From Liquipedia Starcraft 2 Wiki
This page contains a list of terms and definitions that are commonly found when discussing StarCraft II.
General Game-play terms
- To attack in a simple fashion, as opposed to using complex micro to attack in a sophisticated way. "I just 1A'ed my units to his main and crushed his army." Derived from the act of pressing "1" to select the first control group and then pressing "A" to attack with it, the implication being that those are the only actions the attack required.
- Lingo for the four Warp-Gate rush, or to indicate a four Gate opening.
- 6 pool
- 6/10 Spawning Pool
- 7 Roach Rush
- 20 Minutes No Rush - Used to characterize an inexperienced player who plays a heavy turtle game and does not attack until the 20 minute mark.
- Anti-Air - Units or attacks that target air units (e.g. Spore Crawlers are anti-air defense structures)
- Anti-Ground - Units or attacks that target ground units (e.g. Marauders are anti-ground units)
- An attack where the player commits everything in an offensive attack to win the game, often even including some or all of this player's workers. If this all-in attack fails, the game is almost certainly lost, as the player has sacrificed so much to attempt it.
- All-Kill Format
- A mode of teamplay where the winner stays on until he gets defeated by the opposing team. Also known as Winners League format.
- Area of effect - A spell or ability that hits an area on the map rather than a specific target (e.g. EMP, Fungal Growth).
- Actions per minute - The number of clicks and key presses performed in one minute according to Blizzard time. This value is switched with EAPM on the Spectator and Replay UI.
- Artosis Pylon
- A Pylon which is solely responsible for powering multiple critical structures.
- Archon Toilet
- A technique which involves the use of the Mothership's vortex ability on the enemy army, in conjunction with the Archon's natural AOE attack. A very late-game maneuver which takes advantage of the vortex mechanic, which upon release clumps the units trapped inside and use of the Archon AOE attack to quickly vaporize an army. Highly effective against slower units.(e.g. Broodlords, Battlecruisers, Voidrays).
- Base Race or Base Trade
- Players attacking each other's bases with the intent of destroying all enemy buildings before the opponent. Also see Elimination Race.
- After the opponent moves out of his base with an army, run around the opponent's army and attack the lightly defended base. Also see run-by. Not necessarily an allied player.
- Attacking an ally
- A group of units that travels the map in a pack. Also see death ball.
- Baneling Land Mine
- Used to describe burrowed Banelings laying in wait to ambush units like Marines and other light units as targets, when they simply walk over by mistake. Most commonly seen versus Terran, with Banelings in pairs used to pick off Marine clusters.
- Bad Manner - Acting toward another person with disrespect. Also see Manner.
- Big Push, The
- A technique used heavily by players such as Flash and Life. Using an timing push, based on upgrades, with a mass-producing units pushing heavily for territory, forcing a defensive response, and breaking the enemy's army Supply Line or simply their bases (and Economy) to pieces.
- Build Order - The creation order of buildings and units in the early game to achieve a specific strategy. Also see opening.
- Boa Constrictor
- When one side is continually applying pressure to his opponent at multiple locations, usually done with static units like siege tanks in TvT.
- Best of (Number) - The winner between two players is determined by winning the majority of a set number of games. For example, Bo5 ("Best of 5") means a player must win the majority of 5 games to win the series. Common BoX's are Bo1, Bo3, Bo5, and Bo7.
- Dropping units on top of the enemy's units in order to cause splash damage from your own units (Banelings) or make the enemy's units attack themselves with splash damage (Siege Tanks).
- Bronze Proof
- A simple strategy or build order which could be easily executed, even by a very new player. Usually a strategy that is strong at the moment, and does not involve a lot of scouting.
- Build Order Win or Build Order Loss
- When a player wins or loses not from skill or strategy but from a build order which hard counters the opponent's build order.
- An extravagant celebration of a victory in an offline tournament. May involve jabs at the opponent.
- Custom Game. Usually a non-ladder game.
- A strategy that is intended to take the enemy by surprise. Cheese is difficult to defend if it's not scouted. Cheese may come even in later stages of the game.
- Korean term - "beginner" or "novice" - It refers to a player, strategy, or tactic that is downright awful. Using the word "chobo" is like using the word n00b and is considered BM.
