Community blog for Starcraft 2 Philippines

Starcraft 2 Installer: Digital vs Physical?

Lylirra, a Blizzard blue, finally answered the questions about buying digital copy of the game compared to the physical copy. It appears that those who pre-ordered a physical copy definitely are allowed to download the digital copy so we can have the installer ready to run when we get home after getting the game. We just have to be “careful” so we actually download the client that is set for our region. Afterwards, we just need to activate our accounts with the key that comes from the box and we’re good to go.

See full Q&A after the cut:

Will there be unique codes for shipped games vs digital games?

Yes, both game client types (digital and physical) possess unique game activation methods.

If a player purchases the digital game client, the player will not receive a copy of the game activation key. Instead, the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty game license will be added to the purchasing account automatically. This is how World of Warcraft digital game clients function, as well.

If a player purchases the physical game client, the player will need to manually add the game activation key included in the boxed set to his or her account. By adding the game activation key, the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty game license will be added to the account.

What exactly is region specific for activation?

Game clients that are downloaded online or installed from the physical box set will only connect to the region for which they’re made. Therefore, in order for a player to log in and begin playing, both the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty game license and the installed game client must be from the same region. If the game license and the game client don’t match, the player will be unable to login.

For this reason, we do not recommend using the early digital download option if you’re also purchasing the physical game client, as the risk of ending up with a game client that doesn’t match your game license is much higher. Please also note that the time saved by unlocking and installing the digital download is negligible when compared to the time required to install the game using the physical DVD.

Will I be able to use my shipped SC2 activation code on the digital installer?

Once the game activation key is added to your account and your game license is active, the option to download the client online will become available.

Please keep in mind, though, that if you try to download the game client early via the digital download option, you will want to make sure that the region of the game client you’re downloading matches the region of the game license that will be shipped to you later on. If your game license region doesn’t match the downloaded client’s region, you will not be able to login.

To clarify further, if a player purchased the North American version of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty from a store on July 27, he or she would need to ensure that the digital game client downloaded is also from the appropriate region (in this example, from North America). Otherwise, that player would be unable to login until the North American game client is installed.

Are there any differences between a physical copy of the game and a digital downlaod?

I saw this question elsewhere, and thought it was worth answering here.

There are no differences in what each version of the game provides. All the files are exactly the same, but you obviously don’t get the box, DVD, or manual.

Is the activation code tied to its game client region, or is it just the game client that is region specific?, and if so, which is the key for matching it with your account region?

Game activation keys, game licenses, and game clients are all region-specific. As noted above, if your game license and installed game client regions don’t match, you won’t be able to login.

If the country associated with your account (viewable in Account Management: is accurate, you should be directed to the correct regional download when visiting this page:

If you have already purchased a physical copy of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, but still wish to download early, you will need to make sure that the regional download matches the region for the physical game you purchased.


One response

  1. Antonio


    I have a question,

    I live in Europe, but all my friends are in US. Can I buy the online version anyway or do you think I will have problems while installing it?.


    January 22, 2011 at 10:39 pm

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