Advanced Guide


There are several key components to attacking your opponent successfully in StarCraft 2, not the least of which are good scouting and understanding where your opponent's economy and expansions stand versus your own. In terms of just the battle itself you need to know within the first few seconds the likely outcome of the clash and you should always be attacking your enemy where they are weakest.

Know When to Bail

When you march your army into your opponent's base or up against their army you've got to do some split second analysis as to how the battle will end.

You need to have a good understanding of the strength of your army versus what you're up against. If it's an even fight you may choose to just duke it out leaving both of you back at square one. If you have the upper hand hopefully that's obvious to you and you'll stand, fight, and push on towards winning the match.

What's paramount to the strategy here is to understand quickly if you're outmatched, even if it's only by 10%, and then quickly making the decision to get back to your base where you have more units and/or defensive structures or can at least get to higher ground. The danger here is being overconfident and having your opponent quickly counter you for the win.

You've got to do some research and have a good understanding of every race's possible army compositions. If you have a large bio army and they have units that do significant splash damage then this is probably not your fight. If you can out maneuver your enemy with a faster mobile force then even if you're outnumbered go ahead and poke in and try to pick off a few units and get out of there.

Too often people are overconfident in the army they've amassed and they're willing to march them in no matter what for battle. Don't lead your army to slaughter unnecessarily. It's always better to retreat, adjust, work on economy, and build more units and upgrades than to lose what you've worked hard at producing already.

Hit Your Opponent Where They're Weakest

This might be the most important section of every StarCraft 2 strategy guide on this site, so pay attention.

You'll hear the theme of overconfidence quite a bit in these guides and it's prevalent in this section as well. Just because you have a big burly force doesn't mean the front door is a safe place to attack. Every map, every base set up, and every possible positioning of units has a weak spot that you'll want to focus on and exploit.

Scout everything! Scout their expansions; do they have ground units only protecting a distant expansion? Go pick it off with air units. No detection? Get some cloaked units in there and ransack it. Maybe you can do a quick drop on their mineral lines. Maybe you can drop on dark patch (or even just a spot a good distance from their main army) right in their base and move a sizeable army in. Hit them where they're unprepared and you'll cause just as much damage to the player's psyche as you will to their actual game pieces.

Surprise! Don't worry, the front door is well guarded...

This strategy goes far beyond simple positioning though when we say attack where they're weakest. What's also extremely important is what you decide to attack.

There are three basic options: army, technology (structures), or economy. Each race is more or less paired with one of those options. Terran have the strongest technology, Protoss have the strongest army, and Zerg have the strongest economy. Conversely, Terran have the weakest army, Protoss have the weakest economy, and Zerg have the weakest technology.

Now, before anyone gets defensive about any of these points this is just a basic generalization, chill out. In StarCraft 2 the number and timing of expansions and player decisions to tech or mass an army has huge effects on the previous statements, but for the point of this strategy guide we're going to procede with those generalizations.

Attacking a Zerg's drones who is on two or more bases is basically a waste. They can replenish those drones at an alarming rate. Attacking their tech structures however makes much more sense because they'll typically have a single structure of each. By eliminating their technology structures you've crippled their ability to continue to produce that unit type (giving you the advantage to build specific units they can't defend as well against), and you'll basically put them in a strictly defensive mode until they rebuild giving you the opportunity to get map control or simply push in.

I'd prefer you didn't have Hydras actually, they annoy me

Brute force attacking a Protoss deathball can be tricky in any situation. Hit their mineral lines though to keep that very expensive deathball from growing much larger is the better tactic. The Protoss economy is expensive so ridding them of their minerals is the smarter play. Knock down Pylons next to cease production. If their Pylons are all you can get to though, then take them out first.

What we're saying is hit the weak Protoss economy first because their structures are tough, a single probe can warp in multiples quickly, and their army is even tougher. Hit them where it hurts.

Terran typically have multiple tech structures, can drop reactors to double production, and can even repair their structures while you're trying to destroy them. SCVs are easy enough to take out but that won't stop the Terran player from dropping M.U.L.E.s and replenishing once you leave. A Terran bio army though can't regenerate themselves and are weaker to many different compositions of attacking forces.

Once again, the Terran economy and technology are strong so pick of their army as you can, which was expensive to build, and you'll find you actually hit the Terran player where they were weakest.

Those generalizations aside let's consider a few other scenarios in StarCraft 2.

If you see your opponent fast expanding you should tech up. They've already gained the economy advantage and quite possibly the army advantage so you need to head for the technology advantage. Get some Banshees, Roaches, Infestors, or Colossus and push in and crush their tier 1 units and expansion.

If a Terran army is teching up by comparison then you should expand and try to out-army and out-economy them. They've already jumped on their technology strength and trying to match this with your own tech is not a good idea. You're already behind and the point here is to hit them where they're weakest. With your opponent now on less bases taking out the Terran economy is going to be more devastating than taking their tech'ed units on head first. Getting map control and taking this into later stages, eventually wearing them down, is how you're going to seize the advantage.

Attack your enemy when they're trying to transition to their higher tech. Hit Zerg when they're ramping up for Mutalisks. Hit Protoss when they're trying to get Void Rays or Dark Templars. Take out Terran players when you see a second Factory or multiple Starports go down. Assuming you've been focusing on an army you have the "army advantage" already when your opponent it trying to outpace you in technology.

For best StarCraft 2 strategy weigh the match in terms of army, technology, and economy and where your opponent is strongest don't primarily attack them there. Hit them where they are weakest and then capitalize on that attack by increasing your own strength in that same area thusly putting you ahead in 2 of the 3 pillars of the game.

Up next is map control. Next>>>

Think this StarCraft 2 strategy guide could be improved? Something to add that isn't covered in one of the other strategy guides? Let us know.

StarCraft 2 Strategy Pro Guides