- Chokepoint - A narrow area in between two or more open areas.
- Used to describe the surface area of an attacking army. Pre-engagement, generally it is recommended to spread your army before attacking to ensure optimal damage output and prevent units cluttering amongst each other trying to reach the front line in order to attack.
- The act of placing units outside of the enemy's base to prevent the enemy from expanding and to reduce the enemy's map control. "Contain" is sometimes prefixed by the units used in the contain, such as MMM contain, Roach contain, or Stalker contain.
- Zerg hatcheries, creep tumours and overlords can create a sludge known as 'Creep'. This is useful for map control and increasing the Zerg player's vision of the map. Creep also increases the speed of both allied and enemy Zerg units running on it by 30%. See Creep for some more specific information.
- Creep Bridge or Creep Highway
- Refers to a long path of creep, usually created by Overlords, leading from the player's base to a strategic location, most often the opponent's base. This allows Zerg to reinforce to the strategic location very quickly.
- Critical Mass
- The number of units where the marginal benefit of one additional unit changes from linear to exponential. For example, going from 1 Void Ray to 2 Void Rays is linear in terms of strength against the enemy. However, going from 6 Void Rays to 7 Void Rays is much more effective than going from 1 to 2. Thus, having 6 Void Rays can be considered a critical mass of Void Rays. Critical masses are limited to ranged units only, and units which are ranged and have splash damage reach critical mass much faster than those without splash damage.
- Death Ball
- A ball of a given unit combination that is very difficult for the enemy to deal with and has the potential to destroy the enemy in one decisive attack. Common death balls are Colossus/Void Ray/Stalker, Tank/Viking/Raven, and Infestor/Brood Lord.
- Defensive Nuke
- A nuclear launch in which the purpose is not to kill enemy units but to dissuade the enemy from entering the nuclear strike zone leading to a positional advantage or buying time.
- Distance mining
- The act of workers gathering resources from an area which does not have a Hatchery/Command Center/Nexus owned by the player.
- Doom Drop
- A drop which contains a significant part of the player's army. For example, 7-10 Medivacs filled with units would be considered a doom drop.
- Buildings Drones as Zerg. This differs from the other races' worker production in that the shared production resource of Larva makes it a strategic decision.
- The act of unloading combat units from an aerial transportation unit (Medivac, Warp Prism, Overlord) inside the enemy's base. Also see Doom Drop.
- Damage Per Second - The amount of damage dealt by a unit in one second. DPS is also used loosely to mean "Rate of Damage".
- The state of a player's rate of income and number of mining units compared to the enemy's rate of income and number of mining units.
- Using aerial transportation (Medivac, Warp Prism, Overlord) to move units from one elevation to another elevation, thus acting like a real world elevator. Also see Drop.
- Elimination Race
- Situation where both players have very little or no economy and have to use their remaining units to win. Also see Base Race.
- Expansion - Building a Hatchery/Command Center/Nexus in a place where it can gather resources. Also see Natural.
- Effective Actions Per Minute - The number that represents how many clicks and buttons are being pressed in one minute according to Blizzard time. However repeat clicks (such as the constant repetitive pressing of hotkeys) have been removed from the total. This value is switched with APM on the Spectator and Replay UI.
- Fabian tactics
- A tactic where one avoids direct/tactical battles and instead aims to wear the enemy down via small skirmishes, disruption of economy, and drop tactics. Usually used when one side is at a disadvantage and is trying to gain a foothold. Name is a historical reference to Roman dictator Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus.
- Fast expansion - Creating a Nexus/Command Center/Hatchery quickly, usually before 20 Food, in order to gain an economic advantage.
- Forge Fast Expansion - A common Protoss opening versus Zerg players on maps where the natural ramp is easily defended (i.e. Shakuras, Tal'Darim Altar). A greedy variation is placing Nexus first at 14 supply.
- Fake Gas - The act of placing a gas harvesting structure on a Vespene Geyser but not mining from it in order to trick the enemy.
- Fungal Growth
- The act of attacking from an additional angle to create a better concave, increase surface area, and block off retreat. Flanking increases the odds that the aggressor will win the engagement.
