Friday, February 13, 2009


A major part of my recently improved APM has to do with how I use my hotkeys and yet I feel I still have a while to go. In a game recently my ally pointed out that around 20% of my actions were selections and less than 10% was hotkeys. His stats were almost the opposite. I think i prefer to click on the buildings when the building is on the screen rather than cycle through hotkeys. So I use my hotkeys to build units while I am in combat, but when I am in the base I click on buildings and I probably shouldn't.

One other reason why I don't use my hotkeys optimally is probably the system I have for assigning builds and units to keys. Right now I put my start nexus on 1, the first three gateways on 2, 3 and 4, my initial scout on 5 and later groups of units on 5 and up.

Recently I've realized that some of the more specialized buildings needs constant attention too and is worth a hotkey. Thus 0 is now my robotics facility and that works okay even if I tend to forget I even have one! I guess that is a side effect of sucking so much at this game...

The above stuff tends to work okay for the first 5 to 8 minutes of the game, but at one point I may be at 5 or more gateways and the system collapses. Especially when I also have 2 or 3 control group of units. At this point I probably should reassign key 1 to a new gateway.

The problem is that I rarely get 5 groups on hotkeys so 5-9 is often underused. Could I use just 8 and 9 for unit groups then I would have room for 7 gateways on hotkeys. The problem here being that it is slightly faster to access hotkeys on the left hand side of the keyboard, so it makes it slightly more difficult in the beginning of the game.

What about your forges? Shouldn't they be hotkeyed too? I think I'm loosing my mind over how to optimize this. Oh how I suck at this.


  1. I have my command center at 4, factories at 5 and 6, and f2-f4 for my expos. I use the 1-3 for army control and scout, by the time I need '4' my main's minerals will not need any more workers. That's the best thing I can see for myself and it's very easy to cycle through everything. Maybe you should try something similar.

    I'm looking forward to our next game! -_-

  2. Don't be hard on yourself :) You will ewentually get to high apms :) Groups need atention only while in operation - keep shuffling your hotkeys thrugh the game :)

  3. Michael: Yeah those games were fun. I'm looking forward to more. Maybe Tuesday?

    Jacek: I think hotkey-shuffeling is dangerous. Only by having and sticking to a set scheme for this will I be able to handle all the other stressful things in this game :-)

  4. Here is what6 I use as protoss and is popular for hotkeys:
    0-1st Nexus 9-2nd nexus 8-3rd Nexus at late game I do change ONLY the Nexuses that are being mined at to F2-F4. Recently I have used F2 to look at the enemies base/partners(if its a random one) to see what they have so far from what I've scouted. 1-3 is for armies and 4-~7 is production buildings.

  5. Someone could tell me how to deal with hotkeys, from 0-9, in production buildings, armies, etc?