Starcraft, a quick guide

Continuing with some Starcraft goodness, I bring you a small but useful guide:

So an essential skill is the ability to build quickly. This is achieved by making sure you have the fastest possible resource collecting stream as well as building in units and buildings simultaneously with each other. Here are a few rules of thumb that should be follow roughly in order:

  1. If you have less than 1.5 peons (probe/scv/drone) per mineral patch, then you must build more peons.
  2. If your gas stream is not continuous then send more peons to collect gas. There should be one peon waiting to collect gas before the one in the gas collector returns to the base with the gathered gas (so the closer your base is to the gas, the fewer peons -- as few as, and typically, four -- are required to extract a continuous stream from the gas geyser.)
  3. Do not horde minerals, if you have lots of minerals (more than 500 or 1000) then build towards making a more powerful army or bolster your defence. Be sure to be constantly upgrading your existing and intended army units. Think of upgrades as having a multiplicative effect on all your units.
  4. Don't forget to build unit limiters (overlord/pylon/supply depot). Always try to lead in unit limiter building so that you are building your army continuously.
  5. If none of your army generating buildings are idle and you have the resources, then build another army generating building.
  6. Upgrade your army. For most units, it is most beneficial to upgrade one level of their defence, before offence (so they live longer while they are attacking or defending) however in the long run you need to max out on all defence and offensive upgrades.
  7. As soon as you are building smoothly, and you have enough excess minerals, expand to a new mineral patch. Depending on your strategic tastes or situation, you may wish to expand speculatively(i.e., without sending an army to defend it) in the hopes that your opponent does not notice the expansion, or you might send your army to defend the mineral patch area first before expanding. The benefit of building speculatively is that you collect minerals sooner and need not divide your army among several bases, however it is risky. A more conservative approach is to always build at adjacent resource mines/geyesers and build defences before or at the same time as your new base, as well as sending a sufficient army there. This takes more time and resources, and therefore, in of itself carries with it some long term risk.
  8. If you are still building your tech tree, it is better to let the StarCraft AI handle any battles that you might be in rather than micro-managing them. Since growth in StarCraft is explosive at the beginning, you will gain more from tech you build now than the few units you save by wasting time accurately playing out minor battles.

There are certainly exceptions to the above rules. Different maps will dictate that you modify your strategies accordingly.

Credits to


christopher said...

Awesome guide, can't wait until i upgrade my PC enough to play SC2 at a decent rate.

McClane said...

@cristopher: That makes two of us. I'm already saving some money for that upgrade.

CawlinForReal said...

Your gas strat fails and is a waste of SCVs.
Js. The vespene geysers only take 3 SCVs to harvest. No more.
Cawlin's Twitter!

McClane said...

@CawlinForReal: I've used both strats but I usually go with 4 SCVs per geyser. It also depends on the distant betweeen the geyser and the base, for some maps it's better to use just 3, as you said.

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