The Newbies guide to StarCraft II

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Hello all StarCraft forum goers!!! I decided to make this thread to help out those are new to StarCraft or anybody who is struggling with ladder and looking to improve as a player. Below is a compilation of some things that I thought could assist the average newcomer looking for help. You don’t have to visit all of these links to improve or even any of them, but this is here for anybody who needs it. I included so many links because no one thing will work for everyone so I have gathered all this here so you may decide what will work best for you as an individual and as a StarCraft gamer :D!

I will continue to update this thread and add new things as I find them. If you are a StarCraft veteran or newbie and you have anything to add to the list simply post it in the comments and I will add it to the list. Any feedback you have to help better the thread will be greatly appreciated!! Whether you have anything to add to the list, would like to see something edited, or even think I added something that should be removed, all feedback is welcome and will be taken into consideration.

For those of you just joining StarCraft II or wanting to get more involved in StarCraft II I strongly suggest you check out Day9 daily #269 and the other Day9 dailies in the Beginner Day9 section. If you have never played an RTS game I would also recommend checking out the beginners guide under the TeamLiquids website section. It explains some of the basics concepts a bit and should give you a good starting point to choose where you want to go with the knowledge. Magnet also has been creating a great guide series for those new to the game that can help those who are beginners and up to the intermediates.

Videos, Tutorials, and streams
Watching videos and streams of StarCraft is one of the greatest ways to learn. You can watch pro players play so you can copy builds, learn timings, and to help you understand the game better. Many people also post videos online to help give you tips and tricks to “Be a better gamer” – Day9

Starcraft II: World Championship portal (For all things WCS and to watch pro players play)

WCS season’s 1 and 2 replays
WCS Season 1 of 2014
Blizzard released all of the pro level replays from WCS seasons 1 and 2. If you ever wanted to copy your favorite pros builds and get every little detail that even the casters miss, well then this is the place to do it. “The foreigner scene benefited tremendously from seeing the Korean well-honed builds in all their replay intricacies. Every SC2 notebook opened up after that news.”

Streams to watch
• Twitch streams

• Community Streams


Artosis (A well-known StarCraft caster)

Day9 (A well-known StarCraft caster)

Magnet's Video Tutorials (For every race!)
A great collection of "tutorials that are aimed at beginners and intermediate players, but advanced players could pick up a thing or two from watching. They are all contained in a playlist, so you can get started here!"
Magnets thread:

Direct link to youtube guides:

Day9 beginner videos
• Daily #132 - Mental Checklist
• Daily #252 - Secrets of hotkeys, APM and mouse movement
• Daily #269 – How to get into sc2
• Daily #312 - How to learn and improve
• Daily #419 - Fixing 1 problem at a time

Day9 beginner/Intermediate videos
These are videos I would like to have put in the beginner section but I wanted to keep that section small and I couldn’t decide one way or another so I put them here.
• Daily #184 – Newbie Tuesday #1
• Daily #480 – Finding Leaks in your play
• Daily #481 – Zerg Leak finder
• Daily #434 – Simplifying problems

Day9 intermediate videos
• Daily -#257 Refining Mechanics
• Daily - #261 Mechanics #2
• Daily - #285 Stealing a Build
• Daily - #289 Refining a stolen build
• Daily - #340 Gold level analysis
• Daily - #341 Reprioritizing your to do list
• Daily - #360 Mental Checklist: Exercises

Apollo (Yet another well-known StarCraft caster)
ApolloSC2 Youtube

Starcraft II tutorials for all races (Warning: This was made for Wings of Liberty but it should still be helpful)

Terran HotS tutorial part 1

Quick Tips from Apollo
• A hotkey setup for terran
• How to correctly reinforce your Zerg army

FilterSC (Starcraft streamer and well known for his bronze to master’s series)

FilterSC YouTube Profile

General Bronze to Masters HotS

Terran Bronze to Masters HotS

FilterSC: HoTS Bronze to Masters - Protoss

Combating Ladder Anxiety

FilterSC Twitch Stream

HTOMario (A grandmaster meching player on NA)

HTOMario’s YouTube channel

HTOMario: How to Mech TvP

HTOMario a TvP video guide compilation!

HTOMario a TvZ video guide Compilation!

How to Mech TvZ Part 1 - The build order
TeamLiquids website
Team Liquid is a great website where you can find plenty of StarCraft news, strategy, and another great forum to visit. These are just a few of the many gems that reside in Teamliquids website.

Beginner's guide (For those new to StarCraft and to RTS’s in general)
For those “who are fresh out of singleplayer campaign and don't have the slightest clue how the opponent got out 10 battlecruisers when they're just working on their 6th marine.”

TeamLiquids recent tournaments list
“You learn about SC2's current metagame through the most recent tournaments. The ladder metagame will follow in the coming days. Stay ahead of the changes and be that guy that is way ahead of your opponent's thinking patterns. Bookmark LiquiPedia's Recent Tournament Results page. It has links to the tournaments with their VODs.” - isDanglars

Section 1: Mechanics.

