Hearthstone Battlegrounds open beta is now live

It's a new way to play Hearthstone.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Many Hearthstone fans have already spent time on the Battlegrounds with Bob if they pre-purchased the game’s upcoming expansion, Descent of Dragons. But now, the rest of the world can dive into the Tavern and see what Bob has to offer in Hearthstone’s new eight-player PVP experience, Battlegrounds.

The Hearthstone Battlegrounds open beta is now live, Blizzard announced today.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds is an entirely new game mode that feels almost as distant from the base game as possible. Instead of a one-vs-one strategic showdown, Hearthstone Battlegrounds pits eight players against each other in an autobattler style brawl. The host of Hearthstone Battlegrounds is none other than the friendly bartender Bob. Those who played Hearthstone’s latest solo adventure will remember Bob from friendly tavern encounters.

Similar to his role in the solo adventures, during a game of Battlegrounds, Bob will be serving up minions for you to choose from. Before choosing which minions you’ll be using, however, you’ll need to pick a Hero. On launch, Hearthstone Battlegrounds will have 24 different Heroes to choose from. These Heroes will be recognizable faces from Hearthstone’s past and will each have their own unique Hero Power. Your Hero Power will dictate which minions and strategies you implore throughout a game of Battlegrounds.

As a match progresses, you and your opponents will recruit minions that will smash each other every round. Each time your minions lose, your health total will drop. When you reach zero, you’re out of the game. To win, you’ll need to be one of the last three players standing.

If this sounds a bit confusing, don’t worry. The first time you boot up Battlegrounds, you’ll be prompted to take part in a beginner-friendly tutorial. After Bob shows you the ropes, you’ll be ready to pull up a chair and join the action.

You can play Hearthstone Battlegrounds right now.