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How to get out of Bronze and Silver league in StarCraft II

How to get out of Bronze and Silver league in StarCraft II

I am by no means an excellent StarCraft II player, but I have managed to work my way up from Copper (when I first started playing the beta, there was a level below Bronze) to mid-level Platinum. I came into StarCraft II with little-to-no RTS experience, and zero multiplayer experience. Everything I knew, I had learned from watching StarCraft II games that had been posted on YouTube.

Once I started playing, the most helpful advice I got came from this Day[9] daily: Back to Basics: The Mental Checklist. You should watch the entire video, but the overview is this: make workers, make supply, make units, keep your money (minerals, gas) low. I also recommend his Plugging Leaks in Silver League Play daily. Day[9] broadcasts analysis of high-level play five days a week, and these tend to have good strategy analysis—an excellent resource for better players.

The truth is, though, that average players aren’t good enough to do what the pro players do. We don’t react fast enough, don’t know all the strategies, and aren’t able to macro (make units) and micro (control individual units) at the same time. Fortunately, you don’t actually need to be able to do that to climb out of the lower leagues. You will be able to win most of your games simply by having more units than the other player. The tips/hot keys/shortcuts I have accumulated help to accomplish this task.

Hover over your hotkeys to see the shortcuts

First and foremost: learn to use the hotkeys. You should not be using your mouse to build units or cast spells from units. I personally prefer to use the grid layout, but you should pick a layout and stick with it. The best way to learn to use the hotkeys is to force yourself never to use the mouse to click the buttons. If you are unsure of a hotkey, hover over the desired button, and the tip will show you what hotkey to use. Press the key on the keyboard, do not use the mouse to click it. Eventually you will memorize the keys that build different units.

There are also predefined hot keys that some people are unaware of: F1 will select an idle worker, CTRL+F1 selects all idle workers, and W selects all warpgates (Protoss only). You should also be mapping all your unit-producing structures to some of the number shortcuts (CTRL + # to create a group, SHIFT + # to add to a group). This will allow you to create new units without having to look at the structure—simply press the number key you’ve assigned to the building, then use the hot keys that you’ve learned for unit creation. Bind your army to numbers as well, allowing you to immediately select all the units that you wish to attack.

One common bad habit is to queue a bunch of units up to be produced. Suppose that you have one barracks built, and you want to build five marines. You click “build marine” five times, and proceed to wait 100 seconds for all five to build. You’ve also tied up 250 minerals immediately. The better strategy is to build one marine, and start building another barracks. You continue to make sure you’ve only ever queued up one marine, and 60 seconds later, you have three marines built and two barracks. You can then build one marine at each barracks—finishing your five marines in only 80 seconds—and you’ve doubled your production capacity. If you ever find that you have the money to be able to queue units, you should build another production facility.

A few more quick pointers:

  • Rally your nexus/command center/hatchery to the minerals by right clicking on a mineral patch
  • You should have three workers on each mineral patch and each geyser
  • Focus only on building enough units (macro) until you are comfortable doing it all the time; then you can try to control individual units on their own
  • Rally your unit-producing structures to an appropriate location
  • Keep your race-specific special ability energy low (Queen, Nexus, Command Center)
  • If you’re Zerg, spread your creep using overlords and creep tumors. It’s like a maphack and a speed hack all in one
  • Take the Xel’Naga watch towers—this will give you advanced warning of an imminent attack
  • Don’t forget upgrades. If you find yourself with extra money, you should spend it to upgrade weapons and armor
  • Keep tabs on your opponent—scout them with overlords/overseers/scans, or even just an air unit that you can fly over their base

This is obviously a lot to remember, and brings me to the final point: After you finish a game, watch the replay. You’ll immediately be able to see how many workers you made, if you ended up accumulating too much money, and other things you could have improved. If you lost the game, you might notice that your opponent snuck an expansion somewhere, or hid technology. This will give you places to scout in future games. If you won the game, great! You’ll probably notice areas that need improvement as well.

The beauty of a game like StarCraft II is that no one strategy is perfect. Hopefully you’ll be able to use this information to develop your own winning strategy.

Buy Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty at Amazon.

Comments

  1. Tim
    Tim Using hotkeys would be easier if Blizzard would allow custom key bindings. Then I could use WASD for movement instead of the arrow keys. When I have my hand on the arrow keys I have to reach WAY ACROSS the keyboard to hit the hot keys I'd be able to reach more easily if I were operating from WASD, and most of the time it just isn't worth it.

