Background: I played sc:bw when it came out but I was extremely casual just playing the campaign and a couple for-fun LAN games with friends.

I now play SC2 and, probably due to the internet community, I have developed much more strategy to the extent that I think about things like efficient mining and micro-management during battles.

I went back to play sc:bw yesterday just for fun, after probably 10 years. I was ASTOUNDED how difficult it was. Choppy animations, annoyances everywhere, only selecting 8 units at a time, units running off in the wrong direction, not being able to select more than 1 building (for example to train many units at a time i had to individually click buildings and hit the hotkey, instead of selecting many buildings and hitting the hot key many times).

The most annoying thing was how workers mined. I noticed workers just clumping up at one mineral patch instead of mining, and i would have to tell them all to mine. I set my rally point on a mineral patch and apparently in sc:bw this does not tell them to mine automatically.

My question is: What is the best way to get workers to work in sc:bw? Do you have to select each worker as they are trained and tell them to mine? That just seems like mindless repetition. What does worker management generally look like for sc:bw?

Also, what are the optimal worker numbers per patch for sc:bw? How many per patch? How many per geyser?

  • If you have SC2 why do you need to still play SC:BW? No way back I would say.
    – Budda
    Feb 16, 2011 at 16:24
  • 2
    @Budda: For the same reason I play any games at all: Entertainment :D
    – tenfour
    Feb 16, 2011 at 16:31
  • You are complaining so hard that I don't think u will have a lot of fun :) It was an AWESOME game 12 years ago, but now...
    – Budda
    Feb 17, 2011 at 16:32
  • The main problem I've had is super-fast scrolling when mousing to the edges of the screen. My fix is to click on the mini map or use a hotkey to center on a unit, and avoid the edge of the screen. But it would be nice if they slowed down scrolling. Jun 10, 2014 at 17:02
  • Perfect worker splitting at the beginning of the game: youtube.com/watch?v=_PXvTyjfHic
    – Atav32
    Feb 24, 2017 at 9:35

4 Answers 4


Before SC2, you had to tell each worker to begin mining manually. Simply setting a rally point on a mineral patch did not get the job done. Basically, you get used to setting a rally point in an area right next to the town hall building where workers aren't constantly pathing back and forth. That way, when the worker is done, you can go select it quickly and have it start mining. There was no 'idle worker' button in SC1, unfortunately, so that shortcut won't work.

As for workers per patch, it's roughly the same as SC2: You get diminishing returns when you go from 2 workers per patch to 3 workers per patch, and using more than 3 workers per patch is not worth it.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a guide to BroodWar for SC2 players on Team Liquid's site for the differences between SC:BW and SC2. If you're going to be playing SC:BW a lot, check it out. It covers the worker and building selection items you mentioned as well as a few other points.


For at least the early and mid game you should set a location hotkey to each base. Quickly jump back to base regularly with the hotkey to select all your workers and right click on resources.

The workers should rally to a place next to the base, but sadly for zergs you have no choice but to rally at the same place with all your attacking units.

In the very early game you can manually make sure workers mine most efficiently by selecting them and moving them one by one to empty patches but the effort is usually not worth it as the game progresses.

Telling workers to go mine is pretty much mindless repetition but one of the hardest parts of macro. In SC2 macro scales effortlessly, it's basically as easy to macro on 3 bases as on 1, but in bw it's literally 3 times harder to macro on 3 bases, so newer players tend to fall apart faster. People who like BW like the skill differentiation there.

On Minerals per patch, there is a definitive thread about it:


  • Whoa I didn't know BW had location hot keys :x thanks for the tip
    – tenfour
    Jan 26, 2014 at 20:09

Back in the old days of Warcraft 2 and Starcraft they hadnt come up with these brilliant ideas yet.

  • Best way to make worker automation less of a hassle is to set the rally point near the minerals/vespine... wait until about 3 units are made then go over there and direct each one to mine a separate patch.

  • Do not have more than ONE unit mining each patch... and start out with the smaller patches so that way they will be devoured and disappear from the map sooner (giving you more real estate to build on). By the time any small resource patches disappear you should already be expanding to another place on the map.

  • Only one guy can go in the Vespine mine at a time, so have all the Vespine miners sitting in a pile and send one guy in at a time spaced out about 2-3 seconds from each other. That way there is an unending stream of vespine mining going on.

Some people will say that you should have 2 workers per Patch but consider this... they will be waiting until the guy leaves and thus sitting around being useless. You might get 25-40% more materials per time because of it but you will have produced 3-5 extra Workers (150-250 resources and 3-5 Manpower) which will effectively have been wasted. Which means you're also wasting* a unit support building too (add another 100 resources, and real estate, to that tally).

(No unit support building is ever a waste, but sometimes you need to build other stuff early on or you may simply lose your first big Pass/Fail test. Plus since you're always being rushed, placing a unit support building somewhere it shouldnt be can spell disaster for effective real estate placement, because not even the Terrans can move their supply depots)

These tips do take away valuable time from building and doing other stuff but they will maximize efficiency of the resources. Invest a little bit of work and then let it go like a well oiled machine.


there is also a mod in SC2 called SC2:BW which has options to enable or disable things like automining and unlimited selection of units and buildings.

be sure to checkout the TeamLiquid topic for more info.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .