How To Read Build Orders

General Overview

This site is a build order site, offering multiple build orders per race and match-up.  Each of these build orders follows a standard layout in order to convey information in the most easy-to-read manner possible.  This guide explains how build orders (specifically, build orders on IMBAbuilds) are supposed to be read.

Reading Build Orders

Every build order listed on this site comes in a series of bullets with a number/timing on the left and a build order instruction on the right.  UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, EVERY BUILD ORDER ON IMBABUILDS ASSUMES CONSTANT WORKER PRODUCTION.  This means that while it is not explicitly mentioned, you should 100% always be building SCVs out of every Orbital Command, Probes out of every Nexus, and Drones out of all of your idle Larvae.

A sample build order can be seen below:

  • 10 – Supply Depot
  • 12 – Barracks
  • @100% Barracks, start Marine and Orbital Command
  • @400 Mins, start 2nd Command Center

The numbers/timings on the left correspond to WHEN you build something.  The instructions on the right correspond to WHAT you should be building.

A naked number on the left means at what supply you should execute the instruction.

12 - Barracks
12 – Barracks

A number with a percentage means at what percent of the construction of a building should you execute the next instruction.

@100% Barracks, start Orbital Command
@100% Barracks, start Orbital Command

A number with a Mins or Gas denotation means at how many Minerals or Vespene Gas you should execute the next instruction.

@400 Mins, start 2nd Command Center
@400 Mins, start 2nd Command Center

Note: While it is possible for you to play a ladder match with an IMBAbuilds guide open on another screen/alt-tabbed in the background, it is STRONGLY suggested that you play a build order against a very easy AI several times to more fully understand the timings of the build order BEFORE you play against a human opponent.

Layout

Each build order starts with a “General Overview” section to briefly describe what the build order is about or the distinguishing features of this build order.  Then there is a “Build Order” section that lists the timings and benchmarks of the particular build in-game.  This section is followed by the “Scouting” and “Transitions” sections–both all about in-game decisions and reactions that you can or must do while using this build order so as to not die or take a huge advantage.  Be sure to read the Scouting and Transitions sections BEFORE you play the game against a human opponent.  After these, there may be a “Tips” section that offers some good tips on how to execute the build, effectively keep your opponent in the dark about your build, or important notes on how to position/micro your army.

Near the bottom of the page, there are three sections that let you characterize the build order.  The “Pros and Cons” section compares and contrasts this build order with others of the current metagame.  This section is useful if you are not sure which build order you want to practice in a given matchup.  Below this section, there is a “Favorable Maps” section that lists the characteristics of a good map for this build, and several good maps in the current ladder pool that satisfy one or all of these characteristics.  Finally, at the bottom is the “Replays” section.  This section lists VODs of one or several professional players performing this build either on stream or in a tournament setting as well as a Tutorial Replay against the very easy AI.

For any build order that has been dramatically affected by a Blizzard patch, there will also be a “Disclaimer” section at the very top that describes which change has affected this build and a short explanation of why it has been affected.

Replays

If you are curious how the pros execution of a build order lines up with the IMBAbuilds build order, then be sure to check out the pro VOD or replay found in the Replays section at the bottom of the page.

Every single build order on this site also comes with a Tutorial Replay against the very easy AI.  This replay can be used to learn the exact seconds that buildings should be made, standard building placement for the build, and very subtle macro choices such as inject/chronoboost/mule timings.  If you are a plat+ player, I strongly suggest you checking out the Tutorial Replays, for they help you perfect your execution a lot!

Hope that helps,

-NoseKnowsAll

Please direct any questions or concerns you might have about this page or any build orders you find to the IMBAbuilds Forums.  Thanks.