StarCraft 2

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StarCraft II is a real-time strategy game from Blizzard Entertainment released in 2010. A native Linux version isn't available, but the game is fully playable using Wine.



You need to install wine, lib32-libjpeg-turbo, lib32-libpng and lib32-libldap. If you are using PulseAudio, install lib32-libpulse and lib32-alsa-plugins available in multilib. Optionally, instead of regular wine, you might prefer wine-staging - enabling CSMT via the Staging tab in winecfg may greatly improve performance, but is not required. You'll also need to use winetricks and install the following components (to use the Map Editor and avoid crashes on certain system configurations):

$ winetricks corefonts vcrun2005 vcrun2008 vcrun2015


If you have a GPU which doesn't properly report the amount of memory available (older integrated or early AMD APUs), you'll need to tell Wine how much VRAM you have available. Open the Registry Editor:

$ regedit

Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Wine/Direct3D (right-click on Wine and New -> Key, Direct3D, Enter, if it doesn't exist) right-click on Direct3D (if such a key doesn't exist, right-click on Wine, New -> Key, Direct3D, OK), select New -> String Value, VideoMemorySize, which you should set to the amount of VRAM your GPU has, in MB (for example, "1024" or "2048"). If you're using an integrated GPU, try to preallocate a fair amount of RAM for your GPU in BIOS/UEFI Setup and use the same value here (512 is good enough for low-medium settings).

  • If the App doesn't work, use a new Wine prefix.
  • If you are asked to install Gecko, then click Install to do so.
  • If the App window is white, open winecfg, go to Applications and set Windows Version to "Windows XP". You may do so for only, as SC2 itself works fine with this being set to anything newer.

Installing with the App

Recent SC2 versions require the App to be installed, as it replaced the launchers for all Blizzard games. Furthermore, recent patches massively changed the file structure in their newer games - if you have a fast enough internet connection, it might be faster to download a new copy from the App than trying to install the game from DVD. Simply install the app, select your region, log in with a Account, then select StarCraft II on the left and click Install. You'll be able to select your game language and installation location. (Installing the game on a native Linux filesystem instead of NTFS might improve loading times.)

Installing from DVD

Note: If you have a reasonable internet connection (10Mbps or better), redownload the game. Recent patches were massive and you'll literally spend more time waiting for the game to reconfigure and patch than just redownloading the whole game again. Furthermore, you can stream the game while playing.
  • Mount DVD/DVD Image, (unhide invisible data), for example:
$ mount -o ro,unhide,uid=1000 /dev/dvd /media/dvd (for the DVD)
$ mount -o loop,ro,unhide,uid=your_id starcraft.iso /media/dvd (for an image) 
  • Start the installer:
$ wine start /unix /media/dvd/Installer.exe

Playing StarCraft II

Launch the game from the App. If the game crashes see troubleshooting section.

Hints for Performance Tuning

  • Ctrl+Alt+F shows FPS.
  • Make sure that you are using the latest available graphics drivers. Nvidia drivers should be 256.35 or later (drivers in repositories are up to date).
  • Edit the variables.txt in your My Documents/Starcraft II/ following the guide here.
  • If you're using Intel HD Graphics 3000, you may have to set the VideoMemorySize to 128 (see the Configuration above). The game will complain about not enough VRAM otherwise.
  • If you have problems updating the game and see the following in the output:
Agent started on port #6882
Executing operation: disable_firewall applicationPath="C:\users\Public\Application Data\\Agent\Agent.4432\Agent.exe" applicationName=" Update Agent"
AgentAsAdmin failed to add a firewall exception for 'C:\users\Public\Application Data\\Agent\Agent.4432\Agent.exe'.
Registered Event: "shutdown event"
Registered Event: "database flush event"
PostTo succeeded status: 0 for url:
Post Data:
<version program="Agnt"><record program="Bnet" component="Win" version="1" /><record program="Agnt" component="cdn" version="1" /><record program="Agnt" component="cfg" version="1" /><record program="Agnt" component="Win" version="1199" /></version>
DownloadTo failed error: 0 of article:  from:

DownloadTo failed error: 0 of article:  from:

DownloadTo failed error: 0 of article:  from:

Launch Agent.exe --nohttpauth:

$ killall Agent.exe && wine ~/.wine/drive_c/users/Public/AppData/ --nohttpauth

You can now restart the App. The updater should proceed smoothly.

