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StarCraft Goes Completely Free Today With 1.18 Patch Release

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Where it all began.

Blizzard Entertainment has released the 1.18 patch for StarCraft and its expansion, Brood War, making both free to download and play. The company revealed patch notes for the update, which would be the first time in eight years that the 19-year-old real-time strategy game has been updated.

The patch installer is available now for PC and Mac here, and Blizzard mentions to use the ‘Run as Admin’ option when installing to migrate saves and avoid Windows system admin change issues.


The 1.18 patch adds better compatibility with modern Windows versions, an observer mode, support for windowed fullscreen and windowed modes, and improved online responsiveness. There are known issues with the patch, such as the profile section being unavailable, but Blizzard has not commented on when these issues will be fixed. Check out the full patch notes below.

Blizzard announced this change and the upcoming StarCraft Remastered last month at the I <3 StarCraft event. StarCraft Remastered is an HD update to the original game with 4K UHD remastered graphics, revised audio, and built-in Blizzard matchmaking. It is scheduled to release this summer.

Patch Notes

General

  • Added windowed fullscreen or windowed mode; Alt+Enter switches between
  • Added UTF-8 support
  • Added cursor clamping in-game while windowed; unclamped in menus
  • Added Popular Maps to streamline finding games or game types
  • Added options to display actions per minute
  • Added Observer mode
  • Added opponent information when joining a game lobby
  • Added autosaving for replays
  • Added an option to display game time
  • Added UPnP support
  • Updated to a new OpenGL backend
  • Improved gameplay responsiveness during multiplayer by increasing turn rate to match LAN speeds over Battle.net
  • Improved UI layout in Battle.net sections
  • Improved behavior of available lobbies within the ‘Join Game’ section
  • Improved compatibility with Windows 7, 8.1, and 10
  • Improved anticheat capabilities
  • Improved installation and patching performance
  • Mac Beta now available for 10.11 and up

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed palette issues to correct rainbow water, 80s Kerrigan face in the loading screen, and other graphic glitches
  • Fixed problems with LAN game discovery
  • Fixed IME support and other text artifacts in Battle.net menus
  • LAN and Legacy Battle.net fixes

Known Issues

  • The profile section is currently unavailable
  • Some chat commands are still being updated to play nice in the updated chat system
  • Friends location is being improperly displayed
  • Password games will often return bad password trying to join

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