    Also, the thing about building 2 barracks to make 5 marines faster has flaws. If I only had 1 marine in queue at each, I'd have to be constantly going back and forth getting another marine started, instead of doing other things while 5 in queue build automatically. And, if I were not there to start another marine building as soon as one finished, then seconds would be added to the time needed to get 5, and that 20 second "advantage" disappears pretty quickly. I always have at least 2 barracks in any case, and one of them has the reactor for double production. The other has the tech lab for marauders / reapers / ghosts.

    I recently got the achievement for having 9 units in training at a given time, and I didn't even know the achievement existed, I was just building.

    However, I'm still bounding around in the upper half of Bronze for 1v1s, and it is annoying. I'm in upper Silver for 4v4s.
  2. Tim
    Tim BounCing, not bounding.
  3. Sledgehammer70
    Sledgehammer70 I got placed in Gold :( but haven't played more than 9 games now. I hope to have more time soon.
  4. shwaip
    shwaip 1) You shouldn't be using the keyboard arrow keys to move.
    2) By following 1, you don't have to move your hands all over the keyboard
    3) Try the grid hotkey layout.

    4) I don't know what to tell you about producing units...the most efficient way to use your minerals is never to queue up more than 1 unit in each production facility while something else is building. Yes, it takes more clicks / attention, but if you have your unit producing structures hotkeyed, you can easily see what buildings are inactive. And once you have the two barracks up, you can now produce 10 marines in the time it would take to make 5, previously.
  5. Tim
    Tim How do I move without using the arrow keys? The mouse? People tell me that. Remember that I'm a long time WoW player, and using WASD to move while the mouse clicks all the icons to heal, tank, dps, etc, comes naturally to me just from that experience alone. I'd probably hotkey the spacebar to attack.

    It seems silly to use the mouse to move the view around. I've tried it. Move over here... oops, moved too far, move it back a little, oops too far again, etc. And while all this is going on I'm wasting time.

    Meanwhile, I can move around with the arrow/WASD keys, and have the mouse snapping out orders at the same time.

    If Blizzard won't allow custom key bindings, I wonder if there's a way to re-engineer a keyboard so when you press W it tells the PC you pressed the up arrow, etc. That would be a nice hardware hack to the key bind problem.
  6. primesuspect
  7. Thrax
    Thrax Clicking the icons in WoW. LOL. Have fun doing it the slow way.

    //EDIT: clickers = bads
  8. Koreish
    Koreish Tim... have you ever played an RTS ever? Why wouldn't you use the mouse/mini-map to move around?

    Also you have a left hand if you insist on using the Arrow keys like a nub.
  9. Sledgehammer70
    Sledgehammer70
    Thrax said:
    Clicking the icons in WoW. LOL. Have fun doing it the slow way.

    //EDIT: clickers = bads
    Not entirely true... I go back and forth. if it is late I resort to clicking as it keeps me up. The boring rotation of macros puts me to sleep.
  10. Tim
    Tim I played a little bit of C&C Zero Hour, but other than that, no RTS'es ever before SC1/SC2, starting in April 2010.

    I never used macros much in WoW either. I'd mouse click my icons and I was used to doing it like that. And I wasn't slow either.
  11. Thrax
    Thrax You were slow. Anyone who physically moves their mouse to click the spell is .15-.5 seconds behind someone who doesn't. Multiply that by the number of spells cast over the course of a seven-minute raid encounter and, well...

    Let's just say a 10-15 minute SCII match is even more glaring.
  12. lmorchard
    lmorchard The thing about clicking versus the hotkeys that you can do something like this in about 2 seconds:

    0ss9aa8dd7ee0c

    That just queued 2 SCVs, 2 marines, 2 marauders, and 2 hellions. Oh, and I finished it up by scanning my opponent's base with the orbital command.

    I'm still a bit of a newb, so I'm not comfortable with queuing less than 2 at a time if I'm able. That gives me just a tiny bit of breathing room.

    To move, I either push the mouse into the edges of the screen to scroll, click on the minimap, or double-press a hotkey to center the screen on that unit. That last is handy for bouncing between combat groups and home base(s)

    My biggest problem right now is basic stuff: You know, keeping up with micro and macro at the same time. I keep ending up with 2000+ minerals when I get stomped at the end. :)
  13. lmorchard
    lmorchard (I was also a hotkey fiend when I played WoW. I would constantly tweak them, and got to the point where I could do all movement with the mouse and never touched an icon.)
  14. Tim
    Tim In regards to WoW - sorry, I just don't believe that pressing keys is faster than how I clicked.

