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Terran gameplay (StarCraft)

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Terran gameplay (StarCraft) is in need of cleanup for the following reason(s):

Move out vs zerg and vs protoss to the TvZ and TvP articles.

Please refer to the talk page for further discussion.

Gameplay attributes Edit

  • Average cost units and buildings
  • Generally fragile units with high damage, ranged attacks
  • "Lift Off" allows key buildings to relocate. Command centers may be flown to establish expansions rather than sending SCVs
  • Moderately efficient building method
  • Forces need preparation prior to combat to be most effective; marines with stimpacks, siege tanks in siege mode, missile turret and bunker construction, spider mine laying, etc..
  • HP recovery is only through unit abilities; SCVs repair buildings and mechanical units, medics (StarCraft: Brood War only) heal biological units and SCVs. Buildings lose 1 HP per second once their HP bar turns red and are destroyed unless repaired
  • Increased micromanagement requirement

Notable abilities Edit

EMP ShockwaveEdit

Science vessel ability. Completely drains the energy and shield points of all units caught in the area of effect. Particularly effective against protoss units and buildings, especially archons. It also destroys hallucinations.

Nuclear StrikeEdit

Ghost ability, armed at nuclear silo. The missile deals 500 damage, or damage equivalent to 2/3rds of a unit's maximum HP, to objects at the point of impact. Units within the area of effect are dealt reduced splash damage. The ghost's Nuclear Strike ability paints the point of impact from a distance with a red dot visible to all players. If the ghost carries out any other actions before the missile arrives the strike is terminated and the missile lost. A ghost without the Ocular Implant upgrade must paint the target within the blast radius; the ghost must flee immediately when the missile arrives or be killed.

Yamato CannonEdit

Battlecruiser ability. Fires a bolt dealing 260 damage at range 10, one of the longest ranges in the game, for 150 energy. The range is slightly greater than the battlecruiser's sight range, so a spotter is ideal. If the cannon is charging and the intended target is destroyed, the energy is still expended but the cannon does not fire.


Medic ability. Restores two hit points per one point of energy to a friendly biological unit. Allows marines to make more extensive use of stimpacks and increases their survivability in combat. See "marines and medics".

Units and BuildingsEdit


Most terran units are ranged attackers.


  • SCV – worker, occupied in constructing a new base structure. Has a weak attack that cannot be upgraded.
  • Marine – ranged attack ground unit, most versatile of the basic ground units. Can use "StimPack" ability to increase its effectiveness at the cost of health. The marine can be upgraded for longer range.
  • Firebat – short ranged attack ground unit, counters the basic protoss and zerg ground units. Can use "StimPack" ability to increase its effectiveness at the cost of health.
  • Medic – healer and spellcaster unit, supports terran units, especially infantry. Can use the "Heal" ability to restore health to ground biological units, the "Restoration" ability to remove many status ailments, and the "Optical Flare" ability to blind enemies. (Brood War only)
  • Ghost – stealth ranged attack ground unit. Can use the "Personal Cloaking Field" ability to cloak and the "Lockdown" ability to temporarily disable mechanical units. Can also paint targets for a nuclear missile if there is an armed nuclear silo.
  • Vulture – fast ranged attack ground unit. Can deploy Spider Mines and upgraded for faster movement.
  • Siege tank – siege unit.The siege tank has two modes, a tank mode that does decent damage and a siege mode where it does a lot of damage but is immobile.
  • Goliath – ranged attack ground unit. Can attack both ground and air, though it is more effective against air. Can be upgraded for longer range (Brood War only).


  • Wraith – stealth ranged attack air unit. Can attack both ground and air, though it is more effective against air. Can be upgraded with the "Cloaking" ability.
  • Dropship – air transport unit. It can carry up to eight unit slots. Each unit takes up a different number of slots; SCVs, marines, firebats, and medics, take up 1, ghosts, vultures, and goliaths take up 2, and siege tanks take up 4. Given the smaller amount of space most terran units take up in a dropship, this makes mass drops easier to perform compared to that of the protoss shuttle.
  • Science vessel – caster and detector air unit. Can use the "Defense Matrix" ability to limit the damage to a unit, the "Irradiate" ability to to do a lot of damage to a biological unit that can spread to other biological units.
  • Battlecruiser – heavy air unit. The battlecruiser attacks with anti-air or anti-ground lasers. Can use the "Yamato Gun" ability to deal large amounts of damage to a single target.
  • Valkyrie – air-to-air ranged attack air unit. The valkyrie attacks with a salvo of eight air-to-air rockets that deal splash damage. (Brood War only)



