I was watching this video '300 actions a minute? Truly mastering StarCraft'

And I'm bewildered at how fast they are playing. How is this possible? I can't even think about my next move so fast, let alone be typing shortcut keys that fast.

  • +1 for anyone who can post a great video of someone actually doing it (the guy in the Ars video wasn't)
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 7:00
  • 1
    It is possible in other game too, just take this HoN player who average 202 APM for 35 minutes match. heroesofnewerth.com/player_stats.php?aid=400734 He said in interview that most of his action where spam click. So when someone does 300 APM it's most probably a lot of spam action that aren't all useful.
    – HoLyVieR
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 13:41
  • It should also be noted that APM counter in the replays isn't actually "per minute". If the game is being played on Faster (which is the default), the APM being reported needs to be multiplied by 1.33 to be per minute.
    – Ben S
    Commented Jul 15, 2010 at 17:35
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    I was talking with a pro at an expo I was at this weekend. Yeah, a lot of them are not useful, but if they keep their APM up at 300+, even while they're not doing anything useful, their mind is in the game, and they don't have to ramp up at all, they're ready to respond at that rate.
    – McKay
    Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 15:39
  • @IvoFlipse- here ya go: youtube.com/watch?v=Z4UTDudShDY&feature=related
    – jzn
    Commented Aug 12, 2011 at 19:20

5 Answers 5


It's a combination of the keyboard and mouse. I'm sure we've all used shortcuts on our keyboards and that's most likely what the gamers do - use shortcuts. If you think about the beginning stages of the game: you click on your hatchery or whatever, build a drone, you can use a keyboard shortcut to build the drone for you. Then you click on a drone, tell them all to go collect minerals and then you click on one drone and tell it to build a spawning pool (also a shortcut).

We probably all use ctrl+c , ctrl+v pretty quickly - the gamers have just, like McKay said, tuned their brains to all the shortcuts for Starcraft.


You know how some people can type 100 words per minute? That's more than 300 actions per minute. The pro SC players have just wired their brains differently than your traditional secretary.

  • 13
    +1: It is important to note that most of those 300APM are on the keyboard. Commented Jul 14, 2010 at 20:32
  • 1
    I'm not sure about the ratio, but they are crazy with the mouse too.
    – McKay
    Commented Jul 14, 2010 at 21:34

Practice. Lots and lots of practice.

And the implant of course. :-)


APM is primarily limited by what you can remember to do, not what you are physically able to do.

McKay's secretary example is also correct, when typing you generally know which key you are going to press next. If you always know what you are going to do next in Starcraft 2 your APM will skyrocket.

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    A 100wpm typist doesn't know what key they are going to hit next. Instead they think of the word, and their fingers pretty much type it without conscious thought. I would guess that the same is pretty much true of the extreme action people. Commented Sep 8, 2010 at 20:48

If you look at the rest of the documentary (http://vimeo.com/12730027) you will notice how much of their life they pour into this game. It's not only that they spend their entire life doing it, but only select few get that high that it appears to be a combination of practice and natural skill.

It is not much unlike other sports where people spend a long time training and still only some excel.

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