Why Using The GRID Hotkeys Is Important

We all know how important hotkeys are for being a good Starcraft 2 player, since they allow you to control your units and build buildings without having to use the mouse.
Now by default the hotkeys are based on spelling, which has several disadvantages. They are pretty hard to remember, uncomfortable to play and different for each race. So what I highly recomment is using the GRID option: You enable this in the ”Hotkeys“ section in your options, and then your hotkeys will be based on location instead of spelling.
This means for every race and every unit the hotkeys will be qwert, asdfg, yxcvb, so you don’t have to even know the unit’s/building’s name, you just have to know it’s position on the screen and use the respective key on your keyboard. You will also be able to react faster since you have all of your hotkeys together and not spread over the whole keyboard.

Guide Review: Shokz Guide

Today’s post will be a short review about a StarCraft 2 Guide called Shokz Guide, which I consider the best purchasable guide available on the internet.
It covers strategies for each race and goes more in-depth than any other guide I found. In addition to race strategies the guide shows you how to get the right mindset for each game, as well as Galaxy Editor guides.
One of the things I like most about it is that Shokz does not only explain the strategies, but also demonstrates each strategy with videos and pictures.
The problem with many guides you can donwload of course is that the game is always changing and some of the strategies may become outdated. This guide solves this problem, because you don’t just download the guide, you get access to a huge members area which is always updated. The author (John Greenhoe aka Shokz) is a diamond league player (you can check out his profile on the website), and he shares all the secret tricks that got him there - highly recommended.
Check it out guys!
Download Shokz Guide

The Differences Between The Races

Let’s talk about the differences between Terran, Protoss and Zerg in Starcraft 2. It contains how they build their buildings, how they get their supply to build units and how they actually build them, and last but not least the special abilities.

Terrans use SCVs to build buildings. As long as the building is built, the SCV has to stay there and can’t be used for other tasks like farming minerals.
The Protoss use Probes to build their buildings, but unlike the Terrans that can build everywhere on the map, they can only build close to a Pylon. If you click on a Pylon, you can see the area in which you can build. Well, actually you don’t really build the buildings - you warp them in. This means that your Probe don’t has to stay next to the building during the building process.
To build buildings with Zerg works very different compared to the other races. You can only build on the dark area called ‘Creep’, and after you ordered your Drone to build the building it transforms into the building. This means your Drone is gone, but because of this your buildings in general are cheaper comared to Terran and Protoss.

As Terran, if one of your buildings gets heavy damage and starts burning, then it loses a lot of hitpoints constantly, so you will have to repair it very quick using one of your SCVs.
The Protoss’ buildings and units can’t be repaired, but they got shields in addition to their hitpoints which will heal over time. They won’t lose hitpoints if the shields are still alive.
Zerg can’t repair their buildings and don’t have shields, but their buildings will heal themselfes in case they are damaged. This takes longer than the shield regeneration of the Protoss.

Terrans get their supply by building Supply Depots, which are great for blocking because you can hide them in the ground.
As a Protoss you have to build Pylons in order to get supply, which can be build everywhere on the map.
The Zerg don’t have supply buildings, they have an unit called ‘Overlord’ which is an flying unit and thus great for scouting, especially when you have researched the speed upgrade.

Building units as Terran is like we know it from many other real time strategy games: You have your unit buildings, click on the unit and it will be build and then go to the building’s waypoint. Simple.
Protoss are similar to the Terran concerning unit building, but once you have upgraded your Gateway to the Cybernetics Core, units can be warped in within the range of a Pylon. This means you can build a so called ‘Proxy Pylon’ near the opponent’s base and warp in units there so you they don’t have to take the long way over the map.
The Zerg’s unit building process is very special and different to the other races. You don’t have actual unit buildings, you have Larvae that can be transformed into various units. The morph into a cocoon, and after the cooldown expires, the unit spawns. Larvas are spawned every 15 seconds from your main building. One big advantage of Larvae is that you can build multiple units at once if you have enough ressources and supply.

