SC Beta Guide

Last Updated:

7/28/06 - Updated the fixed Exe, now allows you to start games with only 1 player in the game

7/26/06 - Created

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
  2. Requirements
  3. PvPGN Installation
  4. Beta Client Setup
  5. Optional Hamachi Setup
  6. Final Thoughts & Acknowledgements


1. Foreword

Welcome to the SC Beta Guide! Hopefully, by the end of this guide, you will have successfully setup your very own server for running the Starcraft Beta. I hold no responsibility for any damage, lawsuits, and deaths that may occur as a result of this guide, however unlikely that may be. Be aware that many parts of the beta software are buggy, so games you play with it will crash frequently, or have other problems occur. Even so, you can still have an enjoyable time testing units and playing around in ways which you cannot in the final version of the game. So, with all that said and done, grab yourself a drink and get ready, cause this'll go by quickly (at least we can hope so)!

2. Requirements

The requirements for setting up your server are as follows:


3. PvPGN Installation

Since there's really no need to reinvent the wheel, I recommend you follow the steps outlined here in order to install your PvPGN server. Keep in mind that you will want to install this on the computer that you will not be playing SC Beta on. Why? Well, the problem comes about because both the server and the client use the same port in order to communicate. Therefore, if you are running the server on the same computer as your client, the client will be unable to open that port for itself, and will give you an error about it. Now, in the final version of SC, this is not a problem, due to the introduction of a registry key that controls the port this connection is made on. Unfortunately, the beta version does not contain such a feature, so you will have to use two computers.

Once installed, you'll need to modify your bnetd.conf file a bit. Don't fret however, this modification is quite simple, and, in fact, its all you need to do to get the server to be much more accepting of your SC Beta client. A little ways down in the bnetd.conf file, you will find a section concerning client verification and upgrades. Inside this section you will find a setting called skip_versioncheck. Change this value to true, save the file, and restart your server (if necessary).

There you are, your server should be setup and running great!

4. Beta Client Setup

Now, before we begin, I'd like to mention that this section requires the most technical knowledge, so forgive me if I move too fast. If you absolutely cannot figure it out, feel free to email me, and I'll be happy to help. Ok, so, we'll start off with the easy part. First, you'll need to make a backup of the Starcraft.exe in your StarcraftBeta folder. Then, replace Starcraft.exe with the fixed one you got in the requirements (Extract the .rar file with winrar, if you didn't know). This fixed exe prevents the game from crashing the moment you get into a game, so without it, you couldn't even play, all you could do is sit in a channel on

Next, the more complex part. First, make a backup of the battle.snp file in your StarcraftBeta folder. This file holds the addresses of the old beta Battle.Net servers, so we will modify it to hold the address of our new server. Open up your hex editor, and open the file. Go to offset 0001EDF4, it will look something like this:

Battle.snp Hex View

In the above image, the bytes that we need to modify are selected. You will need to enter the IP Address of your server twice, and any spots in the highlighted area that you do not fill will need to be filled with null bytes (00's) in order for the file to still work in Starcraft Beta. To help you understand, here is my edited battle.snp file, with the same spots highlighted:

Modified Battle.snp Hex

Save the modified file over the old one, and start up your copy of Starcraft Beta to see if it worked. If you do not see "" in the connection options after you choose multiplayer, than you didn't modify battle.snp correctly, try again. Otherwise, you should be able to connect to your PvPGN server, congratulations!

5. Optional Hamachi Setup

Hamachi is a LAN Emulator, that is, it makes your computer believe that it is on a LAN with anyone you are in a Hamachi Network with, whether they are sitting beside you, or an ocean away. This program is incredibly useful for many things besides Starcraft, however, it becomes especially useful if you and your server are on the same physical network, while the people you wish to play with are not (because otherwise, the notorious lag problem would arise). For this reason, I chose to use Hamachi to connect to my server.

Hamachi is very easy to setup, just follow the installer/install instructions. Once you are setup, it is probably wise to create a new network for playing Starcraft Beta in, do this by clicking the "Create or Join Networks" button in the bottom-right hand corner (this will be different for the gui-less linux version, obviously). Once created, have your other computer join the network as well (So now both your server computer and client computer are in the network). Have anyone else you want to play with join the network as well. Hamachi will provide you with a LAN IP address for use with it, along with anyone else connected to the service. Find the address of the server computer, and make sure that is the address in your battle.snp file. Once you have all this configured, anyone in the Hamachi network should be able to connect to your PvPGN server using the modified battle.snp file.

6. Final Words & Acknowledgements

Before I finish this off with a few warnings/pleas, I'd like to acknowledge a few of the people who helped this process along greatly:

Now that we got that out of the way, some warnings. This game is pretty buggy, you will crash. There are two crashes you will experience no matter what: 1. When you exit, the game will hang, due to the exit protocol being changed since beta. 2. If you click the ladder button. So don't click it.

The other crashes may or may not be caused by the desync issue I will discuss in the next paragraph. A great many of them are caused by units doing things they shouldn't, while a wide variety I just can't place anywhere. Don't expect to finish a game without crashing right now. All I would suggest you use this for is experimenting with the beta units.

Next issue is desyncs. These are the most annoying issue, and the next thing on my list to fix. Now, this issue may be caused by my fix to the exe. Fortunately, I can determine whether or not it was, because, believe it or not, atv and I had 2 successful games without this fix (I have no idea how, but we did). Testing is still being done to determine exactly when this desync happens each game, but there should be an update soon. If anyone wants to attempt to solve this issue, be my guest!

Lastly, a plea: I know there is someone out there with the patches to this beta. Release them. Those patches would be so useful, as people like myself would not have to spend hours fixing issues that they fix.

Also, if anyone else would like to work on fixing any bugs or issues in the beta, please, feel free. The more people we have working on it, the better.

Enjoy playing the beta!



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