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!

Post tutorial Report content 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.

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.


Tools used:

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


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.


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.)


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)


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.


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.


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.)


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

Post comment Comments  (50 - 71 of 71)
ToastKing Nov 27 2008 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
ZergLurker Feb 15 2009 replied:

i got something like that too... :(

+1 vote     reply to comment
fireblizzard May 19 2009 says:

I keep getting an error with WinMPQ it says

Can't load (or register) custom control: 'MSCOMCTL.OCX'

Anyone know how to fix this ?_?

+1 vote     reply to comment
SlayTek Sep 13 2009 says:

I cant save the units.dat after i did what your wrote
This error pops up
Access violation at address 0055D02C in module "Excal.dll". Write of address 00000014.
plz help
other wise great tut

+1 vote     reply to comment
SlayTek Sep 14 2009 says:

nothing happens at all that i edit
do you haft extract everithing with .dat files or what

+1 vote     reply to comment
chaosbib Jan 8 2010 says:

Hey thanks
i really want to know how to edit the units..
I will edit now!
I will go starcraft in Halo..
Black2White i continue your dreams

+1 vote     reply to comment
joamix Jan 15 2010 says:

I have done everything that the tutorial said but when i try to start the .exe file nothing happens. I use windows 7 and have every file i need to make these programs to work but still nothings happens when i try to start the mod, why won't it start?

+1 vote     reply to comment
udnas Jan 31 2010 says:

Hi... I done everything just like in the tutorial, but when I start the exe file it gets error with the message: Unable to locate the target to patch.
I don't understand what wrong I did, or maybe it's a problem of creating the exe file.... =\
Please help meeeee[dieing sounds]!!!....

+1 vote     reply to comment
Stickmakerflash May 17 2010 says:

bloody hell! when I run the mod I created (the self-executable one) it says " can't find Starcraft.exe to patch". Any answers?

+1 vote     reply to comment
iMicroFail_ Aug 23 2010 replied:

I have that problem too when using MPQDraft, now i usually use the one in DatEdit. It lets you find the Starcraft executable.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Beast_Duncan May 13 2011 says:

i want to know how to make the unit look difrent like a lurker with 3 legs and a body of a dropship, and how to make it spawn from building

+1 vote     reply to comment
Beast_Duncan May 13 2011 says:

ps: if anyh 1 can help me with the mod im making (war of the worlds mod) then u will be on the list of people who helped

+1 vote     reply to comment
happyshy Nov 1 2011 says:

I need help. I did what the tutorial says up to "open "Patch_rt.mpq"" but all that is there is (atrributes) and unknown\unknown_000... and no arr/units.dat. What am i doing wrong?

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

If you see a lot of unknowns, then you'll need a list file. I can't give you a direct link, but try Googling it.
After you get it, on WinMPQ, there should be an option to add listfiles, simply browse and add the listfile, and it should display the proper names.

+1 vote     reply to comment
HTLButcher Nov 30 2012 says:

I downloaded a list for mpq archives at zezula .com
How do I use it?

+1 vote     reply to comment
HTLButcher Dec 1 2012 says:

how can I create custom units with my own names, create csutom building attachments, and do so without modifying the normal units?

+2 votes     reply to comment
09xelat Feb 11 2014 says:

What I exactely need? Create my own MPQ-fie, or just replace "arr\units.dat" in "patch_rt.mpq"?

+1 vote     reply to comment
aslit May 14 2014 says:

hi, i edited my units and did as told here, i create and launch the mod, but none of the changes i made show (the game is the same as always)
any help?

+1 vote     reply to comment
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@@The@@ Apr 28 2015 says:

no me abre el WinMPQ tengo win8 pork no entra :v :(

+1 vote     reply to comment
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