Starcraft 2: Choosing your Ultimate Race to Play

written by Zoltan

After reading this Starcraft 2 strategy article, you may be surprised to find out which race best fits you. The best race for you, actually depends a lot on your personality. Are you detailed oriented or not? Your answer to this question helps determine whether you should play Zerg or Protoss.  Do you pick the noble Protoss? The rag-tag Terrans? Or the relentless Zerg swarm? Well, if you don’t know their strengths and weaknesses, it will be hard to choose which race is right for you. Let’s break down the 3 races with pro/con lists so you can figure out which one suits you best.

Protoss Race

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  • Strong units with high health / damage for their costs.
  • Regenerating shields.
  • Tactical superiority with warp-in units.
  • Powerful spell casters (both High Templar and Sentries).
  • Chrono-Boost allows you to both power your economy and/or your army, allowing for versatile play.
  • Decent army mobility.


  • Micromanagement of units is most important of all 3 races.
  • Units are generally high-cost.
  • Tech trees are extremely expensive gas wise, so you have to choose a single or at most two tech trees.
  • No ability to repair/heal.
  • Long tech time to tier 3 units.

The Protoss have a strong army out of their gateway alone, and because of this, they have opportunities for strong timing attacks with warp gates. They are the most straight-forward of the 3 races, and for that I call them the “easiest” to play of the 3 races.

Warp gates come with a built in hotkey- W, so newer players can’t even forget to set their control groups. Also, nearly any amalgamation of stalkers, sentries, and zealots, can perform well in combat together early in the game, so exact army composition doesn’t matter quite as much. In more advanced games, the ability for Protoss to warp units in wherever they have pylons allows for interesting tactical strikes, flanks, surrounds, and a myriad of other advanced tactics.

A player who likes Protoss generally likes their brute power and strong overall units, and will generally move their army as one powerful group. Micromanaging a Protoss army is extremely important, as protecting your high value units with cheap zealots will lead you to victory.

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Terran Race


  • Extremely versatile base unit, the Marine
  • Add-ons allow for quick tech-switches and versatile army composition
  • Powerful harassing units (hellions, reapers)
  • Specialist units hard counter specific races / unit compositions (ghosts vs. toss, thors vs. mutas)
  • Mobile bases allow for interesting counter-attack strategies.
  • Repair ability and supply depot lowering allows for strong defensive walls.
  • Orbital command allows for strategic advantage.


  • Slow army production without reactor add-ons which take a long time to build.
  • Slowest production of workers of the 3 races- (somewhat mitigated by MULES)
  • Powerful army units move very slowly, and have low overall mobility
  • Many units have energy, making them all vulnerable to high templar feedback.
  • Many different unit upgrades and 3 different upgrade trees makes it difficult for late game army composition switches.

The Terran army has many faces, and as such allows for very versatile play. Players who like to innovate will like picking Terran, as they can attempt numerous kinds of drops, cloaked play, flying harass, ground harass… all while feeling generally safe behind your wall of buildings and siege tanks.

Terran players have many methods of both offense and defense, and this versatility makes defending against a multi-pronged Terran attack very difficult. Being able to control multiple small battles at once is a hallmark of a good Terran player, but microing individual units is less important than as a Protoss player.

Zerg Race

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  • Unique production structure allows quick saturation of new bases and fast high-tier unit production.
  • All units regenerate.
  • Simple upgrade structure allows you to start upgrades early and know they will be used.
  • Fast army units allow for lightning quick strikes and retreats, as well as many tactical maneuvers
  • Overlords provide strategic scouting advantage.
  • Late game units are VERY strong and hard to overcome once created.
  • Fastest to expand, and best mobility of the three races.


  • Macromanagment is extremely difficult, and most important of all 3 races (Creep, Queens, Spawn Larvae, Drone to unit ratio)…
  • Difficult to learn.
  • Overall weakest units.
  • Difficult to tech quickly.

The Zerg swarm is both difficult to master and difficult to learn. The payoff, however, is control over the 2 most powerful units in the game (Broodlord + Ultralisk).

A Zerg player must be able to constantly spawn larvae, constantly spread creep, constantly be positioning overlords, and on top of that making the right number of drones and the correct army composition. Any small break in these functions will generally cost a Zerg player the game, and playing as Zerg can be the least forgiving of the 3 races.

In addition, you need to be able to make more actions per minute as Zerg than the other 2 races just to perform your standard base duties. Zerg is not for the slackers out there, and requires a significant amount of time to master.

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