- Having an excessive amount of Minerals or Gas in the bank. This is often a sign of poor macro-management, although it can happen once a player reaches maximum Supply. It can also happen intentionally when saving up for a specific moment, such as waiting for a Spire in order to complete to make a large number of Mutalisks at once.
- Fog of War
- The gray area of the map which can only be revealed by scouting.
- Generic term for Terran Supply, Zerg Control and Protoss Psi.
- Game Mechanics
- The construct of rules that govern the limitations and possibilities within the game.
- Gas Steal
- Building a gas collecting structure on the opponent's Vespene Geyser(s).
- Good Game - Usually said by the losing player just before surrender as a show of good sportsmanship.
- Good Luck, Have Fun - Usually said at the beginning of games as a show of good sportsmanship.
- (noun) Grandmaster - The highest league obtainable on the Battle.net ladder.
- (adjective) Good Manner - Acting toward another person in a respectful way. Also see Manner.
- Korean Term - Literally "high hand" - Refers to a player or tactic with strategic brilliance (ex. "His hellion control is so gosu that no amount of zerglings could stop him."). Also see Hasu.
- A player who takes a great risk for a large economic gain. For example, a Zerg player who fast expands twice before creating a Spawning Pool would be greedy.
- Two terms refer to grid: "placement grid" or "Grid" the hotkey layout. "Standard" uses different Hotkeys per Race, while "Grid" uses the same for all races. General information about hotkeys and benefits of using them is part of the large area Mechanics.
- Game Time Seconds - The number of seconds that pass in the game compared to the real world. One GTS in the "Fastest" game speed is approximately .75 real world seconds. All time durations in the game, including the APM meter in replays, are expressed in GTS.
- Harass or Harassment is the act of using a small number of units, usually with superior mobility, to cause damage to the enemy without a large engagement. Harassment is usually targeted at damaging or disrupting the enemy's economy, sometimes even the production. Typical harass units are Reapers, Banshees and Mutalisks.
- Hard Counter
- A unit or strategy that overwhelmingly dominates another unit or strategy (e.g. "Playing Scissors is a hard counter to Paper").
- Korean term - translated as "mediocre" - This refers to a player, strategy, or tactic that is not very good in a GM way, especially when referring to yourself. Also see Chobo.
- High yield or Gold
- A base which has yellow-colored minerals instead of blue-colored minerals.
- Imbalanced - A claim that a race, unit, or strategy is so overpowering that it destroys the balance which keeps all three races equally strong. Also see OP.
- Using micro to take advantage of one unit having higher range than another so one unit can harm the other without taking damage. The unit with the higher range attacks the other unit, moves slightly away, attacks again, and so on, maintaining the proper range.
- Phase of the match where the map's resources are nearing depletion, control over the remaining expansions becomes vital, players are typically maxed out, and High tech units are in play.
- Lag refers to the game not running smoothly in almost any way. Lag can occur when any party connected to your game has a slow computer or a slow or unreliable connection to the game. In the presence of lag, units will take noticeably longer to respond to commands.
- Macromanagement - The creation of units, buildings, upgrades, and expansions. Also see micro.
- Magic Box
- (noun) A small, invisible box where moving a group of units within the box makes them move into a ball but moving them outside of the box allows the units to move in formation.
- (verb) The act of preventing units from clumping in order to reduce enemy splash damage. Magic Boxing is most often performed with Mutalisks against Thors and Archons. See Magic Box or a video demonstration.
- The general area around the player's starting base.
- The general way one person treats another person which is either "good manner" (GM) or "bad manner" (BM).
- Infinitive - Telling someone "To manner (up)" means "to behave" or "To act with respect" (ex. "Manner!", "Manner up or leave").
- (Adjective with OBJECT/ACTION) - A "Manner ((Building Name))" (ex. "Manner Nexus", "Manner Hatchery") is a building created in an obvious fashion at the loser's base to show the winner's dominance in the match. This tells the losing player how much money the winning player had when the losing player lost. Usually expensive or redundant buildings are used such as creating a massive amount of Dark Shrines or Fleet Beacons. "Manner" can also be used with actions such as "Manner dancing" (using the dance command in the losing player's base) or "Manner MULEing" (dropping a MULE during a battle to humiliate the opponent). Also see Manner Pylon.
