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Bugs

From Liquipedia StarCraft Brood War Wiki

"A software bug is the common term used to describe an error, flaw, mistake, failure, or fault in a computer program or system that produces an incorrect or unexpected result, or causes it to behave in unintended ways." - Wikipedia.org[1]

Brood War was full of bugs and still has many in its code. Blizzard reacted to the most important ones and fixed plenty of them in their patches. A full log of changes and the history can be seen in the Patchnotes. Some of the bugs were included into the Metagame,some of them are used to create maps with special features, like Fortress - others are strictly prohibited and banned from many leagues. A list of illegal bugs can in the Competitive Rules article.


This page is a collection of tricks, glitches and exploits that mainly relate to surprising or unintuitive bugs/glitches of the game engine. It is not so much intended to collect advice about normal game mechanics / sophisticated techniques for good unit control that exploit the idiosyncrasies of particular unit types/commands, because whole guides have been written about those, but there is some overlap. Be warned that some of these tricks and glitches can be illegal in some tournaments (exploits are always illegal). Most sections state whether it is generally considered legal or illegal in (non-UMS) competitive rules.
The icon next to the title means the race that can perform it.

Tricks[edit]

A trick is a game mechanic that has been used (or abused) in an unintended manner.

Allied Mines Terran[edit]

Illegal. A Terran player places Spider Mines and proceeds to ally the opponent player. When the opponent moves his army over the mines, the player then unallies the opponent. The mines then acquire enemy targets as intended.

Manner Pylon Protoss[edit]

Legal. A player constructs a Pylon or other structure in the enemy's mineral line to prevent smooth flow of resources and potentially trap some workers, slowing down the opponent's economy. Example clip here.

More info in the liquipedia article: Manner Pylon.

Drops to Defuse Mines[edit]

Legal. A player uses a transport to unload units above a Spider Mine field. The single unit will attract all nearby mines and the splash damage will kill all the other mines or units that may be nearby. It is possible to load the unit as the mines explode to avoid taking damage while still accomplishing the purpose. Mines can also be repeatedly dragged by repeatedly dropping & loading a unit. Example clip here.

Crushing Interceptors Terran[edit]

Legal. When a Terran building lands over an Interceptor, the Interceptor will be destroyed. This was overlooked but not necessarily a glitch since the Interceptor meets all the "getting crushed" requirements. Despite Blizzard knowing this for a long time, it has remained in the game.

Crushing Tanks or Burrowing Units or Medics Terran[edit]

Note: crushing interceptors is covered in #Crushing Interceptors. When a Terran building lands on a unit such as a tank that is sieging, or a lurker or other Zerg unit that is burrowing, or a medic that is being placed on hold position, the unit will be destroyed (rather than being pushed out of the way). This occurred in older versions in some cases, but it's unclear whether it happens in version 1.16.1 for any units apart from interceptors. Old forum thread about it in old versions here.

Using Unavailable Commands[edit]

Legal. A player can not use Hold Position on worker units normally, but when selected in a group this can be done. A glitch can also enable Terran Flying Buildings to patrol, and some other things like #Larva Trick.

Larva Trick Zerg[edit]

Legal. If you select a Larva or Larvae, then shift-select them together with other unit(s) (usually just an Overlord), then press stop, your Larvae will immediately move to the left side of your Hatchery. This is useful if you want to make a drone with the Larvae to gather minerals but don't have enough minerals or supply yet and the base's mineral patches are mostly located toward the left of the Hatchery, since the larva will end up closer to the minerals when you start to morph a drone. For more info, see Larva Trick.

Stacking Air Units[edit]

Legal. When a group of air units are selected and moved, they normally move to a location relative to its current location, instead of stacked at the same target location. When another unit is selected in the group (from far away), this behavior is nullified and the units then move to the exact position clicked by the mouse cursor.

The first part of the following video is a more comprehensive analysis of air stacking techniques, including the magic box technique for stacking mutalisks using an overlord, latency of patrol vs hold position vs stop vs attack, scourge periodically adjusting course vs mutalisks and the chinese triangle technique for mutalisks vs scourge:

Lurker Stacking Zerg[edit]

Legal. Burrowing Lurkers on top of one another to attack as one. Burrow each lurker on top of each other one by one by moving onto the previous burrowed lurker, repeat as necessary. It is best used in combination with 'Hold Lurker' for ambushes or on top of ramps/cliffs.

Bypassing Zerg Supply Zerg[edit]

Legal. When a Zerg Drone constructs an Extractor or other structure, the supply count will decrease, enabling the creation of more units. The player can then cancel the structures to retrieve their drones, bypassing the maximum supply, but only a proportion of the spent resources are refunded. If used with extractor(s), it's called the "extractor trick" (which always costs exactly 13 minerals overall).

Extractor Trick to Drop Minerals/Gas Zerg[edit]

Legal. If a drone that is holding minerals or gas starts morphing an extractor then cancels the morph, whatever it was holding will be gone. This can be useful in some cases to clear a mineral patch or simply waste your opponent's resources. Note that morphing and cancelling an extractor costs exactly 13 minerals overall. Example clip here.

Drone Heal via Extractor Zerg[edit]

Legal. A drone that is not at full hitpoints can be returned to full hitpoints by making the drone start to morph an extractor then cancel the morph. Example clip here.

