Is there some special video setting so you can spot invisible, cloaked or burrowed units, like Observers, DTs, or Infestors easier or better?

I find it very difficult to see where those invisible units are, but there are some pros like MKP that can spot an Observer that does not even move.

Could it have to do with their graphics setting?

  • 2
    I suspect it's more likely they've just been playing so long, they know where an Observer will be, or can analyzer their enemy to figure out where the Observer went.
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 19:54
  • If you have a hunch where an Observer might be, you can simply scroll with your mouse to adjust the camera angle. The resulting blur from even a stopped observer should be very obvious, and you can scan and kill it.
    – Decency
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 9:38

4 Answers 4


Playing on the lowest video settings (everything on low) allows for easier distinction of the blur that the cloaked units generate. Higher video settings enhances the background terrain making it harder to see the blur.

enter image description here

All cloaked units distort the graphics a little bit, even burrowed moving infestors/roaches will show up as slightly darker spots on the terrain.

The amount that the players play train their eyesight to recognize these blurs to instantly spot that their screen looks just a little bit off is an indicator for them to scan and kill the Observer/DT, etc.

Here's a clip showing the Infestor/Roach movement:

  • That video clip is two years old. Do you know if has been updated at all?
    – Jonny
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 20:33
  • Do you have a source or video that shows the benefits of the lowest video settings?
    – Atav32
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 20:33
  • @Jonny yes the clip is old, but if you test it in game it's still there. I couldn't find a video for the lowest setting, but the source is from this thread. teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=274778 again, it is old, but it is data/knowledge that has been around for a while.
    – Sorean
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 20:42
  • The thread also suggests high textures with everything else set on low.
    – Sorean
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 20:44
  • 2
    I'll do that when I get home :)
    – Sorean
    Commented Aug 22, 2012 at 21:59

No settings can make it easy to detect burrowed or invisible units, especially if they're still. Very experienced players are more likely to discover them for a few reasons:

  • They have a good feel for where observers, DTs, etc are likely to show up
  • They know that a given cloaked unit is likely on the field due to scouting the enemy base (i.e. Robotics Facility
  • Enemy movement of visible units often gives away the presence of invisible ones.
  • They've used their graphics settings for a long time and know the map terrain very well, so they'll notice more easily when something's not quite right on the screen.

I'm sure a professional player can give half a dozen other reasons. The point is, some settings may be better for certain people than others for detecting cloaked units, but most of it is experience.


Regarding Observers that are not moving

If you suspect that an observer is in a certain area. You can scroll your camera all the way in, then move the screen around a little bit in the area. You should notice particle blurring around the observer, even if it is sitting still. And low graphics settings and high particle effects help improve this sighting.

It works better if there are some colorful terrain or stuff in the background.


While this isn't so much of a help with spotting cloaked units, the graphics settings do have an effect on the appearance of the cloaked units that you own or are detecting with another unit. I believe on higher graphics settings (medium or better) they have kind of a teal, shiny look to them, while on the lowest graphics settings they're simply transparent.

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