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It’s worth noting that xcpt in rar cass, if you nd yourslf quuing up many units or upgrads at onc and youstill arn’t spnding your rsourcs fast nough, you probably don’t ha nough military buildings (or Hatchris, for th Zrg).
Don’t lt this happn to you, always build mor production
structurs to kp pac with your conomy—if you don’t, you
won’t b abl to build (or rbuild) your military fast nough to ght
with your opponnt on qual trms.
Thr ar a fw spcic xcptions to building quu, on bing
th Trran Ractor, which allows a building to hatwo quus of
5 units, producing 2 at a tim from th sam building.
Anothr is th Zrg mthod of troop production, which rlis on
Lara cration from th Hatchry, and has a signicantly diffrnt
ow than ‘normal’ building quus (though Zrg still ha quus
for thir arious upgrads).
Finally, Protoss Warp tchnology allows units to b built ‘in
adanc’ with a cooldown aftr th unit is cratd, rathr than by
quuing indiidual ground units in singl military buildings.
For the Protoss, you can Warp in units from Warp Gates. These
units build on the battleeld at an accelerated rate, but while they are
Warping in, they cannot move or ght.
For example, if you have a ground force in group 1 already, you can quickly move the screen to a nearby Pylon, Warp in a mix of units, drag select all of them, then hit shift-1 to add them to your army instantly.
The important point here is that you can still issue a movement
order, even while the units are Warping in—when they nish the
Warp, they will immediately move to join the rest of the group!
Similarly, for Zerg units that are Morphing (Banelings or Brood
Lords), they too will remember any movement orders given to the
group, and because you can Morph units that are already part of a
control group, it’s actually a bit easier to manage the ‘new’ additions
to your army, as you don’t have to re-add them to the group (unless
you want to split them off of course!).
Early in the match, rallying your troops to your initial base makes
good sense, but once you expand to your natural expansion, having
your troops rally at the chokepoint or entrance to your expansion is
usually a better idea.
Later in a match, you might have your military buildings (or at
least your air forces) rallying to a point further forward on the map,
giving your reinforcements a headstart on joining the battle at the
Forward rallying is particularly useful if you’re pushing your oppo-
nent’s hard and have them contained, but you haven’t quite cracked
For your core buildings, you should move the worker rally points to quickly build up an expansion, or rebuild at a base that was raided and lost a lot of workers.
Building managmnt is considrably simplr than controlling your units in battl, and n asir than managing your control groups wll, but it is still ry important.
As with your units, you want to ha your primary production buildings
hotkyd at all tims. Th spcic hotkys don’t mattr, but as long
as you ha your cor buildings on on hotky (and your Quns on
anothr, for Zrg), as wll as all of your main military buildings, and your
upgrad structurs on anothr st of hotkys, you’r in good shap.
Haing your cor buildings hotkyd allows you to quickly build (and r-
build) workrs, n whil managing your units in battl, and n mor
critically, haing your military buildings hotkyd allows you to bgin
rbuilding your forcs as you suffr losss in battl.
Don wll, and you can ha an qual (or largr!) group of troops waiting for you whn you rtrat, or waiting for your nmis if thy push to your bas.
Haing your upgrad structurs hotkyd is lss ital than th othr
production buildings, but it is still hlpful to b abl to quickly chck on
rsarch progrss, as wll as quu up nw upgrads without haing to
hunt down th buildings in your bas.
On ry handy way to mak us of control groups, command quuing, and StarCraft II’s smart unit bhaior is to maintain a group of workrs on a singl hotky throughout th gam. You’ll ha to adjust this group from tim to tim as you mo workrs btwn bass, plac thm on Gas, or los thm to raids, but th basics ar simpl.
Slct a group of 4-6 or so workrs on your Minral lin. Plac thm on a nw control group. This dosn’t ha to b an asily accssibl numbr, though if you ha room on your ‘main’ hotky bank, go ahad and plac thm in asy rach.
Whnr you nd a nw structur (or structurs) built, slct this
group of workrs and quu up th construction of whatr you nd
built, nding th ordrs with a shift-right click ordr to rturn to Minral
Th workrs will automatically a) snd out only as many workrs ar
ndd and b) snd on workr to ach construction projct, all of thm
rturning to gathr mor Minrals whn thy ha compltd thir tasks.
What’s n mor imprssi about this bhaior is that if you form this workr group out of workrs from a fw locations (say, your main bas and a mor distant xpansion), it willalways snd th closst workr to complt th building.
This is ry handy for quickly rcting dfnsi structurs at sral of
your bass simultanously. Without haing to indiidually slct ach
workr for ach building, or ha on or two workrs trying to build up
many buildings, you can quickly and asy construct multipl dfnsi
buildings and know that thy’ll thn rturn to work whn you’r nishd.
Not that this smart bhaior isn’t dpndant on haing th workrs on
on hotky, you can always just drag slct a group of narby workrs on a
Minral lin and thn issu th ordrs—again, only as many workrs as ar
ndd will b snt, and as long as you nd th string of build ordrs with
a shift-right click back on th Minrals, thy’ll promptly rturn to work.
Zealot: Indispensible units from early to late or end game. You should increase the movement speed of Zealots through Charge from the Twilight Council after an expansion.
Sentry: Very strong units when attacking with Stalkers or Zealots. In particu- lar, the double effect of Force Field and Guardian Shield grants an enormous advantage.
