Hearthstone is an excellent, free-to-play digital collectible card game. Blizzard wants you to spend real money on it, but it’s easy to play the game without ever spending a cent. Follow these tips to have an easier time earning gold, cards, and arcane dust in the game.
Hearthstone is now in open beta, so anyone can play it. These tips apply to the open beta version, but they’ll probably continue to apply to the final one as well. Blizzard probably won’t tweak the reward structure too much at this point.
Learn The Basics
First, let’s go through a quick overview of the ways you can get gold, cards, and dust in the game. We’ll then be able to look at some tricks we can use to get stuff more efficiently:
- Beginner Quests: When you start the game, you’ll have a few beginner quests available to you, like playing a single game in “Play Mode” against other people. Do these quests — they’re easy ways to get gold.
- Daily Quests: Once per day, Hearthstone will assign you a daily quest you can complete for free gold. The quests range from things like “Win 2 Games With Mage or Priest” or “Destroy 40 Minions.” These quests reward you either 40, 60, or 100 gold.
- 10 Gold Per 3 Wins in Play Mode: When you play a game against other people in play mode — either a ranked or casual game — you’ll get 10 gold every time you win three matches. You can only receive 100 gold per day by doing this.
- Buying Packs: You can buy packs of cards from the in-game Store for 100 gold. Each pack contains one card that’s rare or better and four other cards. It’s possible to receive multiple rare or better cards, but you’ll always get at least one rare.
- Playing Arena: You can pay 150 gold for one arena ticket. Arena mode is similar to a draft in other collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering. You’re presented with a choice of one of three random heroes, choose one, and then you’re presented with a choice of one of three random cards. You keep going through this process, choosing a card at a time until you build a full deck. You then play arena mode against other players with similar random decks until you either win 12 times or lose 3 times. You get better rewards for winning more games.
- Disenchanting Cards: Hearthstone allows you to “disenchant” cards into arcane dust, which you can use to craft any other card. You can disenchant cards you have extras of — you can only play two of the same card in a deck, so if you pull a third in a pack you can disenchant it. You can also disenchant cards you don’t plan on using. The catch here is that cards normally only disenchant for a small portion of their value. For example, disenchanting a common card will give you 5 dust, while crafting a common card will cost you 40 dust. So you’d have to disenchant eight commons to craft a single other common.
Optimize Your Daily Quests
Hearthstone calls them “daily quests” because you get a single one each day. Importantly, you get this daily quest even if you never log in that day and you can have three at a time. So, if you’re a casual player, you can log into Hearthstone every three days and you’ll have three to complete. Many of these daily quests overlap — for example, you might have “Win 2 Games with Priest or Hunter,” “Win 2 Games with Mage or Priest,” and “Win 2 Games with Priest or Paladin”, all for 40 gold each. You can then win two games with a Priest and you’d get 120 gold — nice and quick, if you’re lucky.
If you don’t like one of your daily quests, you can click the X button to abandon it. You can do this once per day, and you’ll get a new one each time. If you’re a casual player, this is useful because it lets you avoid the ones you don’t want to do.
If you’re a bit more hardcore, there’s a way you can squeeze every bit of gold possible out of these daily quests. Most of the time you’ll get a 40 gold option, but you also have a smaller chance to get a 60 gold quest or a very small chance to get a 100 gold one. When you get a 40 gold daily quest, click the X button to “reroll” it and you’ll have a chance at getting one of the more lucrative goals. If you get a 60 gold one, keep it — the chance of getting a 100 gold one is very small, so it’s not worth the risk.
You’ll probably get a 40 gold daily quest when you reroll, though. If you really want to optimize things, you’d hold on until the next day. If you get a 60 gold quest then, you could then reroll the first day’s choice again. This is getting a bit extreme though — if you want to play the game, feel free to play it. Just know that you can reroll your daily quest every day for a chance at more gold.
Wait to Disenchant Cards for Full Value
Whenever Blizzard changes a card — either “nerfs” it to make it worse or even “buffs” it to make it better — they don’t want to upset people who recently spent a lot of arcane dust crafting it. To make these people happy, they’ve allowed the cards to disenchant for their full value for two weeks after every card change. Keep an eye on the patch log to see which cards Blizzard changed — you can disenchant these cards for full value.
If you don’t need to use arcane dust now, it’s a good idea to wait before disenchanting them. Blizzard may change the cards and allow you to gain full value. For example, let’s look at a best case scenario. If someone had a golden legendary Sylvanas Windrunner card and held on to it until Blizzard recently nerfed it, they could have gained 3200 dust from disenchanting it. Had they disenchanted it earlier, they’d only have gotten 1600 dust. This is also useful for less expensive cards — that changed common card will get you 40 dust, not 5.
When Blizzard changes cards, it’s also a good idea to disenchant all the changed ones you have if you’re not using them. If you want them in the future, you can craft them for the same amount of dust you got from them. Even if you pull a card from a pack a week after Blizzard nerfs it, you can disenchant that card for full value. But act fast — there’s only a two week window every time Blizzard changes cards.
Do Well in Arena
The best way to gain gold, cards, and dust in the game is by playing Arena mode. Of course, you have to do well, so getting better at drafting a deck, playing the game, and knowing what to expect is key. You can’t just walk into the arena without any experience and expect to do well.
One arena run costs you 150 gold, and you always get a single card pack as a reward, even if you lose three games and only win one. This means that each arena run only really costs you 50 gold. If you win 3-4 games, you’ll likely receive over 50 gold, making the run profitable. If you win 7 times, you’ll likely receive 150 gold, allowing you to keep playing arena over and over again. If you do better than that, you’ll get additional prizes. A 12 win arena run will likely net you over 300 gold, perhaps a bonus card pack, and additional cards. You may also receive bonus dust or cards at all ranks.
This is the best way to get stuff for free — get better at the game and spend your gold on arena entries. It’s more effective, faster, and more fun than grinding out 10 gold per 3 wins in Play Mode.
Finish the Hidden Quests
Be sure to finish the “hidden quests” that give you a reward for completing them once. The game doesn’t display these, so you may not know about them. You get 100 gold for getting any class to level 10, 100 gold for unlocking every hero, 100 gold for defeating every expert AI in practice mode, and 100 for getting every class to level 10. There are also bonus rewards of 300 gold for your first 100 wins, and 300 gold for your first 1000, but those will come naturally while you play the game.
Don’t Worry About 10 Gold Per 3 Wins
Don’t worry too much about the 10 gold per 3 wins reward in play mode. It’s a nice bonus if you want to play here anyway, if you’re doing your daily quests, or if you just want to sit down and play the game for a bit. However, you shouldn’t try to grind out the entire 100 gold you can get each day.
To get 100 gold in this way, you need 30 wins. The matchmaking will try to match you against people of similar skill, so let’s say you win half your games — that’s 60 games you need to play each day. At ten minutes per game on average, that’s 10 hours a day you’d need to play Play Mode games to get your 100 gold. Don’t try to grind this all out every day; you’ll go crazy just trying. Treat this as a bonus, not a way to actually make all the gold you want.
Do you have any other tips for getting more gold, cards, and dust in Hearthstone? Leave a comment below!