How to Improve Efficiently at SC2 1v1
“If ever there was a guide to undo every bad habit you've accumulated from ladder experience, this one is it. Ladder anxiety, build adaptation, pitfall avoidance, macromechanics and micromechanics are all covered here. It's a testament to how far Wings of Liberties advice carries on.” -isDanglars

A Focused Approach to Perfecting Mechanics
“This guide is intended for a player who understands the basics concepts of StarCraft 2 and RTS in general. It is not about build orders or strategy and is instead about the general concept of mechanics and their use in the most correct way possible. The basic idea of this guide is learning a new method of watching your own play, comparing it to progamers, and then being able to follow simple easy steps in order to make your play more like theirs.”

Deadzerg's guide on mechanics
Another guide on how to improve your mechanics and gives you great advice tailored for all of those Protoss players out there. I strongly recommend this if you are trying to play Protoss and need help with your mechanics.

Section 2: Dealing with anxiety

Dealing with anxiety
“Many people are nervous about playing on the 1v1 ladder in StarCraft II, even those who are perfectly calm playing team games or custom games. This page outlines why this happens and ways to deal with it.”

The Psychological and Physiological (aka Ladder Anxiety) Psych approach to ladder anxiety
“The Psych Approach was written by a university psychology student with helpful advice. Ladder remains and important tool. Forget the tools you have and develop slower.” - isDanglars

Create your SC2 Gaming Headspace
“This is my preference to combat mental and psychological fatigue while gaming. The collection of suggestions WILL fit some gamer's needs. You develop your gaming head space. Once you have it, ladder is easy and tournaments are just a cake for you to devour. This advice I have personally given to more than 20 Adopt-a-Newb SC2 noobs that have improved a league simply after having read it.” - isDanglars

How to fix 'Tilt'
“Every player has a time when frustration has taken it's toll. They start to miss probe production. Their micro slowly devolves in a goopy mess of derp.
A big part of fighting Tilt is knowing when it's hit you. Endorphines and adrenaline do NOT help your game and strong emotions cause your brain to produce them. They will slow your play and your decision making will suffer.”

Section 3: Guides

SC2 Strategy Recommended Threads
This is essentially the Teamliquid version of this thread. It is a very good thread and links to many different great team liquid threads.

TL Strategy Portal
A compilation of some of the best TL Strategy team articles and guides.

4M: A Guide to Modern TvZ
“Marine, marauder, medivac, mine, also known as 4M, is the standard in the Terran vs Zerg matchup. It was first seen near the launch of HotS and is now the go to macro style of professional players. This guide covers the two most common openings that lead to 4M and two possible ways to enter the midgame with 4M. The guide goes into detail on how to handle Zerg play styles at all stages of the game. This style of play is both fun and demanding. Good luck to everyone as they attempt to learn it!”

4M TvZ Part 2: The American Way
"Please note, you should have read the guide titled, “4M: A Guide to Modern TvZ” as I will be assuming that the contents found inside of it are common knowledge to anyone reading this article."
"This guide will go through several of Polt's games in order to explain both the specifics of his build and some deviations that are used to adapt to the Zerg's play."

Blades Zerg Guides
A collection of guides to help Zerg players in any matchup that they are currently struggling with.
Blade's Guide to Zerg vs. Zerg's_Guide_to_Zerg_vs._Zerg
Blade's Guide to Zerg vs. Terran's_Guide_to_Zerg_vs._Terran
Blade's Guide to Zerg vs. Protoss's_Guide_to_Zerg_vs._Protoss

TeamLiquid's guide on 2base templar PvT
Nowhere else on the internet is the standard non-colossus PvT build explained better. Any protoss that wants variety in their PvT play will benefit from reading this.

TeamLiquid's guide on the 2-2-2 Protoss PvZ allin
It's officially twice as good as the Terran's previous 1-1-1 allin.

TeamLiquid's HELP ME resources

“Nobody else, on this forum or others, collects the Grandmaster and Pro-gamer advice on common questions than in the Terran, Zerg, and Protoss Help-Me threads. Wondering what good newbie builds there are for each race? Look no further, they're found in the threads. Wondering how to beat those oracles? How to survive against widow mines? What to do when your opponent has storm AND colossus? It's there.” - isDanglars

Section 4: Miscellaneous

Comprehensive SC2 League and Ladder Guide
“This guide is designed to provide detailed information about the core functionality and design of the StarCraft II ladder, its leagues, and matchmaking. The information within this guide comes from empirical findings as well as Blizzard developers.”

How to analyze replays
“Every novice to the game benefits from learning how to critique their own play. Think you already know what went wrong in the game? Try reading through Plexa's excellent advice and watching that replay for the first time (or again). You won't be the first one that has improved a league after learning to analyze your replay's mistakes.” -isDanglars

The staircase (A training method designed to make things fun and less complex)
“TheStaircase is an alternative improvement method that focuses on creating a fun, and motivating experience for the player. It utilizes unit constrictions to prevent the player from being overwhelmed by the complexity of the game, and to encourage creativity and exploration.”

