Pick Your Teammates
When playing a team game, first determine how you will pick your teammate or teammates. There are two ways to do this: random teammates or playing with a set teammate such as a friend. The biggest advantage of playing with friends or people you know is that you can count on a certain standard of ability and support. When you play with a random teammate, you really have no idea who you’ll be paired up with. Some people find this exciting; however, other players are frustrated to find that their teammate is not up to their level of skill. Battle.net's Random Team games will set you up with a random teammate around your level. Generally, people have more fun playing with regular partners against strangers, because they are able to develop and master their teamwork over a span of games, but it's really up to you how you want to find or pick your teammates. The Battle.net friends list can allow you to better keep track of your friends so that you can find and team up with them.
Shared Unit Control
You can share unit control via a button in the top right of the screen in team games (though you cannot build using their workers). Sharing units gives valuable information about who your ally is controlling during a battle, which can allow you to help them out by managing units they are not watching or controlling.
- If you share units with your ally, you can also see their selection circle to help aid you in deciding what units to control.
- Group selection over mixed units (yours and ally) will only select your units.
- Group selection while holding down the ALT key will group both player and ally units.
- You may not spend your ally's money with Shared Unit Control (no building of units or structures)
Experienced teams should always share units at the start of the game. There are many times throughout a game where allies may have to use your units while your attention is elsewhere: helping aim at towers, trying to prevent an enemy from running away, preventing an allied unit from running into the enemy, using workers to scout, using workers to repair an allied building or mechanical unit, and more. It’s up to team members to use shared unit control responsibly, so do not share units with players that abuse shared control, or convince them to not abuse it.
When participating in a team game, you should always plan attacks with your teammate(s). Take note of your positions and the available starting positions, and plan out who‘ll explore which starting positions to check for the enemy. Discuss your overall plan for victory, and then alter your strategy as the game goes on depending on what the enemy is doing.
As a team, there are various goals you should focus on:
Locate enemy bases. Find out which races enemy players have chosen and where each player is located. Watch for expansions and destroy them when they appear. Predict where the enemy will expand, and keep an eye on those areas.
In team games, it's important to stick together and fight together with your allies. This simple strategy can often result in a game win against players that do not work well with each other. For example, in a 3 vs. 3 game, 3 team members stick together and launch an attack. The opposing team only has 2 of its players present to face the first 3 players. The 3 players easily kill the 2 players' armies, and then only have one player's army left to face.
Entire team games can be determined by a single battle where one team doesn’t have all of their members present. If you find yourself alone and you’re attacked by multiple enemy players, run until you can group up you’re your teammates. Do not engage your enemies if you are clearly outnumbered. Plan your attacks and announce them to your teammates. Defend your allies' towns and expansions if they are attacked. Ask for help if you need help. Try not to be a "soloer" - off doing your own thing, rather than helping the team. Such a person can often cause a loss for their team because they are not around to assist during battles.
Denying enemy expansions
If the enemy expands to additional bases, they will have more resources available to upgrade and build troops. Always assume that your enemy will try to expand. Watch potential expansion sites near an enemy base, while scouting other potential expansion sites from time to time. When you see an expansion, attack it. Expansions are typically easier to destroy than main bases (unless they’re well-defended). Stopping your enemy from expanding is just as important as expanding yourself.
It’s crucial to secure expansions for each member of your team. Keeping your teammates’ economy efficient also helps you, so aid them if they need it. Expansions can often determine who wins a game - if you don't have enough money to upgrade your base and build additional units, you’re likely to be at a significant disadvantage against your enemies. However, you don’t need expansions if you can prevent your enemies from expanding and beat them with a single base. Defend your expansion whenever it’s attacked, and delay your enemies’ assaults by building automated defenses (spine crawlers, photon cannons and the like) around your expansion. Don't overcommit to automated defenses, though, because they can be easily destroyed by siege units.
Keep in mind that you can share resources with your allies. If you need money for an expansion and don't have it, ask for money from your allies. If you find you have way more resources than you possibly need, ask your allies who needs some extra minerals or gas. If one player is advancing quickly up the tech tree to higher units, you may find it useful for everyone on the team to donate resources so that player can reach the higher units more quickly.
If a teammate exits a game in progress, you can completely control their units and buildings (including using their resources and buildings to create new units). Remaining team members should all pitch in to help control an absent player's town. It’s a good idea to assign unit-producing buildings to hotkeys and press them regularly to train new troops, just in case surplus resources have built up. Using these methods, you can come close to making up for the missing player's absence.
Often, opposing forces will try to destroy your absent ally’s main base and expansions quickly after your ally leaves the game. Be prepared for such an attack (or even better, anticipate it attack your enemies while they are preparing).
A team is only defeated when all of the buildings of all team members are destroyed. A team can also be defeated when all of their teammates have left the game save one, and that remaining player no longer has any of their original buildings (i.e. they only have their allies’ buildings to control). You cannot eliminate a single team member by destroying all of their buildings. It's best to destroy an opposing team member's ability to produce units and gather resources, and then move on to assault another base. You can then come back and clean up the town after you have won elsewhere. Don't spend too much time destroying all of an opposing team member’s buildings, because they can simply share unit control and start controlling the units of another person on their team.
