Starcraft 2: Top 5 Best Campaign Tech Upgrades

Introduction

Well, I'm about half done with the Starcraft 2 campaign on Brutal, but seeing as how I already beat it once before (on Hard), I'm going to list the top 5 tech upgrades (in no particular order) you should acquire in the game. This list will have entries from the Armory and from the Laboratory.

Also, this is only my opinion. You may disagree with this in part or even completely, but in either case I will know that you have read it, and that is appreciated. :)

So, let's begin! :D

This is the portrait of the Terran Marauder. Learn to love them, especially at Brutal difficulty.
This is the portrait of the Terran Marauder. Learn to love them, especially at Brutal difficulty.

Concussive Shells

Upgrades: Marauder

Effect: The Marauder's missiles now slow down their target and anyone immediately adjacent to the target.

Acquired by: Purchase in the Armory

I start out this list with perhaps the best early-game investment you can make. Marauders are godly against armored opponents. If you're playing at Brutal difficulty, you'll need to get Marauders ASAP, and then get this. Concussive Shells are actually the second upgrade I get during the campaign (the first one being the Combat Shields for Marines as a life boost of nearly 25% is serious business). Once you have this upgrade, you can do such devious things like put a Marauder in every Bunker you set up for the slow down bonus and reduce most groups of opponents to nothing. There's a reason why triple M (Marines, Marauders, Medivacs) are so feared even in online play. ;)

Besides, you'll need the breathing room at Brutal. Speedlings (Zerglings with Metabolic Boost) are almost stupidly fast and will swarm your armies if given half a chance. This is the equalizer. ;)

This is a Terran Bunker. When used in conjunction with Siege Tanks, it creates one heck of a difficult forward position to crack.
This is a Terran Bunker. When used in conjunction with Siege Tanks, it creates one heck of a difficult forward position to crack.

Bunker Upgrades

Bunkers are so awesome that I'm going to take all three of the upgrades that I acquire for them and mention them in this section (and will act as if this is only one upgrade. :P).

I recommend you get each upgrade as soon as possible, in the following order:

Projectile Accelerator

Effect: Bunkers give units inside of them an additional +1 Range (so Bunkers now give +2 Range to all garrisoned units).

Acquired by: Purchase in the Armory

As you check out the Armory, you'll notice that the Bunker has two upgrades. You may be wondering why I'm not going for Neosteel Bunkers first and the answer is: There's not much use for them early. An expanded Bunker would've done wonders in Zero Hour, but the game is so evil that you don't even have access to the Armory before that mission. For the first few missions, they're not really needed. This upgrade, however, improves the efficiency of your garrisoned units by increasing their reach. All the better so your Marauders can slow down their victims from a longer distance. :D

Neosteel Bunker

Effect: The Bunker now has 2 additional unit slots (Marauders take up 2 slots each, for the record. Reapers do too, but only in the campaign).

Acquired by: Purchase in the Armory

As I mentioned above, there's not much use for this in the first few missions. However, this is a pretty good upgrade that I recommend you get by the time you go to Meinhoff. The infested Terran waves will press your defenses dearly, even if you have Neosteel Bunkers, so I don't want to imagine what'll happen if you don't have them. :P

Reinforced Bunkers

Effect: Bunkers gain an extra 150 life.

Acquired by: 5 Zerg Research Points in the Laboratory

Your Bunkers get a boost in the first tier of the Zerg research tree as well. The other option is the Shrike Turret which, frankly, is a joke. A Shrike Turret on top of your Bunker is roughly the same thing as having an extra Marine inside. That seems good until you realize how quickly your defenses can fall in Brutal difficulty. After that, I believe that it's a shut-out. I'd rather have 6 Marines in a 550 life Bunker than 7 Marines in a 400 life Bunker, but your mileage may vary on this one. ;)

A picture of a Siege Tank while in Siege Mode. This represents the other half of your impenetrable defense as a Terran player.
A picture of a Siege Tank while in Siege Mode. This represents the other half of your impenetrable defense as a Terran player.

Shaped Blast

Upgrades: Siege Tank

Effect: Damage done to allied units due to Siege Tanks in Siege Mode is quartered (reduced to 1/4).

