5 Things New MTG: Arena Players Should Do Immediately

Chandra Nalaar is one of Magic: The Gathering's most popular Planeswalkers and a main character of the ongoing Magic story.
Chandra Nalaar is one of Magic: The Gathering's most popular Planeswalkers and a main character of the ongoing Magic story. / WOTC / Magali Villeneuve

Magic: The Gathering Arena is the all-digital, free-to-play version of Wizards of the Coast's popular card game. Arena is popular thanks to its polished, streamlined experience and a constant feed of new content, including digitized versions of all new sets and some cards exclusive to Arena's digital-only formats. Still, getting into MTGA can be difficult for new players, as Magic is a pretty complicated game. Here are a few tips to make the onboarding process a little bit easier.

Right now is a perfect time to get into Magic: The Gathering. A new set, Phyrexia: All Will Be One, is coming out soon, bringing a stable of new cards and mechanics to the game. Players new and old will be on equal footing as they navigate using the new cards and implementing them into their decks.

5 Things New MTG: Arena Players Should Do Immediately

1. Complete the Tutorial Experience

MTGA Tutorial
MTG: Arena's in-game tutorial / Conner Dejecacion

Players new to Magic should complete Arena's in-game tutorial to get a feel for the game's basic mechanics. The tutorial walks new players through the fundamentals of casting spells, combat and other mechanics essential to the game. Completing the tutorial also grants access to basic starter decks to use against other players.

2. Redeem Codes

MTGA Redeem Codes
Redeeming codes on MTG: Arena / Conner Dejecacion

After completing the tutorial experience, new players should redeem the free codes available. These codes grant rewards including in-game currency, XP and packs, bolstering your initial card collection at no cost.

3. Experiment with Starter Decks

MTGA Starter
Some MTG: Arena Starter Decks. / WOTC

New players are granted a selection of Starter Decks from all five of the game's colors. Try playing these decks against Sparky, the in-game AI opponent, to get a feel for how they play. See which colors do what and how they synergize. Once you feel comfortable with a deck, try playing it against online opponents - you'll be matched with decks of similar power and can see what strategies your deck of choice is good against and falter against.

4. Choose a Format and Deck to Focus On

MTGA Events
MTG: Arena's events and formats / Conner Dejecacion

MTG: Arena has a number of formats that offer different play experiences. Historic uses all cards on Arena, while Alchemy, Explorer and Standard have limited card pools. I personally recommend playing Standard because it has a smaller selection of cards and less to keep track of, but new players might choose to go a different direction. Look up which decks are best in each format and work toward building one using Wildcards and cards from packs.

5. Keep Playing!

MTGA Victory
Conner Dejecacion

In Magic: The Gathering, practice makes perfect. New players might struggle being matched against seasoned veterans, but as their card collection increases they'll be able to form their own decks and strategies able to contend with even the most competitive of players. Once you get a hang of one strategy, try another! Varying your playstyle and experimenting with different decks is one of the best ways to improve at Magic.

These are five of the things you should do as soon as you download MTGA. Keep an eye out for more MTG Arena news and the new set when it releases next month.