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A few weeks ago, we asked big Geoff “iNcontroL“ Robinson for some pointers on how to crush the opposition in Starcraft 2. The former World Cyber Games U.S. Champion in Starcraft gave a few general tips that can help any player, but we had a feeling he was keeping the best secrets for himself (either that or it was too early in SC2's lifespan for him to form hardcore strategies).
Well, we gave him a bit of time, and now he's back with 10 more specific strategies for us chumps. Read his original 10 Tips from a Pro Player, then start working on these below. Let us know how it goes.
1. "Each race in Starcraft 2 has a unique macro mechanic that you must be familiar with depending on which one you play.
"If you are Terran, it is important to be comfortable with Orbital Command-related decisions. When do I drop a mule? When do I scan? When do I do a supply call down? In general, you are safe to call down mules all the time except when you need detection or a scan to find out what your opponent's strategy may be.
"As a Protoss you must utilize chrono-boost. Using this on probes, upgrades, and units that take a long time to produce like Colossus, Immortals, or Void Rays is important. I would prioritize them in that order as well.
"Lastly, for the Zergs out there, never miss a larvae injection! Always have eggs hatching on your hatcheries. Once your queens get two to three injections down at the beginning of the game, it is time to start spreading creep via creep tumors.
"If you focus on these macro mechanics and loosely adhere to the model previously discussed, you will enjoy success."
2. "Study your replays! SC2 features an incredibly informative replay function that allows you to virtually know everything about the game you are watching. How many harvesters did they have? At what time did they attack? Why did they attack? What could you have done differently? Rewind, fast forward, and pause at important moments and study the landscape of said moments, and you will become more aware of indicators that will ward off future mistakes.
"Saturate yourself with content. More than ever, SC2 is all over the place. Youtube has fantastic commentators uploading commentary on a daily basis. Do a simple search, and listen to what they have to say. Even if you disagree, the conjecture will further your development. Watch streams! Find the top players that are streaming on Livestream, Ustream, or one of the many many other stream providers. Get inspiration, see what works or doesn't work, and progress from there.
"Lastly, read about SC2! There are strategy forums and other websites springing up all over the place with the sole purpose of collecting information regarding builds, unit compositions, counters, etc. The more you know, the better off you will be."
3. "Socialize! With SC2 lacking chat channels, it is easy to feel alone and bored. Implement the Facebook function built right into Battlenet 2.0 and get ahold of friends that are playing this game. Talk to the people you ladder. Ask them for advice, or simply get right to the point and ask them if you can play with them outside the ladder. Worst-case scenario, they say no. Best-case scenario, you make a friend."
4. "Protoss player? In Protoss vs. Protoss, make sure and work on warp gate-oriented builds with heavy aggression. Making three to four gates and then pressuring your opponent until they crumble is very popular and something you will want to adapt around.
"Protoss vs. Terran usually revolves around the colossus. Make these towering monstrosities, and keep them safe with stalkers, zealots, and sentries, and you will find success!
"In Protoss vs. Zerg, it is important to keep tabs on the Zerg. Don't let 'lings into your base, and make sure to keep checking their strategy. Mutas are very different from hydras or roaches."
5. "Terran player? In Terran vs. Protoss you want to get marauders early and often. Supplement those units with upgrades like concussive shells and stimpack to make them more effective, and then join them with marines and medivacs.
"In Terran vs. Terran, you want to focus on vikings and tanks. Spend your surplus resources on marauders, medivacs, and expansions as well as static defenses like turrets. The vikings act as excellent spotters for the tremendously well-ranged tanks while simultaneously functioning as an attempt at securing air supremacy.
"Terran vs. Zerg can play very similarly to Terran vs. Protoss, only you should include more marines and eventually make tanks alongside your marine, marauder, and medivac army."
6. "Zerg player? Zerg vs. Zerg is mostly a zergling and baneling bloodfest! Try and get your banelings to detonate on the opponents drones or kill multiple zerglings so your zergling numbers can surpass that of your foes.
"Zerg vs. Terran can be anything. Hydra, roach, mutalisk, infester etc. But make sure and have banelings with each army! They are excellent anti-infantry units, and they make short work of the largely infantry-based terran composition.
"Zerg vs. Protoss revolves around remaining at least one base ahead of your Protoss adversary. Banelings are less effective here, and you should try and mass up units like roaches, hydras, and zerglings while you secure a larger economy. If your opponent goes colossus, you must make corruptors otherwise you will have an extremely difficult time!"
7. "In general there are things you can do to be a better SC2 player. Bring as much money in as possible! You need each base to be fully saturated. That is three drones per mineral and three per gas. So a base with eight mineral patches and two gas would require 30 harvesters. Obviously other things must be produced before you make 30 harvesters, but be conscientious of that concept and work toward that goal."
8. "Spend your money! I know I said this in the earlier post, but it’s important enough to repeat. Bringing in as much money as possible is important, but that is all for naught if you are not spending it. Keep your resources below 1000, and work toward producing continually. If your money continues to rise, you are not adequately equipped for the economy you are featuring. Make more gateways, factories, or barracks — spend the money! If you are still experiencing an increase, expand again or build more supply depots/pylons/overlords. There are things to spend your money on…do it!"
9. "Stay ahead of supply. If you are under attack and must make that crucial group of reinforcements, you simply cannot do that if you don't have space in your supply. Make sure you always give yourself some leeway. If you are within four to five supply of your cap 15 minutes into the game, often one or two units will bring that to full capacity. Anticipate that blockage, and make the necessary amount of supply depots/pylons/overlords."
10. "Last but not least, have fun! This is a game. A difficult and competitive one…but a game. If you are losing and not having fun, go watch some vids, streams, or replays. Relax, take a deep breath, and return to the battlefield!"
Don't forget to check out our Starcraft 2's 10 Coolest Secrets, Stories, and Easter Eggs feature as well as the second season of WCG Ultimate Gamer, currently airing on Syfy.