I'm trying to micro a few stalkers against a few non charged zealots.

I see a lot of players move their stalkers away, then hit, then move away, then hit, and so on.

How do they micro as such? Do they use the Move, Stop, Move, Stop commands, or some other technique?

When I try to do so, it really seems like there's a lag between the time the Stalker stops and actually attacks. But when other players do it online, they attack as soon as the stalkers 'stops', seems like they're not even stopping...

  • I don't know whether this has been said before, but this is also useful when you're attacking units with shorter range in the fog. For example, vikings against mutalisks. Attack move them close to the fog, let them go back if a mutalisks comes closer... Oct 13, 2010 at 15:58

3 Answers 3


Move, then attack-move away, then as soon as they attack, issue a move command followed by another attack move. They won't stop moving until they can fire their shot. Then they will fire instantly and you are free to move them again and repeat.

  • Makes a lot of sense, I'll give that a try
    – Wadih M.
    Sep 20, 2010 at 19:34
  • So I linked this in another thread and I think you may find it helpful. Marauders have the added benefit of slowing Zealots, but the principle is the same.
    – tzenes
    Sep 20, 2010 at 20:22
  • @Wadih NP. A lot of it is just timing which takes getting used to.
    – tzenes
    Sep 20, 2010 at 20:48
  • I wonder, does this work for marines too?
    – Fadeway
    Apr 6, 2012 at 18:11
  • 1
    @Fadeway Yes. It works for any ranged ground unit with an attack delay. Apr 6, 2012 at 18:23

Most RTS have a "feature" (more like a bug to my programmer's opinion) called "Animation cancel".

Basically when you have a unit that does a particular task, like attacking, it has a pre-programmed animation. The zealots will slash with both arms, or the stalker will position itself and then shoot its lasers. Now what is important to understand is the order where these things happen

  1. Player issues a command
  2. Unit makes its animation
  3. Effect is done (Damage is dealt)
  4. Order cooldown enters in effect. Usually there is a post damage animation, like the marines will lower their guns or such

The idea behind animation cancel is that by skipping step 4, you can attack faster than what would normally be allowed. It can also be used to move and fire nearly at the same time.

This is actually simple to do. After you've attacked and animation 1 is underway, right click fast to move. As soon as your stalkers will have started moving, attack or attack move again. This will allow you to skip a (very small) part of the cooldown. So the following steps are used

  1. Attack
  2. Stalkers will shoot lasers
  3. As soon as the lasers are shot, click like mad to move in any direction
  4. As soon as the stalkers will have moved a tiny bit, go back to step 1

Finally I'm pretty sure that stalkers are faster than zealots so this shouldn't be too difficult

  • 8
    Animation cancel, even in WC3, didn't allow you to attack faster. It allows you to perform other actions when you would normally be doing nothing, and in StarCraft 2 it certainly doesn't have any effect on attack speed. Sep 20, 2010 at 20:57
  • I was refering to WC3 with this in regard to Dota. It was easy to do with spells and would allow you to score more hits. Also in SC2 when you're chasing zealots with stalkers, this allows you to get more damage done in less time
    – Eric
    Sep 20, 2010 at 22:40
  • WC3 ladder games can also have animation cancel done, if you have enough micro and apm to do it. I do it all the time, killing microed units with an Archmage shooting and moving. I think you could edit the part of "attack faster" to "deal more damage", and it would clear out things here.
    – wtaniguchi
    Sep 23, 2010 at 14:04

Move away, then right click on an enemy zealot, then move away, repeat. This method requires the fewest number of actions and also ensures focus fire.

Just make sure you don't accidentally right click on the ground near the zealots instead of on a zealot causing your stalkers to move towards them.

  • 3
    It's quite hard to focus on the moving zealots, but I'll try.
    – Wadih M.
    Sep 20, 2010 at 19:33
  • 1
    You could do: right click - to move, then press 'A' and click on zealot. 'A' - is very easy to press, and if you aim - you will focus fire, if you don't - you will non-focused attack, but still don't move close to them :)
    – Budda
    Dec 3, 2010 at 22:32

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