For the ''[=SC1=]'' and ''Brood War'' subjective tropes, go [[YMMV/StarCraftI here]]. The ''[=SC2=]'' subjectives are [[YMMV/StarCraftII here]].

!!The series as a whole
* AbridgedArenaArray: There are certain maps online that are only played by people. "Big Game Hunters" comes to mind.
* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Fans disagree on if Arcturus Mengsk started out as a genuinely well-meaning rebel who fell victim to HeWhoFightsMonsters, or if he was always just interested in personal power and used his rebellion to acquire it. For those that think he started off well-meaning, by the time of his downfall it's obvious he's cast off the pretenses of good intentions behind his evil acts, at which point it's up for discussion ''when'' HeWhoFightsMonsters kicked in. Fans also argue if he's actually AffablyEvil or just FauxAffablyEvil. Helping to feed the discussion is the fact that the writers who have worked on the game scripts and novels for the franchise can't seem to agree on such things themselves.
* BrokenBase:
** Examples include elitist "progamers" vs "casual gamer noobs".
** On one camp, Nova is an EnsembleDarkhorse, a character with interesting personal story arc and CharacterDevelopment... which was mostly chronicled in printed works thanks to ''[=StarCraft: Ghost=]'''s cancellation. The other camp, especially those who didn't bother reading her story consider her a wasted space, a tool of Arcturus Mengsk's dictatorial Dominion tyranny, a second rate Ghost compared to Kerrigan and/or '[[MsFanservice only there for fanservice on horny gamers]]'. Debates about Nova's worth in the story can get ugly, and we haven't even getting started on [[BrokenBase her]] [[TierInducedScrappy performance]] in ''VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm''...
* ClicheStorm: The series has always been accused of being this. It pays homage to tons of sci-fi tropes and stories and purposefully invokes and copies them in some places.
* ComplacentGamingSyndrome[=/=]StopHavingFunGuys[=/=]TheSocialDarwinist: Apparently the tactics to playing the game in Multiplayer are set in stone. Trying anything new would result in the game quickly ending for you and/or your allies shunning you. Also, some of the seasoned players do not take too well to being teamed up with new players, even going as far as to verbally abuse the newbie and even bullying the newbie into leaving the game, by means of attacking the newbie's base, '''despite the newbie being an ally'''.
* CompleteMonster:
** [[EvilOverlord Amon]], The Dark Voice/The Fallen One, is the GreaterScopeVillain of the franchise as a whole and the BigBad of ''[[VideoGame/StarcraftIILegacyOfTheVoid Legacy of the Void]].''. A fallen Xel'Naga who broke the noninterference policy towards other races, Amon sought to shatter the eternal cycle all races were bound to by genetically altering the young Protoss to suit his needs. Finding and enforcing a HiveMind slavery on the Zerg, Amon unleashed the ravenous swarm on the other Xel'Naga when they attempted to stop him from creating Protoss-Zerg hybrids that would be used to annihilate all other forms of life. The Xel'Naga were destroyed, but Amon was [[SealedEvilInACan imprisoned within the Void]]. Retaining some influence over the Zerg, Amon was responsible in part for their rampages over the galaxy that claimed countless lives. When freed, Amon had his agents murder the rest of his sleeping enemy Xel'Naga, while also marshaling his forces in the heretic Tal'Darim; Protoss who worshiped him in hopes of "ascension," that was only, as Amon knew, horrible death in the end. Amon corrupted the telepathic network of the Protoss, the Khala, possessing multiple Protoss and forcing them to fight their own brethren and then directed his forces to cleanse the galaxy of all other life he could not control. Even while claiming good intentions in ending the cycle races are bound to, a protoss who touches Amon's mind revealed [[NotSoWellIntentionedExtremist the truth]]: Amon is filled with nothing but intense loathing towards all the other races and [[OmnicidalManiac wishes them to suffer and die]] for the sake of his twisted megalomania.
** [[TheDragon Amon's follower]] , the unnamed Xel'Naga best known as Samir Duran or Emil Narud, disguised himself as a Terran soldier, allowing the Zerg to overrun the Earth forces in several battles, killing many. When the officer Alexei Stukov realized what Duran had done, Duran [[FrameUp framed Stukov as a traitor]] and had him murdered. Allying with the Zerg, Duran helped the Swarm overrun entire worlds, all while [[MadScientist experimenting on captives]] to create the Protoss-Zerg hybrids Amon sought in order to help free his master from the Void. Devoted to Amon's nihilistic ambitions and seeing all other beings as pawns in his grand game, Duran achieved a level of damage in the galaxy few could match in order to free his master and bring about the end of all other species.
