Companion: What You'll Need to Play in Stores

Posted in Magic Companion Updates on May 11, 2021

By Bill Stark

In-store play returns to the US on May 28, with more locations on the horizon. Soon, even more Magic fans around the world will be able to safely gather again, tearing Draft Boosters open, turning Tarmogoyfs sideways, and getting back to playing Magic the way we've all missed.

As you return to your favorite game store, you might notice some improvements and updates for in-store play that we've been getting ready during the pandemic. I'm here to introduce those changes!

Your Wizards Account

Joining a Magic tournament is easier than ever. You now have three ways to register for an event:

  • Using your Wizards Account
  • Using the Companion app (which we'll get to in a moment)
  • Entering as a guest

Your Wizards Account is the key to "officially" joining an event, and it's the access point to most things Wizards moving forward. In fact, you may already have a Wizards Account! If you've signed up for Magic: The Gathering Arena, are an early adopter of our in-development games, or used our customer service portals, you're already signed up with a Wizards Account. If you don't have a Wizards Account yet, you can sign up for your free account here. Once you've got your Wizards Account, you'll simply tell your tournament organizer your ID, which is the email address associated with your Wizards Account, pay the entry fee if applicable, and you'll be ready to go!

Guest players only need to provide a first and last name to participate, but after 24 hours, there won't be a record of their participation in the event (in most cases). If you don't have your Wizards account info handy, you can still play—but you won't have the benefits of the Companion app available.

Your Magic Companion

The Magic: The Gathering Companion app is our new experience for participating in Magic events where you live. It allows you to register for an event, view your round, pairings, and standings information, get text notifications for when the next round is beginning, submit match results, track life totals, and even organize your own tournaments at home! Plus, it's free.

Companion Key Art

You can download Companion on both iOS and Android.

To join an event, click the "Join" icon:

Join

You'll be prompted to enter the event code. That's a six-digit alphanumeric code you'll receive from your tournament organizer. It may be displayed on a screen, posted on a sign, or in a pinch, you can simply ask your friendly store staff for the code. It looks like this:

Event Code

Enter the code, and you'll soon be off to the races! While you wait for everyone to get registered, you can use the life tracker feature to play a game against a friend. Life tracker allows you to track life totals for up to four players as well as important game stats like the storm count, mana, and poison. Here's what a two-player game looks like:

Life tracker

Once your event is underway, your seating for the first round, deck registration, or drafting will automatically update in the app. If you have push messaging turned on, we'll even ping you directly in case you had to step away for a moment. Here's what a first-round pairing looks like:

First-round pairing

No more scanning a piece of paper to figure out where to sit or listening to shouted messages to determine who your opponent is! You have all the information you need right in the palm of your hands. You can even submit your match results right from Companion. Here's how that works:

Match Slip

Remember: both you and your opponent will be able to see the results you submit, so make sure to submit them accurately! If you do make a mistake, tournament staff can correct it for you. In this new world, you can verify the results of a round at any time in the Companion app, empowering you to catch any errors and notify tournament staff. This was much more difficult before, but the Companion app improves tournament integrity in addition to helping things run more smoothly.

After the round is complete, you'll be able to see how you're doing right from the app:

Standings

Finally, you can always organize your own events using the "Host" feature in Companion. Run your own event with up to sixteen players (make sure you're logged in to your Wizards Account to host all sixteen!) and handle pairings, standings, and reporting. Your friends with Companion can also use your event code to join your event and follow along on their own app.


Companion is a powerful new tool to improve the lives of Magic players everywhere, and it's optional for use at in-store events. The old methods of pairing, reporting, and overseeing events will still work.

Up Next

The Companion team has been hard at work getting ready for the return to in-store play. We're so excited to share what we've been working on for the past year with the rest of the world! The best part? We're just getting started! Look forward to new features rolling out regularly with our next big release targeted for July.

Until then, I for one need to sleeve up my favorite Legacy deck and download the latest Companion update. I'll be ready to battle as soon as I can!

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