- (Adjective with PERSON) - Calling someone manner (ex. "ThorZaIN is so mannered") means that he acts respectfully in all showmatches, doesn't badmouth his opponents, and never shows rage or foul-mouthed behaviors.
- Map Control
- The amount of vision and mobility a player has on the map.
- Maxed Out
- When a player reaches the food cap, 200/200.
- Transferring workers from a mining base to a new expansion to get immediate income from the new expansion and increase overall mining efficiency. This term is named after the Brood War player Maynard.
- Multiple Building Selection - The ability to select multiple buildings and create units out of each of them. MBS is notable because a player was not allowed to select multiple buildings in Brood War.
- The execution of micro and macro through the use of multitasking.
- Using information and strategies from outside of the game's ruleset to affect your opponent's in-game decisions.
- Micromanagement - The control of units to maximize their effectiveness. Also see macro.
- Phase of the match where a player is expanding, creating Mid tech units, making tech choices, and attacking the enemy. Also see late game.
- Mineral Line
- The area where workers gather resources next to a Hatchery/Command Center/Nexus. This area is a prime target for harassment.
- MSC = Mothership Core
- This is a common abbrevation used in forums. M = Mother, S = Ship and C = Core
- Natural or Nat
- Natural Expansion - The closest expansion to the main.
- Ninja Expansion
- Creating a hidden, resource gathering expansion where the enemy is unlikely to scout.
- Terms used to refer to experienced players that still play bad. These words can sometimes be derogatory. Also see Hasu.
Terms used to refer to inexperienced players. It's much more neutral than Noob.
- Omega 6 pool
- When two or more allied Zerg players 6 Pool in a team game.
- Overpowered - A claim that a race, unit, or strategy is too strong. Also see imba.
- The build order of the first few buildings and units.
- Occurs when a projectile lands on the target but deals no damage because the enemy unit is already dead. This reduces DPS which is highly undesirable. Overkill can only occur when an attack has a visible projectile (ex. Stalker, Mutalisk, Marauder). Also see Smart Firing.
- A worker unit of any given race (Drone, Probe, SCV). The term comes from Warcraft in which the Orcs' worker was called the Peon.
- Creation of a unit producing or tech structure anywhere that is not part of a player's base. A proxy unit producing structure reduces travelling time from the structure and the enemy's base leading to a strategic advantage. A proxy tech structure is used to hide the player's tech path and intention from the enemy.
- Slowly forcing the enemy to retreat by inching forward with an attack force. Attacking the enemy in this slow fashion makes it much more difficult for the enemy to break. A common example of a push is leap-frogging Siege Tanks toward your opponent by moving the siege tanks from the back to the front of the push.
- The act of telling a unit producing structure to build more units than it can create immediately. This is considered bad macro because it locks away resources that could be spent elsewhere.
- Reverse All Kill
- Seen in team play winner goes-on format, when a team is down to a final player with a score of zero, and that player is able to win the match with multiple consecutive wins.
- RCR = Resource Collection Rate
- The "Resource Collection Rate" is a statistic in your Match History (click on "Performance").
- The act of rushing units through the natural to reach the main in the early game, thus "running by" the enemy's defenses. This allows the player to scout the enemy's tech choices and harass the enemy's mineral line. Also see backstab.
- Optimizing production to reach a specific number of units with the intent of early pressure on the enemy. A rush is not as risky as an all-in, so recovery is still possible if the rush fails.
- Sacrifice - Allowing a unit or structure to die for a positional, tactical, or strategic gain.
- A resources which is being gathered by an optimal number of workers. Also see Mining Rates.
- Revealing remote areas of the map to gain information about your opponent by using units or Scanner Sweep
- A term coined by iNcontroL to describe an army feinting to force a Zerg opponent to switch to unit production, slowing the growth of the Zerg economy.
- The act of placing non-attacking buildings in a defensive way to dramatically decrease the effectiveness of run-bys, rushes, and attacks. Also see wall-in.
- Smart Firing
- A unit which does not fire a visible projectile and, therefore, cannot Overkill enemy units. Smart firing units include Tanks, Marines, Thors, Ghosts, Infested Terrans, Auto-Turrets, Reapers, Landed Vikings, Void Rays and Immortals.
