StarCraft 2 Multiplayer Beta Launches [Updated]

By Chris Faylor, Feb 17, 2010 12:37pm PST Update: You can now download the client direct from FileShack in US and GB flavours, though of course you'll still need a Battle.net account with beta access.

Following through on Blizzard's recent vow to launch the StarCraft II multiplayer beta in February 2010, those that have been invited to the first wave can now download and play a sample of the anticipated strategy game through the redesigned Battle.net platform.

Among the multiplayer modes available to testers are ranked 1v1, 2v2 and free-for-all matches, along with unranked custom matches. And though the beta is focused on the multplayer portion of the anticipated strategy sequel, participants can still engage in combat with or against a computer opponent if they so choose.

As explained in the official FAQ, those who have been chosen to participate will receive notification via e-mail. As for those that have been previously promised beta participation, such as BlizzCon 2008 attendees, Blizzard says it "will contact you via email at some point during the StarCraft II testing process with further instructions."

The company also says that it plans to roll out beta invitations in waves, so don't despair if you haven't been selected for the first wave or have yet to register for participation as "there's a chance you might receive one in a later wave."

There's no word as to how long the beta will run, though Blizzard is currently aiming to release StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, the first of the planned trilogy, before July 2010.

In release news, Blizzard has also unveiled system requirements for the beta along with a listing of the known bugs and issues:

PC Minimum Requirements:
  • Windows XP SP3/Vista SP1/Windows 7
  • 2.2 Ghz Pentium IV or equivalent AMD Athlon processor
  • 1 GB system RAM/1.5 GB for Vista and Windows 7
  • 128 MB NVidia GeForce 6600 GT/ATI Radeon 9800 PRO video card
  • 1024x768 minimum display resolution
  • 4 GB free hard space (Beta)
  • Broadband connection
*Note* the final requirements for Starcraft II have not yet been determined. Due to ongoing development the minimum requirements listed above are subject to change at any time. During this phase a Mac version will NOT be available, please check back.
** PLEASE UPDATE YOUR DRIVERS ** - Old drivers can cause significant issues in StarCraft II. Please ensure your video card drivers are up-to-date.

StarCraft II Public Beta - Known Issues

This is a listing of some of the known issues that we expect some players may experience while playing in the Public Beta, please keep in mind that this list is not complete.

The latest patch notes can always be found at: forums.battle.net/thread.html?topicId=23094049316&sid=5000

General Issues:

  • The Intel Core i7 processor occasionally runs StarCraft II slower than usual.
  • ATI x1800/x1900 cards display black box shadows with Medium lighting. - Try lowering your graphics settings to temporarily resolve this issue.
  • Some objects are visible through the fog of war on low graphics settings.
  • The mouse cursor is not always confined to the game window when running windowed fullscreen mode with dual monitors.
  • StarCraft II microphone settings are overwriting Windows' microphone settings.
  • Unsupported aspect ratios can become available when using a portrait style monitor.
  • Some letters are being cut off in the message log at certain resolutions.
  • The game can close when switching to another program shortly after starting StarCraft II. - If you experience this issue please try updating your systems drivers.
  • Samsung 2253LW monitors experience an issue with the 1600x1200 resolution not stretching properly to fit the screen.
  • Resolution issues can occur when rapidly changing between display modes. - Changing display modes can correct the issue.

Paged Pool Memory:

    Players may experience a drop of performance or odd graphical issues after playing for long periods of time. Usually when this occurs a message will appear mentioning the players page pool memory. If you receive the overlay messages informing you of the problem you can try to lower your graphic settings and restarting your client/machine, or increasing the system's memory. Also ensure your drivers are up to date and all OS updates have been applied.

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