How to Play StarCraft II in “Scaled” High Resolution Mode (Fix that missing mouse pointer!)

The Intro

For some people, a high-resolution desktop is a must have. However not every one of us really wants it. One big problem with desktops with high-resolution is that everything is appears very small. So to fix that problem, Microsoft introduced the display setting which allows you make items in your windows appear bigger. This fix makes fonts, icons, task bar and other Windows controlled elements bigger. People call it “display scaling”, I call it a shitty zoomed in resolution. Why? Because it is not yet implemented very well. If you are wondering if you have a scaled resolution, you can check the display scaling settings in Windows and see the if bullet not set to 100% (see below). If it’s not set to 100%, congratulations, you my friend have the shitty zoomed in resolution care of Microsoft.

Display Scaling Settings Window
Display Scaling Settings Window

With that out of my system, lets focus on the real topic, shall we? Lets talk StarCraft II. If you are a fan of what I call an “epic” game series StarCraft, you might notice that playing it in a scaled resolution is buggy. In fact, it’s very buggy that you cannot even play it at all. Why do you ask? Because, you won’t see the mouse pointer if you are on a scaled resolution (well, most of the time).

The Problem

As cited here and here and well, practically almost everywhere in the forums and in the inter-webs, you can’t play StarCraft II in a high-resolution scaled mode (again, most of the time). Blizzard did even provide a tutorial to fix it via changing the scaled resolution of your computer (head over here for more information). Anyway, some people solved the problem by doing one of the following:

  • Lowering the scaled display resolution (as advertised by Blizzard)
  • Making the StarCraft II executable run on compatibility mode (and running it as elevated user – Admin)
  • Setting the StarCraft II executable enable disabling display scaling on High DPI settings (and running it as elevated user – Admin)

If the above solutions fixes your problem, good for your. You won’t have to read the remaining words that I will write below. However, if it did not fix your problem, read along.

The Intro to the Fix (Really? So much intro)

After days of researching about the problem, I noticed that this is a widespread problem. In fact, this problem present since the beginning of StarCraft II and the high-resolution displays. So after hours and hours of reading, trying out solutions like running the main program in Windows 7 compatibility mode, modifying run properties such as checking the “Disable Display Scaling on High DPI Settings”, I came to conclusion that there is no real fix to this problem.

Accepting that StarCraft II won’t run in a scaled resolution forced me to change the display scaling to the original resolution (which by the way turned everything in my computer screen very very tiny), re-log my Windows PC account to apply display settings and redo everything every time that I wanted to play StarCraft II or finish playing StarCraft II. Then I remembered that somewhere out there in the forums, I read that StarCraft II does not work if your scaled resolution is set to 150% or more. So I hurriedly tried a display resolution less than 150% (149%)and viola! It worked! And the best part is, it did not really affect my scaled resolution. If you want to try this solution, you can follow the steps below:

The Fix

If you did read my personal experience above, you already know the answer. However, if you’re one of those people who skips the fun part of reading other parts of this guide and jumping right to this section (because you wanted to see the fix immediately), let me sum it up for you. In order to run StarCraft II without ruining your scaled desktop resolution, set your scaling to 149%. Get that? Yes. 149%. Why? Well, you have to re-read this guide from the top! 😛

Now, for those who doesn’t really know how to set your scaled display resolution to 149%, do not worry. I’ll give you a step by step guide. To start off, power on your computer and wait for it to load your desktop. Do not do anything unless I say so. 🙂

How to Set Your Desktop Scaling to Any Number (in our case, we’ll set it to 149%)

Lets start. So you want to change your scaled resolution huh? Don’t worry. It’s an easy task. All you need is a working computer and yourself. By the way, I made this guide for Windows 8.1 users but I am 95% confident that this will also apply to other Windows versions.

Step 1: Right click your desktop and select “Screen Resolution”

Screen Resolution Context Menu
Screen Resolution Context Menu

Step 2: In the Screen Resolution Window, click “Make text and other items larger or smaller”

Screen Resolution Window
Screen Resolution Window

After clicking, will now show this:

Make Items Appear Lager Window
Make Items Appear Lager Window

Step 3: Select “Custom Sizing Options” and input 149%

Custom Scaled Resolution
Custom Scaled Resolution

Step 4: Select apply, sign out and re-log Windows or reboot

Step 5: Play StarCraft II and enjoy!

And there you have it. The high-resolution fix for the missing mouse pointer. If someone can point me out to that specific thread in for this fix, please comment it below. Someone needs to get the credits for this post.



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