The Shokz Guide, Starcraft 2 Guide

StarCraft 2 Basic Game Concepts - Chapter 1

Basic Game Concepts

So, let’s start off with some basics, and some terminology:

There are three races in Starcraft 2. They are the Protoss, Terrans, and Zerg. Each race has its own unique buildings and units, each with their own names. However, there are sure similarities between the races, and the concepts learned in this guide will apply to all three. For example, the worker for Protoss, Terran, and Zerg are “probe”, “SCV”, and “drone” respectively, while their roles are almost identical.

The goal of Starcraft is to eliminate all of your opponent’s buildings. There are two kinds of things that you can build and control in Starcraft: buildings, and units.

  • Units are things like marines or siege tanks – they’re men or vehicles that you can use to defeat your opponent. You can order them to move around the map or do other things. Most units can attack things to eventually destroy them. Some units have special abilities that do special things, like prevent other units from moving, or take control of them temporarily. There are three very special units, called workers, one for each race, that can collect resources and spend them in order to construct buildings.
  • Buildings are for the most part largely immobile, big things that you can use to construct units at the cost of resources, research upgrades at the cost of resources, or unlock the ability to construct additional kinds of units or buildings (we call this moving down the tech-tree). Each kind of building differs in how it specifically fulfills these roles: a gateway, for example, can construct zealots, stalkers, sentries, high templar, and dark templar, and it also unlocks the ability to construct cybernetics cores. A forge, on the other hand, does not produce any units at all, but enables you to build photon cannons, which are stationary defensive buildings. Forges can also be used to research upgrades that make all of your ground units stronger.
  • Buildings are also called structures. We’ll try not to confuse you too much over the course of our guides by rapidly switching back and forth, but do be aware that both words mean the same thing.
  • A “proxy” is a structure built outside of one’s base, either somewhere hidden on the map, or built near or even inside of an enemy’s base. This is a bit advanced, don’t worry about it for now, but keep it in mind for later chapters.
    Both buildings and units have a value called ‘hit points’ assigned to them. Whenever a unit or building attacks another unit or building, it takes away some of that unit or building’s hit points. When a unit or building runs out of hit points, it dies and is removed from the game.
  • Most buildings cannot attack. Some exceptions: photon cannons, spine crawlers, spore crawlers, missile turrets, and planetary fortresses.

In order to build new units or buildings, we need to have resources to spend. There are three kinds of resources, each of which is acquired in different ways.

  • Minerals are the most basic resources. You get minerals by telling your probes (Protoss workers) to mine from mineral patches by right-clicking on them with the worker selected. The worker will gather several minerals and then return them to your nearest nexus, then it will go back to the mineral field and mine some more, repeating the process. All buildings, units, and upgrades require some amount of minerals, so make sure you always have workers mining! The group of mineral patches at an expansion is called the “mineral line”.
  • Vespene gas is the second resource. Gas is used in upgrades as well as in advanced units and buildings. The more powerful and exotic an individual unit is, the more gas it takes. Advanced air units like carriers and spellcasters like high templar take a lot of gas to make. You get gas by building an assimilator on a vespene geyser. Once it’s built, you can order workers to harvest from it the same as with minerals: by right clicking. The workers will again move back and forth between the resource node (in this case the assimilator) and your nexus, harvesting on each journey. Think of vespene like oil, and think of assimilators like an oil derrick – it allows you to get at the resources that would otherwise be hard to reach. Your workers still have to collect the little gas packets, though, so make sure you don’t forget!
  • Food is the third resource, and it works slightly differently than the other two. You only need food in order to produce more units, but all units take some amount of food. In order to get more food, you need to build pylons, which give 8 food supply each. Nexuses also give food supply, but you shouldn’t build them for that alone. Think of it as a nice perk instead.
    • Food is, in the game, called “psi” (For Protoss), “supply” (For Terran), or “control” (For Zerg). These three names are simplified by most players to “Food”, because the resource functions the same way for all three races. We’ll try not to use those too much, but do be aware that the other names exist.
    • Food behaves a little differently than minerals or gas. Instead of subtracting the build cost of a unit from your food stockpile, the food that a unit takes to build is added to your current food count. You cannot build more units if those units would cause your current food count to exceed your maximum food supply. When your units die, though, they are removed from your current food count, freeing up the ability to construct additional units to replace them.
    • Food is displayed as current food count, followed by a slash, followed by your current maximum food supply in the upper right hand corner of your screen.
      Let’s go through an example:

      • I have 6 probes. Probes count as 1 food each, so my current food count is 6.
      • I have one Nexus. Nexuses give 10 food supply each, so my maximum food supply is 10.
      • This is expressed in the corner of my screen as 6/10.
      • If I build a zealot, which takes 2 food, my current food would go up to 8. My total food supply would not change, bringing me to 8/10.
      • If I build another zealot which takes 2 food, my current food would go up to 10. My total food would still be the same, bringing me to 10/10. I now cannot build new units, since that would place my current food over my maximum food.
      • If I were to lose a probe, which takes 1 food, my current food would go down to 9. Now, I can build another probe to replace it, since that would take me to 10/10, but I can’t build another zealot, since that would place my current food over my maximum food.
    • When your pylons die, you lose the food supply that they were giving you. You’ll need to reconstruct them in order to continue producing units.
    • When you don’t have enough food supply to build any more units, you’re “supply blocked”.
  • There are three other resources that we’ll talk about in later guides: APM, Production Cycles, and Time. These are all significantly more abstract and complex, though, so don’t worry about them for now.So how do we win at Starcraft? We use our workers to collect resources and build buildings, and use those buildings to construct units to destroy our opponent’s buildings. Of course, our opponent is going to be trying to do the same thing – and that’s where it gets interesting!

Source: CraftingStars

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