How to play Starcraft 2

A simplified guide for RTS Newbies..


Thinks to remember when playing Starcraft 2:

Key Elements

(3 key game elements player can focus on in a game of Starcraft 2)

  • Economy (1): Making workers and making new base expansions
  • Army (2): Making a army (normally land infantry/biological units)
  • Upgrades (3): Upgrading the army you have

(I numbered them in what should be prioritized)

  • The army focus at the beginning should be quantity over quality. Bigger army normally means victory
  • Upgrades: This is where upgrades come into play. Big army + upgrades = big army of strong units. (a upgraded swarm will destroy a small group of non-upgraded power units)

All 3 will help you win, but you can only focus/prioritize on 2 of these elements to be able to play well otherwise you will ‘spread yourself thin’ and you won’t be able to survive an attack from a skilled  opponent.

Game Elements

Minerals: They are the main source of everything done in Starcraft 2. Without minerals you can’t build, upgrade, expand, make an army, NOTHING. Without your workers mining your minerals.. you can’t do anything. Think of it as money. You buy what you need.


Gas: Gas is a special resource like minerals but more rare, and used to normally upgrade units or get much stronger units. Think of this as gold, use it wisely.


Supply: This is a Terran Supply Depot. It gives you Army Supply. All units in Starcraft 2 have a unit cost. If you have only have 10 supply, but you have 11 units.. you can’t. As Terran you make Supply Depots to increase your Army Supply, which then allows you to make more units. The max possible supply count in a game of Starcraft 2 is 200 per player.



Game Races

images Terran:

The Human Race. (Balanced, Mid Game Focus, Defensive & Versatile) 

  • Average unit costs

  • Buildings can be built anywhere

  • Characterized by mobility and good defense

  • Can repair buildings and units

quoted list source:

zerg_sc2_icon2 Zerg:

The Dangerous Alien Bug Race. (Speedy but Weak, Early Game Focus, Aggressive & Versatile)

  • All units and buildings are biological and regenerate hit points over time

  • Cheap units built in quantity

  • Flexible because the Hatchery is the only production building

  • Drones sacrifice themselves to become buildings

  • Buildings must be built on creep

  • Speed advantage on creep

quoted list source:

protoss_icon Protoss:

The Powerful Space Alien Race. (Powerful but Slow and Costly, Late Game Focus, Defensive & Versatile)

  • Expensive and strong units

  • Buildings must be built within range of a Pylon

  • Probes need only to begin a building’s warp-in

  • Can warp in units

  • All units and buildings are equipped with a regenerative shield

quoted list source:


Check out for more info on the Units in Starcraft 2!

Stages of Game

  • Early Game
  • Mid Game
  • Late Game

I won’t go into detail explaining the dynamic of when game stages are.

It comes with practice and experience. Early game you focus on your Economy, then your Army just for survival. Then you can decide your focuses for the rest of the game.

Build Orders

Build orders are the back bone of Starcraft 2 and most strategy games.

As the name suggests.. it is the ‘Order in which you build things’.

Example being:

3 Rax Reaper (TvT Cheese)

  12   0:08   Supply Depot
  12   0:28   Refinery
  12   0:33   Barracks
  12   0:51   Barracks
  12   1:20   Reaper
  12   1:21   Barracks
  13   1:29   Refinery
  13   1:37   Reaper
  14   1:52   Reaper
  15   2:10   Reaper
  15   2:14   Reaper
  17   2:26   Reaper


Above is a 3 Rax Reaper build order. (for newbies that means: 3 Barracks, make reapers)

Column 1 is your Supply Count.

Column 2 is your Time Stamp.

I’ve always been the kind of person to hate build orders.. but you need them.

It forces you to improve, and allows you to get down the fundamentals of StarCraft 2.

‘Cheese’ Build Orders

Cheese Build Orders or Early All-Ins are risky build orders that go against the meta of StarCraft 2. Once committed to these build orders if your main attack fails you will most likely use as there is no preparation for late game or a way to recover after your attack fails. In most cases this is a bad way to play Starcraft 2, and will not help you improve.

It is better to learn from a loss than gain nothing from a win. Don’t be afraid to lose! Try new things and see what works for you.

Versions of Starcraft 2 (Expansions)

There is 3 Expansions of Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm, and Legacy of the Void. The latest expansion is Legacy of the Void and I highly suggest you only play that–the latest expansion.

Terms in Starcraft 2

Macro vs Micro

Macro (short for macromanagement) is everything dealing with your economy.

Micro (or micromanagement in full) is how you control your units.

Both are important in Starcraft 2, but by far the most important is Macro.

Until you have MASTERED Macro to almost perfection, Focusing on Micro would be a mistake.

Start Playing — Your Goals


  • Start off playing as Terran, until you understand how Starcraft 2 works
  • Make Workers, never stop making workers
  • Never get supply blocked!! make supply depots
  • Make marines until you feel safe enough to make other units
  • NEVER queue up units–only queue up one unit at a time, that way no minerals are wasted
  • Make sure EVERYTHING you make/do has a purpose, don’t spend money unless you have a clear reason to
  • Get use to making a 2nd base
  • Always wall off–it will protect you from early attacks
  • Make use of Orbital Commands–and MULES to get minerals faster


So basically..

  • Make Workers (SCVS)
  • Make Supply Depots
  • Make Marines (to start)
  • Upgrade your bases to Orbital Command

The more you practice the better you’ll get.


Improve Quickly in Starcraft 2


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