Terran Beginners

stacraft terran

Welcome to Starcraft 2 Legacy of the Void beginners guide. In this guide we will go through both basic and some more advanced tips to get started with the game. This text will focus on the race “Terran” that is one of three different races in Starcraft.

About Me

My name is Dennis and I have played Starcraft for over 10 years. The goal with this guide is to help you get into the most basic concepts and avoid the common mistakes. Hopefully if you get stuck in the online league, you can use this information to get more experience!

Small Introduction To Starcraft

Starcraft 2 is a real time strategy game that has two different types of income sources, minerals and gas.

There are three different races:


Game modes:

1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4, archon mode (2 players that share one base).

Command Centre

All games as Terran you start with a main base called command center. This is the primary building where Terran can build workers and do some upgrades that we will cover in later sections!


From the command center you can build a SCV for 50 minerals. This is the unit that creates all buildings, mines minerals and vespene gas for Terran.
One SCV cost 50 minerals, and in the start of the game you will have 50 minerals to create one worker instantly. All SCV´s from the start are configured with a script that let them automatically go to the mineral patches at the start of the game.

The other workers need a rally position in order for them to go for mineral patches directly when spawning; this is done by selecting the larva or main hatchery with a left click and then right clicks on mineral patches.

SUPPLY DEPOT & WALLING OFF Supply Depot & Walling Off

Regarding the food supply, all races have a food supply that will be indicated in the top corner.

When you have reached your current maximum number of units, you must build one or more supply depots as Terran before you can create additional units.
The maximum food supply for each race is a limit of 200 in a standard game. In the start of the game you will only have a few SCV, but when you start to expand up your bases, the supply will increase with both workers and army units.

When building supply depots many more advanced players use this building in strategic positions in order to block the enemy from attacking. This is usually most common on maps that have ramps down to the natural expansion. Natural expansion is the closes and most common point for the enemy player to build another base for mining minerals and vespene gas.

Another good tactic could be to build supply depot at the natural expansion to prevent your enemy from attacking into your base. Behind the supply depot you can siege up tanks, build missile turrets and much more that we will cover in later sections.But if I build supply depot and other buildings to wall off, how can I get out of my base?

The answer is that Terran supply depot has a function that enables them to be lowered & raised with just a click. This can help you to move out your units when it´s time and block the enemy from reaching inside to your SCV´s.

Barracks, Factory, Starport and Command center have the ability to lift your building and send it to another location. This could be good if you misplaced your building.


In the start of the game, (after you build 1-2 SCV and 1 supply depot) you should send one SCV to scout one location that you think your enemy will start called spawn location. This depends if it is a 2 or 4 player map. At the start of the game you will see a notification with a red circle on the map where spawn points are located.
The most important part of Starcraft is the scouting. If you can see what your enemy is doing, then you should be able to counter it within a good time before an attack.

When you find the enemy base, what type of build is that player is going for?

Aggressive playstyle

-Not focus on economy
-Strong in the early game, tries to end the game fast
-Do not use static defense, want all units to be in the attacking army for maximum damage

Macro playstyle, this is a term for getting a lot of workers and tries to get to higher tech earlier.

-Focus on economy
-Weak in the early game due to few attacking units
-May use static defense to provide enough for an attack

Terran has a great scouting/harass unit called reaper, reapers are created from the barracks and require 50 minerals and 50 gas to be produced. This unit is very fast and has three special abilities.

1. Regenerates 2.8 HP every second if not taking damage for 7 seconds.
2. Jet Pack – This enables the reaper to jump down and up on cliffs, this can be very good to harass non range units.
3. KD8 charge – A mine that is placed on the ground and explodes after a short time, this will deal 10 damage and have knockback function to the units.

Many pro players always open with one barrack (walled with supply depot at the ramp) and then create one reaper instead of sending out an SCV to scout. The SCV could then instead mine more minerals for your economy. While attacking/scouting with the reaper, you get information what buildings and units your enemy will go for. Behind this you can create a new command center for 400 minerals inside your base. In other words you can have this behind your wall for safe building. And when it´s ready you can use the lift ability to fly to the correct location, at the minerals and gas.

Remember that you can build the command center at the right location directly if you think it is safe to do it there. Remember you scouting is everything!

Strong Economy

In order to create a lot of units, you need to have a strong economy with both minerals and gas.

A key rule for a strong economy is to keep producing SCV so you have the at least the recommended number. This will be shown in the game with a number over the hatchery. A full saturated base is with 16 SCV on the minerals and 3 on each gas as long that there are mineral patches to collect from. The recommended number of SCV on minerals will be frequently updated in the game so you know when to transfer SCV from one base to another and when you shall expand (create a new command center at new mineral and gas location). Depending on your tactic and game style you have to find the balance between SCV, minerals, gas and units.

