StarCraft 2 Tips: How to Get Better at StarCraft 2
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is out for about nine months now and I've just started exploring the demo so I'm a little late to the party. Anyway, in this article I'd like to share some practical tips that will enable you to beat a medium and hard opponent easily.
These tips don't depend on any faction and they're just very general tips that you should apply to be in control of the game.
Basically, the gameplay of StarCraft II can be divided into two parts: 1) managing your economy such as gathering resources and producing units and 2) managing those units, such as positioning them to shoot at the enemy and keeping them alive a little longer. In this article I'll give you tips for the first part because that's where many beginners struggle.
Getting better at StarCraft II - The basics
When you're learning StarCraft II, it's important to focus on gathering resources and producing units. In the beginning you won't need to worry so much about sending units to see what the opponent is doing or adjusting your strategies to counter the opponent's attacks.
In the beginning you'll want to focus on gathering resources and making sure that you also use them to build units. You don't want to end up having 2000 unspent minerals because that's just wasteful: those minerals could have been used to build some units or buildings.
Tips for playing StarCraft 2
Here are my tips for improving your style of playing in StarCraft 2:
- Always spend the minerals and Vespene gas: For beginners this is not easy but you have to make sure that you are spending all the resources that you have at all times. Even when you're attacking the opponent, you have to keep producing units. The next tips will help you with that but you don't want to have a lot of unspent resources at any time.
- Use hotkeys to control your buildings and units: With a hotkey you can select any building or unit regardless of where you are on the map. That's a very useful thing and it allows you to see whether you can create another unit at that production building at all times. Select one or more buildings or units and use Ctrl + number (e.g., Ctrl + 1, Ctrl + 2) to create a hotkey for them. After that, you can press 1, 2 or whatever number you used to select those buildings or units. Keeping checking your base and production buildings to see if you can produce something.
- Use the Grid keyboard layout. Each of the factions (Terran, Protoss and Zerg) has different key combinations for building units. That's inconvenient because this means you'll need to learn the keys again for each of them. If you use the keyboard layout Grid then it will assign the keys Q,W,E,R,T and A,S,D,F,G and Z,X,C,V,B to the items in the bottom-right menu. This means building a base will always be the same key combination (i.e., Z for getting the build menu and Q for selecting the base). You can change the keyboard settings in the options menu and try it out.
- Set a rally point from your base to the minerals. Right at the start of the game, select your main building and set a rally point on the minerals near your base. Any workers that you produce will automatically start gathering minerals which is very convenient. You won't need to do that yourself anymore and that gives you time to do other things.
- Keep producing workers. There's no reason to stop producing workers until late in the game. Many beginners have too few workers while their opponent still keeps producing workers. More workers means you'll be collecting minerals faster and that means you will have more minerals! More minerals means more units and that means a more impressive army.
Purchase StarCraft 2
- Make sure you are not supply blocked: Supply blocked means you want to produce units but you can't because you don't have any supply. Keep an eye on the number in the top-right corner of your screen to see how many units you can still produce without getting supply blocked.
It's good to keep building supply depots throughout the game because you'll catch up with that soon enough. You want to build a decent army so it doesn't hurt to have a large supply.
- Put three workers on each building to collect Vespene gas: When you build a building on a Vespene geyser to collect Vespene gas, you should assign three workers to that building to collect the Vespene gas. This is considered to be the optimal number of workers for one building of that type.
- Learn more about strategies on the internet: StarCraft 2 is, of course, all about strategy and countering those strategies. Learn as much as you can about existing strategies, build orders and how to counter what your opponent is doing. This is an ongoing process so focus on the basics for now. Make sure you can create a large army in a short amount of time and you can already beat a decent number of players out there.
The above tips should be enough to get you on your way to beat your opponents. It takes a lot of practice to steadily build your army, in particular when you're also getting attacked, but that's what real-time strategy is all about.