Offline Play Doesn't Work in Starcraft 2

I decided to test the "offline play" feature of Starcraft 2 (for the single player campaign); so I unplugged my network cable and launched the game.

I was met with the "Can't connect to Battle.Net" message and was asked if I wanted to play offline.  I clicked the "Play Offline" button and was taken to the login menu.

When I tried to login with my battle.net account name, I was met with a "You must log in to battle.net first and acitvate your game, then connect at least once with that account..." message.

This made no sense to me, as I'd already connected with the same account on two different computers and had their "cloud" functionality let me continue where I'd left off on the other computer.  So I know the connection they were talking about had already been made.

Turns out there is a defect in the product as of this writing, where you have to click "Play as Guest" while connected to the internet and click to activate one of the Guest accounts first to get offline play enabled (for both Guests and your battle.net account.)

Note, you don't have to actually start the campaign on the Guest account, but simply getting to the in-game menu with that "profile" seems to activate the offline play ability.

So, to get the Starcraft 2 Offline Play enabled for the single player campaign:
  1. Launch Starcraft 2 with a working connection to the internet.
  2. At the login menu, click "Play as Guest"
  3. Click on one of the Guest profiles (I did Guest 1)
  4. Once in the menu that allows you to "Start Campaign", you can exit the game
  5. Disable your internet connection.
  6. Launch Starcraft 2 without internet
  7. Login with your battle.net account or Play as Guest (offline mode should be enabled now)
Now I don't know if you actually have to click into one of the Guest profiles, or if you can simply click "Play as Guest" and be good.  If someone has tried it without actually going into one of the Guest Profiles, please post a comment here to let everyone know.

I still wish Blizzard would give us LAN play without an internet connection... here's to wishful thinking!  It's a killer game otherwise... I'm loving the Single Player campaign.


Constantine said...

That was useful! I couldn't figure out what i was doing wrong!


That One Guy said...

You bet! It drove me nuts for a couple days too... took 2 of my friends and myself brainstorming ideas to finally trip on the solution.

Hopefully Blizzard patches it soon.

Caleb said...

Basically what the situation is that every time you restart your computer you have to do this.

So if you don't have a steady internet connection you CAN'T USE THE OFFLINE MODE. You can't play Starcraft single player AT ALL.

I mean Rob Pardo basically said that this would be an offline mode. But it isn't.

This is a mode that is great for someone who has a steady internet connection and can connect every time they restart their computer but this situation is not ideal for an offline mode.

That One Guy said...

@Caleb: Did you run into this situation? I tested this on my own computer with the network completely disconnected and it worked fine.

I guess I haven't tried it with a reboot. I'll try that later and post my findings.

If you have experienced this same problem, please add your comment and explain the exact steps to reproduce.

It sounds to me, if this is a true scenario, that it's a defect in the game, and not intentional by Blizzard.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still mad as ever that there is no LAN option as well, and I know that was intentional, but the Single Player offline mode was meant to be just that, minus being able to earn achievements (which again was intentional, and stupid in my opinion.)

But let's track down the cause of the Single Player offline mode not working and see if we can figure out workarounds or fixes until Blizzard makes it right.

Otherwise, please provide links to official statements where Blizzard states that it's just the way it is.


Moroni Granja said...

same thing happens here, this was the 1st place where i say it mentioned. I let my brother-in-laws play on guest mode, and since patch 1.0.3 came, i have to logon everyday to enable it again. Very annoying.

That One Guy said...

@Moroni Granja: That is annoying; especially considering the 1.0.3 patch was supposed to fix the offline issues.

I had a problem last night where I was playing Single Player while connected to the internet. My connection hiccuped, causing my battle.net connection to sever.

I paused the game, power-cycled my modem, then brought it back up. I then Alt-Tabbed out to the Windows desktop to ensure my connection was good again.

When I went back into the game, it never auto-reconnected to battle.net; I had to quit to the main menu and let it reconnect there... then I could resume the Campaign again.

Major annoyance... DRM must die!

Anonymous said...

Hi I have recently baught Starcraft II and have had a similar issue. I can get the game to work just fine once I log into the game. Then I can even get the offline mode to work, as long as I don't reboot. As soon as I reboot my computer, I have to go back a log back into the battlenet. Here is the scenario. I log into batel net and get the account going. Then I log on to the offline mode. After that I disconnect from the internet and try to play the game again. I can then play the offline mode no problem. But then I go and shut my computer down,before I go to work and when I go to play the game again? Nothing. I am unable to play the offline mode. I get this error that says I need to have an active account. This is really annoying. If anyone hears anything about how to fix this please email me at Jon_5121@hotmail.com thanks.

Anonymous said...

what a complicated way to play offline! i think blizzard has tried to protect its copyright (unsuccessfully, at that) at the expense of those of us who paid good money to buy the authentic version only to find out we can't play the stupid offline game... starcraft 2 offline is dishonest advertising in my book...

Unknown said...

Is it still illegal to get a pirated copy of a game if you paid for the authentic version?

I may do just that so that I can have a complete game and actually play offline

Andrew said...

This worked perfectly! Thank you so much for posting this! I love you! Now I can play without internet! Uber props! Andrew

Anonymous said...

I've been successfully playing Starcraft 2 offline for over a month now in Afghanistan since we can't connect our personal computers to the internet over here. Everything worked fine through shutdowns and reboots until 2 days ago. Now it brings up that annoying message of having to connect to Battle.net to enable offline mode. I've already done that and have saved games and a Character on my computer! I've even tried to launch from the saved game file, and still won't work...How is it that offline mode worked for over a month, and now all of a sudden it doesn't work at all? I'm so pissed off I have to go another 6 months of deployment looking at the application icon with saved games on hand and can't play! Blizzard lied about offline play! I hate the fact I spent $50.00 on a game I can't even use until I'm back in the states again.

That One Guy said...

@Anonymous (in Afghanistan):
Your plight is another huge reason I'm against DRM. Everyone knows it doesn't stop the pirates/hackers; in fact, it encourages the hackers.

They all still get their "free" game, and we paying customers that like to support the companies who bring us gaming goodness get the shaft.

Your comment makes me wonder if Offline Mode is time-bombed. Do you know how long it was between the time you last connected your game to Battle.Net and the time Offline play stopped working?