Acquired by: Purchase in the Armory

This is one of my favorite upgrades since it's so darn useful. The usual Terran defensive set-up is some variation of Supply Depots in front of Bunkers in front of Siege Tanks. If you don't have this upgrade, your Tanks are bound to end up helping out your opponents as they cleave through your damaged structures. By lowering the friendly fire to a minimum, you maximize the damage your defensive emplacements can inflict on the enemy. No brainer for me. :)

The other Armory upgrade for Siege Tanks (Maelstrom Rounds) is nice, but not a must-get. If you find yourself having some extra credits that you don't know what to spend them on, then I'd get it.

A picture of the Tech Reactor. This beauty will make the campaign a cake-walk once you get it. Note: The above claim may or may not apply to you!
A picture of the Tech Reactor. This beauty will make the campaign a cake-walk once you get it. Note: The above claim may or may not apply to you!

Tech Reactor

Replaces: Tech Lab, Reactor

Effect: An add-on that combines the functionality of the Tech Lab with the double unit production of the Reactor.

Building Cost: 75 Minerals, 50 Gas

Acquired by: 25 Protoss Research Points in the Laboratory

This add-on is ridiculously useful. The ability to make 2 of any type of unit at the same time is arguably the best bonus in the entire game. Imagine how broken the online metagame would be if these were allowed in league games? ;P

I'll even go so far as to recommend that you do the Zeratul missions ASAP so that you're only a few points away from getting this gem by the time you're done with them (I'm 4 points away in my Brutal playthrough and still have roughly half of the campaign to go. :D ).

Their counterpart at the top tier is Orbital Strike, which is little more than a novelty. Perhaps if the drop ship affected more than just the Barracks Units, but as it stands, it's garbage compared to the almighty Tech Reactor.

Hive Mind Emulator

Effect: At the cost of energy, take over an opposing Zerg unit permanently. Drones and heroic Zerg units (*cough*Kerrigan*cough*) are unaffected.

Building Cost: 150 Minerals, 100 Gas

Acquired by: 25 Zerg Research Points in the Laboratory.

My final upgrade is a dose of Blizzard nastiness. You see, what you get at the top tier of the Zerg research tree should be based on your strategy in the final mission of the campaign. If you want to take on the air units in the final mission, then this building will do wonders. However, if you leave the Nydus Worms intact for the final mission, then your defenses may be better served by having Psi Disrupters around your Bunkers.

This upgrade, more so than the others I mention in this guide, is a toss-up. If you're good at micromanagement, then you may vastly prefer this building as compared to the Psi Disrupters which have the effect of slowing down Zerg units in its radius.

Conclusion

So, there you have it: The top 5 campaign tech upgrades in the Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty campaign. There are definitely more upgrades that are useful in the game, but these are my favorite five (well four plus three Bunker upgrades, but who's counting, eh? :P).

Honorable Mentions

Fire Suppresion System: Terran buildings no longer burn themselves into the ground once they're in the red? Yes, please!

Permanent Cloaking for Ghosts/Spectres: Not having to worry about your energy running down while cloaked is a godsend.

Planetary Fortress: A 1500 HP, 7 range, 40 damage defensive emplacement that costs 550 minerals and 150 gas and also gives 10 supply. I don't think I have to explain why it's cool. It does prohibit you from researching Perdition Turrets though.

Until the next time, take care and have fun! ;)

-Winterfate

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Comments 9 comments

glenn wallace profile image

glenn wallace 6 years ago

I'm still working through 'Hard' on the campaign, and wondering how to upgrade.

Good hub to lay out some no-nonsense reasoning behing how to tech up!


Winterfate profile image

Winterfate 6 years ago from Puerto Rico Author

Thanks for the comment! :)

I played the campaign on Hard the first time around myself. It's definitely a heck of a challenge, even if you consider yourself a Starcraft veteran. Enough things have changed in the sequel, including game tempo, that the game can make you feel like a newbie at times. :D


Joccaren 6 years ago

I agree with almost everything that you have said here, but I would place a few different techs in the tree.

Firstly, instead of concusive shells, I would definitely get stim packs. Although they only effect marines in the campaign, the extra speed and damage more than compensates for the speedlings. Also, when paired with the medivac advanced healing ai (Not a must get, but still amazingly useful), the health loss is near instantly compensated for. Although, the choice is definitely a toss up between this and the medic's better healing upgrade.

