Hey all !
I’m assuming that you have read a few guides already trying to figure things out!
I will try to keep this guide as short and informative as possible along with a few pictures. Because I think that all you want is to get back playing after you’ve read a few lines.
In this guide 1.0, I will be covering the basic of basics, get your settings sorted for the best gaming experience and to get you familiar with Starcraft2.
Getting your settings sorted.
- Control settings
It’s important that you have settings appropriate to your gamestyle to make your game more easier, why? Because in Starcraft every second is essential.
You can play with regular settings if you feel comfortable with it, else you could change to your standards, but there are two things that is important that you change and that is:
- Show Unit Status Bars – Set on Always.
- Display Build Grid
- Why are those two the most important?
Like I said earlier, that every second is essential, if you build a marine one second faster that is great and to do that you would have to place your buildings in perfectly and within a millisecond and with Build Grid that is possible.
Now Unit Status Bars set to always display the health of every building and unit, which makes it easier to micro your units in battles, it is kinda hard to micro units which you don't see the healthbars of. I will cover microing later in this guide.
You might think “ Why does this guy have almost everything on low graphics? “ and I shall answer your thoughts, No it’s not that my computer is from 2000.
My computer can handle the fine artwork of blizzards designers.
I chose not to see everything in detail, simple because that would make everything small and neat, as a somewhat semi-hardcore gamer I would say that it's easier to target big and square shaped things, would you not agree? It makes it much easier to micro. I'm not saying your should play on low-graphics because I think it's better, what graphics you want to use is up to you.
For me it makes everything easier to play, but if you like and can play on ultra I think you should.
*Edit* If you decide to play on low, you will not be able to see burrowed units where as if you were playing on high settings you would, if you didn't know, you are able to see enemies burrowed units if you look closely.
Bindings – what to bind?
Why would you use bindings? Bindings makes it easier to select and control a group of units faster than you would without bindings which will improve your gameplay, at first it might be hard to get used to bindings but it's defintly worth it, and a step closer to becoming a better multi-tasker.
You can bind units or buildings by pressing ctrl+(1-9) as you can see above I’ve only used 1-6 due to the fact that it’s harder for me to get to number 7 and above, it doesn’t matter what number you bind to, as long as it’s easy for you.
What should you bind? Well, basically everything that you use a lot, such as: Your army, the scout and buildings that can produce or upgrade and so on.
How to start a game
Alright, when you join a game it's important that you have somehwat of an idea.
Picture the game infront of you and plan ahead how you are going to start, are you going to rush? or cheese? are you going to play defensive or aggresive?
Sometimes people can join a game and have no clue what to do (Can happen to me from time to time when im getting more and more tired), so basically they play inefficient and without caring.
There are different ways to start a game with every race but the first 15 food usually stays the same unless you’re doing some sort of proxy/rush.
Early scouting is very important, it can determine whether your opponent is going to proxy or rush you, which is important early to counter it.
With the information you get by scouting, you can tell what kind of opening he is going. Is he getting double gas early? No? then he’s probably going something that requires little gas.
I can't go over every single scenario possible due to the fact that it will take too much time for me to go over, I also think that while you practice your skills playing, you will also practice this simple scouting knowledge.
So..Don’t you lose money by scouting? Yes, if your scout dies you lose money, both from its cost and the time it could've mined lots of minerals, but if you scout everything he has, you got the upper hand by knowing what he is planning to do, you can simple counter it.
- Towards mid-game you can scout using:
Terran can scout using Scan
Protoss can scout using Observer
Zerg can scout using Overlords.
There are four types of units: Light-units, Armored-units, Psionic and Biological.
Now to learn what type of unit every unit is, you would have to play them, the easiest way to learn every races units could be by playing Test-map and try out every unit and looking at what armor-type they are and the damage and so on. Another way to learn counters could be by playing single-player -> Challange Missions and then the three first basic will cover Terran, Protoss and Zerg counter-units.
I will now show you the two armor-types, Light and Armored.
This is a Repear. It has 4 damage versus any unit except light and it has 9 damage versus any light unit whether its biological or mechanical. Also you will see on some units that it says Attacks: (1-4) repear has 2 attacks. So the damage versus light would be 9x2=18 damage.
Ultralisks are another example, they are armored biological units, it's also massive.
A benefit of having massive-ground-units is that they can destroy forcefields created by sentries. They can't be picked up by a phoenixs gravity beam.
So what counters what really? In most cases it’s the basic damage output of certain units and what type of units you are playing against. If you have marauders versus a lot of zealots since zealots are light, the results of the fight might be a win for the zealots depending what upgrades your marauders have, and what upgrades the zealots have. e.g. lets say you take 5 zealots with charge versus 6 marauders without any upgrade, what’s the outcome going to be like? They are fairly equal in cost.
Now, take 5 zealots with charge versus 5 marauders with Stimpack and Concussive shells. What’s the outcome of the fight? Try it in a unit-test map and check the results for yourself. ( you will have to be able to control both units, the map is called “Unit Test Map” Also you should probably be kiting with the marauders which most people do, I will cover kiting in Microing.
Microing is all about how well you handle your units, the faster you are the better the micro you have. Micro is usually when you target your units with low health and manage them so that they will survive longer therefor keeping your damage output from your army sustainable which will destroy your enemy faster. There are several ways to micro. Let’s take an example: A Repear is alone against four Zerglings, now. You can move your Reaper and then use the (H) button to hold your Repear to shoot at the closest Zergling and continue moving, or! You can move your Repear and target the Zerglings manually while moving quickly. This is a much harder way to micro but very effective.
So what’s APM? Actions Per Minute. Does it make you a better player to have more APM? Does it improve your gameplay? Does it guarantee you a win? No.
There are useful APM and spam APM. The useful APM is when you actually build something or micro your units to avoid losing units.
Spam APM is mostly when you just spamclick something of which is pretty much useless but in Starcraft you need the be very focused,alert and fast, of which spamming APM can improve. Atleast some people think so.
You could say that the higher APM the better cause even spam APM can be useful for you.
When you start a game you will have a bunch of idle workers, if pressing Ctrl + F1 you will target all your idle workers instead of marking them manually this will work smoother, after you have commanded them to mine, you can quickly split them so that they are evenly split amongst the the minerals instead of them splitting up themselves, which could save you seconds depending on how fast you are.
The main idea when it comes to macro is to constantly produce workers so that you later can transfer half of them when you expand. Thirty workers per base is the maximum although I wouldn’t say it’s the most effective. Now to sustain a stable economy is to like I said above constantly produce workers and to expand whenever your main or exp get saturated. Now if you look at the picture above you can see that are loads of minerals and gas stacked up, which is rather a bad thing when you play Starcraft, because what you want is to use all your minerals and gas as soon as possible to have good amount of workers and a good amount army to defend yourself against attacks or a great army to attack with. Keep in mind that both you and your opponent earns almost the same amount of minerals, so if you see him expanding that means he would have lower amount of minerals spent on his army.
Like I mentioned before just because your army is greater than your opponents doesn’t necessarily mean that you will come out victorious. Micro and environment and the positioning of units will all factor in the outcome of the fight.
So when should you make workers and/or army?
Well, you are to make workers until you have about 80 workers, obviously on three mining grounds and you are to make army until you can’t make anymore also remember that you should spend all your minerals and gas as soon as possible to have greater chance to win.
Thanks for reading, I hope you learned something useful!
Feedback is also appreciated!