Which Starcraft 2 race is the best?

In the first Starcraft, the Zerg got a reputation as the best race overall. The races are better balanced in S2 but is there one which, overall, has an edge?

Whatever you answer, do you have a favorite race?

I’m thinking that Terran has an edge over Protoss. The Protoss tend to use expensive specialized units which makes knowing beforehand what units the enemy has crucial. For this, it can use the observer.

Protoss can also use stealth units like the dark templar.

Both those advantages can be very much reduced using Terran’s scan.

Now, granted, this is just one aspect of gameplay so perhaps Protoss has an edge over Terran in other ways.

Don’t mean to hijack, but… really? Zerg was fine if were planning to rush, but didn’t really compare to the Protoss, which had a strong defense early on, and easy build to a massive, crushing air fleet that could bug out in an instant if anyone had the pluck to mount anything resembling a defense, and the ability to grow your army 3X the max of other races by stealing workers with Dark Archons and developing Terran and Zerg tech.

You’re about eight years behind on your Starcraft metagame.

The nerf hammer solves all.

I would agree that Zerg were the best in SC1. Not by a huge margin, but you could just tear down bases with nothing more than zerglings and hydralisks.

In Starcraft 2, though, I really don’t know which race is best. I know Protoss have some powerful build orders, I lost a 2v2 the other day to a ridiculous double 4-gate timing push. They had about 3 times the amount of units that my partner and I had. Don’t know if they’re the best overall, though.


If you’re asking “which race is better” you’re not at a high enough level of play for any of the very slight discrepancies between the sides to affect you in any meaningful way. Play what fits your personal style better.

How about which race you prefer and why?

That question has a lot more discussion potential :>

I lean towards Zerg myself, both because I’ve always been a major fan of sci-fi buggies (see: Aliens series) and because I’ve never liked the style of having two dozen production buildings like the other two races have. The zerg neatly avoid that by focusing instead on a more on-the-fly decision between military and economic investment. Playing Zerg is all about juggling the income/power/investment spreadsheet, which fits the ‘big picture’ way that I prefer to play RTS.

Have you tried having more hatcheries than resources spots? I reckon that it costs 300 minerals to get a hatchery which is a building that produces 3 units at the same time. That’s a better deal in terms of price/productivity than terran barracks while being able to produce much stronger units.

I play probably 70% Protoss, 20% Terran, and 10% Zerg. I play Protoss simply because I like the units the best, and I feel like there are several different builds that are all successful for me. I love a giant ball of stalkers with colossus, I love mass void rays, I love dark templars and high templars, and I really love the mothership.

Terran and Protoss play pretty similarly, but when I play Terran I find it hard to get away from the MMM ball. I do like Terran for early harassment (the blue flame hellion is awesome), but I tend to play longer, more macro oriented games, and I like the Protoss power units better than the Terran ones.

Zerg is just so different from the other two that I don’t feel as comfortable when I play it. I think it’s the hardest race to play, unless you just six pool or something cheesy, but where’s the fun in that? I do like the Zerg units for the most part, but I think the addition of a third resource to manage (larvae) makes it significantly more complex than the other races.

i play casually at a low level. one of the nice things i remember about playing the old Starcraft was the endless circular debates about which tactic was better. everything could be countered ala scissors paper stone.

the observer comes too late for early scouting - i use probes and later blinking stalkers.

any Terran depending heavily on the scanner to deter my Dark Templars will lose the game to just a little bit more micro aimed at wasting your scanner mana.

Since someone has to say it:

I’m a convict
In the Siege Tank I ride
Not Protossin’, not Zergin’,
No I’m Terran up the night

In all seriousness, I’ve only played the single-player missions so far, so I’m a lot more familiar with all the nifty new toys Terrans have now, and that biases me towards them, but in the first one, I preferred Zerg, mostly for mutalisks and guardians, and brood lords just seem so much better than guardians that I’ll probably swing back that way again.

And scanners to catch Dark Templar should be a last resort, not a first one. That’s just for when the enemy manages to find the one spot in your new expansion that isn’t yet covered by a missile turret, not for general usage.

I think the general consensus right now is that Protoss > Terran > Zerg, though I admit I’m not as up-to-date as I used to be. Right after the game came out, Zerg was very obviously underpowered, though they’ve fixed that somewhat and Zerg isn’t clearly the last place race.

That still exists to a point, but expert players today also warn about thinking in counters. The game has shifted much more towards a macro playstyle, and many of the top players say to think in terms of out-economizing your opponent, not countering what he builds.

Right, when the game was first coming out, they released videos of test matches between pros, and it was absurd some of the lengths they’d go to to screw up their enemy’s economy. Like, sending one worker to run around in the enemy’s logical expansion spot, moving enough to avoid the units chasing it, but still always managing to get in the way of optimal placement of a headquarters building. Of course, the really amazing part is that both players are still managing their main base, keeping up with workers and other units, and building new structures while all this is going on.

One tactic I find myself wondering about along those lines is an overlord rush: Get an overlord or three to an enemy’s base before they have anti-air capabilities, and generating creep to prevent them from building buildings. I’m not sure if they’re fast enough to make that viable, though.

If you’re in a position to get lair tech before your opponent has a rax, ebay, core, or forge, you have much stronger plays than some overlord creep cheese.

I am pretty active in the Sc2 community and a diamond ranked player.

Up until the very highest levels of play, any race can take down any other race with a well executed strategy. Although zergs have a higher learning curve to get used to.

At the very highest levels, it is generally seen that terrans have the strongest early game due to the good DPS and efficiency of the first units, marines and mauraders. Protoss are usually considered having the strongest “late game” due to their extremely powerful (and expensive) units such as collusus, void rays, and templars. But surviving long enough to build your death ball army is more difficult.

A big part of the balance is also the map on which is played. Typically Zerg like playing on bigger maps so they can be rushed (attacked early) while the build up an economy.

They still do that, currently a showmatch between EGIdra vs Liquid`Jinro (for $1500) here: http://www.teamliquid.net/video/streams/iNcontroL

Oh, I didn’t realize that overlord creep was Lair-level. Yeah, that would definitely make that impractical, then.

And I don’t understand how big maps would favor Zerg… Wouldn’t rushes be more effective on small maps, where your opponent has less time to build defenses?

Zerg isn’t a rushing race. They’re about getting a huge economy and maxing out your supply, smashing the other army, and then re-maxing almost instantly and rolling over your opponent. So bigger maps allow a bigger economy and keep the zerg safe until they reach that point.

From all my days of Starcraft 1, I never thought I’d ever see that sentence. But since building up to max and then smashing was what I preferred doing with Zerg in the first one (in fact, more or less what I prefer doing with any race), I get the impression that Zerg is going to be even more my favorite race now.