Eternal is a free-to-play deck-building card game similar to Magic: The Gathering.

Developer Dire Wolf Digital launched Eternal back in 2016 on Steam and mobile. The game launched last year on Nintendo Switch as one of the only competitive card games available. Single player card games like Slay the Spire and Thronebreaker are fun, but don’t offer the same rush as Hearthstone or Magic: The Gathering.

Eternal borrows Hearthstone’s coat of paint with much of Magic: The Gathering’s strategy. It’s from the same developer that helped Bethesda launch The Elder Scrolls: Legends back in 2017. (Bethesda removed Dire Wolf Digital from the game in 2018, before shutting it down last year.)

Eternal has maintained a small but loyal playerbase since it launched. Refer to this quick Eternal guide for getting started with the game as a new player.

Eternal Getting Started Guide

Since Eternal works across multiple devices, it is easier to register for an account on your laptop or phone. You can sign-up for the game and then login on the Switch using that account.

Editor’s Note: If you sign up for the game using my referral link, you will get three card packs to open. You get three additional packs for the first purchase of every season.

The game starts with a tutorial that teaches you the basics of how to play. It also features some light story elements that introduce the world and ‘lore’ behind the game.

Every three tutorial games after the first awards you with a pre-constructed deck. That makes them worth doing if you don’t want to dive into customizing your own decks immediately. Once you’ve played the tutorial you can move into the official game modes.

Didn’t like the tutorial for Eternal and you’re done already? Check out these other great free games on Switch.

Rewards in Eternal

Eternal rewards wins and quests with a variety of chests. Wooden chests are the most basic, followed by red, silver, gold, and ivory. Chests have a 10% random chance to upgrade to the next highest rarity. Before you jump into competitive play immediately, you should check out the AI modes.

Eternal Getting Started – Farming

Eternal features several AI modes that offer rewards at the end. Gauntlet is a good place to start, since it gets increasingly challenging until you face a ‘boss’ battle. Leveling through Gauntlet will reward chests based on how well you do. Play Gauntlet until you level it through to diamond for maximum reward at the end of the season.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of the game with Gauntlet, you can experiment with Forge. Referral link users get a free forge ticket to start – that waives the 2,500 gold fee for your first round.

Forge features a limited card pool for deck building, but it is the only AI mode in that category. Both Draft and League use limited card pools shared with other players.

Forge offers up 25 cards in two factions for a 40-card deck to play against the AI. You keep all the cards you draft when playing in Forge mode. A full seven-win Forge play grants two gold chests and 1 rank up chest. Once you have 5,000g to spend you can try Draft mode.

Eternal Getting Started – Draft Mode

Draft mode in Eternal pits 16 players against each other – all drawing cards from the same packs. New players are recommended to do something called “rare-drafting” their first few times with the mode.

Rare-drafting is focusing on rares and legendaries to harvest for their shiftstone value.

Earning enough shiftstone through rare drafting can give you what you need to customize your own deck. Don’t feel bad if you don’t make much progress in those first few rare drafts – the idea is to flesh out your deck.

Getting started in Eternal means committing to a certain deck type while you build your card collection.

Rares cost 800 shiftstone while legendaries cost 3200. Destroying one legendary gives you enough shiftstone for the rare of your choice.

Good Advice For Beginners

  • Watch streamers play Eternal on Twitch to learn quickly. Streamers enable item drops that reward viewers with extra chests containing cards and packs to open. It’s a great way to continue playing Eternal for free while supporting the community.
  • Play to one win a day for a guaranteed pack. Getting one win a day is enough for a full ‘box’ of packs to open.
  • Every day the game gives players a new quest to complete. These quests usually reward a silver or gold chest and you can have three quests in your queue. Try to keep that queue clear so you can earn new packs.
  • Participate in all game modes even if you don’t want to compete in them. Getting bronze in draft means you qualify for the three free packs award at the end of the season.
  • Try the pre-constructed decks to get an idea of how synergies work in Eternal. These are available for purchase from the Eternal store for gold or gems. They are also sometimes given out as quest rewards during events. Getting started with Eternal during a new season can also bring plenty of (free) rewards.