Developed by Blizzard following the sucessful WarCraft series, Starcraft is undoubtably one of the most innovative and popular RTS games to hit the market. Introducing for the first time three races all completly unique yet perfectly balanced, this made for some fantastic gameplay with zergling rushes, to siege tank massacres. With starcraft having such a cult following there are bountiful mods available from simplistic character changes to new scenarios, and challenges to face. The fact that Starcraft has been game of the year sums up just how good this game is, so crank it up if you are not already playing it!

Report article RSS Feed Beginners Starcraft Modding Tutorial

A very basic tutorial for people who want to make their own Starcraft mods. In this tutorial you will learn how to change a units stats, weapon/s, graphics etc. You will also learn how to make upgrades go up to 0-255 instead of only 0-3.

Posted by IceSkirt on May 5th, 2007
Basic Other.

[page=Introduction]
Basic Unit, Weapon and Upgrade Editing - Written by IceSkirt
Beginners SC Modding Tutorial - A very basic tutorial for people who want to make their own mods. In this tutorial you will learn how to change a units stats, weapon/s, graphics etc. You will also learn how to make upgrades go up to 0-255 instead of only 0-3.

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Tools used:

  • Arsenal 3 ( UPDATE: Should now use DatEdit v1.5 )
  • MPQDraft
  • WinMPQ
  • MPQ Compactor
  • These can be downloaded via Mod DB or Starcraft.org

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Step 1:
After you have downloaded the tools above you should create a Starcraft Modding folder (for convenience save the tools above into this folder), you can call it whatever you like (mines SC Modding Home). In this folder create another folder. Call it First Mod. OK now open WinMPQ. Click on "File" located at the top left hand corner of the screen, then select "Open"in the dropdown box. When the Open browser comes up go into your Starcraft folder and open "Patch_rt.mpq" this folder contains much of the information that Starcraft uses. Some of the types of files it contains are ".dat", ".grp", ".wav" and ".tbl" just to name a few. The only ones your going to use now are the ".dat" files. Find arr\units.dat in the list of files and right click it. In the dropdown box that appears select extract and extract it into a folder you will remember.

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Step 2:
Now for the actual modding. Open Arsenal 3. A screen should appear, click on "Starcraft" then go into "Unit Editor". On the left hand side of the screen there should be a black bar, in the black bar there's a list. Click on "Terran Units" in the list. Now a list of all the Terran Units should appear in the black bar. Click on "File" in the top left of the screen then click open, find the file you extracted with WinMPQ, arr\units.dat, and open it. Now click on "Terran Ghost" in the Units list. Here you can change the Ghost's Health, Weapon, decide whether it has shields or not, etc. We're gonna make the Ghost a really cool, super unit. Check the box next to where it says" Shields:". This'll make the Ghost have shields (just like the Protoss!!). Then change its Health to 100 and give it 5 armour. Now change its ground weapon from C-10 Canister Rifle to LongBolt Missile and its air weapon to Lockdown. This is all we're going to do for now. Click "File" then go to "Save As". Find your Starcraft Modding Folder, go into it, go into the First Mod folder, here make a new folder named exactly arr (nothing else will work), then save as Units.dat, OK.(Don't close Arsenal 3 yet.)

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Step 3:
Go into WinMPQ again and extract arr\weapons.dat from Patch_rt.mpq into the folder you extracted arr\units.dat. Go into Arsenal 3, click "File" then "Exit". The screen that first appeared when you went into Arsenal 3 should come up. Click on "Weapon Editor", a screen a bit like the Unit Editor should come up. Open arr\weapons.dat. Click on "Terran Weapons" in the black bar. A list of all the Terran weapons will appear. Find LongBolt Missile and click on it. A screen of all the properties of the Longbolt Missile should come up beside the black bar. Where it says damage properties change "Amount:" to 15 (this changes the attack damage), and change "Cooldown:" to 2 (this changes the units cooldown time).Change the upgrade from Terran Ship Weapons to Terran Infantry Weapons. Under where it says "Attack Flags:" check the box labeled Ground (this will change LongBolt Missile so it can now attack ground units as well as air). Under where it says "Graphical Properties" change "Sprite:" from Gemini Missiles to EMP Shockwave. (This will change what the attack looks like.) Go to "File", then "Save As" and save it where you saved arr\units.dat after you had edited it but this time call it weapons.dat. (Again don't exit Arsenal 3)

