StarCraft 2 Beta FAQ Details Almost Everything, Spare the Launch Date

[UPDATE]: And just like that, the multplayer beta is live. [/UPDATE]

With StarCraft 2's multiplayer closed beta test slated to launch this month, Blizzard is prepping--and exciting--players with an FAQ covering topics from BlizzCon 2008 codes available modes to voice chat and new Battle.net features in for testing.

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StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty is due to hit PC in mid-2010, focused on the Terrans in singleplayer--aside from a Protoss "mini-campaign"--but with multiplayer for all three races, part one of the SC2 trilogy which will later bring Zerg and Protoss campaigns.

Beta Access

How do I sign up for the StarCraft II beta test?

In order to sign up for the StarCraft II beta test or future Blizzard Entertainment beta tests, you first need to create a Battle.net account. You can then opt in to the beta for StarCraft II, as well as betas for future Blizzard Entertainment games, through the beta opt-in process. To get started, simply click Beta Profile Settings in Battle.net Account Management. Please note that opting in to a beta test through this method does not guarantee that you will be selected.

If I opted in to the StarCraft II beta, how will I know if I've been selected to participate?

If you are selected, you will receive an email from Blizzard instructing you to log in to your Battle.net account at www.battle.net. You will be able to download the client directly from within Battle.net Account Management. We plan on inviting players in waves, so if you do not receive an invitation in the beginning of the testing period, there's a chance you might receive one in a later wave.

I attended BlizzCon 2008 and received a beta code. Do I have to go through this process?

There is a separate process in place for players who received StarCraft II beta codes from BlizzCon 2008 or have unused beta codes from earlier Blizzard events. To redeem your beta code, visit the beta sign-up page (don't worry that the page says World of Warcraft), and enter the code from your card, along with a valid email address that you check often.

Once you've completed these steps, we will contact you via email at some point during the StarCraft II testing process with further instructions. Please note that in order to participate after your receive the invitation, you will need a Battle.net account (if you don't have one already).

I received a beta key from a contest, promotion, or event other than BlizzCon. How do I access the beta?

We will be sending out emails with beta keys to winners along with detailed instructions on how to access the beta test. Players who receive a beta key via email will need to create a Battle.net account, click 'Add or Upgrade a Game' in Account Management, and enter the key there. The beta client will then be available for download from within Battle.net Account Management.

How long will the beta test last?

We have not determined an exact date for the end of the beta test. We will notify participants when the beta test is nearing completion.

How many players do you plan to invite to the beta test?

The number of players we invite will be based on our testing needs. If during the course of testing we determine we need more players to participate, we'll invite more.

How are beta test participants selected from the opt-in pool?

Beta testers are chosen according to their system specs and other factors, including luck. Our goal is to have a good variety of system types to best test compatibility.

How to Play

What game modes are available in the StarCraft II beta?

StarCraft II beta testers will be able to play a number of ranked multiplayer modes, include multiplayer ladder quick match, which has 1v1, 2v2, and free-for-all (FFA) modes. In addition, testers will be able to play unranked custom matches. We are not testing the single-player campaign of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty during the beta period.

How do I play against a computer opponent?

After launching StarCraft II, you will be asked to log in using your Battle.net account information. Once you log in and create or select a character, you will be brought to the main Battle.net screen. To play a match against a computer opponent, click the Multiplayer button in the top-left corner of the screen.

Next, click the Create a Game button in the lower-right side of the Multiplayer screen. Select your map of choice, and then click Create Game in the lower-left corner of the screen. After clicking Create Game, you will enter a new game lobby. You can adjust game settings on the right side of the screen and add AI opponents by clicking the +AI button located in the upper middle of the screen. You can adjust teams by dragging the computer player to the opposing team (or keep a computer player on your own team if you wish to play 2v2 against computer opponents). When you're ready to begin, click Start Game.

How do I play a multiplayer ladder game against another human player?

To find a human opponent through the beta ladder system, log in to Battle.net, select Multiplayer in the top-left corner of the screen, pick your settings, and click the Find Match button on the lower-left side of the screen. You can also adjust which maps you would like to play on by using the Map Preferences button located to the right of Find Match.

How do I adjust my map preferences for ladder play?

To adjust your map preferences, log in to Battle.net, choose or create your character, and select the Multiplayer button in the top left of the screen. Click the Map Preferences button toward the bottom left of the Quick Match screen, and then click the check boxes next to each map you would like to vote against playing in your ladder matches. When you're done, click Save Preferences.

There are separate map preferences for 1v1, 2v2, and free-for-all (FFA) modes that are each saved independently of one another. To adjust the map preferences of a different mode, select the bracket you wish to adjust preferences for and click the Map Preferences button. Click the check boxes to vote against the maps you would least like to play and click Save Preferences.

How do I play a multiplayer game using the StarCraft II Party system?

