Monday, February 20, 2012

Starcraft 2 Terran Strategy

Okay, so you've started to do your macro drill but... you've notice it's difficult to keep it going! It's hard to keep clicking around the screen and multitask. Here's another secret to pro's APM and also how they can do so much at once! This next aspect is essential to Starcraft 2 Terran strategy. And in terms of your APM in Starcraft, it will drastically increase it.

It's hotkeys.

Probably not the hotkeys that you're thinking about. You see, there are hotkeys that allow you to build units without clicking on them (like pressing 'S' for SCV or pressing 'M' for marine), but there are another kind of hotkey. These hotkeys are most frequently used for 'control groups'.

A lot of players use these to control their units. What you do is select a group of units you want to hotkey. Then, while they're selected, press on ctl+(a number). So you could press ctl+1 and now every time you press one it will bring you to the units that you've hot keyed! Pretty cool huh? But this is more related to micro, what we're talking about right now is macro strategies for Terran.

Okay, so in order to get this to improve your macro I will give you a system that a pro player gave me a long time ago that I still use to this day. Of course, you can edit this system to one that you find more efficient, this is just to get you started. However, from all the systems that I've used I still find this one to bet the best.

So... without further ado... this is how it works:

5 = your beginning command center
6 and up = your barracks
5 and under = your expansions

You start out with one command center and two barracks. Now, the trick is to keep checking your barracks to make sure that they are building! So keep pressing 5,6,7 over and over and checking to see how close your men are to being finished. Preferably, you should build your men at the last possible second in order to have minerals to build other things (like supply depots and/or additional command centers).

So, when you build your second expansion now you have 4,5,6,7,8 to look after. And you're going to constantly be pressing 4s5s6m7m8m9m in order to build SCVs and marines.

Now, this is of course for the macro drill. As you become more advances you will probably group buildings together (i.e. have all your barracks hot keyed into one group, like 6, and all your factories in 7, etc.). You have to, ultimately, find a system that works for you. But, for now to get your timing right and to learn to macro properly you should keep all your barracks separate and all your command centers separate. You'll see, this will make macroing a lot easier once you get the hang of it.

Maybe now you can understand why pros have such high APM. It's because they are constantly pressing all those numbers to check their buildings/unit groups while simultaneously clicking all over with their mouse. When you combine these two things your APM will skyrocket. Furthermore, the better you get at multitasking the better your macro and micro will be able to combine and the more efficient player you will be.

This is also how pros macro and micro at the same time. They can simultaneously attack and keep all their units building. So, while their less experienced adversary is constantly checking his base to build more units or focusing on the battle and not building, the pro is gaining. Someone who does not use hotkeys must sacrifice properly managing their units or properly managing their production.

You no longer have that problem if you master this hotkey technique! I'm not saying it's easy to do both, but with practice it will become natural and you will be a far superior player.

The next important thing after you've learned to macro properly with hotkeys and constant production is micro and strategy.

check out the latest and best Starcraft 2 Terran Strategies!

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