    It's like this:

    On my 80 hunter for example, I'd use my natural meticulous, detailed skills to arrange all my DPS shots in a certain pattern, all right next to each other. On 2 rows of action bars even, so I had something like a 4X2 pattern or whatever the number was, instead of 8 all on one line of the action bars. I'd consider if they were a DOT or a one shot dose of damage, cooldown time, if one shot would enhance the effects of another if used within X number of seconds, etc. It would take a good 20 minutes for me to arrange my icons, and I liked getting into the details of it all.

    And remember that each shot has that cooldown line that sweeps around the icon, like the hands on a clock. I'd be watching all the dps icons, and have my mouse pointer right there, so the INSTANT one shot got off its cooldown, I'd be clicking it to fire it again.

    Maybe a programmed G15 could fire faster, but I was on the ball with clicking fast on them. And had 3-1/2 years of practice.

    SC2 has different needs, and I can see how using macros would be useful sometimes, but I also don't think it is the one size fits all cure.

    I'm working on the campaign, trying to let it teach me the ways of the game to improve how I play. I'm only up to mission 5 so far though, I spend most of my time either in 1v1s or 4v4s.
  15. Tim
    Tim Not macros, I meant hotkeys.
  16. Canti
    Canti
    Tim said:
    I wonder if there's a way to re-engineer a keyboard so when you press W it tells the PC you pressed the up arrow, etc. That would be a nice hardware hack to the key bind problem.
    One time I had a laptop with a broken keyboard so I took it apart and plugged in a keyboard from a different laptop. About half of the keys didn't work and the ones that did work entered letters different from what I pressed. Just try that and keep switching keyboards until you find one that makes the W key do what you want.
  17. Koreish
    Koreish
    Canti said:
    One time I had a laptop with a broken keyboard so I took it apart and plugged in a keyboard from a different laptop. About half of the keys didn't work and the ones that did work entered letters different from what I pressed. Just try that and keep switching keyboards until you find one that makes the W key do what you want.
    That's just crazy enough to work. Time to hit up Best Buy.

    /me pulls out hammer and wallet.
  18. shwaip
    shwaip
    lmorchard said:
    The thing about clicking versus the hotkeys that you can do something like this in about 2 seconds:

    0ss9aa8dd7ee0c

    That just queued 2 SCVs, 2 marines, 2 marauders, and 2 hellions. Oh, and I finished it up by scanning my opponent's base with the orbital command.
    This is why hotkeys are better.
  19. Winfrey
    Winfrey Very nice write-up Shwaip :thumbsup:

    I just picked up my copy of SC2 from Best Buy yesterday, i'll finally get to fire it up and play when I get back to school and high speed internet. I miss our 2v2s :)

    I miss Day[9] dailies also, Sean is really a great source for tips and strategy along with entertaining commentary.

    When I was playing the beta I played random for 1v1s because I just wanted to experience each race and to have fun with the different match ups. But I also always tried to stick to using hotkeys for 90%+ of my macro. This led to amusing results sometimes as for different races I would get stuck on one hotkey and one unit type instead of building a bigger variety (I was this concerned with using hotkeys, yes they are that important!). Commonly I would have massive hydra only armies while never building an infestor because I forgot the hotkey for it lol.

    Tim there are some trainer maps that are made to keep up your actions per minute and make you follow specific goals which should help you see the difference. This usually involves constantly having workers and units being produced while actively attacking an enemy base while making sure one worker on an island somewhere is constantly moving. If any of those goals are not met at any time you lose. How long you last should tell you a bit about how well you are multitasking. If you only use a mouse you will be absolutely curb stomped by a training map like this.

    I look forward to some matches against fellow Icrontians soon.
  20. Tim
    Tim I've watched some of my replays and my average APM is generally in the 20-30 range. It'll spike up over 120 now and then but the average is much lower. Does each hotkey press count as an action? How about each mouse click?

    My gamer tag/3 digit code is McStupid 866
  21. Koreish
    Koreish Winfrey maybe I've just missed it but where are these trainer maps? I'd love to try and test myself on them.
  22. Tushon
    Tushon
    Tim said:
    I've watched some of my replays and my average APM is generally in the 20-30 range. It'll spike up over 120 now and then but the average is much lower. Does each hotkey press count as an action? How about each mouse click?

