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Starcraft 2 Tips for Noobs

Updated on January 19, 2013
Starcraft 2 Logo
Starcraft 2 Logo

Introduction

Chance are your reading this because you keep getting your ass whooped in multi-player. Players often get mad after a couple of loses and try to redeem themselves by playing another one...BAD IDEA! Take a break after a few games win or lose, especially after a lost. Believe me when I say you play your worst after a few bad games, I've had my fair share of loses in the beginning. Anyways lets get started topics that will be covered:

  • Macro/Micro
  • Hotkeys
  • Economics
  • Base/Units
  • Terrain
  • General Tips

Macro/Micro

Macro in SC means how well your managing your economy, production of units, watching your supply and most importantly your strategy. Macro requires you handle your economy efficiently to get the most out of it.

Micro on the other hand is quiet similar to macro, micro refers to what is happening at the moment and how well you can respond to it. This would include how well you can execute the ability of your units, how well you handle certain situations, and reinforcing your army.

Hotkeys

The absolutely most crucial thing you must learn when play a RTS game. Hotkeys enhance your building speed dramatically when used properly. You don't have to go memorizing all the hotkeys in the game, although that is a possible I really doubt you'll want to do that. There are two types of hotkeys in SC2, one of them is race specific where only a certain race is able to use that set of hotkeys, another type is standard hotkeys theses are the hotkeys that apply to all 3 races. To get use to using these two types of hotkeys what you can do is start by playing a couple of custom games with a certain race to get use to the hotkeys for that race and try not to use your mouse too much for making units.

Drones gathering minerals
Drones gathering minerals

Economics

I see a lot of new players save up thousands of mineral and gas, but hardly any units for attacking. My personal rule for economics is that if you have more than 800 mineral and 300 gas, you need to start spending it on something. Another thing is with Terren and Protoss, players tend of leave their workers doing nothing after they finish building something. Hold shift to execute chain commands, as you should of learn this during the few custom games that I recommend you playing first. Holding shift while executing command will allow the worker to finish whatever their doing and move on to the next without you having to issue another command for it. Each race has something to accelerate their economy for a short period of time to gain the upper hand against their opponent. Terren has the ability to call down M.U.L.E from their orbital command, which in turn provides 270 minerals per min compared to a measly SCV of 60 minerals per min. Protoss has the Chrono Boost which can be used to speed unit production or research by 50% at the cost of 25 energy from the Nexus. This can quickly jump start your economy in the start of the match or add some extra firepower to your army later on. The Zerg has by far the best racial boost when it comes down to it, in my opinion of course. With the Queens ability to spawn larvae on nearby hatcheries, the Zerg can produce 4 larva every 40 seconds. Also, by the time your 40 seconds are up the queen will most likely have enough energy to spawn another 4 larva. This could mean that if your proficient at macroing your queen would have about 0-25 energy and 4 larva spawning on your hatchery at any given moment.

Infestor mind controlling Colossus
Infestor mind controlling Colossus

Base/Units

This is knowing how to setup your base so that you can defend yourself without losing as much units when being attacked by your opponent. Don't cluster up your base to a point where even your own forces has trouble navigating through your base, but don't spread out your base where the building can be easily pick off by your opponent one by one. Spread your base so that your units can easily navigate through it, but close enough that your opponents can't pick off buildings. Expansion are necessary in long games, your mineral field gets depleted and you are forced to move to another location. Expansions can be costly and vulnerable to enemy forces, so when your expanding ask yourself "am I able to defend my expansion efficiently?" Units will require you to know what counters what, this also means you should learn the how to deal with certain armor types. Light armored units are fast in general, but are fragile theses units will be used near the beginning of the game. Heavy armored units are slow in general, but can really deal some damage and can take a lot at the same time. Heavy armored units will make up the majority of your forces in the later stages of your game. To learn more about unit counters and armors I highly suggest you play the first challenge missions for each race.

Map of Lost Temple
Map of Lost Temple

Terrain

Often times players will try and attack their opponents base only realizing that their opponent has walled off the ramp and now their units are stuck there being killed. Know choke points on the map, use the high grounds to attack enemies below, know how to wall-in your base and how to deal with your opponents wall-ins. Flank enemies from both side or catch them by surprise. Use the Xel'Naga watch towers, they give huge sight radius and can warn you of an incoming attack. Hide your units in tall grass and smoke, as long as your units don't attack enemy units that passes by, they won't ever know your there unless they walk into the grass or fog.

General Tips

Here are some final tips for you to get you on your way.

  • Each mineral patch and geyser can handle 3 workers at a time without them waiting.
  • If your in low ranking games like bronze or silver practice macroing first, build up your army etc. (usually in low ranking games the player with the most units will win).
  • Upgrade. There is a building specifically for upgrading damage and armor, this won't slow down your unit production either. Might as well since that building is just gonna be sitting there if you don't do anything with it.
  • Rally your units to your army, just right click on the unit you want it to rally to and that is it.
  • "Knowing is half the battle" G.I. Joe. How cheesy, but its true scout out your opponents to know what their doing to come up with a good counter.
  • Know when your losing and pull back.
  • Lastly, watch your replays, youtube commentaries, SC2 tournaments etc. Learn from your mistakes, listen when he actually talks in the commentaries, and watch how the pros play.

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Well, that pretty much all I got for you guys I hope you enjoyed reading this and best of luck in future games. Here is some motivational quotes from the top players in the world

"Don't stress over losses. Use them to learn your faults. No pain no gain." - SeleCT

"If you're not attacking you're probably losing." - qxc

"Practice a hell of a lot, watch replays of the top players and check out their strategies, and in most cases copy them :). After that, refining your play mainly consists of watching your own games -- and ironing out the faults." - demuslim

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