I'm looking for a quick way to tell if the minaral fields are 100% saturated (no more, no less). I play random and I find it difficult. There are always some workes inside of the vespene geysers, queens near the hatcheries (if I'm Zerg) etc. I always have either too many workers, or too few. What would be the best way to count them?

3 Answers 3


I'll go into detail, quick answer at bot though

Simple way if you don't want to mess up hotkeys, box all your mining units, try to avoid gas miners and if you have 2 rows and 4 units (2*8+4 == 20) it means you are almost saturated. You can even leave that many in your main since it feels awkward to need to move all your probes from the main to a new expo.

I for one, after I get my expo I try to have about 34 at expo 28 at main, when I get a third, I want to have 18 main 32 nat, 32 expo.

Why is this ?

  1. as you move out it becomes harder to defend the mineral line at your main.
  2. I want to mine main LONGER since it's still kinda safe (as protoss it's REALLY safe against anything non terran)
  3. I want to mine out expansions faster in case my adversary wants to keep me low on expo. But I guess this depends on how fast you can react and save probes


Box units, one row is 8; 24 is the golden number; there are 8 mineral patches, 3 rows

NOTE: Optimal 3 gas, 2.5 minerals But there are reasons to have more. For example you expand and send some probes there, ready to mine.


The optimal number is 3 harvesters per gas and 3 per mineral patch.

For a standard starting base that's 2 gas and 8 mineral patches for a total of 30 workers.

A quick way to count is to simply box all your workers and temporarily assign them to a hotkey. This will show you the numeric value of how many units you have selected.

An alternative method is to box all your workers and if you have more than one page of workers then you are very close to saturation. The default display shows a maximum of 24 units so if you have 4 on the second page you'll have 30 (assuming there are 2 in the gas building).

  • 1
    Optimal wouldn't be 3 per mineral... it would be about 2.5 per mineral. There is a slight deficiency when you get to 3 per patch. Making it more profitable to send some drones to expansions, etc.
    – Nick122
    Jun 8, 2012 at 20:35
  • 1
    I agree, there is a very small deficiency, but it is the generally accepted/communicated number on most forums. And this question was asking about one base and not expansions. Playing for long game you'd build harvesters past the optimal number so you have extras to transfer to the expansion when it's taken.
    – Sorean
    Jun 8, 2012 at 21:10
  • If you box all the units, do the ones currently in the geysers get added to the group? If not, adjust your total by 2.
    – Wikwocket
    Jun 8, 2012 at 21:23
  • The harvesters inside the mining building (Refinery/extractor/Assimilator) do not get counted hence the last sentence :)
    – Sorean
    Jun 8, 2012 at 21:40

Control+Click your workers, wait a second or two, then Shift+Control+Click again. This ensures you'll get workers that were inside of Geysers. Then just look at how many you have.

100% saturation varies depending on whether you're mineral syncing properly or not. If you're not, 3 per patch is ideal as workers will be inefficient and moving around. Otherwise, you can't do better than 2 per near patch and 3 per far patch.

You must log in to answer this question.