StarCraft® II

Probe Count

Posts: 76
Hey guys I'm new to starcraft so I don't really understand when to stop making drones. So what I think I'm supposed to do is to keep making drones with your main so when you go for your natural expo you can have it fully saturated immediately. After getting my first expo down do I make probes from that expo for the next expo's saturation and keep making probes from my natural just enough to fully saturate it again or do I stop making probes from my natural?
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Posts: 12,324
When you're still new, the best advice is to never stop making Probes until you get up to around 60-80 of them.

Until you get used to judging it, just keep making them from all your bases and transfer workers as needed, you'll eventually get a handle on the most efficient way of transferring just from experience.
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Posts: 160
16 per base is best, that will be 2 lines of probes when you select them. Keep making more before you expand and transfer the exess ones over and you will saturate your new base much faster.
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Posts: 15,686
Hylozoist has the right of it.

In addition, as a ROUGH guideline:

- 16 probes mining minerals is a minimum number you want to keep in mind for any number of bases up to 4.
- 3 probes in each gas, always. Except for VERY few specific maps with geysers that are further away from a Nexus - although those maps may not be there anymore... So, don't worry about it and stick to 3 per gas geyser.
- 30 probes (6 in gas) FULLY saturates 1 base and is optimal for 1 base play with tech.
- 21 probes (3 in gas) saturates a mineral line with 16 on minerals, and 1 scouting probe for a 4 gate
- 60 probes fully saturates 2 base play/all-in with tech. It is also good for 3 base play in PvP right before lategame stages, after which you want between 70-75 probes
- 75 probes = maximum income from 3 bases fully mining minerals and gas from all geysers and patches. Anything higher is too much.
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Posts: 1,482
3 Probes in each Gas.
This is easy to count. If there is no time where an Assimilator is idle, then there are 3 Probes in there. Occasionally, gas placements on the map are terrible and require a 4th worker.

16-20 Workers mining Minerals.
Box all Probes mining Minerals. If you look on the selection panel, there should be two full rows of Probes and a few extra.
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Posts: 76
Wait so is it 24 (6 gas, 18 minerals) fully saturated or is 30 (6 gas, 24 minerals) fully saturated? Just to make sure of the meaning of fully saturated, does fully saturated mean a base with 24 or 30 probes so that you can pull about half away from an expo to fully saturate the new expo? Or does fully saturated mean that 24 or 30 probes mines the most efficiently so I should try and get above 24 or 30 and move the excess to the new expo?
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Posts: 478
16 Minerals 6 Gas - All Probes are FULLY UTILIZED.
18 Minerals 6 Gas - Very Well Saturated. [Any additional Probes will have MINIMAL benefit to resource collection rate...]
24 Minerals 6 Gas - MAXIMUM Saturation. [Any additional Probes will NOT ADD ANY benefit to resource collection rate...]
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Posts: 2,107
01/19/2013 06:29 PMPosted by Kanoq
Wait so is it 24 (6 gas, 18 minerals) fully saturated or is 30 (6 gas, 24 minerals) fully saturated? Just to make sure of the meaning of fully saturated, does fully saturated mean a base with 24 or 30 probes so that you can pull about half away from an expo to fully saturate the new expo? Or does fully saturated mean that 24 or 30 probes mines the most efficiently so I should try and get above 24 or 30 and move the excess to the new expo?


30 with 6 in gas 24 on minerals is fully saturated. That means it mines the most possible from the base. However there is a lot of time the probes spending sitting around waiting.

16 on minerals means probes are never waiting around.

18-20 probes is a nice balance between them.

You should always have 16 on minerals at every base before any base goes above it.

16x3 + 6x3 = 64 probes on 3 bases. So as long as you are expanding at good times you generally don't have more than 16 on minerals except right before you expand.
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Posts: 12,324
16 Minerals 6 Gas - All Probes are FULLY UTILIZED.
18 Minerals 6 Gas - Very Well Saturated. [Any additional Probes will have MINIMAL benefit to resource collection rate...]
24 Minerals 6 Gas - MAXIMUM Saturation. [Any additional Probes will NOT ADD ANY benefit to resource collection rate...]


Not quite.

3 in each geyser is correct.

The first and second Probe on a patch of minerals will give you the same amount each time, so adding the second probe doubles the minerals over time you get from that patch.

A third worker will generate roughly half as much as the first or second worker does, so 3 workers will give you ~2.5 times the minerals of 1 worker, and 25% more minerals over time as 2 workers.

Four and beyond, you get no additional income per Probe.
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Posts: 15,686
Not quite.

3 in each geyser is correct.

The first and second Probe on a patch of minerals will give you the same amount each time, so adding the second probe doubles the minerals over time you get from that patch.

A third worker will generate roughly half as much as the first or second worker does, so 3 workers will give you ~2.5 times the minerals of 1 worker, and 25% more minerals over time as 2 workers.

Four and beyond, you get no additional income per Probe.
Um... you actually agreed with him.

24 probes on minerals is the max number you will want without diminishing returns. 16 saturation; 24 is full/max saturation. 3 on each gas in 99% of cases on most maps.
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Posts: 3,501
24 probes on minerals is the max number you will want without diminishing returns. 16 saturation; 24 is full/max saturation. 3 on each gas in 99% of cases on most maps

Right, or you can look at it this way: 24 on minerals per base gets the maximum income on a given number of bases (most base efficent). 16 on minerals gives you the most mineral per probe without having "too many" bases.
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Posts: 12,324
Not quite.

3 in each geyser is correct.

The first and second Probe on a patch of minerals will give you the same amount each time, so adding the second probe doubles the minerals over time you get from that patch.

A third worker will generate roughly half as much as the first or second worker does, so 3 workers will give you ~2.5 times the minerals of 1 worker, and 25% more minerals over time as 2 workers.

Four and beyond, you get no additional income per Probe.
Um... you actually agreed with him.

24 probes on minerals is the max number you will want without diminishing returns. 16 saturation; 24 is full/max saturation. 3 on each gas in 99% of cases on most maps.


That's why I said 'not quite.'

I was correcting/adding numbers.

The 'minimal' benefits past 16 isn't quite true, it's still a solid benefit. Not as much as the first two sets of 8, but still a solid extra resource boost which can really make all the difference.
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Posts: 15,686
01/20/2013 03:55 PMPosted by Hylozoist
The 'minimal' benefits past 16 isn't quite true, it's still a solid benefit. Not as much as the first two sets of 8, but still a solid extra resource boost which can really make all the difference.
Yeah, you're right, but I have found that just staying on 16 probes mining minerals per base and re-rallying probes to a new base works better on most maps because the mining lost while maynarding probes is sometimes not worth it. You still get your income boosted by re-rallying.

I found this to be especially true in PvT and PvP. PvZ, it is usually better to maynard because you don't have a saturated mineral line when you expand anyways. You can choose to just re-rally probes to the natural, and you'll not be behind by far.

The only exception is for large mains and a relatively large distance between mains and naturals like Newkirk District, Akilon Wastes, Condemned Ridge, etc. It is better to re-rally always on those maps.
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Posts: 76
So should I keep 24 or 30 probes per base?
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