If you get too much overflow with minerals (around 700 or more minerals and gas), you can create additional unit buildings. These are barracks, factory and starport. This enables you to create more units and minimize the mineral and gas overflow. This is because you can create several units at the same time.

Another good tip for a beginner is to queue up army units in the barracks if you have problem to spend all your resources. Try doing this while attacking your enemy with your army. This will help you to have more units to join the battle.

Terran have the advantage of an upgrade called Orbital command that is researched from the command center and cost 150 minerals. For this you need to have created a barracks in order to unlock the upgrade. This will give you command center an energy pool that can be used with two different spells. The first one is to send down a MULE. A MULE is a special worker that can carry 5 times the minerals than a normal SCV can do in one trip. One MULE has the same effect as 3.8 SCV mining minerals.

They last for 64 seconds and then you need to send down one more. You can have multiple MULES down but only one of them can be mining from one mineral patch at the same time.

Building & Units Overview

All buildings with Terran can be placed anywhere on the ground area.

Command Center

Cost: 400 minerals
Unit unlocked: SCV
Function: To produce workers, upgrade your base to either orbital command or planetary fortress.
Orbital command cost 150 minerals. See information under “Strong Economy” section.
Planetary fortress is a defensive upgrade that allows your command center to attack ground units with splash damage. This is normally created at the fourth base of Terran. The main and two additional command centers should normally be upgraded to orbital command.
Cost: 150 minerals and 150 gas.
Tech level: 1


This will allow you to create income for gas. When the extractor is finished you normally use 3 SCV for this resource.
Cost: 75 minerals
Function: to vespene gas.
Tech level: 1

Supply depot

Cost: 100 minerals
Function: To get a higher food supply and create more units
Tech level: 1


Cost: 150 minerals
Unit: Marine, reaper, marauder & ghost
Function: Create units, two add-ons are available.
Reactor add-on: Allows creating two units at the same time.
Tech-lab add-on: Enables to create marauders and get upgrades for the ground units.
To create ghost, the ghost academy is needed and that is a tech 3 building.
Building unlocked: Bunker and factory.
Tech level: 1

Engineering bay

Cost: 125 minerals
Function: To upgrade ground units weapon or armor.
Building unlocked: Missile turret
Tech level: 1

Missile turret

Cost: 100 minerals
Function: Anti-air defensive structure and detection versus invisible units. Very strong versus units like mutalisks(Zerg), oracles(Protoss) & banshees(Terran)
Tech level: 1


Cost: 100 minerals
Function: Create a defensive structure that allows Terran to bring in units to the bunker. Normally marines or marauders will be placed inside bunkers. A good choice if your enemy is attacking in the early game.
Tech level: 1

Sensor Tower

Cost: 125 minerals & 100 gas
Function: To create a scouting building that will detect when units moves inside an area. You will see the enemy if they move inside the sensor area with red dots on the mini-map. This is a very strong building to help you know where your enemy will attack. The radar range is 30 of sensor towers. You need to create engineering bay to create this building.
Tech level: 1


Cost: 150 minerals & 100 gas
Unit: Hellion, widow mine, siege tank, cyclone, hellbat & Thor.
Function: This is the building that let Terran to produce strong “Mech/mechanical” units. Mech is when you go for units in the factory instead of building from the barrack.
Building unlocked: Starport, armory and tactical nuke.
Tech level: 2

Hellion is a strong fast unit that is good versus light units (zerglings, marines, zealots or workers in general).
With the upgrade of blue-flame hellion from the tech lab you can burn down light units very fast. Since they are so fast many players use them for scouting around the map and harass the enemy worker line.

Widow mine is a mine that can be borrowed down into the ground and attacks a single shot with splash damage when someone enters the attack range area. After that shot there will be a long cool down until a new shoot could be used again.

Widow mine is used both for aggression and defensive purposes. Remember to change positions of them so your enemy does not know where they are located. The can be attacked when detection is used.

Siege tank is a very strong anti-ground unit that does high damage and splash. This unit is usually used in every single matchup. A combination of siege tank, missile turret and bunkers is a key foundation of Terran defenses. Remember to be careful with your tanks when they are not sieged.
Siege tanks can be used to take map control and try pushing your enemy back.

Cyclone is a fast moving & shooting unit but do not have so much health points. This unit requires micro (control your unit a lot to change positions) in order to change between attack target and to evade damage.

Hellbat is also strong versus light units as zerglings & zealots. They tend to be not that effective versus marines. Hellbat have an ability called “Hellion mode” that allows a hellbat to transform into a hellion in order to move faster on the map. The transformation duration is 3 seconds.

In the early game a hellbat drop versus zerg could do a lot of damage to the drone line.

Try to combine different unit combinations for a strong variation at the battle field.

Thor is the strongest ground unit that Terran has. Thor have high health, high damage and can attack both ground and air. When attacking air the thors has splash damage and could easily destroy the enemy air army if they are not careful!