Hopping/Pushing[edit]

Legal. A unit can be "pushed" to hop over obstacles using several different mechanics. This can be abused to hop over obstacles such as walls.

  1. Using Workers - In any match up, a worker can be used in conjunction with any unit to push it through minerals. The unit that wants to be pressed through should move towards the minerals, and once it is in position, a worker unit should be told to mine the minerals, and once it is over the unit that wants to be pressed through, the worker should be told to stop mining. Since two units are on top of each other, the units will try to separate themselves. During this process, the player should constantly tell the units to move past the minerals.
  2. Using Buildings
    1. A Protoss player can glitch a probe through minerals by having a probe mine minerals, then building a pylon that will cause the probe to jump past the minerals. Then the pylon will be cancelled to save money. Example clip here.
    2. If a production building is built next to a cliff or wall and surrounded by buildings and units, units produced by the production building may be created on the other side of the cliff/wall. Example clip here and a TL thread here.
    3. If a Terran player builds near cliffs, the SCV could be pushed down or up a cliff when it was ordered to stop building.
  3. Using Landing Terran Buildings - Landing a Terran building then moving units beneath it before it finished landing. This trick was used by NaDa at BlizzCon 2005 against Yellow and gained him a spot in Pimpest Plays 2005.
  4. Using Add-ons - Simply have a Factory, Starport or Science Facility in place as shown in the picture. Place a unit close to the minerals and on the spot where the add-on will be. Place the add-on and simply right-click the unit past the Mineral Line.
  5. Using Burrow - This trick does not require a worker unit or minerals. It can only be done by Zerg. Tell two units to burrow on top of each other next to the area where they should be pressed through. Then, tell both units to unburrow at the same time, and constantly tell both units to move past the obstruction.
  6. Using Spells - When vultures lay mines they can be pushed through buildings. Example clip here.
  7. Special tricks to get vulture or archon through diagonally-placed pylons - Either spam right-click, or send your vulture or archon in between the pylon gap so that it looks like it's already on the other side, then use a single Stop command (or spam H and S (hold and stop)). For more info see TL thread here.

More detailed instructions here:

Teleport Drone over a Morphing Building Zerg[edit]

Legal. You can teleport your drone over a morphing building to morph an extractor by spam-clicking on the building to move next to it then order the drone to morph the extractor. Example clip here.

Mineral Walk[edit]

Legal. This trick is constantly used by all players. It is basically telling workers to mine a mineral patch or vespene geyser. They will then proceed to walk past all units until told to stop, then will un-stack immediately and push surrounding units away.
This is one of the examples of bugs influencing the way the game is played. Specifically, a worker sent to mine a mineral patch in vision of any kind of unit will simply move through any obstacle, such as blocking buildings and units. If a moving stack of workers gets a stop/attack/hold command they will un-stack immediately and push surrounding units away. Maneuvers using Mineral Walk are legal, such as Worker drill which you can use to break the entrance of an opponent's base that's being blocked by units (e.g. use your SCVs to push away stasised units from ramps), or to block incoming army masses in 2on2. It is strictly illegal if the workers remain permanently stacked while attacking, in which case it is not Mineral Walk - it is the #Stacking Workers exploit.

Spider Mine Trick Terran[edit]

Legal. If you have really fast reaction time, you can give a command to place the second spider mine somewhere beneath the first one, on which cast the vulture will most of the time change its path. For more info see TL thread here.

Burrow Lurkers Faster Zerg[edit]

Legal. If a lurker or lurkers are moving and you want them to burrow, it is faster to press "stop" or "hold position" before you burrow, to avoid the time decelerating. TL thread here. Also, because the lurkers automatically turn to face a South-East direction before burrowing, it is even faster if you turn them to face South-East via a "patrol" or "move" command before you press "stop" or "hold position" then burrow. Then, as a lurker is burrowing, you can spam attack move orders to make it attack a little earlier than letting it acquire a target on its own.

Extra Larva when Lair Finishes Zerg[edit]

Legal. When a lair finishes, it resets its larva spawn timer. If a larva spawns just before the lair finishes, when the lair finishes you'll have two larvae. Example clip here and an instructions & advice how to time it here. Paraphrasing Cadenzie's instructions: there are a lot of different ways to do it. You can memorize all the different times on the clock that the larva usually spawns, e.g. if you start your lair at 3:02, that is a good timer. Another way is to wait until a larva spawns, then select a drone and morph an extractor, then continue normally and make three drones gather gas as soon as the extractor finishes, then morph the lair as soon as you have 100 gas.

Return Cargo when Transferring Workers[edit]

Legal. Workers will always mine from the patch you tell them to. But if they already have cargo, pressing "c" will force them to bring minerals to the closest nexus/CC/hatchery/lair/hive and then continue with your instructions. So when you are transferring workers to a new base, press "c" immediately after telling them to transfer, and the ones with cargo will drop it off first. E.g. select 12 workers at base A then right-click a mineral patch at base B then immediately press "c". TL thread here.

