Intermediate Guide


The more map visibility and the more information you have in StarCraft 2 the better you'll be able to adapt your army compositions, plan your attacks, and constantly evolve your strategy. The fog of war across the map exists for a reason and if you're not frequently scouting then you are quite literally left in the dark.

They gotta be around here somewhere...

It could be a scout worker or an Orbital Command Center scan in the early stages of the game. It could mean sacrificing an overlord to get a closer look into your opponent's base or sending in an observer, or several observers across the map. It isn't terribly important what you decide to do, more that you decide to do something with respect to gaining information on your opponent.

Information has several purposes throughout the game. The most basic early information would be to simply find out where your opponent is or if they've expanded. Often times there is more than one place where your opponent could have spawned and you need to determine both where to send your units and where units are going to be coming from.

Scouting also tells you what units your opponent is going to be using against you and what strategy they are going to use. This is incredibly important. Are they going to cheese you? Are they going to use marines, stalkers, or roaches? Are they getting early gas?

No unit in StarCraft is good versus everything. All of the units in the game have weaknesses. Some can't attack air, some have incredible range, some clump up and are vulnerable to splash damage, etc. Knowing what your opponent is going to use is a huge advantage because it allows you to focus on units that counter theirs. This also means having a solid comprehension of every single race's tech tree so that when you scout an enemy structure you know precisely what it means.

Early Scouting Tips

Early scouting is very important and can help you decide how you're going to proceed with your build based on your opponents first few moves. There's really only a few things to look for so early in the game but they can very important if you know what to actually look for and what it typically means.


  • No gas; watch for a rush or early aggression with increased mineral only units
  • Two gas; they're likely teching and could be vulnerable to early aggression from you, be mindful of air units or armored units they may be going after
  • 1 gas; normal opener, doesn't mean much except to keep scouting

If you don't see a tier 1 production structure early such as a Spawning Pool, Barracks, or Gateway it can mean a couple things. In the case of the Zerg it likely means they're saving extra income to do a fast expansion. For Protoss or Terran it could mean a proxy build; their Gateway/Barracks could be close to your main and you should scout for that possibility.

If you see a Protoss player drop a Forge before they drop a Gateway they're getting Photon Cannons. They're either going to use these defensively to tech up or offensively to cannon rush you so continue scouting near your base and at theirs to see the next move.

Take note of how many early production structures they have. Did a Terran player just drop a single Barracks that's now complete and they have at least one gas? They're likely doing a mech build or a 1-1-1 build. Did a Protoss player get a Cybernetics Core before their second Gateway? How much gas? 1 gas, probably stalkers, 2 gas they might be teching air.

Don't scout just to inquire. You've got analyze and try to think several moves ahead. Study each race's tech tree and popular build orders and your scouting will start to mean more once you can quickly deduce what your opponent is up to.

We'll talk about putting the proper units together for a well rounded army. 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