If your new to Starcraft, then improving your game can be hard. I know because I like many other players had to learn from the bottom of the pool. But knowing these ten tips will make sure that your on your way to becoming one of the many Sharks that inhabit said pool.
10: Learn to use CTRL groups.
While Starcraft II supports seemingly limitless unit selection, no player should play a game without ctrl grouping units and buildings. Being able to build units on the fly and instantly switching between a group of Void Rays and Zealots is powerful in the fact that it can save you time that you might need to make more drastic choices. You can practice this fairly easy with a computer opponent. The real challenge becomes knowing what you need to have grouped. For each race and player this is different so experiment and keep an eye on what other players might recommend.
9: Learn the Quick Keys for everything.
This one is easier than it used to be because Blizzard has made significant changes to the Quick Keys, meaning Protoss players no longer have to learn awkward hand positions. This also means that no one has an excuse for not learning to memorize the quick keys for the race they play.
8: Spend money.
There is a saying that you can’t take it with you, and in Starcraft this is very true. One can only guess to how many games have been lost due to the simple fact that a player simply did not spend enough money. Sitting on money can be a difficult thing to avoid in Starcraft II because of the races getting better economy bonuses. It can be that you did not build enough Marines, or you could have built more Starports, whatever the case maybe, 100 well spent minerals can easily save you better than 100 unspent minerals. Not saying you should not save, but be reasonable with you savings. Most players used to go on saying that 500+ minerals was enough to save , because it could easily be used in a short time to build a base or more units.
7: Don’t be afraid to build the same building more than once.
This is a habit that we see new players make a lot and ties in with getting used to the fact you should be spending money when you can. Granted the average player may not build three Forges or Evolution Chambers, but then nothing is really stopping you from doing that if you want to get those upgrades out. If you have spent the money for another gateway, you can build twice the many units in the same amount of time. Now if your wanting to rush Immortals, then you may not want to be blowing a bunch of money on multiple Gateways, so always keeping mind what you want to do what where your funds should be going.
6: Try not to let spent money sit.
This is a large issue for Protoss and Terran players because they can queue the units being built in their production buildings. This is bad for a lot of reasons, first your money is just sitting there really, waiting for that unit to be built after the first one, when you can just as easily build something else with the money you would have had if it was not spent on that unit in queue. This is why building multiple buildings is important because it lets you get out units faster, but also prevents you from having to endure the wait.
5: Learn to scout frequently.
Fog of War has been with us now for many years, and it has taught us that same valuable lesson in every game that it’s made an appearance in. What you don’t know might just end up killing you. You should always have your eye on what your opponent is doing. This goes beyond the other players base, as you should be checking around the map too, who knows what new base or hidden tech lies around the corner.
4: Try playing all the races.
While you might be the most hardcore Zerg player on the Platinum League it does not mean you can’t know a thing or two about Protoss. You should be playing the other races often as it lets you get a feel for how the races react to each other. And it goes further than just unit counters, if you play a race regularly then you can get a feel for the time it takes to get your zealots out before the first wave zerglings hit. Plus this helps keep Starcraft fresh, so don’t be afraid to mix it up.
3: Have another player you can play with regularly.
Having a buddy that will play games with you is a big help. It takes the pressure off of having to play somebody you don’t know and will often never talk to again. And while it may not get you a lot of record history in Starcraft II it does give you a person to whom you can regularly toss ideas at. It’s also important if you’re big into the 2v2 aspect of Starcraft as it means you have somebody who is familiar with your play style.
2: Watch Replays.
For some people this is a chore or they don’t think that the benefits are worth the time. But any high tier player worth his salt can tell you that the ability to at least go back and see why you lost to improve your game is a feature that is worth its weight in minerals. Watching you own replays gives you a better understanding of what your own play style is like. You might think you know, but I guarantee that if you watch yourself playing game, there will not be a mistake you made that you did not catch with your own eyes upon watching the replay. But what about watching other players? This is a debate I get into with a lot of people, and just depends on the person. You might find that watching your own replays are good enough, while some people feel that they need to see other people play in order to learn. This is often has to do with how an individual player takes in new information, so some people might watch a video and get a better understanding of the game, while others might need to have played the game themselves to understand why the game played out the way it did.
1: Play the game, but not too much.
I know what you’re thinking, but Exzodium, we obviously play the game or else we would not care about tips. True but when I say “play” the game, I mean treat it more than just a game. Starcraft has always been an elitist game, to some people it’s more than just a game it’s a hobby like no other. Playing regularly is what keeps you on top of your game, and like anything else, if you stop doing it for a while, it became difficult to pick back up. I am not saying you should be playing 20 games a day. But if as long as you’re playing it here and there, you will see a gradual improvement in your play style. That being said, the reverse can be true to improving your game you don’t have to play 20 games a day to get better, in fact may be that you only need to be playing 1.5 games a day because the longer you play the more stressed out you might feel from having to focus so much. It just depends on the person, but a good rule of thumb is only play when you are hungry for a game.