Last updated on October 7, 2021
If you find yourself reading this article, you’ve probably had some trouble running MTG Arena and decided to reinstall it or came across the famous “Update Error.”
Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! Keeping it short and sweet, I’ll be covering how to download Arena. I’ll even throw in some common errors you might run into, just for some flavor. Let’s get cooking!
Downloading MTG Arena
First things first, you can download MTG Arena directly from the official website. The game is also available on the Epic Store (but not Steam) after you download the Epic launcher and register an account, if that’s more your style. There’s almost no difference between playing from the official launcher or the Epic Store, except of course for the account you’re using.
Do I Have to Download MTG Arena?
Yes, you have to download MTG Arena if you wish to play it. It is available on Windows, Mac, and mobile. As of yet, no browser version exists, and it doesn’t seem like WotC is planning on releasing one anytime soon.
Is MTG Arena Free?
MTGA System Requirements
As a card game, MTG Arena doesn’t ask for a particularly well-built system, so unless you have a really old PC or a very budget laptop, you should be able to play the game without any problems. Here are the specs just in case:
Windows System Requirements
- Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5600+ or Equivalent
- Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 8800 or Equivalent
- RAM: 2 GB
- Operating System: Windows 7
- Processor: Intel Core2 Quad Q9300 @ 2.50GHz
- Graphics Card: Geforce GTX 560
- RAM: 4 GB
- Operating System: Windows 10
Mac OS System Requirements
After a long delay, MTG Arena is finally now available on Mac OS. Here are the system requirements:
- Processor: Intel Core i5
- Memory: 4 GB
- Graphics: 1024 MB VRAM
- Resolution: 1280×720 minimum display resolution
- Operating System: macOS X/10 (64-bit Intel)
Our writer Niels already wrote a detailed article about MTG Arena’s system requirements, so I’ll just drop a link to that right here. Do with that what you will.
Uncovered Clues | Illustration by Jaime Jones
64-bit vs 32 Bit Versions
If you’re interested in the more technical aspects of the game, Arena was originally built on a 32-bit client. However, with the release of Core Set 2021, the game client updated to a 64-bit client, which improves both game and client performance by a fair bit.
Most PC users nowadays use 64-bit operating systems, but if you’re on a 32-bit OS, chances are you can’t download Arena anymore. The Magic Arena system requirements state that you need at least a 64-bit operating system, whether you’re using Windows or macOS.
As Luck Would Have It | Illustration by Milivoj Ceran
Playing on Mac
Yes, MTG Arena is available on Mac. Although MTGA has been available for Windows since September of 2018, MTGA for Mac was only released in June of 2020. Sure, the delayed release date on the latter platform generated quite a few complaints, but that’s all in the past now, and Arena is fully functional on both Windows and macOS.
Pieces of the Puzzle | Illustration by Magali Villeneuve
MTG Arena was released for Android in January of 2021 and iOS in March of 2021. The mobile version of the game offers cross-platform support, meaning you can use one card collection for mobile, PC, and Mac. Players using different platforms can also play against each other.
Flood of Recollection | Illustration by Magali Villeneuve
Updating the Game
Now, with all these different platforms out of the way, let’s talk about how the game is updated.
MTG Arena is updated automatically.
That’s pretty much all there is to it, and you don’t have to do anything. The client checks for any updates when you open it and it’ll handle everything by itself. However, some updates are larger than others, and the client may have to download large blocks of data or sometimes even reinstall the game altogether.
Again, Niels has a very detailed article about the problems you might encounter while updating the game, and I’m starting to wonder why I didn’t just leave everything here to him.
Common MTG Arena Update Problems
Reinstalling on a Different Drive
One of the most common problems you could run into is if you installed the game on a drive and then removed it from your computer at some point. If you do that, the game will prompt you to reinstall it on a drive that is no longer there, so you’ll have to tweak some registry settings:
1. Open your Control Panel’s “Programs and Features” and uninstall any version of MTG Arena
2. Open your Start menu, type “regedit.exe”, and then run the program
3. Open the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” folder and then open the “Software” folder
4. Open the “WOW6432Node” folder and then find and delete the “Wizards of the Coast” folder
5. Re-download and install MTG Arena
Unable to Update/Install with the Launcher
If you’re seeing errors as you try to install or update Arena through the official launcher, you might need to use the windows installer package (.msi), which will probably solve the installation issue. Here’s how:
1. Download the latest .msi file
2. Double-click on the downloaded file to run the command
3. Install MTG Arena and then launch it
Checking for Updates with a Null Reference Error
If you’re stuck at the “Checking for Updates” screen with a “Null Reference” error when loading Arena, you can try this:
1. Open your Control Panel and then click on “Network and Internet”
2. Click “Internet Options”
3. Open the “Connections” tab in the pop-up that appears and then click “LAN Settings”
4. Uncheck the “Use a proxy server for your LAN” box and then click “OK”
General Update Issues
Aside from these common problems, you might occasionally encounter some issues with the updates, especially major ones. Keep in mind that any major update for any game is prone to issues and they’ll most likely be solved within a couple of days, if not hours.
Other Downloads for MTG Arena
Finally, while you’re downloading the game, don’t forget to check out our Arena Tutor so you can keep track of your decks and win rate. It’ll help you improve your game and choose your picks better in various draft modes. Since more wins mean more rewards, you definitely won’t regret it. I’m not biased at all.
Wrap It Up
MTG Arena has quite a few bugs you might run into once in a while. Some images might be missing once in a while, your quests might not be instantly updated, you might get errors while building decks, or effects might not work the way they’re supposed to. But these are small bugs that might annoy you but ultimately won’t break the game. Most of the time. You can take a look at the “Known Issues” page to see if you experienced any of them.
As always, let us know if you any comments or couldn’t find a solution to an error, and I’ll try to at least give you a pointer about solving it!
Hot Fix | Illustration by David Sladek