StarCraft® II

Assigning Keys: New Guy Help

Posts: 3
I have been playing the game a bit more lately, and me and my buddy are 2nd in our Silver League tier. I am pretty bad at the game, all things considered.

This is my main issue, and the inspiration for requesting assistance: key-managing on a macro level. I do fine in small fights, micro and what not, but it's the overall macro I'm bad at. The list of my questions is as follows:

1) Is there a universal key-build for macro-ing toss? i.e. do people typically hotkey Nexus to 0 or something? Or does everyone do their own thing?

2) Should I hotkey individualized unit-types, or armies to tab through them? The latter option makes it difficult to activate abilities depending on how many units you have in your army. Do these hotkeys typically land within the 1,2,3 idea or am I over thinking it?

I begin to really struggle with this when I have to look at expansions past the first base expansion. I begin to have floating minerals, get flustered with upgrades and when to buy/what to buy; I lose track of wandering units; I just get overwhelmed with all the stuff I have to manage. Does anyone have specific advice in terms of what makes this easier, or will I just have to give it time and get better as I go? Thanks in advance for any and all responses, thanks for your time.
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Posts: 528
I will tell you my hotkey layout. I am fresh into Gold so take it as you will.

1 - Primary ground units. Zealots and Stalkers usually.
2 - Caster units. High Templars or Sentries depending on what kind of composition I have
3 - Very precious units. Colossus, Mothership Core, etc...
4 - All of my Nexus' and my Forges keyed together.
5 - My Gateways until they become Warpgates, then change to my Robo along with Robo Bay keyed together.
6 - Stargates and Cyber keyed together, later on add Fleet Beacon to the key.
7 - Nothing (Maybe I should fix this?)
8 - Primary air units. Void Rays or Phoenixes usually.
9 - Specialized air units. Carriers, Tempests, or Warp Prism depending on composition.
0 - Scouting Observer

The way 1, 2, and 3 are bound differs depending on my composition of course. For example an Immortal Sentry All-In I do:
1 - Zealots and Stalkers
2 - Sentries
3 - Immortals

Also, as for this piece of your comment: "I begin to really struggle with this when I have to look at expansions past the first base expansion." You should not be relying upon double-tapping your keys to view your bases, for that you should be using your camera hotkeys F1, F2, F3, etc... The key where your Nexus are bound should be for macro'ing without looking or applying chronoboost. If you need to go look at base 2 and chronoboost a building, you should be going:

4, F2, C, left-click pertinent building
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Posts: 3
This is all really insightful, thanks for the reply.

So you do split everything up in terms of functionality: i.e. combat units, production buildings, expansion utilities, etc. I was wondering how to really do all of that, and find a good organizational thought process behind it. I like the break up of your ideas, even if I don't think some of it would translate for me as easily. I'll use this as a reference if I find something out of place (a great example is that of a Twlight Council when I'm only building it for ground unit upgrade tiers. I never know where to place that building in my hotkeys)

Any reason you have Nexus and Forges keyed together? I always hotkey my Forge with Gateways/Warpgates for research purposes. I'm curious why you do it that way.

Thanks for the hotkey advice on the F keys - that is extremely helpful.

Hopefully more people respond; just seeing hotkey groupings of others helps my mind think of this more clearly.
Edited by Cetra on 5/9/2013 2:50 PM PDT
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Posts: 1,646
Here's mine.
Ctrl groups
1 - main army
2 - HT
3 - fast air units, or expensive units (colossus, immortals) when ground-only
4 - slow air units, or zealots when ground only. Gateways before Warpgate finishes
5 - nexi
6/Alt+Q - MSC
Alt+W - stargates (Windcraft)
Alt+E - robo (mEchanical)
Alt+R - forges+tech (upgRades and Research)
Space - proxy pylons, observers, warp prisms

Camera hotkeys
Alt+ASDF - main base through fourth base
Alt+Z - forward proxy pylon, enemy fourth, my fifth, or other important location
Alt+XCV - enemy third through main, in reverse order
(set using Ctrl+ASDFZXCV)

If you have 2 forges, and you hotkey forges with nexus on #, you can double-tap # to move your camera directly to your forges despite Nexi having caster priority; this allows you to quickly chronoboost upgrades.

Answer to your first question - there are certain trends everyone follows, but you generally just do what comes comfortably to you. It is popular to have nexi on one hotkey, main army on another, casters on another, different hotkeys for each production facility (SG, robo), and a hotkey for tech/upgrades. Terrans tend to hotkey all production together.

Answer to second question: Mostly based on preferences/situation. For many people, such as me, sentries are the only spellcaster of main army, HTs of 2, and MSC on separate hotkey (6 for me), so tabbing is minimally necessary. I tend to use ctrl+click and tabbing depending on army size and positioning.

Caution on camera hotkeys - they are by default set to F5-F8 and Alt+F5-F8, not F1-F4. You will have to manually change your own hotkeys if you want cameras to be F1-F4.

For me,
F1 - idle worker
F2 - base camera
F3 - select all army
Edited by Caelum on 5/9/2013 3:05 PM PDT
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Posts: 528
Any reason you have Nexus and Forges keyed together? I always hotkey my Forge with Gateways/Warpgates for research purposes. I'm curious why you do it that way.


Mostly because I unbind my Gateways as soon as they become Warpgates, replace the 5 key with my Robo instead, and use the W key to access the warpgates from then on. I check my Nexus constantly so since the Forge should constantly be upgrading it seems like the best place to put it if I want to monitor upgrade progress. I say bind Forge wherever you think you will put eyes on it most often. I have an extreme reflex habit tied to pressing 4 and checking probe production, so it works for me because then it's right there in front of me.
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Posts: 318
I think the best general idea is to have the most accessible keys (1-3) be for your army. You need to be able to snap to them the fastest.

Someone already mentioned camera hotkeys, but I would also recommend changing the "set location hotkey". The default is ctrl+F1etc which requires 2 hands or some really awkward movements. I have them set to shift+F1 through 4 for my 4 bases.

Some of the tech you asked about doesn't really require a hotkey. For example, there isn't really a situation that requires being able to start blink without looking. If you are using camera hotkeys you can do this extremely fast anyway.

It is better to assign multiple types of production to 1 hotkey and tab between them instead of doing the same with your army. You can afford to take an extra split second to tab through production, but you don't have time for that with your spellcasters in battle.

The more hotkeys you can train yourself to spare for your units the better you will be. Ideally you might want your main army, a subdivision of your army for splitting, HTs, stalkers, colossus, observers, harass units, but that is really unrealistic. I find it very difficult to train myself to change hotkeys from the inefficient setup I've been using forever.
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Posts: 280
Hey, there. I use these as my hot keys...

1 - Nexus(es) or is it Nexi?
2 - Gates
3 - Robos
4 - Stargates (if I have them)
5 - High Templar
Q - Main Army (this one has the MSC in here so I can quickly recall or photon cannon)
W - Important micro unit (immortals or colossi or stalkers if it's just an early 8 gate push)
R - Sentries or Stalkers if I don't have Sentries

I had to remap the build hotkey for Robo to E, change an Oracle ability to E as well as MSC Mass Recall to E. I don't mind at all since so many units, buildings and upgrades already use E. Makes it more uniform.

I am considering changing my F2 (all units hotkey) to ` as well. F2 just seems so far away. This gives me 4 hot keys for my army. My forges tend to be close to a Nexus so I don't hot key them.
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