A player's start, including all upgrade buildings except for the market.

A start, is an order of instructions, or algorithm, which are the first actions performed as soon as a game is started. It is a player's opening to the game, when barracks, houses and so on are built. Each player's start is almost always unique and is usually built for a specific purpose. One of the best ways to improve one's game is to modify their start so it becomes more efficient or optimal for a task, such as reducing idle time.

The most common types of starts use 2, 3 or 4 Town Centres. What differs between each of these starts is:

- When upgrade buildings are to be built.

- When villagers should beginning building houses to allow an increase of population.

- When villagers should begin building barracks.

- In some cases, when the appropriate time is to farm, but this occurs more in the middle game.

These considering


It is a very difficult task to compare starts. Each have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, some starts are much more efficient but require more skill and speed to be able to use. They may be too fast for some players, and this should be considered when trying to copy another person's start.

Below is a table which compares, on average, the score for each start in many categories:

The table's caption
Number of Town Centers 2 3 4 5
Rushing Fast Fast Slow Slow
Building Economy Slow Medium Fast Fast
Backdooring Bad Average Good Very Good

Note: although a 2 TC start can still create a good backdoor, it is still inferior compared to other starts. See the backdoor page for details.