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Tips for increasing APM?

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6 months ago
Hey guys, so I have been playing for a little while now; I feel like I am OKAY, but I was wondering, what are your guy's tips on getting to the next level, specifically with actions per minute. Are there key commands y'all have set up, what do you think?
+0 / -0
I play with a lot of clicking, frequently box selecting and line moving a lot of units, as well as literally clicking on all the buildings in the HUD to build them. I started using hotkeys to allow my mouse clicks to be more effective, like CTRL+Z which selects all of the units you own of the same type of current selection and CTRL+X which does the same but only for units within camera FOV. Area Mex(default 'w' these days) is also an important mainstay. Some more interesting hotkeys I have are "Repeat Toggle" 'CTRL+R', "Set Build priority to high" to 'CTRL+H', "Set Maneuver" to 'CTRL+H', "Set Hold Position" to 'H', "Set Target" to 'T', "Remove Target" to 'CTRL+T', "Area Cloak state toggle" to 'U', and "Gravity Gun Polarity" to 'U'. These are things I want to often do, but are so much a hassle to click on the HUD. I can use these abilities wihtout interfering in my selections and movement comands from my mouse now. This doesn't really increase my APM, but it increases what I would say is my Effective APM. Try and streamline your process of issuing commands to your units with hotkeys. Because I have, I can spend more time issuing move orders for my units.

Also, you may want to look into default unit states. Anything in this game you own you can set to start with specific unit states. Shields can be set to hold position, ultimatums can be built with hold fire state, ETC. with the default unit states. I have a small little optimization where all my metal extractors are set to High Priority so in a crashing metal economy my mexes get built first. If you find yourself always changing a certain class of units' unitstates, probably want to modify the default unit states to save time microing them in game.

EDIT: Sad story, I still click on HUD for all buildings except mex.
+2 / -0
My APM is pretty good, however most of it absorbed by correcting a erroneous previous action =P

A high rate of actions per minute is a thing, A high rate of correct actions per minute is a good thing.
+7 / -0
6 months ago
I'm not a fan of hotkeys, I use them mostly to modify mouse clicks. That might be at least part of the reason why my APM is shit =)

However, Zero-K has a ton of features built in specifically to save player APM. I'd say learning and actually using these is more important than hotkeys. I'm talking about advanced unit commands, area commands, line commands, building commands, etc. Go give a good old wiki dive and you should be enlightened. There is a specific section on commands, even.

I'm going to personally recommend that you get used to using factories on repeat, and having a unit mix that you adjust over time as needed, instead of giving factories individual blocks of units to build. This helps you both keep your factories running without the need for much oversight, as well as give your armies unit variety, from early on, without needing to manually input complex build orders frequently. My game improved a lot after I started doing this. You can use alt to add in one-off units that will be built ASAP, this way you can build small numbers of specific units you need without breaking the loop.
+4 / -0
Learning the key shortcuts to build almost everything in factory, econ, special, and defense tabs has made my life much better. Your left hand eliminates 85% of slow clicking on GUI just by learning that. Steel_Blue suggestions cover most of the rest.

e.g. B-Q for Cloakbot Factory, C-E for Stardust, V-Q for Radar, X-S for Solar.

I like to use factory repeat on low priority, but have noticed that better players don't always use it especially early game. You save yourself some attention and excess, but if you forget about it you can get stuck in a rut.
+1 / -0
sadly the reclaim hot key it not the reclaim hot key for all things that can reclaim, I waste APM doing it 3 times and going oh, its not the hotkey for that thing
+0 / -0

6 months ago
Is players APM obtainable still somehow?, it was long ago .. its a poor guide for much, but its interesting
+0 / -0
While you can brute-force your way to victory using apm, I feel it to be much more rewarding to make the right decisions. There's also only so much you can do with superior apm if you don't play the map or fac matchup correctly.

If you really want, you should learn all of the default hotkeys. Custom ones aren't needed except for experimenting. Personally I only use hotkeys for constructors but not for factories.
+7 / -0
6 months ago
I think the concept of high apm is overrated outside of professional esports scene. My hands are all but crippled in terms of gaming apm, but I can still compete by trimming off the excess actions.
+2 / -0
6 months ago
My only advice to increasing APM is to develop a queued start and then devoting 100% attention to microing raiders. With a little luck you will have done damage early and come back from raiding adventures to find a nice little base set up and ready to go.
+3 / -0
6 months ago
Hey guys just want to say thanks so much for all the great advice! Really like this community
+2 / -0
6 months ago
I actually don't do that right from the start either. Getting the first few units you build in a game right is sufficiently important that you want to micro that. Its after I have got the first few raiders, builders and maybe a few riots built that I start up the loop.
+0 / -0
Personaly i dont use many hotkeys, some for buildings, and mostly unit groups.
But nearly no CTRL combinations.