** [[TheChessmaster Emperor Arcturus I Mengsk]] is [[NotSoWellIntentionedExtremist initially portrayed as a well-meaning freedom fighter]] against a corrupt government that murdered his entire family before nuking his world, and willing to take morally dubious methods to defeat them such as taking their Psychic Beacons and using them against the Confederacy to lure the Zerg to their bases. But when he leads the assault on Tarsonis and [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope uses these same beacons]] to lure the Zerg to a heavily populated world, he shows that [[ItsAllAboutMe he's more fixated with revenge and personal power]], sending Kerrigan down to stop the Protoss from distracting the Zerg from wiping out all of the old families and then abandoning her when the Zerg overwhelm her position, resulting in her transformation into the Queen of Blades. Afterwards, he uses the power he has gained as Emperor of the newly established Terran Dominion to oppress any political protesters, continue the Confederacy's experiments on civilians and ordering the death of the last of the old families, a group of teenagers who weren't even aware of what had happened. After Kerrigan is transformed back, Mengsk makes a concerted effort to kill her, even going so far as attempting to [[OffingTheOffspring kill his own son Valerian]] for helping her; when Kerrigan finally comes for his head, Mengsk resorts to nuking his own capital in order to slow her down, despite the fact that it was the nuking of Korhal that caused his rebellion against the confederacy. Selfish, {{hypocrit|e}}ical and cruel, Mengsk showed that [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters humans can sometimes be the biggest monsters of all]].
** "[=StarCraft=]: Hybrid" and ''[=StarCraft=]: Uprising'': In this short story and eBook respectively, Sarah Kerrigan's hated instructor, Lieutenant Rumm, [[BreakTheCutie forced the young girl]] to use her exceptional psionic powers by injecting a kitten with a tumor-causing chemical, and [[SadisticChoice gave her the option]] of destroying the kitten's tumor or euthanizing it. When she wasn't willing to fall to his demands, Rumm threatened to shoot the kitten himself. When this didn't work, Rumm decided not to shoot and left the kitten to die slowly and painfully. Taking more drastic measures, he brought in her father, who had become brain-damaged as a result of Kerrigan's accidentally unleashing her psionic powers, in an adjacent cell to hers and threatened to inject him with the same chemical if she didn't use her psionic powers. When she still refused, threatening to use the power to kill herself and her father, Rumm forced her to be neural resocialized--a form of brainwashing technology used to enforce obedience and shape new memories--turning her into a loyal puppet of the Terran Confederacy. Even after the MindRape, he continued to mentally torture her for over a year.
** ''[=StarCraft=] II: Devils' Due'': In this novel, [[{{Sadist}} Ezekiel Daun]], while a relatively minor character, is utterly monstrous. Daun is a BountyHunter and [[PsychoForHire mercenary]] who, unless his clients specify otherwise, will [[ColdBloodedTorture torture his victims]] to draw out their death, and makes it theatrical by terrifying them and [[MindRape using psychological warfare]] before he moves in for the kill. He also records all his deaths as holograms, both to watch in his spare time for the memories and to show his future victims to terrify them even more.
** ''[=StarCraft=]: Frontline'': In this four-part comic series, [[MadScientist Dr. Stanley Burgess]] is a sadistic Terran Dominion scientist who personally oversaw the neural resocialization of Jin-ho Lim, a terran of Asian ethnicity who opposed the Terran Dominion but was conscripted into the Dominion Marine Corps. After the operation, Stanley ordered the now-docile Lim to kill his wife and fellow Terran Dominion opposer, Anna, and he complied by shooting her in the face without a moment's hesitation. He also was responsible for the creation of the terran/Protoss Gestalts by implanting the organs of captured Protoss into terrans controlled by neural conditioning and neural inhibitors. His project came to an end after one of his subjects, Gestalt Zero, was freed from his neural inhibitors by a dying Protoss and stabbed him to death, [[IronicEcho ironically echoing one his previous comments]]: "I should warn you...this is probably going to hurt."
* FandomRivalry: With ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. A sane man simply doesn't bring up the two together on the majority of forums. [[DontTryThisAtHome Seriously]]. It is a ''huge'' can of worms.
* FanNickname: "Artie" for Artanis.
* {{Fanon}}: All Zerg can be reincarnated, not just Cerebrates and Tarrasques. This comes up way more than you'd think.
** Zerglings don't just kill terrans and protoss, they eat their stuff too. Canonically, the zerg eat mineral crystals because they require the, well, minerals to grow healthy bones and teeth. The other races make their plating from those same crystals.
* FetishRetardant: As much as Blizzard tries to make Kerrigan into MsFanservice as a CuteMonsterGirl, she has BarbieDollAnatomy with no visible nipples or sex organs, spiked protrusions of bone covering her body, infested tendrils for hair, and overall looks a bit ''too'' monstrous to actually be sexually appealing.
