With the recent release of Heart of the Swarm, the first expansion in the StarCraft II series, gamers all over the world are back to harvesting minerals, building armies, and salting the ground with the blood of their enemies’ units.
When the game comes up for discussion among players, it doesn’t take long for the age-old question to come out: “So, what race do you play?”
There are only three answers to this question, but discussions regarding the topic can last for hours. While players are only able to play as three different species: the human Terran, the bug-like Zerg and the Jedi-slash-Andalite Protoss, gamers have a lot to say when it comes to explaining who they like the most.
There is a lot of thought that can go into picking a favorite species for StarCraft missions, and certain personality types and gamer styles can certainly influence the decision. So, without further ado, here is a completely non-scientific breakdown of the personality types attracted to each StarCraft race:
The basic observation about Terran players is they like to stick to their comfort zone.
Even people who are not particularly familiar with the game can figure out what they’re doing when playing as Terran—with buildings like barracks and starports, along with units like marines and siege tanks, Terran feels instantly familiar. When it comes to strategy, Terrans utilize a combination of bunkers, tanks and air missiles to keep their base safe, which is a tried-and-true approach to the game. This strategy protects players from ground and air attacks, both up close and from far away. There is little risk involved and once everything is built, not much maintenance is required.
The offensive options for Terrans aren’t much more exciting than the defensive. The Terran are the Toyota Camry of offensive battle strategy: predicable, reliable and effective. When a player sees the Terran coming for them, it’s almost guaranteed to feature a mix-up of tanks, marines and dropships. A Terran armada is nothing to underestimate, but it’s rarely a surprise.
While Terran players may be comfortable with what they know and can a bit predictable, they’re not lazy or boring—a Terran player would be best described as classic. Those who choose Terran have nothing to prove and play without the need to get fancy.
Arguably the most popular species to play as in the Slytherin common room, the Zerg are a vile, evil and yet oddly satisfying species. People who like to play Zerg have a dark side to their gaming. Only the adventurous dare to jump in as this race, and those who choose to conquer the swarm often have Type-A personalities. While the Protoss and Terran players spend time making their main bases safe and prepared, Zerg players tear across the map looking for their next prey. With the theory “the best defense is a good offense,” Zerg players don’t get involved in the little details like deciding where to build the next building or what kind of army to make—they are playing to win.
Zerg are all business. There is no need to get creative with a large and diverse army. By attacking with sheer numbers, opponents have to constantly worry about being overrun by the creatures, who are often the first to attack in a game. Relentless, unapologetic and efficient, Zerg players often don’t see StarCraft as a game; they see it as a battlefield.
Aggressive but effective, those who select the Zerg have clear intentions, don’t like wasting time and are willing to get dirty to win.
The Protoss species and their players are all about style. Their units are often the slowest to battle, the most complicated to utilize and the hardest to create, but they know how to put on a show once the ball gets rolling. With gorgeous, glowing buildings and flashy ships, Protoss users have a knack for theatricality.
While they’re not nearly as intense and go getting as Zerg, Protoss has its own uniqueness and creativity. Unlike the Terran, their units are far from familiar and require time to master, and Protoss characters have a variety of tricks that keep other players on their toes. For those who need a metaphor, Protoss players are the type of people who are willing to try new things in bed as long as they have a safe word; they’re willing to step outside of their comfort zone as long as the zone stays within sight.
Protoss are great at making a formidable base to harvest minerals and create units. However, unlike the human species, the Protoss have a variety of options when it comes to offense, and the competition is never quite sure what to expect with a Protoss player.
Protoss players are in the middle of Zerg and Terran—not too reserved or too aggressive. Instead, they take time to plan and fortify while utilizing creativity and theatricality to battle enemies.
Individuals may bypass selecting a race completely and choose to play as random, which allows the computer to pick for them. But these players aren’t looking for anything logical, like a quick win or a certain game achievement. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. These players just want to watch the world burn.