Is there a race which would make it easier to learn Starcraft 2 and learn the ebb and flow of multiplayer?

I understand that all three races are very different, but what is a good race to get the hang of micro and macro management, along with learning how to manage tactics and counter attacks?

5 Answers 5


There was another thread which asked why Protoss was the easiest race. This was closed for obvious reasons, but I'll repeat the answer I wrote:

Protoss have a number of things that make them friendly to new players:

  • Workers don't build buildings. Instead they start buildings and the buildings build themselves
  • Fewer, stronger, units. Protoss units tend to be tougher and more expensive than their Terran and Zerg equivalents. This can mean less micromanaging is necessary.
  • Good static defense. Photon cannons provide both air and ground defense making them a nice staple for new players.
  • Strong gateway units. The bulk of a Protoss force comes out of the Gateway, one of the first structures you build. This emphasis on a tier 1-1.5 (Zealots, Stalkers, Sentries) often makes life easier for new players.

That said, I started with Zerg, and I really enjoy them. Also if you come from more traditional RTS, you might find Terran to be more familiar. In the end, it doesn't matter where you start as long as you put in the time to learn it.

  • 1
    +1 for clearly citing specific ways Protoss could help a newbie skip some mistakes. Jul 28, 2010 at 20:36
  • (from closed question) "Less things to micromanage is usually easier not harder"--exactly. You say it's "less necessary" though, which sounds wrong.
    – Nick T
    Aug 6, 2010 at 14:32
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    @NickT say you can only micromanage X units. Say you only have X-N units on the board. This means less micromanaging is necessary than if you had X or X+M. I agree the phrasing is slightly awkward but I think the point is solid.
    – tzenes
    Aug 17, 2010 at 22:02
  • I agree with your conclusion, but I would go with different arguments. 1) Protoss with similar base counts has the strongest late game army. 2) Because "timing attacks" start kicking in at Gold league you have a greater chance to get to the late game. (see #1) 3) Protoss have the "ball" which is really easy to play once you get the required unit mix. 4) Protoss have a really good scout with the observer. 5) Stalker / Zealot is really good if the opponent does not micro, way better than Marine / Marauder or Zerglings.
    – ayckoster
    Aug 11, 2012 at 2:48

Simple answer:


In games, whatever faction has humans in it has always, and probably will always, be designed as the most straightforward faction to learn and play. Terrans have been the first campaign in both SC1 and SC2, and have likely been play tested just a little bit better because of that. In short, assume the human bias.

Complicated answer:

The race that fits you.

Pick whichever race sounds the most fun to you, the most like you play other games, and you'll have fun playing it. When you have fun playing it, you'll play it more, and get better faster.

My 10 sec, not to be trusted for any depth, summary is: Zerg use numbers, Protoss use movement, Terran use firepower. (You should look up a more detailed summary, since that's beyond the scope of this question.) So ask yourself: Do you like blowing things up? Swarming? Teleportation? Whichever excites you is the right answer.

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    A follow up with that is - firepower is easier to get a hold of than numbers and movement. After all, you have to manage numbers, and you have to perform movements. Firepower on the other hand, you just pull the trigger! :)
    – corsiKa
    Jul 28, 2010 at 20:15
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    @glowcoder I really disagree with your assessment. Usually getting things to move is the easiest thing because it is the most natural. Perfecting movement can be difficult, but I'd argue no more difficult than perfecting build/deployment style (zerg) or unit synergy (terran).
    – tzenes
    Jul 28, 2010 at 20:28
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    @Willful to be fair the question is fairly subjective. Learning is a fairly personal experience and thus heavily influenced by subjectivity.
    – tzenes
    Jul 28, 2010 at 20:37
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    In my opinion, Terran is quite confusing to the new player as they have to deal with building addons and some other confusing mechanics. Jul 28, 2010 at 20:43
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    Blizzard has said that they designed Terrans to be more approachable. That is why they started the campaign with them and why they're the default Race when you start matchmaking for the first time. I played SC1 and I didn't feel there was much difference in difficulty starting out on the beta. I think the main difference is that the starting units and mechanics for the Terrans match other RTS games like Age of Empires. Jul 30, 2010 at 17:01

I think your best bet is to play a game or two with each race and see which one you like the best, rather than asking for some kind of generalization on which is "easiest". They're all so different from each other that you will be re-learning parts of the game for each race regardless of which you choose first. Pick whichever one you have the most fun or success with in your practice matches and learn that one.


I agree with willful wizard, he's got a good answer, but I'd like to add my two bits here too:

It can depend somewhat on playstyle. Each of the different races has the ability to react better using different options:

Zerg - Unit response:

With their larvae, you will probably have extra larvae and if you need extra units, you can get them quicker, because in midgame, you might have 10 larvae sitting around waiting to be morphed into something.

Protoss - Building response:

With the fact that a single probe can queue up 10 buildings as quick as he can move to new sites, this gives the Protoss the ability to respond to building needs quicker than other races. Probes don't get consumed, or even work for the creation of a building.

Terran - Ability Response:

Terrans seem to have more abilities with their units, and have a greater flexibility with what the units can do. Tanks can be in siege mode or in tank mode, vikings can be in the air and the ground. Healing, jumping, attacking buildings, attacking air (as well as ground) are all things that their tier 1 - 1.5 units can do.

So, maybe you find being able to respond with your current units easier, or maybe you find being able to respond with new units easier. It depends a little on playstyle.

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    These are reasons each race is good, not reasons the race is good to learn with. Jul 28, 2010 at 20:37
  • I'm going to be honest, I really don't like this answer. Like Will said it doesn't mention why these things are good, or even how they help you learn. They maybe characteristic, but I'm not sure they're relevant.
    – tzenes
    Jul 28, 2010 at 20:44
  • Well, like it's been mentioned, it depends on playstyle -- different people play different ways, maybe a player wants better unit flexibility, or the ability to react with units, or with buildings. Also, he mentioned Multiplayer, which implies he's somewhat familiar with the units already.
    – McKay
    Jul 28, 2010 at 20:47

You can look up the race distribution of the different leagues here for what its worth.

This is not a scientific answer, but you can identify different trends. These are the trends from October 2012:

  • Random: The higher the league the less players. - It gets harder to play all races competitively.
  • Protoss: Almost constant in all leagues. - Protoss is the neutral race in this regard, almost everywhere 33% and in GM 37%.
  • Terran: Starts high but gets less up to Platinum. - There seems to be a plateau in Platinum league. I guess this has to do with Marine Micro and quite strict timings.
  • Zerg: Stats low but gets constantly higher up to Diamond. - Zerg have the most unforgiving mechanics in regards of Macro. Furthermore you need to have a good understanding of the game to drone correctly.

Having said that I would suggest that Protoss has the best learning curve as the race distribution is even throughout all leagues.

There has to be some kind of correlation between race difficulty and league distribution, because in normal circumstances they should be the same throughout all leagues.

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