Running the StarCraft AI Bots

Running Bots

Running the AIIDE 2010 bots is a bit complicated, but it is possible to run and play against all of the bots in the competion. Note that in order to play against a bot, multiple (optionally virtual) machines are needed. These instructions assume you are familiar with setting up a BWAPI bot, which requires StarCraft, Chaos Launcher, and BWAPI.

  1. Download the bots. All of the bots are included in the following zip files. Both part1 and part2 and needed for extraction. Total file size is around 100 MB.
  2. Extraction the contents of the zip files. The directory will contain a directory for each of the bots as well  as the file: bots.txt 
  3. Decide which bot you want to play against. I'll refer to  it as  X. Bots may include a readme file with additional instructions.
  4. Find the bot's listing in bots.txt. This file lists the name, race, and BWAPI version of each bots. It also specifies if a remote process is reqiured by the bot.
  5. Find the BWAPI version needed by the bot and set up your StarCraft environment for this version. Note: some bots use deprecated versions.
  6. Get the maps for the tournament mode you want to play. Noted here as N.
  7. Copy the contents of bot-X/tournamentN to starcraft/bwapi-data/AI . Usually this consists of moving a single file: ExampleAIModule.dll
  8. If the bot requires a remote process, such as Overmind,  start the batch file (e.g. bot-Overmind/remote/run.bat)
  9. Run StarCraft and start up a multiplater game
  10. Select the Race for the bot to play, which is specified in bots.txt
  11. Connect to the game and play the bot, enjoy.

Some of the bots require additional software packages, such as the Visual Studtio redistributable. Read each bots readme.txt file for additional information.

Installing BWAPI

Here's an overview of setting up the BWAPI environment. I've omitted steps that require compilation, because they are unnecessary provided the bot binaries.

  1. Install StarCraft, the Brood War expansion, and upgrade to version 1.16.1. Logging on to will automatically cause StarCraft to upgrade to the most recent patch
  2. Extract the Chaos Launcher to: C:\program files\starcraft\chaoslauncher
  3. Extract the required BWAPI Beta release to: C:\program files\starcraft\BWAPI
  4. Copy files from C:\program files\starcraft\BWAPI_Beta\chaoslauncher to C:\program files\starcraft\chaoslauncher
  5. Copy files from C:\program files\starcraft\BWAPI_Beta\Starcraft to C:\program files\starcraft
  6. Copy files from C:\program files\starcraft\BWAPI_Beta\WINDOWS to C:\WINDOWS
    • This step might not be necessary on all platforms. If you are unsure about throwing DLL files into your windows directory, you can try skipping this step.


  1. Run the chaos launcher: C:\program files\starcraft\chaoslauncher\Chaoslauncher.exe
  2. set the path to starcraft, under the settings tab, set the path to: C:\program files\starcraft
  3. select the bwapi checkbox, uncheck all others
    • select the w-mode checkbox if you want to run starcraft in windowed mode
  4. click start to launch starcraft
  5. create a single player match
  6. Start the game
  7. The agent should print out the following message:
    • BWAPI: Loaded the AI Module: bwapi-data\AI\ExampleAIModule.dll
  8. The bot will print a summary of the game state to the console every few seconds
  9. If the bot does not start up, check the log files at C:\program files\starcraft\bwapi-data\log or check the FAQ

Complete BWAPI setup instructions are posted here and on the BWAPI Wiki.