Ever since MTG Arena first launched, all the way back in 2018, the game has steadily been improving over time. For instance, new features and formats have been added much to the delight and dismay of many players. Despite this progress, however, many MTG players have been left with a number of burning questions. Unsurprisingly, since it’s the subject matter of this article, one of those questions revolved around a potential Steam release for MTG Arena.
Considering MTG Arena has been available on its own client since 2018, on the Epic Games Store since 2020, and on mobile devices since 2021, Steam has long seemed like an obvious stepping stone. Despite this, however, the platform has long seemed to be out of reach, with MTG owner Hasbro only ruminating about the port in quarterly reports. That was, at least, until recently, when things stepped up a gear.
Throughout 2022, Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro renewed their focus on MTG Arena after a few quieter years. This brought about new formats, new products, and features that made the game better than ever. Alongside these, talk of the long-awaited Steam release accelerated, with a 2023 release date has been penned.
Now, at long last, that time is upon us. So, with that brief history lesson over, let’s get into everything you need to know about MTG Arena on Steam!
Is MTG Arena On Steam?
Yes! At long last, MTG Arena is now available on Steam!
If you want to see, play, and download it for yourself, you can do so here!
How to Download MTG Arena On Steam
Thankfully, as the largest PC games distribution platform, Steam has made downloading games incredibly easy. Once you’re logged in, all you need to do is click the big green “Play Game” button on the store page.
Following this, Steam will prompt you to download the Steam client if you haven’t already. Once the Steam client is installed, pressing the button will initiate the download process where you select the install location. After this, the game will begin installing, and, before too long, be ready to play!
Once MTG Arena has been downloaded onto Steam, the client will automatically be kept up to date thanks to Steam’s automatic update system. This means once you boot the game, you shouldn’t be faced with any unnecessary wait.
MTG Arena Steam Release Date
MTG Arena is available on Steam right now! The game was released on the 23rd of May, 2023.
Alongside this major release date, MTG Arena has its own release calendar for sets and products. You can read all about that here.
MTG Arena Steam Features
While the Steam release of MTG Arena is mostly identical to the original client, there are some improvements have been made. As we mentioned in a recent article about this topic, the majority of these are quality-of-life improvements. While these features may not be major, they’re nevertheless important and useful for many players.
Here’s a quick rundown of the new and important features of this Steam release.
- Steam Updates – Steam will automatically update your game so you don’t need to launch the dedicated client to do that.
- Steam Wallet – Being on Steam allows MTG Arena to utilize the Steam wallet. Have CS:GO skins laying around that you don’t care about? Now you can sell them to buy gems in Arena!
- Steam Stats – If you’ve ever wanted to know how many hours you’ve played MTG Arena, now you can track it! Steam will also tell you if your online friends are playing Arena.
- Steam Achievements – While these have not been implemented into the game just yet, in the future, Arena will get Steam Achievements and Trading cards. These don’t serve any point beyond showing off, but they’re nevertheless nice upcoming features.
The Impact of MTG Arena’s Steam Release
Since Steam is the biggest PC games disruption platform, MTG Arena being available there will almost certainly be an incredible boon to the game. Introducing Magic: the Gathering to new players, MTG Arena may soar in popularity. All the more so once The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth crossover set launches.
In the long term, currently, it is unclear exactly how much impact the Steam release will have. That being said, however, if it is as popular as hoped, Wizards of the Coast may well allocate additional development recourses to MTGA. If this happens it may fastrack features such as multiplayer formats and the implantation of Commander.
With enough popularity, Magic: the Gathering could even get a VR version or a new single-player game!
Is MTG Arena on Steam Deck?
Yes! Now that MTG Arena has officially launched on Steam, the game can also be played on the Steam Deck console. This is all thanks to the Proton compatibility layer, which Valve uses on the console.
According to users on Reddit, the Steam Deck version of MTG Arena is currently somewhat buggy with some bad animations. For the most part, however, the Steam Deck is a delightful way to play MTG Arena on the go!
Alternatives to MTG Arena on Steam
If you don’t want to play MTG Arena on Steam for whatever reason, thankfully you’re not out of luck. As we’ve hinted at throughout this article, there are a number of alternative ways to play Arena. While each of these versions is technically unique, keep in mind that they’re all the same game, once you get past the launcher.
The MTG Arena Client
First launched in 2018, the dedicated MTG Arena client is the original way to play the game. Now that the Steam version is out, however, there’s not much reason to stick with this client. After all, as we mentioned above, the Steam release has a number of useful quality-of-life features. Nevertheless, if you don’t want a Steam account for whatever reason, the dedicated Magic: The Gathering Arena client may be the way to go.
If you want to download the original client, you can do so here.
Epic Games Store
As we mentioned at the start of the article, MTG Arena has been available on the Epic Games Store since 2020. Similarly to the original client, this version of the game is now somewhat out of date, as it lacks some of Steam’s quality-of-life features. That being said, however, it’s not a bad choice, as it does feature playtime tracking and automatic updates.
For better or worse, the Epic Games Store version of Arena does hold one key benefit over the Steam release. This is the functionality on MacOS devices. Currently, the Steam release does not support MacOS systems. This, however, may be changed in the future.
If you want to download the Epic Games Store version of Magic: the Gathering Arena, you can do so here.
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