Re-scout with Worker through Wall without Cheating[edit]

Legal. Paraphrasing the TL thread here: Scout with your first worker or overlord into the enemy base. Once you are about to lose vision of the enemy base's minerals you do this: take another worker and queue him in an area where enemy doesn't scout and wont interrupt this worker. Queue movements back and forth in that area for however long you want to wait for your 2nd scout to scout enemy base again. Once you've queued move orders enough you finish with a shift-right-click on a mineral patch inside enemy base (this has to be done before vision is lost of the minerals). You now have a timed 2nd scout which can walk through a walled ramp. The only thing you need to figure out is at what time you want your 2nd scout, and test this map specifically how many queues of random movement in said corner you need before it proceeds to the enemy base's minerals. This would seem like a hack from enemy point of view as you wont have vision of the mineral patch for a long time, but seeing as your 2nd scout NEVER touches a gas for the gas bug it would be obvious from replay you aren't cheating.
Also, similarly, rather than using a 2nd worker to scout, if you currently have vision of the enemy base's minerals but your worker needs to leave the enemy base (e.g. because a dragoon is about to finish and start attacking your worker), you can command it to move out of the enemy base and queue movement commands to an area where enemy doesn't scout and wont interrupt this worker (preferably in big circles so if anything chases it, it will be less likely to be caught and killed), then finish with a shift-right-click on a mineral patch inside enemy base (this has to be done before vision of the minerals is lost).

Clustered Recall or Total Recall Protoss[edit]

You can use archon fusing or probe & mineral then spamming patrol to make the units cluster together in a small area, then recall them to recall about 2-3 times the usual army size. For more info, see here. An example clip in a KSL pro game that the user Movie won against Sharp is here.

Lifted Buildings or Air Units to Prevent Targeting Under Them[edit]

Legal. When you click on a pixel to target a unit, Brood War only allows you to target the top-most unit if there are multiple units there (e.g. an air unit above a ground unit). Consequently, units that are fully obscured by other units above them can not be targeted (unless using BWAPI). You can use e.g. a lifted building above spider mines (example clip here), or an overlord to avoid a defiler or lurker being irradiated. However, it also means that you can not select the unit(s) underneath unless they are already grouped or are selectable using Ctrl+click or Alt+click on other units (or using BWAPI).
Also, units may auto-acquire attack targets even if they are unreachable because the path is completely blocked by other units. Consequently, you may be able to help avoid ramps & narrow chokes from being attacked by enemy ground melee units by placing low-priority ground unit(s) such as SCVs in front with higher-priority ground unit(s) adjacent behind them (e.g. marines or siege tanks) and leave a flying building or overlord(s) or other air units above the lower-priority ground unit(s). The lower-priority ground unit(s) will not be auto-acquired as an attack target if the higher-priority ground unit(s) are seen and close enough, and the lower-priority ground unit(s) can not be manually targeted because they can't be clicked on to target them (unless the opponent is using BWAPI). The opponent may need to attack using air units or ranged units instead of ground melee units. Example clip here.

Nuclear Strike on Air Unit to Hide Red Dot Terran[edit]

Legal. Because Brood War displays the red dot of a Nuclear Strike on the ground even if there are air units above it, if you target an air unit with Nuclear Strike, the red dot may be hidden underneath it, making it hard to spot (unless the opponent is using BWAPI) unless the air unit moves. Example clip here.

Exploding Critters in Single-Player Mode[edit]

(Legal). This is not really a trick or glitch - just something fun. You may already know that if you repeatedly click on a unit, it starts to say some funny things. What you may not know is that in single-player mode, if you click a critter 30 times, it will explode! It will not damage anything around it though.

Glitches[edit]

Also known as a game bug, it is a situation or event that the game's programming clearly did not account for and is usually unintended.

Stacking Workers[edit]

Illegal. Also called "Gas Walk" or "Gas Trick" or "SCV Stack". This glitch enables worker units to remain permanently stacked while moving and attacking. Shift-clicking on gas near opponent’s blocked entrance enables them to slide through any possible unit or building wall. With a combination of move, patrol and gather commands a player can stack up to twelve workers permanently and move them around. Even with an attack command those workers will not un-stack. Normally, workers can only remain stacked when traveling between minerals; with this however it's not the case.

Cargo Glitch[edit]

Illegal unless you're using it to defend your mineral line. This glitch enables worker units to be pressed through any obstacle by repeatedly press "return cargo" (hotkey "c").

Plague on Interceptor Zerg[edit]

Legal. When an Interceptor is plagued and damaged, it will return to the Carrier to repair itself. Once the interceptor receives its one-time repair, the plague causes damage, and the damaged interceptor will "leave and return" to the carrier in the same frame. Since the repair only occurs when an interceptor from outside enters the Carrier, it becomes stuck in an infinite loop, attempted to return to the Carrier even though it did not completely exit.

Unlimited Attack Range Glitch[edit]

Legal. If a unit is in its pre-attack animation, attacking a non-combat unit through automatic target acquisition, then if an enemy unit attacks your unit or a unit nearby to your unit, your unit will acquire it as a target from an unlimited range. For example, if a Sunken colony changes its target before ending the "pre-attack" sequence it doesn't check the range. For more info see TL thread here.

