I don't have Heart of the Swarm, and I don't plan on purchasing it in the immediate future. However, I know that some of my Battle.net friends have gotten it. Will they still be able to play Wings of Liberty matches with me, dropping all of the changes made by the expansion?

Edit: If nothing else, I would love to be able to play custom games with my friends, even if we can't play in the leagues, since that's all I did with them when we played.


Also be aware that Blizzard enabled "spawning" a while ago, which will automatically bring all players up to the highest level of anyone in their party. So if you play in a group with someone who has HoTS, you will have access to the HoTS ladder and units.

  • It is not "anyone in the party", but "party leader". – Orc JMR Jul 29 '16 at 2:49

Heart of the Swarm players can play with Wings of Liberty Players, and even play on the Wings of Liberty match-made ladder, if they so choose.

However, if they want to play as if they did not have Heart of the Swarm, this must be manually toggled.

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So don't despair! You can continue to play ladder matches and custom games with your friends -- you just have to "dumb down" to their level!

  • afaik if a WoL player creates a party,the HotS player doesnt even need to switch manually but will get a notification he's going to play WoL matches – fschl Mar 20 '13 at 8:53

Heart of the Swarm is an expansion pack, not a replacement. They can still play their Wings of Liberty game, including the campaign, and multiplayer with you. You will not be able to join a Heart of the Swarm ladder or multplayer game though.

Historically, this is also how Warcraft 3, and Starcraft 1 worked. If you had Brood Wars, you could play a regular SC game with friends, but they couldn't join you in a Brood Wars multiplayer game.


Heart of the Swarm has a separate ladder from Wings of Liberty. Play between the two is not possible.

  • 1
    For competitive reasons, I can understand that. What about Custom games that have nothing to do with rank? – Coronus Mar 12 '13 at 17:19
  • I'm not sure about that, Presumably, though, you will be able to launch the game as just Wings of Liberty, so they would be able to play with you that way. – SaintWacko Mar 12 '13 at 17:34

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