.SC2REPLAY File Extension
File TypeBlizzard StarCraft 2 Replay File
This file is saved in a binary format, which requires a specific program to read its contents.
What is a SC2REPLAY file?
Mission replay file saved by StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (SC2), a real-time strategy (RTS) game where players compete as Terran, Protoss, and Zerg races; contains the sequence of events that are played out during a single player custom game or a multiplayer game; includes the replay name, duration, version of the software, and the date when the replay was captured; used for reviewing strategies, as well as sharing results of competitions with others on Battle.net and other websites.
To open a downloaded SC2REPLAY file, you can either double-click the file and open it manually, or you can first place the file in one of the following directories and then open it from the Replay menu in StarCraft II:
Windows SC2 replay folder:
Mac OS X SC2 replay folder (updated by Blizzard in September 2010):
To create a replay file, select "Save Replay" in StarCraft II after a single or multiplayer game is complete. There are multiple subdirectories for different saved replay types. For example, VersusAI is for replays against the computer. Each subdirectory can be browsed from inside the program.
To playback a replay, click on the Replay menu in the user's game profile. Replays are split into Recent, Multiplayer, Versus A.I., and Challenge categories. In the Multiplayer, Versus A.I., and Challenge categories, users can create new subfolders to organize their replays. StarCraft II automatically stores the last ten games played in the Recent folder.
While viewing an SC2 replay, you can speed up or slow down the playback, as well as jump backward to anywhere on the replay timeline (NOTE: you can't jump forward since the replay must sequentially move through the steps of play). You can also view the replay from each player's perspective, which includes the "fog of war." Users can also navigate the map, select units, and turn on statistics, such as how many units, what level of technology advancement, or what APM (actions per minute) rating each player has.
SC2REPLAY files do not contain actual video data. They only contain the actions, movements, and state of the map during gameplay. This is how the files can remain relatively small in size compared to a video file equivalent. This storage technique enables users to click on units, structures, and match statistics during replays. However, it also has the limitation that viewers can't jump forward on the timeline without replaying the sequence of events first.
NOTE: SC2REPLAY files are not backward compatible with earlier software versions. For example, replays saved with the beta testing version of StarCraft II are not playable with the official released version. Therefore, to play older replays, you must use the appropriate version of the software. StarCraft, the predecessor to StarCraft II, stores replay files with the .REP extension.