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Step 4:
Go into WinMPQ and extract arr\upgrades.dat out of Patch_rt.mpq into the folder where you extracted arr\units.dat and arr\weapons.dat. Go back into Arsenal 3, click "File then Exit". When the startup screen appears go into "Upgrade Editor". Click on "Terran Upgrades" in the black bar, then click on "Terran Infranty Armour". Underneath where it says "Base Costs" change "Time:" to 500 (this changes how long the upgrade takes to research), change "Minerals:" to 50 and "Gas:" to 50 (bit staight forward what that does). Under where it says "Factor Costs" change time:, minerals: and gas: to 0 (Factor Costs changes how much longer, more expensive an upgrade becomes each time its upgraded). Finally, under where it says "Upgrade Properties" change "repeats:" from 3 to 10 (this will make it so the Terran Infantry Armour upgrade can be upgraded 10 times instead of 3.) Repeat the process of editing Terran Infantry Armour with Terran Infantry Weapons. When you have done that go to "File, then "Save As" and save where you saved the other .dat files but call it upgrades.dat.

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Step 5:
That was the modding part of the tutorial. Now we're going to turn your .dat files into an MPQ. It's very simple all you have do to is drag and drop the First Mod folder onto MPQ Compactor and it will compile it into an MPQ. An MPQ should appear in the file that contains MPQ Compactor. It should be called First Mod.

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Step 6:
Now that we have our MPQ we need to turn it into an executable mod. Open MPQDraft. A small screen should appear. Click on Self Executing MPQ. A larger screen should now appear. Where it says Custom Name: type whatever you want your mod to be named. Where it says Input MPQ Filename: click Browse and find the MPQ you just created. When you find your MPQ click it and press Open. Where it says Output SEMPQ Executable Filename: click browse and locate where you want your executable mod to be, then name it, then click save. After doing that click Next. A new screen should appear. Under where it says "Programs:" there are a 4 different games by Blizzard. Click Starcraft. Now under where it says "Components:" Starcraft and the Starcraft Campaign Editor appear. Click on Stacraft then click "next". Another screen should appear, its about plug-ins. Ignore it and click "Finish". Your done!! Find your Executable Mod and click it to play!! (Make sure Stacraft CD is in drive.)

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If this tutorial did not help you, you did not like it, there were any spelling errors in it or if you would like to make a suggestion of a tutorial please email me at IceSkirt_93@yahoo.com.au

Post comment Comments  (0 - 50 of 68)
Black2White
Black2White Jun 12 2007, 12:01am buried:

(buried)

IM REALLY ****** OFF ITS SO GAY IT WONT LET ME SAVE IT WONT LET ME OPEN THE .DAT FILES THERES SOMETHING FRIGGIN WRONG WITH THAT PROGRAM THEY CANT EVEN USE SIMPLE LANGUAGE TO HELP PEOPLE FIGURE IT OUT, NO THEY HAVE TO MAKE ERROR: 25342436 IN THE CODING WRITE ADRESS: 00000012 WELL YOU CAN TELL THOSE GEEKS THAT THERE NOT SHOWING OFF ANYTHING JUST ANNOYING AND CONFUSING THE **** OUT OF PEOPLE RRRRRRRRR RRRRRRRR RRRR RRRR RRRRRRRRR RRRRRRRRRR RRRR

-10 votes     reply to comment
strtbllsnickers
strtbllsnickers Aug 31 2008, 1:23pm replied:

u hafta save all ur files to the arr file...
re-read the tutorial it describes everything so well....

