Unpopular opinion? Team games are harder than 1v1s


1v1s and team games are so totally different and I am very bad at team games. How do you do it?

In a 1v1 I have a basic plan and I adjust it according to what my opponent is up to. It feels like we are opposing forces trying to find and exploit weaknesses in each others' defence and I can feel the flow of the game and each next action is chosen reactively.

In a team game everybody is doing everything at the same time and I end up trying to do a bit of everything to compensate and as a result I fail at everything. There's no flow to it in the same way as a 1v1.

In a way I see the possible playstyles of the game as being on a continuum with inward-focused ecoturtle at one end and outward-looking scouting and movement/attack at the other. In a team game I try to do both and end up doing neither.

I reckon there must be a mindset thing that I'm just not getting, can anyone help?


i kinda agree...
BUT there are teamgames and also there are teamgames with random opponents (and allies)... and they are kinda different.
Also often people go to teamgames to chill


No, 1v1 games are much more aggressive which is experienced as difficult for beginning and low-level players. Who else played LAN parties in the past when RTS were still common? - Most players would join only on condition of "build-time".

Also, we had 4 computers in our student association for gaming, nobody was ever interested in RTS 1v1... but 2v2 was popular (or more, with laptops).

Each has a total average winrate of 50%, not sure if difficulty can really be compared. 1v1 is about T1 spam and tech transitions, Team games about ASF and experimentals... A 1v1-only player and team-only player of equal skill badly lose in each others preferred play modes.


Whether a team game involves ecoing + going immediately to high tech, or if it involves a lot of spam, depends largely on the map. It also depends on the players, of course. But if you look at high-rated team games, where you have players who know what is effective, their play style changes a lot based on the map.

@Wainan said in Unpopular opinion? Team games are harder than 1v1s:

In a 1v1 I have a basic plan and I adjust it according to what my opponent is up to. It feels like we are opposing forces trying to find and exploit weaknesses in each others' defence and I can feel the flow of the game and each next action is chosen reactively.

In a team game everybody is doing everything at the same time and I end up trying to do a bit of everything to compensate and as a result I fail at everything. There's no flow to it in the same way as a 1v1.

In most team games that I have played with 6+ players, I do not experience that at all. My experience is that most people only focus on their own "lane" and it is common to ignore opportunities to cross over into someone else's lane.

Maybe you are just not communicating well with other players to understand what each person considers their "lane" to be?

For example, in a 4v4 on Seton's, each player's role is very well-defined. The mexes they can/should take, whether they should upgrade their economy, who is responsible for making t1 interceptors, who needs to make navy. One of the players is the "Air Player" who is responsible for rushing to T3 Air tech. There is always some room for cheese (for example, an air player who stops at T2 tech and makes 6 corsairs) but the basic roles are very well-defined.

If there is a particular map you are struggling with, watch a few replays of HIGH-level players in a team game on that map (for example, a game with average rating 1700+). Watch what they do and characterize what you think the "role" is of each player. Then the next time you play a team game on that map, try to adopt that "role" instead of trying to do everything around all of the map.


@Valki those things are all true.

My question is though, how do I get into the mindset of somebody who is good at team games?


@Wainan make t3 eco and watch your team die,that's the motto of today's teamgames process mate,not gonna lie,doing the same stuff and winning with exps


For team games the key is if you can actually trust your teammates to know the meta and to do their roles. The higher level the game the more likely that will be the case and the more fun it will be. The more random the team mates the more rage inducing it is.

I find team games overall easier because i'm better at concentrating on 1 or 2 things not literally everything that's going on.


My big issue is knowing which things to focus on. Is it just a thing you have to learn per map or are there ways to help you decide what to focus on?


I'll copy paste some advice I put in a thread on the older forums.

I'll put it in terms of wonder open 5v5.

The most important part of teamgames is often not the game, particularly when you're talking about random lobbies. Due to the nature of custom games, a variety of factors influence rating such as map familiarity, slot familiarity, teammate familiarity, game size familiarity, etc. This means people that have an understanding of the people within their game often have the ability to turn a theoretically even matchup trueskill wise into a massively stacked game without ever changing the game balance itself. I could put Maverick against some 1400-1500 air player and more than likely result in the game ending at min 11. I could put Sui against (really any) 1800 in air and watch a similar thing happen.

