Starcraft 2 seems to many as a intimidating game to get into. So here are some small things that are the core of every solid play. Keep in mind that I'll be adding to this page in time.
This is the broad term I'll be introducing. It's a measurement of how good you excecute your strategy. This could vary from: "I want to open 3-gate expand into templar" to "I'm gonna build two barracks and end the game before 5 minutes". Now the thing is, to master mechanics you need to master each of the upcoming topics:
This might be the most important mechanic in all of Startcraft 2. Macro is your ability to keep your mineral/gas count low by producing units and workers without having your buildings have any downtime. Also it means you not being supply blocked. So right when that Barracks is finished you should already have the next marine building. This also goes for workers: there IS a limit to how much workers you should produce: around 60 is mostly where you want to be in the late game. But you shouldn't worry about that unless you are a higher league player (and let's be honest: you wouldn't be reading this if you were :p). Most players underestimate how important macro is but watch it this way: when you keep producing.units optimally that means your army will be bigger.
Most builds are designed to when you have good macro your money will be low but there are some nice things to know:
- optimally you should have 3 workers per mineral patch or gas geiser for a saturated base. If you have more, try to secure an expansion.
- don't overbuild production buldings. A protoss for example can produce out of 4 gates per saturated base.
To get better macro you should first learn to use hotkeys: for that I refer to these videos from ExplicitD http://wikigameguides.com/Starcraft_2_Wings_of_Liberty/Guides/Basics-11716 (I recommend watching ALL of these). Besides hotkeys there's also control groups (also in the videos from ExplicitD). Having you buildings in a control group allows for easy acces. For example, your fighting someone and it seems you'll barely lose, when you have your production buildings in controll groups 6-7-8 you can just go "6-"build marines"-7-"build tanks"-8-"build medivacs". The genius part of this is that you don't need to look away from the battle, making multitasking (see below) a lot easier.
Also: PRACTICE, you don't get better by keep reading posts but by applying what you read. Go try hotkeys and go try control groups.
Micro is your abillity to controll your units individually and using their abillities to their best capacities. It's something that most say comes with experience but there are some things to keep in your mind:
- When playing Protoss/Terran: try getting a concave when possible, it allows for optimal shooting from all your units. Also try to flank so he needs to divide his troops.
-When playing Zerg: try getting a surround with your zerglings.
- Try to arrange your units correctly: put your throw away units in front. Also try to put low range units more in front so they can participate.
-Learn the abillities of your units and experiment with them.
There are million ways to micro your units but practice makes perfect.
This is a small topic since it's more of an overarching term. Multitasking is your abillity to do many things at the same time. Being able to drop marines in the back of the zergs base while fighting a huge battle up front while macro-ing perfectly is the thing you are able to do when you're able to multitask. It's something that comes with practice when actions become part of your natural habit.
I've already mentioned some things in this article about improving but there are some things I still want to underline once more:
-Practice one thing at a time:
"A jack of all trades is a master of none" is in full effect in Starcraft 2. The human mind can only hold so much at a time and concentrating on one thing at a time is very important. Your goal is that you'll intuitively do all these things and that you can focus your mind on other things.
Day9 is an old Starcraft pro-gamer who has dedicated his life to make YOU a better gamer. He's hilarious and informative at the same time, he does elaborate a lot so you shouldn't watch all of them. The most important are the newbie tuesdays where he goes over typical mistakes lower level player make.
This is the link to his episode on mechanics:
This is the playlist for every newbie tuesday.
- Have FUN
Don't let this game's competitive nature be the only reason to play Starcraft 2. Believe me: you're improvement rate goes down a lot when you're not having fun.