+4 votes     reply to comment
AgeNt_
AgeNt_ May 7 2007, 1:18pm says:

i remember doing this stuff when i mapped for starcraft. now my computer wont play it anymore because. ****** me off. but yea thats a good tut!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Black2White
Black2White Jun 11 2007, 11:37pm says:

well im stuck still...

+1 vote     reply to comment
Black2White
Black2White Jun 11 2007, 11:48pm says:

I CANT FRIGGEN SAVE IT!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Black2White
Black2White Jun 12 2007, 12:03am says:

also i wanted to make people happy by making a halo mod... but i see im never gonna learn how to because the program wont work...

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ravenspike
Ravenspike Jun 3 2007, 5:40am says:

I have a problem.
I want to make a zealot which can attack air units with a special weapon.
The weapon uses the glave wurm form, with modifications, but when i firts try to attack an air unit, the game crashes.
What should i do?

+1 vote     reply to comment
strtbllsnickers
strtbllsnickers Aug 31 2008, 1:24pm replied:

set ur flags on the weapon to "air" and keep ur range at 11 or under...

+1 vote     reply to comment
iMicroFail_
iMicroFail_ Aug 23 2010, 2:59pm replied:

The sight range cannot go over 11, not the attack range. I have a Ghost with an attack range of 24.

+1 vote     reply to comment
iMicroFail_
iMicroFail_ Aug 23 2010, 3:00pm replied:

First try adding an air attack animation by modifying the iscript.bin file.

+1 vote     reply to comment
IceSkirt
IceSkirt Jun 4 2007, 3:06am says:

Ravenspike you probably have to edit iscript.bin so that the zealot has some air attack animation. Im pretty sure thats what you need to do.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Daywalkers
Daywalkers Jun 5 2007, 3:25pm says:

I create everithing in here and it crashes :(

+1 vote     reply to comment
strtbllsnickers
strtbllsnickers Aug 31 2008, 1:26pm replied:

i agree u should use datedit over arsenal3
but mayb u should check ur parameters cause there can very well b sumthin past the limit... i found this when i was making my battlefield 2 mod :/

+1 vote     reply to comment
IceSkirt
IceSkirt Jun 12 2007, 5:47pm says:

Hmm...I don't really know what your problem is caused by, its never happened to me. Mabye you should try using DatEdit, its newer and is less buggy. It can be downloaded from Starcraft.org. It basically same as Arsenal 3, a bit harder to use at when you 1st use it but is much easier once you get the hang of it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Black2White
Black2White Jun 11 2007, 11:34pm says:

when i try to open the .dat file (arr) it says invalid pointer or something...

+1 vote     reply to comment
Black2White
Black2White Jun 25 2007, 10:06am says:

Thanks that really helped alot, I get the whole modding process now :D, one more thing though. Whenever I make a mod with certain stats changed Eg: make an scv hold units, I go to play the mod, when I build an SCV and the game crashes... How do I fix this? or what am I doing wrong?

+1 vote     reply to comment
IceSkirt
IceSkirt Jun 26 2007, 6:19pm says:

If you mean how to make a unit be able to transport other units im not sure if its possible, i know you can do it with buildings but you need to memgraft to get the unload/reload button.

+1 vote     reply to comment
silverwood1
silverwood1 Jul 2 2007, 4:52pm says:

Did your exact tutorial folder name by folder name. The gear symbol in the end that is my file, i double click it and the editor runs... does that mean I have to make an entire map to go with the mod brand new?! plus it has to be on badlands cause thats default map?! please help man.

+1 vote     reply to comment
strtbllsnickers
strtbllsnickers Aug 31 2008, 1:28pm replied:

did u save all ur files to remake the patch_rt.mpq file?

