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Update for April 14: Blizzard is officially releasing Hearthstone for mobile phones today.

The best part of Android is that you don’t have to wait for some games if you don’t want to.

Hearthstone is finally out on Android today, but it’s only available in the Google Play Store if you have a device that is bigger than 6 inches. You can try installing the .apk if you find it, but the game will check to see if you have the right-sized phone.

But don’t worry. The community has managed to get a workaround functioning, and I am now happily tearing up opponents in Blizzard’s card battler on our Android phones.

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Here are the new instructions where your phone no longer needs root to play Hearthstone:

  1. Down the .apk: Here.
  2. Download the .obb data files: Here.
  3. Put those files on your phone if you haven’t already.
  4. From your Android device, head to the Google Play Store and download: ES File Explorer Manager.
  5. In ES File Explorer, navigate to the files you just downloaded and install the .apk.
  6. Go back to ES File Explorer, find the files again, this time select and copy the “Com.blizzard.wtcg.hearthstone” folder.
  7. In ES, navigate to SD Card/Android/Obb
  8. Paste the folder into this file.
  9. Boot up Hearthstone and sign in.

If you already have the game installed but it stopped working because of the update, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Uninstall the Hearthstone app on your phone.
  2. Download the APK and OBB files: Here.
  3. Pick up from Step 3 in the instructions above.

Here’s the video:


Here is the old guide, which will still work.

 

What is rooting?

Android is Google’s mobile operating system, but it runs on a Linux backbone. “Root” refers to the process of a user gaining full control over everything in a Linux or Android system.

You can learn more about rooting and how to do it to your phone right here.

Here’s the step-by-step guide:

  1. Important: Make sure you are rooted (see sidebar). 
  2. The Hearthstone app checks to check the size of your screen. The only way around this right now is with an app that requires root.
  3. Check YouTube for video walkthroughs on how to root your specific device. It’s typically just a few button presses.
  4. Download the required app and data.
  5. If you didn’t download the file directly to your phone, connect your device to your computer and transfer the zip to an easy-to-find folder. I chose “downloads.”
  6. From your Android device, head to the Google Play Store and download: ES File Explorer Manager.
  7. Use ES to navigate to where you placed the zip file.
  8. The APK is the one on the right.

    Above: The .apk is the one on the right.

    Image Credit: Jeff Grubb/GamesBeat

    Click on the zip file, and select the .apk. It will have a Korean title.

  9. This will install Hearthstone.
  10. Make sure that you enable your system to install apps from “Unknown sources.”
  11. To do that: Go to Settings > Security then check the “Unknown sources” box.
  12. The game will boot up, but it won’t work because it needs to download more data.
  13. Go back to ES File Manager.
  14. Open the zip file again.
  15. This time, click on the “com.blizzard.wtcg.hearthstone” file.
  16. Long press to select both files.
  17. Hit the “Extract” option.
  18. Extract files to “Current path.”
  19. Hit ES’s menu button, select “Local” and then “Download.”
  20. You should now see a folder in Downloads called “com.blizzard.wtcg.hearthstone.”
  21. Long press to select both extracted files.
  22. Hit the “copy” option.
  23. Hit ES’s menu button, select “Device” and then “SD card” and then “Obb” and then “com.blizzard.wtcg.hearthstone.”
  24. Hit ES’s “paste” option.

Now, you should try booting up Hearthstone at this point. Certain devices may be able to run it — especially if you have a screen that is bigger than 6 inches. If it works, enjoy!

If it doesn’t work, you will see a message from Hearthstone that says it only works on tablets with screens larger than 6 inches. To fix that, continue with these steps:

  1. Search Google for “Xposed Installer.”
  2. The first result should be something like “repo.xposed.info.”
  3. Click on the link.
  4. Once the page loads, scroll down to “Download: de.robv.android.xposed….”
  5. Click on the link to download the small file.
  6. While that downloads, go back to Google.
  7. Search for “Xposed module App Settings.”
  8. The first result should be “repo.xposed.info/module/….”
  9. Click the link.
  10. Scroll down.
  11. Find and click “Download: de.robv.xposed.mods.appsettings….”
  12. Pull down your notification bar.
  13. Click and install both of the apps you just downloaded.
  14. Open Xposed Installer, which you just installed.
  15. Click “Framework.”
  16. Click “Install/Update.”
  17. Reboot the phone (it should do it automatically).
  18. Go back into Xposed Installer.
  19. Click “Modules.”
  20. Make sure App Settings is checked.
  21. Go back to your apps, and boot up App Settings.
  22. Find the Hearthstone app in App Settings.
  23. Hit the “On/Off” switch at the top so that it says “On.”
  24. Check the box that reads “xlarge res.”
  25. Hit the “Save” button.
  26. Launch Hearthstone

You did it! This worked for me, and this process should work for you. If you’re having troubles, make sure that you’re rooted and that you didn’t skip any of the Xposed steps.

If you have questions, let me know. I’ll try to help as best as I can.

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