We are well into the first weekend since the official Starcraft II launch so it seems like a good time to look at ten tips to be a good starcraft 2 player and make the game a little more enjoyable.
1) Starcraft Etiquette
Starcraft is incredibly competitive and many of the players you will meet have been playing for several years now. Basic etiquette is not only polite it is expected by most. Most games will begin with a goodluck wish. Most often “glhf” which simply means Good Luck Have Fun. The game host may add dd to the welcoming as well which means Don’t Die. At the end of a game the loser should be graceful and players will end with “gg” which means good game. If you felt that your opponent was very skill you may say “wp” which means Well Played. All in all it does not matter what you say so long as you are polite and friendly.
2) Hotkeys & Shortcuts
Probably the most important key to success in any RTS is the use of keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys to speed up your game play. Starcraft is designed with this in mind and everything is at your fingertips. You just need to learn how to use the tools available. Some players will often change the assigned keys to suit their play styles and you should experiment until you are comfortable. You will not regret the effort you put in once you see how much better you will play.
Like everything in life and all other games there are abbreviations and jargon to master, Spend some time paying attention to the phrases used and google those you are unsure of.
4) Workers are key to success.
Worker production should never stop, you will need a strong cash flow if you want to have a chance at victory. Starcraft II is geared around 3 workers per geyser or mineral field however never forget that you will need to saturate another resource location at some point being able to do that instantly can be the key to victory. Idle workers are lost income or production. Keep them busy and don’t be quick to sacrifice them and focus on disrupting enemy production by killing workers when the opportunity presents itself.
5) There is no interest on resources saved.
Spend and Spend more, Each player will find a comfortable balance to maintain in case of emergency vs the spend to maximize production. I normally hover around the 500 mark once the game settles. Having low resources while maintaining constant production is the first clue that your macro is taken care of.
6) Build orders
Learn and practice build orders, tweak them to suit you play style and review the statistics after each match to see how your build order compares to the opponent. You may find clues to improve your skill level and minimize wasted time. It is important to scout early using a worker to find the enemy and to get clues about their tactics and build orders which will help you adjust on the fly to respond. Continue scouting throughout the match in order to keep tabs on your opponent.
7) Leave Micro until Macro is solved.
Don’t get caught up in the Micro until the Macro is looking after itself. The last thing you want is to make big mistakes while you try blink back stalkers. Once you have sorted out all the Macro issues you can spend time on the Micro, Micro is often the difference between winning and losing but can be distracting when you are still learning the game.
8) Learn the Races and Units
Knowledge is power and in Starcraft knowledge about the strengths and weaknesses of each race are valuable if you want to succeed. Play the challenges and learn about the counters. Learn the maps and use it to your advantage and beware of potential choke points or use them to your
advantage. Playing the campaign will also teach you lessons about the units and in some cases like “the dig” you will learn tricks like commands queues.
9) Practice makes Perfect
Keep practicing and spend time watching replays to learn tricks that you may not figure out yourself.Get a sparring partner to play against often and it helps if it is somebody you can chat to afterwards about tactics. Read the forums and ask questions if you need assistance. The official forums are very helpful and the players are polite when helping others.
10) Stop and Think
There are times when the above tips will not be enough to save you, be creative and respond to new threats quickly. Analyze your opponents strategy and exploit any weakness.