+1 vote     reply to comment
silverwood1
silverwood1 Jul 5 2007, 2:07pm says:

answer my ******* question please, its been awhile

+1 vote     reply to comment
Black2White
Black2White Jul 20 2007, 2:38pm says:

ok I know what your talking about so units cant transport units. gotcha, btw sorry to bother you but whats memgrafting?... Oh yes and its impossible for other units to transport units, then howcome the Overlord/Dropship/Shuttle are so special?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Black2White
Black2White Jul 20 2007, 2:43pm says:

sorry to bother... I feel like such a bug :S, Is there anyway you can name units in the Datedit program? Say if I wanted to name a marine a Horse or something would I have to do that inside Datedit or would I have to make my own UMS maps?

+1 vote     reply to comment
NGsShadow
NGsShadow Aug 9 2012, 1:24pm replied:

You will need to get a TBL editor like TBLPad, then use it to edit the stat_txt.tbl file (extract using WinMPQ first).
stat_txt.tbl is where the unit name data is stored, so any name changes must be made through TBLPad.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Bobboy
Bobboy Aug 5 2007, 7:20pm says:

To rename stuff you gotta use TBLpad, which is also on StarCraft.org. Hoped I helped. And don't ask me how to use it, cause I havent tried myself.

+1 vote     reply to comment
strtbllsnickers
strtbllsnickers Aug 31 2008, 1:29pm replied:

i think u can also use firegraft to rename everything...

+1 vote     reply to comment
lorddood
lorddood Sep 19 2007, 3:12pm says:

When I try to open WinMPQ it says Runtime error 53. That is when it misses a file. And I got no friggin idea what files WinMPQ needs. Anybody know?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Gar562
Gar562 Oct 2 2007, 3:43pm says:

I cinda got the same problem as lorddood but it sayes VB40032.DLL was not found can some 1 hlp?

+1 vote     reply to comment
IceSkirt
IceSkirt Oct 8 2007, 11:44pm says:

@ lorddood - You need SFmpq.dll. It should have come with the WinMPQ download. You probably just need to put it in the same directory as WinMPQ.

@ Gar562 - You can download VB40032.dll from here:
Dll-files.com

+2 votes     reply to comment
DragonkillerxXx
DragonkillerxXx Mar 11 2008, 1:28pm replied:

Thanks so much IceSkirt you really helped me already and I've hardly gotten started.

+1 vote     reply to comment
strtbllsnickers
strtbllsnickers Aug 31 2008, 1:31pm replied:

u might as well copy VB40032.DLL to ur windows/system folder....

+1 vote     reply to comment
s3thapl
s3thapl Mar 15 2008, 8:55am says:

How can I change the sprites?
I mean I want to change how to look the protoss,zerg and terran...

+1 vote     reply to comment
IceSkirt
IceSkirt Apr 10 2008, 2:25am replied:

@ s3thapl
You need a program that can convert GRP files (a file type that SC uses to store collection of image frames) into bitmat files that can be directly edited.

RetroGRP can be downloaded from:
Starcraft.org

SFGrpConv can be downloaded from:
Starcraft.org

+1 vote     reply to comment
edges1121
edges1121 May 15 2008, 5:05pm says:

I used ur advice but when i gave a hydralisk hellfire missiles it didnt work someone reply soon

+1 vote     reply to comment
IceSkirt
IceSkirt May 23 2008, 10:33pm replied:

When you say it didn't work, what do you mean?
Did just the hydralisk and it's hellfire missiles not work, or the whole mod not work?

+1 vote     reply to comment
edges1121
edges1121 May 25 2008, 8:37am says:

i mean that the game crashed as soon as i spawned a hydralisk

+1 vote     reply to comment
edges1121
edges1121 May 25 2008, 8:16pm says:

i gave them to firebats and they worked fine

+1 vote     reply to comment
edges1121
edges1121 May 25 2008, 9:20pm says:

y it not work 4 hydralisk tho

+1 vote     reply to comment
edges1121
edges1121 May 31 2008, 12:01am says:

can som1 answer its been 5 days

+1 vote     reply to comment
strtbllsnickers
strtbllsnickers Aug 31 2008, 1:33pm replied:

hav u checked ur range on the hellfire?
and how much did u edit?
lemme kno all the specs....

