want to play Magic the Gathering on a digital format, then the official Wizards of the Coast games are definitely your best choices. Magic Online is better for older cards and non-Standard formats, while Arena is better if you’re looking for a game that plays similar to Hearthstone.

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