Zerg – The Beginners Guide

Zerg starcraft

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 “Zerg” that is one of three different races in Starcraft.

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:

-Zerg
-Terran
-Protoss

Game modes:

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

Hatchery

All games as zerg you start with a main base called hatchery, workers called drones and an overlord.
The main hatchery starts with 3 larvas and after you use the larva it will automatically create a new to use after 11 seconds, the maximum number of larvas is 3 without using the queens ability “inject” that will we cover later in this guide.

Drones

Drones are the units for zerg that can mine minerals and vespene gas. You can create these drones from the hatchery building by using one or more larvas. One drone cost 50 minerals, and in the start of the game you will have 50 minerals to create one worker instantly. All drones 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.

Overlord & Scouting

Zerg have the advantage of a unit called overlords. These overlords work a food supply and as a scouting unit, also with detection ability when morphed into overseers in lair tech (this will be covered later).

In the start of the game you should send the overlord to 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

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 overlords as zerg before you can create additional units. Remember to be careful with the overlord so they don’t get killed by your enemy. In that case you will lose food supply and will be “supply blocked”. This will be indicated with a red color on the food supply number. If that happens to you it´s a good choice to create serval overlords so you don’t have to create one more when the first one pops out from the hatchery. One overlord costs 100 minerals.

Overlords can be placed at strategic point on the map. Normally you want to have an overlord close to the enemy base so you can go in with that overlord and scout the enemy base later in the middle game. Middle game is when all normal basic structures have been created and players advance to higher technology. This could be a good timing to find out if your enemy will go for ground or air army!

Another good location is close to the natural expansion. This is the closes and most common point for the enemy player to build another base for mining minerals and vespene gas. If you can see when the other player is expanding then you can adapt your playstyle to that. Either you can go for an attack or you could expand as well.

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 drones 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 drones on the minerals and 3 on each gas as long that there are mineral patches to collect from. The recommended number of drones on minerals will be frequently updated in the game so you know when to transfer drones from one base to another and when you shall expand (create a new hatchery at new mineral and gas location). Depending on your tactic and game style you have to find the balance between drones, minerals, gas and units.

If you get too much overflow with minerals, you can create additional macro hatches. These are hatcheries that enable you to create more units and minimize the mineral and gas overflow. This is because you will have more larvas to create units.
Another good tactic is to use the queen´s ability “inject” that spawn 4 additional larvas after 40 seconds. This is another good way to combine with additional hatcheries.

Buildings & Units Overview

All buildings with zerg need to be created on creep. Zerg have creep that is spread around the hatchery/hatcheries. All buildings except the extractor need to be placed on this. Queens can use their ability “creep tumor” to expand this creep on the map. You will also get expanding creep when new buildings are added to the base. Every time you build a building with zerg you lose the drone that is creating it. So keep in mind that you need to build additional drones when you create new buildings!

Hatchery

Here you can create all units for zerg. This is the primary building; this is the heart of the zerg.
When you add more buildings to your base, there will be more units to create from the hatchery.
Cost: 300 minerals
Unit unlocked: Drone & overlord
Function: The heart of the zerg, every unit will be created from this building
Tech level: 1

Extractor

To create this build you need to use a drone. This will allow you to create income for gas. When the extractor is finished you normally use 3 drones for this resource.
Cost: 25 minerals
Unit:
Function: to vespene gas.
Tech level: 1

Spawning pool

This is the building that enables you to build the first attack unit, zerglings.

Zerglings can be upgraded into speeding’s that enables them to run faster for 100 minerals and 100 gas. This is very common to do in every matchup, and I recommend getting it.

Zerglings can also be morphed into banelings when the baneling nest has been created.
It also enables you to build queens and unlock the ability to advance to lair tech.

Queens

Queens are good overall units that can attack both ground and air units. These units have a mana pool and 3 different spells that can be used.

Spells:

Creep tumor (25mana) to expand your creep. All units from zerg move faster while they are on creep, so it´s very important to keep a good creep spread. When this ability has been used once, you can use that creep tumor after a small cool down to expand into a new creep tumor for free.

Inject (25mana) to create 4 more larvas to your hatchery after 40 seconds. This enables you to create more units faster.
Transfuse (50mana) this spell heals your unit or building for 125 health points. Can be used to heal low units in combat or defensive for buildings that enemy attacks.

It´s very common to build queens when spawning pool is ready. The queen cost 150 minerals and will come out from the hatchery. If you have expanded to the natural base, remember to build one queen there too. Many professional players create more queens in order both to inject the hatcheries and to spread creep onto the map.

