Obviously there are the points Day makes.
1. Make scv/probes constantly (Zerg doesn’t follow this guideline, we have to learn when to drone and when to make units with our larva) Without these units you have no income. Which means no cool upgrades or awesome units to bash your opponents face in with. So make them. A lot of them! Bar none!
2. Don’t queue - The stuff you just queued cost you immediate money without giving you immediate results. That’s really counterproductive in the long run. You might as well use that money for some more units that you probably need right now, then the thing you’re going to get later.
3. Never ever get supply blocked- And when you do, for the love of God do not make a bunch of, pylons, supply depots, overlords. Don’t do it. It might feel good at the time but you just tossed 100-300 extra minerals down that you shouldn’t have. Build one supply cap raising structuce/unit at a time. You might think but, my money is high and I can afford it. Nope. That’s a lie. What that money is: Money you should have spent on units/buildings. Not extra money.
4. Have a freaking plan! (direct quote of Day) – Seriously, if you go into a game thinking. I’ll just wing it. 9/10 times you are going to get stomped. The only race that can do that is… Well there isn’t one. So don’t do it! Go look up some build orders (I’ll post a link to a great place get some at the end)
5. Know the units in the game. All of them. You can’t just play your race and be ignorant of the other guys units. You need to know what is better against what and what just plain sucks in certain situations. You also need to know how they move and what damage they do. Which is very important in the huge epic battles in the center of the map. (I’ll post a link to the units page of Liquipedia so can take a look at all of them.)
6. Don’t worry about apm.(actions-per-minute for the total newbie) – Apm is not a measure of how awesome you are or how skilled you are . It’s a measure of how far you have come along in the game. If your hands are slow then you just need to play more. It’s that simple. Pro’s have crazy fast apm because they practice allllll the time. They play constantly, if you want lightning fast 300apm then you should too.
7. Scout a lot – You need to know what your opponent is doing so you can react in time. Plus if you scout and he doesn’t then you have a HUGE advantage. It may take a while to learn the timings of scouting but the more you play then easier that becomes.
8. Expand. Expand. Expand. – The hardest thing a newbie has to deal with is expanding. It took me a while to feel safe expanding. But you HAVE to do it. You cannot sit on one base. You need to take your second and your third (your third is much later) Most build orders tell you when to take your second depending on the style of play the BO is shooting for. If you choose to 1 base it you will die to more experienced players who grabbed 4 bases while you turtle it up and didn’t expand. They will roll you over with a 200/200 food army in now time flat.
9. Replays are your friend - Watch your replays for things you did and pick out things you do wrong a few out at a time and correct over a few weeks. Don't overwhelm yourself but pick a few thing you notice and fix them. Also watch pro replays on TL or Youtube.com or w/e replay site you want. There are a dozen of them to pick from. They give you good structured play to analyze and copy. When watching pro replays all ways try and ask yourself why they did that. It will help you immensely.
Those are my basic point for the Bronze-Gold league player. I think if you practice and follow those points you will quickly be a much better player. Now there are some things I have picked up that help me play better that I’ll share with you.
1. Don’t play with sound – Which might sound odd at first but let me explain. I first heard of this from IdrA (he plays with just music.) But if forces you to check your base and the map more. You no longer get the sound que of one your units finishing or your base being attacked. You have to watch the mini map for the base being attacked. And constantly check your base for finished workers. Which in turn makes you play faster and sharpens your reaction time.
2. Watch the left hand screen - It lets you know when things have finished. Like tech structures or your +1 upgrades. Which in turn means you can move out with that doom ball of yours.
3. If you are completely new then play the computer until you can consistently beat it on medium-hard – The computer always uses a very early push that will catch you off guard if you’re not prepared. Which teaches you how to deal with early rushes and timings on when your opponent has how many units opposed to what you might have.
4. Practice your build orders against the computer on very easy – I do this a lot. Its pretty common thing to do. Because the computer on very easy, will at most throw 3 units at you all game. So you can happily macro away and hammer out a nice BO to rip off your opponents face with.
Okay now I am going to post some really helpful links.
http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/Main_Page - Main pay of Liquipedia (Newbie’s should stop here often.)
http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=104154 – Day’s video main page. Watch all of his stuff and tune into his cast every night! Recommended vods for newbies are - Daily #0132, Daily #0163, Daily #0164
http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/Units - Starcraft 2 Units page. Learn them. Love them. Use them.
http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/Terran_Strategy - Terran Build Order page.
http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/Zerg_Strategy - Zerg Build Order page.
http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/Protoss_Strategy - Protoss Build Order page.
Affter notes: If you like this, let me know. If you think I missed something, let me know.
If you want a more in depth guide, let me know. I want to help new players out and make Starcraft II less frightening for the new player. So you got some questions hit me up with a PM. I;ll try my best to answer them. Also would love if some of the senior players would help. Thx TL. Later.
Credits and thanks: Day, Liquipedia, IdrA, Seth for his ZvP guide which helped me a ton. and TL forums for being awesome in general.