    My gamer tag/3 digit code is McStupid 866
    I think both of those count as APM. I believe I read the "top tier" gamers in SCI were 300+ APM. Thats ridiculous though
  23. lmorchard
    lmorchard
    Koreish said:
    Winfrey maybe I've just missed it but where are these trainer maps? I'd love to try and test myself on them.
    This one has been pretty useful for me in getting some initial build orders down:

    http://www.sc2mapster.com/maps/yabot/

    It gives you an APM count, can simulate initial attack waves with a really good AI, and lays out the steps of starting build order as mission objectives. It also has some quick commands to restart the map fast so you can practice a bit
  24. shwaip
    shwaip YABOT is good even if you don't use the attack waves. You can concentrate on the timings of your build, getting down when you need to start pylons/depots/OLs without to avoid getting supply blocked, and seeing when you can cut production of a marine (for example) to get research / new tech started.

    If you haven't watched the mental checklist ep of day[9], he uses it without any attacks to tune a build order
  25. Tim
    Tim I couldn't get that yabot thing to work. It wants to open the map editor, and then when I did shortcut one of the maps (Blistering Sands) to the desktop and then drag it over the SC2 icon to open it, it opened the game but I didn't see the yabot tester anywhere.
  26. pants
    pants single player game with godmode on is effective in terms of safety to find proper builds, unit management, getting used to mouse scrolling, many other trainings are possible too. so if you cant get those programs to make yourself better, who cares.

    all you gotta do is load up a 1v1 singleplayer @medium AI game, (im guessing u play terran, most new sc players do) say "im going to practice pumping marines and expanding at 32supply," when the game starts, plan your build order in your head, and voila. if it backfires, turn on godmode and see where u went wrong. or restart the mission.

    back on subject to the original thread name... ive rank1 in bronze. im 22-15. also, ive had the best w/l ratio of everyone the entire time in my divison(bronze). ive been rank1 for about 7hours now, and each game i ask what league/rank people are. normally, im fighting people in silver around the high(26+) ranks. i would assume progressing into the next league is based upon w/l ratio after x amount of games.

    back to macro'ing topic now.
    some big hints to everyone:

    i play zerg, you can correspond the proper buildings/factories/hatcheries/whateverunitproducingbuilding to a hotkey such as CTRL+ 1-0.

    for example, i group all my hatcheries together with CTRL+0, so every few seconds, ill hit 0 and then use the hotkeys built into the game (s) to select larva, then whatever hotkey to morph as many units i want. always remember to right click the rally point at a good spot so u dont have to group them up manually when they spawn.

    about the dude talking about being slow to pump 5 marines with 1 barracks versus two or whatever, i didnt understand what you were saying... but a simple solution to loosing those few second advantages you were talking about; is what i just said above. put all barracks as hotkey 0. hit 0, spam (a) to queue marines, and thats it! u never had to actually visually see the barracks.

    as for keyboard clickers. in wow, clickers were bad.. hands down. that usually means you keyboard turned as well. what a newb. sure in a raid, u dont need to move much if your dps. but wow is so bad now, why am i talking about it. imagine being a healer and for whatever reason (i dont know how) but u have raid bars up... u gotta click on someones raid bar, click the heal u want, look at at peoples hp bars, scramble to click that person that needs a heal, go click the heal again. yeah GG try that with dispelling those important debuffs. this is why clickers are called newbies. wow rage is over, back to sc2.

    if anyone really read through this wall of text, grats. i dont talk online like this often, you might notice why... but anyway, ive always played zerg (sc1-2).. so i havent got much tips on my mind for other classes. if you want some zerg tips and tricks advice whatever, let me know.

    friend info: pants 670
    i'd like it if you could tell me you read my post from this site up front in the friend invite. thanks!

    by the way, this website is totally rad man....
  27. GooD
    GooD Nice post pants, you said some great stuff to help new players in SC2 :)

    Hotkey to the bases and buildings are a MUST for a SC player.

    Also whenever an action is done you can hit spacebar and it will get the camero zoom right into the action. Useful too at some occasions.
  28. Tim
    Tim Nice post pants, but you refer to keyboard pressers as keyboard "clickers". You PRESS a keyboard key, and you CLICK a mouse. When you write "keyboard clickers" that is confusing. Are you referring to keyboard or mouse?

    I won a couple games against tossers recently where I had 5-6 bases up and mining, plus making marines. I'd arrow key around to each base, click to make scvs if they needed more, and arrow key back to my main base. I didn't miss out on anything.

    I can see the benefit of having barracks hotkeyed, but what if you have some barracks making marines and other barracks making marauders, as I usually do? If I'm playing a tosser (my name for Protoss people), I'll go heavy on marines to wipe out their Void Rays, if I'm playing against a Terran or Zerg I'll use more marauders, but still more marines than marauders.