Upgrade to Lair tech

Lair tech is very important to upgrade since you will get to the more advanced units covered later in this guide.
Cost: 200 minerals
Unit unlocked: Zerglings & queen
Function: A ground piece that every game will use, this enable multiple unlocks like zerglings, queen and the ability to go into lair tech.
Tech level: 1

Spine crawler

A static defense structure that can only attack ground units. Good to be placed close to mineral and gas to defend the workers. Remember to position them wisely otherwise they may block your forces! If you by mistake place them wrong, you can move them when they are finished with the R button and select a new location.

Cost: 75 minerals
Unit: –
Function: Defense structure
Tech level : 1

Spore crawler

A static defense structure that can only attack air units. Also enables detection for invisible units. Good to be placed close to mineral and gas to defend the workers. Remember to position them wisely otherwise they may block your forces! If you by mistake place them wrong, you can move them when they are finished with the R button and select a new location.

Cost: 75 minerals
Unit:
Function: Defense structure
Tech level: 1

Evolution chamber

This is the building where zerg can upgrade melee attack, range attack and armor. This is a very important building. Normally zerg players get two evolution chambers so they can upgrade two skill trees at the same time. All skill trees have 3 upgrade levels, the first level can be upgraded in standard tech, the next level in lair tech, and the last level in hive tech.

Upgrade costs more for every time. Keep in mind that you always need to keep up the level with your enemy, don’t fall behind in upgrades. Otherwise your army will be a lot weaker. Be sure to check the upgrades from time to time and timing your attacks with the upgrade advantage.

Cost: 75 minerals
Unit:
Function: Upgrades
Tech level: 1

Roach Warren

A strong ground unit. It can only attack ground army and is normally used in every matchup now. Roaches can also be morphed into ravengers that have an ability that can hit air if timed correctly.

Cost: 150 minerals
Unit unlocked: Rocher & Ravenger
Function: Ground attack unit
Tech level: 1

Baneling Nest

Enables you to morph your zerglings into banelings. Banelings are ground suicide bombers that will explode when connected with enemy units. They are very good versus light units like zerglings, marines and workers from all races.

When you have reached the lair tech you can upgrade banelings speed to help get better connects with the enemy army. Remember to use them on creep spread to get even more speed. If you use them correctly you can kill the whole enemy army with some banelings!

Cost: 100 minerals & 50 gas
Unit unlocked: Banelings
Function: Enables to morph zerglings into banelings
Tech level: 1

Lair

In order to tech into lair tech, also called tech 2. This unlocks new buildings and units to the zerg hatchery pool that will be covered next.

Cost:
150 minerals & 100 gas
Units unlocked: This tech will enable future units from new buildings.
Function: Enables you to build more advanced buildings, units and upgrades.
Tech level: 1

Hydralisk Den (Lair tech)

This building enables you to get hydralisk. A strong tech 3 unit that can attack both ground and air units. They play a key role in the late games. Hydralisk can be morphed into lurkers when the hive tech has been researched that is a heavy anti ground unit with that borrows into the ground.

Cost: 100 minerals & 100 gas
Unit unlocked: Hydralisk & Lurkers
Function: Unlocks the unit hydralisk and the possibility to upgrade lurkers in the hive tech.
Tech level: 2

Infestation pit (Lair tech)

Cost: 100 minerals & 100 gas
Unit unlocked: Infestor
Function: Unlocks the unit infestor & spells for that unit. This building is needed to upgrade to hive tech.
Tech level: 2

Spire (Lair tech)

Cost: 200 minerals & 200 gas
Unit unlocked: Hydralisk & Lurkers
Function: Unlocks the unit hydralisk and the possibility to upgrade lurkers in the hive tech.
Tech level: 2

Nydus Network (Lair tech)

Cost: 150 minerals & 200 gas
Unit unlocked: Hydralisk & Lurkers
Function: Unlocks the unit hydralisk and the possibility to upgrade lurkers in the hive tech.
Tech level: 2

Hive

In order to tech into hive tech, also called tech 3. This unlocks new buildings and units to the zerg hatchery pool that will be covered next.
Cost: 200 minerals & 150 gas
Units unlocked: This tech will enable future units from new buildings.
Function: Enables you to build more advanced buildings, units and upgrades.
Tech level: 2

Ultralisk cavern (Hive tech)

Cost: 150 minerals & 200 gas
Unit unlocked: Hydralisk & Lurkers
Function: Unlocks the unit ultralisk. This is the strongest ground army in the whole zerg army. It has a lot of health points and does a lot of damage. With upgrades and combined with zerglings this army could be very strong vs ground!
Tech level: 3