+1 vote     reply to comment
shado
shado Jun 3 2008, 7:47pm says:

hi ive been muckin around with tbl and dat edit.( i now no how to use tbl) but i was wondering... i made a mairne use fragmentation gnades to attak air and burst lasers for ground. so i start the game and test out marine like ur supposed to do. so i build barracks then a marine, tbl is working fine. i lift off the barracks and tell the marine to attak it. BUT it uses the burst laser for both ground atak and air. and yes i have set up what flags it is supposed to target. any help?

+1 vote     reply to comment
shado
shado Jun 3 2008, 7:49pm says:

edge i think that its because the sprites havent been adjusted OR ur hydras sight is above 11 in the basic units editor. quote"the units sight range cannot be above 11 or it will CRASH the game constantly"unquote

+1 vote     reply to comment
shado
shado Jun 4 2008, 7:35pm says:

edge if figured it out. instead of changing what the air/ground weapon is, just change what graphics it uses. and also another question. when i tell the marine to attak it does no dmg. i have its ground fire thing set to laser and ar fire set to emp.

+1 vote     reply to comment
strtbllsnickers
strtbllsnickers Aug 31 2008, 1:18pm says:

idk whats wrong shado srt cause im kinda new at this but gimme some time 2 finish my mod and ill let u know what i think is wrong..
you probably did but did u remember 2 put ur new units.dat file in2 ur mod's mpq??

and commenting on the end of the tutorial, theres an easier way 2 play the game, a simple no-disk hack...
zerogamers.com/downloads/c32-Starcraft-Hacks/f1461-Starcraft-no-cd-hack.html
theres another way u can do urself but its ben so long since i did it and cant remember... sry :/
if i do tho ill post it!

+1 vote     reply to comment
strtbllsnickers
strtbllsnickers Aug 31 2008, 1:22pm says:

heres the nocd mod
just insert ur 1st SC disc in2 the drive and open to view its files. then copy the install.exe to ur starcraft game folder. rename it "StarCraft.mpq"... then insert ur broodwar disc nd copy that install, then copy it in2 the same place. rename it "BroodWar.mpq"
and voila
:D
sad i remembered it a few seconds after i posted :/

+1 vote     reply to comment
IceSkirt
IceSkirt Sep 13 2008, 8:18am replied:
Quote:heres the nocd mod
just insert ur 1st SC disc in2 the drive and open to view its files. then copy the install.exe to ur starcraft game folder. rename it "StarCraft.mpq"... then insert ur broodwar disc nd copy that install, then copy it in2 the same place. rename it "BroodWar.mpq"
and voila

Assuming, of course, that one has patch 1.15 and above. (1.15 was the patch that introduced that little feature, wasn't it? idk remember nymore...)

+1 vote     reply to comment
PQ_zeNoobMaster
PQ_zeNoobMaster Oct 15 2008, 10:57am replied:

It's the 1.15.2 I think

+1 vote     reply to comment
jazz_trumper
jazz_trumper Sep 13 2008, 8:30pm says:

hey how come when i open some grp files in retrogrp the images just look all shady and colourless...?
plz help

+1 vote     reply to comment
IceSkirt
IceSkirt Sep 20 2008, 12:09am replied:

@ jazz_trumper
I dont have sc or retrogrp anymore, but are you sure your not opening building/unit shadows?

+1 vote     reply to comment
jazz_trumper
jazz_trumper Sep 20 2008, 12:41pm replied:

lol ya i found that out 2 days later

+1 vote     reply to comment
ToastKing
ToastKing Nov 27 2008, 8:45pm says:

Hmm. "Access violation at address 0037CAD2 in module 'Exal.dll'. Write of address 00000058." This happened when I try to save the "weapons.dat" file. Making me angry because its keeping me from doing much :(

+2 votes     reply to comment
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