Last but not least let’s talk about special abilities:
The Terran can upgrade their Command Center to either a Planetary Fortress or Orbital Command. The Planetary Fortress is basically a Command Center with more hitpoints and a strong ranged attack. Notice: The Planetary Fortress can’t be lifted up anymore.
The Orbital Command can use it’s energy for three different abilities: You can calldown MULEs, which farm Minerals a lot of faster than SCVs, calldown extra supplies if you are supply stuck, and you can use a Scanner Sweep which temporarily scans a location on the map, revealing hidden units also.
Protoss can use the Chrono Boost ability with their Nexus which boosts a unit’s building time by 50% for 20 seconds.
As Zerg you can use your special abilities with your queen. The queen can spawn a creep tumor, which then generates creep. This Creep is needed to build buildings and makes your units faster. Another even more important ability is to spawn Larvae, which makes you produce even more units.
The last ability of the queen is Transfusion, which heals a friendly biological unit or structure for 125 hitpoints.

Macro & Micro

This tutorial will be about Macro and Micro.
What is Macro and Micro?
Macro is, in general, everything you do to send your army to the front. This means you have to take care of your economy, which includes expanding and having a good income. Another aspect of Macro is building Supply Depots at the right time, because you don’t want to get supply stuck, and more or less constant unit produktion.

Micro refers to the control of your units.
This includes for example pulling weak units out of the battle so they won’t get killed, and things like a clever positioning of your units in a battle.
Your melee units are pretty much useless if they are stuck behind your range/casting units.
Another important aspect of Micro is taking advantage of your environment. There are several ways to do this:
- block your ramps with your units
- go up and down the cliffs with your collossus/reapers to hit and run
- put your siege tanks on higher levels so your opponent can’t see and attack them (or have a flying unit with you to see your opponents higher level siege tanks)
- etc.

The next aspect of Micro I want to talk about is Focus Fire. To use this perfectly I highly recommend to always have the lifebars shown (you can do this in the gameplay options). Now take your ranged units and let them fire on units with low life and them out, or focus fire on strategic units (like high templars).

Very important for both Micro and Macro: use hotkeys!
I recommend using the “grid“ option so that you have all your hotkeys on qwert, asdfg, and yxcvb since this hotkeys are the same for each race.
Hotkeys are important for Micro because you can control the abilities of your units faster and react better.
For Macro you should use a combination of having your production buildings on numbers (like 5 for main base, 6 for barracks and so on) and using hotkeys to produce units, so that you can both control your units in a battle and also constantly build new units without having to leave the battlefield.

Introducing the Terrans

The Terrans are a very flexible race.
With their ability to lift buildings up, you can easily switch the building expansions like the Tech Lab with another building or build your expansion in your safe base, then lift it up with SCVs in it and land everywhere you want to put your expansion.
You can either play very defensive or offensive. Using bunkers and Siege Tanks supported by rocket towers is a very safe way to defend your base. On the other hand, the offensive Terran gameplay consists of fast attacks and hit-and-run tactics. Terran is the only race which has only ranged units.
Unless the other two races, as a Terran you can build wherever you want and you are not restricted to Creep and Pylons.

The Terran army can be divided into the “bio-army“ and the “mech-army“.
In the bio-army you got the reapers, which are perfect for harrassment and scouting, but get a little bit useless later in the game.
Marines and Marauders together with Medivacs are a perfect combination, because you can use the stimpack ability which will boost the Marines and Marauders but also inflict damage on them, which then can be healed with the Medivacs.
The last unit of the bio-army is the Ghost, who is the ground caster-unit of the Terrans. With their EMP you can destroy a units energy, which is very effective against the Protoss since it will destroy their shields.