Thors are good overall unit. Try to combine thors with siege tanks in Mech composition. They have low moment speed so remember to defend your thors or use medivacs to pick them up.


Cost: 150 minerals & 100 gas
Unit: Viking, medivac, liberator, raven, banshee and battlecruiser
Function: This is the primary building for air units. The reactor and tech lab add-on is available here just like the barrack and factory. The starport can only create Vikings, medivacs and liberators from the start, if you upgrade it into reactor, you can create two at a time. Tech lab enables you to create banshee, raven and battlecruisers. In order to create battlecruisers you need to build the armory and then fusion core.
Tech level: 2

Viking is an anti-air unit that has the ability to transform between “Assault and fighter mode”. Assault mode is that the Viking lands and can attack ground units. Fighter mode is the transform mode into air again. This could be a very effective to use the air ability and then land to harass. And if anti ground units attack you remember to just transform and fly away!

Medivac is both a drop & healing ship. Medivacs are used to transport your units to the enemy base and heal them when taking damage. The healing is 12.6 per second. This is normally used to harass the enemy during the whole game. Try to use drops at multiple locations at the same time. This will put pressure on your enemy and requires a lot of micro. If you see that your units will be overwhelmed, just lift up the units in the medivac and fly away. If enemy air units try to attack your medivac, use the “Ignite Afterburners” ability that gives you an additional speed bonus to escape.

Liberator is an air unit that has splash damage versus air. Liberators have two different abilities, “Defender mode” and “Fighter mode”.
Defender mode transforms the liberator from attacking air into attacking ground units with single target damage but with high damage. The liberator will be unable to move during this mode. So this usually will be placed at choke points or close to the mineral & gas of the enemy worker line.

Choke points are the position that units most likely will need to go into in order to get map control. A choke point could be between the natural expansion and the third expansion.
Liberators cannot attack buildings and will therefore be easily target down from Zerg spores, Terran missile turret or Protoss cannons if they are placed at the wrong location!

If you take damage, remember to use the “Fighter mode” again and fly away to find a better location.
With the upgrade “Advanced Ballistics (from fusion core with tech lab) you can increase the range of liberators in defender mode by 4.

Raven is an air unit that has detection and can be used to find clocked or borrowed units. In addition to this ability there are several more.

Build auto-turret is an ability (50 energy) that drops down a turret that will mostly be used for defense purposes when enemy is attacking. This turret lasts for 7 seconds or until I get destroyed. It attacks both ground and air units and can also be very useful to harass the enemy worker line.

Build point defense drone (100 energy). This provides protection versus enemy projectiles as long they are in range. Also a defensive ability that should be placed in front of your main army.

Seeker missile (125 energy) is an attack ability that will send out a missile and explodes at the target. It makes 100 damage and splash damage. Units with low health will instantly die to this missile. If your enemy tends to clump of their units, this ability will cause a lot of damage.

Banshee is an air unit that attacks only ground units. With the clock upgrade the banshee can be a great harass unit. Most Terran players use this unit to harass the worker line to try to get a stronger economy lead. We mostly will see banshees be used versus Terran or Zerg, since Protoss tend to have easier to defend versus them with stalkers. Another good thing is that you will scout the enemy base while hopefully making damage.

Battlecruiser is the strongest air unit of Terran. This ship has high health, high damage and can attack both air and ground. With the new ability to teleport anywhere on the map, a strong group of battlecruisers can win you the game in the late game. Many late-game units scale very well when they are in high numbers; a single battlecruiser is not that effective, so remember to get at least 5-10 in order to make some serious damage to your enemy.


Cost: 150 minerals & 100 gas
Unit: –
Function: Allows you to create thors from factory with tech lab and upgrade both weapon and armor for mechanical ground & air units. This building is needed to get to tech level 3.
Tech level: 2

Fusion Core

Cost: 150 minerals & 150 gas
Function: Enables you to create battlecruisers from starport with tech lab and make upgrades
Tech level: 3

Ghost Academy

Cost: 150 minerals and 50 gas
Function: Enables you to create the ghost unit from barracks with tech lab.
Ghosts are high single damage attack specialists that can be used with the snipe ability to target down special units from the enemy side. For example is ghost usually used versus Protoss high Templar to avoid storms to be used over your army. Ghost has clock ability and therefore is very strong. Your enemy will need detection to take care of them.
Tech level: 3


Reaper into fast expand
Mech opening

Remember that these tips are guidelines to the building order, you should always try to adapt after what your enemy is doing. If he rushes you and you play macro oriented style, you may need to add static defense with bunkers or missile turrets to your base, or create more marines/marauders instead of SCV. As I said before, scouting is the key to understand what your enemy will try to do. In order to understand what your enemy is doing, you need to play all the three races of Starcraft. Remember to check out Zerg and Protoss guide as well!

I wish you the best of luck and hope you got good tips how to play Terran as a beginner.
Best Regards Dennis “RUSAGENT