Macro (macromanagement) in Starcraft 2

Macro (short for macromanagement) is everything to do with your economy. It means spending and gathering minerals and gas, plus preventing supply block at the same time, which is a vital part of Starcraft 2.

The Basics

While your income increases the amount of resources you possess, your job is to spend these resources by constructing buildings, training units or investing in upgrades. Macro comes with decision making – what to spend your money on. Your options are basically: Army, Tech and Economy. Typically, players will want to spend their money as soon as possible unless they are waiting for a certain tech or unit to become available.

You may select multiple production buildings / Larvae at once. For every keypress, one unit will be produced, so if you select 25 Larvae, you would have to press D 25 times in order to morph all of them into Drones. You can also hold down D to morph all the Larvae into Drones.

Macro in Starcraft 2 as a Terran player
Macro in Starcraft 2 as a Terran player

With MBS (Multiple Building Selection), there was just too much of a challenge of controlling and keeping up with macro. As a solution, Blizzard has introduced multiple Race-Specific Mechanics that allow you to prioritize certain aspects of the game.

Army, Tech and Economy Macro

Spending on your Army means that you’re training units, and the buildings which produce those units. If your resources are going up faster than you can spend them, you definitely need to construct more production buildings, which allows you to train units faster.

Spending on Tech means you are either building structures to upgrade your tech and progress down the tech tree, which allows you to build new types of units, buildings and upgrades. Unlocking the tech tree will allow you to build more powerful units.

Spending on Economy means that you’re making an investment that will increase the rate at which you gather minerals and gas. Building workers allows you to collect resources at a higher rate at your bases. Constructing new bases is mandatory in Starcraft 2 when it comes to macro.

For example, Terran players must have Orbital Command upgrade on several of their Command Centers. This unlocks several abilities:

  • Calldown: MULE – Improved SCV which gathers more resources at a faster rate
  • Scanner Sweep – Reveals an area on a map for a short period of time (useful for scouting)
  • Calldown: Extra Supplies – Instantly calls down an extension on Supply Depots which increases the supply amount that specific Supply Depot provides by 8.

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