    In WoW, I used WASD and spacebar, pretty much everything else was mouse clicking. DPS hunter, my healer paladin, even my tanking warrior.
  29. _k_
    _k_ Tim you press both. There are switches in both that can produce a clicking sound.
  30. Jingalls
    Jingalls Tim if you have all your barracks grouped together, you press a once to start a marine at one, then press d and the other will train a marauder. it's even easier if the marine one doesn't have a tech lab. press d as much as you like and a barracks without a techlab will not produce a marauder. if a barracks with one is also selected, it will take all the commands.
  31. Tim
    Tim So what if a tosser starts out producing a ground force and his first rush on my base gets killed, then he switched to massing Void Rays? If I saw that coming, I might be inclined to have a barracks with a tech lab produce additional marines. I usually have 2 barracks, but sometimes 3 or 4.

    OR, let's say I have 4 barracks. 3 with reactors and 1 with a tech lab. I want marines AND marauders. I hit the hotkey to highlight the barracks, and slam the key to make marines 20 times really fast. Then I go to hit the hotkey for marauders but the base with the tech lab is already busy making 5 marines. I have to go to that individual base, cancel the marines, and click 5 marauders.

    Instead of all that back and forth, I'd just go to each one individually and place my build orders.

    How can I post a link to one of my replays here? Maybe if you saw me in action you'd see what I'm doing and how quickly I do it.
  32. Tim
    Tim image

    See if this works. The protoss was kind of a noob, I thought.
  33. Winfrey
    Winfrey That's one of the annoying things about terran. The building with a tech lab always takes precedence over the basic unit producing structure or one with a reactor if they are in the same control group (hotkey). This is why you get a queue of marines in your tech lab when you really want your barracks with a reactor to build the marines. You just have to pay attention to what you are doing when you hit the hotkeys to make sure the right buildings are building the right units. Makes terran a bit more of a PITA to play though.

    If it's too much of a hassle or if you are just going for the Marine/Marauder/Medivac army composition you could just burn an additional hotkey to keep your barracks with reactors separate from those with tech labs. Another building people might find useful to hotkey as they get better is research buildings. This is especially useful for timing attacks so that you can quickly see ETA on a +1 upgrade while you are moving out your army.

    Also you shouldn't be queuing so much. Try to keep it to just one unit per building. You'd be surprised how much larger your army can get in less time plus have expansions/research sooner than you thought possible. Just like Shwaip said, instead of spending 250 on queuing 5 marines you could have built 2 more barracks and by the time that first marine finished you should have enough minerals to start the next one. In the meantime you've just about tripled your production with the additional barracks you've added.
  34. Jingalls
    Jingalls Tim, just queue the marauders first
  35. Coastal
    Coastal Even better, Tab between your Barracks. Problem solved.
  36. shwaip
    shwaip Yes, if you have multiple types of units/buildings in the same control group, pressing tab will swap between types.
  37. akklotz
    akklotz No offense Tim, but when 100%.... (and i stress 100% because there has not been 1 person to say otherwise) say that clicking and using the arrows keys = fail. Then its pretty obvious that clicking and arrow keys = fail. Yet you still insist on doing it. Your APM also ABSOLUTELY shows that your not doing anything all game! (20-30 is nothing.... my 5 year old cousin averages more then that. Pros average around 300... and noobs that i have played with average around 50)

    So what does this tell you? Your playing sc2 WRONG if you want to be efficient and win more often. Everyone has pointed it out, yet you refuse to change (apparantly because u think your way is better then the way millions of players have been playing starcraft for YEARS). Please either adapt and learn to play a way that will improve your game, or simply stop asking us for help if you insist on argueing with what we are telling you. Especially when your asking us for advice. Because that implies you think your not playing your best. So pipe down, listen to what people have to say, and if you dont enjoy playing the game with hotkeys thats fine, not everyone can process things in their head. Some people have to visually see and visually click. But that will ALWAYS put you at a HUGE disadvantage GAURENTEED. So as a result be prepared to loss more often and get frustrated that 11 yr olds and some college dropouts are whooping you in a game because you wont adapt to a new method.

    On another note: This is something everyone has also clearly told you which does not pertain to starcraft 2, but in WOW (aka World of Warcraft for those reading this thread who dont understand what we are talking about) Clickers are an absolute FAIL. Even if you have the highest dps, or the highest heals, or the highest anything in your group by some miracle. (this would require you to be playing with slower clickers but lets just say they are not clickers for giggles) You are STILL not dpsing/ tanking/ healing or w.e to your full potential. Its another WORLDWIDE known fact. And you will NOT convince anyone otherwise. Which goes back to the same answer....

    ADAPT

    ADAPT

    ADAPT!!!!!

