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The Big Picture on Macro and Micro

The Big Picture on Macro and Micro

In our previous articles, In the Vernacular: Learning the Language of StarCraft (Part 1 and Part 2), we highlighted a small portion of the vocabulary that makes up the lingo StarCraft players use to discuss the game. Two of these terms, micro and macro, are among the most used yet they remain mysterious to many newer players. Your ability to execute macro and micro within a match can be the difference between a crushing defeat and a glorious victory on the battlefields of the Koprulu sector.

Let’s take a look at the broader definition of macro:

  • Macro - Short for macromanagement.
  • Macromanagement - A strategy that focuses on the "big picture" and typically refers to the simultaneous supervision of structure production, mineral/gas/supply counts, and general unit position.

In a previous discussion, The Price of Victory: Managing Resources, we asked for your advice on how to manage resources as part of the larger strategy and saw a lot of great discussion. Understanding the in-game economy, such as the true costs of production, in resources and time, all falls into the "big picture" that macromanagement covers. Add in core knowledge of what resources or defensible positions each map offers, and you begin to see how having a solid grasp of that big picture can be vital.

Let’s take a look at the broader definition of micro:

  • Micro - Short for micromanagement.
  • Micromanagement - A strategy that focuses on the skillful manipulation of individual or groups of units on the battlefield to successfully attack and defend against opposing forces.

There’s more to each match than the big picture, and any veteran player can tell you that without a solid grasp of micro, you're throwing units and resources away. Understanding unit positions, counters, and individual unit abilities can turn the tide in any skirmish.

Combine the macromanagement and the micromanagement needed to secure victory against a strong opponent and it begins to look like a tall order. Given time, practice, and a little advice from peers, what seemed like a daunting challenge can be whittled down to size and what seemed like an impossible balancing act can become second nature.

As a part of our ongoing discussions on player strategies, we wanted to ask you for your best advice for managing macro and micro. What tips can you share to help keep it all under control?

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