Of the many quality-of-life features fans have been requesting from Blizzard since Hearthstone’s 2014 launch, replays are one of the most frequently discussed. Being able to view and learn from replays is key to improving in any competitive game. Up to now, the only solution for Hearthstone has been streaming or recording your own local videos, which is more work than it's worth for all but the most hardcore players.
With no official replay solution from Blizzard currently being discussed, some fans decided to take matters into their own hands, and the tool they’ve created is surprisingly polished and easy to use. Over on the Hearthstone subreddit, user Adys revealed the launch of HSReplay.net, a new site devoted to saving and sharing Hearthstone replays in a really slick new format.
Here’s how it works: First you download and run Hearthstone Deck Tracker, an app made by the same team that will run while you play Hearthstone. In addition to tracking wins and losses, Deck Tracker includes optional overlays that will show what cards in your decks that you haven’t drawn so far, what cards your opponents have used this game and so on. Having this extra information so readily accessible can feel like cheating, but don’t worry: Blizzard has said that anything you could track by keeping notes is fair game for third-party apps like this.
Once you have Hearthstone Deck Tracker set up, you’ll need to log in to HSReplay using your official Battlenet login and password. This app is authorized through Blizzard, so this process should be safe — it just gives access to the info needed to gather and present your data specifically.
Now just play some games! As you finish matches with Hearthstone Deck Tracker running, it will upload data to HSReplay. Then you can hop over to the site and view or share any of your saved replays in-browser. You can check out a game I played this afternoon with my favorite druid beast deck right here.
And that’s it! No video required, no system-taxing recordings, nothing. HSReplay likely still has some bugs and quirks to work out — for example, you can’t see in the replay I linked that the mage I’m up against is using Prince Malchezaar, which is why their deck suddenly goes from 28 to 32 cards. But for a debut from a fan team totally disconnected from Blizzard proper, it’s shocking how useful and well-done HSReplay is already.
We’ll definitely be using a lot of this in the future, especially if it improves from here. For more Polygon Hearthstone coverage, check out our YouTube playlist full of goofy, ridiculous games.