* FranchiseOriginalSin: The sequel's story has been criticized by a faction of the fanbase for problems such as retcons, plot holes, and cheesy and cliched dialogue. The original game had the same problems in smaller doses (especially when it comes to the Brood War expansion), but fans don't get as upset about it as the sequel's instances.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: Competitive ''VideoGame/StarCraft'' is absolutely dominated by South Koreans. Of the ten most successful tournament players in the world (as measured in dollars earned via tournament play), only one of them is a "foreigner"--that is, a player who grew up outside Korea. It's something of a RiteOfPassage now for a foreign player to defeat a Korean in tournament play.
* GoddamnedBats: Early worker units become this, especially Probes, who can warp in buildings anywhere instantly and move on to keep running. Terrans can use ranged Marines to shoot them down, zerg and protoss have melee units, so no such luck with them.
--> "I'm in ur base, scouting ur tech, disrupting ur mineral line with pylons, stealing ur gas, delaying ur hatchery!"
* JustHereForGodzilla: Some players themselves think NoPlotNoProblem. You do not have to play through the single player campaigns to enjoy the multiplayer aspect of the game. Blizzard eventually acknowledged this by making ''VideoGame/StarCraftII'''s multiplayer free-to-play while keeping all campaigns bar ''[[VideoGame/StarCraftIIWingsOfLiberty Wings of Liberty]]'' as paid content.
* MagnificentBastard:
** While Raynor himself is not this trope from a narrative standpoint, he is considered this in-universe by General Horace Warfield:
-->'''Warfield:''' "You magnificent son-of-a-bitch, heheh, you're the last man I expected to see."
** A straighter example would be Arcturus Mengsk. By exploiting fear and hatred of the Confederacy he rallies allies to his cause to fight them, building up to ever-more inhumane acts in his war and keeping it from those he knows he can't trust. By the end of a single mission chain, he's shattered the heart of the Confederacy and crowned himself Emperor of the newly formed Dominion, and blames the loss of the Confederacy on the Zerg so most of the remnants of the government will join him willingly out of fear of the Swarm.
** Infested Kerrigan. The entirety of ''Brood War'' is her going from a BloodKnight to an EvilOverlord, and she does so by manipulating every other faction in the game. By the end of the expansion, all of her enemies are marginalized or dead, and she reigns supreme as Queen of the Zerg. And to boot, she was able to accomplish this because everyone either underestimated her or thought she was reformed. Kerrigan herself notes this to Zeratul:
-->"[she] made the mistake of underestimating my power, just like everyone else did."
** Valerian Mengsk. Though some of it is a result of others, the fact remains he instigated and took part in a grand plan that culminated with [[spoiler:Valerian sitting on the Dominion throne, and Raynor's Raiders and Kerrigan, previously the biggest threats to Arcturus's reign, are his allies.]] ''And'' it's public knowledge that he [[spoiler:helped de-infest Kerrigan]] and coordinated the [[spoiler:evacuation of Korhal's cities during her attack]], so he was hailed as a war hero that helped bring peace and stability to the sector. He may be a far better man for it, but Valerian is definitely his father's son when it comes to planning and acquiring power.
* MemeticMutation:
-->You must ConstructAdditionalPylons!\\
Terrible, terrible damage!\\
** Refering to all Protoss as Brotoss.
* {{Mondegreen}}: Some of the unit quotes seem to fall into this. For example, the Protoss Zealot's speech when created, "My life for Aiur!", can be heard as '''[[MemeticMutation MY WIFE FOR HIRE!]]''' or "[[ProfessionalKiller MY LIFE FOR HIRE!]]"
** "Nedowoyesca?" AKA "Need a light?" from the Firebats.
** Also from the Zealot; "SHE... HUNTS!"
** Hey there Goliath. Wait, who's Tank kong? Sorry, what's this medatong you're locking?
* MoralEventHorizon:
** Kerrigan crosses it when she kills Duke and Fenix, betraying them immediately after allying with them to overthrow the UED, and doing it for little purpose other than they might become a threat to her in the future -- a moot point since they were her allies and had no intention to betray her, they just didn't fully trust her. A major point of contention with ''Heart of the Swarm'' is that it follows Kerrigan's CharacterDevelopment from VillainProtagonist to a NobleDemon, when some fans feel that after ''Brood War'' she had no chance for redemption for what she did.
