- For the act of sighting opponents' composition and position, see Scouting.
Scouts are one of less used units in the game, primarily due to its high cost and limited effectiveness. It is slow (before the research of its Speed Upgrade, which costs 300-200 for Fleet Beacon + 200-200 and is almost never done) and does little damage and DPS to ground units. However, it does deal a large amount of damage to enemy air units due to its strong air attack dealing 28 hit point damage without upgrades.
At times, the Scout is a feasible choice against a Zerg during the early stages of the game in the place of a Corsair to target Overlords and to scout the Zerg's build. Scouts are an essential part of the Stove strategy. Scouts tend to be better than Corsairs at countering heavy air units like Battlecruisers, and Devourers since their attack is less affected by high armor values. Against Carriers they are not very useful without speed upgrade since Carriers can hit and run them. Terrans can effectively counter mass Scouts with mass Valkyries since Scout is one of rare Protoss units that have 0 armor.
The Scout can take out overlords rather quickly with their 2x14 damage attacks, but due to its high cost and long production time, Corsairs are a far more common choice and as a result, Scouts are almost never seen in PvZ. However, if the game is heavily based on air units, Scouts can be an effective counter to Devourers.
The Scout is used for The Stove strategy in which the Protoss uses 1 Scout to harass the Terran, killing SCVs and Tanks and forcing him to make Goliaths. Once Goliaths have been made, the protoss will quickly switch to producing Dark Templar. Competitively, almost the only usage for scouts is for humiliation. Bisu used this tactic against Hwasin after trash-talking him, thereby ensuring a rivalry. There was a case, however, of scouts being used effectively. Faced with a contain while attempting a 2base carrier build, a Protoss may use a scout to force the cancellation of turrets as carriers would take too long to be created. The scout may continue to harass the containment force until the arrival of goliaths.
Scouts are designed as capital ship hunters and are therefore a strong counter to Carriers if the player can amass a large number of them. In Bisu vs Much, Incruit OSL, Bisu uses scouts to counter Much's 1 base Carrier strategy, although not to a great extent.
- Stork vs. Kolll, Outsider SE, 2009 WCG Stork uses a Scout to great effect in the WCG.
- Stork vs. Orion, Neo Requiem, 2008 Gom Classic Season 2 Early game chaos creates a weird situation where building a Scout offers a strategic benefit.
- fOrGG vs Kal, Colosseum, 2008 Arena MSL Set 1
- fOrGG vs Kal, Colosseum, 2008 Arena MSL Set 5
- Bisu vs Hwasin, Python, 2007 Daum OSL