Skip to content


Repository files navigation

The Brood War API {#BWAPI}

Build status


Project Information {#project}

Overview {#overview}

The Brood War Application Programming Interface (BWAPI) is a free and open source C++ framework that is used to interact with the popular Real Time Strategy (RTS) game Starcraft: Broodwar. Using BWAPI, students, researchers, and hobbyists can create Artificial Intelligence (AI) agents that play the game.

BWAPI only reveals the visible parts of the game state to AI modules by default. Information on units that have gone back into the fog of war is denied to the AI. This enables programmers to write competitive non-cheating AIs that must plan and operate under partial information conditions. BWAPI also denies user input by default, ensuring the user cannot take control of game units while the AI is playing. These defaults can be changed for flexibility, unless enforced by a Tournament Module (game referee for AI tournaments). Changed defaults will be advertised when the match begins.

Capabilities {#capability}

  • Write competitive AIs for Starcraft: Broodwar by controlling individual units.
  • Read all relevant aspects of the game state.
  • Analyze replays frame-by-frame, and extract trends, build orders, and common strategies.
  • Get comprehensive information on the unit types, upgrades, technologies, weapons, and more.
  • Study and research real-time AI algorithms in a robust commercial RTS environment.

Getting Started {#getting-started}

Quick Start {#quick-start}

  1. Installation
    1. Install Visual Studio 2017
    2. Install StarCraft: Brood War
    3. Update StarCraft: Brood War to 1.16.1
    4. Install BWAPI
  2. Compile
    1. Open ExampleProjects.sln in the BWAPI install directory
    2. Build the ExampleAIModule project in RELEASE mode
    3. Copy ExampleAIModule.dll to bwapi-data/AI inside the StarCraft install folder
  3. Run StarCraft through Chaoslauncher
    1. Run Chaoslauncher.exe as administrator
      • Chaoslauncher is found in Chaoslauncher directory of BWAPI install directory
    2. Check the BWAPI Injector x.x.x [RELEASE]
    3. Click Start
      • Make sure the version is set to Starcraft 1.16.1, not ICCup 1.16.1
  4. Run a game against Blizzard's AI
    1. Go to Single Player -> Expansion
    2. Select any user and click OK
    3. Click Play Custom, select a map, and start a game
  5. Run a game against yourself
    1. Run Chaoslauncher - MultiInstance.exe as administrator
    2. Start
      1. Go to Multiplayer -> Expansion -> Local PC
      2. Select any user and click OK
      3. Click Create Game, select a map, and click OK
    3. Start -- Uncheck BWAPI Injector x.x.x [RELEASE] to let a human play, leave alone to make AI play itself
      1. Go to Multiplayer -> Expansion -> Local PC
      2. Select any user and click OK
      3. Join the existing game created by the other client

Important Links & Contact Information {#contact}

Competitions {#competition}

Various venues host remote competitive AI competitions that allow developers from around the world to participate. These venues are often held annually and will sometimes offer prizes to the winners. It is also a great way to test your bot's capabilities.

Issues {#issues}

You may experience issues when working with BWAPI. Here are some steps you may want to follow in order to resolve them.

  1. Check the log files found in Starcraft/Errors/.
  2. Ask in the IRC channel if anyone has experienced your issue before.
  3. Check the Issue Tracker to see if your issue has already been reported.
  4. Submit an issue to the Issue Tracker. Some pieces of information to consider submitting are
  • Log files
  • Screenshots
  • Version or revision number
  • Operating System
  • Steps to reproduce the problem

Go to the Issue tracker

Legal {#legal}

Starcraft and Starcraft: Broodwar are trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment. BWAPI is a third party "hack" that violates the End User License Agreement (EULA). It is strongly recommended to purchase a legitimate copy of Starcraft: Broodwar from Blizzard Entertainment before using BWAPI.