Greater spire (Hive tech)

Cost: 100 minerals & 150 gas
Unit unlocked: Brood lord
Function: Upgrade the spire into a greater spire. This will unlock the unit brood lord that is a strong flying anti ground unit. Brood lords are morphed from corruptors.
Tech level: 3

Tactics

Zergling rush – Fast version / Aggressive playstyle

  1. Start to build an extractor with one of your spawning drones
  2. Build another drone after extractor is started
  3. Build spawning pool
  4. Keep produce drones until you reach food supply max 14/14 and then create an overlord.
  5. Send 3 drones into the extractor when it´s finished
  6. Start 3 pairs of zerglings when spawning pool is finished
  7. Start speed upgrade from spawning pool
  8. Take away 2 drones from gas to the mineral patches, you already have started the upgrade and now need more minerals
  9. Attack with your zerglings, remember to set rally point from your hatchery to your enemy base
  10. Start 1 more pair of zerglings
  11. Start a queen from the hatchery
  12. Keep produce zerglings & overlords
  13. Start inject on hatchery when queen is out
  14. Swarm your enemy with zerglings if you see that you can kill a lot, otherwise expand and try to tech up. Bring 2 more drones back to the gas
  15. Good luck!

Zergling rush into baneling bust – Fast version / Aggressive playstyle

  1. Start to build an extractor with one of your spawning drones
  2. Build another drone after extractor is started
  3. Build spawning pool
  4. Keep produce drones until you reach food supply max 14/14 and then create an overlord.
  5. Send 3 drones into the extractor when it´s finished
  6. Start 3 pairs of zerglings when spawning pool is finished
  7. Start speed upgrade from spawning pool
  8. Attack with your zerglings, remember to set rally point from your hatchery to your enemy base
  9. Start one more pair of zerglings
  10. Start baneling nest when you have enough minerals and gas
  11. Start a queen from the hatchery
  12. Keep produce zerglings & overlords
  13. Start inject on hatchery when queen is out
  14. Swarm your enemy with zerglings. When baneling nest is ready, morph 4-6 zerglings into banelings. Remember to morph at a safe location close to the enemy base so they can´t see them, otherwise they can be killed during the transformation. Use the banelings to connect with weak enemy units, workers or to kill a wall that is normally built at the ramp. For example if a Terran have built buildings to prevent your zerglings to come in, use some of your banelings and target-fire a weak building and this helps you to create a hole into their wall. Send in the zerglings and banelings. Try to target down the workers with your banelings
  15. Good luck!

Fast expand with 4 queens – Macro oriented style, economy focused

  1. Keep produce drones until you reach food supply max 14/14 and then create an overlord
  2. Produce 3 more drones when the overlord is out
  3. Send 1 drone to the natural expansion and create a hatchery there when you have 300 minerals
  4. Create 1 more drone. Send out that drone when it spawns to scout the enemy base
  5. Build a spawning pool ( If you see an early attack, build zerglings when pool is ready, otherwise build drones )
  6. Build 1 more drone
  7. Build an extractor
  8. Keep produce drones until you reach 19 supply, and then create one more overlord. Send 3 drones to the gas extractor when it´s ready
  9. Start zergling speed when pool is ready and you have 100 minerals and 100 gas in the bank
  10. Start two queens, one from the main hatchery and one from the natural hatchery ( the expansion ). You do not need to start them at the same time.
  11. Build 4 pair of zerglings and check the map for early attack. Put 1 or 2 zerglings outside your enemy base so you know when that player attacks you!
  12. Keep produce drones on your main and natural. If you get too many drones in your main hatchery, send them to the natural expansion.
  13. When you´re 2 queens are out, use injects on both hatcheries and then start 2 more queens
  14. Build more zerglings or a roach warren
  15. Start 2 more gases on the expansion and put 3 in each gas extractor.
  16. Build more drones.
  17. Start use the queens creep spread ability to connect the two bases and / or to expand with creep further on the map
  18. Create one spore crawler and one spine in both the main and natural hatchery. Remember to place them close to the mineral and gas to protect your drones!
  19. Start lair from your main hatchery and build more units
  20. Good luck!

Remember that these tips are guidelines to the building order, you should always 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 spines to your base, or create more zerglings instead of drones. 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 Terran and Protoss guide as well!

I wish you the best of luck and hope you got good tips how to play zerg as a beginner. This will help you to get 3 strong tactics that will be used in ranked games!
Best Regards Dennis “RUSAGENT”