Starcraft II's 2.1 update rolling out this week, Arcade and custom games now completely free

Phil Savage at

This week's 2.1 update for Starcraft 2 doesn't rebalance any of the game's units, suggesting that - at least for now - Blizzard are pretty confident that everything in the game is OP. Instead, then, they get to focus on improving other key experiences: like music and tiny hovering clan pictures. They're also making a big push into another of the game's core components: mucking about. As such, the Starcraft Arcade is now available to anyone who downloads the free Starter Edition of the game.

A patch video round-up explains the various changes through the medium of a wildly modulating voice:

The key highlights are an extension mods system, essentially letting players create mutators that can be applied to any map; clan improvements, including an event system and custom decals; and the option to select the classic Brood War soundtrack to accompany your Zerg-stomping.

As for the now free Arcade, beard owning community manager Kevin Johnson made the announcement in a second video:

Both the Arcade and custom games are freely playable through the Starter Edition, which you can download from here. That means all Starcraft 2 mods can be played for free, including the ambitious and Kickstarter-funded Starcraft Universe.

You can see the full patch notes for 2.1 here. The update will be rolling out for different territories across the week.