Blake Rasmussen and Steve Sunu were joined by Chris Cao of the Magic Arena team and community manager Megan O’Malley today on Weekly MTG to answer questions about Arena on mobile.
The team streamed game play from Arena on mobile while Cao answered any and all questions the chat had for him. He started off saying that the early access for mobile has gone better than expected and the team continues to monitor disconnects and all bug reports. While no date is yet available for mobile on IOS, Cao reiterated that it is in the works and that the team is playtesting Arena internally on IOS. He said more news about mobile in that regard will be coming with the announcement for Strixhaven.
In terms of performance issues, Cao mentioned that the connectivity issues are tricky because they can’t control all the factors like users’ connections to their internet. Because the game is client-server based, strong connections are required to send so much information back and forth. Arena requires better connectivity than most mobile games because of the amount of information being transmitted and Cao mentioned how it is even more connection-reliant than comparable card games on mobile. The game is resource heavy and it has limited users to being able to play for an hour to about an hour and a half, though variables like screen size and how many other apps being used can impact performance.
Improvements being focused on at the moment are ways for things to better translate to mobile, specifically things that display differently like the Mastery Pass, tutorials, and the deck builder. Cao recommended against playing high stakes matches on mobile this early, pointing at things like Arena Opens and other large tournaments. Cao reminded players that settings offer you the chance to mute opposing players’ emotes and pet actions as a way to improve performance.
Features that will eventually come with the full launch of mobile included: another layer of connection safety and the ability to use the app with lower specs. Cao said that once the game is launched on IOS and Android, users shouldn’t experience any differences in performance among any platform.