I myself took the orbital drop over the tech reactor. Though many people see it as just a novelty, it is the epitome of 'cheese' tactics in the campaign. Take Maw of the Void for example. A quick 5-6 minute win on brutal? Build 4 barracks, 4 shadow ops and 4 nukes from the shadow ops. Then, send a medivac or viking on a path across the top of the map towards the artifact to trigger all the cutscenes. From there, just drop 4 ghosts/spectres in on the cliff that the artifact vault rests on, preferably the South West corner, cloak them when they land and drop all 4 nukes right on top of the vault. Though, I would normally get the tech reactor, I prefer cheesing my way through as many missions as I can on brutal.


Winterfate profile image

Winterfate 6 years ago from Puerto Rico Author

@Joccaren: I don't use Stimpacks that much in the campaign myself, precisely due to what you said (it only affecting Marines). With that said, they're almost a must for the secret mission if you play it on Brutal. And, I'm not a fan of Medivacs either, just because you can choose the Hercules. Having one or two Hercules allows you to cheese The Moebius Factor (if I remember that mission name correctly; it's the one where you have to destroy the data cores). Just drop your huge army adjacent to the data core and blast it down before your army dies. :D

Also, I must admit that your usage of the Orbital Drop is really clever. :D

Only thing I ever thought of using it for is to cheese the "save all Dominion drops" Achievement in the first Char Mission. (I just used MULEs instead; not a whole lot of minerals in the fields anyways, especially at Brutal).

Thanks for the comment! :D


erniesliter profile image

erniesliter 4 years ago

I really like the automatic refineries.


Maximizer profile image

Maximizer 4 years ago from San Jose, Costa Rica

You're a really good writer, man. Have you ever considered writing professionally as a freelancer? It's a great way to make some extra money for video games :)

Anyway, liked the hub a lot. I haven't gotten past hard yet, but I'm bookmarking this for when the time comes. Thanks for SHARING.


Winterfate profile image

Winterfate 4 years ago from Puerto Rico Author

Hey there Maximizer!

Well, to be quite honest, I haven't really given it much thought as I feel it would detract from the fun I have in just writing about something. I already have a formal job, and I like to write as a hobby (as profitable a hobby as it is).

Thanks a lot for reading Maximizer! :D


Aleksandra 3 years ago

Great and true sequel to pbobarly one of the greatest, if not the greatest RTS of all time. When I saw the first game as a kid I was imply blown away by its presentation and loved how deep and crazy the multiplayer can be, since the official announcement of the game I could not wait to come out. I was able to play it unfortunately a year after its release, but man IT BLEW ME AWAY AGAIN. No other game made me had dreams while sleeping strategies to pwn my opponents. No other game gave me a rush and thrill in every match I played (maybe except Warcraft 3). No other game made me want to be actually GOOD at it. Damn Blizzard nailed it with this sequel.Now addressing some of the negative aspects you have mentioned.-Campaign split into 3 separate parts.Well the original game costs 60 dollars and the single player was well worth 90% of the money you spent, the same goes for the multiplayer. Now think about the next part of the story costing you less money and bringing improvements to the game, now the whole picture starts to get much, much better.-Battle.NetSo far it works very well. It is much more functional than the version of it, because you can play the game instantly against an opponent who is calculated to be at around your level, witch is great, because new players would instead be intimidated for being annihilated by experienced players + it gives you a good way of finding out how your progression goes on. The chat is available, but honestly I do not know anyone using it, except for the secret cow chat, where you moo after every post.-Guest passesThey are fine in my opinion. Good way to introduce to a friend how awesome the game is. Eventually if he likes it he will by it. I do not think that spawn copies were any creation of Blizzard, since it wont bring them any profit, besides anything else, they are a Business company, when you spent money on something, witch is meant to be for sale, you would pbobarly expect someone to buy it, right? -Region restrictionsThat sucks. Imagine I want to be a better player, or I want challenge. No chance for me to test my skills against a Korean. Also I wont be able to play with friend from other regions.


SimilarSam profile image

SimilarSam 2 years ago from Australia

I love the upgrade system that they introduced to SC2, added a lot to the campaign experience. I'm not game to attempt it on brutal like you.

I'm all for the bunker upgrades and teach reactor upgrades, I need to make better use of concussive shells though.

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