- Destroying a high-priority target before the other player can save it.
- Soft Counter
- A unit or strategy that has some advantage over another unit or strategy but not enough to totally dominate it. A soft counter can be negated by a reasonable numerical advantage or superior micromanagement. Also see hard counter.
- Special Tactics
- An increasingly popular term made famous by Protoss player White-Ra referring to unusual tactics that are meant to surprise the enemy, but even if scouted and countered does not hurt your overall gameplay. This is related to cheese in the power that comes when said tactic is unscouted and not explicitly prepared for.
- Spending quotient
- Spending quotient (generally referred to as SQ) is a value introduced as a reliable method for quantitatively assessing a player’s economic management in a game.
- The act of destroying the opponent very slowly and deliberately, as if to kill someone with a spoon. This term goes hand-in-hand with the player ThorZaIN's nickname: "The Spoon Terran".
- Draw. The term is probably borrowed from chess. See Stalemate Detection.
- Starving out
- Using harrassment or a contain to prevent the enemy from taking new bases or critical resources. Eventually, the enemy will run out of resources and will no longer be able to defend.
- Static defense
- A building with combat capabilities, often used to fortify a location. Examples include Spore Crawler, Photon Cannon and Missile Turret
- Stream cheating
- Looking at the live stream of your opponent in order to see what he does and beat him with an unfair advantage.
- Stream sniping
- Looking at a stream and begin searching for a match at the same time as the streamer in order to get the streamer as your opponent. Sometimes done repetitively.
- Stutter Step
- A micro technique where a unit is ordered to attack, move just as its attack animation begins, attack again as soon as the weapon cooldown is over, and so on. This maximizes the amount of damage a unit can do while pursuing enemy units or fleeing to a more favorable position. Also see Kiting.
- Supply Block
- The state of being unable to create additional units due to a player's current food being equal to or greater than the maximum food allowed. Build additional Supply Depots, Overlords, or Pylons to stop a supply block.
- T1, T2, T3
- Evolution level of Zerg main building (1, 2, or 3).
- Very often wrongly used instead of referring to tech as low/mid/high for Terran and Protoss techs.
- Zerg - T1 = Hatchery, T2 = Lair, T3 = Hive
- Sometimes people will refer to a half-tier, such as "T1.5". This means a unit requires more tech than one tier but not as much tech as the next tier. For example, a Baneling requires a Baneling Nest which requires a Spawning Pool, so a Baneling is T1.5 because it requires more tech than a Spawning Pool but not as much tech as a Lair.
- The definitions including half-tiers are not clear-cut and subject to some debate, but can be broadly considered to be:
- Tier 1 - Zergling, Queen (Spawning Pool)
- Tier 1.5 - Roach (Spawning Pool + Roach Warren); Baneling (Spawning Pool + Baneling Nest)
- Tier 2 - Hydralisk (Lair + Hydralisk Den); Infestor, Swarm Host (Lair + Infestation Pit); Mutalisk, Corruptor (Lair + Spire)
- Tier 3 - Ultralisk (Hive + Ultralisk Cavern); Brood Lord (Hive + Greater Spire); Viper (Hive)
- A high hit-point unit that takes damage so other weaker units can survive and deal optimal damage. Also called "meat shield". (i.e. Immortal, Thor, Ultralisk)
- Tasteless Pylon
- A second Pylon supporting an Artosis Pylon thus preventing the lone pylon to be called an Artosis Pylon.
- Refers to how much structures is needed to unlock a given unit on a race's tech tree.
