Does anyone have any good mnemonics or memory conventions for remembering the Starcraft 2 hotkeys?

For example the unit circle and which trig function is positive: All signs that count = all sin(), tan(), cos()

Hotkey List

  • 2
    Limericks? Do you mean "mnemonics"? Jul 30, 2010 at 18:28
  • @Raven Doh, beat me by 30 seconds.
    – TheQ
    Jul 30, 2010 at 18:29
  • @Raven, yes I mean mnemonics, edited accordingly. Thanks! Jul 30, 2010 at 18:29
  • 2
    @Elpezmuerto, did you really mean starcraft 2? You've provided a list of buildings from starcraft ONE. Jul 30, 2010 at 18:42
  • Yeah, I'm not sure what you mean. How do you remember that bunker is U? Because it's got a U in it?
    – McKay
    Jul 30, 2010 at 20:44

3 Answers 3


I switched to the Grid keyboard layout (through the game settings) and now simply use positioning instead of memorising letters. Since that's what I used to use for my WoW UI (back in the day :D), it came more naturally to me than predefined key-letters, even though I've played my fair share of StarCraft 1.

So, Build Hatchery is Z Q

Pool is Z A

"MOAR HYDRAS NAO OMG" is 1 Q S S S S S S S S S S S S (hatchery on control group 1)

and so on..

  • In case anyone's wondering, my WoW UI looked like this: img11.imageshack.us/img11/8647/wowscrnshot041509183448.jpg
    – Tullo_x86
    Aug 5, 2010 at 2:56
  • 1
    I use the Grid Layout too, not only simpler to remind keys (for sure you have to know where is which building/unit/command in the grid) but they are also very close togheter -> less hand movement
    – fschl
    Aug 5, 2010 at 10:13
  • 1
    Grid, Grid, Grid, Grid, Grid, Grid, Grid, Grid, Grid, Grid, Grid, Grid. There has NEVER been better command organization in a Blizzard product than Grid. Grid is INSANELY helpful, because it's all consistent and makes sense (omg!).
    – VxJasonxV
    Sep 16, 2010 at 17:33
  • Where Grid really shines is in custom games, because there's a not-insignificant chunk of the mapmaking community who, in my opinion, are bad at hotkeys. I don't have to learn any new buttons :)
    – Tullo_x86
    Oct 3, 2010 at 11:49
  • I personally don't like a grid. I've played with it for a couple of days and think that it's pretty unbalanced - it require more actions of pink finger than index one
    – Meta
    Apr 16, 2011 at 9:13

There's a simple one thanks to Blizzard:

Farms and* production buildings are always the first letter in their name.

The more important the building/unit, the more likely it is to be the first letter in the name. Because of how often those buildings are built, Blizzard gave them more priority when resolving first letter conflicts.

So you can be sure of:


  • C - Command Center
  • B - Barracks
  • S - Supply Depot
  • F - Factory
  • S - Starport


  • N - Nexus
  • G - Gateway
  • E* - Pylon*
  • S - Stargate
  • R - Robotics Facility


  • H - Hatchery

(I don't know what's up with Zerg in SC2 yet, so I don't know what happened to creep colonies? All of these hotkeys were recycled from SC1, which I have plenty of experience with.:) )

If you're after a building that's not important, its still worth trying the first letter, and probably the second, but a few are just going to come down to rote memorization.

*Farms currently disputed. See comments.

  • Pylon is actually E. Aug 4, 2010 at 17:13
  • Uhoh. I did not verify the shortcut list Elpezmuerto posted. My quick research (can't load up the game at work) supports this: starcraft2freaks.com/starcraft-2-hotkeys-list So much for my mnemonic. Anyone have an idea why they changed it, considering nothing else uses P? Aug 4, 2010 at 21:42
  • 4
    The goal is too keep all the hotkeys in one area as much as possible, specifically where the left hand is usually on the keyboard. It makes it much easier to micro when your hand doesn't have to move around as much and it lowers the risk of ending up with your hand being off by 1 key. Aug 4, 2010 at 21:49
  • @en1gmatic325 That sounds quite plausible. Aug 4, 2010 at 21:59

I don't think the use of mnemonic devices is optimal here. Mostly because it is hard to associate letters with buildings. You could try imagining some crazy command center with big C in the construction etc. My suggestion for you will be to just play a few skirmishes with no click on UI policy. It get memorized very fast this way. It is also the best way to be non-clicker/keyboard turner in wow.

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