SC2 Terran Build Orders

SC2 Terran Build Orders

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A build order refers to the order in which you train units and construct buildings. In this article, I will list the best Starcraft 2 Terran build orders.

While there is a standard build order, it may vary slightly (or drastically) depending on the strategy you want to execute and what the enemy is doing.

Additionally, some builds work best against specific races. The Banshee Rush for example is strongest in TvT, while it is much weaker in TvZ. As a result, I have added specific build orders for each specific race match-up as well as some general builds and tactics you can apply as well.

Terran vs Protoss Build Orders

  • Standard Macro Bio TvP Opener: Getting out a Barracks before adding on the Command Center and then adding on 2 more Barracks is a safe way to expand early in TvP while still having the Marine production needed to stop early aggression. The extra Barracks are ideal for Protoss looking to use primarily bio forces in TvP.
  • Command Center First: In Heart of the Swarm, it is popular for Terran players to get their natural expansion started before adding on a Barracks. Just make sure you get enough Marines out that you do not get surprised by the popular Oracle opener from the Protoss player.
  • Proxy Widow Mine: Hiding a Factory near the Protoss player and using it to produce early Widow Mines is an effective Terran opener. The Widow Mines arrive before the Protoss player has detection, so this opener delays the Protoss player significantly.
  • Reaper Hellion 2 Base Timing Attack: An excellent timing attack that uses an initial feign with Reapers and Marines to spend up Mothership Core energy and pick off any Sentries. This creates a Protoss vulnerability to Hellions, which are then free to run in and take out large numbers of workers.
  • Early Widow Mine, Hellion, and Marine Timing: A 1-base timing attack designed to drop a handful of Marines and a Widow Mine into the main Protoss base, bypassing any frontal defense. Hellions then run in the front door when units pull back to defend the drop. Excels when spawns are adjacent.

Terran vs Terran Build Orders

  • Banshee Rush Build Order: With the reduction in Personal Cloaking cost, Banshee rushes have once again become popular in TvT. This build order demonstrates how off the perfect Banshee rush.
  • Proxy Reaper Build Order: Cutting SCV production early and getting out the fastest Reaper possible is surprisingly a viable strategy in TvT even against good players. An early Reaper can hit around the same time a standard Terran opener produces its first Marine. A single Reaper easily beats a single Marine, at which point the Reaper can go to work on the enemy’s SCV line.
  • Command Center First: By default, going for an early Command Center is risky, but it is an effective strategy in TvT. While you will almost always lose to the proxy Reaper build, proxy Reapers are almost never used on 4 player maps. Many players opt for the CC first build on these big maps, accepting the risk of the rare loss to very early aggression in order to gain an economic advantage in the rest of the games.

Terran vs Zerg Build Orders

  • Command Center First: Since many Zerg players like to go Hatchery first, many Terran players have taken to going CC before Barracks in TvZ. To help prevent losing to Zerglings, build your CC as part of your initial wall in, only lifting it off and sending it to the natural once you have some units on the field.
  • Macro CC: Getting up a quick third Orbital Command in the main base to use for SCV production and MULEs is a good strategy. The particular build order here works best for TvZ, but macro CCs can be used against all 3 races.
  • Double Proxy Rax Rush: Building two early proxy Barracks and then pumping Marines and Bunker rushing is a great aggressive opener against Zerg players in TvZ. Even if the rush fails to secure a win, it is not an all-in and the Terran player can stay in the game.
  • Triple Bunker Rush: A variant of the Double Proxy Rax Rush, the Triple Bunker Rush involves adding on 3 Bunkers at once near the Zerg natural expansion rather than just a single Bunker. While a bit slower to get started, instead of just adding on one Bunker, the Terran player gets a couple more SCVs in order to start three Bunkers.
  • Combat Shield Push: A 2 base timing attack with mass Marines with Combat Shield. Hits very early and excels against a Zerg who takes an early third. If the Zerg gets their third before gas and you use this build, it is practically a guaranteed win for the Terran.

I plan to add more build orders to this guide over time, so check back regularly for new builds and strategies.

Standard Terran Build Order

The “standard” build order refers to the path you will take if you have no particular strategy you are planning to execute. Here is the standard order:

10/11: Supply Depot
12/19: Barracks
13/19: Refinery
15/19: Orbital Command
17/19: Supply Depot

..and then it is open from there. You will find build orders like this spread around the internet on various forums, guides, and videos. This build order would be interpreted to read:

– Build 10 SCVs and while the 10th SCV is training build a Supply Depot
– While the 12th SCV is training build a Barracks
– After the 15th SCV finishes build a Orbital Command
– While the Orbital Command is building train a Marine (or build a Tech Lab)
– Build a Supply Depot while the Marine is training and the Orbital Command is finishing up.

