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

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.

Phil Savage

Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.