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‘Starcraft’ is now free for all, following first patch in eight years

Why it matters to you

The original Starcraft and Brood War can now be enjoyed for free, with added feature improvements and bug fixes.

Blizzard has released the original version of Starcraft and its expansion, Brood War, free to all on both PC and Mac platforms. They’ve been made available alongside the first patch for the ’90s strategy title in eight years, bringing a number of bug fixes and improvements in version 1.18.

We first learned that Starcraft and Brood War were set to be made freely available when Blizzard announced the remastered edition of the original game. While we were also told that a new patch was incoming, it was never made clear what large improvements Blizzard had planned for the near 20-year-old title.

If you want to download the game for the PC or Mac, you can find the links in the official Starcraft update post. There you can also read through the impressively long changelog for the game and its expansion.

Much of the patch is focused on improving compatibility with modern operating systems and adding features that are much more commonplace in contemporary gaming. It adds support for windowed full-screen mode, as well as windowed mode and the easy ability to switch between the two.

A new Observer mode is now present in the game, as well as the option to display actions per minute to help benchmark how fast you’re playing. Popular maps can now be seen during matchmaking, making it easier to find specific games or game types.

Blizzard has also updated the OpenGL backend support and improved gameplay responsiveness during multiplayer. The UI layout in Battle.net sections has been updated as well and there are new anti-cheat capabilities.

As impressive as all the new features are though, Blizzard has also fixed some bugs with the game that have been present for years. The well-known ’80s Kerrigan face’ loading screen and a few other graphical glitches have now been fixed, along with a few problems with LAN game discovery.

The unavailability of game profiles is the only “known issue,” that Blizzard continues to work on, and is perhaps something we can expect to see fixed in a future v 1.19 update.