Point is, familiarity with players (if you're host) can result in you winning the game before it begins. If you aren't host, it could prevent you from deciding to x up to a lost game, provided you would rather play no game than a bad game. But that is, of course, a personal decision to make.

Then there is the aspect of slots. If you deem yourself a competent player, you need to put yourself on a slot that has influence on the game state. Some maps can have every slot have an influence on the game state, such as selkie isle or sentons. Some do not, like wonder. If you put yourself on a side slot on wonder, you are essentially putting your faith into your teammates and their ability to turn a potential opening into a crush. If you as the side crush the enemy side at min 8, it doesn't matter much if the enemy is able to do so on the other side. If they are able to push beyond the mid player because he refused to react and just REALLY wanted to finish his t3 mex, then you lose and there is nothing you could do about it. If you die to a t3 gunship rush while your air player is busy making his 4th t2 pgen, then you lost.

Meanwhile, if you took the air slot, you could essentially react and interact with any state in the game. You could supplement a push that could potentially stalemate by gunship sniping a near dead acu. You could powersnipe the enemy air player in order to delay him and keep the t2 air stage going longer. You could do early air aggression or early defensive air to protect mid player bombers to secure a likely win on the side. Or you could just do the typical t3 air rush because the game seems to be going into that sort of game state.

Likewise, if you took mid, you could do a lot of the things mentioned above. You could rush air with tree group reclaim, bomb the side player engies, and easily secure a win for your side player assuming minimal interaction by the enemy mid player. You could lab the enemy air player, you could tml rush, build pd to support side player push, or just keep the enemy mid busy while your side player crushes. If your side player fails to crush, it does not necessarily mean game over for you because your slot is far more predisposed to tech and you likely have the ability to stop a swarm of units through PD and mass efficient t2.

How can you tell which slots are the "competent slots?" Well if you can't, probably don't put yourself on one. It tends to be slots that are free to eco, which are often air slots and more secure frontline slots. If your role in the game relies upon making infinite units at the start, there isnt gonna be much of a role for you beyond min 9 once you are made irrelevant thru ACU upgrades, PD, and air.

The Game:
Just learn how to interact. You dump mass into units to defend or because you know an attack will succeed. There's also the scenario where there's nothing left to lose, but it's self explanatory. If nothing is left because the game is lost in 5 minutes, you might as well as look at the enemy base and go through a checklist of potential options and pick what has the highest chance of succeeding.

Defense is also pretty self explanatory. You look at what the enemy made and you look at what your team has. If they can stop it, don't worry about it. Either the enemy wasted mass in units or they will donate you mass in an attack. If you cannot stop it, make what will stop it or tell your team to make what will stop it. Learn the optimal mass counters to a variety of strategies, this only comes through developing game sense.

Knowing an attack will succeed is the least explanatory one but also one that requires you to develop the most understanding of the game. Sure it's easy to say that 40 strats kill an acu with no protection, but understanding it on a fine level like whether an ACU and 5 percies can kill an ML is what matters more and more as your rating increases more and more. If your attack fails, you lose the units invested into it as well as the mass invested into it, meaning you could have just turned a win into a loss for no real reason.

This logic also extends into attacks that you "know" will fail in the long term, but succeed in the short term. For example, a drop proxy base might fail to, well, win the game by killing the ACUs, but it accomplishes the goal of causing 3 players to devote their eco into land factory spam to deal with the mass spam of arty. These units are being sent to a corner where they will then be useless for another 2 minutes before they can manage to get to the front. However, if you do this drop and it is quickly countered before you manage a sizeable buildup of arty, you have now made yourself entirely irrelevant to the game as you are 3 minutes behind in development compared to your mirror and he can just build on that lead to force you even further behind. It's up to you to determine whether the risk is worth the reward by knowing the map, players, and your own capability.

This finally extends to eco, or the ability to keep yourself relevant. Even if you "are keeping up with your mirror" who has finally reached full t2 mexes while 5 other players are full t3 eco, it doesn't matter. You're irrelevant. You are there to soak up mass spots and everyone stopped considering you a player in the game 8 minutes ago. All you're good for now is buzzing around. Really, you should give your mass to someone else that can upgrade it faster rather than doing inefficient RAS boys or fabs around mexes. You need to keep track of how fast the game is progressing eco-wise, and recognize whether you have the ability to keep up or whether you are in a role that is built to be made irrelevant, like wonder side slot. If you are in that role, then perform your job and have faith in your team. If you aren't, then do what will win by looking for openings.