    Or suffer the losses from not doing so.
  38. primesuspect
    primesuspect lol at telling Tim "IE6" to adapt.

    But yeah, you're welcome to try. :D
  39. shwaip
    shwaip I think if he's having fun, he should stick with it. But he should also not tell us that his method is as good as using hotkeys.
  40. Tim
    Tim In the past couple days, I've been trying to start using hotkeys more. It's hard to change, especially when a person is as hard headed as I am, but I'm trying to hit at least a few.

    This past weekend I went to the Green Forest 5 SC2 tournament in Ventura, CA, and I got a good seat to watch the high end players play. I especially paid attention to how they were using their left hand on the hotkeys. One of them was a 10th grade skinny asian kid, KawaiiRice, and he was averaging over 300 APM and went to 3rd place in the finals. I have been hearing about using hotkeys for a long time but this was the first time I ever actually saw someone doing it. Many other gamers there were similar in how fast they did it. He wasn't even looking at his hand, but he was moving it very fast on the hotkeys.

    So I'm trying to change to help myself out a bit, but if I were able to use WASD for movement it would be a LOT easier for me to adapt and use hotkeys around WASD.

    Hey Prime - I finally switched to IE8 a couple months ago. I'm not saying it is any better then IE6, but it isn't any worse.
  41. shwaip
    shwaip Yep, it can be hard to change, but the trick is to force yourself to do it. If you don't know the hotkeys, simply hover with the mouse, figure it out, and then use the hotkey. Don't use the mouse!
  42. Triqui
    Triqui Tim, I'm glad you have seen the light :). There's no way a clicker can compete with a hotkeyer in a balanced enviroment. I'm no way a pro, I'm just a starting noob trying to learn myself, but something I tried to carry over to Starcraft from WoW, is not using the mouse to click, ever.

    Sure, it's hard in the begining. But you get used to. And it's easier to learn this way, than having to remove a bad habit. Obviously, we wont be able to push 300+ average APM, for the same reasons we wont be able to averange 30 points per game in Basketball or run the 100 meters dash under 10 seconds: becouse we aren't pro. But that's no reason to throw the ball with one hand or having and awful running technique :)

    Just to show how powerful hotkeying is, try to imagine this with mouse click:

    We wont be Sky, ever. But it's easy to imagine that, in our own low league, we will be WAY closer to this with a keyboard spam, than with mouse click
  43. Blaqkheart
    Blaqkheart Actually, I can agree that clicking in WoW isnt as bad as everyone says. I used Bar Tender to have my buttons right where I needed them and was constantly waiting for the GCD to hurry the hell up. So, if you are fast enough, persistent, and can still watch your character with knowing what you are pressing, clickers can be as good as hotkeyers...I was one of the top dps as a shaman. In SCII though, hotkeying is the only way to go.
  44. Dave
    Dave I can understand the hesitation to switch from mousing to keyboard, and it reminds me of back in the early FPS days when people would stick with using just keyboard to run around a map. The problem was back then that doing so gave you a limited turn rate. Using a mouse you could do a 180 and shoot someone following you much, much faster and those who learned the WASD method of playing FPS excelled much more rapidly.

    I've found in SC2, that in order to be able to do the things that people such as Day9 suggest - you need to be able to micro and macro effectively at the same time. I just don't think that's possible with the mouse cursor flying all around the screen.

    And once you learn the keyboard shortcuts (no matter what method) you can - for instance - watch a battle, micro it, and still build units during the ever-so-brief pauses in the fight.

    Peronally, I'm constantly striving to keep money low during battles, and that to me is the most difficult challenge. When I push an attack my money skyrockets, and then it's difficult to find a money sink to drop it all into.

    But I understand the hesitation, and am glad you were able to observe some of the pros and their methods, as hopefully it was inspiring enough to suffer through the learning pains to become better.

    Dave
  45. Travis
    Travis these are great tips, but they don't answer the question of how do you get out of the bronze league? I've been number 1 in the bronze league for approximately 10 - 20 games, and I've seen nothing saying I've moved to silver.. How long can I be #1 in bronze before getting to silver?
  46. shwaip
    shwaip To move to silver, you'll have to be playing (and beating) silver ranked players at least 50% of the time.

    Check the ranks of the opponents you've beaten/lost to. If you're losing to lots of silver players, but beating most bronze players, you're ranked exactly where you should be.
  47. Efe Buyuran
    Efe Buyuran If no one ever mentioned, I'd like to add this.

