StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm multiplayer tips: the Zerg

This week, we are offering StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm multiplayer tips. Yesterday, we focused on the basic skills needed for playing multiplayer. Today, we look at a few tips specific to playing the Zerg. Be sure to check out our single-player and multiplayer reviews for the game.

Expand like crazy: The key to success as a Zerg player is to always be expanding more than your opponent. This means taking more bases (you should usually have at least one more base than your opponent.) This also means building extra queens so you can spread creep tumors all over the map. Don't underestimate how valuable it is to have good creep spread. You'll be glad you spent the time to spread your creep in the later stages of the game when your ooze carpet is spreading right up to your opponent's doorstep. Additionally, your units are quicker while on creep so this allows you to be more responsive, defend better, and also be more dangerous when attacking. Not to mention your creep tumors grant you vision, so you can see the entire map while your opponent is blind.

Use Your Overlords: Many players tend to herd their overlords off into a corner where they wont get in the way, but this is a mistake. Overlords are your best scouting tool, and they can give you vision of the entire map. They can also be used to deny bases of your opponents by turning on their ability to spew creep on the ground below. Send an overlord to your opponent's third base location and press "G" to spread creep, and prevent them from building anything at the critical location. It's also sometimes a good idea to send an Overlord to his death, floating over the enemy base so you can see what they're building.

Don't miss your Larva Injects: Each race has what is called a "macro" mechanic that they can use to speed up production or increase resource collection. For Protoss it's Chrono Boost. For Terrans it's the Mule, and for Zerg it's the Larva Inject. This Queen ability gives you extra larvae that allows you to build more units. If you continue injecting constantly on all of your bases then eventually you'll have insane amounts of leftover larva which will allow you to recreate your entire army in seconds if you lose a fight.

Surround the enemy: Particularly when you're fighting with melee Zerglings, you want to make sure you're hitting as much of the enemy as possible. The best way to do this is to use a technique called a surround. To do this, you'll right-click to send your Zerglings running past the enemy, allowing only some of your zerglings to pass them up. Once some of your Zerglings are past them, then use the hotkey for "Attack Move" which is "A" (then left click the ground). They'll automatically target the unit that is closest to them, and as a result they'll swarm from all sides. This restricts movement while ensuring that as many units as possible are able to hit the enemy.

Check back tomorrow for tips on playing the Terrans.