- Three categories: Low tech, Middle tech and High tech
- It is also referred as Early game tech, Mid game tech and Late game tech
- It is frequently used Tier levels instead of tech levels for zergs
- Low tech - Marine, Reaper (Barracks); Marauder (Barracks + Tech Lab)
- Middle tech - Hellion, Widow Mine (Factory); Siege Tank (Factory + Tech Lab); Ghost (Barracks + Tech Lab + Ghost Academy)
- High tech - Thor (Factory + Tech Lab + Armory); Hellbat (Factory + Armory); Medivac, Viking (Starport); Raven, Banshee (Starport + Tech Lab); Battlecruiser (Starport + Tech Lab + Fusion Core)
- Low tech - Zergling, Queen (Spawning Pool); Roach (Spawning Pool + Roach Warren); Baneling (Spawning Pool + Baneling Nest)
- Middle tech - Hydralisk (Lair + Hydralisk Den); Infestor, Swarm Host (Lair + Infestation Pit); Mutalisk, Corruptor (Lair + Spire)
- High tech - Viper (Hive Only); Ultralisk (Hive + Ultralisk Cavern); Brood Lord (Hive + Greater Spire);
- Low tech - Zealot (Gateway); Stalker, Sentry (Gateway + Cybernetics Core); Mothership Core (Nexus and Cybernetics Core)
- Middle tech - Observer, Immortal, Warp Prism (Robotics Facility); Void Ray, Phoenix, Oracle (Stargate)
- High tech - High Templar (Twilight Council + Templar Archives); Dark Templar (Twilight Council + Dark Shrine); Colossus (Robotics Facility + Robotics Bay); Carrier, Tempest (Stargate + Fleet Beacon); Mothership (Stargate + Fleet Beacon + Mothership Core)
- When a player's emotions harm decision making abilities. Also see (Wikipedia:Tilt (poker)).
- Timing Attack
- An attack which takes place in a timing window.
- Timing Window
- A time period in which an attack will have greater efficiency than an attack outside of that time period. Timing windows are often created by tech choices and expansion timings.
- The main building of any given race (Hatchery, Nexus, Command Center).
- Spending most or all of the game defending instead of attacking. Turtling can be seen as BM if it unreasonably drags out the game.
- Use Map Settings - A map which depends on scripted events to play. This is a term carried over from Brood War.
- Vision advantage
- Some units can attack further than their sight range will allow. Vision advantage occurs when a unit can attack the enemy using the full attack range due to additional vision granted by air units or floating buildings while the enemy cannot return fire.
- Abbreviation for "Won-Lost", used when cramped for space in table headings.
- The placement of buildings to narrow choke points and reduce the effectiveness of incoming early rushes. Also see SimCity.
- Fighting game term - An attack that does no damage.
- Worker Rush
- Sending all workers to attack the opponent in the early game.
- Short for walk-over. Sometimes a zero (w0) is used instead of the letter o, emphasizing the forfeiting party receiving zero points.
- Well Played - Stated by the losing player or team just before surrendering to express admiration of the opponent's play or strategy.
- Someone who makes a lot of small units. For example: a Terran Zerg makes loads of Marines and constantly attacks with them while remaxing them, literally "Zerging" the enemy.
- Acer TeamStory Cup
- GOMTV Global StarCraft II League
- GOMTV Global StarCraft II Team League
- HomeStory Cup
- Intel Extreme Masters
- IGN ProLeague
- Iron Squid
- Major League Gaming
- North American Star League
- North American Star Team League
- Team Liquid Starleague
Non Game-play terms
- Artificial intelligence, see Wikipedia's article "Artificial intelligence" for more information.
- Beta phase 1
- The first portion of Beta for StarCraft II which spanned between February 17th, 2010 to June 7th, 2010.
- Bring Your Own Computer - A live event where computers are not supplied for the player.
- A sign that is shown by fans between matches in a tournament to hype or show appreciation for a team or player in a witty way. (Example cheerfuls from MLG Anaheim)
- Any person not originally from South Korea. This term is carried over from Brood War.
- Galaxy Editor
- Intel = Intelligence (assessment)
- A term often used by military personnel for "gathering information". Intel is conducted on three levels: strategic, tactical and counterintelligence (e.g. deny scouting). See Intelligence assessment on Wikipedia for more information.
- An experienced player posing as a newbie under an alternate name
- An experienced player hiding his real identity to not let any planned strategies get out by people uploading replays.
- A player who wishes to test out new strategies without losing his public placement in the ranking.
- To be announced - Information not yet disclosed by the person or organization in question.
- To be determined - Something yet to be determined such as tournament participants, map pool, or release date.
- Wings of Liberty. The Terran campaign part of SC2 and the name of the initial SC2 release.
- Heart of the Swarm. The Zerg campaign part of SC2 and the name of the first expansion.
- Legacy of the Void. The Protoss campaign part of SC2 and the name of the second expansion. It is a stand alone game.