Free coaching thread
‘If you're looking to be coach, you have to be proactive about it. Sitting back and saying "ohh boy i'll let the coach contact me", isn't going to find you a coach. Look through the thread and PM one of them and go from there.’


Things that may interest you

Stim "Inject yourself with Starcraft"
"The website aims to gather guide links for all three races when it comes to builds, strategies, learning the game, or improving your play."

SC2Gears (A replay analyzer tool)
“Sc2gears™ is a general StarCraft II utility for everyone who is interested in the game (either a player, a developer or just a game analyzer). Its main features are replay management and analysis for both individual replays and mass replays (multi-replay statistics). It provides easy but powerful and efficient replay management and basic statistics for starters, and advanced statistics and time development charts useful even for professional players.”

MMR Stats (Plugin for sc2gears that tracks how well you are doing in ladder)
MMR Stats is a plugin that I personally love that will track your MMR (matchmaking rating) and give you an accurate benchmark to where you are in the ladder and can help you know when you are close (or how far) you are to that ever so elusive ladder promotion.

Wanting to try a new build on ladder or try a new race but you don’t know how to open up the game? Well… look no further as this site will keep you up to date on all the latest builds from our favorite Starcraft II pro players. This is a great site that will not only tell you the build but what to scout for and how to follow up with the build.

GGtracker (Online replay analysis tool)
GGtracker is an online replay analysis tool that can help you “Improve better. Measure your win rate, APM, Spending Skill, and more.

SC2ReplayStats (Online replay analysis tool with free automatic uploading)
SC2replaystats from what I have seen is almost exactly like GGtracker except with a free automatic uploader and a few extra statistics that GGtracker doesn’t have. Which site you prefer is up for you to decide.


Tips from the forums to help yourself improve on the ladder
  • Sorrow's Guide to Self-Improvement
  • List of General Mechanics
  • MtlGuitarist's Guide to Standard Terran (WIP)
  • 1 - 1 ZVT Roach Timing
  • Reaching Your Next League: A Guide
  • Gas Scouting/Multitasking/Resources
  • Magnet's Video Tutorials (For every race!)
  • [TvP] Winning vs Protoss: Hammer Build
  • • Always be making workers, up to a max of about 75, but you don't want more than 16 workers per mineral field and 3 workers per geyser. Never get supply blocked if you can help it!
    • Don’t forget to expand and to scout for expansions (This includes hidden expansions)
    • Make a habit of looking at your minimap right before and after every time you go to macro. This will be extremely useful at spotting drops.


    Credit to TheSkunk for creating his “Community Groups, Events, and Tournaments” thread which inspired me to create this thread, to Grack for helping me find some of the Day9 dailies, raver for helping me find some of the Apollo videos, and to everyone in the StarCraft community and especially to all those who spent all their time and effort into creating these resources so everyone can use. Happy gaming everyone, and good luck on the ladder!!

    A Special thanks to isDanglars who was a huge help adding a huge amount of TeamLiquid threads. Really this thread couldn’t have been complete without him!
    This is amazing! I i've already watched a couple of these videos previously but found a couple new gems to queue up! im just watching the Day[9] video on Improving 1 thing at a time, something i've been trying to do on my own for a little while now... must take notes :D

    Thanks brother =]
    09/09/2013 02:25 PMPosted by GoGoGo
    Thanks everyone!!! I also just now googled HTOMario's youtube and added in some videos because if anybody knows how to mech it is him!

    Edit: Although I don't want to make it too long so I may end up creating one just for each race and having them all link to each other. (Although those will be in terran discussion, protoss discussion, and zerg discussion.) If you guys have anything you want to see added or if you think this idea is a good one please let me know!!
    +1 I wish this thread existed when I first started playing Starcraft 2. :)
    This is amazing! I i've already watched a couple of these videos previously but found a couple new gems to queue up! im just watching the Day[9] video on Improving 1 thing at a time, something i've been trying to do on my own for a little while now... must take notes :D

    Thanks brother =]

    I'm glad you found it useful! I tried to include something for everybody and I will keep updating this as I find new things. At the very least I'm happy it helped you now hopefully it can help everybody else looking to improve!
    Killerofgods, you son of a gun! ♥

    +1 :D

    This is REALLY cool dude! Keep it up - I see a bright golden (text) future for you ;)
    Killer, I recommend making a small part of the guide teaching people how to 1-A.

    Other than that, really nice formatting :D.

    09/09/2013 07:49 PMPosted by Zamara
    This is REALLY cool dude! Keep it up - I see a bright golden (text) future for you ;)

    Dried Urine Text is dead in anywhere but Tech Support.
    09/09/2013 03:50 PMPosted by Raver
    +1 I wish this thread existed when I first started playing Starcraft 2. :)
    Awesome thread Killer, +1 and sticky requested.

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