You are required to read between the lines on most build orders. Now, as far as other Terran build orders are concerned, it really depends on what your enemy is doing. Here are some common scenarios you will find yourself in and the build order you can use:

Getting Zealot or Zergling Rushed

If you scout the enemy and determine he is going to Zealot rush, your build order might look something like this:

10/11: Supply Depot
11/11: Barracks (hint: 2 SCVs are building at once)
12/19: Marine
12/19: Supply Depot

..and progress from there. The reason you would grab a second Supply Depot so early is because you generally will need a Barracks and 2 Supply Depots to wall off the entrance to your base. A single Marine and SCVs repairing your wall can easily fend off a Zergling or Zealot rush.

However, not all build orders need to be reactive. For example, here is a standard Marine and Marauder push build:

Marine and Marauder Push

10/11: Supply Depot
12/19: Barracks (add Tech Lab when finished)
15/19: Barracks (add Reactor when finished)
16/19: Orbital Command
17/19: Supply Depot

From there, have 1 Barracks constantly pump out Marauders and the Reactor Barracks constantly pump out Marines. Increase your SCV count to 22 harvesters (2 per mineral node and 3 per vespene gas) and build Supply Depots as needed.

You can quickly turn out 8-10 Marauders and 24 Marines with this strategy. It is very effective for an early push in 2v2 play. It is also great as an early attack versus Zerg and Protoss players. I recommend this build if you spot the Zerg going for an early expansion. It will be nearly impossible for him to counter this attack if he opts for the early expand build.

It does not work as well versus Terran (since they will be walled in). For Terran players, I recommend this Terran build order:

Mech Build Order

Mech is a very popular build as it is incredibly effective versus nearly all races. It involves getting Siege Tanks and Thors, and Hellions, Marines and/or air units (depending on who you are playing, see below):

10/11: Supply Depot
12/19: Barracks
13/19: Refinery*
15/19: Marine
16/19: Factory*
16/19: Orbital Command*
17/19: Refinery
18/19: Supply Depot
22/27: Factory

* The build listed above is if you want to produce mech units right away, such as for an early Siege Tank push. At a larger map, you could get away with getting the Orbital Command prior to your first Factory. This is a more efficient build but also leaves you more vulnerable to attack. It is up to you what you want to do.

As far as progressions, you might get a 3rd Factory (versus Zerg) or a Starport (versus Terran or Protoss). It depends whether you want to go all ground or have some air control.

1/1/1 – My Favorite Terran Build Order

As Terran now, I prefer the 1/1/1 build order when playing against most players. This build offers a lot of flexibility and allows the Terran player to move into whatever counters the enemy’s units very easily.

Here is the build order:

10/11: Supply Depot
12/19: Barracks
13/19: Refinery
15/19: Orbital Command
17/19: Supply Depot
19/27: Factory (as soon as you have 100 gas, throw down the Factory)
19/27: Refinery #2
22/27: Starport (as soon as Factory is finished)

Now, I would recommend putting a Reactor on the Barracks and pumping out Marines so you have some defense while teching to the Starport. I would also try to get out a few fast Siege Tanks and a Medivac or two as soon as possible.

With a few fast Siege Tanks, a group of Marines, and a Medivac or two, you have a solid, balanced army that will allow you to take down your natural expansion. Once you get your natural expansion up and running, you can build more units, tailoring those units to whatever your enemy is building (see the Counters section for more info).

You can also play this build very effectively off of 1 base. A few Siege Tanks and a Marine ball can make for a very effective early push. You will have to scout and take the best opportunity to attack.

Tweaking Terran Build Orders

Please note that these Starcraft 2 Terran build orders are not absolute. In other words, they can be modified. Here are some things to consider:

Sometimes you will want units early. In this situation, build unit producing buildings sooner (naturally). Here are some situations in which you might want faster units.

– Small map (more likely to be rushed)
– Your enemy is attacking hard and early (such as a Roach push)
– Your enemy is going for a fast expansion or tech and has no units

Sometimes you can put off getting units until much later in the game. This is optimal for building up your economy and in the long run will get you more units. The downside is you are open to an early push. Here are some situations which you might opt for a more economical build:

– Big map (less likely to be rushed or found early)
– Your enemy is walled in (another Terran player)
– Your enemy is teching up and not likely to attack soon.


When in doubt, go with the classic Terran build order listed at the beginning of this article! Additionally, try out some of the build orders you will find in a variety of articles around this site.

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