What i do however is using a variety of features of my mouse, which save me from doing splits with my fingers.
Now i dont know if you are using a standart mouse or not, but if you have hotkeys, i suggest the following:

Number:KEYS
1:Shift
2:Shift+ALT
3:CTRL+A
4:CTRL+J
5:CTRL
6:Shift+CTRL

The only problem now is that i dont even know what they all do, i just use them on reflex... its some time since i have set them up ;)

My last trick, play with the DPI of your mouse. A slow mouse takes to much time to switch from one point to another.
I suggest between 4000-5000 DPI. Its very fast at the beginning but once you got used to it, you will be fine.

If you want to take this even further you can do it as i do and switch your DPI depending on the situation. Fast for makro, slow (1800/800 DPI) for micro. (micro needs precision, makro needs fast clicks)


It would even be possible to programm whole sequenzes on each key.
Example: Fac, mex, solar, mex, solar, mex solar, with 0.3 sec between each.
This is possilbe with most gaming mouses, but this goes a little to far in my opinion.
(Is it possible to beat someone only with such preprogrammed sequenzes? This should be a challange XD)
+1 / -0
CHrankAdminDeinFreund his words cannot be stressed enough! I managed to get to old gold-status (wich is comparable to modern dark-blue i guess) with an apm of around 20.
Decision-making and flawless execution of eco are the thing you would want to go for first. Apm will come along the way.

(I can recommend to practise alone against multiple bots on very big maps... choose difficulty so that you can get stuff done and are not getting overrun instantly, but so that you have to work hard for your survival. It´s not about winning. it´s about getting practise witch hotkeys etc.)
+3 / -0
Like CHrankAdminDeinFreund, I'd say simply play to win. Focus on decision making, your fingers will catch up with your mind regardless of whether you put conscious effort in or not. Thinking only about what you need to win also lets you focus only on learning those shortcuts that will actually help you which may be different from those that will help everyone else.

Do I need to know the sequence of keys that will let me build a Lucifer? Not really. I don't think I've ever had cause to build one.

There is usually ample time between deciding you need something and sorting out the details of how best to use it to accommodate your preference of clicks or hotkeys. Work with your preference, not against it.

Never mind APM. Just play and reflect on your play afterwards (remember, all games are recorded by default). If you think a loss was due to struggling to find a key unit or build icon, perhaps that's the shortcut you need to learn. Was it due to misbehaving units? Get in the habit of changing the default behaviour. Was it simply a stupid decision? Well, no amount of APM or hotkeys will change that.
+5 / -0
6 months ago
If I dont know what to do I press Z about every second. If no constructors are idle I make more constructors
+0 / -0
6 months ago
I suspect the APM request comes from some other RTS that have crazy APM requirements in order to win. Whereas ZK has such powerful tools that often APM are accomplished virtually such as with drag and build orders and area mex or area reclaim orders.

Here's a tip that has somewhat to do with apm: if you are engaged in battle and want to do something else, withdraw your units a way before taking your attention off them. I've lost so much stuff when it just sits around and gets blasted in the 6 seconds I'm building eco or grid.
+2 / -0
6 months ago
I like DeinFreund's vision. APM as a concept is an utter garbage, propagated by Starcraft and other crap like that. Deep and rewarding gameplay and victory after all comes not from the speed of your clicking, but from your tactical thinking, insight, ability to predict opponent's action and so on. Leave APM for AI, and play with your head, not fingers.

Advice coming from utter newb lol.
+1 / -4

6 months ago
Ngl I don't use the hotkeys and just use APM mainly atm. It really makes a difference, if u want to raise your apm just don't rely on attack move and do the micro yourself to practice managing your eco and units at the same time
+0 / -0
RUrankOntheheavens

Given two people with equal planning ability, the one that is able to execute his plan faster, more accurately and efficiently will have an advantage. A single raider can destroy a minotaur if microed properly. ZK AIs are not nearly sophisticated enough to handle most situations units get into.

You can know the exact method of subduing someone in a fight, but if you don't have the relevant motor skills you will be unable to do so.
+0 / -0
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