    Select ALL of your barracks and start making marines, each time you click on marine icon (or hotkey, whatever) the additional marine queue will be placed on new barracks! Using all those barracks at same time.
  48. Tushon
    Tushon
    Efe Buyuran said:
    If no one ever mentioned, I'd like to add this.

    Select ALL of your barracks and start making marines, each time you click on marine icon (or hotkey, whatever) the additional marine queue will be placed on new barracks! Using all those barracks at same time.
    The real clue here is HOTKEY all of your barracks.
  49. shwaip
    shwaip (to the same hotkey)
  50. khold
    khold ..using the arrow keys is for noobs?



    seems to work for noobs and professional korean players, the two are very similar
  51. shwaip
    shwaip See how 99% of the time his hands are not on the arrow keys, but on the hotkeys and he's using the mouse to move the screen?

    Tim is talking about keeping his hands on the arrow keys 99% of the time to move the screen, and clicking the buttons with the mouse to build units/structures.
  52. themaestro
    themaestro To really streamline moving the screen try and use only hotkeys. Obviously you will need to scroll or click the minimap occasionally (scan, xelnaga, set rally, etc) but for the most part you should have everything hotkeyed and then hit the hotkey twice to bring the camera back. eg,

    44 to nexus: pull probe do your building, chrono boosting.
    11 to scout: see what your opponent is doing.
    55 to warpgates: unit, unit, unit, unit
    22 to combat units: attack
    44 to nexus: (scroll) build expo
    22 to combat units: micro


    Sorry if this is hard to follow but try it out it really eliminates a lot of necessary moving around.
  53. themaestro
    themaestro whoops unnecessary*
    also adapt for race and build
  54. chimmichonga
    chimmichonga Honestly guys all you have to get into gold or what ever league from bronze ug uys want to go up to is learn how to macro. u dont need to hotkey or w.e. shit until ur diamond or honestly high diamond. Who cares if your using arrow keys. I use arrow keys and i easily go 80-40 in platinum league. To beat OTher playters IN LOW LEVEL LEAGUES JUST MASS UNITS AND A Move none of htem have the micro to stop it. So it doesnt matter discussion done and if oyu want to check my stats hipopotamus 449
  55. Tushon
    Tushon
    chimmichonga said:
    Honestly guys all you have to get into gold or what ever league from bronze ug uys want to go up to is learn how to macro. u dont need to hotkey or w.e. shit until ur diamond or honestly high diamond. Who cares if your using arrow keys. I use arrow keys and i easily go 80-40 in platinum league. To beat OTher playters IN LOW LEVEL LEAGUES JUST MASS UNITS AND A Move none of htem have the micro to stop it. So it doesnt matter discussion done and if oyu want to check my stats hipopotamus 449
    The hipopotamus/chimmichonga has spoken. Let us all prayerfully consider his words.
  56. Reilly
    Reilly Tim i watched your replay . . . your useless ur suppose to attack directly after a proton turret rush u could have mopped the floor with that guy in minutes :O
  57. Tiqkua
    Tiqkua ROFL TIM YOU TROLLING.
    No one is that bad. You're supposed to use hot-keys, and if you don't, you're handicapping yourself.
    l2p
  58. jack
    jack The important (and sad) thing to know is that Starcraft 2 and other RTS games is that it's not actually a strategy game. It is not primarily a game of intelligence, but a game of dexterity and speed of your fingers. The closest it comes to a true strategy genre is "action tactical".
  59. shwaip
    shwaip lol.

    I average 80-100 apm (depending on the race I'm playing against), and I beat people who are at around 130-150 (and I lose to them too). I also lose to people who are slower than I. Strategy is MUCH more important than how fast you can click. You may hit a ceiling that you cannot get past because you don't have the handspeed, but good strategy will take you very far (see the number of 4gaters in diamond/masters).
  60. Koreish
    Koreish Day9 says that even for a decent player only 40-60 APM is necessary to be a decent starcraft player after that it's all strategy and you're ability to multitask. Seeing as Day9 is kind of an expert I'm gonna go with what he says. mkay?
  61. Winfrey
    Winfrey You can't argue with this man's expertise.

