I've always known my micro is the worst aspect of my game, which is is why I tend toward out producing, or being sneaky (rushing or using cloaked units). But lately I've realized the only way I'm going to get better is to learn micro better, as well as improve my hot key usage. I was wondering if anyone knows of a good custom map/scenario for this or has useful tips for getting better at this stuff? I've already played through all the challenges though i haven't gotten gold in them all.
There is no substitute for actually playing games; no better way to learn Micro; no better way to learn Macro.
However, certain techniques can be practiced on specialized maps and here are some of them:
- QXC's Stutter Step: Ever notice how the Pros seem to attack and move at the same time? This map is designed to teach you that technique
- Multi Tasking Trainer: Despite its name this map is designed to teach you how to keep your early scout alive in your opponents base... all game long. It also features a Mineral Cap to help with your Macro, while you Micro
- Unit Tester: While you can use this to emphasize your micro and how to engage, the thing this does best is help you understand how strong an enemy army is. I also like to use this one to practice my Marine Micro vs Banelings.
- YABOT: Always a good way to improve the execution of your builds. If you're build is 3 Rax, this map is how you learn how to get the most efficient 3 Rax. A lot of Diamond players only know simple builds like 4 Gate, 3 Rax, etc, and have just honed their execution on this map. The best thing you can use this for is knowing when to build which buildings in your BO. Don't count on supply as a good measure for these things, use YABOT.
I realize you believe your Micro is lacking (and you may be right), but nothing is more important to the amateur player than Execution. Half the 1000-1500 Diamond players are just players who know one build and execute it well.
Not sure which league you're in, but since you talked about hotkey setup, I'm thinking the problem is more effective APM than micro. The best way to do that I think is to use the multi tasking trainer tzenes posted. (It's very hard at first). It may seem to focus on a fairly minor trick, but you learn how to look at action while keeping up macro. (It also helps macro once you hit multiple bases)
As far as the hotkey thing, first remember that it's super important to NEVER use the mouse for abilities or building, just memorize the keys. Setting up hotkeys for units is really more personal preference, but you can get a lot of value by assigning hotkeys to a few new things. For example, as Zerg in earlier game, my hotkeys are 1&2: units, 3: Creep tumor(rebound after each jump), 4: Hatches, 5: Queens, 6: Overseer, 7+ whatever, switching 3 to units when necessary. Hotkeying the tumor really makes a difference and reminds me to do it.
Anyways, advanced micro is just something that adds value to your units. If your macro slips because you are busy stutter stepping (which you really can't do while macroing), the value gained probably isn't worth it. A lot of very high level players (especially zerg) only do basic micro, and just win with solid macro and unit composition. Just ensure your basic micro isn't terrible and practice multitasking maps.
I recommend trying the popular custom map called Micro Tournament. It is exactly what the title says - you get a bunch of units, your opponent gets a bunch of units and whoever manages to wipe out the enemy gets some points. I wont describe it more, give it a try, it is good. Although some argue that the matchups are not always balanced (sometimes it seems you get a weaker/stronger army than your enemy) but still it is a great way how to practice micro.
Note: if i recall correctly, mouzMorrow is the creator of this map. Those who watch HDStarcrafts channel on YT might know that he is a very good SC2 player himself.
There are some campaign missions that could force you to improve your micro. I can't remember the exact name, it asked to make 50 kills by Ghost... you could try it.
APM spamming does help
mainly, just click on as many units as you can to boost your apm. Hotkey units groups, then double tap the number to center view on the unit. This is specialy useful early on when not much goes on.
If you are able to kill a few mining probes while keeping the workers production up, with buildings, then you're on a good way
Here how things go: the more actions are needed, the more APM is needed. If you constantly play for micro-management games eg. 6 pool[6-8 zerlings rush] you have no way to macro - it contradicts to your game strategy.
On the other hand if you go for macro and a lot of expansions, harras with mutalisk,phoenix, viking/banshee you will be required to click more and click faster. They way to learn to micro/macro is knowing what to do and practicing doing it.
So focus on your game, rather than the micro. The micro will come along as long as you know what to do - move,attack, economy and so on.