Free 'StarCraft II' Is Now Available: Here's How To Start Playing
At that, here's everything you need to know to get started.
How To Play The Free Version Of 'StarCraft II'
Step 1: Make sure you're using a compatible machine and OS. StarCraft II will work with either Windows or Mac.
Step 2: If you already have a Battle.net account, then you can skip this part. Otherwise, you're going to need to sign up for one via Blizzard's registration page. Alternatively, you can get on board using your Facebook account.
Step 3: Head on over to the Battle.net Shop and the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty landing.
Step 4: From there, just click on Play For Free, and you'll be redirected to the Account Management page. Scroll down and look for StarCraft II. Once you find it, click on your OS in the selection on the right, whether it's Windows or Mac. The installer should automatically download after that.
Step 5: All you have to do now is install StarCraft II, and you're all set to play.
Note: For new users, keep in mind that you'll have to come up with a BattleTag, which is essentially your online username.
What You're Getting From The Free-To-Play 'StarCraft II'
Everyone's probably itching to dive right into the game, but it's worth knowing what exactly the free version of StarCraft II has in store.
To no one's surprise, it's not the whole package. While you'll get the full Wings of Liberty single-player campaign, you won't be getting any of the others, particularly Heart of the Swarm, Legacy of the Void, and Nova Covert Ops, which will hold you back by $14.99 a pop or $39.99 if they're bundled together.
However, if you bought Wings of Liberty before it became free, Blizzard will send you a code to download a digital copy of Heart of the Swarm free of charge. All you have to do is log in between Nov. 8 and Dec. 8 to claim it through the Battle.net client (there should be a little gift icon in the upper-right corner).
As for the rest, all the multiplayer units will be accessible in the Unranked Multiplayer and Custom games. Meanwhile, Ranked Multiplayer will only be available after you complete 10 "First Wins of the Day" in Unranked Multiplayer or Versus AI matches.
Co-op mode is also open, but aside from the Co-op Commanders Raynor, Kerrigan, and Artanis, all the others will be free up to level 5. Incidentally, the new Commander Han and Horner, which is a team made up of Mira Han and Matt Horner, are also making their debut at the same time as the free-to-play launch.
Now if StarCraft II isn't your thing but StarCraft is, then you should know that a free remastered version of the original game was released back in April, and it includes the expansion Brood War to boot. That's also perfect if you want to go through the very beginning of the story again.