This phenomenon is not limited to the Sunken Colony. Any type of unit can have infinite range (possibly except the Lurker and Firebat), because of the existence of the interrupt without range checking. The only reason why the Sunken Colony is special is because it fires its pre-attack sequence every single time it attacks and that the sequence is quite long. The pre-attack sequence is the window in which the interrupt must occur.
This theory also explains the well-known "Zealot killing two marines in one attack" behavior (see TL thread here). Basically, the Zealot has a pre-attack sequence before each of its "blades", which are one frame long. What happened was that the first Zealot blade killed the first marine, and during the pre-attack sequence for the second blade, the second marine attacked it, causing the Zealot to change target without checking range, and thereby killing the second marine. I believe that the fact that the first marine was a combat unit doesn't matter because dead unit = non-combat unit.
This bug can also enable a unit to attack a target that is within its minimum range, e.g. a sieged tank attacking adjacent enemy units, e.g.:

Disable Missile Turret Protoss[edit]

Legal. Also called "Observer Over Turret". When a turret targets an air unit at the exact same position, the turret may be unable to reach the angle needed to fire missiles and get stuck. This is usually achieved by placing an Observer over an under construction Missile Turret and holding the position. Example clip here. The owner of the turret can press Stop until the head of the turret faces north. The attack angle requirement will be met and the turret will continue to fire.

Hold Lurker Zerg[edit]

Legal. Lurkers can be hindered from attacking permanently. This can be done with two different ways: the lurkers are ordered to attack a structure under the fog of war or get a hold position command when grouped with an overlord. Even if units come into range the lurkers will not attack. This trick was illegal for a long time, but was allowed again because a player can also spam the "stop" command for the same result. Example clip here.
More info in the liquipedia article: Hold Lurker.

Faster Units[edit]

Legal. When two units with a speed upgrade (or stimmed Terran infantry) collide when trying to pass each other, they will sometimes pass the other in the same direction or both have "jetpack"-like movement Northwards, leading them all the way to the edge of the map or until they hit something. This is abnormal because they are twice as fast as they would be if they just moved there normally. This is mostly seen with Zerglings, Hydralisks, and Zealots. An example clip for zealots here.

Medic Hold can't be Pushed Terran[edit]

When a Medic uses Hold Position, the medic will not move from its location, even if they are stacked or pushed by other units. You could order a structure to land, move a Medic under it, and order that Medic to Hold Position. It will never be pushed out.

Recall Glitch Protoss[edit]

Illegal. Recall has a very special property which nullifies some unit proximity checks for a single frame if the exit is blocked. This can cause various side effects such as:

  • Worker units will gather or return a resource from anywhere on the map.
  • Units can completely recharge their shields from anywhere on the map (when moving to a Shield Battery).
  • A SCV's terrain collision will be disabled when moving to finish construction on a structure.
  • Queens will teleport to infest a Command Center.

Cloak Burrowable Units[edit]

For this glitch, you need an Arbiter and any burrowing Zerg units. Set the Arbiter on patrol over a short area back and forth over where the units are cloaked and away to a point where they uncloak. Now, burrow the units uncloaked. Wait until the Arbiter comes to the point where the units would just be cloaking and unburrow. These units should stay cloaked permanently, unless you bring them back near the Arbiter or if you burrow and unburrow them again.

Build Cloaked Zerg Buildings[edit]

You must first use the Cloak Burrowable Units glitch on a drone. Then, simply use the drone to build a building. This works for all buildings EXCEPT: Hatcheries, Creep Colonies, and Extractors.

Selection Glitch[edit]

This is a precursor to several other glitches. It enables you to control units with a different unit selected. For example, you can have a ghost selected, but when you order it to move, it moves a wraith. The two units (or groups of units) involved are determined by you. In the following steps, source unit refers to the unit you will have selected, and target unit is the unit that you will actually be controlling.

  1. Select source(selected) unit
  2. Save to hotkey 1
  3. Select target(controlled) unit
  4. Save to hotkey 1 and recall hotkey 1 within 4 frames (or whatever your network frame delay happens to be).

This can be used for several other glitches. Note that this glitch was accidentally patched in BWAPI. It is used to perform commands that are normally only possible through exploits, and restricted in BWAPI.

Unlimited Flag Beacon Placements[edit]

Use the selection glitch with two flag beacons of the same type, and you can place (and replace) one of them an infinite number of times (or until the flag spawn timer runs out).

Enemy Rally Point Changer[edit]

Use the selection glitch with one of your factories selected, and the enemy factory controlled. Then set a rally point. Your enemy's rally point will change. Note that the enemy's structure doesn't get hotkeyed, but this doesn't matter since it was the last selection you made.

Infinite Unburrow Zerg[edit]

Use the selection glitch with one of your burrowed units selected, and one or more unburrowed lurkers controlled. You can issue the unburrow order and the lurkers will play the unburrow animation, even when already unburrowed.

Destroy Warping Protoss Building to Find Enemy Location Protoss[edit]

This makes use of the selection glitch. It works with any Protoss building (not just Pylon), but a Pylon is easiest to abuse because it is cheap, fast and has no psi requirement. To do it, start warping a Pylon, then when the Pylon is nearly finished warping, attack it with Probe and then cancel it. You canceled the Pylon, but in the user interface you still have the Pylon selected. Once the opponent starts making something, you can click the portrait or Ctrl+C to center that unit of your screen, which indicates the location of their unit, and potentially the location of their base (avoiding the need to scout them). TL thread here.

