Last updated on February 28, 2023
Steam Vents | Illustration by Piotr Dura
MTG Arena is slowly but steadily becoming the most common way to play MTG. Up until now we could play Arena on PC and mobile, and soon we’ll be able to play on other platforms like Steam and on consoles.
And that’s all according to Hasbro’s CEO, who made it clear that it’s in their best interest that more platforms have MTG Arena. Is it all good news for you? I hope it is, and today I’m talking Arena on Steam.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
Is MTG Arena On Steam?
Runaway Steam-Kin | Illustration by Jason Felix
No, Arena is not yet available on Steam. But, according to Hasbro’s CEO Chris Cocks, we can expect MTG Arena on Steam later this year.
MTG Arena Steam Release Date
The information we have comes from the Hasbro’ second quarter 2022 financial results conference call management remarks, on July 19, 2022:
Digital remains an investment priority for Hasbro. Arena is entering its fourth year of availability since its open beta in 2018 and is a profitable, vital platform for new player acquisition into Magic. Later this year, the game will be available on Steam for the first time.Chris Cocks, Hasbro CEO
So the exact date isn’t known yet. Not only will MTG Arena be available on Steam soon, but we’ll have the game on consoles as well in 2023.
How Do I Play MTG Arena On Steam?
When Arena is finally available on Steam you’ll need to make an account on the Steam platform if you don’t have one yet. From there you’ll be able to download the game for free, since MTGA makes its money from in-game microtransactions.
Impact of Steam on MTGA’s Future
MTG Arena being on Steam will almost assuredly increase the player base. There are lots of people who play games mainly on Steam, and there’s compatibility with platforms like Steam Deck and VR.
MTG Has Been On Steam Before
There’s been ways to play Magic on Steam since 2010, even if it wasn’t Arena. These games actually made me return to Magic after a long break.
I’m of course talking about the Duels of the Planeswalkers games. There was a new release each year, and the games cost something between $10 to $15. The line basically failed because it offered limited decks to build, and you had to either pay for all your cards or grind hundreds of matches to have the full deck. The decks were also very unbalanced.
The meta quickly settled, and after a few games you’d rather just buy the next game. If you were heavily invested in, say, Duels 2013, there were few people playing the oldest version after the release of Duels 2014.
On the flip side, MTG Arena offers you every single card released in a set, offering a much more varied meta where you can build a real Standard deck to compete. You can also Draft, play Sealed, and more.
MTGA Alternatives to Steam
You could argue that some players would rather see MTGA on Steam than on the Epic Games Store. If you’re a part of that crowd then I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but MTG Arena is already there and isn’t going anywhere.
In June 2020, Wizards finally pushed beyond the operating system barrier and MTG Arena was made available for Mac with the help of Epic Games. They stated that partnering with Epic was the fastest way to get the game to Mac and still provide the same experience that’s available on Windows.
Steam is the main competition to Epic when it comes to publishing games, but Wizards comes away with a better deal from Epic in terms of getting the game to Mac. Whenever a developer goes through Steam, Valve takes 30% of all revenue from the game. They only take lower percentages after the game has raked in a certain amount of money.
Epic, on the other hand, takes 12% and doesn’t bother with tier systems or anything like that. With MTG Arena being a free-to-play game and only bringing in revenue through in-game purchases, that 88% income share sounds a lot more appealing. Either way, we know that the game will be finally available on both platforms, because although Steam takes a higher cut of the profits, it offers a much wider reach with over 120 million users worldwide.
You can sort of already play Arena through Steam by adding the game’s shortcut to your library as a non-Steam game. If you’re an active Steam user then you’re probably used to things like the Steam overlay or streaming your game via Steam Link, right?
If so, you’ll probably prefer having these alongside your Arena gameplay if possible. And it is possible.
You can access your friends list even if it isn’t linked to the game and chat with the overlay, and you can take MTG Arena with you to the couch and away from your oh-so-stiff-and-rigid computer chair through Steam Link. It’s the next best thing to a natively mobile experience.
You still don’t actually own the game through Steam (duh), but it’s pretty darn close. Here’s how to get the MTGA Steam experience you’re hunting for while we wait for MTGA to officially come to Steam:
1. Launch the Steam app.
2. Open the “Games” dropdown menu at the top left.
3. Select “Add a Non-Steam Game to My Library” from the dropdown menu.
4. Find MTG Arena in the pop-up menu that appears, select the checkbox next to it, and then click “Add Selected Programs”.
And that’s it! You’ve just added a little more magic to your Magic experience. Get it? ‘Cause I said “magic” twice?
No? All right, let’s move on…
Is MTG Arena Only On Epic Games?
No, as a matter of fact you can get MTG Arena on PC directly from the WotC site, and you can download MTG Arena from Google Play and the App Store.
Can You Get MTG Arena On PC?
Yes you can Arena on PC. It runs on both Windows and Mac, and you don’t need an Epic Store account or Steam account if you just download it directly.
Where Can I Download MTG Arena?
You can download MTG Arena on the Epic Store, through WotC’s MTG Arena website, as well as on Google Play and the App Store.
Finale of Eternity | Illustration by Daarken
There are lots of folks that only play games on Steam because of how easy it is. Steam handles all the details including purchases, installing, online gaming, and updates.
Are you excited to play MTGA on Steam when it releases? Let me know in the comments below or in the Draftsim Discord. And if you’re an Arena player like me, you must have Arena Tutor installed and running. It’ll give you insights on draft picks, track your collection and more.
Stay safe folks, and let’s play MTG Arena wherever we want!Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates:
Steam is the only place where I would spend money on MTG Arena, because I have wallet from selling items on steam market.
I wont use my IRL money on game.
Agreed. I have £200+ in my wallet from selling csgo and tf2 skins and would love to be spending it on opening some packs. 🙁 I wont be touching my bank at all.