Besides the above mentioned Siege Tanks and Medivacs, another unit of the mech-army is the banshee.
The banshee has a very good cloaking ability which allows you to easily harrass your opponent and kill his workers. This can also be done with the Viking, which is a strong anti-air unit, but can also be transformed into a ground unit, which can be used to fly into your opponents base, transform it and then harrass him.
The second caster-unit is the Raven, which can’t attack but create towers for energy, detect hidden units and create defense drones to absorb attacks.
The helion is the fastest unit of the Terrans and is good for scouting and harrassment, but not good for longer fights since it dies too quickly.
The biggest Terran unit is the Thor, which costs quite a bit but is deadly against ground as well as flying units, and has also a very good ability to destroy buildings.

Starcraft II: The Basics

Hey Guys! On this website you will find compelling Starcraft II tutorials, guides, tips and tricks. There will be a lot of tutorials especially designed for new Starcraft II players but also a few advanced ones.
In this tutorial I want to cover some of the Starcraft II Basics that apply to every race, including early game, scouting and stuff like that.
Let’s start with the first point:

1. Probe Splitting
This is the first step in every game. Probe Splitting is basically sending your Probes, SCVs or Drones to the Mineral Fields. There are different ways to do this: The first way is to just select them all and send them to the Minerals by right clicking on them. The Starcraft II KI allows this, because it makes shure that there are not too much Probes on one Mineral.
Another method is to first send them all to one Mineral patch, and then while they are walking selecting a few and sending them to another one. This requires more micro, but you will manage it with a little bit of practice.
The third big method is the so called F1 split. F1 will select one of your idle Probes, so you can use this to send each one to a seperate Mineral Field.
Now, what is the best method for you? The truth is: There is absolutely no difference. You should just use the method that you like most. The same applies to the question if it’s better to first build the Probe and then send them to the Minerals or to do it the other way round - the difference is only a few milliseconds.
Way more important is that you stay calm and don’t act to hectically. A misclick that will cause the Probes to walk behind the Minerals is worse that clicking a few milliseconds slower than your opponent.

2. Always build Probes
This is one of the most important points of the game as well as one of the commonest mistake beginners make. Simple rule: If you stop building workers, you lose.
Always build new Probes if you got the Minerals.
And don’t forget to set the waypoint of your main base to the Mineral Fields by right clicking on them so that the Probes will walk to the Minerals directly.

3. Always send 3 Workers to your gas
Once you finished your gas, immediately send 3 workers. If you don’t do so, chances are that you forget about the gas and wonder why you don’t have enough gas the whole game long.
The same applies to the Mineral Fields: They are perfect used with 3 Workers, since there will be always one worker on the Mineral Field. 4 would be too much though, because they would block each other.

4. The Expansion
There is no best time to build your expansion, it always depends on your own strategy and on what your opponent is doing.
A fast expansion can be a huge advantage, but is also very risky. Especially in the early game you lose a lot of minerals that you can’t spend on other units. A common mistake is that players think an expansion just costs the 400 minerals, but they forget about the huge amount of probes they have to build to use the expansion effectively, which again cost 50 minerals each.
On the other hand your decision has to depend on what your opponent is doing. If he already has an expansion and you don’t have one, you know it’s time. If you don’t answer with an own expansion, he will have an too big economic advantage.

5. Scouting
You need good scouting to know what your opponent is doing. Especially in the early game scouting is one of the most important points, because if you don’t scout you can’t prepare for a rush of your opponent. A good time for scouting is at about 9-11 supply, since your opponent should now be at the point at which you can see what he intends.
For example if your opponent is Protoss and builds two Gates, you can be pretty shure you are about to get rushed.
Scouting is most often done by sending a worker into the opponent’s base, but can also be done by fast flying or invisible units later in the game.
Another very common mistake is that players only scout at the beginning of the game and then get overrunned by units they can’t counter.
A good way to prevent this is scouting by attacking your opponent with a few units, so that he has to show his army, and besides that you can inflict some damage and harrass him.