Half-Priced Archons Protoss[edit]

This uses the selection glitch. You can create a real archon using a real HT and a hallucinated HT, and can do this for multiple pairs at once. To do it:

  1. Create hallucinated high templars.
  2. For all pairs of units where each pair consists of a real high templar and a hallucination, move units so that the real high templar that you want to merge is next to a hallucination that you want to merge.
  3. Create a control group containing the real high templars that you want to merge.
  4. Select all the high templars that you want to merge (hallucinations and real).
  5. In rapid succession, set the same control group then select the control group then press merge (i.e "ctrl + 1, 1, r").

For more information, see TL thread here and Twitch clips here and here.

Goon Stop[edit]

(Legal). This bug occurs most often with dragoons but also appears from time to time with any non-air ranged unit. When a player tries to move and shoot micro and spams too many commands, the units will stop and wont react to any other orders until given the "stop" command.

Stuck Units[edit]

(Legal). This bug occurs most often with zerglings, hydralisks and zealots but also appears from time to time with any non-air unit. If a unit is about to start an attack animation when the target unit moves out of range, the unit will stop and wont move or react to any other orders except changing the direction it is facing, until given the "stop" command.

Spawn Broodling on Merging Templar or Morphing Drone Zerg[edit]

Legal. Normally, archons and dark archons and buildings are immune to spawn broodling. However, if you use spawn broodling on a high templar or dark templar, and then it merges into an archon or dark archon while the broodling projectile is in the air, then the entire archon or dark archon will die and spawn 2 broodlings. It works exactly the same if you use spawn broodling on a drone that then morphs into a building (the morphing building dies, you get broodlings). Thread here.

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Steal a Nuclear Silo containing an Armed Nuke Terran[edit]

Legal. Stealing an enemy nuclear silo containing an armed nuke still makes the enemy pay for the supply until you use it! Thread here.

Infest Command Center using Queen Hallucination Protoss[edit]

Not useful in 1v1 games except on special maps that have e.g. neutral command centers, because three races are involved. In order to do this, you need a high templar, a queen (e.g. by using a dark archon to mind control a queen), and a unit that can attack (e.g. a probe or drone). To do it, damage the command center to below half health, hallucinate the queen, select a queen hallucination together with the attacking unit, and command them to attack the command center. The command center will be infested even though the queen is only a hallucination, and the hallucinated queen is still available for use after it has infested the command center. Instructional video here.

Drone Stuck Making Extractor Protoss[edit]

If maelstrom is cast on a drone as it is about to morph an extractor, then another drone morphs an extractor, when maelstrom wears off, the original drone will remain stuck on the extractor (because it is still trying to morph an extractor) and doesn't respond to commands. Even if e.g. recall is used to move the drone, it still won't respond to commands. If another maelstrom is used on the drone, it will float directly back to the extractor. If the extractor is destroyed and the original drone eventually has the necessary conditions to make an extractor in its place, the drone will go under the geyser and needs e.g. splash damage to be destroyed. Instructional video here.

Map Edge Bug[edit]

A bug where if a unit (e.g. SCV) is in the extreme top right of the map and a battlecruiser is on top of it, the battlecruiser will not damage the SCV when attacking it because Brood War thinks it is off the edge of the map. Instructional video here.

Siege-SCV Bug Terran[edit]

(Legal). When a tank was sieged in between harvesting workers it exploded.

Vortex Bug[edit]

(Legal). A bug that can happen at certain location(s) on certain maps, typically on or near a ramp (a "ramp vortex"), where units overlap and get stuck at the location.

Sprite Limit[edit]

(Legal). Brood War restricts the number of sprites that are displayed concurrently. A common example is that valkyries may stop launching missiles if there are too many units on the screen such as interceptors from mass carriers. It affects any unit with a sprite attack such as valkyries, dragoons, battlecruisers, and even some regular units when the sprite limit is reached. It may happen a lot in some UMS maps that have large numbers of units.

Shooting Uphill Without Vision[edit]

Paraphrasing the TL thread here, due to faulty/haphazardly constructed cliff tiles (particularly in the Brood War tilesets Desert, Ice and Twilight) and doodads (including the vast majority of the new ramps introduced by Blizzard in patch 1.22!), units may be able to shoot uphill without vision of the target, from certain locations on certain maps. Example clip here.

Plague and Ensnare on Drone that Morphs Zerg[edit]

Legal. Plague and Ensnare will persist from a drone onto a building it morphs into. Thread here.

Plague on Geyser Zerg[edit]

Legal. A useless glitch (aesthetic only). Plague a refinery, assimilator, or extractor and kill it. The geyser will now be plagued itself.

Stasis Skin on Archon or Dark Archon Protoss[edit]

Legal. A useless glitch (aesthetic only). If you cast stasis on an Archon or Dark Archon just as it finishes merging, after the stasis effect wears off, it can be commanded as usual, but the stasis skin (graphic) will remain. Instructional video here.

Exploits[edit]

An exploit is a glitch that must be performed intentionally (it cannot happen by accident). It is usually initiated using a hack to execute actions that are not available to the human user interface.

Sliding Terran Buildings Terran[edit]

Illegal. The player lands a Terran building, and it moves ("slides") while on the ground to another destination without needing to Lift Off (for example, sliding a Command Center closer to minerals than normal).
To perform, lift off the CC and order it to land on a valid location, then hold shift and press S followed by a right-click on the location you want it to slide to. The CC stops sliding if colliding with any solid material.
Only works on version 1.04 and lower.