Unit Preloader

SC2 never fully loads the game initially, but rather streams and loads required files on demand. Unit Preloader is a special map which forces SC2 to load all units, animations and effects, causing high RAM usage, but prevents loading the data (and massive framerate drops) during multiplayer matches. Open Arcade and search for Unit Preloader. There are 3 versions - start the one which corresponds to the game edition you'll want to play in multiplayer and wait for the Victory screen. All data will be preloaded until you exit the game to desktop.

Hints for advanced hotkeys settings


Have a look at projects aiming at creating more ergonomic hotkeys for SCII:

Rapid Fire Hotkeys are implemented in those hotkeys settings.

Rapid Fire Hotkey throughput

Xorg keyboard autorepeat can be modified. It may make sense to reduce delay before autorepeat starts (default=660 [ms]). Increasing a bit the repeat rate (default=25 [/s]) is a trade-off: speed vs accuracy.

To apply the settings:

$ xset r rate <delay_to_activate_in_ms> <nb_of_repeats_per_second>
Tip: xset r rate get X back to default autorepeat settings
Tip: xset q let you know the current X settings

Enable double-key Rapid Fire Hotkey behaviour

Fancy double-key Rapid Fire Trick are not possible by default for Linux. The xkb_repeat git project may help you unlock this behaviour, providing patches to recompile your X server.

Enable CapsLock as a Rapid Fire Hotkey

TheCore and TheCore Lite hotkeys rely on CapsLock to be a rapid fire hotkey. This does not work by default under Linux. To make it work, CapsLock key could be remapped to another key with xmodmap. Hereafter an example with "!" character that cannot be used by Starcraft2 in any case.

$ xmodmap -e "remove Lock = Caps_Lock" -e "keycode 66 = exclam"

The .SC2Hotkeys file would need to be modified, to take it into account to add "!" as an alternate wherever CapsLock is used

$ sed -i -e "s:CapsLock:CapsLock,OEM8:g" <file>.SC2Hotkeys
Tip: xmodmap -e "add Lock = Caps_Lock" -e "keycode 66 = Caps_Lock" to get back to default CapsLock behavior

Enable Scrollclick

Some scrollclick demo videos:

Using Xmodmap, it possible to set your regular 3-buttons mouse with scroll wheel to practice scrollclick. First change scroll fonction to "forward mouse button" and "back mouse button":

$ xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 2 3 8 9 6 7 4 5"

Then add alternate key SCII hotkeys for:

  • Global=>Unit Management=>Choose Ability or AI target
  • Global=>Unit Management=>Smart Command
Tip: xmodmap -e "pointer = default" resets to default mouse functionality


  • You may want to start the game without the launcher: cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/StarCraft\ II\Support (or Support64 for the 64-bit version) and wine SC2Switcher.exe - this might make debugging easier, but you may have to select your region in-game. Furthermore, if your game is not up-to-date, you'll be unable to log in, and no error message will be shown - simply start the Launcher and let the game update completely.
  • If SC2 instacrashes, or crashes upon game start, try clicking on the logo in the Launcher -> Settings -> Game Settings -> Check Launch 32-bit client (instead of 64-bit), or uncheck it if it's already checked.
  • For some, in-game resolution changing does not work. Editing 'width=x' and 'height=y' in Variables.txt in My Documents/Starcraft II solves this issue. Replace x and y with the prefered resolution.
  • Should you experience graphics problems (no 3D background in menu, blue non-texturized units and other glitches), launch the game without App (see above) like this: force_s3tc_enable=true wine SC2Switcher.exe. You can also add this option to the .desktop entry in ~/.local/share/applications/wine/Programs/StarCraft II, or edit your ~/.drirc file to enable this setting permanently for all apps. Using driconf, you may just enable this setting with a simple GUI.

See also