A gentleman's guide to losing at StarCraft II

Admiring the View

Winners won’t take full advantage of the ability to zoom in the camera with their mouse’s scroll wheel – and that’s their loss. StarCraft II is gorgeous and Blizzard has lavished every unit and structure with tons of details. We especially like how many units now change slightly in appearance when they’ve been upgraded. For example, Zergling units now sprout wings once you’ve researched their speed boost.

Above: Someone’s in our base, killing our doodz – and it looks spectacular 

Of course, playing with the camera zoomed in isn’t very practical for those who care about winning. Winners don’t care about how awesome the Terran Thor looks as it stomps its way towards the frontlines of battle. They care about the most efficient build-order to climb the tech tree and produce them. They care about how its armor value and hit points factor in to its damage output and cost. But we care about how cool the Thor looks. We care a lot. And you should too. So make sure to stop and admire the view whenever possible, even if it means letting your opponent get the upper hand.

Above: Pause production to admire the detailed model of the Terran Thor 

On Scouting, Stress, and Staying True

Scouting is key to winning in StarCraft II. Exploring the map early in the game with a harvester or tier 1 unit will give you valuable intel on your opponent. By scouting, you can locate your enemy’s base and see what kind of structures they’re producing, which will help you choose an efficient counter to their strategy. Keep a few cheap units patrolling around the map as the match continues and you can lift the fog of war over key locations, allowing you to locate your opponent’s secondary bases and spot advancing enemy units.

Above: Over 100 Zerglings race toward a well fortified choke point where they will all be slaughtered by a few Marines in bunkers. This is how you should play StarCraft II 

It’s also wrong. Scouting is spying. And spying is cowardly. Plus, it’s incredibly stressful. Who cares if your opponent has built two secondary bases and is mass producing anti-ground air units? If you want to focus on preparing an army of Zealots, then that’s what you should do. Being able to fluidly adjust your unit production strategy mid-game may be for winners, but it’s also for those with weak wills. Stay true to your convictions and always play StarCraft II the way you want to by building the units and structures that you like best.

Staying Bad

Continue playing StarCraft II, and you’ll eventually start winning matches. Over time, you’ll get better, faster, and more efficient. Soon, you’ll find yourself blocking choke points on ramps and aggressively rushing your opponent with tier 1 units while upgrading your base’s tech. Unfortunately, there’s nothing that can be done to stop this.

Above: You can check a second-by-second summary of your build order for the match and compare it against what your opponent built. Make sure you never study this page 

But on the bright side, there are several easy ways to stymie your inevitable improvement. Real gentlemen always look forward with no regrets. So make sure you don’t review the build order summary after losing a match. This detailed report gives you a second-by-second summary of every unit and every structure that you and your opponent built, allowing you to learn how to improve your game. Want to find out how your opponent out-produced you and created a superior army? The details are all there in the summary after each match.

Above: makes it easy to watch replays of past matches so you can learn from your mistakes. Real gentlemen always look forward with no regrets, so don’t bother them 

Maintaining your ability to lose with style also requires that you ignore’s replay mode. Recent matches are automatically saved and when reviewing the footage, you can move the camera around freely or switch the point of view to follow your actions or your opponent’s actions. There are also useful drop-down menus that let you compare the status of you and your opponent’s resources, income spending, units, units lost, production rates, and APM (or actions per minute) as the match proceeds. The amount of statistics available in the replay mode is staggering.

Losing with Dignity

If you take our tips to heart, we guarantee that you’re well on your way to losing like a pro. Once your units have all been wiped out and your enemy is taking your base apart one building at a time, it’s time to type ‘gg.’ It lets your opponent know that you have conceded, and that his speed and strategy were superior to yours. Saying ‘Good Game’ is the classiest way to bow out of a match and is something that all gentlemen type as soon as their inevitable end draws near.

Above: Even the AI-controlled opponents understand that it’s appropriate to say ‘gg’ at the end of every match 

Unfortunately, we are saddened to report that some winners have been abusing the use the phrase ‘gg.’ You should never type ‘gg’ unless you have actually conceded and there is no hope of you winning. Do not type ‘gg’ if you have an undiscovered secondary base mass-producing units to counterattack your opponent’s forces. Never type ‘gg’ if you have a large squad of units on hand that can destroy your opponent’s structures before he can wipe you off the map. The underhanded use of the ‘gg surrender’ as a mind-game/stalling tactic threatens the integrity of the gentlemanly concession. Do your part by only saying ‘gg’ when you’re actually ready to give up.

Feb 26, 2010

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  • AnonymouZ - February 28, 2010 10:17 p.m.

    well, fuck being a gentleman. if your teammate sucks and the other 2 know what's up... you mite as well concede way early and get to lose another game. (which applies to HoN every time)
  • defiance0fchaos - February 27, 2010 11:16 p.m.

    Dang it, no beta key yet...
  • ForTheHive - February 27, 2010 9:55 p.m.

    I was awfully close to actually paying $350 on an eBay auction for a key.. Luckily some blog my friend linked me to on Facebook was giving out some invites. I thought it'd just be another scam, but I got an invite mailed to me in a couple of hours. Go figure... Anyway here's the blog with the Starcraft 2 beta keys: Good luck! Hope you guys get yours too!
  • it_burns - February 27, 2010 6:26 p.m.

    I'm sure Street Fighter's Dudley approves of this article. Let's play Starcraft... like gentlemen.
  • Migglez - February 27, 2010 5:13 a.m.

    Im losing FTW
  • thelonewolf501 - February 27, 2010 3:57 a.m.

    i lose with honor every game
  • Cwf2008 - February 27, 2010 2:22 a.m.

    Haha now i just gotta figure out whether or not its too late for the beta so i can use these tips
  • Spooge10 - February 27, 2010 12:48 a.m.

    I can't wait to get my ass handed to me by a pro. This game looks amazing, and now I know how to lose like a gentleman.
  • TheGiaour - February 27, 2010 12:13 a.m.

    Considering how I get wiped all the time by my buddies in Starcraft it seems this guide has guaranteed my copper status amongst my gold and platinum friends.

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