Forward Nexus Protoss[edit]

Illegal. Protoss Players could build a Nexus very close to minerals/gas. For that a probe had to be blinded by an optical flare. The probe's vision range was limited along with the standard forbidden space between minerals and Nexus. The same trick worked on Drones and SCVs in a similar way; the only difference was that SCVs/Drones could only leap one hex-field between building and resources.
Only works in old versions.

Tank Under Landed Building Terran[edit]

Illegal. A few patches ago, Blizzard had "fixed" the tank under a building bug. However, little know that it is possible when sieged EXACTLY as the Building becomes registered as a ground unit.

Train Units in the Air Terran[edit]

Illegal. The player trains a unit and lifts off in the same frame. The lifted building retains the unit in the queue. When ordered to land, the unit starts being constructed. When right clicking as the building is landed, the building will lift off once more while still constructing the unit (which will be created where the building lifted off from). This enables, for example, a player to land a Factory in the opponent's base and construct a Siege Tank without needing to build a Machine Shop.

Flying Ground Units[edit]

Illegal. Glitches enable ground units such as drones (example clip here) and SCVs (instructional video in Korean here) and templar to act like air units. This essentially means that workers can mine and take island expansions without drop tech and templar can storm worker lines without the use of shuttles.

Controlling a Nuke[edit]

Illegal. A.K.A. "Godly Nuke", "Nuke Hack" or "Nuke Anywhere" or "Infinite Nuke Cheat on Top of Ladder. This exploit enables a player (with the assistance of an external program) to stop a Nuclear Missile from launching (or landing), and move it around like a regular unit. The player can then proceed to re-launch the nuke at any location on the map (without the need for vision or a nearby ghost). When the nuke lands and deals damage, the nuke death animation can be interrupted and the same nuke can be re-launched infinite times.

Flooding the Order Buffer[edit]

Illegal. The player sends commands (usually with the assistance of an external program) in such a way that they are queued in a ridiculous order, preventing any new orders from being executed. This causes all units to stop moving, as well as other major effects such as units unable to execute the "die" command, resulting in 0 hit point unkillable units, or the "cancel" command, but still being refunded the resources. Cancelling a Zerg Extractor will also refund several drones along with resources. Merged templar or merged dark templar may remain with the same graphic as when they were merging. A queen may teleport after infesting a command center. An instructional video in Korean that shows many of these effects without using an external program is here.

Liftoff Bug Terran[edit]

Illegal. Terran could stack his buildings via abusing the lift function. Whenever a building was lifted and given an order to build a unit/research an upgrade immediately after the first command the building seemed to actually produce something. In this state the building could be float to any direction (over land). If the order got canceled the building would land anywhere ignoring the standard conditions. If the command was canceled while landing the building got stuck in the position it had but still seemed to float.
Only works on version 1.09 and lower.

Otherwise Stacking Ground Units[edit]

This section is a catch-all section to cover miscellaneous tricks/glitches/exploits that involve stacking ground units (either temporarily or permanently, and either intentionally or unintentionally) that are not already covered by other sections like #Lurker Stacking, #Hopping/Pushing, #Mineral Walk, #Return Cargo when Transferring Workers, #Re-scout with Worker through Wall without Cheating, #Clustered Recall or Total Recall, #Stacking Workers, #Cargo Glitch, #Medic Hold can't be Pushed, #Recall Glitch, #Drone Stuck Making Extractor, #Vortex Bug, #Tank Under Landed Building, #Flying Ground Units, #Flooding the Order Buffer, #Liftoff Bug.
It is legal to stack burrowed units. It is legal to unburrow them, so long as they do not remain permanently stacked. It is legal for non-burrowed ground unit(s) to be on top of burrowed unit(s) or dropped on top of spider mine(s). Often, ground units may unintentionally become overlapped and continue colliding simply due to lack of walkable space around them to automatically become unstacked using the game engine's anti-collision movement logic. E.g. units produced from production buildings that are trapped in too small an area, or units may naturally become overlapped (hopefully only temporarily) while moving across the map. If partially-overlapping tanks or unburrowed units become sieged/burrowed they will remain partially overlapped - this may be unintentional/unplanned and may be understandable, especially if they siege/burrow as a reaction to seeing enemy units nearby, so the legality of this is a grey area. So long as you did not intentionally plan for units to originally overlap, and so long as reasonably timely attempts are made to clear walkable space to help them become unstuck (when not sieged and not burrowed etc), this is legal, but best avoided if you can. This is probably too hard to judge or code for in bot-vs-bot competitions though. For all other cases, by default, unless you hear otherwise, you should assume that stacking ground units is illegal, especially if the units remain stacked while attacking or remain permanently stacked. If in doubt, ask on the SSCAIT Discord. If it's a new type of trick/glitch/exploit, it could be added to this page.

Videos[edit]

See Also[edit]



Battle.net Bugs[edit]

The standard battle.net like USEast, USWest, Europe and so on feature special bugs. Those are not restricted on Brood War's battle.net but often show in other games as well. Some of the bugs do not occur in unofficial servers like ICCup's the Abyss, Brain-Clan or Fish-Server.

Date on MacOSX[edit]

When viewing a players profile (double click on name) the MacOS version viewed a bugged date.

