I've read several times to make sure you never queue units, cause it's the devil. However, I find it very convenient that right before I start a battle, I hit my hotkey to barracks and fill each up with 2-3 marines/marauders each.

I find battles can be too frantic to remember to build from every building while battling. Is the answer simply going to be "get your mental checklist down even while frantically battling?"

7 Answers 7


Queuing is bad because you want to make the best use of your resources as possible, and having them sit there waiting for a unit to build is not good. Additionally, your production rate should generally match your income.

The problem in your case doesn't sound like it is necessarily the queuing so much as the fact that you have the money to queue the units to begin with. If you are starting a battle with enough money to have 2-3 units in every barracks, if you had spent down better you would have every barracks only making a single unit and you would have the extra 1-2 units per building in your army right now. The problem likely lies in one of the following areas:

  • You are getting supply blocked at times and therefore building up money
  • You don't have enough production buildings for your income
  • You are forgetting to continuously build units out of your production buildings

All of these are things you should be trying to improve and are a large part of why queuing is bad. The act of queuing isn't too bad, but the problems it is indicative of are worse. The only time you should have the extra money is if you are already maxed.


Queueing is the perfect example of easy-to-learn / hard-to-master being applied. If you are a new player it helps keep production going constantly, but experienced players can rely on it less in order to use resources sooner.

A new player will see they have 200 minerals, queue 3 marines, decide to build a barracks, and wait for 100 more minerals before starting it. A better player will see they have 200 minerals, queue 1 marine, and start that second barracks immediately (giving them an early production advantage over the new player). An even better player won't hit 200 minerals because they started the barracks at 150 minerals.

  • Very nice explanation and examples. In fact, getting to the crux of the matter, queuing is bad because queues are bad (in Starcraft). They could be implemented in a way such that the construction of the barracks and the production of the marines could be queued before having the required resources (as it happens in other games). This is not possible in Starcraft because the micro (multitasking, APMs, etc.) to do what you mention is in fact a feature in Starcraft. Think about what would happen if that was changed. Related discussion.
    – Trylks
    Sep 28, 2015 at 13:25

I'm going to go slightly against the grain and say that queuing isn't always bad. Others already explained why it's bad, so I won't bother repeating that.

Queuing should be minimized, and if you have the mental capacity to keep building units without ever queuing you should do so.

But if you're like me and just do not have the capacity to keep track of so many things at once, then queuing is a lesser evil than forgetting to build and producing nothing.

Some examples of where I queue up units:

  1. When I make an expo I'll often queue up workers because I know I always forget otherwise. It'd be better if I didn't, but queuing workers is a lesser evil than building no workers.

  2. When I'm in the middle of a battle. I'll usually be distracted the whole time and forget to build units otherwise. I'll queue up 2-3 per building (if I can afford to queue more, I made a bigger mistake elsewhere and I should've had another building). A better solution is having more buildings so I can make more without queuing, but before the battle I keep up with production and I can't afford another building.

All of this is just compensating for weakness though, and you'll never make it to the top by queuing. I have about 50 APM (up to 75 if I'm trying really hard at it), but I can't remember and keep track of very much. Knowing this I use a little queuing judiciously to compensate. I tried the technique of clicking each mineral patch to try to work on APM and aside from resulting in forgetting to do actual important stuff, it was exhausting. So if you're like me, it may not be practical to never queue at all, but it should be something you try to avoid if you can.


An example might help you see the difference...

Let's say you have:

  • Your OC producing 1 SCV at a time.
  • Your SCVs mining.
  • A barracks.
  • 200 minerals.

What would you do?

  1. Queue four marines.
  2. Place an extra barracks to produce at a double rate.
  3. Place 1 or 2 refineries so you can build a tech labs and reactors afterwards.

Each case analyzed:

  1. You aren't improving your production but just banking the resources.
  2. You effectively double your marine production and make room for M/M later.
  3. You double your marine production later and make room for researching technology.

The first case doesn't reward you anything. The second and third allow you to increase your army or research technology, based on what you have scouted at your enemy... Minerals that award you!

The queue is there for people that don't want to spend time on carefully managing resources, essentially if you are in the heat of a battle or just playing for fun rather than in a competitive setting.

Banking resources can also lead to supply blocks, a later expansion, and so on...


The reason queueing is "bad" is that it means your resources aren't "out there working"; as far as gameplay goes, it's the same as carrying an unspent resource balance of the amount you have tied up in queued units.

Like all rules, this one should be used when it helps you and thrown out when it doesn't. Queueing up some M&M before a battle seems fine to me, and very different from routinely using queueing.


It is considered bad because you are not really spending your resources, but more like placing them "on hold", it takes away resources that could be used for something right now.

My opinion is, if you find battles too frantic to manage producing units, it is perfectly acceptable to queue them up beforehand.


I am in bronze 1x1 (hope to switch into Silver soon) and 2x2, Silver in 3x3.

But usually I don't queuing units. Usually I don't have more than 3-5 hundreds of minerals free, 2-3 hundreds of gas. Usually I order units: 2 per each production unit with reactor, 1 - in each other (1 - in each if I play Protoss, almost didn't play with Zerg)...

If I ordered all available production buildings (with 1/2 units) - and there are still a lot of money - I build new production building (according to my current build order and strategy).

If you make expand - you need to add 50% of production buildings.

Some time, I detect that I have more than 1k minerals or gas - in this case I very often lost games...

You right, if you are queuing - you are putting money on hold. Put them in new building better and next time you will order more units that will go to war right now.

Probably, it would be good idea to stack units before the big battle... but as far as I see from replays, good players have battles CONSTANTLY.

So my suggestion: improve your micro (my is still to poor in order just to mention it).

  • 2
    Don't care on improving micro till your macro is fine enough to support your micro. There is no use to micro with a smaller army because your macro doesn't produce enough, your opponent will just outproduce your units... Dec 23, 2010 at 20:05
  • Why do you think I have weak macro? Who told I have small army? I just told that I put (at least trying to put) all resources into work: army, buildings, harvesters. If you have a lot of resources - it doesn't mean you have a good macro. It probably means you don't have enough production buildings. If you have small queue in production building it doesn't mean you have poor macro. It means you is quick enough to deal with incoming resources.
    – Budda
    Dec 23, 2010 at 23:49
  • 1
    I don't understand what you are trying to say by your comment, as my comment isn't advice towards you. Your last sentence of your answer doesn't make any sense in it's context, that's why I placed a comment about it. And to answer your comment: Yes, paragraph 4 and 5 would be considered weak macro resulting in a smaller army. I didn't say anything about a small queue to poor macro relation... Dec 24, 2010 at 2:26

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