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This Is How Fast Korean Starcraft Players Are

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 69 comments

The key to victory? Over 200 commands given per minute in Starcraft.

Portions of "The Hax Life", a documentary about professional gamers in Asia, show top Korean RTS gamers blazing over keyboards and mousepads. They are literally pressing keys at speeds faster than your average touch typer. RTS Gaming in the Republic of Korea is apparently a science, with top performers measuring their interface manipulation ability through "Actions per Minute", or APMs.

As defined by one gamer, APM is simply "the average rate of how quick[ly] your fingers move". More specifically, it's how many commands you can execute in one minute. A high APM indicates a preternatural ability to micro-manage units and resource gathering. Just how many APMs do you need to be a champion? "At least over [the] 200's and in the lower 300's."

Famous videos like Boxer's famous SCV rush show that speed is essential to victory on the virtual battlefield. The video of gamers tapping quickly on their keyboards and mice illustrate a scary ability to seize opportunities when they present themselves.

Korean Gamers

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    insider3 , July 10, 2010 2:23 AM
    Pardon my French but... HOLY SH--!
  • 21 Hide
    montyp2000 , July 10, 2010 4:24 AM
    Yes, but can they play Crysis?
  • 17 Hide
    sinsear , July 10, 2010 6:05 AM
    The vast majority of their "actions" are simply redirecting their units slightly; they right click to move in a single area like 5-10 times. A lot of their "actions" aren't really different/separate actions and can be consolidated into one and just waiting for the units to move there instead of right clicking on the same patch of ground 10 times. In actuality, their "Unique Actions Per Minute" is more like 30-50 instead of 200 to 300.
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    insider3 , July 10, 2010 2:23 AM
    Pardon my French but... HOLY SH--!
  • 7 Hide
    AMDnoob , July 10, 2010 2:28 AM
    I'm impressed.. I suppose :\ Yeaahhhhh...
  • 2 Hide
    rcarm , July 10, 2010 2:31 AM
    I call hax.
  • 0 Hide
    ubernoobie , July 10, 2010 2:36 AM
    i've already known this, my friend averages 300apm during starcraft competitively. I get around 60 and we both enjoy it, btw my friend is not asian, hes white and has better apm than my korean friend that plays WoW
  • 16 Hide
    kckrich , July 10, 2010 3:12 AM
    OMG! I literally just use the mouse.... damn!
  • 6 Hide
    eklipz330 , July 10, 2010 3:48 AM
    omggg holy crap this is as amazing as those dudes that can full combo TTFAF in guitar hero 3
  • 12 Hide
    tacoslave , July 10, 2010 4:09 AM
    he must have alot of lady friends with fingers like that
  • 21 Hide
    montyp2000 , July 10, 2010 4:24 AM
    Yes, but can they play Crysis?
  • 0 Hide
    Mizoguchi , July 10, 2010 5:04 AM
    Take a look at how fast Sea.Really or Jaedong or Flash play... they blow these guys out of the water.
  • 17 Hide
    sinsear , July 10, 2010 6:05 AM
    The vast majority of their "actions" are simply redirecting their units slightly; they right click to move in a single area like 5-10 times. A lot of their "actions" aren't really different/separate actions and can be consolidated into one and just waiting for the units to move there instead of right clicking on the same patch of ground 10 times. In actuality, their "Unique Actions Per Minute" is more like 30-50 instead of 200 to 300.
  • 17 Hide
    averagejoe_1984 , July 10, 2010 6:20 AM
    This is the problem with RTS games. Assuming roughly equivalent knowledge of game mechanics, he who has a faster APM shall win. To make RTS games more appealing, game companies should try to make them more like chess. They should try to make each move more important and less tweakable my quick changes in commands. Perhaps making unit movement changes less relevant to the outcome of the battle, but instead making longer term movement and attack choices more important. Its an enigma how you get a realtime strategy game to encourage strategy over speed. The first game to do it well will likely be a hit. Supreme Commander went in this direction, but the developer never polished the game to completion. Its still the closest example of what I am trying to explain.
  • 3 Hide
    redgarl , July 10, 2010 6:49 AM
    Can we actually win?
  • 5 Hide
    Kelavarus , July 10, 2010 7:01 AM
    I'd say something similar to sinsear and averagejoe_1984's comments. For ones, APMs like this are more for real time TACTICS games (Starcraft is tactics, in a large part) than strategy. Strategy is more about the long drawn out game, in which APMs are not as important.

    As well, a large portion of what they're doing IS just slight redirection, not anything huge, nor will it necessarily win the game.
  • 1 Hide
    natureaddict , July 10, 2010 7:55 AM
    Who else thinks that the guy in the video looks a lot like the mainstream depiction of an alien? Maybe so called aliens are really our Korean overlords from the future?
  • -2 Hide
    killbits , July 10, 2010 9:21 AM
    natureaddictWho else thinks that the guy in the video looks a lot like the mainstream depiction of an alien? Maybe so called aliens are really our Korean overlords from the future?


    racist much?
  • 0 Hide
    triplebug , July 10, 2010 10:11 AM
    lol, DotA is always below 200 apm.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , July 10, 2010 10:22 AM
    ccccombo breaker
  • -1 Hide
    giovanni86 , July 10, 2010 10:33 AM
    I'm not dissing Koreans they are fast, but that video was sped up. Look closely and you will see towards right before the guy comes onto the screen theres like 4 seconds is real time. There fast and damn good too, but anyone can master hot keys on a keyboard and click that fast. And if you have ever watched real tournaments on youtube, they don't click that fast. I play those games on a weekly basis, it was sped up.
  • 1 Hide
    ksampanna , July 10, 2010 1:44 PM
    They've got to be INSANE, or just high on steroids
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