Stay With Your Teammate Until You Are Eliminated
Do not just leave a team game when you start to lose; instead, help your teammate until you are eliminated. The only reason to leave early is if your partner is purposely delaying the end of the game with no hope of winning.
If you lose your base, you can ask to share your allies' units, help them better control what forces they have, and continue with the game.
If you still have a worker left, ask your teammate for money so you can rebuild your town.
Know How To Play
In team games, when other members of your group are depending on you, you should make an effort to stay competitive and active. Attempt to scout your enemy, learn the map you’re playing on, interact with your teammates, and pay attention to the changing face of the battlefield. If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to contribute or want to take more time to practice your play style, it’s a good idea to practice in custom games with computer-controlled allies. While everyone learning a game will be unfamiliar with some of its rules and complexities, you don’t need to stay that way!
Team games are won by teaming up, not by letting your teammates fight the rest of the enemy team. Make plans to gather your forces together and attack certain targets. Often, coordinated unit movement and attacks are decisive factors in team games. If you're not going to be using your collective units to attack the same enemy, coordinate separate attacks on different enemies so that they are unable to provide reinforcements to each other. Share unit control and make sure that your largest army is kept together. If you separate your forces, enemy players may use their combined army to pick you both off one at a time. You can make attacks without your teammate if you’re attempting hit-and-run strategies, attacking the backdoor of an enemy base, or assaulting an expansion, but, typically, it’s a good idea to combine your forces.
Communication is Key
Communication is very important in team games - we’re not all mind readers! When you're under attack by the enemy, or when you see their forces moving around, let your teammate know - it’s always possible that they did not see it. Similarly, when you see that your opponent has buildings that allow for certain units, has claimed a new expansion, looks weak, or has built specific units, share that information with your team.
Let your teammate know if you’re being attacked immediately.
This allows teammates to do two things: come save you or go attack that enemy's village since the enemy's units are in your town. Use the Allied Map Signal button on the minimap to show your allies where to go.
Make sure you are clear about which expansions and islands you are taking, so you and your partner do not try to build at the same one. Usually people expand near their base and their choices don't conflict with their partners. Give the team all the info you know within reason.
The easiest way to communicate with your teammates without typing is using the Minimap Signal button on the minimap to indicate where you want your allies to look. You can also use minimap signals by pressing Alt-G and clicking on the main window (to focus your allies on something visible on your main screen) or pressing Alt and left-clicking on the minimap (if you want your allies to look at a location not visible on your main screen). For larger games, it’s a good idea to designate one player to announce enemy movement and attacks using the minimap signal. Regular users of minimap signals can use them creatively to telegraph specific situations. For example, you might use a single ‘ping’ to direct allies to a location, or multiple quick pings to acknowledge an enemy army or a base under attack.
Don't use minimap signals frivolously - if you joke around with it too much, your allies are less likely to pay attention to it when you want to use it to warn of a real attack.
Prepare for Counter Attacks
When you invade an enemy base, be prepared for enemy players to respond with an attack from the rear. Be ready to turn immediately and attack the enemy as they return to defend their town – if you don't, you run the risk of having your troops slaughtered, leaving your base vulnerable to a counter-attack. Don't Rely on Your Teammates for All Information
Teammates will not always let you know their plans, or share their intelligence on enemy movements. If you find your teammates lacking in reconnaissance, be sure to gather information yourself.
Don't Rely on Your Teammates for All Information
Teammates will not always let you know what they or the enemy is up to. If you see your teammate is lacking in recon, step in and do the recon yourself.
Your Teammate is Part of Your Army
Help your teammate as though they’re part of your own army – because they are! Do not be conservative when sending reinforcements to your allies, or hold back units because you want to save them for yourself. Typically, skilled teams will send all their units to save a base if the entire enemy team attacks it. If only a few enemy players are attacking a base, you can send fewer units to defend it.
Don't ignore attacks on your bases and expansions. You'll find it's often easier to defend a base than to try to take an enemy base while it is away. This is because you can continue training new units at your base (or allied bases), and these units can eventually overcome an enemy attack force that’s further away from their base and slower to deliver reinforcements. Of course, there are always exceptions: if you believe you can destroy an enemy base and eliminate them from the game before they can destroy all of your bases, go for broke!
Use the Follow command to keep up with your teammates when executing a joint attack. To follow, select all of your units, and then right-click on a teammate's unit. It’s important to tell your teammate that your units are following so they can make sure no one falls off the train.
You can build some defensive structures (turrets, crawlers, bunkers, cannons and the like) as defenses in your base, but don't focus too much on them. As the number of players in the game increases, the effectiveness of defensive structures can drop - large armies can easily overcome large numbers of turrets or cannons. If you‘re losing, don't attempt to build a lot of defensive structures to save yourself - this rarely results in reversal against skilled players. Instead, focus on creating more units, concentrating your forces, and attempting to overcome your enemies’ army with hit-and-run attacks.
You can often pull off more reckless strategies as the number of players in a game increases (up to 4 vs. 4). In large team games, one player can focus entirely on specific units while other members of the team can build more versatile armies. For example, one player might rush to build specific air units, or a Terran player could focus on building nukes. Don’t be afraid to play around unconventional strategies to find a combination that works.
If you lose, save and watch the replay. Analyze why you have lost. Look for ways to improve your game.