During BlizzCon 2019 Blizzard announced a new Hearthstone game mode called Hearthstone: Battlegrounds, and as of today the early access for it is live.
This isn't a new standalone Hearthstone game, instead you'll find it's a new mode within the original game. This is Blizzard's take on the auto battler, a popular genre of games which includes titles such as Dota Underlords.
You will also only get early access if you were either at BlizzCon, purchased a virtual ticket for the event this past weekend, or pre-purchased one of the Descent of Dragons bundles for Heathstone. The good news is there is another way to play this new mode.
There's an open beta happening in the near future, at which point all players can jump in.
Hearthstone: Battlegrounds jumps to open beta right after early access
Early access to Hearthstone: Battlegrounds might be limited but the open beta is not. In fact, after early access is over, the open beta begins. This is when any Hearthstone player can jump into the new game mode.
As mentioned the early access opening starts today. It will end on November 12, and the open beta will begin directly afterward. This means any player who wants access will only have to wait a week before they test their skills in Hearthstone: Battlegrounds.
That being said, a ton of skill is not necessarily needed to start playing. According to Blizzard Hearthstone: Battlegrounds is easy to learn. If you're unfamiliar with auto battlers, that's ok as the game should teach you how to proceed.
You don't need any collections to play
You can jump right into Hearthstone: Battlegrounds without any collections. Meaning the game mode doesn't rely on cards from packs.
You can choose from 24 unique heroes to start, then it's up to you to recruit your minions and plan out your strategy for the match. Since this is an auto battler, everything is automated after you begin.
Players can watch the fight unfold as it follows the commands they set up in the beginning. This is where you will want to put a little time and effort into the whole thing. Planning out your strategies is the only time you will have any real control over your moves.
So, plan carefully and make sure you think things out. Hearthstone: Battlegrounds is free to play inside of Hearthstone.
In addition to the early access and the upcoming open beta, there was a demo of the game mode at BlizzCon, alongside a new playable demo of Blizzard's other mobile game currently still in development, Diablo Immortal.