I recently played a game online where I was rushed with cloaked Banshees. While I was able to fight it off, it ultimately cost me the game because I was not prepared for it.

What are the most effective ways to scout early as Protoss? What scouting methods can be used when the opponent walls off his base so you can't get a probe in? Terran and Zerg seem to have it easier with scanner sweeps and overlords being ubiquitous.

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    Looks like this question is contained within this one, which also emphasizes early-game scouting.
    – Oak
    Commented Aug 1, 2010 at 21:25
  • Just a note: Overlords are no longer detectors in SC2 unless you upgrade them to Overseers (or however they are called in english) which requires quite a bit of resources and tech. To defend against cloaked bashees you can build 2-3 photon cannons in or close to your worker line, unless they have a lot (which they usually won't) it's enough to stop them until you get observers.
    – user1978
    Commented Aug 2, 2010 at 14:23
  • I agree with @Oak, this question is a duplicate IMO
    – juan
    Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 1:19
  • @Juan agreed...
    – tzenes
    Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 6:21
  • I did look at that question before posting this one but I thought this might have been specific enough to warrant a new question. If not, I have nothing against closing this one. Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 12:53

4 Answers 4


Yeah, the best way to scout is to try to keep your initial probe alive for as long as possible. Unfortunately right after your probe dies and your observer gets to your opponent's base there is a crucial time where you don't know what your opponent is doing above their ramp. It's unlikely that your proxy assimilator will be in a good position to see your opponent's tech.

I feel like this is a huge flaw to the game as protoss just have to play blindly. However it's not much better for zerg, they can only suicide an overlord in this early in the game. The overlord dies relatively quickly to marines too so it can be easy to hide one's tech such as in this game between Idra and Silver:

Terrans have the option of using reapers to jump through cliffs, using floating buildings which are either immune to the other races basic unit or have enough life to fly through them, or using a scan, which although it isn't a surefire way of seeing your opponent's tech, it does have a large radius and therefore likely can spot it.

Sucks not knowing whether your opponent is teching or has a mass marine ball :/

One thing protoss can do to even things out though, is to build a pylon in a hidden location far away from both players bases and to hide their tech there.

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    I've taken to just automatically defaulting to High Templar against Terran because of this blindness. Even if they don't end up going MMM it can be useful against Ravens, Thors, or BCs because of feedback. Commented Aug 24, 2010 at 0:23

In the early game, scout with a probe.

In the mid or late game, you can build an observers from your robotics facility and scout with that.

You can also research hallucination in the cybernetics core, then using a sentry, hallucinate a phoenix and send him in to scout.

  • +1 for the phoenix hallucination scout. While observers are good, hallucinations are a great way to scout where they have detection. Observers die too easily. Commented Aug 27, 2010 at 2:49
  • Probes are still god late game...
    – DogDog
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 17:06

A real nasty trick, use a probe immediately and go to their base. Then drop two assimilators on their gas... It does two things, lets you watch their base, and tells you when and what they have early as they frantically try and destroy the gas to get to lvl 2.

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    But this might leave you open to a zealot, zergling or marine rush as they don't require gas for it and you waste 150 minerals quite early in the game which adds to the reduced mineral income due to the scouting probe. It is nasty though, if they require the gas.
    – user1978
    Commented Aug 2, 2010 at 14:20
  • Agreed. I did not say it was wise... though, I should have provided the disclaimer you did
    – ccook
    Commented Aug 2, 2010 at 15:00
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    Beware that most experienced players when seeing that you grab both their gases will immediately rush you as it implies you have nothing to defend your base... This is especially true if you play against Zerg.
    – PeterK
    Commented Aug 24, 2010 at 7:41

If you know you are facing a terran, get a probe in their base early and keep it there, running around until they finally kill it off with marines. You should be able to see if they are getting a lot of gas early. If so, then you know they may be rushing banshees or Thor. If you see them wall off, you should be going stalkers or higher tech. In fact, never get zealots against terran anyway since the marauder slow absolutely negates zealots. If you can rush a robotics, you can get an early observer for scouting. Keep 1 probe in front of their base so you can see if they leave it.

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