Stalker: The Zealot is a close proximity ghter, while Stalker is a long-range
ghting unit. Stalkers can be used in “best counter” attacks or when you need to
stop retreating enemies.
Immortal: The Immortal is a high-value unit that should be used after the middle
of the game. No matter the strength of an attack, the amount of damage is lim-
ited by an Immortal’s Hardened Shell, so you can attack strong units head on.
Colossus: It ignores terrain and does splash damage, nuff’ said. The disadvan-
tage is that they are tall enough to be shot by air to air units. Make sure they
have air defense units with them like Sentries or Stalkers, etc.
Zerg Drones of course don’t need to worry about returning to work
(since they’ll be consumed with the creation of the structure), and
Protoss Probes can return more quickly due to their ability to warp
in buildings, but don’t forget to issue the return order as either
Protoss or Terran.
Another very helpful feature of the StarCraft II UI is the Idle Worker
button. Located at the bottom left of the hud, pressingF1 or clicking
once on this button will select a single idle worker. Pressing F1 or
clicking on the button repeatedly will cycle through all idle workers.
Conveniently, the shift and ctrl modiers work for this button. If
you hold shift and press F1 repeatedly, you will add idle workers to
a new group. Hold ctrl and press F1 and you will instantly add ALL
idle workers to a group!
This is very useful for gathering up workers who aren’t producing for you, and getting them back to work, either gathering, building, or repairing.
Unit control in combat is on of th most ital skills you can larn in
StarCraft II, possibly th most ital, and it also oftn an ara that is last
comfortabl for nw playrs in multi, bcaus thy’r so concrnd about
building up thir bas proprly that thy manag thir army poorly (or
wors, not at all!).
Don’t worry though, basic battl managmnt rally isn’t difcult, and
just by sticking to a fw simpl basics, you can gt your combat control
up to an accptabl ll ry quickly.
As you grow mor procint in your control of th gam, thr will b
tims whn it is accptabl to shift your iw to your bass for a fw
sconds, but whn you’r still larning, onc you commit to an attack (or
dfns) with your army, don’t stop watching th ght until th ghting is
or and you ha ithr won, rtratd, or your opponnt has rtratd.
Ys, you’r going to allow som rsourcs to accumulat whil you ar
ghting, and ys, you may not gt som upgrads rsarching or nw
buildings built, but this is far, far lss costly than losing your ntir army in
battl bcaus your opponnt was watching th ght whil you wr not.
Assuming that you ha your
army units hotkyd (and you
should!), managing thm in
combat is as simpl as nsuring
that thy ar all ngagd (hold
A and lft-click to attack mo
thm), and thn monitoring thir
prformanc in th battl as it
Rmmbr that you can quickly
slct all units of a singl typ by
ctrl-clicking on thm, ithr on th
map, or in th group pan at th
bottom of th UI. This is handy if
you nd to rposition or rtrat a
subst of your army.
Anothr ry handy UI componnt
for managing your army is th
group pan. Bcaus you arn’t
clicking on 3d modls in th
world who ar moing around
(and falling in battl!), you gratly
rduc th chanc of a missclick
or accidntal ordr.
Us th group pan for slcting
units, and rmmbr you can ctrl-
click on a unit in th pan to slct
all of that unit typ, or shift-ctrl-
click to rmo a unit typ from
Onc your army is ngagd, you
nd to kp an y on th ght
and mak sur that your units ar
ghting fcintly. If your ml
troops ar gtting bunchd up,
pull part of th group away from
th back of th pack and mo
If your arial units or transports
ar drifting clos to nmy anti-air
units or xd dfnss, mo
If you ha Burrowing units that ar gtting haily damagd, you can asily click on thir portraits in th group
UI pan as thy go rd and hit burrow to concal thm from nmy attack (as long as your opponnt dosn’t
ha dtction prsnt!).
Similarly, if you ha rangd units, or larg, tough units that ar bing focus rd (or simply damagd by
unfocusd attacks), it is oftn worthwhil to mo thm quickly out of rang, thn back in again. B carful with
this ll of control howr, bcaus whil it can b usful, intrfring with too many units in a ght whil your
opponnt continus to attack with his forcs can rsult in hay losss.
Whn your gnral combat units ar ngagd, you should kp your casting units slctd, and rady to us thir abilitis at a momnts notic. If you ha no casting units (or thir abilitis ha alrady bn usd), you should turn your attntion to units that bnt th most from dirct control.
Many rangd units (particularly if thy ar fastr than your opponnt’s ground forc) can b microd to ‘danc’ out of rang and r. Simply slct th units, right click rpatdly to mo thm out of rang, and occasionally paus to attack ground to mak thm paus and attack nmis in rang, thn rturn to moing thm out of rang.
Focus ring is simply th act of attacking a singl nmy unit (or building) with all (or n most) of your army simultanously. Th bnt to focus ring (or quuing up multipl focus r targts with shift) is that you can potntially dcras your opponnt’s damag output fastr than h dcrass yours.
Th rst is that pathnding can caus you to los signicant damag whil your units attmpt to mo into
rang to attack, and this can cost you a ght if you or-manag your troops. In gnral, rangd troops ar
bttr for focus ring than ml troops, and arial units ar bttr than ground units (as thy don’t ha to dal
with trrain issus).
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