In StarCraft2, Protoss can change their gateways into warp gates. However, I'm puzzled that they can be changed back into gateways.

Is there any advantage for gateways over warp gates ? What am I missing ?

  • 3
    looking at how the answers to this question are spread out over a number of different answers, would it make sense to collect them in a single wiki answer? – tzenes Sep 15 '10 at 16:58
  • CW summary answer created. – sjohnston Oct 15 '10 at 14:30

12 Answers 12


It has been suggested that the many answers be combined into a single CW answer. This is that answer. Feel free to update with any additional information.

Advantages of Gateways:

  • Rally point can be set.
  • Queuing of units is allowed. This means you have more time to remember to train units, reducing downtime for some novice players. It also means production of the next unit can begin immediately after the last one has finished.
  • Units can be canceled.
  • Units can be created using only hotkeys (no mouse clicks).
  • Units cannot be attacked until they are spawned and ready to attack (whereas units warping in can be attacked during the warp in period).

Advantages of Warpgates:

  • Units can be spawned quickly anywhere you have a pylon.
  • Queuing of units is not necessary -- you do not commit resources until moments before the unit is spawned.
  • Army composition can be decided at the last minute.
  • Cooldown period is incurred after the unit has been produced, which can be an advantage during a battle.
  • Cooldown period is shorter for warp gates, allowing you to train more units from warp gates than from gateways in the same amount of time.
  • Maybe it's worth noting that 1.3.3 patch will shorten unit production times for Gateway (for Zealot, Stalker and Sentry). – gorsky May 3 '11 at 15:53

Gateways can be rally-pointed. With warpgates, you must click the exit location every time you create units.


You can queue them up and forget about them. Handy if you're a beginner and have lots of resources.

  • While queueing is rather more comfortable, wouldn't it be preferable to spam a couple more warpgates and warp in larger groups of units to improve your macro ? / Just wondering as my macro isn't good at all and I usually do this to solve the 'resource excess' problem- – wormintrude Sep 15 '10 at 0:36
  • @wormintrude: Yes, that is why very few people ever turn them back into gateways. But it's nice that the option is there. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Sep 15 '10 at 1:05
  • @wormintrude: The kind of player who is more comfortable queueing units because they forget to use their Warpgate cooldowns is probably not the player to think of building 6-8 Warpgates. After all, in the campaign you never need more than 1-2 Barracks, right? – Wikwocket Sep 15 '10 at 2:55
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    Well, when you're not playing on brutal :P – Raven Dreamer Sep 15 '10 at 11:49
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    I would also mention that with warpgates, you cannot train a unit until the warpgate becomes idle, so unless you have PERFECT reaction time, you will waste at least a few seconds of idle time. Imagine if we had to warp in probes instead of queuing in a nexus; we would have less efficient probe production. This effect is lessened by the fact that warpgate cooldown is less than gateway training, but in terms of "how much time do i have to remember to train a unit", this is noteworthy. – tenfour Feb 21 '11 at 16:46

You used to be able to turn them back into gateways in between warp gate cooldowns to produce ~twice as many units.

This is no longer possible, as the conversion time back and forth was increased.

The only remaining advantage they have is that you can queue multiple units up at a gateway.

  • This would be crazy OP, but that's an interesting tidbit! – Wikwocket Sep 15 '10 at 2:54

One that hasn't been mentioned is that you don't need pylons to create units at a gateway. So if you're heading into enemy territory, want constant reinforcement, and don't want to mess with creating a pylon or flying around a warp prism, you can just waypoint your gateways to one of your units and have all your new units follow along as they're created.

Granted, that's a lot of ifs.

  • 3
    Don't you still need a pylon to power the gateway? – Ben Gartner Sep 15 '10 at 4:15
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    C'mon, you know what I meant. :P – Kyralessa Sep 15 '10 at 4:22
  • your answer is about rally points, not pylons. – tenfour Feb 21 '11 at 15:29

Besides the other answers, one minor advantage a gateway has over a warpgate is the enemy can't kill units being constructed by a gateway.


One advantage I can think of is to reinforce small or medium groups of harassing troops on the go. Being that you can set the rally point once for all exiting units and queue up production, you could very well set up a small army of say 5 to 10 units with constant reinforcements to harass an isolated expansion with little or no defense. I don't know though how I would fit this into a mid game scenario, since warp prism or proxy pylons would work far better in reinforcing 'on the go'.


Advantages of Gateways:

  • Ability to queue units
  • If they are bound to a hotkey, units can be created without mouse clicks

Advantages of Warpgates:

  • Ability to create units anywhere a pylon exists. If someone backdoors you with a nydus worm, you can warp in units to deal with the threat. If you have a forward pylon, you can instantly reinforce the front line.

I believe there is a 10 second cooldown advantage so you would gain 8 seconds there alone. Now add the time it takes to walk across the map......huge advantage on warp - micromanagement overhead though...!

  • Gateways let you CANCEL units. I can't say how many times I accidentally warped in a ton of sentries instead of stalkers because of a bad keypress, and I couldn't cancel it.

  • Warpgates incur cooldown period after the unit has arrived, not before.


I don't think anyone mentioned it, but the cooldown on warp gates is a few seconds less then gateway build time for each unit. This means, if you're optimal on your W usage, you can pump more units with a warpgate then you could for a normal gateway.

  • Doesn't the ~2 second warp-in time cancel this out though? – Brant Jan 13 '11 at 17:19
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    @Brant: no, the warp-in time happens parallel to the cooldown period, and cooldown happens after the unit spawns, not before. – tenfour Feb 21 '11 at 16:41

Once in a game I used the warp prism to deploy a smal force on the platform where my opponent had his starting base (without destroying the garbage layed out before the main entrance). Before he realized that it is not-so-unreachable as he thought my five warp-gates released a nice army to overwhelm his base. But for mass-production the normal gateways are more usable.

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    I do not agree. Warpgates are far easier to use unless you want to queue production, which is a really bad idea as it costs money without giving you any short term benefit. It's better to use the money to do something usefull, like expanding earlier. – Morfildur Sep 15 '10 at 17:45

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