StarCraft Spawning Tutorial

Presumably in an effort to compete with other free-to-play games, Blizzard revived Spawning, a feature where players who haven’t purchased StarCraft to get (almost) full multiplayer access if they play with a friend who has purchased StarCraft. It’s awesome

Just last night, I pulled 4 friends (who had never played StarCraft 2 before) onto StarCraft with Spawning, and we ended up playing around 5 games together. Surprisingly, the initial learning curve isn’t as tough as you might think, and if you mix in arcade games (we played 1 round of Star Strikers), I think you might win over your friends.

To get my friends started, I wrote a quick guide for getting setup and learning about StarCraft. Hopefully you can use it to show more friends how awesome StarCraft is!

Install StarCraft

To install it on your computer, go to https://us.battle.net/account/download/?show=sc2&starter=sc2. Download and run the installer. When it asks you if you have activated the game or not, say that you have and wait for the 15GB to download. Meanwhile…

Get a Battle.net account

If you already have a Battle.net (bnet) account for StarCraft, Diablo, WoW, or other Blizzard products, you can sign in using that. Otherwise,, go to https://us.battle.net/account/creation/tos.html?theme=sc2&style=sc2-trial and signup

Learn about StarCraft

If you’re unfamiliar with what StarCraft is or how real-time strategy (RTS) games work, check out the game guide. The first page is an overview http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/game/guide/whats-sc2, and the second page will explain the gameplay http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/game/guide/gameplay-overview

In-Game Setup

Once the installer is finished,

  1. Start StarCraft 2 on your computer
  2. Hit “Options on the bottom left”. The best settings are probably to set your resolution to your native resolution and then set texture and graphics quality to low
  3. Sign in using your email and password

Add your Spawning Host as a friend:

  1. Click on the person on the bottom right of your screen
  2. Click “Add Friend” in the popup
  3. Enter your Spawning Host’s email and hit “Send Request”

Trying out the game

If your host is ready, you can jump in a game there. Otherwise, there are a few ways you can get started on your own.

FIrst, you can play the in-game tutorial

  1. Start the game and sign-in
  2. Click on “Campaign”
  3. Click on “Launch Tutorial”
  4. Go through the various options
  5. After that, you can try out the Campaign by
  6. Start StarCraft and sign-in
  7. Click on “Campaign”
  8. Click on “New Campaign”

Alternatively, you can start the “Wings of Liberty” campaign, which also walks through the gameplay.

If you’re familiar with the basics, you can learn about basic build orders and what units are available from the multiplayer training:

  1. Start StarCraft and sign-in
  2. Click on “Matchmaking”
  3. Select “Training”
  4. Pick a race and hit “Play”
  5. Work from Stage 1 up to Stage 3

A few suggestions to Spawning Hosts

I’m sure many of you have much more experience with new players, but here are my thoughts:

  1. Don’t overwhelm them. Start easy, and let them play around with the interface
  2. They will probably ask you “What should I do?” or “What should I build?” or “What’s the best unit?” Strike a middle ground in your feedback. Give them something concrete to do but keep things open-ended (“You can build a Barracks to get infantry units”). Again, don’t overwhelm them
  3. Take it easy yourself. Play with only your mouse hand, keep your in-game sound dialed down, and focus on the social part of the game rather than playing well. You will crush them anyways
  4. If they ask how they can improve or broadly are looking for advice, I think there are 2 important stepping stones. First, you can point out the keyboard shortcuts for them to slowly learn. Second, give them the Day[9] mantra of Probes and Pylons. The 3 parts of that are 1) Keep building workers, 2) Don’t get supply blocked, and 3) Spend all of your money
  5. Really pay attention to how they feel about the game. 1v1 is scary, even for experienced players. On the otherhand, 2v2v2 is always hilarious, and arcade games may be good, too. If you’re reading my blog, you’re probably decently intense about StarCraft. Maybe your friends will be there one day, but in the meantime, don’t lose them

I hope you guys manage to spawn a few friends in, too!

P.S. When did Spore Crawlers no longer require the Evolution Chamber? Okay, I now know the answer to that, but I completely missed that change. I don’t think it has ever affected me, but I either completely forgot or was unaware of the change before it was mentioned on Meta. Anyways…

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