    image
  62. Jan
    Jan @Jack

    Biggest pile of bullcrap I've ever read.
  63. jaime
    jaime MOVE BY HOLDING THE MIDDLE CLICK AND DRAGGING OR MOVIONG YOUR MOUSE TO THE EDGE
  64. Koreish
    Koreish So it's been 5 months since Tim made the comment that our guests keep discussing. I wonder if any of them have stopped and asked "I wonder if that guy has gotten better?" rather than just vomiting words.
  65. cola
    cola Idk, all I know is... I'm gonna be stuck in silver league for quite some time, I need to increase my point count by at least 1500 to move to the top of my current division, and I currently have about 1000 points. ;(
  66. Mark
    Mark As long as you can have an APM of about 150 you can win someone with a higher APM as long as your decision making and responses are better than your opponent
  67. mike
    mike Why do you say you'll never be sky? There's a finite limit to what a human is physically and mentally capable of processing and there is really no difference between him and you. Nothing he is doing there that isn't redundant is faster than around 300apm which isn't hard to hit as terran or zerg. if you spent the time you'd eventually beat him.
  68. Lamort
    Lamort Tim, thats why the
    "You should also be mapping all your unit-producing structures to some of the number shortcuts (CTRL + # to create a group, SHIFT + # to add to a group). This will allow you to create new units without having to look at the structure—simply press the number key you’ve assigned to the building, then use the hot keys that you’ve learned for unit creation."
    Say your barrack is on 1, and your at your expention building things (as a terran for this example), Take 2-3 scvs, bind them to 2 ( or any comfortable number that you're not already using ) press 1-a-2 and continue doing your turrets or whatever... it takes a quarter of a second man. your whole paragraph did not make any point.
  69. Anviking
    Anviking I'm an about top 27 bronze protoss. I would say my macro is not so bad and my forcefields quite good. I still find it hard to leave bronze. In this article you're talking about hotkeys, controllgroups and camera movement ??!!!?? That should be appropriate to get to top 70 in bronze.

    Has the skill-level in the lower leagues changed or am a lacking in some other area?
  70. Koreish
    Koreish The skill level has gone up as people have learned how to play the game. Have you tried watching replays to see when you start to falter in various aspects of the game. For example I noticed that for the longest time I would always stop producing workers around 30 food. I had to train myself to keep up worker production and now I cease production around 100 food unless I've lost SCVs to harass.

    You can find out a lot about what you're doing good or not so good by simply watching replays with APM, Production, and Income tabs open.
  71. shwaip
    shwaip Anviking, if you post a replay, i'd be happy to give you a little feedback about what you could do to get out of bronze.
  72. cola
    cola Or you could do what I did and DT rush your way to plat XD
  73. Devin M.
    Devin M. @Tim, your bad at wow if your clicking icons, use the mouse to move the screen but u can also keybind specfic areas on the map to the F keys (f2, f3, etc) also if you have ur production buildings keybound then there shouldnt be a reason to que more then 1 unit at a time. lastly building 5 marines in one rax spending all that money at once to only have 1 unit at a time come out is exactly why ur in mid to low bronze league play. trying to build a 3rd or fourth rax u spend to much at once, and ur units are coming out way to slow for the amount of $ spent on them
  74. NoX
    NoX Tim, if you are using the arrow keys or wasd keys to move around the you aren't using that hand to use hotkeys which are necessary, believe me. Unless of course you want to be below gold league for the rest of your starcraft experience. This coming from a high diamond league player. Or you can go back to WoW, a dying game that requires zero skill only large chunks of time
  75. NoX
    NoX and pros don't average 300 you dumb asses, unless theyre spamming like crazy. They average around 200 I'd say
  76. Random
    Random The only reason I use the arrowkeys is cuz I play left handed :P
  77. shwaip
    shwaip Blizzard released some information about approximately how many points you'll need to change leagues:

    http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/blog/3947374/Climbing_the_Ladder_How_to_Earn_a_League_Promotion-11_15_2011
  78. non-clicker
    non-clicker TO PEOPLE SAYING CLICKING IS OK IN WOW

    You play PvE, and probably not even at the highest level. But in PvP you will fail horribly. The problem is NOT speed, really the GCD 1.5 sec is long enough that sure you can click all your spells. The problem is that you CAN'T turn AND click at the same time! This is terrible since in PvP you constantly need to reposition and turn yourself while using your abilities. Check swifty's video to understand. Although I disagree on using a mouse like that, the mouse should be just for turning.

    TLDR: WoW PvP requires turning and using spells at the same time which is why clickers fail.
  79. shwaip
    shwaip It's well established that Tim is a bad. Don't worry about it.
  80. Jimbo
    Jimbo My keyboard won't hotkeys the buildings. i press ctrl, then #, then 1, and nothing happens. I'm so depressed. :(
    at least I'm not #99 bronze....
  81. shwaip
    shwaip
    My keyboard won't hotkeys the buildings. i press ctrl, then #, then 1, and nothing happens. I'm so depressed. :(
    at least I'm not #99 bronze....
    don't hit '#' in the middle. Just hit ctrl + 1 when you have it selected.

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