Last updated on October 7, 2020

MTG Arena

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.

Is MTG Arena Free?

Yes it is. Well, at least it’s free to download and play initially. But if you want to play Standard and win very much, you will be highly incentivized to spend money on gems.

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:

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 MTG card art by Jaime Jones

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, make sure you check the patch notes if you run into any errors. There are no clear announcements yet, but the 32-bit client might still be available for download. Good luck.

As Luck Would Have It MTG card art by Milivoj Ceran

As Luck Would Have It | Illustration by Milivoj Ceran

Playing on Mac

In August 2019, WotC announced that they would expand their player base by making MTG Arena available on multiple platforms. Since the game is already out on the Epic Store, it won’t be long before the game is officially available for Mac users.

According to the April 2020 announcement, MTG Arena will be released on Mac OS by the end of 2020’s summer with the transition to the 64-bit client. Meanwhile, if you can’t wait to get your hands on the game as a Mac user, we have a detailed guide with some ways to make it work.

Pieces of the Puzzle MTG card art by Magali Villeneuve

Pieces of the Puzzle | Illustration by Magali Villeneuve

Mobile Play

WotC wasn’t joking about their plans to expand their player-base, and although they’re not exactly fast (the global pandemic surely had some impact on their plans, so they get some forgiveness points) they officially announced that MTG Arena will have mobile support at some point in 2020. They have only two clear statements about it, though: It’s planned for 2020 (more info in late fall!), and it’ll have cross-platform support.

The cross-platform support means that you’ll be able to use the same accounts and will have access to all your collection while playing on your phone, which is pretty exciting.

Again, there are currently some workarounds for getting the game to run on mobile, which we detail here.

Flood of Recollection MTG card art by Magali Villeneuve

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

regedit.exe search

3. Open the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” folder and then open the “Software” folder

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and Software folders in regedit.exe function

4. Open the “WOW6432Node” folder and then find and delete the “Wizards of the Coast” folder

Wizards of the Coast folder in regedit.exe

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

You can visit the forums for more information and any updates to this problem (Reddit might be more helpful, though, who knows).

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”

Network and Internet in Control Panel

2. Click “Internet Options”

Internet Options in Control Panel

3. Open the “Connections” tab in the pop-up that appears and then click “LAN Settings”

Connections tab and LAN Settings button in Internet Options

4. Uncheck the “Use a proxy server for your LAN” box and then click “OK”

LAN settings proxy server checkbox

This should make the game update as normal. If it doesn’t, contact support for further troubleshooting.

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.

You’ll probably find other players who experienced the same troubles on Reddit, and you can always visit the official forums for detailed troubleshooting.

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 MTG card art by David Sladek

Hot Fix | Illustration by David Sladek

2 Comments

  • Avatar
    Chevallet, Thiago August 9, 2020 9:03 pm

    Hola:
    Mi nombre es Thiago Chevallet y hace 2 meses aproximadamente estoy lidiando con un error de compatibilidad en MTGA que no me permite instalar el programa.
    El error es el siguiente: “Este tipo de procesador no admite este paquete de instalación. pongase en contacto con su proveedor de productos” Según lo que creo esto es causado por mi sistema operativo, que es de 32 bits y mi procesador que está desactualizado a estas alturas, un A6 6400k
    Si me ayudasen pasandome por mail el instalador de MTGA de 32 bits sería feliz ya que desde que cerró la sucursal de magic en mi ciudad no pude jugar mas a magic físico y mi alternativa era el jueg digital.
    Les mando un saludo al staff, Thiago

    • Avatar
      Dan Troha August 10, 2020 10:52 am

      Hi Thiago – sorry to hear this problem. I translated your message, and it seems that you need a 32 bit version of MTG Arena. Unfortunately, this is not really an option – if you ran a 32-bit version, it would no be compatible with the version that is live on the MTGA servers right now. It probably would not work anyway. Other than upgrading your computer, I might suggest trying Magic Online. As far as I know, that program still works with a 32 bit operating system/processor.

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