1.09 Greeting[edit]

With the introduction of Patch 1.09 Battle.net had a bugged welcome-greeting when logging onto the servers.

Clones[edit]

When a player disced in pre-1.09b Patches and connected again shortly after a #2 tag was added to his nickname. He couldn't create a game with the same name he just disced from and could have conversation with himself; he would get the same answer he just whispered.

Ladder Maps[edit]

Ladder maps in open Battle.net needed to have official Blizzard maps. Therefore a filter checked the correct version. However some maps slipped through that filter with 1.09 Patch' introduction.

Answer Bug[edit]

When the /r command was introduced in Patch 1.16 a whisper that started with /w Rxxx answered the last person to whisper the user. This occurred for every target-whisper user that had a nickname starting with the letter R or having it on the second space. This caused a player using that command accidentally when actually typing in the "/friends whisper(message) text" command. The Patch 1.16.1 fixed this issue.

Graphical Bugs[edit]

A lot of graphical bugs occur in battle.net and PVPGN based servers.

Bots[edit]

Users logged in with a stealth bot had a special symbol behind their name. The stars or the ladder ranking disappeared.

Other Client Users[edit]

Battle.net hosted one server for many games: Diablo I & II, Warcraft II & III & TFT and StarCraft and SCBW. In SCBW battle.net Warcraft 3 users had the add-on @northrend (for Europe) to their nicknames. This was too long for the ordinary interface, thus the stars/ladder ranking disappeared.

Banners[edit]

When Alt-Tabbing in pre-Vista area the advertising banners' colours often got inverted along with other elements of the menu.

Win Vista/Win 7 Colors[edit]

Under Windows Vista and above the graphic elements are usually inverted. Furthermore especially Windows 7 caused a lot of graphics bugs while playing, eventually leading to crashes. A guide to fix this situation can be found in the Broodwar Forum. Also Blizzard offers a small Patch.

Replay Bugs[edit]

Game Pause Crash[edit]

When a game was paused a player that had a unit still selected could give orders in Patch 1.09. If those commands got spammed multiple times the replay couldn't be saved; additionally while trying to save the game the engine crashed.

Outdated versions[edit]

Replays saved with older engines can't be watched. Usually the games stop to work whenever a Zerg player starts to harvest gas. The units are still trained, but money keeps piling up and no other buildings are built. Older replays can only be watched via down-patching or with starting StarCraft via old executables. Sometimes non-Zerg replays can still be watched bug-free.

The version of a replay can usually be determined by using BWChart Replay Analyzing tool.

Even with old executables a replay can be screwed up when a third party software was used to play, such as Penguin Plug. In that case the version of the tool has to be started additionally.

Pause Bug[edit]

With the introduction of recorded chat in replays a replay could get bugged whenever the game was paused and the players wrote more than four to six sentences before the game got un-paused. The most launchers from unofficial servers (ICCup Launcher, Mini Launcher, Chaos Launcher) offer a tool called "replay fix" as work-around.

Fast Forward[edit]

Until Patch 1.11 the replay speed Fastest*16 was the same as Fastest*4, so the replay actually slowed down after Fastest*4. The *16 options also had a delay until it kicked in.

Game Bugs[edit]

Game Bugs are often connected to one another; some bugs got fixed and the fixes opened the doors for other bugs.

Forward Nexus[edit]

Protoss Players could build a Nexus very close to minerals/gas. For that a probe had to be blinded by an optical flare. The probe's vision range was limited along with the standard forbidden space between minerals and Nexus. The same trick worked on Drones and SCVs in a similar way; the only difference was that SCVs/Drones could only leap one hex-field between building and resources.


Command Center Slide[edit]

A Terran could slide his Command Center next to resources by pressing Shift+giving move commands to the place he wanted it to be while the Command Center was landing.


Liftoff Bug[edit]

Terran could stack his buildings via abusing the lift function in Pre-1.10 Patches. Whenever a building was lifted and given an order to build a unit/research an upgrade immediately after the first command the building seemed to actually produce something. In this state the building could be float to any direction (over land). If the order got canceled the building would land anywhere ignoring the standard conditions. If the command was canceled while landing the building got stuck in the position it had but still seemed to float.


Siege-SCV Bug[edit]

When a tank was sieged in between harvesting workers it exploded.


Zerg Stealth[edit]

When a Zerg Drone was mind controlled and burrowed the moment it entered the cloaking-range of an Arbiter the worker remained invisible for the entire time. If the worker was used to build facilities those were cloaked, too.

Mineral Walk[edit]

This is one of the examples of bugs influencing the way the game is played. A worker send to mine a mineral block in vision of any kind of unit will simply move through any obstacle, such as blocking buildings and units. In Pimpest Plays 2002 this move was used to break a defensive structure. If a moving stack of workers gets a stop/attack/hold command they will un-stack immediately and push surrounding units away. This kind of maneuver is allowed in most leagues for defensive purposes, like SCVs pushing away stasised units from ramps, or to block incoming army masses in 2on2. It is strictly prohibited for offensive measures.

An alternative is the SCV Stack, also prohibited in all leagues and ladders. With a combination of move, patrol and gather commands a Terran can stack up to twelve SCVs permanently and move them around. Even with an attack command those workers will not un-stack. In addition workers can only remain stacked when traveling between minerals; with this however it's not the case.


