These keys are hot!

If you haven’t taken a look at Orb’s Post “How To: Four...

If you haven’t taken a look at Orb’s Post “How To: Four Steps to Diamond”, do so.  It’s a bit long, but is a great read.  It got me thinking about how I do my hotkeys . . .

Hotkeys can be used for basically everything you do in a game.  First and foremost, you have to learn the hotkeys for building your base.  I’m not going to go over that here, but it should definitely take priority.  Secondly, use hotkeys for actions.  The less time you spend clicking on things, the more time you will have to focus on other areas such as unit micro.  You can also set hotkeys to select units and buildings, and that’s what I’d like to focus on here.  By using hotkeys (and a surprising number of players don’t) you can harvest, build units, or attack without ever looking away from your army.  I’d like to get ideas from the community here on things that maybe I’m not doing or haven’t considered yet.  Here’s a summary of what I usually do for all three races:

1 – My main army, typically an MM ball or mech ball.

2 – Support Units, usually Medivacs

3 – Casters or air units, usually ghosts or vikings.  Occasionally a Raven or something.

4 – Command center(s).  As I add more orbital commands, I group them here as well, then I can call down as many MULE’s or scans as I need without fumbling through hotkeys.

5 – Barracks

6 – Factories

7 – Starports

That’s all I usually do for Terran.  Having the medivacs on a separate key allows me to micro them much more easily.  I use tab if tanks are grouped up and I need to siege them.


1 – Zealots, maybe DTs if they don’t have detectors

2 – Stalkers

3 – Varies between colossi, immortals, void rays, or phoenixes.  I don’t think I’ve ever built a carrier.

4 – 1st nexus, for Chronoboost

5 – Gateways until I transition into warpgates, then it’s my 2nd nexus

6 – Robofacility(ies)

7 – Stargate(s)

0 – I use this one for an observer, sometimes for a warp prism if I’m trying to sneak in behind.


1 – my main army, usually lings, roaches, or hydras.

2 – Support or ranged units, usually banelings or hydras

3 – Air or Casters

Here’s where I think Zerg is harder, because you have queen micro.  I like to hotkey each queen individually.  The plus is that you only have one type of production building, so I will hotkey all of my hatcheries/lairs/hives as well.

4 – Queen

5 – Queen

6 – Queen

7 – ALL of my hatcheries, set to a common rally point.  This way if I want to build units, I hit 7, and if I want to center on a given hatchery, I just double-tap the hotkey for the corresponding queen.

That’s what I do – any other thoughts?

About Krutoypotsan

A recovering WoW addict, krutoypotsan now occupies his free time with Starcraft 2.