After the Game:
How can you find openings? Watch the replays and look for it. Really there aren't many games that, if perfectly balanced but you switched a 1.3k for a 2k, they wouldn't be able to win on their own. These could be small things like microing your first lab better or larger things like realizing you should have switched to t2 tech 5 minutes ago. Depending on your rating and your slot, the things that you should be considering "openings" differ. Less rating, less refined. Less obvious what the slot does, the less refined.

I disagree on voice making you better. FAF teamgames are nowhere near the level where voice communication is a necessity to truly succeed. You'd need to be playing like 2k+ tournament teamgames in order for voice communication to be putting you over the edge. I covered the most important parts that voice communication gives the illusion of helping you by in the pre-lobby part of this. 2 competent players on 1 team and you will be able to win basically any teamgame that isn't 2000 average rated. If you aren't, then it means both of you aren't as competent as you think you are and can easily find things you could be improving on, whether it's stopping the loss before the game starts or interacting better during the game.


If you think of it purely theoretically you could say that a 4 player game is inherently more complicated than a 2 player game. Not only do you have to keep up with the enemy, but now you also have to think about what your teammate is doing.

In practice however teamgames tend to remove many of the more difficult aspects of the game.

  • unpredictable eco overflow levels the playing field (I can't easily predict how much energy teammate will overflow making it worthless to plan ahead of time a perfectly balanced economy. This helps lower rating players who are not able to plan a good ecobalance to begin with)
  • maps are generally of a similar complexity without accounting for the increased player count. Eg. Open palms 1v1: each player has to consider both sides, middle, back, and both plateaus. In 2v2 you are essentially playing only 1 lane + mid with plateau control predecided by spawn locations. So not only can you divide the map between yourself and teammate, but also map is divided further between your team and enemy team due to increased spawn locations.
  • more ACUs. Acus are the most powerful earlygame unit and they very effectively limit the play area as most of the time you want to stay out of enemy acu firing range with your units. The amount of acus and limited play area also streamlines the game since gun and t2pd are incentivized further
  • more starting resources/faster expansion. The expansion phase of the game is in many ways the most complicated phase. The more spawns you add the less expanding there is to do.
  • dividing up tasks between players in larger teamgames. Often you can completely ignore air in a 5v5 since the responsibility is shifted onto a teammate, almost entirely removing one of the two or three theatres of war. In high level 1v1 games a very large difficulty is scouting air counts and finding ways to take advantage of an air lead

(it's not an exhaustive list btw)


let's take a real look at the lobbies:
->40% of the total lobbies are dual gaps;
->40% are astro crater lobbies;
->10% are seton's;
->5% are moded games;
->2-3% are coop/survival/other custom games;
->1%? of the actual lobbies are something but what's above;

I am totally fine with the players that are playing those maps since I basically don't care about them or their performance but have you ever played those maps?
-yes,I did and most of those,as Blodir said,have the same pattern :t3 mexes,9:30 t3 air,18 mins nuke and so on,it's nothing but a huge pattern that can be easily countered by players that can understand what's this map all about.
and the sad thing is that some really good players on those maps have already developed super-effective strats that deny anything but some cheese things,you're just forced to learn that pattern and do the same OR risk and go for a counter which is more likely going to fail.
People on the competitive scene from global have either moved to ladder/tmm or just basically left,you can rarely see a lobby where people select a random map and just go for a more active gameplay.
To resume what's above,how could anyone call that hard?it's nothing about RTS experience,it's just a huge build order with a great efficiency... Maybe I am wrong and I play in a different dimention but I can see 5-6 high rated/medium rated lobbies that are something but what i have mentioned in the beginning which is depressing and without a good reputation it's just impossible to either play in those lobbies (you get kicked due to being a random) or you're not gonna get the players for it (since everyone prefers the ''follow the damn BO")..


I think I find the eco maps tough going because it's just mind numbing.

Another issue I have is not knowing who's on my team, at least not without thinking about it. That causes me big problems because I think, if only briefly, that the allied army near me is a threat. Of course you can set it to all green Vs red, but that's not ideal either because you can't tell who's who at all.


@Resistance the more i play setons at higher levels, the more i realize that it's really open to creative strategies. It can be static sure, but most players won't let their opponent just sit there and eco. The only position that needs to follow a strict BO is the air slot but even then you can still ignore it and do something unorthodox with a surprising level of success

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