Units Pressed Through[edit]

In any match up, a player can glitch a unit through minerals through various methods:

  • Protoss Pylon Trick - A Protoss player can glitch a probe through minerals by having a probe mine minerals, then building a pylon that will cause the probe to jump past the minerals. Then the pylon will be cancelled to save money.
  • Worker Trick - In any match up, a worker can be used in conjunction with any unit to push it through minerals. The unit that wants to be pressed through should move towards the minerals, and once it is in position, a worker unit should be told to mine the minerals, and once it is over the unit that wants to be pressed through, the worker should be told to stop mining. Since two units are on top of each other, the units will try to separate themselves. During this process, the player should constantly tell the units to move past the minerals. This is a popular trick to counter

Pylon Prisons.

  • Burrow Trick - This trick does not require a worker unit or minerals. It can only be done by Zerg. Tell two units to burrow on top of each other next to the area where they should be pressed through. Then, tell both units to unburrow at the same time, and constantly tell both units to move past the obstruction.
  • Mine Jump - When vultures lay mines they can be pushed through buildings. It became popular through Pimpest Plays 2004 2nd Place featuring Boxer.

Observer over Turret[edit]

When a turret is being built a Protoss can move his observer directly over the turret. When the turret is finished it will not shoot at the observer but reveal it for other Terran units. It also stops rotating. The Terran can solve this problem by spamming the stop command on the turret; this needs a tough timing however, as the turret does not react every time to this. If the observer moves (due to fire) the turret will work again. The turret will also shoot on any other unit entering its radius; Terran could also attack one of his own buildings/units with a turret to solve the situation.

Flying Drone[edit]

In Pre-Patch 1.10 games a player could make his drones fly over any area including cliffs and water. When a drone had the command to build an extractor and got shift-moved to another spot it would fly whenever a) another drone was already build and extractor shortly before the soon-to-be-flying drone reached the gas and started to build and extractor or b) not enough minerals were available to execute the order.

A new version after Patch 1.10 was discovered: when a drone was surrounded and couldn't move, a player could give it orders to build a structure somewhere else. The drone started to move and their shadow "jumped" away. The drone could not move up cliffs or over water, but down cliffs.

Flying Templar[edit]

When two templars (high or dark templars) were given the order to merge a player could give them the order to stop with a shift-move command to another spot on the map. If the timing was correct the templars ignored any obstacles and could walk on cliffs and over water. It got fixed with Patch 1.10.

Infested Terrans[edit]

When Patch 1.13 was introduced the ability to train Infested Terrans disappeared from the menu, causing a lot of uproar in the community.[2]

Drone Build Bug[edit]

To fix the flying Drone bug Patch 1.10 did not allow players to give workers with a building command any other commands. If a player tried to do this anyway the drone would spin around and their shadow would darken. The building would not be built and the drone would idle at the spot it usually should build.

Rocking Drone Bug / Burrow Crash[edit]

A drone could build a rock. If a player used the burrow command when a drone was about to morph into a structure while viewing another spot on the map (if he would watch the drone burrow the game would crash = Burrow Crash Bug) a rock graphic appeared instead of the building. The drone disappeared. Other units could move under the rock or even buildings could be constructed on top of it.

Hold Lurker[edit]

Lurkers can be hindered from attacking permanently. This can be done with two different ways: the lurkers are ordered to attack a structure under the fog of war or get a hold position command when grouped with an overlord. Even if units come into range the lurkers will not attack.

This trick was long time forbidden, but was allowed again since a player could also spam the "stop" command for the same result.

Goon Stop[edit]

This bug occurs most often with dragoons but also appears from time to time with any non-air range unit. When a player tries to move and shoot micro and spams too much commands the units will stop and wont react to any other orders until given the "stop" command.

Landing Bug[edit]

When a Terran landed one of his structures on passing units they exploded. This worked especially on tanks moving in the landing area and sieging shortly before the structure finished the move.

The fix created another kind of glitch, similar to the mineral walk. When a building lands on top of units the units get pushed away from it enabling units to pass over mineral lines. This trick was used by NaDa at BlizzCon 2005 against Yellow and gained him a spot in Pimpest Plays 2005.

SCV Cliff Transfer[edit]

Whenever an SCV built near cliffs the SCV could be pushed down or up a cliff when it was ordered to stop to build.

Dead Pylon[edit]

In Pre 1.12 Patches Pylons could be finished but didn't develop a Psi-Radius around it. This often occurred when they pylon was selected to often shortly before finishing and lead to multiple losses for the harmed player. In many leagues this caused a lot of fights over whether a game had to repeated or not.

Plague on Interceptor[edit]

In Zerg vs. Protoss, if a Plague is cast on Interceptors, they will return to the carrier because the AI will believe that they need to be healed. Since the interceptors are constantly being damaged by plague for the duration of the spell, the interceptors that have been hit by plague will not come out of the carrier until they heal, some time after the spell dissipates.

German Starports[edit]

In the German version of StarCraft the hotkey for rally and train Vessel are the same.

References[edit]

Special thanks to Freezard, ZerGreenOne and Quatari for their work over the years on all of this!

https://www.starcraftai.com/wiki/Tricks,_Glitches_and_Exploits

https://kb.speeddemosarchive.com/StarCraft/Game_Mechanics_and_Glitches