You can create a party in StarCraft II by inviting players who are on your friends list or by their character name on Battle.net. In the top-right panel, click Invite to begin gathering players into your party. Once invited, party members will be able to use voice chat and the party chat room to speak to one another. Clicking a player's avatar portrait in the upper-right corner of the screen enables quick access to that player's profile.

Players in the same party can join games together as a group. You can either choose to join a custom game or queue up for rated team ladder games by selecting Quick Match in Multiplayer. Simply invite your teammates from your friends list or by character name, select Multiplayer in the upper-left corner of the screen, and choose your desired match type.

To play a rated team ladder game, press Find Match once you and your teammate(s) have selected which races to play and adjusted map preferences. To join a custom game, select Join a Game, choose an existing game from the lobby, and select Join as Party. Once in the game lobby, you'll be able to select your race and color preferences. You can also create your own custom game by selecting Create a Game, choosing your map, and then selecting Create as Party. Once the lobby is created, you can adjust your match settings. You can also open your game to the public for others to join by clicking the Open to Public button in the upper middle of the game lobby. Once a game lobby is made public, it cannot be made private again.

How do I add a friend on Battle.net?

There are two types of friends you can add: Real ID friends or StarCraft II friends. To add a friend of either type, first open your friends list by clicking the button directly left of the microphone icon in the lower-right corner of your screen. Next, click the Add Friend button. A window will open prompting you to enter either your real-life friend's email address (matching their Battle.net account name) or a StarCraft II player's character name. When you try to add a Real ID friend, a request will be emailed to that person asking if he or she wishes to accept the friend request. The player will not be added to your Real ID friend's list until he or she accepts.

What is the difference between a Real ID friend and StarCraft II friend?

Real ID friends on Battle.net can see each other's full profiles, including real-life names, real-life profile information, and all of their characters across all Battle.net games. Both players must mutually agree to become real-life friends before either will appear on the other's real-life friends list.

To add a StarCraft II friend, simply enter a player's character name. You will immediately start seeing that character in your friends list, but you will not be able to access real-life names, real-life profile information, or any other characters he or she might play. Other players are not notified if you add their characters to your friends list in this fashion.

I just destroyed my opponent! How do I watch my game's replay?

After logging in to Battle.net, click the small video-camera-shaped button in the top-left corner of the screen. This will allow you to access replays for previous StarCraft II matches, organized by game type.

How do I check on my ladder progress?

To view your match results and current ladder ranking, click on the medal-shaped icon in the top-left corner of the Battle.net user interface.

How do I customize my profile?

Select the far-right button on the top-left panel of the Battle.net user interface. This will give you access to your match statistics, achievements, and match history, as well as the ability to change your portrait.

How do I enable or disable voice chat?

Click the microphone button located on the lower-right corner of the screen (next to the time). When there is a line crossing out the microphone, voice chat is disabled.

How do I change which Battle.net account is logged in?

Click the Menu button in the bottom-left corner of your screen when in the Battle.net lobby. The Log Out button will return you to the login screen to change accounts.

What Battle.net features are you testing during the StarCraft II beta test?

While testers will be able to experience much of the functionality of the new Battle.net, certain features, such as the ability to communicate with World of Warcraft players through the Real ID feature will not be available at the start of the beta. Battle.net features and functionality will be added and enhanced as the beta progresses, right up through the retail launch of StarCraft II and beyond.

How do I exit the StarCraft II beta?

If you are in the main menu of StarCraft II, click the Quit button in the lower-left corner of the screen. When logged in to Battle.net, click the Menu button in the lower-left corner of the screen and select Exit Game.

I heard that I can share resources and control over units in StarCraft II. How do I use these features?

When in a StarCraft II match, click the small icon in the top-right corner of the screen and use the check boxes to enable or disable shared unit control. You will be also able to share resources in this fashion once you are more than five minutes into a match.

How do I adjust my StarCraft II settings?

Click the Options button on the main menu to customize your settings for StarCraft II. You can also change various settings during a StarCraft II match by clicking the Menu button.

Will there be a Mac version of the beta client?

We plan to release a Mac version of the beta client at some point during the beta test period. We'll have further details to share as the beta test progresses.

Where can I get more information about the status of the beta-test servers?

Please refer to the Tech Support forums forums.battle.net/board.html?sid=5010&forumId=25352533 for information on server status or for other technical issues. You can also report issues via webform or email at beta.techsupport@eu.battle.net .

I found a bug while playing. Where can I report this to get it squashed?

If you find any bugs, please visit the Bug Report forum forums.battle.net/board.html?sid=5010&forumId=25458886 to report the issue.

Is there a forum where I can leave beta feedback, offer suggestions, or discuss the game with fellow beta participants?

We've set up several forums specifically for this purpose; you can find them all at the StarCraft II Beta Forums index page http://forums.battle.net/index.html?sid=5010. We encourage you to use these forums to discuss the game with your fellow players, and we definitely want to hear your feedback. While anyone is able to view the content of these forums, only beta participants will be able to post, and all beta forum participants must follow the Forum Guidelines forums.battle.net/thread.html?topicId=23240933861&sid=5010.