Play Classic StarCraft and Brood War expansion for free

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 20, 2017

Depending on when you started PC gaming, you may have never played the classic StarCraft real-time strategy game or its expansion Brood War.

Blizzard released the classic game for free for both Windows and Mac computer systems yesterday. Even better, downloads are direct and don't require a Battlenet account or registration, and that is also true for playing the single player campaign. I have not tried multiplayer, so cannot comment on whether this is also freely available or requires a (free) account.

The games have been updated with a patch so that they are playable on modern machines. The download, full StarCraft game and Brood War expansion, has a size of less than 2 Gigabytes, and you get days of fun out of it if you like RTS games and don't mind the antiquated looks and interface of the games.

StarCraft is a classic computer game that pushed the real-time strategy genre with its use of three factions that played distinctively different.

The patch that Blizzard released for StarCraft: Brood War improves compatibility with all supported versions of Windows, and makes other improvements such as support for windowed fullscreen or windowed mode, UPnP support, multiplayer and performance improvements.

You find downloads of the game for PC and Mac on the patch page. Just download the 3 Megabyte installer, and follow the instructions to download the full game and have it installed on your machine.

Just in case, here are the download links of the StarCraft installer for PC and Mac.

The original StarCraft features three campaigns, one for each of the three races:

  1. Terran, humans exiled from Earth.
  2. Zerg, an insectoid race of aliens.
  3. Protoss, advanced humanoid race with psionic powers.

StarCraft: Brood War continues the story of the original StarCraft campaign and introduces new campaigns, units, graphics, effects and more in the process.

Blizzard plans to release a remastered version of the original StarCraft game soon. What's interesting from a gamer's perspective is that the classic StarCraft supports multiplayer, and that classic and remastered gamers will be able to play each other online.

It is unclear why Blizzard decided to release the original StarCraft and its Brood War expansion for free. One possible explanation is that it wants to convince a couple of new players, and maybe even old players who all but forgot about StarCraft to give it a try to get them in the right mood for the upcoming remastered edition of the game.

The gameplay is as good as ever, but the look and feel of the game is ripe for an overhaul. That's what the remastered edition will bring to the table, as it introduces support for higher resolutions among other things.

So, whether you want to relive childhood memories by playing through the StarCraft campaign once more, battle friends in multiplayer, or simply experience one of the most respected RTS games of all times, you will have a blast with this one.

Now You: StarCraft, WarCraft, something else? What's your RTS favorite and why?

Play Classic StarCraft and Brood War expansion for free
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Play Classic StarCraft and Brood War expansion for free
Blizzard released the classic StarCraft real-time strategy game and its Brood War expansion for free for both Windows and Mac computer systems yesterday
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  1. Guest703 said on April 22, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Tried Starcraft 1 once. Got Zerg rushed. Never played again. If I play an RTS I like to build up & outwit the opponent with advanced technologies, can’t stand an RTS where you can do nigh uncounterable rushes early game.

    1. Crodol said on April 23, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      In the early versions of Starcraft the Zerg were a tad too strong but Blizzard adjusted the units a bit and currently they are quite balanced and you can become world champion with any race. So if you get rushed you should defend better… kekekekeke…

    2. hirobo said on April 23, 2017 at 2:47 am

      Noob. Starcraft Broodwar is a game that requires build up to win. If you were Protoss, a simple cannon would have protected you while you gained high-tech…

  2. Dan said on April 21, 2017 at 12:17 am

    Good for them. I’ve bought this series several times. First as individual CD boxes. Then I bought the Battlechest. And finally, when I was too lazy to look for the boxes in my storage, I just bought the games again on BattleNET. In fact, I have in installed right now. Time to patch it up!

    It’s a wonderful game, and I’ve lost hundreds of hours playing in the wee hours of the morning with my friends at internet cafes about twenty years or so ago. Fun times.

    Now other people can play this classic for free. Kewl!

  3. hirobo said on April 21, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Starcraft has no point if played offline.

    Can anyone confirm whether the free version is playable online on

  4. Paul(us) said on April 20, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    I really liked the long play platform game ( where you could build your one levels) with standard 150 levels for Arcade, Apple II/+/e, Atari 400/800/ST/XE/XL, BBC Micro, C64, Famicom, Game Boy, Mac OS, MSX, NES, PC-DOS, VC 20. It was the only game I liked so far.

  5. Norm said on April 20, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Thanks for the info Martin. StarCraft is still being played (by me) along with Diablo LOD as well as more modern games like
    Skyrim and Tower Defense games. Most modern shooters are way too hectic for me.

  6. Crodol said on April 20, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    StarCraft is one of my favorite games and the last one that I played extensively, the newer games seem to be too much focused on graphics, animations and less on game play… some of my favorite games (all on Windows) are:

    Load Runner (1984)
    LL (1987)
    Indianapolis 500 (1989)
    Railroad Tycoon (1990)
    Civilization (1991)
    Doom (1993)

    1. Dan said on April 21, 2017 at 12:23 am

      My Windows Five are:

      Diablo 2
      Heroes of Might and Magic 3
      Civilization 2

      Honorable Mentions:

      Age of Empires 3
      Plants vs Zombies
      Defense Grid
      Command & Conquer: Red Alert

    2. marcus said on April 20, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      Agree,to much fluff and puff gliter this and gliter that while burning out os just to play these dam newer games,somthings missing these days that i find myself more and more goin back to the roots.infact im kinda burnt out on gamin but when i play older classics from 10-20-30 years ago there is something about that experience that is fullfilling and rewarding,careless for achevments,social stats,rank all that crap,dont get me wrong there are some really nice newer games but the majority are about cash cowing and not so much quaulity,anyway.

      1. Crodol said on April 20, 2017 at 7:37 pm

        What are your favorite games from back in the day?

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on April 20, 2017 at 8:21 pm

        When it comes to PC, my top five of all time: Unreal Tournament, Quake 2, Warcraft 3 plus expansion, Diablo 2 plus LOD, and Fallout 1 + 2.

      3. Martin Brinkmann said on April 20, 2017 at 8:23 pm

        Could name more, Half-life, HOMAM, LucasArts adventure games, No One Lives Forever, Civilization II, King’s Bounty, Max Payne, Baldur’s Gate, KOTOR I and II, Panzer General series, and a lot more.

  7. marcus said on April 20, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Thanks martin,been gamin since 1979 and still game though not as much anymore,i remember the good old days and simple games such as this classic,this is totally cool,even forgot about this game,very cool seein these oldies commin back around,even on steam im seein this,classics getting re released,patched and in some cases even updated,appreciate this,reagards : )

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