  • Command center – provides 10 supply, resource depot, starting point for the tech tree, trains SCVs.
    • ComSat station – add-on, provides the scanner sweep ability that reveals the fog of war and provides detection in an area.
    • Nuclear silo – add-on, builds nuclear missiles that are directed to the target by the ghost.
  • Academy – required for advanced infantry, the StimPack ability, and upgrades for marine range and the medic.
  • Bunker – infantry support defensive structure, effectiveness depends on which infantry units are loaded into the structure.


  • Factory – trains vehicle units.
    • Machine shop – required for the siege tank, and upgrades for the vulture, the siege tank, and the goliath.
  • Armory – vehicle and ship weapon and armor upgrades.
  • Science facility – required for the science vessel, and the second and third levels of weapons and armor upgrades at the engineering bay and the armory, also upgrades for the science vessel.
    • Physics lab – add-on, required for, and upgrades for the battlecruiser.
    • Covert ops – add-on, required for the ghost and the nuclear silo, and upgrades for the ghost.

Tech treesEdit

Terrans have two main tech trees: infantry-oriented biological and vehicle-oriented mechanized. The production and upgrade structures for one is generally different from the other. This makes it difficult to pursue both except in long matches.


The biological tree revolves around the marines and medics combination. It is most effective against zerg, and less so against protoss and terrans as the latter two have a larger number of units and special abilities that have high splash damage.

A typical build order starts with one or more barracks and supply depots, followed by a refinery and an academy. Several additional barracks are then built to ensure constant production of terran infantry.

Following are the ComSat station add-on for the command center, factory and machine shop add-on, and engineering bays. These provide basic detection, siege tank support, and upgrades for infantry.

Finally are the starport and science facility. These allow the production of science vessels for mobile detection and Irradiate, as well as unlocking the most advanced levels of unit upgrades from the engineering bay and the armory.


The mechanized tree is usually employed against protoss and terran opponents but certain mechanically-focused builds have been effectively used against zerg players and are gaining popularity. It makes use mostly of Terran ground vehicles, with possible support from air units.

A typical build order starts with a barracks and supply depots, and may forgo the production of barracks units (with the exception of 2-3 marines for early game defense) in favor of immediately constructing one or more factories and a starport later on. From there, the player may choose to adjust his strategy with accordance to the flow of the game.



Also known as "turtling." In the early game a ground choke point leading into the base may be blocked with a supply depot and barracks. The barracks may act as a gate with Lift Off. The buildings may be repaired by SCVs when the enemy attempts to break down the blockade. Counter-fire may be provided by marines and, later, siege tanks. Walling may also be used to slow enemy assaults on expansions, and may even be used offensively.


Beyond the strategic transportation function of the dropship, it may be used to launch raids and tactically redeploy units.

The terrans have many units with ranged attacks. The dropship may deploy them on high ground afforded by cliffs. The units may fire at enemy units below while being afforded some protection from return fire and safety from melee units. Siege tanks are particularly well suited to this when in siege mode.

Raiding a worker line may be done with dropships loaded with vultures or marines. There is greater flexibility in insertion and extraction with vultures due to their speed.

Bunker DefenseEdit

A bunker defense consists of three sandwiched lines. The front is the shell of bunkers with SCVs for repairs. In the middle are missile turrets or goliaths. Siege tank make the rear. It is best placed where it may not be easily outflanked. The defense reduces the effectiveness of terran and zerg swarm assaults. It is particularly vulnerable to the Dark Swarm of defilers. Bunkered firebats may be useful against melee zerg units and zealots.

Against TerranEdit

Against ZergEdit

Against ProtossEdit

External links Edit

  • Battle.Net: Terran
  • Underwood, Peter, Bill Roper, Chris Metzen and Jeffrey Vaughn. StarCraft (Manual). Irvine, Calif.: Blizzard Entertainment, 1998.

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