** Mengsk keeps edging up to it until he finally jumps over it by sacrificing Kerrigan so that the Protoss will be unable to save Tarsonis from the Swarm. An early draft for the ending to ''Heart of the Swarm'' would have Mengsk torture Kerrigan using a device he implies to have had with him even while she worked for him, when telling her that he always considered Kerrigan "an animal". Might very well be true considering how, in novels, Mengsk specifically recruited Kerrigan because she was the assassin who had (while brainwashed) killed his parents, and he had plotted revenge ever since.
** Arguably, [=DuGalle=] when he sent Duran to kill Stukov. Note that the arguable portion stems from how he was pretty much duped into doing it, and the AlternateCharacterInterpretation that Duran was subtly influencing his mind.
* MostAnnoyingSound: Minerals.
* MostWonderfulSound:
-->'''''"Battlecruiser Operational."'''''\\
'''''"Carrier has arrived"'''''\\
'''''"Nuclear Launch Detected"''''' (at least, when it's yours)
** The sound of Interceptors launching is nearly a PreAssKickingOneLiner.
* PlayTheGameSkipTheStory: While the series does have a good sized fandom interested in the plot and characters, that isn't nearly what the games are famous for, that being the multiplayer aspects. The fans interested in the story and the ones that play the games for the multiplayer are worlds apart.
* PortingDisaster: The Nintendo 64 is the only console that ''Starcraft I'' has been ported to. Although the effort to put both the original game and the expansion into a cartridge had been respectable, a LOT of concessions were made in order to make it possible.
* {{Squick}}:
** Remember the Mutalisk portrait? Look at the concept arts, and their appearance in [=SC2=]. That is not their face. Also take a moment to read about their method of attack. Yup. They are shitting parasites at the enemy.
*** Zerg players, however, [[NostalgiaFilter fondly remember the old Mutalisk portrait]]. "I like his butt better than his face" indeed.
** Upon finding Kerrigan after she's been infested, Raynor is disgusted with himself, as on some level he finds her new form just as alluring as her human form, and maybe ''more''.
* StrangledByTheRedString: A lot of fans see the love story between Raynor and Kerrigan as this. To be fair, the game focused more on the battles and the strategy, so we have no idea of what happened between them offscreen. VideoGame/StarCraftII makes a ''much'' better job at fleshing out their relationship.
* TooCoolToLive: [[spoiler: Tassadar, Fenix, Duke, General Warfield and Zeratul.]]
* TheWoobie:
** As Mike Liberty points out in one of the novels, Raynor is one of very few good and honorable human beings in the sector. And he keeps watching his friends die or betray him, and he gets to live with the knowledge that the evil overlords of two of the factions got there with his help.
*** There's also the story of his wife and son. Johnny got drafted into and (supposedly) died in the Ghost Program and Liddy died of grief not long after.
** Also Kerrigan and her fate in general. She certainly didn't originally plan for infestation. [[spoiler:[[VideoGame/StarCraftIIHeartOfTheSwarm Heart of the Swarm]] confirms this big time.]]
** Zeratul is put into basically a living hell in the first game, where almost every single choice he did led to doom for what he cared for the most. His first in-game action was killing Zasz on Char, which while definetly badass as no one thought cerebrates could be permanently slain, it gave the Overmind information on where Aiur was, leading the vast majority of the Zerg Swarm there, while Zeratul was stranded on Char with Tassadar and Raynor due to Kerrigan's presence. He finally arrives on Aiur... only to find out the Conclave wants to arrest Tassadar. After this problem is solved, Zeratul lends a hand in killing some cerebrates and aiding on the Overmind's destruction to send the zerg in disarray... which ends up dooming Aiur, and forcing the survivors to take Zeratul's idea of using Aiur's warp gate and going to Shakuras, the then-safe Dark Templar homeworld... which gets invaded by the zerg due to that plan. After activating the Xel'naga temple, Zeratul does not appear until Kerrigan kidnaps Raszagal to have Zeratul kill the new Overmind in exchange of letting the matriarch go, which he does... only to find out Raszagal was {{Brainwashed}} long before he met with her back in Shakuras. As a result, Zeratul decides he would rather see Raszagal dead than brainwashed, takes her back and kills her - something he could not forgive himself for (Even though Raszagal did so). With a remnant of the Protoss fleet that was alongside him, Zeratul finds a dark moon, believing Artanis's forces are there... but Samir Duran and his hybrids-in-development were what his fleet detected. It's as if there had been a CosmicPlaything on Zeratul in the first game. While the second game is much nicer to him, [[spoiler: ''Legacy of the Void'' reveals he had a very poor reputation among most Protoss for what he did in the first game - letting the zerg invade Aiur and killing Raszagal - and it's not until his researching of the prophecy turning out to be right that he got some respect. Shame he had to die to [[DemonicPossession an Amon-controlled Artanis]] beforehand]].