Guide: How to get better at Starcraft II

#1ExnihilationPosted 7/30/2010 12:02:48 PMmessage detail
Due to the great number of "How do I get better?" topics I have been seeing, I felt it necessary to compile a short guide with some references for new players. Be forewarned, Starcraft is deceivingly simple to play, however it takes much time and practice to become a good player.

1. Teamliquid.net
First and foremost, if you do not know about www.teamliquid.net it is the largest Starcraft community website outside of South Korea. Players who frequent teamliquid range from newbie all the way to pro level, so there is a good mix of new to advanced level tips. The Starcraft II General and Strategy forums are where you will find this information, however I would not start here since it has more specific tips and right now you should focus on more general things.

2. Liquipedia
Community members at teamliquid have created a wiki called Liquipedia for both Starcraft: Brood Wars and Starcraft II. I would recommend all new players to start out by visiting the Starcraft II Strategy Overview section here: http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/Strategy

Start by reading the general articles paying particular attention to the "How to Practice" article. These articles contain information that might not be completely obvious to new players.

Next, visit the specific strategy section for your race. These pages will contain several general concepts for that race and some build orders. Note: I would not recommend trying to focus on learning all of the build orders, but instead find one opening that is safe and will allow you to transition into several mid game strategies depending on what your opponent does. Here are the openings I would recommend per race:

(The numbers here refer to the supply count at the time of building construction)

Protoss: 9 Pylon 12 Gateway opening
http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/9_Pylon_12_Gateway

Terran: Orbital Command opening
http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/Orbital_Command_Opening

Zerg: 13 Pool opening
http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/13_Pool

Please realize that these openings are not "the best" openings possible for every situation. They are simple and have many transition possibilities so they work well for new players. Practice these and once you learn more about strategy begin to branch out with different build orders and see what works best in specific situations.
#2Exnihilation(Topic Creator)Posted 7/30/2010 12:03:01 PMmessage detail
3. Day[9]'s Daily Netcast
Sean "Day[9]" Plott is a famous StarCraft Brood War and StarCraft II player and commentator with his own Day[9] Daily show, where he casts and analyzes high level play. His forum post with links to his stream and videos on teamliquid can be found here: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=104154

Day[9] does an extremely good job at providing high level analysis for Starcraft. His netcasts are basically a way of getting inside the head of a pro level gamer. Though some of his analysis can seem a bit advanced at times, any player both new and pro can benefit from his videos. The two videos I would recommend watching first are here:

Back to the Basics: The Mental Checklist
http://day9tv.blip.tv/file/3732340/
In this video Day[9] goes through a list of things players should be focusing on specifically during early to mid game. He uses Protoss in this video, but the concepts can be applied to all races.

Fine tuning an opening
http://day9tv.blip.tv/file/3683433/
In this video Day[9] talks about how to practice and fine tune an opening so that it can be properly utilized when playing real games. In this video he uses one specific build for Protoss, but the concept can be applied to any build.

These videos on the surface might seem very specific, however within them there is a wealth of general information for new players. They are long, but are definitely worth the watch and at the end he answers questions from people which are often very good as well.

After watching these two videos, watch some of his analysis on pro matches. These videos will show you the play style of pro level gamers and allow you to get a good idea of how you should be playing.

Ver's Guide to Improving
A teamliquid user named Ver wrote an extensive guide to improvement which is 30+ pages. It was written for the original Starcraft, but most of the concepts can be carried over to Starcraft II. Please note that you should probably read this last after you have gotten a good grasp on the game and its strategy. The guide in pdf form can be found here:
http://www.teamliquid.net/staff/stet_tcl/How_to_Improve_by_Ver.pdf

And there you have it. This guide will give you a lot of general information to get you started on your path to being a better player. With that I will leave you with 4 things that you should focus on.

1. Practice, practice, practice and don't worry about losing. Only through losing can you improve.
2. Save replays for games that you won and lost. Analyze them and see where you went wrong or what you did right.
3. Visit websites like teamliquid and read up on strategy.
4. Watch videos like Day[9]'s netcast and pro level matches for insight on how you should be playing the game.

Anyone else with tips, please feel free to post them and if this ever gets updated I will add the good ones to my guide, with proper credit given where due.
---
Folding@Home - Team GameFAQs - #48759
The Original GameFAQs FAH Team http://folding.stanford.edu/
#3MazuruPosted 7/30/2010 12:06:01 PMmessage detail
Exactly the stuff I was looking for. Thank you good sir.
---
So I'm both antagonizing the flaccidity of the old man, and becoming a role model for the horny young child. - NekoBoyCai
#4Exnihilation(Topic Creator)Posted 7/30/2010 12:08:13 PMmessage detail
Also, I should have noted that if you like this guide please try to keep it bumped and eventually it might get pinned. Thanks guys!
---
Folding@Home - Team GameFAQs - #48759
The Original GameFAQs FAH Team http://folding.stanford.edu/
#5CavenchPosted 7/30/2010 12:25:23 PMmessage detail
Helpful *bump*
#6Grooz13Posted 7/30/2010 12:27:35 PMmessage detail
maybe a sticky &
---
Board I claimed as my own : 5
#7zach117Posted 7/30/2010 12:28:14 PMmessage detail
fist *bump*
---
Not changing this sig until 44 people tell me the Who halftime show was awesome.
#8TheDominator16Posted 7/30/2010 12:29:37 PMmessage detail
Bumper cars
---
TeeDee16, TD16phd_ :)
#9-tridgen-Posted 7/30/2010 12:33:54 PMmessage detail

This post could be useful to every single newcomer to the online part of the game and to those who want to improve (like myself)

I request sticky!

#10zach117Posted 7/30/2010 12:40:26 PMmessage detail
This is definitely a helpful guide
---
Not changing this sig until 44 people tell me the Who halftime show was awesome.