What should my APMs be?
A lot of players want to know how high there APMs should be to compete at the Diamond level. Right now to compete with high rank Diamond players your average APMs through the course of the game should be around 100. Now you may be asking your self, "I see the Korean Pros get 300+ APMs" to be honest none of us will ever average 300 legitimate APMs and it is unnecessary. Good players who have an average APM of 120 is clicking or making an action 2 times a second which is very fast.
One of the big things I see with lower level players is that there APMs are around 15 – 30 which means that they are not staying active enough and this is what sets apart to Diamond level players from the Copper, because a player with 80+ APMs is constantly doing something and building up there base and economy while a player with lower APMs will take longer to complete a certain task or build order.
The key is improvement
Over the course of this guide I'm going to break down how a player plays the game and things that are needed to increase your APMs. After reading this guide you are not going to jump up to 120+ APMs but you will know what is needed to start improving. What you want to do is see what your average APM is now and than apply the strategies and skills you learned in this APM guide to gradually increase your APMs. This is something that requires practice and your goal should be to improve your APMs and over time you will continue to get better and faster and historically hit your target APM mark.
This guide is going to follow the sequence of a game so I can start you off from the beginning of the game and take you through the mind set and process of having a high APM from start to finish. A lot of the skills and strategies are used through out the entire game and the keys is working them all into your average game play and builds that you do through out the game.
In the beginning of the game you have a lot of down time, players use this time to spam there APMs by clicking really fast the rally point of their Command Center / Nexus / Hatchery to a mineral patch. This increases your APMs by a lot and some players view it as APM spam but for many players that is not the case. The reason behind doing this is that it warms you up and gets you ready to start building, your fingers are getting use to clicking really fast and staying active rather than just sitting there while you build your first couple works.
Imagine you were racing a car and one car is at the starting line while the other car is already going 60 MPH once you start the race, the car that is already going 60 MPH will easily win because it is already picked up the speed while the car which is starting from a stop has to pick up speed as it accelerates.
This is the same for your hands / fingers, if your already moving at a quick speed than it will be easy to quickly transition into building your base and you can quickly grab your 9th or 10th SCV and build a Supply Depot right away.
Setting up Control Groups and using them is one of the largest factors in having a high APM, this allows you to quickly move between buildings and units and access them at any time, anywhere on the map. As mentioned in our Control Group guide you want to set your Control Groups up while building your buildings and army. This is so important because it will allow you to continue to build units while you are in the middle of a battle and keep a good Macro of your base.
Players who do not use Control Groups and hot keys are never going to be able to achieve the same APM level of an equally skilled player who does. The advantage of being able to quickly select your production buildings and produce units will really help improve your APM as long as you keep production up during battle and while your microing your units.
Control Groups are also very important in battle because you want to set different units to select control groups so you can quickly highlight them and use them against your opponent. For example if you have a group of Marines and Marauders with Vikings and your Protoss opponent has a ground force with Colossus, having your Vikings set to a Control Group will allow you to quickly access just your Vikings so you can Micro them and attack the Colossus during the battle.